Morning & Evening Prayer



  • If you find a copy of the old Book of Common Prayer as Proposed in 1928 it has an Order for Prime and for Compline in the Appendix.

    Compline is also on the CofE Daily Prayer app, both in 1928 and CW form.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Not sure if this was already mentioned, but just to add more options/ chaos here's the online St Bede's Breviary using the 28/'79 American BCP's with a whole bunch of optional add ons and stylistic preferences.
  • ECraigRECraigR Castaway
    Also a good link, thanks!
  • Gosh. Since my (very recent) conversion, I’ve been praying morning and evening. But I’ve just been making it up as I go along, albeit with some general guidance from my parish priest. I feel like such a rebel ... !
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    edited September 2019
    Good for you @Timo Pax. If you find a set form of Morning and/or Evening Prayer is good and/or helpful for you, then use it. If not, don’t worry about it. (Albeit recognising that there may be some long-established wisdom in the set forms.)
  • Yes. Just because there are set forms doesn't mean you have to use them in private.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    We all spend a while casting about finding what works for us. It took me a couple of years to find what works for me, and every now and again it still needs adjustment. I am fairly terrible at winging it, and need a not of external structures. Others are the exact opposite and find than an external structure gets in the way so far as private prayers are concerned.
  • IME what is good at one time of life is not good at another. I cannot even do a progress line with mine, the last change was to incorporate something I stopped doing twenty years ago.
  • Indeed, Jengie Jon ... I am now doing something I stopped doing nearly 40 years ago! And much more serously than I did then! (More "religiously" too!!!)
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Yes, @Galilit and @JengieJon my prayer life has been cyclical and not linear. With some constants, prayers and invocations that never lose their appeal.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    ECraigR wrote: »
    Matins needs it’s own huge volume? Well my my, maybe I will need to be hardcore! I’ve always wanted to be a monk, after all.

    Matins (a.k.a. - Vigils or Nocturns) is the mule of the monastic schedule and does most of the work. It contains about half of the psalter - including most of the long psalms - during the course of the week, and all of the Patristic readings, and the bulk of the longer Bible readings. Because lectio divina is one of the cornerstones of the monastic tradition, there are fewer long Bible readings in the MB than in the Liturgy of the Hours or the pre-1960 Roman Breviary.

    Compared to the 1960 Breviary Matins, the Monastic version is about twice the length. This morning (Tuesday) the Psalms appointed were:

    1911/60 Roman Breviary: 35 i - ii - iii; 37 i, ii, iii; 38 i, ii; 39
    1961 Monastic: 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52 (I Nocturn) and 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59 (II Nocturn)

    The RB gets its nine psalms by dividing some of the longer ones, so 35 and 37 are both divided in three. RB Matins also had two short Bible readings, two responsories, and the legend for St Nicholas of Tolentino, and the Te Deum; whereas the MB had two very short Scripture lessons. I am reasonably familiar with the 1954 Anglican Breviary which is a translation/adaption of the 1911 Roman Breviary, and I reckon that on the 1955 or 1960 rubrics Matins usually takes about 20 minutes. The Monastic version is about 30-35 in private recitation; 45 - 50 minutes when you have three nocturns and 12 lessons. Generally speaking the Monastic Kalendar is a lot less crowded than the Roman Breviary or for that matter the 1979 BCP or Common Worship.

    The rest of the day there isn't much to choose between them in terms of length. The Lesser Hours are a bit more elaborate in the RB; in MB Lauds and Vespers are a little more complex, and the Lesser Hours are very simple indeed lacking the responsory of the Roman version, but also tending to have shorter psalms. For example, RB uses Ps. 118 and 119 at Prime, etc., on Sundays whereas MB uses Ps. 119 vv. 1 to 104.

    Which do I prefer?

    I can't stand the language of the modern LOTH - especially the Grail Psalter, which is as ugly in English as I am told the Pian Psalter is in Latin. Certain aspects of it are rather a harsh break from tradition, but it is fairly short - about 40 minutes all told in private recitation - and convenient. I just can't stand the English translation, and my Latin is not up to the original. On the whole, if I wanted a modern language office I would be more likely to go for Common Worship and add a Patristic lesson to MP.

    The Anglican Breviary and the 1911 Roman Breviary are OK, but the Psalter is unforgiving in that the Psalms are spread across all 56 offices said in the course of the week. It also does not help that the lesser Hours are at their longest on Sundays. If you follow the 1960 rules to the letter you loose between two-thirds and five-sixths of the patristic material, as a result I tend to use the 1956 rubrics which leave Sundays nine lesson, but cut the Athanasian Creed, and the prayers before and after the office, but leave the Patristic lessons more or less intact. The whole thing takes 60 to 70 minutes a day, most of it in 5 or 10 minute bursts.

