Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Episcopal priest in Indiana shares Anglicanism's special means for engaging the Bible through daily prayer

Confessions of a Carioca: In Praise of the Daily Office

My parishioners sometimes compliment me on my awareness of Bible content, or at least for "having a good memory."

But the fact is, I am not a "Bible memorizer" as much as I am a reader of The Daily Offices from the Book of Common Prayer. I'm in the Scriptures daily so that the Holy Spirit can remind me of the Word at the right time.

The Anglican Reformers of the 1500s wrote,

THERE was never any thing by the wit of man so well devised, or so surely established... as (emong other thinges) it may plainly appere by the common prayers in the Churche, commonlye called divine service: the firste originall and grounde whereof, if a manne woulde searche out by the auncient fathers, he shall finde that the same was not ordeyned, but of a good purpose, and for a great advauncement of godlines: For they so ordred the matter, that all the whole Bible (or the greatest parte thereof) should be read over once in the yeare, intendyng thereby, that the Cleargie, and specially suche as were Ministers of the congregacion, should (by often readyng and meditacion of Gods worde) be stirred up to godlines themselfes, and be more able also to exhorte other by wholsome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the trueth. And further, that the people (by daily hearyng of holy scripture read in the Churche) should continuallye profite more and more in the knowledge of God, and bee the more inflamed with the love of his true religion.

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