Update 24/4/19 Praying Common Worship: Daily Prayer

The response to my post on using CW:DP for the Office has been somewhat overwhelming. I find that really encouraging. A conversation about prayer, how fabulous!

I am grateful for the interest and am going to use this post as an ongoing update. I will post my latest thoughts, dated, at the top of the page.


26 April 2019

A booklet of the Ordinary including Compline and the simple Eucharistic rite I use for daily Mass. the cover as a separate file:

CW Booklet Ordinary w Comp and Euch

CW Booklet Cover



24 April 2019

In response to Monday’s post some answers to various questions asked:

  • the table of psalms includes the whole psalter if the daily provision for compline etc is also prayed
  • the psalms for each office end with a psalm of praise, in the morning the Canticle (‘C’ in the table) could be used prior to that final psalm or between readings, if two are used, I prefer the Canticle before the final psalm
  • The problem with the CW daily Office lectionary is using it together with the DEL lectionary which means 6 readings a day from 6 different books of the Bible, it is the latter rather than the quantity of scripture I find difficult. To read Scripture meaningfully I want to be able to look at a commentary etc, doing that for six books daily is a challenge! The Cranmer 1552 lectionary is good from that point of view with the OT lections continuing from morning to evening;

To avoid having piles of books and because I am often on the move I am printing the two year Office of Readings cycle as booklets and the seasonal propers from my Music for the Office as booklets. Here is the ‘Ordinary’ as I am currently using it:

CW Booklet Ordinary

Here is a PDF of the refrains ranged for the order of this four week psalter

CW Four Week Psalter Refrains

I am currently working on a version of the CW psalms arranged into 4 and 6 line stanzas to be used with 4 and 6 part psalm tones which I prefer and create a less ponderous feel to the chant. I will post that here when it is done.

On Principal Festivals and Feasts (and during the Triduum) I am using the psalm arrangement suggested in The Divine Office. Here is a leaflet of the Matins psalmody:

CW Booklet Psalms for Principal Festivals


22 April 2019

A correspondent asks for an update at the end of Lent. So here goes.

I had a brief return to The Divine Office for three days when I was in France a few weeks ago, but that aside all pretty much as before except that I didn’t mention that since the beginning of Lent I have been using the four week cycle of psalms from Mount Saint Scholastica Abbey (see below). This means I don’t repeat Ps 119 at Morning and Evening Prayer (I am using it daily at the Little Hours). I miss the canonical form of the psalter that the Cranmerian monthly cycle provides but it still means that I get through the psalms in a month which is, I think, the longest possible time to still feel that one is getting to know them really well. During the Triduum and Octave I am using the psalm cycle of the Divine Office but with CW texts.

I’m afraid I didn’t last long with the CW lectionary and have gone back to the two year cycle for the Office of Readings with patristic reading at Morning Prayer, and use the Gospel of the Day at Evening Prayer (and of the next day after Compline), and the Sodality Manual at Terce. At Sext the long reading from CWDP Prayer During teh day the short at None. DEL at Mass.

Although I don’t pray them out loud the CWDP Psalm Prayers are a brilliant meditation on the psalms, I find them really helpful. I am surprised that I have settled to the CW psalms so easily. They are lovely. The CW canticles are also very rich.

I am hoping my lectionary and psalm cycle use have settled now! (Famous last words). Somewhere I have the psalm refrains set to music arranged in this four week cycle and will post it here when I find it.


18 March 2019

Lent has begun. I used Cranmer’s lectionary from January to Ash Wednesday. I like it. But it adds about 10 minutes each to Morning and Evening Prayer. I have also been praying with others, including at the Cathedral, quite a bit. So with Lent I have gone back to the CW lectionary.

In Lent I am not using the seasonal verse and response after the opening verses. The simple opening verses all year round is much better, it feels to me, and the berakah style seasonal prayers are also quite clunky especially with an invitatory psalm, so I am missing those out.


16 February 2019

See the post here about returning the Creed to Morning and Evening Prayer daily.


31 January 2019

Three months into using CWDP I am thoroughly enjoying it. After using the Grail psalms for most of my life I thought leaving those behind was going to be the most difficult thing but I have become very fond of the CW psalter and am finding it very comfortable. Its closeness to the Prayer Book psalms makes it, I think, seem very familiar. The psalm prayers are really excellent. I am continuing to enjoy the Prayer Book monthly cycle.

