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The Divine Hours

Dean Paul, in his past three weeks’ introduction to “Episcopal 101,” has thoughtfully described a balanced Christian life based on a combination of prayer, study, and “works.” Drawn from Benedictine concepts, but dating back as well through the history of Judaism, it draws on the theme of prayer at fixed hours of the day, known as “the liturgy of the hours” or “the divine office.” In more recent times, a very elaborate monastic practice has been streamlined to make it accessible to those of any station or ability who wish to assume its discipline.

In addition to the recent Church Publishing House edition of Prayer for All Seasons, the esteemed writer Phyllis Tickle has also produced a series of seasonal volumes called The Divine Hours, featuring a flexible and somewhat abbreviated regimen of fixed-hour prayer in which “the rhythms and poetry of ancient Christian worship are recaptured in today’s idiom…a breviary for our time and place, a contemporary manual for exercising Christianity’s oldest form of worship in a manner true both to its origins and to its present imperatives.”

If you are seeking to refine the balance of elements is your Christian life, why not begin with her volume on Advent-Christianity-Epiphany? The practice of prayer is like that of music or any art or craft: you won’t know how it will come out until you’ve lived with it for a while. So come and see…