Singing the Daily Office – August 2021

UPDATE 13 08 21 here is the booklet I use for the Ordinary Time Office to provide Common refrains, musical setting of the Magnificat and Benedictus refrains in Comon Worship and Hymns:

On working days I arrive in the Cathedral just before 6:30am, turn the lights on, pay a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the memorial Chapel and then pray at the shrine of St Frideswide. It is a beautiful time and a beautiful way to start the day. At 6:45 the duty verger arrives. I can tell which of our verging team it is by the sounds they make. At 7 I move to my stall in choir. I know the order my sister and brother canons and clergy will arrive in and recognise the sounds of them entering the building. I love this sense of our community gathering for prayer. The sadness of the Dean’s empty stall a reminder of the difficulties of our community but also of the steadfastness of the prayer in this place, faithfully fulfilled for over 1300 years despite the turbulence of each age.

Like many Anglo-Catholics I have a well developed inner monastic and thought, as a teenager, that I would join a monastic community. That romanticism has never left me and my romantic spirit is well fed as we gather for prayer in Christ Church day by day. Even on my days off I think of the gathering in my absence and often sneak into the building to say hello to St Frideswide at some point in the day.

We say a fairly straightforward Common Worship Daily Prayer Morning Office. In the evening we pray Prayer Book Evensong, usually sung by one of our choirs and in normal times by visiting choirs in the vacations. Despite not having a great voice I love to sing. My first experience of the Office was at Douai Abbey in my early teens and the sung Office always seems normative to me. I have written often on my blogs about singing the Office, the joy of punctuating the day with the traditional Little Hours, of praying Psalm 119 daily and rising early on working days to vigil the Lord. I love the Grail translation of the psalms but using three different translations (CW, Grail and BCP) proved tiresome, so a few months ago I began using CW texts at all Hours. This post is simply a place to provide the Ordinary booklet for those who might want it for their own personal use. So here it is in PDF format. If you would like it in Pages format please email me and I will send it. I use Pages rather than Word. The Vigils booklet is also provided for those who want it, the cover is provided first.

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