Robert Taft writes about ‘soft points’ in the liturgy that tend to accumulate material. The Offertory/Preparation of the Gifts at the Eucharist is the most obvious example. The opening of the Office can be a bit like that and the material provided in CWDP in the seasons especially is quite complex, although the rubric clearly states that ‘one or more’ of the texts provided is to be used, not all of them. To familiarise myself with them I am using them all, together with an Invitatory antiphon (with the daily use of Psalm 95) and an Office Hymn both morning and evening. I find the seasonal second versicle and response after the opening one hard to learn and become familiar with, I think I would prefer this opening element to be unchanging as in the Prayer Book and the Divine Office. I like the berakah prayers and they are lovely texts but it is probably a bit much to do that with the psalm and a hymn. The opening prayers at Morning and Evening prayer with their introductions and a time of silence are genius. I tend to keep a substantial time of silence (5 minutes) and right at the start of the Office is a really good time for doing so.

The Canticles in CWDP are an especially rich resource and I take advantage of the variants suggested.

At the beginning of the Calendar year I started using Cranmer’s original one year cycle of readings (see here). I am loving this. The simplicity is wonderful. Whole chapters, not looking up verse numbers. I can remember where I am in each book from one Office to the next. Using the OT book across both Matins and Evensong adds simplicity, aids memory and makes using commentaries very easy indeed. Using the one year Sunday Eucharistic lectionary daily means that there are only three biblical books on the go for study and this is immensely satisfying. The sense of reading every verse and following the narrative or argument thoroughly really works.

I have given up using the Laudate psalm and now use the typical Anglican structure of Reading – Canticle – Reading – Gospel Canticle.

It seems to me that we are very blessed to have such a rich book for our praying of the Office.  I wish there was a greater provision of Office Hymns and intercessions but apart from that I would change very little.


29 December, 2019 (Lectionary Table version 3]

Apologies for not getting this up sooner. A slight update to replace the readings for Thomas Becket MP and Day (which were readings for the Octave) with readings from the Common of Martyrs, which makes sense in terms of keeping this as a Festival/Feast. Many thanks to Fr Andrew for pointing this out …


28 December, 2018

Thank you for various questions about the complications of the liturgy in the Christmas Octave. Here, for real liturgical geeks, are some further thoughts. The saints in the Octave (Stephen, John and the Innocents) would normally be Feasts in the Roman rite, thus Gloria but no Creed at Mass, and (unlike CW) only one reading before the Gospel, unless it is the Patronal Festival. The oddity is that Daytime Prayer on these days is entirely of the Saint, which is, presumably because they have no Evening Prayer. Interestingly, both Benedictine Daily Prayer and The People’s Companion to the Breviary do give them an EP, although it is not clear why. Finally, Thomas Becket is classed as a lesser festival in CW but in England is kept by the Roman Catholic dioceses as a Feast in the same way as the other feasts in the Octave. I suppose, with his resistance to the king he might not be a great celebration for an established church but I would have thought his significance for the church in England warrants greater observance than lesser festival? I shall be observing him as a feast.

Here is a table that I think sets out the rank of festivals and their observance at the Office in a logical fashion matching CW with the Roman rite.


24 December, 2018 – Christmas Octave Lectionary (2)

I wrote the lectionary table in the form of the CW lectionaries, several people have asked how I use these with the form of Office I am using, particularly the Daytime Hour/Sext where the reading is normally the first reading from Evensong but in the Octave the Day Hour is of the Saint, hence this new table provides for that. On non-saints days in the Octave the two readings are the same.

Another question asked is psalmody at the Little Hours, every day in the Octave is a Principal Feast/Solemnity so these are Prime – 118, Terce – 120, 121, 122 Sext – 123,124,125 None -126, 127, 128


23 December, 2018

For those wishing to celebrate the Office in a Catholic manner the Octave of Christmas presents a number of anomalies.

The Sunday within the Octave is provided in CW as Christmas 1. Rome, and following it Promise of His Glory, provides this as The Holy Family, in these days a very important observance in my view. During the Octave the comites Christi (Stephen, John and the Innocents), are observed as Solemnities/Principal Festivals, for Rome the significance of the Octave is maintained by keeping these at Morning Prayer, the Office of Readings, Daytime Hours and Mass and keeping only the Octave at Evening Prayer. In England Thomas Becket also appears.

In his Ordo, Fr Hunwicke wisely suggests following the Roman pattern using provision in PHG. The table below follows Fr Hunwicke but taking account of my own practice of the second reading in the morning always being from the Gospel. I also suggest using the Roman psalm provision throughout the Octave.

This table assumes the celebration of the Circumcision on January 1st rather than the Roman Solemnity of Our Lady.

PHG= Promise of His Glory

*= provision found from PHG or CW Lectionary on another day


22 December, 2018

No changes to report on my use of CWDP which I continue to find very satisfying. I haven’t mentioned how much I value the ‘Reflections‘ series from Church House Publications, both the one on one of the readings in the Office lectionary and the one on the psalms. They vary, of course, because they are written by different people. But I am finding them really helpful and just the right length to read before the Office. Because they are all available electronically it means I am not carrying too many books with me too. The Lectionary app is also very good for the same reason and I always use that with the printed book when I am on the move.

