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The Divine Hours (Volume One): Prayers for Summertime

A Manual for Prayer

The Divine Hours (Volume One): Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle
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The first volume in a trilogy of prayer manuals compiled by Publishers Weekly religion editor Phyllis Tickle as a contemporary Book of Hours to guide Christians gently yet authoritatively through the daily offices.

The Divine Hours is the first major literary and liturgical reworking of the sixth-century Benedictine Rule of fixed-hour prayer. This beautifully conceived and thoroughly modern three-volume guide will appeal to the theological novice as well as to the ecclesiastical sophisticate. Making primary use of the Book of Common Prayer and the writings of the Church Fathers, The Divine Hours is also a companion to the New Jerusalem Bible, from which it draws its Scripture readings. The trilogy blends prayer and praise in a way that, while extraordinarily fresh, respects and builds upon the ancient wisdom of Christianity.

The first book in the set, Prayers for Summertime, filled with prayers, psalms, and readings, is one readers will turn to again and again. Compact in size, it is perfect for those seeking greater spiritual depth. As a contemporary Book of Hours, The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime heralds a renewal of the tradition of disciplined daily prayer, and will whet the hunger of a large and eager audience for the follow-up autumn/winter and spring volumes.
The Crown Publishing Group; May 2006
ISBN 9780385518796
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Title: The Divine Hours (Volume One): Prayers for Summertime
Author: Phyllis Tickle
 
Excerpt
An Introduction to This Manual

From the beginning two things have been the necessary form and mystery of Christian spirituality. Two things, even before the closing events of resurrection, ascension, and commission, wove disparate and often renegade believers into an inspirited body of the whole, connected to God and each other.

Like a double helix rendered elegant by complexity and splendid by authority, the amalgam of gospel and shared meal and the discipline of fixed-hour prayer were and have remained the chain of golden connection tying Christian to Christ and Christian to Christian across history, across geography, and across idiosyncrasies of faith. The former is known as the food and sustenance of the Church, the latter as its work. The Divine Hours is about the second part of this double strand, the work; it is a manual for the contemporary exercise of fixed-hour prayer.

Although designed primarily for private use by individuals or by small groups, The Divine Hours may certainly be employed by larger and/or more public communities. Likewise, though designed primarily for lay use, it can as well be employed by the ordained in either private or corporate prayer.

Those already familiar with fixed-hour prayer (variously referred to as "The Liturgy of the Hours" or "keeping the hours" or "saying the offices") and with its tools (the breviaries of monastic worship and the Book of Hours manuals for laity that date from medieval times) will find some modifications and innovations here. They may wish to scan what follows for explication of these changes. Others, especially those for whom keeping the hours is a new practice, may wish to read the remainder of this introduction more thoroughly.


June

The Morning Office
To Be Observed on the Hour or Half Hour Between 6 and 9 a.m.


The Call to Prayer
Come, let us sing to the LORD;* Let us rejoice this day in the strength of our salvation.
Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving,* and raise a loud shout to Him with psalms.
Psalm 95:1-2


The Request for Presence
Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock;* shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,* stir up your strength and come to help us,
Restore us, O God of hosts;* show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
Psalm 80:1-3


The Greeting
It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD,* and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning* and of your faithfulness in the night season; for as it was in the beginning, it is now and it evermore shall be. Alleluia.
Psalm 92:1-2; Gloria


The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Incline my heart, O God, to your ways.* Turn my eyes from longing after vanities.
based on Psalm 119:36 and 37


A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: 'And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.'
Matthew 6:5-6


The Refrain
Incline my heart, O God, to your ways.* Turn my eyes from longing after vanities.


The Morning Psalm: God's Gifts for Joyful Living
The law of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul;* the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.
The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart;* the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean and endures forever;* the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold;* sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.
By them also is your servant enlightened,* and in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7-11


The Refrain
Incline my heart, O God, to your ways.* Turn my eyes from longing after vanities.


