Interim Version of Anglican Lauds and Vespers

Whenever discussions of the Daily Office come up, someone, at some point, will make some comment about how a discipline like this no longer fits into the lives of modern professional people. That is, if you’re not a priest, student, or church-worker, how do you find time to do the Office in the midst of everything else you’ve got going on??

One answer which sounds flippant but really isn’t is–if that’s important to you, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. This is easier said than done, of course. For several years I had it easy–I had a commute on public transit. So, I got into the habit of reading the Offices on my way to and from work. I had my trusty two-volume Daily Office Books which are small enough to easily stow the volume for the appropriate year in my work bag and it was no problem.

No longer.

I’m now in a city with notoriously unreliable transit that does not go from where I am to where I need to be. Furthermore, I’m putting in way more hours than I’d like–I’m not getting enough sleep as it is now, so getting up earlier is not an option…

My problem is this: I don’t have time to do the Office in a prayerfully, non-rushed manner with a book in front of me. I do, however, have a lengthy vehicular commute. The solution is a version of the Offices that I can do in the car without needing a book.

Here’s the framework that I’ve come up with: An Anglican Lauds and Vespers. As the two main day offices, Lauds and Vespers classically shared the same structure; only the elements were different and these didn’t have an awful lot of variation. I adapted the shared ordines of these two Offices for one that I could do from memory in my car. The one advantage to my current situation is that I’m not in a transit car with a bunch of other people–so I can chant it if I like…which I like…

Does this solve the initial question posed above? Is this a solution to enable the ancient patterns of devotion to be kept in the modern world? I’m not sure… It works for me–and it may work for you–but I don’t see it as a solution for the majority of church-goers. In any case, explore it, play with it, try it, and let me know if and how it works for you…

I call it “interim” in the title for a reason, though. This ordo refers to seasonal items–and they’re not included in the file. I started on adding them, but didn’t have time to get it together because I have to focus completely on the dissertation now, not on liturgical fun… They’ll show up eventually. In the meantime you can find the bits you need–the little chapter and hymn–here.(Click the “Recite the Office” button, then click on the service for which you need the material and scroll down.)

3 Replies to “Interim Version of Anglican Lauds and Vespers”

  1. What a great idea! I have a very similar set of circumstances – reciting at least the two main offices is important to me, yet I have a ton of time (2-3 hours daily) tied up driving to work.

    I started trying this two weeks ago and am finding progress slow but steady.

    I am very much in your debt for the suggestion!

    Regards,

    thomas

  2. Thanks, Thomas, I’m glad it’s helping!

    Let me know how you find it and what adaptations help make it work for you.

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