Module 4 – Winter 2014
By: Charmaine Warford
Morning & Evening Prayer 750 Word Reflection
Prayer has been a part of the life of the Church from the very beginning. In Acts 2:42 Luke tells how the Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers”. In Acts 3:1 Paul tells of Peter and John going to the temple ‘at the hour of prayer’. The first Christians through remembrance, thanksgiving and prayer linked their daily lives to the story of God.
While people offered prayer individually the overriding consciousness was of a stream of prayer that was the life of the nation itself. It was Paul’s understanding that the Christian life and their worship was the individual within the corporate.
Cranmer created, out of the eight Offices, two new services of Matins and Evensong, to be said daily throughout the year. Cranmer’s intention was to engage everyone in Morning and Evening Prayer ‘that by daily hearing of the Scripture read in church they should continually profit more and more in knowledge of God and be more inflamed with love of his true religion (from the Preface to BCP 1549). In each month the whole Psalter was used, and, in the course of the year, most of the scriptures heard. In the 1549 BCP, as in the medieval Offices, the service began with the Lord’s Prayer. To each day there was its own canticle, and an outline for intercessions and thanksgiving. These followed a thematic structure over the