Starting and joining into ritual is difficult and not easy. Since May 2nd I have been listening to morning and evening prayer every day. It hasn’t been easy because as an Anglican there are no podcasts in ITunes dedicated to the Anglican form of evening and Morning Prayer. I am not going to let this stop me however, I listen to an Episcopal morning prayer which is similar to my traditional Anglican morning prayer and then to a Catholic evening prayer podcasts which has some differences but no so much that I find them to be disturbing. Morning Prayer is listened in the car on my way to work and evening prayer is harder to conform to because of the catch up I am doing with my fiancé. However, we will stop and listen to it while eating dinner. It is always funny to watch the kids with us doing the sign of the crucifix while they have a spoon of dinner in their mouth. I try to listen to compline once a week, however, I am not always as successful at it as I would like to be.
So what is so important about doing this? What impact does it have on your life if any? Why challenge yourself to this? I earnestly believe the more ritual you engage yourself in the more grounded and open minded you become because you engage you mind in other things to ensure your heart is open to listening for God. Ritual produces a trance like state that ensures your mind is clear and open to listening to the Holy Ghost. The less ritual you find yourself engaged in the less time you have to listen to it empower you.
I have also started listening to audio of the bible readings of the KJV. Nothing better than Oreos and the Bible. Funny as it sounds it I feel more comfortable people reading me the Bible than me reading it. I fall asleep reading it. I should not say that because it is the word of God but it is true I sleep when I read it. So in order to get through it again I have decided to listen to a person reading it while I follow along. This I can do.
Among my generation the importance and beauty of ritual has been lost. Religion and church is like a family. One might not always agree with the stance the church or religion takes on certain issues but like a traditional patriarchy, one must just sit and obey. For you might not know all that the decision is based upon. For the rage of discontentment of the decision is based upon what? Fear, Change, or impatience? One must learn to trust. Trust is what brings me to church and trust it what opens my eyes and mind to learn in the church. Denying an individual the opportunity to participate ritual denies an individual the opportunity to connect with their past. To drench themselves in ritual performances that have survived generations. The concern for my generation is that they will lose how to perform these rituals. Thus having the ritual ending in my generation I shall not have happen. I challenge everyone that reads this to begin participating in a morning and evening prayer ritual. See how your life becomes more focused and makes your interactions level with all and as you depart these interactions shall be square and level.
Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, we have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, spare thou those who confess their faults, restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord; and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.