Fwd: Morning & Evening Prayer Online

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I hope this finds you all doing well.  I mentioned in my last email that one of the great spiritual resources available to us is our St. Matthew’s Church App.  This can be downloaded for free on any iPhone, iPad, or tablet.  At the bottom left of the screen there’s an icon that looks like praying hands.  If you touch it, it will bring you to a whole host of resources.  Note especially the one for Morning and Evening Prayer.
If you don’t have the app, another option is simply to log onto the internet and go to
www.missionstclare.com.  When you click on the icon, it takes you to page that has all the prayers and readings appointed for the day.  It also has hymns you can play.  The lessons and prayers appointed for today are especially fitting given our current circumstances. I encourage you to check it out and to pray through the ‘Daily Office,' as it’s called.
It’s ironic that today  (March 21) is the commemoration of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who was burned to death on this day in 1556 by order of Queen Mary.  He was a Protestant and Queen Mary thought the best way to return England to the Roman Catholic fold was to have protestants put to death.  Anyhow, Cranmer was the chief architect of the
Book of Common Prayer, published in 1549.  The offices of Morning and Evening Prayer were created in order that ordinary citizens could pray using a common format.  He condensed and simplified the monastic liturgies, and he wrote them in English so everyone could understand them and pray them together.  Most people were working most of the time to support themselves and their families and did not have the time nor the liturgical expertise to pray as the monks did in their monasteries.  So Cranmer made it accessible to ordinary folk, who couldn’t always make it to church.
Now here we are over 450 years later, unable to make it to church!  But although we cannot gather together, we can still pray together.  We can read the scriptures, and lift our hearts and souls, concerns and praises to God, together.  The nuns at Mission St. Clare have made this as simple as clicking the button on your computer.  So, I encourage you to take advantage of this each day, and especially tomorrow, on Sunday.
Another online resource available to us is to log on to streamed services.  If you go to 
www.edola.org, you’ll see a menu of possible options.  By the way, my Dad speaks highly of the service being streamed by Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, which he attends from time to time when he visits a friend of his who lives in Dallas.  He said he sings right along with the choir as he watches the video, which is just great.  So if you typically feel hesitant to sing out in public, now’s your chance to really belt it out!
Please know you all are daily in my thoughts and prayers.
In Christ,
Craig
PS.  Please know that I’ve sent in a donation to our local food bank from my discretionary fund, on behalf of St. Matthew’s.  I encourage you to do the same if you are in a position to do so.  The needs are always great, especially now.  Also, I made a personal donation to KLOVE radio station.  I’m grateful for their spiritually uplifting broadcast and know that it helps people all over the country to draw on their faith in Christ, and be uplifted.  I also sent in my pledge to St. Matthew’s online, which I’m so privileged to be able to do.  So let us continue to live with grateful hearts and to be as generous as we are able in support of the people and organizations that nurture our community so richly.  It is a natural temptation to hold back and grip everything more tightly, but it is good for the soul to give and to give generously.  This is especially true in times like these.  So let us be generous as we can, in whatever way we can, and we will be blessed, and a blessing to many.