September 9, 2018 - The Beauty of Morning Prayer

After our services today I will be driving to Poughkeepsie to supply again for my colleague, Filomena Servellon, at the congregation of the Virgin of Guadalupe.  She will be hosting the bishop at the parish in Kingston and feels she needs to be there extra early to make sure all the details are in place and doesn’t have the time to celebrate and preach at both locations.  I feel it is important to support my fellow clergy and am happy to fill in.

For the next two Sundays we will observe Morning Prayer at both 8 am and 10 am.  I know many of you grew up with this service since before 1960 it was more common than a Sunday Eucharist in Episcopal Churches. 

For those who do not have a personal history with it, I hope you are getting used to it and learning to appreciate its rhythm and beauty. The service opens with praise, then moves to “word” and ends with prayers.  Back in the day churches that were large enough to support choirs would include beautiful anthems during the service and chant some of the canticles and the psalm. 

The other great advantage of Morning Prayer is that it does not require an ordained person to lead it.  This was especially helpful when America still had a frontier.  During the time of westward expansion lay people could lead Sunday services in remote areas that did not have access to someone who was ordained. I have printed sermons that I found on the internet which will be read on both Sundays.  I think they are very worthwhile and we can think of them as letters (epistles) from the days of early Christianity. 

Enjoy, and I’ll see you on the 23rd.