During these past months of pandemic, it is the regular recitation of the Daily Office — thanks to the Zoom technology mostly with others — that has sustained me through the darker days. It has been a comfort and an encouragement, something of an anchor, to join in and to be carried by the Church’s constant round of prayer and praise. “As o’er each continent and island the dawn leads on another day, the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away.”
At the heart of the Daily Office is the regular recitation of the Psalms. They convey a broad spectrum of human emotion, and of the nature of our response to God. There is praise and thanksgiving; recognition of the glory of God revealed in the creation — its beauty, the might of the wind and the waves; celebration of God’s faithfulness; anger; anguish and lament; penitence and prayer for forgiveness; longing to come closer to God. There is a Psalm to reflect our every mood and circumstance, of joy and of sorrow. Thus they give us permission, and enable us, to express our deepest selves, our hopes and our fears, in our prayers.
The Gospel for the Feast of the Assumption we celebrate this weekend is Magnificat, Mary’s Song, (St. Luke 1.46-55). The Church recites this Song each day at Evening Prayer, inviting us all to join with Mary, the mother of Jesus, in proclaiming the greatness of the Lord, and the wonders he has done: “You, the Almighty, have done great things for me and holy is your name.”
These words remind me that even in these dark times, it behoves us to take time to ponder on the great things God has done, and is still doing, for us and for our world: in the gift of creation; in our lives day by day; above all in the gift of Godself to us in Jesus Christ, in his incarnation, death and resurrection. “You, the Almighty, have indeed done great things for us. Holy is your name!”
Download Sunday service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Pentecost 12 Assumption August 15 2021