Daily Morning Prayer
A St. John’s Tradition
At St. John’s we offer the Daily Office of Morning Prayer each Monday through Friday at 8:45 am. This brief service (15 minutes) is rooted in the monastic tradition and is the perfect way to begin your day. We recite psalms, read Scripture, and offer both ancient collects (prayers), and litanies. There are silences and time for private intercessions offered either silently or aloud. The Daily Office is the Church’s gift to us, allowing us to sanctify time and to consecrate each day.
The Daily Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Noonday Prayer and Compline) is the core of Anglican Spirituality. These are times we set apart to spend with God in the context of the worshipping community. Whether the Office is prayed at church, at home, or even online – there’s a deep sense of praying with other Christians throughout the world.
Most of us choose a favorite one and use it every day. Morning Prayer is said before the work day begins; the Noon Office (or Noonday Prayers) is used over lunch time; Evening Prayer is used around sunset or before dinner. Compline is a close-of-day prayer.
Ideally, the Office provides a discipline; that’s why it’s best used Daily. If you wait until you’re inspired to pray spontaneously, God may be waiting a very long time to hear from you. But when you undertake a discipline to pray—that is, when you make a decision that you’ll be open to pray whether you feel like it or not—the framework usually leads to the spontaneous dialogue that you and God like best.
The Daily Offices may be led by either a member of the clergy or a lay person. If you believe you might be led to this ministry, please contact a member of the clergy to set up a training session.
Daily Office FAQs
Q. Why is this service called an “Office”?
A. Originally “office” simply meant service, not the place where a service is performed or business is conducted. “Daily Office” means the service of the day.
Q. Who wrote the Daily Offices?
A. The beautiful Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer were developed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) in the 16th century based upon the eight-fold Benedictine monastic Hours.
Q. What if I can’t come everyday but only occasionally?
A. That’s fine. God would rather see you once in awhile than not at all. The spiritual disciple of Morning Prayer is habit-forming – there’s no reason to feel compulsive or guilty. Just come – you’ll feel better for doing so.
Some people only say the Office once a week. Some people are busy with children, work and school in the mornings, but say Evening Prayer by themselves or with their families at night. Find the pattern that works best for you and make a habit of it. Don't be surprised, though, if saying the Office becomes the most rewarding habit of your life. That’s when the joy begins.
Q. Where do these prayers and readings come from? Who put them together?
A. The Daily Office is found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. Almost every word of it comes from the Bible.
Q. Is there a shorter version I can use to get into the habit?
A. Yes. The “Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families” (Page 136 in the Prayer Book) are shortened versions of the Offices. There are four options: In the Morning, At Noon, In the Early Evening, and At the Close of Day.
Q. I can’t always get to church in the morning but I’d still like to pray the Offices. Are there online resources I can use?