Tag Archives: noondayprayerservice

Reconciled, reconciling

If anyone is in Christ she/he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Godself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (BCP, p.106, 2 For. 5:17-18)

God offers us the chance to be a new creation, every minute of every day. The old can pass away at any time, and the new ushered in with gladness. This isn’t something we do for ourselves – it’s a blessing Christ offers.

Thanks be to God, we respond.

But there’s something missing if we leave it at that. God also gave us the ministry of reconciliation – the joy and responsibility of handing on that reconciliation in our own lives, our own relationships. It’s not an easy or pleasant thing in all times, places, and circumstances. Sometimes, reconciliation is painful, difficult, and at the expense of something we’d rather do or have.

This ministry of reconciliation doesn’t seem like much of a gift compared to the chance to be a new creation. But there it is. I’m going to take it on faith that this ministry of reconciliation is every much the gift that new life is. For that reason, I’ll respond:

Thanks be to God.

Always and Forever

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Glory to the Mother, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

It has a different feel and flavor in the mouth, the glory going to the Mother rather than the Father. It’s not particularly heretical – there are feminine images for God throughout scripture; but it’s not customary or common. So why the insistence on God as male to the exclusion of God as female?

It’s important to notice gender differences, especially if one gender is valued above another as a general rule. But alternating male and female pronouns shouldn’t be the end goal: a deeper awareness of and openness to God’s presence is what we seek. The words are sacred not because of any magical property, but because we are drawn through them into God’s loving embrace.

Isn’t that the point of this often said phrase? God is, was, and will always love us; God holds our past, present, and future; we are never lost to God.

Save us, help us

Officiant: O God, make speed to save us.

People: O Lord, make haste to help us.

Why these words at the beginning of a noonday prayer service? It’s not likely that anyone praying them is in mortal danger. Anyone who is in such a predicament isn’t likely to have their BCP in hand, after all. As I pondered these words for the past few days, these thoughts arose…

The officiant is the one who asks God to save us, not the people. Although we shouldn’t need it, having a leader ask for God’s saving presence gives the rest of us permission to do the same. Everyone needs God’s saving love and presence, and asking for it is a sign of wisdom rather than a terrible weakness.

Most of us are okay with giving help, but needing help? It takes strength to admit to needing help; it’s easy to consider needing a help a character flaw rather than a universal human truth.

Asking God for help, admitting our need to be saved by God, is easier with practice. If the words become part of us, we will have them when we need them. Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly makes for sufficiency.

I may not need saving from a physical danger at the moment, but I do need saving from things that kill the soul and maim the spirit. Disdain for others and self, hopelessness, and a perspective so limited that I am unable to act with love and compassion are deadly if not in an obvious way. I may not wish someone harm, but without recognizing my limitations and my need for God’s saving love I may not wish them well – and I certainly won’t be willing to foster their wellbeing.

In the middle of the day, in the company of others, I am asking for help. Only with God’s help and saving grace can I hope to love God, myself, and others. I’m so very glad there are others asking for help, too…

Noonday Prayers

I pray in the morning, I pray in the evening, but I don’t pray at noon on any kind of a regular basis.

I’m familiar with Morning Prayer and Vesper liturgies, but not the Noonday service.

I say prayers throughout the day, depending on what I see, hear, and feel; I don’t say mid-day prayers as a routine activity. There’s no “noonday prayers” on my calendar. Why is this?

Our Muslim sisters and brothers pray at noon as part of their every day faith, stopping in the middle of activities to orient themselves toward God. Isn’t it time I give this a try?

I hope you’ll join me. With these words, let us begin…

O God, make speed to save us.

O Lord, make haste to help us.