The Daily Office is one of the ancient traditions of the Anglican Church that has survived since the Reformation. And it has survived for a very good reason. Saying the Daily Office morning and evening bookends the day with Scripture and prayer, and is a wonderful habit to build into our daily lives. I’d like to think that just as baking bread could be one of the enduring symbols of this crisis, perhaps we, the parishioners of All Saints’ Ainslie could also also usefully use this forced time of isolation to build our daily habit of spiritual reflection and prayer. I have often found that the set pattern of the Daily Office, reading scripture including Canticles and Psalms, together with formal prayers means that my spiritual life doesn’t depend entirely on my mood, or how I feel. Even if I’m having a bad day, and part of me doesn’t want to be there – the words can take hold of me somehow and reshape my day. Where can you go wrong? Prayer, Scripture, canticles, the psalm of the day……
At the moment you have two distinct opportunities to join in prayer. First, you can follow the Zoom link and join with myself and others for live Morning Prayer at 8am each Monday to Friday. As I’ve said before you’re most welcome to join us in your PJs! Or, if 8am is beyond you and you are still safely under the doona at that time, then on the Virtual Church page of the parish website, you will find a link to Morning Prayer for each day, that you can share in at your leisure. You will also find a link to Compline (Night Prayer) another ancient tradition that ends the day with prayer, and completes the bookend. Just try it and see!
In today’s Gospel Jesus reminds his disciples that when he is gone, God will send the Comforter, the Advocate to accompany them on the way. Over the past weeks of the Easter season, the resurrected Jesus has been physically with his disciples, comforting them, helping them with their doubts and fears and strengthening them. Now he reminds them, that after he returns to heaven, the Holy Spirit will continue to be his presence with them, and they will never again need to be alone. Jesus reminds us today that the immanent God, the Comforter, the Advocate, is with us in every detail of our lives, and not only with us, but among us, among those with whom we share our lives, and in those we meet day by day. In the weeks to come, Jesus will ascend into heaven, and then the Feast of Pentecost awaits us, all reminding us that the risen Jesus isn’t a phantom or a ghost, but with us in every aspect of our lives.
In peace, Mother Lynda