Just a matter of routine, Madam…

IMG_3182It was reading a tweet from someone who is facing a big change that made something click in my head. The tweet referred to daily routines, and what will and won’t be different Before and After.

A number of people (me included) think I’m slightly barking mad at the moment. Because I have a choice about when to say Morning Prayer. I can say it at 7am, before the school run begins, or I can say it at about 9.30am, when I’m back and recovered slightly. I am not a morning person. I have to have an established unwavering routine, which requires minimal thought, and preferably no variation on a week day.

I have, of my own volition, gone for the 7am option. I find it is often a rush, and I tend to fall out of the rectory door as the church clock strikes (which it does a couple of moments before 7am – you can have the hands right or the chime, but not both, and more people can hear the clock than can see it). While it’s cold, I am putting my much loved clerical cloak to good use, and wearing it each morning. By the time I am walking up the church path, I have fallen into the rhythm and routine. I can’t help but notice the beauty around me in the graveyard and in the church building. Once I have put the light on, sat in my stall and sorted the readings, my breathing is slowed, and I am calm.

I’ve been saying Morning Prayer for a few years now, and so the old routine sticks. Now that I am on my own, instead of in company, I am grateful for the pause I have always timed by recalling each person I trained with – there is consistency between the old and the new. More than that, I am reminded that I am praying across geographical boundaries, with hundreds of other people.

As I face so many new things, and learn (I hope) so many new names, and find my way to so many different places. a little familiarity is worth having. And Morning Prayer, early, serene and quiet, gives me that place from which to face the world.

*Those who are sharp eyed will spot it is not a morning photograph – I keep meaning to take some, but it hasn’t happened yet. 

3 responses to “Just a matter of routine, Madam…

  1. Love MP, I use a shortened version most days from a book published for the Catholic church which has the psalms and readings and even intercessions built in, even a hymn at the start of each session of morning and evening prayer. There are also special pages for festivals and Saints days (all Catholic of course) and even prayers for the Pope and the BVM – quite appropriate to my mind (leaning towards Catholic wing now) and it’s compact, pocket sized and goes everywhere with me.

    It means that MP or EP can be said anywhere, at any time, without any fuss or faffing with a bible for readings etc. I call it my emergency pack, and each day is an emergency.

    I do vary it occasionally by reverting to the CofE Daily Prayer or Celtic Daily Prayer, but brought a discipline into my prayer life that I found difficult to manage before.

    I love it when I’m able to go to a church to say MP, but this is only on days when I go to HC or other stuff, otherwise, normally on the Settee at home, with a cat alongside and a cup of tea waiting to be drunk when finished. Lazy or what? 🙂

  2. I was pleasantly surprised when i came here, where they had had no tradition of praying the Office in church, to find that once I had said I would be there every morning, people joined me. Might be worth, in due course, changing to 9.30 on one day of the week at least to give them the opportunity….
    Like Ernie, I used the little maroon RC book for many years – but love the phone app now & can’t imagine how I managed without it…which is really odd!

    • It’s said by a couple at 8am (and I have advertised both). Remember long ago vicar asking why none of us joined him at 0830: answer was I was already at work by then. I’ll see what transpires 🙂

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