About

Welcome in the Name of the Lord

The Daily Office offers the Anglican services of Morning and Evening Prayer timed for the Western Hemisphere. Welcome, international visitors!

We also have a Daily Office blog timed for the East; it’s here. We invite you to visit and subscribe to whichever site is timed correctly for where you find yourself, at home and as you travel.

The Daily Office is an ancient way to pray. It marks the passage of time by offering Morning and Evening Prayer as written in the Book of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church, headquartered in the United States, with churches in 16 nations. (Our spellings are American.) Each service features psalms, Bible readings and prayers. We occasionally use other texts as well.

If you like, please take advantage of these features: e-mail subscriptions, comments and RSS feeds. Our two Daily Office blogs help achieve a worldwide outreach. Together our sites have had 2.8 million visitors from 100+ nations. And now *you’re* here!

Welcome. May God bless you richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Josh Thomas
Lay Vicar

October 25, 2012

AllSaints.FestivalOfLights.JohnAugustSwanson.2006

A Key to Understanding Our Sites for Those Experienced with This Form of Prayer

If you’re simply looking for Christian liturgical prayer online, several good choices are available. Here you are entering a community; what makes us different is that our services are posted live twice a day.

This is a blog; it’s deliberately interactive. We invite your comments. We suggest that at each visit you glance at the Most Recent Visitors app and say a little blessing on the other folks who are here right now. When you come to each service’s Prayer List toward the bottom of the page, understand that those names have been submitted by our members all around the world.

If you like, you can get to know the people here by their comments. Our staff has met some great people here, which made us think, “What if they could meet each other and not just us?”

Our future plans, God willing, are to create a social network, where you can make lots of friends in Christ all over the world.

Meanwhile, this is the only Office site we know of that is posted anew twice a day, not maintained by a mechanical database. Here you’re not “praying to a computer,” but to God. Human beings compose and conduct this service, just like in your parish chapel. We have a worship leader, who makes choices. You may not always agree with every one of them, any more than you would with your parish priest or minister, but it’s good to have someone who’s prepared this service as a unique prayer event. In addition, we sometimes make mistakes! (So do the MySQL sites, where a database is in charge.)

For example, we do not offer Elizabethan language. We try to minimize patriarchal language. We do not let you pick or omit the lessons and prayers you’d like to read. Choice is good – but here, What You See Is What You Get. You’re part of a congregation here. This is so we can make it like walking into church, more than simply turning on your device. Every time we walk into church, someone has made decisions about what the service will be like; same here.

When the lectionary permits, we try to make each service a unified whole, with a consistent theme. The Prayer Book schedule of readings doesn’t always allow that, and the worship leader isn’t all-knowing in his choice of art, music and prayers. Yet those choices are part of what has made our services so popular. It’s why we have thousands of followers. We don’t think of you as visitors, but as members.

We try to keep the preaching to a minimum, because this is not a personality cult; Jesus is the attraction, not the preacher. Nevertheless, every service in this online church is conducted by a human being, who can’t help but steer our thoughts somewhat.

If you want to be your own worship leader, by all means do so. If your prayer is strictly between you and God, we understand and approve. But here, a congregation prays together, which is a major difference. To us church is always a “we” thing, not an “I” thing.

We think being together is the best way to go about our daily prayers.

The Vicar, Deacon and Subdeacons
May 30-June 14, 2013

146 Responses to About

  1. Greetings!

    I was wondering how to activate RSS feed from this blog. I did not see any xml or atom button on the blog site to request feed activation. Any instructions?

    Thanks!

    Ian

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  2. josh says:

    Ian, There used to be a big button, but I don’t see it anymore. (My “management tools” say it’s selected and visible…) Instead what I have in my browser (Firefox) is a little orange icon in the bottom right; when I click that it gives me the choice of subscribing to RSS or Atom.

    Hope this helps; I invite anyone who’s knowledgable to post more about it.

    Like

  3. Sara Berry says:

    Josh,

    I wanted to thank you for bringing discussion of Centering Prayer to your main Daily Office site.

    I’ve been practicing CP since October last year, and will be teaching a class on it at St Helena’s Episcopal in Boerne, TX during Lent, using Thomas Keating’s “Open Mind, Open Heart.” During these few months, I’ve become absolutely convinced of the huge spiritual and psychological benefits of this when maintained as a regular practice in a chaotic and stress-filled world. It’s such a simple way to kick-start your spiritual practice, and to learn God’s first language, which is silence! My particular joy with it is the freedom from language and reason (words, words, words), to a place of simply being with God — that, right there, is a spectacular form of bliss.

    Do you plan to bring a Centering Prayer thread over onto your blog, so that like-minded, CP-ing Episcopalians can share?

    Sara

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  4. josh says:

    Sara, I’m not sure what you have in mind when you ask about bringing a Centering Prayer thread here. What do you suggest I do differently?

    I am so new at it that I hesitate to even discuss it. I am no expert whatsoever, but sometimes people see me as some kind of authority. I’m not, I’m a layman from an Indiana cornfield.

    I must add that I envy the people at St. Helena’s, Boerne for the opportunity to attend your class. I have “Open Mind, Open Heart,” lent to me by my pastoral counselor, but I got stuck early on when Fr. Keating talked about the guy doing the breath work who died because he forgot to keep breathing. Then he talks about some guy levitating. What?

    The writer in me says that’s no way to start a book, with bizarre and scary thoughts. I know Keating is thought to be a great master, but he just lost me. Tell me about prayer, Father, what it can do for me, what I should expect, why I should try this different way of approaching the Holy One. I don’t want to levitate, I just want to get closer to God and invite him to direct my life, because he’s better at it than I am.

    You can see I would probably benefit from your course! But I do have Pastor Tom, whom I’ll see again tomorrow.

    By all means, please feel free to share with us what you know.

    I am impressed and amazed by the faithfulness of our site visitors. They really are a wonderful bunch. Of course we’re all sinners here, but the Office sites (and some Christian/Episcopal blogs) are showing me more and more about the Family of God. Because the internet facilitates comment and conversation, I’m getting to know more real Christians than ever (and it’s not for me to judge who’s real and who’s not). If I only knew the people next to me in the pews, just think what their quiet witness might be!

    I think we often feel alone—but we’re not! And it’s my failing, I suppose, that I never before realized that “the great cloud of witnesses who surround us”—the saints—live right down the street and go to my church and read the same newspaper and watch the same ballgames and pray, just like I do, maybe even “better.”

    There used to be at one time such a variety of reasons that people went to church; it was expected, it was socially advantageous, it was a way to network for business reasons/money. Those reasons are gone now. The people left in the pews have all decided, have all committed themselves in some quietly dramatic way to the Carpenter’s Son. They are people I need to be with. Several have shown me in the last few hours that they are my sisters and my brothers. They have accepted me and welcomed me and cared for me; they have even protected me from attacking archbishops.

    I don’t want to let them down. God has allowed me to perceive the Christ in them and man, the Christ is beautiful!

    Alleluia, sing to Jesus…

    Like

  5. Sara Berry says:

    Josh,

    I was just interested in whether you had any thought to start a discussion thread on Centering Prayer in another area of your site (an area devoted to CP), since you had begun describing your experiences with it. But I’m sure you’re already busy enough!

    I think Thomas Keating moved into his discussion of strange psychic and paranormal phenomena while he was making the case for what this kind of prayer is most definitely not. His examples were perhaps extreme but memorable foils for the definitely not odd and definitely not frightening nature of CP. I’m sorry you were put off and hope Pastor Tom helps allay your concerns.

    Thanks for everything you do – I’m so glad you’re getting support from both friends and strangers at this difficult time. You certainly have mine and my prayers.

    Sara

    A postscript to other readers: Does anyone know of another discussion place for Episcopalians practicing and teaching Centering Prayer? I’d be grateful. I do recognize the ecumenical nature of CP, but am interested in the success or otherwise people are having introducing this predominantly Catholic practice to Episcopal circles.

    Like

  6. Fr. Tony Clavier says:

    Josh:

    The pictures are of Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, but the feast today is of Ignatius of Antioch, 2nd century martyr

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  7. josh says:

    Dang! You mean Google isn’t God?

    I’m sorry for the mistake, thanks for pointing it out. If Google isn’t God, who does that leave us with?

    “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…”

    Like

  8. Bosco Peters says:

    Christmas blessings on this wonderful blog and sites from a site that is attempting similar resourcing in spirituality and liturgy: http://www.liturgy.co.nz

    I would be interested in exchanging links.
    Not just to the main page,
    but I’m developing a “Liturgy of the Hours” section at

    http://www.liturgy.co.nz/ofthehours/resources.html

    God bless your venture

    Bosco Peters
    http://www.liturgy.co.nz

    Like

  9. josh says:

    Bosco: We happily add you to our links. God bless the Church in New Zealand! You have no idea how dear you are to us. We stretch out our hands across the seas to grasp your island hands in the love of Christ.

