Thursday, February 08, 2007

Morning prayer

As the liturgical world hunts for means to make ancient methods feel contemporary, the evangelical world discovers the value of ancient words, repeated by gathered body over centuries.
This morning I attended 7 a.m. liturgical prayer. There's a prayer chapel here, tabernacled in the space of two small conference rooms.  A tall rough-hewn cross is planted in the center, with bowls of candles and visuals of Jesus around it on the floor.  Fabric streams from the cross on the floor and from the ceiling, and there are other separate prayer spaces created in what is otherwise a plain institutional room. It feels intimate and holy. 
When familiar words echo softly in the early morning air, it also feels ancient. Or everlasting.
I miss this.  I'm drawn to the Hours anyway (There's a workshop on that too, here. Old is new in some places.) so it hits me where I live.
For a year I opened up the Sanctuary Tuesday mornings for early prayer.  I know today that I'm not the only one who longs for that order, that ancient and global connection.
It may be time again.
Eugene Peterson is emphasizing the importace of ordered prayer -- the Hours -- in his Bible study.  Ahhh....

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