Morning Prayer Friday 24th July 2015 at Glasshampton   Leave a comment

Today is the first full day of my retreat at Glasshampton Monastery.  Having arrived about 3:30pm yesterday, I have now settled into the rhythm of the place.  This morning, as every morning, the first service of the Daily Office was Morning Prayer.  It was a service that was familiar both in its pattern (I have retreated here many times before) and in the Psalms and other pieces of scripture and liturgy (many of which I have known since my youth) that constituted it.  I want to record some of them here and do so with a warm glow and smile of familiarity.  Not a familiarity that breeds contempt; rather one that reminds me of God’s promises and love. The Psalms were Ps 17 and Ps 19; read in the Franciscan way.  That is in antiphon (one side of the chapel reads one verse the other the next, and so on) and with a pause not between verses but midway through each verse.  It is a very contemplative way of reading.  The standout verses for me were:

Ps 17 v 8 – Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings

And

Ps 19 v 7 – The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdom to the simple

Later in the service we said the Benedictus which contains one of my all time favourite liturgical phrases:

In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

And then goes on:

To shine on those that dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

I don’t want to spell out my thoughts provoked by these pieces of scripture in this blog post.  It was more a feeling than an internal monologue in words anyway.  However, I am sure if I return to this blog post in the future I will be readily able to recall how the service spoke to me and met me where I am.  Maybe it will touch others who read this post too.

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Posted July 24, 2015 by Martyn Cooper in Uncategorized

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