Morning and Evening Prayer ↑
¶ Introduction ↑
From earliest times, Christians gathered at regular hours during each day and night to respond to God’s word with praise on behalf of all creation and with intercession for the salvation of the world. By the fourth century, if not earlier, morning and evening had emerged as the pre-eminent hours for the offering of this sacrifice of praise. Although they have remained so ever since, in the course of time two major changes came over the form of prayer offered. First, regular daily prayer became more and more the practice of the clergy and members of religious orders alone, with the rest of the people of God participating chiefly on Sundays and festivals. Second, as a consequence of this, the forms of prayer came to be thought of more as words to be said or sung than as a liturgy to be celebrated corporately.
The following orders of service are, therefore, intended to help Christians of our own day take their part in this privilege and duty which belongs to all God’s priestly people. They may be celebrated in a very simple form, or enriched with a variety of optional chants and prayers.
Whenever possible, the services should include some singing, especially of the Gospel Canticle, which is the climax of the morning or evening praise for the work of God in Christ. If desired, metrical paraphrases may be substituted for any of the biblical canticles, and other hymns and songs may be added at appropriate points.
The offering of intercession is as integral as praise to the nature of the services, and should not be minimized unless another service containing a substantial element of intercession is to follow immediately.
The character of the services as a liturgical celebration can be enhanced in a number of ways, including the use of appropriate changes of posture and physical movement, the provision of a visual focus for worship, such as a cross, an icon or a lighted candle (the latter especially in the evening), and by assigning different parts of the service (for example, reading the Scriptures, singing the verses of psalms and canticles, leading the prayers) to different members of the worshipping group.
Orders for Sunday to Saturday in Ordinary Time are provided here. Orders for days in the seasons of the year, including an order for the period between All Saints’ Day and the First Sunday of Advent, are provided here. The Seasonal Notes here give further details about the duration of the seasons and other matters.
More general guidance about the orders can be found in the General Introduction here.
Morning and Evening Prayer ↑
¶ an opening response
¶ one or more of the following
¶ a prayer of thanksgiving
¶ a suitable hymn
¶ an opening canticle
¶ an opening prayer, if desired
¶ One of the following may replace the Preparation
¶ a Form of Penitence (here)
¶ in the morning, The Acclamation of Christ at the Dawning of the Day (here)
¶ in the evening, The Blessing of Light (here)
or a Form of Penitence may be inserted into it.
The Word of God
¶ a canticle, if desired
¶ reading(s) from Holy Scripture
¶ a responsory, if desired
¶ the Gospel Canticle
¶ intercessions and, especially in the evening, thanksgivings
¶ the Collect of the day, or the prayer which is printed
¶ the Lord’s Prayer
¶ a blessing or the Grace
¶ a concluding response, if desired
¶ the Peace may replace or follow the Conclusion