All posts filed under: Family Prayer

Family Prayer and Julian of Norwich

This week, my small children have been in vacation fallout mode and it’s made me very thankful to return to our family rhythms of morning and evening prayer.* I set church bells as an alarm on my phone, so ideally, around 9am or so, we gather together. My 3 year old generally fights it (but she fights everything). It’s very normal for her to energetically cry through the first half of our prayers. But it doesn’t matter. This year, I’ve become less easily deflated by my kids’ resistance, knowing that it’s just as vital for us to structure our day with prayer as it is to have regular, healthy meals. The 3 year old resists food as well, but it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need to eat in order to live. And for me, I’ve come to realize that family prayer isn’t only a matter of parents catechizing our children. It’s not just for them. These times aren’t the “kid version” of the real thing. It’s all the real thing. When we pray together, …

The Third Week of Lent

Collect: “We beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  Feasts, Saints, and Blesseds Monday, March 25: The Annunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary On this feast day, we remember the holy moment recorded in  Luke 1:26-38, when the angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she is “highly favored” and will be the bearer of the Christ. The feast day is exactly nine months before the Nativity on December 25th. While the first authentic records of “Lady Day” are in the mid-8th century, it may have been celebrated at least since the late 4th century. Here is an excerpt from St. Cyril of Alexandria, preached at the council of Ephesus in 431: “We hail you, O mysterious and Holy Trinity who has gathered us together in council in this church of Holy Mary, the God-bearer. We hail you, Mary, the God-bearer, sacred …

Quinquagesima

Collect O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. Saints and “Blesseds” Monday, March 2: John and Charles Wesley John and Charles Wesley were born in the early 1700s to an Anglican priest and a Puritan mother. They were first called “Methodists” because of their habit of attending Holy Eucharist every Sunday, as opposed to the popular habit of attending three or four times a year. Both ordained as Anglican priests, they set out to reform the English church with a strict “method” of faith and practice, influenced by German pietism. Their message grew so popular with laypeople (and so unpopular with Anglican clergy) that they had to preach in open-air meetings. They always intended a revival within Anglicanism and not to separate, though the …

Lenten Family Prayer (+ Doing Nothing New)

“Given the many layers of meaning in Lent, we won’t grasp all of them in a single year. But imagine if we were to observe Lent every year for the rest of our life — imagine how much we would grow and mature.” This quote is from my priest, Fr. Wayne McNamara. What a thought to keep us from being overwhelmed by options. Lord willing, we have many Lents ahead of us. What does He want us to focus on this year in 2019? The Lenten “triad” of Fasting, Prayer, and Acts of Compassion concentrates our efforts into what really matters as we prepare for Easter. And we can pray for guidance: “O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgement, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight …

Giveaway [closed]– Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter

For the past few years, we have been recommending Laura Alary’s Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter. My daughter’s godparents gave it to her for her (Lenten) birthday and we love it. I’m so thankful for Alary’s clear and lyrical explanation of Lent and Holy Week.  And I appreciate that it simplifies Lenten plans: you can essentially use this book as a guide for all your family activities during the season. Because I think it’s so helpful, I contacted Paraclete Press to see whether they would be interested in giving away a copy on our blog. I’ve never done this before, so I was thrilled that they said “yes.” You can just comment below before next Tuesday to be entered into the giveaway. I wrote a recommendation of this book two years ago.  Here are a few excerpts:     “In the book, Alary sets out a map for Lent, explaining in simple but lovely prose that Lent is for “making time,” “making space,” and “making room” for the kingdom of God in our everyday lives. …

The Fourth Week After Epiphany

Collect: “O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints Days  Monday, February 4: St. Cornelius In Acts 10 and 11, we are told of a Roman centurion, a God-fearing Gentile, named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea.  An angel of the Lord appears to Cornelius while he is praying and tells him to send a messenger to Joppa to bring back Peter. Meanwhile, the next day, Peter is praying and has a vision of clean and unclean animals (symbolizing Jews and Gentiles) being let down from heaven in something like a large sheet. A voice commands, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat,” but Peter replies “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the Lord says, “What God has made …

Great Prayer Book Online Resources

During Lent, I (Amanda) started a practice of knitting while listening to the Cradle of Prayer, recordings of the 1928 Prayer Book daily offices. I was surprised by how much joy and peace this practice brought to my days.  (And, I found my three year old would sometimes even quietly play and listen!) The possibility of listening to the Daily Offices — though it seems so obvious, like “why haven’t I always done this?” — has been rather revolutionary for me. So, we’ve put together a list of some great online resources and apps that may help you to “dwell richly” in the Scriptures through prayer, by means of the wise ordering of the Prayer Book. The Cradle of Prayer The Cradle of Prayer uses the 1928 Prayer Book (for those of you who aren’t Anglican, this is the version that sounds like the KJV Bible — “vouchsafe,” “succour,” and lots of “beseeching”). The best thing about the Cradle of Prayer is that they include a hymn and the canticles are sung (she cycles through the …

Prayer Habits for Parents

Thank you to Erica Jarrett for contributing to our BCP in Daily Life series. Erica Jarrett is a family doctor and mother of one daughter. She currently works with Trinity on the Border, a non-profit ministry of the Anglican Church in North America which she and her husband Michael founded in South Texas. She blogs at liturgyoflife.com. My daughter was born one year prior to me finishing my residency as a Family Medicine doctor. I remember well those foggy nights, driving home at midnight to nurse her before returning to the hospital to work till morning. Under the strain of constant exhaustion, I tried to reach out to God but wasn’t sure how — my old habits of prayer and quiet time seemed to be impossible to maintain in my new life as a working mom. For many, like me, spending time in personal devotion is what may define our faith. But juggling the realities of childrearing or fast-paced careers (or both), often eliminates any routine which requires extended time at the table sipping coffee, or focus enough to read …

A Baptist and the BCP

Thank you to Jordan Riggle for his guest submission to our series on the BCP in Daily Life. Jordan  and his wife Katrina live in Dayton, Ohio with three children. He’s a writer and entrepreneur, and she’s a baker and a painter. They’ve fallen deeply in love with simple, liturgical, gospel-centered living. In the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I aren’t Anglicans, we don’t attend an Anglican church, nor does our church use the Book of Common Prayer. None of our friends use it. In fact, the only other family we personally know who uses the Book of Common Prayer on a regular basis would be Amanda’s, one of the editors here at The Homely Hours. However, my wife and I use the Book of Common Prayer with our children twice a day, every day. A year and a half ago we began following the liturgical calendar and began hearing about this thing called the Book of Common Prayer. Since then, the Book of Common Prayer has slowly worked itself into the very warp …

There’s a Prayer for That

Thank you to Kelli Ann Wilson for submitting this guest post to our series on Family Prayer. Kelli Ann lives in Walpole, NH with her husband Damian and their two children. She works as a writer, and in her free time enjoys reading, gardening, and photography. Kelli blogs at OurCommonHours.com, and shares her family’s faith journey through the seasons and the Christian year at AroundtheYear.org. My dad has always been great at off-the-cuff prayers. No matter what the occasion—Easter dinner or just a family meal—he can pull together a prayer on the spot that is both authentic and meaningful. I am not blessed with my dad’s talent for spontaneous prayer, but I can still offer up words of praise or petitions for intercession, thanks to the Book of Common Prayer. It may seem like a non-sequitur to link my inability to pray with the prayer book, but I assure you that the “Prayers and Thanksgivings” section of the BCP has saved me from myself many, many times. Sometimes it feels like the authors were anticipating my …