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  10. Thomas Wilson says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t see a prayer of confession in your published liturgy. I’m curious as to why you omit this.

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  11. josh says:

    Because, Thomas Wilson, it’s optional and not historically included. Read your rubrics.

    We include the Confession daily in Lent and on Fridays during Ordinary Time and Advent. We’ll give you every chance to confess your heart out. God knows we all need it.

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  12. J.C. Baker says:

    I am a Baptist minister and PhD student who is moving into the Episcopal Church. I have found this blog to be an important part of my daily office. Thank you for publishing the daily liturgy!

    Like

  13. josh says:

    Glad to do it, J.C. Welcome to the Episcopal Church and good luck with your studies!

    Like

  14. blendedworship says:

    I noticed this in the Daily office prayers: “Begin with awareness that you are praying with others around the world; this is the Common Prayer of the Church.”

    This amazing, awe-inspiring truth is what has driven me to moving toward fixed-hour prayer/daily offices. I’ve not totally arrived, but I am taking step by faltering step!

    My friend Cory (www.baldmanblogging.com) first introduced me to Phyllis Tickle’s book, “The Divine Hours”.

    Thanks for ministering to people who want to pray with the Church.

    Like

  15. josh says:

    Dear Blended,

    Phyllis Tickle has inspired a lot of people to pray the hours, so I know you’re in good company. She also writes many prayers that people find meaningful.

    As for my opening line, “Begin with awareness that you are praying with others…” I’m glad it helps you. I felt a need to add that reminder to the Prayer Book Office for an internet audience. People have always prayed the Daily Office by themselves, but it’s never been a mere one-to-one event, “just me and God.” When we pray online it seems like a completely solitary experience, and yet it’s not. We can’t see the other people, but indeed we are part of the whole gathered Church as we pray.

    An illustration: I went on retreat at Holy Cross Monastery last September and attended most of the monks’ services throughout the morning, afternoon and evening. They have monasteries in South Africa, Ontario, New York and California, so they’re always thinking of their brothers in those places. When it’s 7 a.m. and time for Matins in Ontario and New York, the brothers in South Africa prayed the same service six hours earlier, and the brothers in California have another three hours before they do it. But that’s just one order; at any given moment, monasteries all over the world are praying the Office; churches are praying, individuals are praying, it never stops.

    So we may be praying the Office one by one in front of our computers (handhelds, mobile phones), but to God we’re one big congregation. It does help us to remember that.

    The marvelous thing is that God hears us both collectively and individually, because God resides inside each one of us.

    Like

  16. Chris says:

    Great blog. I had a daily prayer blog up for a while, using materials from Lutheran resources, but it got shot down because of copyright issues. I will write my own form of prayer, drawing on BCP with some Lutheran influences, but I haven’t the time right now. I love that the BCP is public domain – truly COMMON prayer, not proprietary prayer.

    Anyway, have you considered offering email subscriptions? RSS is pretty good, but an email list would be magnificent. You can have daily emails sent using Feedburner (www.feedburner.com). Might be difficult with the scheduling of the email delivery and making available two prayer offices, but give it a look if you can.

    Thanks!

    Like

  17. josh says:

    Chris,

    You point out a very important point; the Book of Common Prayer has never been copyrighted. There have been times when Anglicans regretted that, but mostly we support the idea that anyone who wants to use our prayers ought to be free to do so. Prayer should be free.

    I have’t thought about e-mail subscriptions. It sounds like more work, and we’ve got plenty already! But I will go to Feedburner and see what’s up. Thanks for the idea.

    Josh

    Like

  18. Robert says:

    Thank you for all your work on this site. I wondered where the daily collects are taken from, particularly the ones that are topical (Afghanistan, etc.). Is there an official Episcopal/Anglican site with suggested collects for each day (besides the more generic ones in the BCP)?

    Like

  19. josh says:

    Robert,

    I write topical prayers from time to time, including the one about Afghanistan. It is not officially approved by anyone, while the rest of the service is.

    For collects of the day, we incorporate those from a second official liturgical book for the Episcopal Church called “Lesser Feasts and Fasts.” There is no official book that contains 365 different collects, one for every day, although certain Episcopal monasteries (Holy Cross, for instance) have their own books which are more elaborate and suited to their needs.

    Also see the Anglican Breviary at http://www.anglicanbreviary.net/

    We choose to stick with the official texts for simplicity’s sake and in order to offer what is officially approved by The Episcopal Church—except for my additions!

    Great question, thanks for asking. Come back and see us again.

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  20. Chris says:

    Am I mssing something or is this cite always a day behind?

    Like

  21. josh says:

    Chris,

    Actually it depends on the time zone you’re in. When it’s 5pm in Chicago, it’s 7am tomorrow in Tokyo but noon today in Honolulu.

    We try our best to post for Chicago. But sometimes we fail, including lately because of computer, webhost and other problems. Our most reliable site is here, and it features audio and video this site can’t handle:

    http://www.dailyoffice.org

    This is only our auxiliary blog for RSS feeds, but we try our best to post on time twice a day.

    Thank you for complaining!—but let’s be aware that the spiritual issue isn’t our currency or even devotion to the daily lectionary; it’s making the decision to pray. In that sense even yesterday’s service is efficacious. As Nike says, Just Do It, and yes, we’ll increase our efforts to be ready when you are. Thanks.

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  22. Thank you for your work, guy in a corn field. :-)

    Like

  23. josh says:

    Dear Loafing,

    Farmers are out again today with their combines, harvesting the corn and soybeans, an annual reminder of the rhythm of life which the Office marks daily instead of yearly. Here’s what I mean.

    I live in town and often go a few weeks without a need to hit the highway. But when I do, the sight is often a bit disorienting. In the spring, it’s “Oh my, the farmers have been planting, the corn has started to come up.” A few weeks later it’s “Wow, that corn’s knee-high already, and it’s only May.” In midsummer the country is lush with a million plants taller than our heads. After Labor Day, “Hmm, the corn is starting to turn brown. It won’t be long now, I guess.” And then in October it’s “My God, the land’s completely naked.”

    I noticed this dramatically last year when I covered high school football. Our school is located among the fields, at a midpoint among the three towns in the district. At the start of the season in late August, it’s hot, the corn is still green and growing; by sectional time, though, it’s cold, it’s rainy, you bundle up, and then at the end of the game you pull out of the parking lot and realize you can see all the way across the fields to town. Time has a way of knocking us in the head.

    So it’s good to take a moment to pray twice a day; it keeps us rooted and grounded in the love of God. The best plantings have the deepest roots.

    Sometimes modern people object to the pervasive agricultural symbolism in the Bible; separating the wheat from the chaff, Jesus as the Good Shepherd, etc. They say, “I am not a sheep!” I guess they think expressways, buses and trains aren’t herding them where they need to go.

    One thing remains true: By their fruits ye shall know them; by the results of our lives, whether we’re a houseplant on a ledge in the city or a vast field in the heartland. We all gotta eat.

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  24. Clare says:

    10-15 says there are 2 women who are Doctors of the Church. The Roman church recognizes 3 (Theresa, Catherine, Therese). Which one does the Episcopal Church drop?

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  25. josh says:

    Great question. The Episcopal Church doesn’t “drop” any of them, but it does not recognize the last-proclaimed (1997, on the 100th anniversary of her death), Therese of Lisieux. No disrespect is intended, but she is not listed among TEC’s official commemorations approved by the General Convention. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582) and Catherine of Siena (d. 1380) are both recognized among the “lesser feasts,” meaning any saint not mentioned in the New Testament.

    Generally speaking, TEC tends to limit public recognition of saints to those of the undivided Church prior to the Great Schism, of the Western Church prior to the Reformation, then to those of the Anglican tradition afterwards, unless those Christians were part of an ecumenical group of martyrs, usually including Anglicans (e.g., Martyrs of Uganda, of New Guinea and [proposed] of El Salvador).

    Each national church of the Anglican Communion commemorates its own list of saints among those deemed to have the most teaching value in that culture. There is a lot of overlap among their lists, but no central authority mandating or prohibiting local observance. The U.S. Church celebrates a lot of Americans who are less known and less relevant elsewhere.

    All additions to our list must be approved by votes of two successive General Conventions, including bishops, other clergy and laypeople. Seven proposed commemorations have passed “first reading” and await final approval at the 2009 Convention in Anaheim. The delay allows any opponents to organize and new research to come to light, while encouraging local parishes to experience their own observance of the proposed saint’s day.

