Here follows the Saint Aelfric Customary for the Daily Office of Morning Prayer.

Opening Sentences

For the sake of simplicity, the standard three should be used most often.

  • Philippians 1:2 on Monday & Saturday
  • Psalm 122:1 on Wednesday & Friday
  • Psalm 19:14 on Tuesday & Thursday

The reference to entering the Lord’s house in Psalm 122 makes it particularly appropriate for days of special devotion, which traditionally would be Wednesday and Friday.

The language of words and meditations being “acceptable” in God’s sight in Psalm 19 is reminiscent of sacrificial language, making it particularly appropriate for the Eucharistic memorial tone that can be associated with Thursday.

The appendix of Opening Sentences are best used on Sundays and certain other holy days.

  • Advent (Isaiah 40:3) on the Sundays in Advent
  • Christmas (Luke 2:10-11) on Christmas Day and the Sunday(s) in Christmastide
  • Epiphany (Malachi 1:11) on the Day of the Epiphany and the Sundays of Epiphany
  • Lent (Matthew 3:2) on the First through Third Sundays in Lent
  • Lent (Psalm 51:9) on the Fourth and Fifth Sundays in Lent
  • Lent (Mark 8:34) on the Ember Days and Rogation Days
  • Holy Week (Lamentations 1:12) from Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday
  • Easter (Colossians 3:1) on Sundays from Easter Day through Rogation Sunday
  • Ascension (Hebrews 4:14,16) on Ascension Day and the Sunday after the Ascension
  • Pentecost (Acts 1:8) from the Day of Pentecost through Saturday
  • Trinity Sunday (Revelation 4:8) on Trinity Sunday
  • Days of Thanksgiving (Proverbs 3:9-10) on Thanksgiving Day
  • At Any Time (Habakkuk 2:20) on Proper Sundays 23 through 29
  • At Any Time (Psalm 43:3) on Proper Sundays 9 through 15
  • At Any Time (Isaiah 57:15) on Proper Sundays 1 through 8
  • At Any Time (John 4:23) on Proper Sundays 16 through 22

A loose thematic progression is made in Lent and in Trinitytide by this ordering of Sentences: Lent increasing in penitential tone, and Trinitytide moving from contemplation on God himself toward application of his majesty.  It culminates with Habakkuk 3’s call to silence, a verse often associated with the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Confession of Sin

The first, longer, address should always be used in public.  Not only is it the traditional exhortation to confession but it also outlines a theology of worship that most church-goers need to hear.  The shorter bid to confession should be reserved for gatherings where all involved are already very familiar with the Office.

The first absolution should be the priest or bishop’s default, as it more clearly sets out the Gospel of forgiveness in Christ as well as outlining the Anglican theology of the ministry of reconciliation.  The shorter absolution, again, should be reserved for gatherings where the hearers are already well-versed in Anglican spirituality and theology.

The prayer for forgiveness is said when no priest or bishop is present, or when a priest or bishop is saying the office alone.

The rubrics permit the Confession to be omitted provided it is said once per day.  In private recitation of the Office, or if the Communion is soon to follow, a hymn may be sung in place of the Confession.

 Invitatory

The Venite (Psalm 95) is the traditional option, and is to be said daily, except for the 19th day of the month when Psalm 95 is among the Psalms Appointed – this is when the Jubilate (Psalm 100) is to be said instead.  The third invitatory, Pascha Nostrum, should be said through Easter Week.

The first half of the Venite (Psalm 95) is the standard Invitatory Psalm.  Its second half is to be added during penitential occasions, namely every day in the seasons of Advent and Lent, on the Ember Days, and on all Fridays (outside of Christmastide and Eastertide) that are not Major Feast Days.

Rubric Deviation: A fourth option may be imported from the original editions of the 1662 Prayer Book, termed here the Canticle of the Martyred.  It was originally appointed for January 30th, commemorating the martyrdom of King Charles I, and is recommended here for all Major Feast Days of martyrs.  Its text is provided below.

