A Prayer when parting

 

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

Claiborne, Shane. Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (p. 50). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

My better half gave me this book for Christmas a few years back –

Working through it for a year was a profound experience for me. It introduced me to new perspectives on community, compassion, even church history. It’s where I first encountered the “become all flame” quote from the writings of the Desert Fathers; in that sense, it inspired this very blog (though I didn’t know it then).

I particularly like this prayer from the daily Morning Prayer devotion. It sparks my imagination of what family or community could be – a daily “sending off” with blessing and the longing to be together again, rejoicing in all that God has done.

  • Is being sent off with such prayer and blessing a part of your experience?
  • What does this prayer bring up for you, personally?

 

 

2 thoughts on “A Prayer when parting

  1. I thank you for stirring this up in me. In a past life, I worked at the Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson, Mississippi. Perhaps my favorite part of the job was participating in Morning Prayer every day at 8:45 am – somewhat similar to the Common Prayer book that you cite above. It was this practice where I thoroughly came to enjoy the psalms. Interestingly, the half-dozen ordained clergy at the church typically had other “important” things that prevented them from participating, but the lay staff, such as myself, were called out on the carpet by the Dean if we missed Morning Prayer. Odd. Perhaps the clergy felt that us unordained lay folks needed it more (sarcasm).

    I traveled in Turkey too and came to relish hearing the call to prayer over the loudspeakers in every town. I had coincidentally taken a “Book of Hours” with me on the trip and would reflect then. I kept that up for a while when I returned to the states.

    The idea of Morning Prayer resonates with me as I think of the church in my hometown. When I was a kid the church rang bells at 6:00 AM, noon, and 6:00 PM – and for all I know at midnight but I was always asleep.

    I have several “ritual” activities I do every morning even before drinking coffee. Prayer has been a part of that, but I am looking for something to add to the process. I am going to use the practice in the Common Prayer book you reference above and see how that works. I tend to be variable in these morning practices over time – my current routine is about one year old. I look forward to adding something new to see where that will take me. But, for so long as i can remember – for at least the last decade and I suspect a good bit longer – having something that kicks my day into gear with the Spirit is essential. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I’m glad to know the post was helpful to you; I’ll be looking forward to hearing how the routine works out for you.

      At one point in my life, I dreamed of studying at Oxford; attending morning and evening prayer regularly was a prominent feature of that dream. In God’s providence, it never came about, but the notion of gathering as a community morning and evening to pray has always appealed to me.

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