Since December 19th when the lectionary suggests using the seasonal provision for psalmody I have been doing that rather than the monthly cycle. On the Immaculate Conception I used Benedicite as the OT canticle at Matins. I am thinking that I might do that on all Principal Feasts, including, therefore during the Octave next week. The repetition of the Benedicite daily is rather wonderful and it is such an important part of Anglican tradition to repeat it often that it seems a shame not to.

I wondered if missing the Grail Psalms was going to be the hardest part of the change. I am using in seasons 4 and 6 part psalm tones with the psalms and I find that helps critic a poetic dynamic to the text in a way that two part tones doesn’t. I have marked up my copy of CWDP to show the 4 and 6 line stanzas in the text, as in The Sunday Psalms or the Grail Psalter, making sense of the text to do so. Doing this means that they really work for me, the ease of using a commentary such as Eaton very easily alongside this just because of working the way through the psalter makes it all very easy. Singing the whole of Psalm 119 daily has fixed it in my mind very quickly and I can hardly believe it is only 8 weeks or so. Learning the Compline psalms by heart has been a bit trickier Psalm 4 is very different to the Grail version so that as easy, Psalm 91 is relatively similar so I get very confused. Just as there is an ‘also’ in the CW Venite that throws me every time.


8th December, 2018

Several people have asked for an updated outline of the Offices as I pray them and as originally described here. So here it is:

Morning Prayer

Introduction as in CW:DP except Psalm 95 (Venite) every day with Invitatory antiphons (from DP: LOTH)

Hymn (from DP: LOTH mainly from the English Hymnal or Hymns for Prayer and Praise (HPP))

Opening Prayer (in winter from Vigils in the Cistercian collection Proclaiming All Your Wonders, using the introduction “Our eyes are open before the night watches to meditate on your word, let us pray with one heart and mind”, in spring/summer as in CW). The difference between praying in the deep darkness in the winter and in early dawn in the summer means the need for different texts. I miss the nocturnal Vigils hymns that I used to use at the Office of Readings but I may use them in an alternate cycle.

Psalms in the monthly cycle of the Book of Common Prayer: ferial, seasonal and festal antiphons from DP:LOTH

Old Testament Canticle

Laudate Psalm (in the weekly cycle suggested in CW)

Old Testament reading

Gospel Reading (whether it occurs in Morning or Evening Prayer in the CW Lectionary) with alleluia response before and afterwards

Non Scriptural reading


Silence (ideally ten minutes, measured with sand timer)



(from one of: Benedictine Daily Prayer, The Divine Office, New Companion to the Breviary, Songs and Prayers of the Church, CW: DP)


Lord’s Prayer

(Te Deum, Sundays outside Advent and Lent, Principal Festivals)




O God, make speed …

Hymn: Now that the day-light fills the sky ..

Psalm 119 sections 1 – 4 (Sundays and Principal Festivals Ps 118)

Section of John 17, the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus, as in the weekly cycle in the Sodality Manual

Martyrology of the Day

Conclusion and Collect to the Martyrology

Collect of the Day

Let us bless the Lord …


Terce / Sext / None

O God, make speed …

Traditional Office Hymn with seasonal doxology

Psalmody from Psalm 119 – no antiphons on ferias in Ordinary Time, on Sundays outside of Lent a triple alleluia, in Seasons and on Festivals the antiphons in DP:LOTH one for each Office at the beginning and end of the psalmody working though the three given in order.

On Sundays and Principal Festivals and when Psalm 119 is used at Matins and Evensong, the Psalms of Ascent

Terce sections 5 – 10

Sext sections 11 – 16

None sections 17 – 22


Terce: Monthly cycle of the Sodality Manual with the Sodality Prayer

Sext: second Old Testament reading for the day from the CW lectionary

None: short reading from CW:DP Prayer During the Day, with versicle and response, and Collect in CW:DP

Collect at Sext from Proclaiming All Your Wonders

Let us bless the Lord …


Evening Prayer

Introduction as in CWDP

Saturdays, Sundays and Festivals: Hymn of Light with the incense psalm (141)

Office Hymn as in CW:DP or where there is no provision in DP:LOTH

Opening Prayer as in CWDP except on Principal Festivals, from Sighs of the Spirit (New Skete) or Proclaiming All His Wonders

Psalms in the monthly cycle of the Book of Common Prayer: ferial, seasonal and festal antiphons from DP:LOTH,

New Testament Canticle CW:DP

New Testament reading from CW lectionary




(from one of Benedictine Daily Prayer, The Divine Office, New Companion to the Breviary, Songs and Prayers of the Church, CW: DP)

Collect of the Day

Lord’s Prayer




See booklet here.


