July 25, 2010

Come, Let Us Pray: Three Prayers Meme

You're invited to participate fully in this "Three Prayers Meme" either in the comments or on your blog if you have one. Please remember to link back to this blog if you take this to your blog.

Can an entire community be tagged to participate in a meme? Yep, just happened!

Regina Heater (@reckshow on Twitter) tagged me in her post and then suggested I might want to play along or invite the Virtual Abbey to do so. I've opted for the latter to mark my return to this sector of the blogosphere now that my move to Baltimore, MD is as complete as it's going to be for now.

What's a meme? The dictionary at ask.com defines it as "a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes." In the blogosphere it has become a game of "tag, you're it." This one, started by Mulier Fortis who hails from the UK has these rules:

"The rules, which need to be posted: Name your three most favourite prayers, and explain why they’re your favourites. Then tag five bloggers – give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you’ve completed the meme… The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I’m more interested in people’s favourite devotional prayers."

Note the part about liturgy and sacraments being off limits. Here's a shocker: I'm going to ignore that . . . and Ms Mulier Fortis can just take it up during the virtual chapter of faults we will probably never have while I'm serving as abbess!

Instead, I invite our community and our visitors (who may or may not have blogs) to zoom in on what we pray during the Daily Office and identify parts or all of three favorites and explain why they touch you. Feel free to use prayers from the Roman Breviary, Book of Common Prayer, A New Zealand Prayerbook or The Saint Helena Breviary.

Here's another shocker: I'll start.

God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me.
I've always loved the Roman Breviary's version of the opening prayer. I like the rhythm and urgency of repeating a request for God's help ─ not that God needs to be nagged or that God is ever late! I like it because I need to hear my own willingness to seek and receive God's help.

it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives
rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,
all dear to us,
and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys,
new possibilities.

In your name we pray.
I will be forever grateful to the Virtual Abbey community in general and Raima Larter in particular for making it possible for me to encounter this gorgeous prayer from A New Zealand Prayerbook (p. 184). Doesn't matter whether I read this prayer out loud or re-tweet it, I feel my entire being relax into deep knowing that all will be well.

Thanks be to God.
This response has become one of my most favorite phrases from liturgy, right up there with "Lord, have mercy." The first I generally proclaim with zest and verve; the second generally gets mumbled by me sotto voce.


Terri Schanks said...

Thanks for this, it's a lovely prayer. I borrowed it this morning and used it in my blog..

Thanks for the sweetness with which you offer prayers.

Have a great day.

Raima said...

Meredith, that particular part of New Zealand Night Prayer is by far my favorite prayer, too. I first encountered it when I was a newbie returning to the church after a 25 year absence and attended a newcomer's meeting. The leader handed us some photocopied prayers to take home and use whenever we felt the need - one of these was this particular prayer, "Lord it is night..." printed on blue paper. The line, "What has been done, has been done; what has not been done, has not been done; let it be" is one of the more powerful prayers I have ever encountered. I still have that blue photocopied sheet! Much later, I discovered it was part of the NZPB so, of course, I had to buy the whole book. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith,
Here is a link to my post.
Thanks for suggesting this.