    At least one new candidate is expected in 2009: the great Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. But he has to pass two readings like everyone else. We don’t “make saints” lightly, but neither do we demand they be dead for fifty years before we’ll even consider them. Thus the Feast of Martin Luther King Jr. is well-established on April 4—and he, of course, was Baptist.

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  26. Clare says:

    How does one pray the psalms when they say something one doesn’t believe? For example, tonight’s psalm said “The dead do not praise the LORD” which is contrary to the beliefs of most Christians (I think). Maybe the example refers to dead not in heaven. But still the question–those bloody war psalms then: annihilate your enemy! Any insights would be much appreciated.

    Like

  27. josh says:

    Ah, a questioner after my own heart! The Psalms are often problematical; where, for example, is “that great Leviathan of the deep?” The Loch Ness monster? I don’t believe in him either.

    I’ve found it’s best, when I run across a verse or idea I find screwy, to say to myself, “I’m not sure I believe that.” I don’t feel guilty about thinking such a thing; God doesn’t try to force-feed us Bible passages that don’t make any sense to us.

    But such verses may be hiding secret passageways to deeper understanding – that what doesn’t make sense today may make perfect sense to me a year from now, once I know more.

    Plainly the Psalmist in 115:17 either doesn’t believe in resurrection at all (why should he? Jesus wasn’t even born when this was written), or he refers to the dead souls in Sheol/Hell. And keep in mind the context of the psalm as a whole; it contrasts the People of Israel (believers in YHWH) with the heathens who believe in dumb idols. Their dead certainly “do not praise the LORD,” since they don’t even know who he is.

    “But we will bless the LORD, *
    from this time forth for evermore.
    Hallelujah!”

    And if after 80 years the verse still doesn’t make any sense to you, fuhgeddaboudit.

    Like

  28. Clare says:

    In the Prayer concerning War in Iraq and Afghanistan the Cross is referred to as “shameful.” Great prayer–thanks!–but I don’t understand “shameful.”

    Like

  29. josh says:

    The prayer reads:

    Almighty God, we look with grieved distress on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; we watch human beings murdered, decapitated, burned alive. All we can do is think of Jesus and behold your shameful Cross.

    What I tried to do was to link the wars’ murders, decapitations, burnings and terrorist acts with the Cross. It seems to me they are all shameful. We know that in ancient times crucifixion was reserved for the worst criminals because it was the most brutal way to execute someone.

    Christ, of course, transcended the brutality in his resurrection. He turned that “shameful” cross into the greatest symbol of hope and salvation.

    Let’s ask ourselves why a band of terrorists would choose decapitation of all the ways to kill someone. It makes a couple of statements: it’s incredibly humiliating to the victim; and it says of the perpetrators, “we are willing to commit the most abominable acts, to appear to our enemies as savages. We will stop at nothing.” It’s an act of maximum intimidation.

    So was crucifixion. That method was chosen by the Roman authorities and their religious collaborators to horrify Jesus’s followers into giving up their faith.

    A few years later in the Roman Colosseum Christians were fed to the lions. Barely a week ago we featured St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was killed this way. As late as the 1500s, martyrs like Ridley and Latimer were publicly burned at the stake. Some had their severed heads mounted on spikes over London Bridge. The point was to make a public display of the brutality.

    In the eyes of faith, the Cross is the opposite of shameful; it is Christ’s great glory. I am hoping this prayer helps us to realize that humanity is not the least bit removed from the brutality of old; that there is a dignity in death that nothing can alter; that the murderers condemn themselves by their actions, more than they could possibly condemn their victims.

    I always knew this prayer would be disturbing, in the same way that the terrorist acts are. And I don’t want us to forget about the wars’ victims just because they’re no longer on TV or the newspapers’ front page. That’s why I wrote:

    Give us the courage to look at your Son’s gentleness on Calvary, Lord. Give us the courage to look.

    Ordinary citizens may not be able to do much to stop the carnage; that’s up to Bush and Bin Laden and others. But we can have and must have the courage to witness what’s going on; to mourn it, to do what little we can to stop it; to recommit ourselves to peace and justice in God’s name. Thus the intent of this prayer (whether it achieves the intent or not) is to help us witness and remember and act—not to distance ourselves from Calvary but to embrace it and give it to God.

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  30. Clare says:

    Josh–hope you’re all right. I’ve become so used to just popping on your site and praying, I was startled when there was no EP on Halloween. You are missed!

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  31. josh says:

    Ack, I didn’t even realize I hadn’t posted it! Somehow I was so concerned about changing the liturgical color on our main site from green to white after noon that I guess I spaced out. I apologize to all the saints!

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  32. Clare says:

    You had such a great day you forgot Evening Prayer? Hope you’re OK. Will pray Compline instead. Thanks again for all your work.

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  33. Mary says:

    For a non- Episcopalian – what do the asterisks at the ends of some lines denote?

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  34. josh says:

    Mary, good catch! The asterisks denote line-breaks in the poetry, so they help us sing or read. They’re like silent punctuation.

    Nearly every verse in the Psalms is a two-line couplet:

    First this; *
    now that.

    But every now and then you’ll run into a three-liner:

    First this,
    and this; *
    now that!

    And sometimes you’ll see this:

    The first line is very, very long and keeps going and going and it’s wider than will fit on a page (or in a blog format); *
    which makes you wonder what the original Hebrew poetry looked like,
    and how to read it.

    Our Psalms are translations from ancient Hebrew into modern English, and sometimes a word or phrase in one language will take many more words to explain in another language.

    But nearly always, the structure of the poem is translatable and obvious, so that the eye doesn’t really need the asterisk. In congregational worship, this gave rise eons ago to reading or singing the Psalms as a back and forth. One method is responsive:

    (Worship leader) Line one; *
    (Congregation) line two.

    Another is antiphonal:

    (Left side) Line one; *
    (Right side) line two.

    There are lots of variations in how you divide up the “sides”; perhaps my favorite in everyday parish worship is male/female. The women are often the better readers, but the men have stronger voices. It keeps the reading interesting.

    Yet another good variation is not by line breaks, but by verses:

    (Left side) Verse one
    (Right side) Verse two

    Antiphony is particularly common in the Anglican musical tradition, yet in my experience, most American congregations sing or read in unison, which is the most boring of all. It’s as if we get anxious about remembering which is “our part,” afraid to screw it up and embarass ourselves, so we’d really rather not be bothered.

    Still, a well-trained congregation can make magnificent work of the Psalms, which is how they ought to be treated. Attend a Choral Evensong sometime (Evening Prayer set to music) and you’ll see what I mean. The whole of worship becomes a work of art.

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  35. Clare says:

    Thanks for the photos of the fires out here. Please pray for us.

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  36. Clare says:

    Is C.S. Lewis regarded as a saint in the same sense Elizabeth of Hungary is?

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  37. josh says:

    Clare, there’s not a rank ordering of saints, with one exception: Mary, Mother of God. Behind her, everyone’s more or less equal.

    Keep in mind that Anglicans don’t require the saints to have performed miracles. I don’t know anyone who thinks C.S. Lewis walked on water.

    Princess Elizabeth’s story is so remarkable because she was wealthy and powerful, but impoverished herself on behalf of the sick and needy. She took the Gospel seriously and is highly revered for it, with hospitals named for her all over the world. She’s also regarded as a patron of the Tertiary Franciscans; she lived the life.

    Dr. Lewis’s accomplishment, in a far different time, was to explain and promote “mere” (common) Christianity in the mass medium of books. His fiction for children introduced Christian themes without making them explicit. In our own day he’s gone Hollywood; that’s quite an impact. But to me his greatest contribution was in speaking of faith to modern, well-educated women and men in an age of reason and science. He helped to clear out the underbrush of superstitition which always threatens to overwhelm religion. He was a saint for our own time.

    The Episcopal Church maintains a diverse calendar of saintly observances, where we can find role models in many times and places. We can’t pigeonhole the saints as people of long ago and far away, and thus irrelevant, when many of us have C.S. Lewis books and movies on our shelves.

    There are, however, two distinctions important to note: saints agreed upon by the Universal Church prior to the Great Schism with Orthodoxy; and saints agreed upon by the Western Church prior to the Reformation. Elizabeth of Hungary belongs to the latter group, while Lewis obviously is a recent “Anglican innovation.” I suppose that the greater the agreement among Christians, the more valid the claim of sainthood is.

    But contrast that with our observance of Martin Luther King Jr., Prophet and Martyr, versus Rome’s ignoring the man because he was a Baptist, not a Catholic. Agreement cuts both ways. Americans need MLK’s example continually before us if we’re to carry on his work, and we can’t wait for the cultic bureaucracy to get it in gear.

    That is the beauty of the General Convention.

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  38. kgreenbaum says:

    Thank you for this site. I’m grateful, inasmuch as it could help me with a New Year’s resolution! I fear I won’t be able to manage the full Office at morning and night, so I may start with the Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families, using the readings that you include on this blog.

