I said Morning Prayer this morning. Yes, I know that “Curate in Church of England says Morning Prayer” is about as newsworthy as “Happy dog wags tail”or “Cat disdains human”.
Morning Prayer is usually said with colleagues in the 1950’s church in the middle of the village. But I’ve a wedding up the hill later today, so wanted to see if I needed to clean the old church, and generally tidy up. The church is still the parish church, and up until about 50 years ago the vicar lived opposite, so I assume the Offices were said in it daily for a very long time.
I don’t really subscribe to the idea of ‘thin places’. They seem to me to limit God – if there are thin places, there must be middling places, and thick places too. But there are some places, some times, where it is easier to ‘feel’ God than others. Today I was in that place at that time.
That place soaked up Morning Prayer like old wood soaking up beeswax polish.
One of the joys of my curacy is to sing Evensong in the Parish Church, and to have an evening celebration of Holy Communion, with incense smoking up to the wooden ceiling. But I’ve never said Morning Prayer there before.
I found the structure of Morning Prayer helped me this morning. It helped me put my life before God – the good, the bad, the right, the wrong, and the bits which just are. Through the formality, through the Psalm (Psalm 42, one of the best – although as a fan of the Psalms, I tend to say that of them all), through the readings, there was me and God and the church. I had no great revelation, no massive inner change, just a quiet conversation about my life, with God.
Later I’ve a wedding there, as I said. Prayers will be said, worship and service offered, hymns sung, lives dedicated to a new covenant. And I’m so glad to have been there already today, with the chance to do that for me, quietly.