Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Regular use of the Daily Office - Rector's Rambling for November 10, 2013

The Episcopal Church in the United States is unique among her sister churches in the Anglican Communion in ways good and bad.  I won’t list the litany here (after all, no church is perfect).  But one particular way is that it is the only National member that has never had a requirement, via the canons of the church, that the clergy have to pray the Daily Office (Morning and Evening Prayer).
Perhaps this is just an oversight.  As the second independent member of the Communion (The Scottish Episcopal Church already acting independently of the Church of England) perhaps when they compiled the rules there was just an understanding that all clergy would want to, and therefore would, pray the Daily Office daily.
Further, it was also an understanding that that Office would be at a set time, in the parish church, so that people could attend and participate.
My coming back to the practice of the faith was facilitated by a parish in Philadelphia that understood the importance of this practice.  One evening, as I was walking home from work, the bell on a church rang as I was passing by.  Looking at the sign I saw that it announced that it was Episcopal, and that Evening Prayer was being prayed in a few minutes.  The door was propped open.  I decided to give it a try.
I was an occasional Sunday morning Episcopalian, but I especially liked the cadence, the scripture-intensive content, and brevity of this service.  I began attending several days a week and then began praying it at home on those days I couldn’t make it to the church, or it was not being publicly recited that day.  That regular practice of praying the Daily Office lead to remarkable changes in my spiritual life and a return to the full practice of the Faith.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 4:00 PM, a group of people gather at St. John’s to pray Evening Prayer.  You can join us.  Or knowing how to pray the Daily Offices, like we do this morning, you can pray it at home.  It is a wonderful vehicle to greater grace and holiness.