The antiphons are to be used with the Venite (Psalm 95) and the Jubilate (Psalm 100), not with the Pascha Nostrum or the Canticle of the Martyred.  For simplicity’s sake, they should be reserved for Sundays and Holy Days only.

  • The standard three antiphons provided on BCP 14 are to be used on the Sundays during Trinitytide: the first on Propers 1-10, the second on Proper 11-20, and the third on Propers 21-29.
  • The Advent antiphon is to be used on the Sundays in Advent and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
  • The Christmas antiphon is to be used on Christmas Day and the Sundays(s) after Christmas, except on the feasts of St. Stephen, St. John, and the Holy Innocents.
  • The “Epiphany and the Transfiguration” antiphon is to be used on the Sundays of Epiphany (except on Major Feast Days) and on Transfiguration Day.
  • The “Presentation and Annunciation” antiphon is to be used on those two days, as well as on the feast of The Visitation and St. Mary the Virgin.
  • The Lent antiphon is to be used on the Sundays in Lent.
  • The “Easter until Ascension” antiphon is to be used on those Sundays.
  • The “Ascension until Pentecost” antiphon is to be used on Ascension Day and the Sunday after the Ascension.
  • The “Day of Pentecost” antiphon is to be used on that day.
  • The Trinity Sunday antiphon is to be used on Trinity Sunday and St. Michael’s Day.
  • The “On All Saints and other major saints’ days” antiphon is to be used on all Major Feast Days commemorating Saints other than the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. (If the Canticle of the Martyred is used on a martyr’s feast day, this antiphon is not used.)

Canticle of the Martyred

Righteous are you, O LORD, *
and true are your judgements.
You have been righteous in all that has come upon us, *
for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.
Nevertheless, my feet had almost stumbled,*
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the proud *
when I saw the ungodly in such prosperity.
The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, *
against the Lord and against his Anointed.
For they have brought their heads together with one consent *
and are aligned against you.
For I have heard the whispering of the multitude, and fear is on every side, *
while they conspire together against me and take their counsel to take away my life.
They have spoken against me with false tongues; *
they encompassed me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause.
Indeed, even my own familiar friend, whom I trusted, who also ate of my bread, *
has lifted his heel against me.
They repay me evil for good; *
To the great sorrow of my soul.
For my enemies speak against me, and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together. *
They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
The breath of our nostrils, the Lord’s Anointed, *
was captured in their pits, of whom we said,
“Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.”
Foe and enemy enter the gates of Jerusalem, saying, *
“When will he die, and his name perish?”
“A deadly thing has taken hold of him; *
and now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
Malicious witnesses rise up; *
they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, *
who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous.
Let my soul come not into their council; O my glory, be not joined to their company. *
For in their anger they killed men.
Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, *
And upon the son of man whom you made so strong for yourself.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, *
and their departure was thought to be an affliction.
We fools! We thought that his life was madness *
and that his end was without honor; but he is at peace.
For though in the sight of men he was punished, *
his hope is full of immortality.
Has he not been numbered among the sons of God, *
and his lot among the saints?
O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs, *
O God to whom vengeance belongs, show yourself.
O be favorable and gracious unto Zion.
Accept atonement, O LORD, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, *
and do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst
of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned for.
O take not my soul away with the sinners, *
nor my life with the bloodthirsty.
Deliver me from blood-guilt, O God, the God of my salvation, *
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
For you are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness, *
neither shall any evil dwell with you.
You shall destroy those who speak lies; *
the LORD will abhor the bloodthirsty and the deceitful.
Oh, how suddenly are they consumed; *
they perish and come to a fearful end.
Indeed, like a dream when one awakes, *
so shall you make their image vanish out of the city.
Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! *
Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!
Righteous are you, O LORD, *
and true are your judgments.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; *
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Ps. 119:137, Neh. 9:33, Ps. 73:2-3, 2:2, 83:5, 31:15V, 109:2V, 41:9, 35:12, 71:10V, Lam. 4:20, 4:12, Ps. 41:5bV, 41:8, 35:11, Lam. 4:13, Gen. 49:6, 80:17, Wis. 3:2, 5:4b, 3:3b, 3:4, 5:5, Ps. 94:1, 51:18a, Deut. 21:8, Ps. 26:9, 51:14, 5:4, 5:6, 73:19, 73:20, Rev. 15:3b, Ps. 119:137

The Psalm or Psalms Appointed

It is traditional to say the Gloria Patri (“Glory be”) after each Psalm, and after each portion of Psalm 119 (see BCP 734).