    Thank you again.

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  39. josh says:

    k,

    We’re glad to have you! Use this site any way you want.

    When I advise people with limited time and patience, I suggest they use the Psalms of the Day rather than the Lessons; the Psalms are worship, not instruction, and often relate intimately to our lives, while the Lessons are just that, telling the story of the faith for a certain period of time. They’re “all good,” but the soul’s first need is to worship, while it takes a lifetime to study the Lessons.

    You know what’s best for you, so Just Do It.

    Josh

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  40. David deSilva says:

    Dear Josh:

    I just came upon your Daily Office blog. Wow! You’ve done a fabulous service making it easy for anyone to pray the Daily Office.

    Actually, what took me to your blog was an attempt to find an online answer to a basic question. The Collect of the Day: how exactly is that determined? Where do I go for the texts of all these collects? It’s obviously not as simple as I thought (use the collect of the week in the BCP unless it’s a saint’s day).

    If you can let me know at ddesilva@ashland.edu, that would be great.

    Like

    • josh says:

      I did reply by e-mail, but the short answer is that the other collects come from a supplemental prayer book called Lesser Feasts and Fasts (2006). This includes prayers for all the Convention-approved saints who are not mentioned in the New Testament, as well as Mary Magdalene, Timothy and Titus, who are.

      Like

  41. Kathleen says:

    Josh,

    Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing here. I was searching the internet for a means of finding my daily readings available to me when I am not home but do have access to the internet.

    God Bless,

    Kathleen

    Like

    • josh says:

      Thank you, Kathleen. Yesterday our webhost was not responding and I couldn’t update our main site. (I did get Morning Prayer up here but that was all.) I guess it doesn’t happen that often but I always find it very disheartening.

      Like

  42. LMHolmes says:

    Thank-you so much for creating this blog/site Josh. Living in NYC I find that so often I feel like I’m forced to join “us” or “them” (the “conservatives” or the “non-religious”) and as “liberal” who is also deeply longing to know Christ more and more for the rest of my days, –well it can feel lonely. But I’ve been noticing that when I spend more time in contemplative prayer and also following the Daily Office-I realize that who I’m asked to “join” is God and that I needn’t worry so much about the rest. It’s all about seeking a deeper knowlege of Him. So thank-you for helping me with that and keep up the good work!
    (and if there are any other “liberal but passionate Christians” in NYC I’d love to hear from you!:)

    Blessings

    Like

    • josh says:

      LM,

      Thank you for the insight; you’re not the only one who needs to tune out the theological/cultural arguing and focus on God. Most of us need the same.

      I think you’ll find there are a lot of liberal AND passionate Christians in NYC—they’re called Episcopalians! If you’re in Manhattan, try St. Bartholomew’s in Midtown, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine uptown, Holy Apostles in Chelsea or St. Luke’s in the Fields down in the Village (just to name a few I’ve been to recently). There are also great parishes in all the other boroughs, including Staten Island. You are surrounded by liberal, passionate Christians, you just don’t know it.

      If anyone else reading has suggestions for the other boroughs, please chime in.

      Like

  43. Maria W. says:

    We live all across the country as well, not just in NYC.

    I am so grateful to find this site through the Episcopal News (recent edition). It makes the Daily Office so easy and I love the way it is laid out. I am grateful.

    I have a prayer request for my Mom, Opal R., and myself, her assistant. She is 90 and has Parkinson’s.

    Thanks.

    Like

    • josh says:

      Thanks, Maria. My reply above was in response to a specific need. So, you saw that article in Episcopal Life, eh? It’s on my desk but I haven’t read the final version.

      I hope you’ll visit our main site if you haven’t already. It has limitations (no RSS feed, no ability to comment) so thus we have this blog, which also has limitations (no multimedia unless I pay extra). Together I hope they work for most people’s needs.

      I will add Opal and you forthwith – not just to a list, but to prayers we actually say. I’ve done the caregiving thing and it’s very difficult, so I pray for you as much as for her.

      Like

  44. Hi Josh,
    Thank you for this site. My mom brought it to my attention. I’m now using it for praying the offices every day.

    Like

  45. Raima says:

    Dear Josh,

    You left a comment on our blog post http://urbanabbey.blogspot.com/2009/03/tweeting-daily-office.html regarding our recent use of twitter while praying the Daily Office. We have been praying the Daily Office for years using the prayer book, but recently we began moving into the electronic world and stumbled upon your site. It is well-done and accessible.

    We always acknowledge your site when we post excerpts from the prayers, and we’ve done this in order to help people find their way to your site, because it is so well-done. I do, however, object to your use of the phrase “steal your work,” since the prayers were not written by you and belong to all of us. There are several other online sources we could point to, or we could just reference the prayer book — we would be happy to do so if you would rather we didn’t provide links to your site.

    Raima Larter, Abbess of the Urban Abbey

    Like

  46. Dan says:

    Thank you so much for this site. It is a wonderful help to me in praying the morning office. God bless!

    Like

  47. Steve K. says:

    Josh,

    After over fifty years struggling with the daily offices, you have given me the “easier softer way” through electronic media.

    For someone in their seventies the electronic revolution has not been easy. Thanks to you I now rejoice in it. Thank you for this ministry.

    I too discovered you in Episcopal Life which makes me very grateful for that print media. In the past two months I have been on this computer thing more than in the last 20 years that I have been trying to embrace this media. Thank you again.

    Will you be at General Convention?

    God Bless You,

    Steve

    Like

    • josh says:

      Steve, I am so moved by this comment that I cannot reply here. I hope to reach you by e-mail instead.

      To all who find technology a challenge: welcome to the service of the Lord. All you have to do is click once, and the whole world opens up.

      God’s still getting used to these internets too, even though he invented them to reach us. “Just one click,” God said to himself, tapping away at his keyboard, “that would be good. Maybe they could listen if it’s only one click.”

      Josh

      Like

  48. Josh, it is always a joy to read your site. I am grateful you have re-started “In Memoriam.” It had become an important part of my prayer life, esp. the chance to remember by name the recently fallen soldiers in war. I use your musical selections in my meditation time prior to saying the Office; they indeed help me center. I do miss Lady Julian. Is she in your archives? I came to your site in the middle of your reading and would like to read along w/my text again.

    Keep up the blessed work. Your efforts are appreciated.

    Peace and blessings.

    Like

    • josh says:

      Roberta, thank you. “In Memoriam” is important to me too, primarily because of the soldiers. I don’t get television, so I’m dependent on Crooks and Liars. Either ABC doesn’t run it every week if there are no soldier deaths, or C&L doesn’t always put it up. This past week I had one but failed to post it until yesterday, now there’s another running today.

      I’m pleased to hear that you listen to our music. No one ever comments on it, so I don’t know whether people like it or not. You’re also the first to mention the Julian podcasts, and I did 200 of them. (They greatly helped me if no one else.) As for the archive: I am in discussions with the Order of Julian of Norwich, which owns the copyright to Fr. JJ’s translation and daily readings, and we may have an announcement about it soon. The readings I made were for one-time use, and the sound quality was not professional, but we may be able to do something fairly exciting and make new readings available. I’d ask your prayers for that, and I will remember to contact you if it comes to fruition. Thanks again.

      Josh

      Like

  49. Stephen Knight says:

    Josh,

    I love your prayers particularly the Prayer for our web visitors and the War in Afghanistan.

    But I must say that I do not believe there are not any ‘junior’ ministers. As I read our Baptismal covenant we all are “true” ministers. The prayer for our web visitors would read much better for me if ‘junior’ was replaced with true.

    Will you be at General Convention??

    Steve

    Like

  50. josh says:

    Mr. Knight,

    Your reading of the Baptismal Covenant is doubtless correct. But I wrote the phrase as I did, “junior ministers,” not to compare us with each other in this life, but with the glorious saints in heaven. This life is preparation for the Great Worship beyond; from that perspective we’re all pretty puny here.

    I find it helpful to consider that we are already part of the “heavenly host,” we just don’t know it yet. As I get older I see our souls’ transition more clearly, as I get closer in time to physical death. (This doesn’t mean I write well about it, as I’m struggling to communicate my little glimpse even now.)

    Anyway, thank you for praying with us. And no, I can’t make it to General Convention, but we’ve already started our prayers.

    Josh

    Like

  51. I am currently praying for the 2009 General Convention.

    I am a gay male with a partner for 28 years. My partner is a life long Episcopalian while I am a 28 year convert. I know that the gay issue right now is very big in the church and has been since the election of Gene Robinson to the Episcopate. I also believe since way back in the 1970’s that it was affirmed that all people from all walks life are welcomed in the Episcopal Church — this includes the GLBT community. What I predict to come out of this year’s General Convention is: A resending of the resolution that was in response to the Windsor Report and probably a study on “Same Sex Unions”.

