For a long while Kris and I have been saying the prayers from Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours. It is hard for us on most mornings, but we do them nearly every evening. We took photocopies to Italy with us and read them from our room as we looked over the Umbrian hills.

This fall I am scheduled to write a small book called Praying with the Church, which plans to be an explanation of how The Book of Common Prayer and The Divine Hours work. It will also urge more of us to “pray with the Church,” which means learn the value — which began in ancient Israel with the Shema and was practiced by Jesus and the early Church, which also added the Lord’s Prayer to the mix — of reciting prayers. I know the problems, but they stem from human hearts and not from the words of Scripture — which is what is nearly always what is recited. The reason we have the Psalms is because Israel needed to collect its prayers and keep them gathered together for use.

And, Thomas Cranmer’s prayers in the The Book of Common Prayer are unrivalled, and if I may add here, a good thing for us low church types to read just to see how prayer can sound when it is done with eloquence.

All this to say that, with Phyllis Tickle’s permission, and with the hope that others will hear about it, I have a new blog,, which is a small commentary on the Morning Reading from The Divine Hours.

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