The Lessons

After each lesson the reader says “Here ends the reading.”  This distinguishes the Daily Office from the Communion service, emphasizing the focus on the reading of Scripture in this liturgy.

The Canticles

The Te Deum Laudamus is the traditional first Canticle.  It is to be recited on Sundays, non-penitential Holy Days, daily through Christmastide, on Maundy Thursday, and the Day of Pentecost.

  • Canticle 1, Magna et mirabilia, is to be used in its place on weekdays throughout Advent.
  • Canticle 2, Surge illuminare, is to be used in its place on weekdays from the Day of The Epiphany until Ash Wednesday.
  • The Benedictus es is to be used in its place on weekdays from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday.
  • Canticle 5, Cantemus Domino, is to be used in its place from Easter Monday through the Rogation Days.
  • Canticle 6, Dignus es, is to be used in its place from Ascension Day through Pentecost Week, except the Day of Pentecost itself.
  • Canticle 8, Ecce deus, is to be used in its place Monday through Friday from Trinity Sunday until Advent.
  • Canticle 10, Benedicite, is to be used in its place on Saturdays during Trinitytide.

Alternatively, the seasonal canticles listed above may also be considered for use on the first Sunday of their respective seasons in communities that regularly say Morning Prayer together on Sundays.

The Gospel Canticle, the Benedictus, is to be recited at every Morning Office except when it is part of the New Testament Lesson, or the Gospel at the Communion. On such occasions, the Jubilate (the second Invitatory Psalm) is to be used in its place.

 The Apostles’ Creed

The rubrics permit the Creed to be omitted provided it is said once per day.  If that rubric is to be utilized in private recitation, the Creed should be said in Morning Prayer and omitted in the evening.  When said publicly with a congregation, Morning Prayer should never omit the Creed.

The Athanasian Creed is traditionally sung or said in place of the Apostles’ Creed on the feasts of Christmas Day, the Epiphany, Saint Matthias, Easter Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Saint John the Baptist, Saint James, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew, Saints Simon & Jude, and Saint Andrew.

The Prayers

The traditional form of the Kyrie and Lord’s Prayer (in the left column) is to be preferred in the public Office.  In private recitation, the modernized Lord’s Prayer may be desirable to use intermittently to keep one attentive to the text and avoid speaking purely by rote.

The Collects

Traditionally, as the rubrics note, there are three required Collects at this point: the Collect of the Day, the Collect for Peace, and the Collect for Grace.  When Morning Prayer is said irregularly with the congregation, using this traditional set of Collects is preferable.  For those praying the Offices regularly, though, utilizing the full list of daily Collects is recommended.

There are some traditions of “stacking” multiple Collects of the Day together – for example, the usual one for the previous Sunday plus a Collect for an Optional Commemoration.  This is not recommended for use in the whole congregation unless the majority of the worshipers are aware of the commemoration; it is best reserved for private recitation of the Office.

 The Prayer for Mission

Three Prayers for Mission are provided and are best and most easily used throughout the week in order:

  • The First Prayer (for the clergy and people) on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • The Second Prayer (for _) on Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • The Third Prayer (meditating on the Cross) on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays

However, when the Great Litany is to follow (traditionally Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), the Prayer for Mission is omitted.

 Additional Material

Despite the order of the rubrics on BCP 25, the traditional order of additions to the liturgy here are

  1. Anthem or Hymn
  2. Homily
  3. Additional Prayers
  4. The final prayers provided on BCP 25–26.

For the anthem or hymn, see the chapter on Daily Hymnody.

