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RHYTHMS OF REMEMBERING: An everyday office book – Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild

April 19, 2017

Whereas many services start with a confession of sin, the very first office is grounded in God’s love for us.

There are many thanksgivings for food which made my uneasy until I saw that there were also prayers for the hungry.

It’s good to see that the so-called apocrypha is included in the scripture.


All four offices are complete as set out here — no need for a Bible, and no need to hunt round for things that lurk in other parts of the book.

Inevitably, this book is all words, even though the design is intended to give a sense of spaciousness. Some people like to pray with a visible focus to help them: the act of clearing a space on the table, lighting a candle, setting up an icon or other significant picture; sitting quietly for a moment before beginning; above all, pausing at the end of each section, so that silence is the constant con­tainer of the sounds that are going on inside the head, or audibly, if one chooses to read aloud; all these and similar things serve to embody this way of praying, so that as far as possible all of oneself is involved. Even when no outward ‘props’ are possible (e.g. on the top of a bus) such earlier practice means that you will more easily enter into your ‘space’ of prayer anywhere at all.

The material we have prepared follows broadly traditional lines; it is mostly biblical, with a few passages from later Christians, and some prayers that have been in use for many centuries — one way of keeping alive an awareness that we are only the latest in the `great cloud of witnesses. We have tried to ensure the presence of as many of the rich biblical images of God as possible.

I saw that God is our clothing — for love he enwraps us, embraces us, enfolds us in a tender love that will never abandon us. Julian of Norwich

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