The Morning Prayer
The BCP is much easier to read than many other prayer books. Begin at page 1, and in most cases, when it is necessary to reference another section, it will say so. In a regular morning prayer you will reference the sections that have been circled in red. Below, we will go through each step.
Begin by praying the two part confession. Before prayer it is wonderful to receive confess our sins and receive forgiveness. But for personal devotion it isn’t appropriate to say the absolution (the part that was ‘X’ out). That is only to be said by the priest. In its place, one ought to use a little prayer from the ‘Prayer and Thanksgiving’ section.
This section gives encouragement that our confession was efficacious. And with a pure heart, of course they are. But there are implicit conditions. If we don’t forgive others there sins, we won’t be forgiven ours.
This is a preces – responses between officiant and congregants. For personal worship they are merely prayed through. When there is limited time, this is where the morning prayer can begin.
This preces is based on Psalm 51:15.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. – KJV
Next it is time to pray the Psalms. It is important to know that whenever you pray a Psalm in the Book of Prayer (and this goes for many other prayer books), you must end it with a Gloria Patri. (see pg. xlix)
The Gloria Patri is:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen
The Psalms can be read on one of two schedules:
- Reading through all the Psalms every month.
- Reading through all the Psalms every two months.
If you are using the second schedule you can use the Table of the Psalms. To being you’ll have to look up which month you are on. Are you in column 1 (red) or in column 2 (blue). Once you find the proper column, then find the proper day of the month. Once you find the proper day of the month, find ‘Matins’, which is morning prayer.
It may help to understand what’s going on. They are trying to get you praying through the entire Psalms every two months. If you read across the two columns, you can see you are just praying through the Psalms in order. Look at the blue line that spans the two columns.
At the very end of the month you can see that the final Psalms are repeated between the two months (see the green line at the bottom). So those ‘repeat’ Psalms are considered freebies. You can pick from a bunch of Psalms on those days. Look at the green arrow to see the variety of Psalms you are allowed to pick form on the 31st.
After the Psalms have been prayed, the first scripture reading is read. To know the relevant scripture, the table of lessons must be consulted. See the picture below.
To find the proper scripture isn’t as easy as looking up a date. The calendar is structured around the Christian liturgical calendar.
Notice that there are two lessons for the morning prayer (left page) and two lessons for the evening prayer (right page).
Next Te Deum is typically prayed.
Te Deum laudamus, rendered as “Thee, O God, we praise” is an ancient hymn, ascribed to Ambrose and Augustine when Ambrose baptized Augustine in AD 387.
Next the second lesson is read. As demonstrated earlier, reference the Table of Lessons to determine what you should read.
After that, the Benedictus is prayed.
Next the Apostles Creed. After that the next two sections.
The next step is to find the Collect of the day. One easy way of finding the right collect is just to use a tool that tells you what it is supposed to be.
After the Collect of the day, there are two more collects to be said.
Here you can select a prayer for the queen. After that, a prayer for the clergy are offered.
Here you can add in any prayers from the thanksgiving section (it starts on page 37).
And here the final prayers may be said.