One of the nice additions of modern prayer books like the 1979 or the 2019 is the recovery of two minor offices – Midday Prayer and Compline. These are not parts of traditional prayer book liturgy, but they (or at least Compline) have been popular devotions continued by many Anglicans since the earliest times of the Reformation. They are regarded as “extra” devotions, which is why they aren’t part of our official historical tradition, and so when we see them in modern prayer books we should understand the liturgies for Midday Prayer and Compline as offerings for standardization, not as binding liturgical mandates the way Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Holy Communion are. In other words, as you’re building a faithfully Anglican life and parish, MP & EP plus the Communion on Sundays and other red-letter days are what’s required; Midday Prayer and Compline are the optional extras.
That said, let’s take a look at what Midday Prayer can sound like. If you keep it simple you can zip through it in two minutes tops. If you take your time, it’s still short. Here’s today’s service in under 12 minutes:
Order of Service so you can have your books ready:
- Midday Prayer begins on page 33 of BCP 2019.
- Psalm: 124 (page 35) set to chant tune #739 (in the 2017 hymnal)
- Reading: Ezekiel 32 (according to our supplemental lectionary)
- Brief reflection
- The Prayers (page 37-39)