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A New Daily Routine

I imagine I wasn’t the only one waking up on Tuesday morning wondering how we are all going to adjust to this new way of living. Covid 19 has radically altered what a normal daily routine might look like. Yet, times of crisis can be fruitful, pregnant with possibilities for doing things differently.

Rebecca Solnit once noted that from the word emergency comes the word emerge:

From an emergency, new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast but danger and possibility are sisters.

What new routines can we create that will enable new ways of working, relating, playing and resting? Annie Dilliard once wrote,

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.

Or as Aristotle said on a similar vein: ‘How we spend our days is of course part of who we are becoming.’

Can we use this unforeseen time to cultivate practices that would deepen and strengthen our awareness of God, of others and the natural world? Can we establish new daily rhythms that will cultivate healthy and wholesome desires, love and develop a Godly character? What practices might offer us support as we seek to re-imagine our daily lives?

Sabbath keeping … taking a day each week to receive life as gift and to delight in the goodness of being alive.
Worship … setting time apart each day to enjoy God’s presence and express our thanks and praise, our lament and petitions..
Giving … of our time, talents, skills and resources so that others can be blessed by our wealth and experience of God’s goodness.
Prayer … spending time waiting, listening, opening ourselves to God’ Spirit at work in our deepest self, making us whole.

Lord, help us become large spirits. Deliver us from fear and anxiety, from boredom and impatience, from loneliness and isolation. May we discover your glory right where we are. Amen

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Prayers in a Time of Pandemic

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.
Amen.

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

A Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book for People Facing Great Uncertainty

God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.Amen

For those who are ill

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For hospital staff and medical researchers

Gracious God,
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

From one who is ill or isolated

O God,
help me to trust you,
help me to know that you are with me,
help me to believe that nothing can separate me
from your love
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For the Christian community

We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us.
Amen

(Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference)

this week

Compline: Night Prayer

To access Compline on the Church of England website, click here.

The ancient office of Compline derives its name from a Latin word meaning ‘completion’ (completorium). It is above all a service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day.

Preparation

The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
All: Amen.
Our help is in the name of the Lord
All: who made heaven and earth.

A period of silence for reflection on the past day may follow.

The following or other suitable words of penitence may be used

All: Most merciful God,
we confess to you,
before the whole company of heaven and one another,
that we have sinned in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
Forgive us our sins,
heal us by your Spirit
and raise us to new life in Christ. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
All: O Lord, make haste to help us.

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Alleluia.

The following or another suitable hymn may be sung

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That you, with steadfast love, would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Tread underfoot our deadly foe
That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;
And Holy Spirit, by whose breath
Our souls are raised to life from death.

The Word of God

Psalmody

At the end of the psalmody, the following is said or sung

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

A suitable passage is read
The following responsory may be said

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
All: Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
For you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
All: I commend my spirit.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
All: Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Keep me as the apple of your eye.
All: Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Gospel Canticle

The Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) is said or sung

All: Save us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ
and asleep may rest in peace.

1 Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace: ♦
your word has been fulfilled.

2 My own eyes have seen the salvation ♦
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3 A light to reveal you to the nations ♦
and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2.29-32

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

All: Save us, O Lord, while waking,
and guard us while sleeping,
that awake we may watch with Christ
and asleep may rest in peace.

Prayers

Intercessions and thanksgivings may be offered here.

The Collect

Silence may be kept.

Visit this place, O Lord, we pray,
and drive far from it the snares of the enemy;
may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace,
and may your blessing be always upon us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer may be said.

The Conclusion

In peace we will lie down and sleep;
All: for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.
Abide with us, Lord Jesus,
All: for the night is at hand and the day is now past.
As the night watch looks for the morning,
All: so do we look for you, O Christ.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;
the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us;
the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace.
All: Amen.