The Gloria


The Lord's Prayer


The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Holy Father, creator and sustaining wisdom of all that is, both in heaven and on earth, take from me those thoughts, actions and objects that are hurtful. Give me instead those things that are profitable for me and all who seek rightly to praise you. I ask this grace in the company of all believers and through the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.


The Concluding Prayer of the Church
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.



The Midday Office
To Be Observed on the Hour or Half Hour Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.



The Call to Prayer
Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD;* let us exalt his Name together.
Psalm 34:3


The Request for Presence
LORD, hear my prayer,* and let my cry come before you
Incline your ear to me;* when I call, make haste to answer me,
Psalm 102:1ff


The Greeting
The LORD lives! Blessed is my Rock!* Exalted is the God of my salvation!
Glory to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
Psalm 18:46; Gloria


The Refrain for the Midday Lessons
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart:* I will tell all of your marvelous works.
Psalm 9:1


A Reading
...if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. It is by believing with the heart that you are justified, and by making the declaration with your lips that you are saved.
Romans 10:9-l0


The Refrain
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart:* I will tell of all your marvelous works.


The Midday Psalm: Happy Are Your People, LORD.
Who is like you, LORD God of Hosts?* Mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
You rule the raging of the sea* and still the surging of the waves.
Yours are the heavens; the earth is yours also.* You laid the foundations of the universe and all that is in it.
You have made the north and the south;* the mountains rejoice in your name.
Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your power;* love and truth go before your face.
Happy are the people who know the festal shout!* they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
They rejoice daily in your Name;* they are jubilant in your righteousness.
For you are the glory of their strength,* and by your favor is our might exalted.
Truly God is our ruler;* the Holy One of Israel is our King.
Psalm 89:8ff


The Refrain
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart:* I will tell of all your marvelous works.


The Gloria


The Lord's Prayer


The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Holy Father, creator and sustaining wisdom of all that is, both in heaven and on earth, take from me those thoughts, actions and objects that are hurtful. Give me instead those things that are profitable for me and all who seek rightly to praise you. I ask this grace in the company of all believers and through the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.


The Concluding Prayer of the Church
Lord, My God, King of heaven and of earth, for this day please direct and sanctify, set right and govern my heart and my body, my sentiments, my words and my actions in conformity with Your law and Your commandments. Thus I shall be able to attain salvation and deliverance, in time and in eternity, by Your help, O Savior of the world, who byes and reigns forever. Amen.
adapted from DIVINE OFFICE



The Vespers Office
To Be Observed on the Hour or Half Hour Between 5 and 8 p.m.



The Call to Prayer
Come let us bow down, and bend the knee* and kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God* and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
Psalm 95:6-7


The Request for Presence
I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me;* incline your ear to me, and hear my words.
Psalm 17:6


The Greeting
You are God: I praise you;* you are the Lord: I acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:* all creation worships you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:* Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son,* worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit,* advocate and guide.
As these have been from the beginning,* so they are now and evermore shall be.
Alleluia.
Based on the Te Deum and Gloria


The Hymn: All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night

All Praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.

Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep my eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake.

When in the night I sleepless be,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.

O when shall I, in endless day,
For ever chase dark sleep away,
And hymns divine with angels sing,
All praise to thee, eternal king?

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Thomas Ken


The Refrain for the Vespers Lessons
0, LORD, you are my portion and my cup;* it is you who uphold my lot.
Psalm 16:5


The Vespers Psalm: An Evening Song
I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel;* my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the LORD always before me;* because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices;* my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,* nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;* in your presence is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 16:7-11


The Refrain
0, LORD, you are my portion and my cup;* it is you who uphold my lot.


The Lord's Prayer


The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Holy Father, creator and sustaining wisdom of all that is, both in heaven and on earth, take from me those thoughts, actions and objects that are hurtful. Give me instead those things that are profitable for me and all who seek rightly to praise you. I ask this grace in the company of all believers and through the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.


The Concluding Prayer of the Church
Lord Jesus, stay with me, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be my companion in the way, kindle my heart, and awaken hope, that I may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and in the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love toward me. Amen.


From the Hardcover edition.
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ISBNs
038551879X
9780385504768
9780385518796