Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rector's Rambling - August 29, 2010 - Morning Prayer w/ Communion

It’s the fifth Sunday of the month and that means that once again we have the opportunity to pray Morning Prayer with Holy Communion, as we do every 2nd and 5th Sunday.
In the teaching notes there is a bit of the background on why we do this combined service on these two Sundays.
In some parishes it was the tradition to alternate Holy Communion and Morning Prayer Sundays. This was a derivation from the more ancient practice of Holy Communion every time the Body of Christ (the Church) gathered.
In Anglicanism (the Episcopal Church is the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion) the prayer book understanding was that every parish would have Morning Prayer, Litany AND Holy Communion every Sunday (everyone, all together, for all three services) and then would return on Sunday evening for Evening Prayer.
As time went on, when parishes were without their own priest, only Morning Prayer, Litany, and “Ante-Communion” would be prayed, led by a lay reader. The “ante-Communion” is the part of the Communion service, readings, and prayers before the actual consecration prayer.
Over time parishes have pared down on the length and number of services. This morning’s combination is a great way to keep the Morning Prayer service, using it as the ante-communion, as well as keeping the more ancient practice of Holy Communion every week.
One reason I like Morning Prayer on Sunday is because YOU now know how to pray it! The Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer were written for EVERYONE to be able to pray Morning and Evening Prayer, using the Book of Common Prayer and a Bible, in their home every day of the week. The clergy are expected to do so, and many others in the parish pray it daily as well (I know because when I make a mistake on the cycle of readings on page 3 they call to ask for the correction).
If you don’t have a copy of the Prayer Book we have free copies in the parish library. Add a bible and you have all you need to pray it daily.