As you know, for most of the pandemic, Holy Apostles moved its Sunday service online via Zoom, and since we were not able to share the Eucharist, we prayed Morning Prayer together instead. Some of you might already have been familiar with this service, while for others of you, especially if you are newer to the Episcopal Church, it was strange and new. But the practice of praying in the morning as a way of giving thanks and preparing for the day to come has very deep roots.
There has been a custom in many religious traditions to pray at certain times of day, and ancient Christian monasteries developed the practice of praying “the hours” seven times over the course of each day. When Thomas Cranmer put together the forerunner of our modern Book of Common Prayer in 1549, he distilled “the hours” down to two daily services: Morning and Evening Prayer. He envisioned these services as not just the province of monastics, but instead prayers that the whole church would pray together.
We have now shifted back to celebrating the Eucharist on Sundays, with folks joining us in person or via live streaming — and we are exceedingly grateful. But I encourage you to keep up the joyful habit of Morning Prayer. You can pray on your own with your prayer book, or you can use one of the wonderful online sites and apps that make the prayers even easier (https://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html; https://www.venite.app; https://dev.churchpublishing.org/ecpapp). And you can always join Deacon Bob and other parishioners for Morning Prayer on Wednesday mornings at 8:30 am — you can participate by clicking this link.
No matter what you choose, you might remember all the amazing folks around the world who are also praying Morning Prayer each morning, as well as all the countless faithful who have prayed it through the ages. Why not join their blessed company?!