    George

    Like

  52. Nancee says:

    Josh,

    Thank you so much for the website! It’s a true blessing. I started getting serious with the Word ever since my church got me started in reading the Bible from cover to cover and last week’s sermon was on ancient spiritual practices such as the Daily Office. We were encouraged to check it out (and to Google it). I was intrigued by it as I wanted to step up my spiritual life, so I Googled and came across your site. The Office is easier and more convenient than I thought!

    I would truly appreciate everyone’s prayer for assured victory over gripping fear, anxiety, and depression as I’m in a time of transition, which entails testing. I’ve been having real challenges with a “triple whammy”: finances [and things related to them: job/career situation (direction], tense family situation, and last but not least, matters of the heart (which I won’t get into detail because it’s quite a long story, but God knows the exact situation).

    Thanks so much again and God bless!

    Like

    • josh says:

      Bless this one, Lord; her name is Nancee and she’s trying to follow the Way. Bless everyone who comes here; help us connect with you and with each other. Amen.

      Like

  53. LaRue says:

    Perhaps someone can answer a question for me. For many years I used a four volume set of the office readings. It’s quite convenient. Is it possible to get an electronic version?

    Like

  54. josh says:

    LaRue, I’ve never heard of it.

    I’m also wondering how a 4-volume set could be convenient, but okay. Maybe someone will recognize it. What was it called?

    Like

  55. josh says:

    Church Publishing Corp. has limited availability of a four-volume set here:

    http://www.churchpublishing.org/products/index.cfm?fuseaction=productDetail&productID=68

    Cost $125, 2300 pages, uses Revised Standard Version of the Bible

    Like

  56. Eugene Pagano says:

    Universalis.com provides an online version of the 4-volume Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours, the RC counterpart to the Daily Office. (LaRue may be thinking of the book version of the RC Liturgy.) Universalis.com also makes a complete downloadable electronic version as an iPhone application, that can be used even without an internet connection. Have you considered producing an iPhone app?

    Like

  57. Edwin says:

    Josh, just a quick & heartfelt thanks for your great work on this blog. I’m recommitting myself to pray the Office and already on the third day of said commitment I’m realizing how often I’m gonna rely on it (over & against my trusty but unwieldly Contemporary Office Book).

    Advent blessings,
    Edwin+

    Like

    • josh says:

      Edwin, thanks and good luck with your renewed commitment. I’m firmly convinced that Office-as-discipline is how we get maximum benefit from it. Do it whether you feel like it or not, so it becomes a habit to submit to God for a few minutes every day.

      Publishing each Office as a single “scroll” is the original reason we started doing this online. The various books are unwieldy and frustrating, but having the whole service in one place allows us to concentrate on God.

      Come to think of it, Advent 1 is the official 5th anniversary of our main site! We started experimenting in late July of that year. We’ve had 400,000 visitors from 90 countries so far – not high traffic by internet standards, but an amazing number for this virtual parish.

      Like

  58. Mary B Little says:

    I enjoy your Mp, Noon and EP, however, I began to realize that I was reading the same scriptures week after week! Is it not possible to use the Revised Common Lectionary?
    I have been an Episcopalian since 1991, the Daily Prayers are my continous link to God, even though at times I miss same for weeks at a time.
    Whatever scripture you use, keep up the good work! I see that many are using this as a means to be with God.
    Mary

    Like

    • josh says:

      I’m very surprised by this comment, Mary. I work hours a day changing the lessons in MP & EP; besides, the Revised Common Lectionary does not include the Daily Office, it’s a Eucharist-only thing.

      Perhaps you misspoke in including MP & EP in your comment.

      But it’s true that the short passages at noon don’t change much in the American book. Thus the noonday service can be memorized.

      That’s part of why we frequently use the New Zealand book instead.

      Finally, it is possible to construct noonday differently (whether US or NZ), but I’m not going to change noonday every day. It’s frankly too much trouble for not enough traffic. Believe me, MP & EP are plenty of work. And these new saints have me scurrying!

      Instead, what I’ll do is work on revising noonday soon; it’s due for a change. But it’s never going to be a very exciting service; it isn’t designed to be. The point is simply pausing to be with God for 3 minutes when we have the time and motivation.

      Thanks for being part of our community.

      Josh

      Like

  59. TLH says:

    I’m so linking to this site on my blog.

    Like

  60. Barbara Marques says:

    I am a bit concerned that i had to go to the blog to get the MP. Are you OK josh? I am also wondering how all your on line works. i have sent a couple of emails from the home page and never received any info. on this site it seems as though the posts are all in the far past. Just mainly worried about you. I love the site and pray for you. Rev. Barbara

    Like

    • josh says:

      Barbara,

      I very much appreciate your concern. I am fine. The problem is our webhost, Network Solutions, which hasn’t been able to publish updates since last Tuesday. (“Engineering is working on it. All trunk lines are full. Please try your call again later.”)

      We have updated the blog consistently all through this, so I don’t know what you’re referring to. Go to dailyoffice.wordpress.com and you get today’s Morning Prayer, right where it’s supposed to be.

      I also don’t understand what happened with your earlier e-mails, because I reply to every one I get. I’m sorry that you sent something in the past and didn’t hear from me. That’s not supposed to happen. I love getting e-mails from the Office community and I always answer, even from (a certain person with mental problems). I tell her God hears her and so do I; that’s what she wants to know.

      I’m very sorry you worried. Thanks for writing to check on me. I’m fine, it’s Network Solutions that’s sick.

      Josh Thomas

      Like

  61. Franklin says:

    Josh:

    Although I am not from the Episcopal Tradition, after I encountered the Litany of Penitence for Ash Wednesday in a devotional I was reading for Lent, I was drawn to delve deeper into the prayers of the BCP. I found they touched me so deeply and profoundly that now I use it exclusively in my personal prayer life. In fact, the iBCP was the very first app I downloaded when I got my iPod!
    But there is something that I’ve always wondered, and never found an explanation for, and I hope that you can help me: Why in the Psalter are Psalms 1-5 marked as First Day: Morning Prayer; Psalms 6-8 First Day: Evening Prayer; Psalms 9-11 Second Day: Morning Prayer and so on through the entire Psalter for a total of 30 days. (And what happens in a 31-day month?) I know that the Psalms usually are repeated every seven weeks, unless interrupted by other Liturgical Seasons.
    While I still make use of my BCP for Morning Prayer–I’m a stickler for actual BOOKS, sorry Kindle and Nook!–since summer has finally come to my neck of the woods, I always use your site, bookmarked on my iPod, for Evening Prayer, outside on my porch just at twilight.
    Thank you for your help.
    Franklin

    P.S. Is your iPhone/Pod/Pad app still in development?

    Like

  62. Diane says:

    I just subscribed to your Daily Office through Kindle and I’m really disappointed. The Morning Prayer does have the entire office (thank you) but doesn’t have all three readings. Of all things to exclude, it doesn’t have the GOSPEL of the day – just the OT reading and the Epistle. My purpose for subscribing was to have a portable source with everything in one place – the office prayers and the changing daily readings. For this purpose, the subscription is pretty much useless as I need another book or source to obtain the daily Gospel reading. As a result, I will probably drop out before the expiration of the 14 day free trial. If you revise it to include the Gospel reading for the day, please drop me and email and I’ll re-subscribe.

    Like

    • josh says:

      If we included the Gospel lesson in Morning Prayer, what lesson would we use for Evening Prayer? Or are we supposed to drop Evening Prayer because Diane doesn’t use it? “Of all the things to exclude!”

      Our sites are free, so you’re on your own with the 14-day free trial, whatever that pertains to. Meanwhile I’d forward your comment to the Complaint Dept., but we don’t have one. We also don’t send e-mails asking anyone to subscribe.

      We don’t owe you a thing; you owe us an apology.

      Josh Thomas

      Like

  63. Diane says:

    A civil response would have been nice.

    Like

    • josh says:

      You got a more civil reply than you deserved, complaining as if we sent you the wrong pizza. You didn’t pay for it, you don’t have a right to complain. Nine hundred thousand page-views we’ve compiled, and you’re one of three people on earth to complain.

      “I’m really disappointed”

      “the subscription is pretty much useless”

      “I will probably drop out”

      “Of all things to exclude, it doesn’t have the GOSPEL of the day”

      We never asked you to like us; we never asked you to come. But I’ll ask you not to in the future.

