Sanctifying Time

I shuffle into our prayer room in the early hours, 5ish most days, to join Doug, my deacon husband, in praying The Office of Readings and Lauds.

He’s lucid even before his black coffee and quietly prepares me a cup with plenty of cream. We both accept that I will not be clear-headed for awhile.

In between stanzas we intermittently emit obnoxious throat-clearing noises. Sometimes we pause and chuckle at our old bodies.

During the intercessions, we name each of our children and grandchildren and add intentions of others who have asked us to pray.

Evenings, as our schedules allow, weary from work, we return and pray Vespers together. It’s much shorter.

On his ordination day, Doug made a solemn promise to pray the morning and evening psalms; an ancient practice that works with the rhythms of the hours, days, and weeks, imprinting them with the Word of God, sanctifying time – making it holy.

A deacon ‘s wife makes no vows when her husband is ordained. But, almost 42 years ago I made other promises resulting in a one-flesh union with a man. He began inviting me to pray with him about 15 years ago. What wouldn’t some women sacrifice to have a husband who invited them to pray?

At first, I didn’t like it much. The logistics of finding the proper prayers for the different liturgical seasons and saint days in the book seemed ridiculously complicated. I found it downright annoying. I couldn’t find any connection to some of the psalms we repeated regularly. But we persisted.

Now I appreciate the rhythm of the ever-present stream of prayer. It’s always waiting; unchanging, yet ever new. I want to be there, in the never-ceasing flow of prayer whether or not I feel anything. I want to live in sanctified time.

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