We are continuing a blog series on the Daily Office, asking members of the Restoration family how they learned to pray the Daily Office and how it shapes their relationship with God. Hopefully, it is inspiration for those who are new to Anglicanism and an encouragement to all of us to grow in a habit of prayer. This week’s post is from the Rev. Nobie Hendricks, Executive Director of Fellowship of Hope Mentoring.
I feel blessed and a bit uneasy writing about the beauty of tending to the Daily Office! I speak of being blessed because I am truly enriched when I choose to follow it regularly. I’m uneasy because I must admit there are seasons in my life when I have not followed it daily but chose other ways to connect with God and His teachings.
I was first introduced to the daily office during a summer intensive course I was taking on campus at Trinity School of Ministry in 2010. Each morning and afternoon those on campus would meet in the sanctuary to begin and end our day with the Daily Office and a devotional. It was lovely but once I returned home, I didn’t continue. It wasn’t until my Anglican history professor three years later encouraged each of us to visit The Mission of Saint Clare’s website to see their Daily Office offerings that had changed his own life. Right off the bat I want to tell you this is an Anglo Catholic Daily Office with a high church feel but it struck a chord with my heart and it is what got me on the road to following the Daily Office regularly.
Their online offerings are almost a full church experience! The highlight for me is it includes opening, closing and mid service hymns and songs I may sing along with. While I absolutely love this part of their service, I am not so sure my chiweenie, Cinnamon, would agree! The service offers audio chanting the Venite which I don’t do but it is fun to try occasionally. It allows me to select particularly theme-based Collects to pray that will coincide with my own day. And for those seeking more, they offer a daily bio on the Saint of the Day and a litany of other pertinent links. It really is truly a life-broadening and comforting ritual.
And while I truly love St Clare’s Daily Office, I am currently following The Trinity Mission’s Anglican Daily Office podcast with Fr. Michael Jarrett, who interactively presides over their morning, noon and evening services. There are three important reasons I enjoy this service, first it allows me to feel connected to a real person and therefore not alone as I pray the Daily Office. Secondly, I am supporting one of my fellow Anglican priests from our own Anglican network. And thirdly it takes much less time.
You might ask, what about doing it yourself with the Anglican Prayer Book and Bible. Well, I am a bit embarrassed to admit but have tried many times to go it alone however I do not feel as much spiritual connection to God for my mind wanders because it feels rote and therefore more tedious.
With all this said, I must end with you knowing I have found real benefit for my heart, mind, body and soul when I consistently partake in either the Trinity Mission or Mission of St Clare’s offerings. There are days I don’t feel like doing it but when I push past those feelings, I am never disappointed for I walk away nourished and filled with God’s peace, which can only come from being connected to Him in a meaningful way.
May your spiritual journey into praying the Daily Office be ever so rewarding and life giving!