Universalist daily prayer asked for

A reader — I love y’all; keep those cards and letters coming — asked

Question: what prayer books, if any, do you recommend for daily use?

The only one I know of is the Anglican/Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. Are there others?

Universalists had a liturgical movement, sparked originally (I believe) by convert from the Episcopalians Menzies Rayner, cresting in the late Victorian period, and lasting to about the First World War. There was a later non-Christian liturgical flowering, and in recent years the older Universalist liturgies have come back to light. I’m happy to help this move forward.

First, be sure to follow the “daily prayer” category link below. This will pull up earlier articles. Goodness: Universalists had a beaucoup of liturgies, and I’ve just scratched my study of liturgical resources for children. (These tend to be more ephemeral.)

But, second, my favorite all-purpose liturgy is the 1894 Book of Prayer. It seems to take the then-new 1892 Episcopal prayer book as its base, but as one colleague (who uses it) noted to me, it has a certain humble and gentle bend in these places where it differs.

This colleague is the Rev. W. Scott Axford, of the First Universalist Church, Providence, and does he have a full schedule for the Tridiuum! (He’s complied a tidy little service for midday, using this prayer book and other standard non-Universalist sources. I really need to get his permission to get that online.)

When I remember, and have a seat on the bus to the Day Job, I pray using Morning Prayer. If I get a seat right away, I get to the prayer “for all conditions of men” just in time to pass the Iraqi embassy!

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 44, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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