The Daily Office

What is the Daily Office?

The Daily Office is an ancient and disciplined approach to prayer.  It is an ordered way to "pray without ceasing." The following are common characteristics of the Daily Office.

 

1.  The Daily Office is prayed at FIXED HOURS.

 

People who pray the Daily Office, pray at set time points throughout the day.  Commonly these set times would be morning, midday, and before bed.  The advantage of praying at "fixed hours" is that it helps people to stop and formally connect with God throughout the day.  Then as they continue on with the work of the day, God stays "on the radar" and prayer tends to continue informally and spontaneously.  It is a way to develop a lifestyle of prayer without ceasing.

 

2.  The Daily Office is prayed LITURGICALLY.

 

Liturgy comes from the Greek word that means "The work of the people."  The people of God are called to do the work of prayer and worship.  When this work is done in common with other believers, it is called liturgy.  Liturgical prayer, in a sense, follows a script.  Some people don't like to follow a script when praying as they think prayer should always be spontaneous.  But praying from set prayers allows believers to agree in prayer and pray together in chorus.  The practice of liturgical prayer also encourages people to pray beyond how they may feel on a particular day and to pray for things about which they may not normally think to pray.

 

When we pray set prayers at set times, we are praying in concert with many others who are praying the same or similar prayers at the same time.  As one time zone ends their prayers another picks up the task resulting in a continuous wave of concerted prayer that cycles around the globe.

 

Here are a couple of links that encourage the benefits of praying liturgically.

 

N.T. Wright video on the freedom that liturgy can bring

 

Short book excerpt on the benefits of liturgical prayer


Brief History of the Daily Office

The Daily Office is not a recent fad.  It is an ancient practice that traces back to Christianities' roots in Judaism.  Here is a brief history.

 

Practice the Daily Office

The following are some online resources for practicing the Daily Office. 

 

Get Your Feet Wet

Pause for Prayer 

Re-Jesus


Go a Little Deeper

The Divine Hours

Celtic Daily Prayer

Common Prayer

 

Dive in all the way

The Book of Common Prayer