September 2023

One of the obligations placed upon the priest is the recitation of Morning and Evening Prayer. The ‘daily offices’ are part of the worship of the Church and have their roots in the worship of the synagogue. From there we inherit Lauds and Vespers which were public and the private hours of Terce, Sext and None. The monks added Prime and Compline to their daily routine of seven hours. At the Reformation Cranmer simplified the offices of the Breviary into the two offices of Morning and Evening Prayer.

One of Cranmer’s intentions was that Morning and Evening Prayer should involve the laity as well as the clergy. This turned out to be a mixed blessing. Although the presence of clergy and laity together has much to commend it, there has been a tendency to exalt the office over the mass and to add secondary elements to the services which draw the attention away from the ‘work of God’ which is principally his praise and the reading of the scriptures. The ‘extra’ items such as the penitential introduction, the intercessions and hymns are useful devotionally, but should not detract from the reading or singing of the psalms and canticles and the bible reading.

The Psalter is still best read over the course of a single month which is the arrangement of the Book of Common Prayer. This practice was inherited from the monks and has much to commend it. This writer only varies from this when there is a major festival which seems best served by psalms appropriate to the day. Psalm 51 or any of the penitential psalms would never feel quite right on Easter Day! Other lectionaries split the psalms up differently, but this seems piecemeal.

In reciting the daily offices the priest has a representative function in that he leads the Church in the praises of God. This work should have first call upon his time even if the celebration of the mass is his most exalted function. The recitation of the psalms in particular can be seen as a foretaste of heaven. As Father Whatton has written, the mass will one day cease as will all sacraments, but the singing of God’s praises will continue for all eternity. The Church’s service on earth is a reflection of the heavenly service rendered to God and should therefore be seen as a privilege and a joy.

Whoever joins in the recitation of the daily offices, in whichever form, must do so in a spirit of penitence after a period of preparation. It is fitting to offer these praises for a particular intention, especially for the good of others and the Church herself and then, of course, to give thanks afterwards for what has been received and for the opportunity to serve.

‘The first act of religion is to praise God’. (St. Vincent de Paul)

Sunday 27th August, Trinity 12

Wednesday 30th August, 10.00am Mass
Friday 1st September, 7.00pm Mass

Sunday 3rd September, Trinity 13
In addition to services at 8am and 9.30am: Family Service at 11.15am

Wednesday 6th September, 10.00am Mass
Friday 8th September no service

Sunday 10th September, Trinity 14
8.00am no service
9.30am Parish Mass (Celebrant: Father Robert van de Weyer)

Wednesday 13th September, 10.00am Mass (St. John Chrysostom)
Friday 15th September 7.00pm no service

Sunday 17th September, Trinity 15

Wednesday 20th September, 10.00am Mass
Friday 22nd September, 7.00pm Mass

Sunday 24th September, Trinity 16

Wednesday 27th September, 10.00am Mass
Friday 29th September, 7.00pm Mass (St. Michael and All Angels)

Sunday 1st October, Trinity 17

no midweek services

Sunday 8th October, Harvest Thanksgiving
In addition to services at 8am and 9.30am: Family Service at 11.15am