    The Monastic Breviary's challenge is Matins which is going to be 30 to 45 minutes every day. When you have read through Matins of 12 Lessons you can understand why traditionally it takes 90 to 120 minutes to chant in quire. Lauds is fairly substantial - seven psalms, OT and Gospel Canticle - but the rest are fairly brief. As a result MB take 75 to 90 minutes in private recitation, but is harder to learn because no-one has ever thought about anyone actually learning the thing from a book rather than in quire.

    My own bugbear with the Breviaries is Prime, which creates a traffic jam in the morning. This tends to prejudice me against the Anglican Breviary where you cannot dodge Prime (as per post-Vatican II; pre LOTH practice) and do the whole psalter in a week. As a result I tend to end up saying Matins the previous evening (licit) and starting with Lauds, but I cannot say that the prospect of Matins of nine lessons at the end of a busy day fills one with Apostolic zeal. I came up with a quick and dirty fix with the Monastic Diurnal which eases the morning log jam enough.

    Even when I am not on a "Breviary-kick" I will tend to use Prime, etc., from the MB to supplement the BCP Office as I find I do better on the little and often schedule once I have got my morning devotions out of the way.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    (Previous post continued...)

    One thing I do have to say is that much of my commentary is very subjective - i.e. it is in the what works for me category. Like most clergy, my available time tends to be in the morning, whilst evenings tend to be a little more crowded, so I tend to favour something that is geared towards the 7am to 9am slot which is when I have quiet time, so Monastic Matins and Lauds work well, then the rest of the day I can 'top-up' on the short hours.

    This parish does not go in for the said office, so on weekdays I am on my own for the office. Sung office on Sundays is a different matter. I have never been able to track down any PECUSA/TEC requirement to read the BCP daily office privately, even though 'your guts are for garters' of you use any but the permitted forms in public worship. As a result, I have tended to take the attitude that what I read in private is very much my business provided it is not at complete variance with the Anglican tradition. The edition of the BM I use is the Society of the Sacred Cross/Community of St Mary version so it has Anglican roots, as reprinted by Lancelot Andrewes Press, though I ignore the WRO bits. I figure that it is close enough.
  • teddybearteddybear Shipmate Posts: 19
    Sometimes I use the Roman Franciscan LOTH or I will use the Franciscan Morning and Evening Praise, which was composed for the use of RC Third Order Regular congregations of sisters or brothers who don't take solemn vows.
  • PDR wrote: »
    We all spend a while casting about finding what works for us. It took me a couple of years to find what works for me, and every now and again it still needs adjustment. I am fairly terrible at winging it, and need a not of external structures. Others are the exact opposite and find than an external structure gets in the way so far as private prayers are concerned.

    I'm an oblate in a Benedictine community, and we use our own community breviary when in our semi-annual convocation, but we're allowed to pray an office that works for us otherwise. I'm terribly undisciplined and inconsistent lately, but what I find goes most smoothly is the BCP 1979 (USA) office. Probably helps that for years I've been a Wednesday-evening officiant in our parish, which definitely has a way of saying the office aloud in church, so all the various choices are easy to make without distraction. I've promised to pray two offices a day (our community's breviary has four). Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Irrelevant aside

    @Oblatus - I have made several attempts to become a Benedictine Oblate but I always seem to get about halfway through the probationary period and something intervenes - an illness, a house move, a parish move - so I have yet to make it official. In truth I probably pull a bit more towards the Cistercian tradition (aa didn't grow up in Yorkshire for nowt, tha knaws) but I know myself well enough to know that the Benedictine tradition has a profound pull for me. We are all in the same struggle and there is something so perfectly balanced about the Benedictine way which is so simple but yet leads us forwards into the divine.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate Posts: 19
    I've been getting a lot of mileage out of the Lancelot Andrewes Press edition of the Book of Common (the so-called 2009 BCP) for Morning and Evening Prayer lately. As far as the two main offices go, it's basically a souped-up version of the 1928 American BCP with some Anglo-Catholic additions (such as Marian antiphons at EP), a few more options (such as for OT canticles at MP), and a couple of things added back in from the 1662 (such as "O God make speed to save us" etc. at the start). There's also orders for prime, sext and compline (and of course missal-esque Eucharistic material with some Western Rite Orthodox twists, but that's of no practical use to me).
  • As a former Anglican who was at one time a Novice Oblate of a Benedictine monastery I found it very hard to pray much of the Office on my own. I am awed by the number of posters here who are faithful to a similarly weighty commitment. I gave the book(s) back to the monastery when I became Orthodox.

    Nevertheless, reading this discussion has lead me to look beyond the standard Orthodox prayer book somewhat unvarying morning and evening prayers, so I have begun experimenting with the Dynamic Horologion where I can pick and choose whichever Hour best suits the time I have available that day. I really like the fact that it has the Troparia for the saint(s) of the day according to the Old Calendar that we use at my church.

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