25 January 2008

The Connection Between the Eucharist and Daily Prayer

As some of my readers (those who know me personally) may be aware, I have been working for the past three years on developing a Syriac rite Liturgy for use within the Synod of Saint Timothy in particular, and in outreach to those who have no Christian background to start with in specific. With Lent beginning in just over a week (Ash Monday, for us Syriac-rite folk, is on February 4), I just ordered a proof copy of the manuscript for the Lenten liturgy for my wife and I to use for the Liturgy of the Hours during this upcoming season.

Over and over again, I have found many ways to describe the relationship between the Divine Liturgy and the Liturgy of the Hours, but none of my attempts have been quite as successful as one I noticed recently at Liturgy, the website of Father Bosco Peters, an Anglican priest from New Zealand.

Father Peters kindly granted permission for his words to appear here, but these short quotes are simply a portion of a longer article that is found on the front page of his site. I hope you will find it as spot-on as I have if you are a liturgist, and if you are an individual who is giving consideration to making the Liturgy of the Hours (Daily Office, Divine Office, Daily Prayer, etc...) a part of your spiritual disicpline, I hope it will connect the Eucharistic heart of our Christian life with an integrated sense of continious prayer.

The word “liturgy” comes from the Greek λειτουργια (leitourgia) – public work or duty, work of the people. Liturgy is the spiritual work of all God’s people. Liturgy is structured common prayer. It can be shared, common worship precisely because it is structured.

Speaking of his site, Fr. Peters continues:

There is a focus on the Eucharist (Mass, Holy Communion) as the jewel in the crown. And also a highlighting of the Liturgy of the Hours (Daily Prayer- using the Bible as prayer) as the crown in which the jewel of the Eucharist is set. Hence, in the spirituality of this site, there is a balance of Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina (individual prayerful hearing what the Spirit is saying in the scriptures), and silent contemplative prayer. There is a balance of solitude and community. A balance of liturgy as service of God, and our call to service of others.

Powerful words... the Eucharist as the jewel of the crown the encompasses the bride of Christ - the crown of prayer. Thanks, Fr. Peters, for your outstanding contribution to the contemporary understanding of the relationship of the Church's life of prayer and worship.


All original material (C) 2007-2010 by Father Robert Lyons.

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