For additional prayers, the following Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings may be added according to a two-week rotation, tied to the season’s number of the week:

  • Sunday Week I: 83, 93-96
  • Monday Week I: 1-5
  • Tuesday Week I: 28-33
  • Wednesday Week I: the Great Litany
  • Thursday Week I: 57-60
  • Friday Week I: the Great Litany
  • Saturday Week I: 21-26
  • Sunday Week II: 97, 101-104
  • Monday Week II: 6-10
  • Tuesday Week II: 27, 34-39
  • Wednesday Week II: the Great Litany
  • Thursday Week II: 61-64
  • Friday Week II: the Great Litany
  • Saturday Week II: 75-79

Further Notes

Two-Week Rotation

Because there are 125 prayers and thanksgivings, they are split into a two-week rotation so that an average of five are appointed for each Office.  You could combine them into a one-week cycle if you’ve got the attention span for it, I suppose.  Two prayers are omitted: #84 because it’s for meal times, not an office, and #106 because it’s better for the service of Antecommunion.

Wednesday and Friday Mornings are omitted because that is when the Litany is traditionally appointed to be said.  I assume that if you’re sufficiently “advanced” in your use of the Office to be making use of these prayers, you can (or should) be already praying the Litany.  Sunday morning is also an appointed time for the Litany, but in the scheme of this Customary, the Litany will actually be treated separately, between Morning Prayer and Holy Communion, and thus there is room for these prayers in Morning Prayer.

Monday

The twenty prayers for the Church are spread through the Offices on this day.

Tuesday

The prayers for the nation and most of the prayers for society are covered on Tuesday.  The morning in Week II has an inordinately large number of prayers appointed because there are included prayers specifically for Canada and for the USA, with the assumption that the individual will skip the national prayers that don’t apply.  #21-26, for Creation, were skipped and saved for Saturday.  #27 and #28 were separated into different groupings of prayer because they are very similar and would be a bit redundant prayed back to back.

Wednesday

The rest of the prayers for society are covered here, and the section of prayers for “those in need” is begun.

Thursday

The rest of the prayers for those in need are finished on Thursday mornings.  The evenings are for the thanksgivings, in keeping with the eucharistic theme accorded to Thursdays in some strands of liturgical tradition.

Friday

The evenings see the Family and Personal Life section begun.

Saturday

Week I holds the prayers for Creation, as Saturday is often a day off from work, and thus a day on which many people are likely to enjoy the outdoors.  More prayers for family and personal life are appointed here, as well as the beginning of the Personal Devotion section.  Most of the prayers for “Death, the Departed, and the Communion of Saints” also land on Saturday evening, matching the Good Friday to Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday pattern of spirituality.

Sunday

The last of the “Personal Devotion” section is covered on Sundays, as well as the last two “Death, the Departed, and the Communion Saints” section.  Most prominently, though, Sunday is when the “At Times of Prayer and Worship” section is used, splitting the preparatory prayers into the morning and the “after hours” prayers into the evening.

As a result, if a church holds public Morning or Evening Prayer on Sundays, the occasional prayers here appointed will be particularly apt for the congregation’s interaction with the liturgy.

If a church holds a public Office on a weekday, however, a pattern like this may not be beneficial.  The idea of this order is to provide the person(s) praying with the full scope of the Occasional Prayers’ contents, so if someone only experiences one weekday “slot”, then they’ll only experience one theme or category of occasional prayers.  In such a situation, it would be prudent to select occasional prayers from various groupings as is appropriate for the occasion, or as befits the lessons of the day.

The General Thanksgiving

This prayer has always been optional, and for the sake of time may be omitted.

 The Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

This prayer is best said when “two or three” or more “are gathered” for worship.  It may be said in private recitation of the Office.

The Concluding Sentences

Three verses are provided, historically it is the first verse (2 Corinthians 13:14) that is used as the concluding Grace or Blessing or benediction.  The second verse (Romans 15:13) is also a blessing, but lacks the strong Trinitarian ending.  The third (Ephesians 3:20-21) is a doxology, not a blessing or benediction.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:14 is to be used regularly.
  • Romans 15:13 may be used occasionally.
  • Ephesians 3:20-21 is not recommended for use.