      Josh Thomas

      Like

  64. Peter says:

    Dear Josh,

    I am relatively new to this blog and although I enjoy this and subsrcibe to it on my Kindle so I can easily do my morning and evening worship while traveling – I am confused why the feast days are one off on this blog (at least they were for this week , the last week of July 2010).
    For instance this week on the offical liturgical calendar the feast day for the siblings in Bethany are on Thursday and Wilberforce & company on Friday, yet on this worshp blog you celebrate the Thusday Bethany crowd on Friday and the Friday Wilberfoce/musicians on Saturday- eah of thse one day off of where they are supposed to be.
    I wonder if this is an error on your part (or have I made one), if this is done for a reason and/or will this be corrected at some point? I may be particular in this way, but I like to celebrate the feasts and fasts on their correct days. Thank you for what you do here and I look forward to hearing your reply.

    Sincerely,

    Peter

    Like

    • josh says:

      Peter,

      The major Feast of St. James the Apostle fell on a Sunday this year, and the Lord’s Day takes precedence. Thus all other feasts this week got transferred to the next day.

      You can’t go by the printed calendar alone, but by the rubrics that govern it. You can find these rules of precedence on pp. 15-18 of the Book of Common Prayer and pp. 3-6 of Holy Women, Holy Men.

      We will not observe the Feasts of St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31st) and St. Dominic (August 8th) this year; they get “dispensed” to accomodate the other scheduled days. Don’t worry, they’ll be back next year.

      The major Feast of St. Mary the Virgin also falls on a Sunday this year (Aug. 15), but will be observed the following day.

      Trust us, we know what we’re doing.

      Josh Thomas
      Lay Vicar

      Like

  65. Peter says:

    Josh,

    Thanks! You always have, and continue to have my trust, thanks for sharing your thought process behind your rubric choices – ones that I know can be made, but not all choose to make them. I appreciate you taking the time to answer!

    Peter+

    Like

    • josh says:

      Peter,

      If the Sunday/Monday conflict had been a lesser feast instead of an Apostle, we’d have dropped the lesser one instead.

      I got away with not observing John Calvin this year for that very reason. As far as I’m concerned he should always fall on a Sunday so I can dispense with him. But this is “a Prayer Book site, not a Josh site,” and I try to follow the rules the General Convention has written.

      I’m glad you watch us closely. My feet need occasional acquaintance with the fire just like everyone else’s.

      Josh

      Like

  66. Warner White says:

    Josh–I very much appreciate your providing the Daily Office this way. I’ve been doing mine from my Sony Reader for the past year, but doing it from your site looks much better. I’m planning to do that. It’ll work fine when I’m in my home time zone. But here I am at 4pm in Athens, Greece, all set to say EP and it isn’t posted yet! It is easy to see how much work and caring go into doing this on a daily basis; so asking for the posting of both offices at the very beginning of the day is asking too much. Ah weel, such is life.

    Thanks,

    Warner

    Like

    • josh says:

      Warner,

      Our main site, dailyoffice.org, is geared for Asia and Europe as well as the Americas, and always has both Morning and Evening posted together. Can you use our main site? (It does take one extra click from the home page to that day.)

      We don’t want anyone going without!

      Josh

      Like

  67. hisownkid says:

    I was searching for an on-line prayer response and safely landed here at your blog.

    The search engine was Google.

    Learning from the ‘about ‘ of your blog that this has got to do with the Church of New Zealand ,being myself –not in New Zealand but in England , though a speaker of English as a second language – wanted to say my appreciation and love and then perhaps invite you to my personal efforts to please the Lord and His people ,while also warning those who do not fear the Lord…so that they come to the Land of the Fear and Love of The Good Lord-to the Church.

    Being a young man,I might be too enthusiast but you will forgive me.

    As a believer of an on-line,off-line….all-line prayers, just wanted to invite fellow friends in this town to a neighbourhood where ‘kids and infants ‘ have prepared (prepared for them) tables with coffee and tea…fruits and …vegetables…some main course meal…with wine ,of course…all sorts of food to enjoy…free of charge….fearing but hopping this sort of invitation is peaceful…

    http://hisownkid.wordpress.com/

    :- )

    Hisownkid.

    :- )

    Like

  68. Ryan says:

    So this is a little nit picky but I notice the seasonal antiphons for the invititory psalm are not included at morning and evening prayer. Is this on purpose? An oversight?

    Like

    • josh says:

      Ryan, thank you for asking. Every priest I’ve spoken to about this has said the invitatory antiphons are “basically worthless unless they’re sung” (direct quote).

      In which case, we sadly categorize them as “pious add-ons” which needlessly lengthen the service. This is a concern to us since the #1 objection people have about reading the Daily Office is “I don’t have time.”

      When we first started, we kept the Office to the bare minimum allowed by the rubrics; Collect of the Day, Prayer for Mission and The End. Over time in response to requests we’ve included more prayers, but we rotate them in and out whenever the season changes. We also have a seasonal scheme for how often we say the Confession.

      I care that someone has a special attachment to the antiphons or, say, the Collect for Aid Against Perils, but we can’t please all the people all the time. Some want the Office short and sweet, some want it more elaborate. We aim for the Middle Way.

      Josh the Lay Vicar

      Like

  69. Seasons says:

    Maybe you should edit the post title About The Daily Office to something more suited for your subject you write. I loved the the writing all the same.

    Like

  70. Carly says:

    Hello Josh,
    I have been trying to find an actual email address, but only links that don’t allow me to email you directly. I noticed that you used a picture of my daughter on Tuesday’s blog. I believe this picture was taken off of my Fiance’s flickr page without his permission (copyright) or mine (distributing photos of my daughter). I actually heard about this from a few people who get the “Daily Office” via email. I have a concern that my daughter’s picture was emailed worldwide without my consent. My fiance may be contacting you himself about copyright issues with the photo on flickr.
    I would like to discuss this with you and can be reached via my email address. But, I do have some concerns about this practice, especially when names are attached to photos. Posting pictures of children on the internet without parental consent actually treads into legal areas of concern as well. I’m sure you meant no harm, but it is a good practice to check with people and, especially parents, prior to posting pictures of them or their children on any public space. Posting in one place on the internet does not grant general permission to post anywhere on the internet.
    What you are doing here is a wonderful ministry. I hope I can encourage you to increase the ethical internet practices you engage in as well.
    Thank you.
    Carly

    Like

    • josh says:

      Carly,

      You’re absolutely right, I’ve removed the photo and I ask your forgiveness.

      What happened is that one of your friends posted it on Facebook and sent it to me.

      We do have a need to illustrate baptism here, we get very few opportunities, and the photograph is quite beautiful. I didn’t post it on Flickr or Facebook, which first sent it worldwide. But the responsibility for posting the photo here, on our prayer site and blog, is mine and I deeply apologize.

      God bless your child.

      Josh Thomas

      Like

  71. Pingback: 2010 in review « The Daily Office

  72. Andie says:

    Josh,

    I don’t know if this will get to you. I am not a blog person, but someone showed me how to get your posts on my kindle. I am very grateful for what you do. It is quite a labor of love – thank you.

    This morning I noticed the prayer request for Silas, the 2 year-old who is in intensive care. I am an Episcopal priest, and I live just a few blocks from that hospital in Norfolk. Do you know Silas and his family or the person who made the prayer request? Do they have someone supporting them and caring for them? If not, please let them know that I would be more than willing to do anything I can during this awful time. If I don’t hear from you, I certainly will continue to pray for them.

    Peace,
    Andie

    Like

  73. Eric Chapman says:

    Josh, thank you so much for this website. I have begun using it daily and look forward to it every morning.

    Like

  74. xander1313 says:

    Looking forward to starting this form of prayer

    Like

  75. Linda Boerstler says:

    Josh, I have been wanting to comment for a long time. This is a great ministry that you do. I have been receiving a feed on my Kindle for over a year now. It is an important feature of my life as a Lay Cistercian of Gethsemani Abbey

    Linda

    Like

    • josh says:

      Thank you, Linda. But ya know, it doesn’t take a whole lot of smarts to post the Sermon on the Mount, our current reading. Just, “Dang, that Jesus guy knows what he’s talking about. We oughta put this on the intertubes.”

      We’re glad for your Kindle, the Cistercians of Gethsemani and this year you’ve put in. Great job, keep it up. See you someday soon.

      josh

      Like

  76. Fr. Lynn Chester Edwards+ says:

    Where do you come up with the canticles?
    Many of them are not in the BCP. but they are great
    Fr. Lynn Chester Edwards

    Like

  77. Fr. Lynn Chester Edwards+ says:

    Where do the canticles come from that are not in the BCP?

    Like

    • josh says:

      Fr. Lynn,

      I’m glad you enjoy the canticles we’re using currently, all from “Enriching Our Worship 1″ from the Standing Liturgical Commission, approved by the General Convention in 1997 and published by Church Publishing Inc. in 1998.

