Chapel at Calvin College is meant to encourage a prayerful, worshipful rhythm for our learning, work and play. During Interim, we will have an opportunity to experience a special grace that comes with the rhythms of “creative repetition” found in the tradition of “fixed-hour prayer,” specifically through participating in Morning Prayer.
Morning Prayer is one of the “hours” in the Liturgy of the Hours—an ancient Christian practice that created rhythms that took seriously Paul’s injunction “pray without ceasing.” Based on a creative combination of the liturgical calendar and the book of Psalms, Morning Prayer is meant to be habit-forming—to make us into a certain kind of people through our worship.
The “genius” of this spiritual discipline is a daily rhythm that, over time, forms our imagination through confession, the Creed, and the Psalms which teach us the language of the kingdom. It also forms us through the embodied rhythms of kneeling, seeing and singing. Through this rhythm, the Word—and an attitude of prayer—seeps into our imaginations through bodily practice.
Morning Prayer invites us into a worship practice that is both ancient and global. When we immerse ourselves in the rhythm of Morning Prayer, we are worshipping with Christians from ages past and around the world. And we are participating in an ancient Christian practice that hearkens back to the rhythms of Judaism.
In fact, you might think of fixed-hour prayer as a sort of “round”: at each hour, around the globe, Christians begin to worship through Morning Prayer. As Christians awake in Japan and China, they gather for Morning Prayer. Soon they’ll be joined by Christians engaged in Morning Prayer in India and Bangladesh, and so on, as the sun courses across Europe, over the Atlantic, to us. As we engage in Morning Prayer, the “round” in China has already said Vespers and some of our European sisters and brothers are praying the Midday Office. And when we’re uttering our Evening Prayers, the round has already begun again on the other side of God’s world.
Join us in Morning Prayer, and find a new rhythm in creative repetition!
For a helpful introduction to fixed-hour prayer, visit: http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/
To learn more about Morning Prayer, visit: http://cofe.anglican.org/worship/dailyprayer/morning/
For a "Vital Worship" story about Fixed-Hour Prayer, from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, visit:
In the "Learn More" section of that page, you'll also find brief audio excerpts from an interview with Phyllis Tickle.