The Daily Office
- Morning Prayer
- Noonday Prayer
Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families
The Daily Office is not complicated, but can be a little daunting because it is so flexible.
If you’re just trying it out, start with the Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families. These are faithful to the basic form and structure of the Daily Office, while also being short and sweet and simple. As you become more adventurous, try substituting Psalms or scripture selections of your choosing.
The primary liturgies under “The Daily Office” are the full prayer book forms. Listed under each are adaptation intended to adapt them for use throughout the day or week, making use of all the options without having to choose from day to day.
About the Daily Office
The Daily Office is modeled on the Benedictine model of life: ora et labora. Office refers to duty: our duty to God. Prayer and work are interspersed throughout the day so that one may “pray without ceasing” in a very real sense. The Jewish people have prayed at certain hours of the day ever since the Temple sacrifices were offered regularly. As synagogues developed, they adopted this practice, and the early Christian church, being a sect within Judaism, did as well. Seven daily offices were observed by the earliest church, consisting chiefly of the Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer. This practice was maintained by Christian monasteries. Thomas Cramner’s prayer book simplified these into four (morning, noon, evening, and bedtime) in order to make them more accessible for every believer.
(One will note, however, that Noonday prayer is constructed so as to easily be broken up into three little offices throughout working hours. So far as I know, no seventh office, for the middle of the night, is to be found in the Prayer Book, even in hiding.)