      It contains 19 canticles not included in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer; 16 are taken directly from Scripture, with the other three by Anselm of Canterbury and Julian of Norwich.

      Our websites change our canticle scheme from BCP to EOW according to seasons, so come Christmas we’ll revert back to the Prayer Book, because we think people enjoy more traditional texts at that time of year. We hope our scheme of going back and forth by season introduces both expansive language and simple variety. The repetition of Prayer Book canticles writes them into our hearts, but an occasional change of scene is good for us too.

      Josh Thomas
      Lay Vicar

      Like

  78. Elizabeth Lilly says:

    First of all, many thanks for giving when possible the source of art, photos etc on the Dailu Office pages. For me, and I suspect for others, this is a genuine enrichment of the pages.

    Secondly, how might one submit pix for consideration?

    And finally, as I gather the site is in the process of change, the “comments & questions” link at the end of each page would be far more useful if it linked directly to the appropriate page, rather than leaving one helplessly wandering through the blog.

    In closing, many thanks for your wonderful project, and my very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year!!

    Like

    • josh says:

      Elizabeth,

      Thank you for your kind words. I do want to tell the source of artworks and photos; I wish more bloggers and webmasters had that same drive to attribute their illustrations and respect copyrights, which I try never to violate.

      We very much welcome art you might submit. Everyone is invited. Send it as an e-mail attachment to any of our staff; for example, josh@dailyoffice.org.

      We don’t want to leave you helplessly wandering through the blog, and I’m trying to reconstruct how this happened to you, and what I could do differently with that link. I don’t want to have to change it constantly from the main site to here; I think the problem you had must come from not quite understanding the nature of a blog – or maybe it’s how our bloghost WordPress presents each entry. (Most people do find their way to the comments pretty easily; yours is the first such complaint.) The generic link to the blog’s main page, as printed on our main site, may not make Comments immediately visible; I’ll have to check. But with this or any other blog, when you wish to comment, click on the post title. That will take you to the specific entry, with comments either at the top or the bottom. It’s very simple, but I can understand how the main page, with its multi-post format, could confuse people. I’m sorry you had the trouble.

      You can always hit “E-mail the Vicar,” which is in a prominent spot upper right.

      Finally I’m curious about your name. I had a very good friend in Cincinnati named Elizabeth Lilly. Are you her? (Proper English, “she.”)

      If yes, Merry Christmas, Liz! If not, Merry Christmas, Elizabeth.

      josh
      da vicah

      Like

  79. Elizabeth Lilly says:

    Well, when I lived in Cincinnati more than 25 years ago, someone @ the church I attended asked me to write a piece on IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network) for the diocesan magazine. After it was published, I discovered that there were at least 2 other Elizabeth Lillys in the diocese; one was a priest and the other did social work with the Appalachian community. One of my children said that this was a shame, as people wouldn’t know who wrote the piece; I pointed out that actually everyone would know, but a lot of them would be wrong

    In any case, a Merry Christmas to you!

    /e,

    Like

    • josh says:

      Oh, what fun!

      “My” Elizabeth Lilly was a social worker among the Appalachians, and as far as I know still is, in the Cumberland Gap. A dear person, someone I completely respect.

      Now I know a new one. Thank you for finding your way to us. Please send me any art you think will glorify God. I would happily fill our sites up with pictures of the local Church or local needs (whatever local might mean), if only people would send them to me. Thank you for asking about that.

      Josh
      josh@dailyoffice.org

      Like

  80. David W Robinson says:

    Thank you for this help to pray with others

    Like

  81. Jackie says:

    I would like to be placed on the email list. This is an awesome way to access the daily office! Thanks be to God.

    Godspeed joy to this community, Jackie

    Like

  82. Rev. Lisa Tolliver says:

    Dear Josh,

    I am a loyal follower, subscribing on my Kindle Dx. However, since you migrated to the new site, your Kindle app has not been working properly. Each day, after I read an office, it disappears. And furthermore, all offices disappear, leaving only the content for February 1st.

    It seemed to work right again for a few days, so I thought the Kindle problem had been fixed. But yesterday and today the problem has returned.

    Can you crack a whip (in Christian charity, of course) at your Kindle e-engineers?

    Thanks,

    Lisa+
    Lisa Tolliver
    vicar of St. Alban’s Church

    Like

  83. Peter says:

    Lisa…sorry to piggyback on this, but….

    Josh,

    I wanted to add that though things worked fine yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 20th) I have already experienced by kindle e-subscription this Ash Wednesday morning “kick back” today’s offering, before I was finished with it, to Feb. 1st again. Very frustrating. I know I can read these on your blog, but it is easlier for me to engage in the prayers via my Kindle. If amazon cannot fix it, I am going to have to forgoe my subscription and try something else.

    Thanks for anything you can do!

    Like

    • josh says:

      Lisa and Peter,

      You are the second and third people to describe this problem with Kindle, which is actually better on our end than having only one person working with us on it. We are very frustrated, as you are. We do know that unsubscribing and resubscribing via Amazon doesn’t fix the problem. We have been unable to locate a Help screen on the Amazon site where we could re-enter our correct URL – because that’s what changed.

      We don’t know how we got signed up for this service in the first place, whether they pay us for charging you 99¢ a month, or how the service works. The one thing I can tell you is that Subdeacon Clint and I are working on it and hope to have it fixed as soon as possible. We are sorry for this weird difficulty.

      Let me remind us that we didn’t have a choice about migrating from our old site, which became completely dysfunctional (and wasted half a year’s worth of webhosting fees).

      If and when we get it fixed please leave another comment to say so. We will post announcements on this blog, Facebook and Twitter when the problem is resolved. Meanwhile, Peter, you’re right, I wouldn’t pay Amazon for a service that doesn’t work, even if it is just a pittance.

      Josh Thomas

      Like

  84. Alice Olla says:

    Please send daily prayers

    Like

  85. Rev. Lisa Tolliver says:

    Re: Kindle subscription

    Thanks, Josh, for having a look at this issue.
    For now, I will patiently abide while you see if the leviathan (aka, Amazon) will be helpful to you.

    I love your site– And sadly the only way I can get it on my current Kindle is through Amazon.

    Like

  86. Peter says:

    Dare I say…it might be fixed? As an amazon customer I phoned on Friday and complained about the constant changing back over to 2/1/2012…I was transferred two more times and spoke to someone who assured me that it would be fixed in a few days. I received an email from them today telling me it was (and asking if I had not done so already to delete the version I had on my kindle and allow the fresh one to be reloaded).

    Anyway, it appears to be working correctly, and whether I had a part in that or not, I am glad that it is fixed!

    Like

    • josh says:

      Peter, you actually got someone from Amazon on the phone? I didn’t know that was possible! If you still have the number, please send it to me: joshtom@mediacombb.net

      We apologize again to all our Kindle users. We are stumped at how to fix this. It’s an unforeseen result of our old site’s collapse, and we’re still working to repair a few things.

      Josh Thomas

      Like

  87. Peter says:

    With apologies…I inadvertantly lied. this morning I was delivered the “Feb. 1″ issue again. I will have to go elsewhere (beyond my Kindle) to pray for the forgiveness of my sins…

    Peter

    Like

  88. Rita Hill says:

    Josh, I have thoroughly enjoyed having The Daily Office on my Kindle. Thanks so much for your hard work. Having all the readings in one place and with me wherever I go certainly helps me read the daily office more faithfully!

    I was a bit disappointed by the last posts during Lent, listing major sins of other people. I went to the office with my mind and heart dwelling on my own sins and repentance for them and was somewhat taken aback to find these posts. I felt quite distracted from what I felt was most important for me to concentrate on during these last days of Lent.

    I really do enjoy the beginning posts about the Saints on their days.

    Thanks again for making this blog available for all of us.

    God bless you!

    Rita

    Like

    • josh says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Rita. I must admit I’m nonplused by the description “major sins of other people,” as if we have nothing to do with them.

      Like

  89. Rita Hill says:

    Well, Josh, some of the sins I do have nothing to do with–for example, the child molestation by Catholic priests. Of course, as Christians in a somewhat free society, we are responsible for the laws of the land being enforced and it is disheartening to find that the Catholic Church seemed to have ignored them for years. And I do agree that as a part of our society, we should be aware of wrongs being done and work to see that these situations are bettered.

    The sins you listed are things we need to think about, for sure. There is so much sadness and wrong in this world and it is good to realize that sin is at the root of all our problems. We should definitely all work to make the world a better place and fight injustice wherever we find it. I just thought today would especially be a good day to concentrate on the sins in my own life and on repentance for those sins. It is easier for me to point out sins of others than to admit to myself and God those sins of which I myself am personally guilty!

    May you have a blessed Easter!

