The Daily Office is the main prayer of the day of the Order for Baptist Ministry. Additionally there prayer patterns for Midday, Day’s Ending and Communion.
Praying the Daily Office is a participation with others who have a shared calling and vision of what it means to live life before and minister from the presence of God. Praying the Office is a participation with others even when we are not praying together with them in the same physical space! The Daily Office gives a flexible structure for a prayerful encounter with God which enables the expression of our relationship with God and also further forms us for life and ministry. The content of the movement through the various phases is determined throughout by one of the classic seasons of Christian faith, from Advent through to Pentecost. Each of these seasons has a distinctive emphasis in who we understand God to be and how we are called to be.
The phases of each Office are:
- becoming present to God
- celebrating the presence of God
- acknowledging our humanity
- listening for the Word
- reflecting on our roots
- bringing our concerns
- and going to love and serve.
The phases are meant to enable awareness of and responsiveness to God – whether though the actual Office liturgy, moments of silence, or spontaneous speaking to God in praise, thanks or intercession.
The Daily Office differs according to the day of the week, so there are seven different offices. These also correspond to seasons in the Church Year. This means that during Ordinary Time a different office is said depending on the day of the week. During a particular Christian season, that office is used every day for the duration.
The correspondence is as follows:
- Monday – Pentecost (Living Spirit);
- Tuesday – Advent (Coming Lord);
- Wednesday – Christmas (Incarnate Lord);
- Thursday – Epiphany (Revealing Lord);
- Friday – Lent and Passiontide (Suffering God);
- Saturday – Creation (Creating God);
- Sunday – Easter (Risen Lord).
So, for example, on a Wednesday in the middle of August (and therefore in Ordinary Time), the Wednesday/Christmas office is used, but only on a Wednesday. From the end of Advent and the beginning of Christmas, until the beginning of Epiphany, the Wednesday/Christmas office is used every day.
In addition to the standard Daily Office there are some shorter versions that are entirely different offices and are more succinct. Also there are some alternative versions which provide an opportunity to use a different set of words.
A copy of the Common Worship Daily Lectionary is an aid to the dates within the Church Year. The scriptures each day are taken from the Common Worship Lectionary, following either Holy Communion or Morning Prayer readings.
The Offices which follow are in three versions depending on whether you are looking for a print/booklet (PDF), version for tablet/mobile/electronic reader (PDF), or and editable Word document (DOC).