Friday, September 5, 2008
Father Acker is back from his vacation and B and J accompanied me to the Friday morning Healing Service, Morning Prayer, and Eucharist. We slid into the pew just as Father joined us in the chapel. B and J lit the candles and we opened our prayer books.
The Scripture we prayed, the quiet of the small chapel, the mini-sermon Father gave, which is not usual but which fit perfectly with the Scriptures we've been teaching the kids this week on putting others first, the receiving of Communion -- all contributed to the feeling of peace I felt and still feel at the end of the day. I've missed terribly these Friday morning services in which we pray the Psalms, read several longer Scripture passages, pray the Venite (selections of Psalms 95 and 96), confess our sins on our knees, receive the wafer in our palms and tip the chalice of wine to our lips, and thank God for His great love for us.
I've been praying the Daily Office nearly every day in August, but praying it with two of my children and with Father -- in community -- is so much more powerful than praying it alone. I felt this sense of God's power also when we prayed the Apostle's Creed at Lake Murray this past Sunday. As the ancient words of our belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were read and prayed aloud, community was built, and God united our hearts just that much more closely as we affirm our faith together. Christian unity is so important -- and praying together corporately strengthens that unity, binding our minds and hearts that much closer in love for God and for each other.
Today we prayed together:
Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 1928 Book of Common Prayer)