    Rita

    Like

    • josh says:

      Thanks, Rita. I don’t think we disagree. The difficulty I see is that we always concentrate on ourselves, on our own sins, during Holy Week, and after seven straight years of leading us through that, I needed to say, “Our definition of sin is too small.” Maybe I was wrong, I knew this would be controversial, and I didn’t want it to be unhelpful, much less harmful. I did want to say, “There’s this whole other level of sin we never talk about.” I don’t know when the right time is if it isn’t Holy Week, when we tell ourselves Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. What does that mean?

      To me it means something more than the sum total (times six billion people, times all of human history) of “all the mean things we’ve said to Aunt Mildred.” It means war and poverty, racism and the exploitation of women and children, even if we’ve never directly participated in any of them.

      But to anyone and everyone I offended, I apologize. This should come as no surprise, but I sin too.

      josh

      Like

  90. Rita Hill says:

    I understand, Josh. The Old Testament prophets spoke of the sins of the nation of Israel and not every person was guilty of every sin. As the human race, we are guilty of everything imaginable (and some things that seem unimaginable!). It is certainly good for us to come before God recognizing the sins of the world.

    How the evil being committed today must grieve the heart of God! And so it should also grieve our hearts too! Sometimes the thought of all the needless pain being experienced all over the world seems more than we can bear!

    As we work to alleviate that suffering, it doesn’t hurt us to think of how all evil begins with selfishness and how that “mean thing I said to Aunt Mildred” shows that my heart is also inclined to being selfish and uncaring of others around me.

    Love and peace to you, Josh.

    Rita

    Like

    • josh says:

      Happy Easter, Rita. I’ve just finished posting Easter Eve for the West and Easter Day for the East. I am looking forward, as promised, to 50 straight days of unadulterated beauty. I’ve got a folder full of those pix too!

      Just think, seven full weeks of Jesus preaching while I do not!

      The Tarnished Vicar

      Like

  91. Rita Hill says:

    Looking forward to the Easter posts, Josh.

    BTW, since I’ve been thinking about the things we have discussed for several hours now, I guess your post was successful after all. Blessings to you.

    Rita

    Like

  92. What a refreshing and inviting site Vicar Josh! I’m the founder of the Tau Community of InterSpiritual Franciscans in the USA, and we meet daily online for Morning Lauds and Evening Vespers. I’ve just discovered Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville which offers a monthly Taize service which resonates greatly with me.
    Thank you too for your page on The Gay Issue. What you said about inclusion is wonderful, and how people burned by the Church may not be ready—or may never be ready to enter back into a church building. We all have our baggage and our own ways of dealing or not dealing with it. When all is said and done, to provide like you do, a way for people to connect, that is what really matters, and that is why our community exists as well.
    Peace to you,
    Br. Tom

    Like

    • josh says:

      Thank you, Br. Tom. I’ll have to make sure our volunteer Subdeacon Dinah knows about your community. We feature a monastic-type group every Wednesday morning; some more traditional than others, some ecumenical, some Episkie/Anglican. She’s just become a postulant of the Little Sisters of St. Clare. We want our members here to know about the whole variety of spiritual resources and communities available; a number of us are oblates and associates of various orders.

      Blessings on the Tau Community – and stay in touch.

      josh

      Like

  93. You are so very welcome!! Subdeacon Dinah can find out about us at our WordPress site: http://tauusa.com
    Blessings to you as well,
    Tom

    Like

  94. BillyDinPVD says:

    “The Daily Office is an ancient way to pray. It marks the passage of time by offering Morning and Evening Prayer as written in the Book of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church, based in the United States.”

    Actually, it’s not the BCP, unless you’re a Time Lord who brought back some future edition in your Tardis. For example, the substitute for the Gloria Patri and the text of the Apostles’ Creed are not from the BCP. What’s their source?

    Like

    • josh says:

      “Enriching Our Worship,” approved years ago by the General Convention. Maybe you missed it.

      FYI, we alternate various of the approved texts, such as the Gloria Patri, according to the season. Right now we happen to be using the gender-free Trinitarian formula and the Prayer Book canticles. Come Advent, we’ll switch.

      Like

  95. BillyDinPVD says:

    No, I hadn’t missed the publication of EOW (although I don’t belong to a parish that uses it – or the BCP, directly, for that matter). But EOW isn’t the BCP, but supplemental to it. If you say what you have on your site is the BCP, and a visitor goes to an Episcopal church and finds that the BCP text is actually somewhat different, won’t it confuse them?

    Like

  96. josh says:

    EOW is not “supplemental.” It contains fully approved texts. It is not lesser than the BCP, it is equal to it – and there are good theological reasons to prefer EOW, considering that the Episcopal Church may never print another Prayer Book in this digital age.

    As for the confusion you say you fear, you’re the first one in 8 years and 2,000,000 site visits. If the statement above needs editing, I’ll change it.

    Just don’t play “gotcha.” Every worship leader runs into rubric freaks trying to prove “you’re not doing it right.” After 23,000 services here, we do what we do. If you don’t care for it, editing 100 words on the About page won’t fix the problem.

    Like

  97. “EOW is not “supplemental.”It contains fully approved texts.”

    Huh? Whether or not it’s supplemental has nothing to do with whether or not it’s approved for use by GC.

    “It is not lesser than the BCP, it is equal to it.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “equal to it.” Use of EOW is contingent on the approval of the diocesan bishop, in a way that the BCP is not. Why? Because the BCP is the official liturgy of the Episcopal Church, while EOW is a supplement to it. It doesn’t replace the BCP, no one is forced to use it, and its use is directed by the diocesan.

    I asked the question because last night when I came here in order for Evening Prayer, I saw that the text used wasn’t the BCP; I went elsewhere. As I wrote above, I don’t go to a parish that uses EOW, so I didn’t recognize the source of the Doxology or the Creed. I came back today to check out your About page to see what liturgy you were using, and was surprised to find you claiming that it was the BCP, so I posted my first comment above. None of this should make you as angrily defensive as you’re coming across.

    Like

    • Josh says:

      Dude, you’re the one who accused me of being a Time Lord with a Tardis. What was that rhetoric supposed to accomplish, except to be insulting?

      Then you got your big payoff of calling me “angrily defensive.” I’m glad you got what you came for; we aim to pleaes.

      Josh

      Like

      • BillyDinPVD says:

        Really? Five months later?

        I wasn’t trying to be insulting, and am sorry to have come across as if I was. I was trying to be funny. Giant fail, obviously. I stand by the rest of my comments about the BCP, EOW, and their respective statuses.

        Like

  98. Hi, Josh! I am Fred Crysler+, retired {Dio/ Of Ct}, living in Louisville & serving in the Dio/ of Indy as Supply & as Priest Associate at S/ Paul’s Jeffersonville where I was Interim Rector ’07-’09. This is a great prayer site! I go to it every day. When i am again able, I will support you $$$-ly. Keep it up !!!

    Like

    • Josh says:

      Fred+, it’s great to hear from you! I’m glad to know you’re active at J’ville and elsewhere; interim ministry is very important, as I can testify about another priest in Louisville who’s just finished two years at my home parish in Lafayette. The new rector arrives next month.

      We’re glad to have you here. Come back often!

      Josh

      Like

  99. John Swanson says:

    I’m glad you are here. And I have owned a Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book since 1962. :)

    Like

  100. Tom Alloway says:

    Josh,

    As I go about praising God and singing in the choir this Easter Day, I will be thinking of you and the others who pray on this web site. God bless us all!

    Tom Alloway

    Like

  101. Sandra Moyle says:

    This is my favorite daily office website. Have you considered an app for this. Helpful on mobile devices such as iPhones, Androids and Blackberry’s, tablets, etc.

    Like

    • Josh says:

      Sandra, thanks. Our bloghost, WordPress, automatically makes most apps unnecessary. I’ve seen us myself on iPhones, Androids and iPads, and we look great. (There may be a device out there where it doesn’t work, but if so we haven’t run across it.)

      We’re available on Kindle, too. They charge readers to carry us, so we set the price as low as possible, 99¢ a month.

      We’re glad you’re here.

      The Vicar

      Like

  102. Catherine Firestone says:

    I look forward to reading the Daily Office. Thank you

    Like

  103. Andrew says:

    The Footwashing pictured here is a serigraph by John August Swanson.

    Like

  104. blblakely says:

    Thanks, Josh, for making all this available. Our mutual friend Warner White has introduced your website to me, and I’m developing a routine of saying the Office. Or rather, since I don’t sing, “chanting in my mind’s ear.” One of the deterrents in the past has been having to look things up, especially in the morning. Now it’s all on my Blackberry, or if I prefer I can read the Lessons book in hand because you’ve told us what they are. The pictures you add are a gift toot, especially (for me) the Icons.Many thanks,

    Like

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