7th December, 2018


Here is the music and texts that I have settled on for Compline. I think the instinct of the Western rite for little seasonal variation is a good one, so I have tried the seasonal readings and refrains but have settled back to these unchanging ones. I have Psalm 4 in the CW version by heart now and will soon have the rest. Being able to pray with just the candles at the icons burning is very special.

CW Compline 071218

And as a booklet: (A5 size to be printed on A4 paper):  CW Compline 071218 – Booklet

Refrains for the Psalms are based on those by Samuel Weber OSB, of St Meinrad Archabbey.

The tone is from the Belmont Tonale (Belmont Abbey) sent me by Abbot Alan Rees OSB some time in the mid 1990s.

The tone on the Nunc is from the Conception Abbey Tones, the second refrain and the festal Responsory are from the Office of Worth Abbey. The English anthems to the BVM are by Aelred Seton-Shanley Obl. OSB Cam.


I have changed the order of the three readings at Matins as originally tried to OT, Gospel then non-Scriptural which makes more sense I think and makes the books at the lectern easier to manage.


After just five weeks of seven times daily praying the cover has come away from the pages in my CWDP, there are a number of booklets and the lectionary tucked in within the zip leather cover it sits in. I quite like a well worn book but wonder how long it is going to last.


I am enjoying the BCP cycle of psalms, it makes using commentaries much easier. On Principal Feasts and Festivals I am substituting the CW set psalmody. At the Little Hours on Sundays, Principal Feasts and on days when Psalm 119 is used at Matins and Evensong, I am using the psalms of Ascent.


So far so good, it is a rich form of the Office which I am enjoying, the psalm translation works really well. The experience of praying CWDP with other people when I visit is less satisfactory than praying with people who use The Divine Office, because of the amount of variety offered. Even at our Cathedral a different lectionary (Alternative Weekday) is used at Evensong, for example.


24 November 2018

I sit for the Office, on a prayer stool, but read the readings from a lectern in the Oratory. On the little book case next to my prayer desk are commentaries on the psalms, a few additional liturgical resources and the very useful commentary on CW. The pages with the sources for the Collects are marked (Temporal and Sanctoral).

And here is the bookcase by my prayer desk, as you will be able to imagine, the contents change often:

And, for completeness, the other bookshelves in the Oratory:


DP:LOTH is in A4 format, I have it printed on A5 and in an A5 ring binder, just the current month and season for reasons of space and I keep a storage binder with material for the rest of the year. Cards printed up with the Gospel Canticles and the Venite and ribbons as markers. When I am travelling I use an iBooks version.


23 November 2018

I am only three weeks, nearly a month, into it but already I am seeing some things emerge and some change:

– The only place that seems to work for a non-Scriptural/Patristic reading (see notes on various options here) is at Morning Prayer: OT reading, Responsory, Patristic Reading, Gospel. It means the Office takes about 40 minutes which is a bit long, but no longer than the Office of Readings plus Lauds as I was doing before. The secret seems to be a long silence between the first two readings and the Gospel.

– I have played around with what tones to use at Compline, and ended up with the following, The antiphons are based on those by my old friend Samuel Weber, a monk of St Meinrad, the tone is from Abbot Alan Rees’s collection that he gave me many years ago. I like its simplicity which serves the words:

– I am using this tone for the Nunc which also is simple and doesn’t dominate the words:

– It is interesting to use a different translation of the psalms, it really highlights some things I haven’t noticed before.

– The Prayer Book cycle is proving hugely positive, taking seriously the canonical structure of the psalter, and much easier to use commentaries. It is a sufficient quantity as well. Satisfying.

– Having said that I’ve decided that on Principal Feasts and Festivals I will use the CW lectionary cycle of psalms which fit the feast.

– Those who follow me on Twitter will know that I have been supplementing the CW Collects with some additional texts for Commemorations, I will print little booklets of these to slip into the cover.

– Several people have asked if I am missing a leather cover and ribbon markers! Well here you go:

As you can see lots of things pasted in as well …

– I am using a bible at the lectern for both Mass and Office (six markers!). It is interesting to see what verses/sections are omitted and also how the two lectionaries interconnect

– Thank you to Fr Neil of our Sodality for suggesting the Revised English Bible, it is really very good, easy to listen to, and inclusive but not irritatingly so

– Many readers have asked what I would do when Psalm 119 occurs in the Matins/Evensong cycle given that I use that Psalm daily at the Little Hours, I think I will just use both, given that repetition is key to good liturgy …


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