I was recently given a copy of the 350th Anniversary Edition of The Book of Common Prayer. If you are unaware, this book was written in England by the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cramner. It contains many prayers for different times and seasons, as well as liturgies for ceremonies like weddings and baptisms.
If this sounds a bit stuffy, you might be interested to know that Cramner wrote the book with lay people specifically in mind. Though he based some of it on the Latin liturgy of the ancient English Catholic church, he wrote it in English because he believed there should be a prayer book that everyday people could understand.
I also read about ritual this week – how some people cling to it and others think we should throw it out. Both extremes are unfortunate because rituals do have value when done in the right time and attitude – we see evidence of this in both the Old and New Testaments in God’s instructions to the church.
So, I wonder how different our posture or attitude might be, if we prayed the prayer below each morning as so many of our brothers and sisters in the past. I believe it’s worth considering.
Almighty and merciful Father, We have erred and strayed from they ways like lost sheep, We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we out to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done, And there is no health in us: But though, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders; Spare thou them , O God, which confess their faults, Restore thou them that are penitent, According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord: And grant, O merciful Father, for his sake, That we may hearafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
Praying with you,
~ Pastor Cindy