DAILY MORNING PRAYER

Come, let us sing unto the Lord,
Let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation,
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
And show ourselves glad to him with psalms. 

Psalm 95 (The Venite)

 

Christ Church was founded in 1854 to be a place of daily prayer. The liturgy of Morning Prayer remains at the heart of our worship. The service is held in the Chapel on Mondays through Fridays at 8 a.m., on Saturdays at 8:45 a.m. (prior to the 9 a.m. Spoken Mass), and on Sundays at 7:30 (prior to the 8 a.m. Spoken Mass). All are welcome to join us for this service any morning, whether or not you worship regularly with us at Christ Church on Sundays.  The officiant is most often a layperson, with a different member of the parish responsible for each day of the week.    

The service follows the liturgy for Morning Prayer Rite I in the Book of Common Prayer. We customarily conclude the service with a recitation of the Angelus, a traditional devotional prayer commemorating the Incarnation.  

The service begins with an invocation, “O Lord, open thou our lips. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.” Then all recite together the Gloria: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.”  An antiphon then introduces one of the traditional invitatory psalms. (The officiant will always announce the page number of the Book of Common Prayer where the appropriate texts may be found.)    This is usually the Venite, which combines portions of Psalms 95 & 96.

All are then seated for the recitation of the psalm or psalms appointed for that day in the lectionary. At morning prayer, the psalms are recited a bit differently than at our Eucharistic liturgies.  The verses are recited in alternation by the worshippers on either side of the chapel, and there is a brief pause in the midst of the verse, at the point indicated in the Prayer Book with an asterisk.  

The people then remain seated as the officiant reads the two Scripture passages appointed for that day. However, all stand after each of the two readings, to recite one of the canticles printed in the Prayer Book. The canticle recited after the New Testament reading is always the Song of Zachariah (Luke 1:68-79), known as the Benedictus. (As with all New Testament canticles, it is customary to make the sign of the cross in the first verse.) 

Immediately following the Benedictus,  all recite together the Apostles’ Creed.  After this, all kneel for prayers.  First is always the Lord's Prayer, then a set of suffrages and responses indicated by the officiant. The officiant then offers specific prayers of intercession on behalf of the parish, inviting the worshippers to add their own. The officiant then says the Collect assigned for that day. (On a weekday, this is usually the Collect that was used for the preceding Sunday; on days of major feasts and fasts, there are individual collects appointed in the Prayer Book.) This is followed by one or more special Collects, selected by the officiant, and a closing prayer for mission.

The service concludes with the recitation of the Angelus. (The text is to be found printed on a card in the rack behind each chair).