Wednesday, July 13, 2011
For some time now I have joining several others at 7:10 in Lauds, the first of the daily prayers offices. This is also known as Morning Prayer and Matins. Most Lutherans call the first prayer office Matins, but for some reason the ancient term Lauds appeals to me. It is called Lauds because is it a laudatory liturgy of praise in the early morning light. There is a great discussion of this at: http://www.2ds.ca/Prayer/hours.html It is praise to God for the the light of creation and for Christ, the Light of the World. The service consists of prayers, canticles, scripture readings, psalms, and often a reading from one of the Patristic fathers or Luther, following the order in the Lutheran Brotherhood Book of Prayer. Although the Brotherhood Book of Prayer includes many Gregorian chant tunes for the Psalms, the Antiphons, the Canticles, in fact you could chant the entire service as was done in past centuries,we do not. We simply responsively read these. It takes us a little over a month to get through the Psalms, about five a day. For some reason unknown to me, we have rarely been graced with female presence, so it all feels very monastic. That being said, it is a wonderful way to begin the day and a discipline I would recommend to anyone.