Saturday, July 20, 2019

Bishop’s Note - Invitation to confess our sins

 Bishop Eric Menees

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are continuing our examination of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) with the Daily Office. This service was used as the primary worship service on the Lord’s Day for many years. In fact, it wasn’t until relatively recently that the service of Holy Eucharist, which had been the primary form of worship up until the Reformation in the sixteenth century, has made a resurgence. The Daily Office, like most of the BCP, consists primarily of scripture.

While Holy Eucharist has taken the place of our primary worship on Sunday Morning, the service of Morning Prayer taken from the monastic services, is really meant to be a part of our daily relationship with the Lord. In fact, all clergy in their ordinal vows promise to pray and read the scriptures daily, and Morning and Evening Prayer fit the bill well for this purpose.

In my life, I have been blessed to develop the discipline of praying the offices while in my first year of college. It has been a part of my daily life and that of my family ever since.

The invitation to confess our sins in Morning Prayer has its roots in the 1662 BCP. You can hear the beautiful invitation, not only to examine our lives, but to be obedient to scripture by acknowledging “our many sins and offenses, not concealing them from our Heavenly Father, but confessing them with humble and obedient hearts...”

In a world that claims we are “just perfect the way we are,” this acknowledgement is especially important. And why do we acknowledge and confess our sins? So that we can receive God’s forgiveness and mercy!

However, we should especially confess our sins when we come together as the Church, the Body of Christ, and as we sit in His presence, sing his praises, hear His Word, confess our faith, pray for ourselves and others, and acknowledge our salvation found only in and through Jesus Christ!

Lastly, the celebrant states the reality of what we are actually doing: “Therefore, draw near with me to the throne of heavenly grace.”

I pray you all a very blessed day!

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