The Daily Office – Morning, Midday and Evening Prayer – is at the core of the life of the Northumbria Community. A regular cycle of daily prayers constitutes the essential rhythm of life around which other activities can take their proper place.
In this respect the Community follows the rich tradition of monastic communities through the centuries. At the Nether Springs, the mother house of the Community, the Office is said or sung at set times in the chapel; when companions in the Community meet together, saying the Office can be a routine part of the meeting; and individuals and families can use it in their homes as part of daily life.
The Office can be said anywhere, but, for Morning and Evening Prayer, it is recommended that a quiet place, as free from interruptions as possible, is chosen. Our lives are usually too full of noise, so this is the ideal moment of the day to experience real silence.
Morning, Midday or Evening Prayer, and the Complines (‘end of the day’ prayers) can be accessed from the Pray the Daily Office links at the top of this page or in paper form using the Celtic Daily Prayer Book 1: The Journey Begins and Celtic Daily Prayer Book 2: Farther Up and Farther In. Celtic Daily Prayer is also available as an interactive e-book published by HarperCollins and available for a variety of devices. It can be purchased from Amazon, iTunes, googleplay and kobo books. The e-book has app-like features and includes the Daily Prayer and Compline liturgies, the Meditations for the Day from Book 2 and all four years of Daily Readings from Books 1 and 2. It also contains the Scriptures for each day’s readings in full from the New Revised Standard Version Bible and music from the Celtic Daily Prayer CD (although please note that the music files will not play on all devices).
Starting and ending the Daily Office
Daily Office (and indeed all the liturgies in this prayerbook) are best begun and ended with a period of reflective silence; and by affirming that the prayers are said in ‘the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ Many (especially those whose church tradition usually scorns such gestures) find that making the sign of the cross at this juncture helps to reinforce the significance of the words.
Daily Office Copyright
We receive many requests for permission to reproduce parts of our liturgy or other items from Celtic Daily Prayer Books 1 and 2. We are greatly encouraged that so many people find help and inspiration from our published resources and we want to enable as many people as possible to make use of them.
Our liturgies, and in particular our Daily Office, are part of our Community treasure. They are born out of our Community’s story, have been lived and prayed throughout our journey, and enshrine our ethos. As a result, they are very precious to us and we ask that anyone making use of them does so with respect.
Both volumes of Celtic Daily Prayer are a complex mixture of writing original to Northumbria Community, along with some third party and out-of-copyright material, and so we thought it would help to offer some guidelines to simplify the process of seeking permission to use the material they contain.
- If you are simply reading aloud from the books in a public context, such as a Church service, then no permission is needed unless a recording is being taken that will be broadcast or sold.
- If you wish to use part, or all, of our Daily Office (Morning, Midday or Evening Prayer) in public worship for a one-off event, you may reproduce the words in a service sheet, or in a PowerPoint presentation, providing they are not being sold. Please add the following attribution, adapted according to the section of the liturgy that you are using:
- ‘Taken from [Morning/Midday/Evening] Prayer from Northumbria Community’s Celtic Daily Prayer published by Collins.’
- If you wish to use part, or all, of our Complines in public worship for a one-off event, you may reproduce the words in a service sheet providing they are not being sold. Please add the following attribution, adapted according to the Compline that you are using:
- ‘Taken from [Name] Compline from Northumbria Community’s Celtic Daily Prayer published by Collins.’
- The above permission is given on the understanding that the words and format of our Daily Office are used as written and published in Celtic Daily Prayer. However, if you wish to make any adaptations to the wording of our Daily Office, to the arrangement of the stanzas, or if you intend to insert any additional material within our Daily Office, please contact us to discuss your proposal further and seek permission for the adaptation.
- If you are interested in using part of our liturgy on a regular basis in public worship, we produce a range of extracts from Celtic Daily Prayer printed on high quality trifold A4 cards and A5 booklets for the purpose and ask that you purchase supplies of these rather than producing your own as these liturgies are copyright to Northumbria Community, and we derive a significant part of our income from the sale of resources. Discounts are available for larger orders.
- We are currently offering the option to purchase our Daily Office Cards, and the sheet music for May the Peace of the Lord Christ go with you, as PDF downloads. The terms of purchase and use of these products are stated in the product entry in the online shop and on the products themselves.
- If you wish to use our Daily Office in ways that are not covered by the above points, or want to use any of our other published material, please contact us for further advice by emailing:
Please state in your email:
- the words that you wish to use, with page references from Celtic Daily Prayer
- how and when you wish to use them
- whether the request is for a commercial project.
Sources and music
The words of the Daily Office are drawn from a variety of sources, such as St Patrick’s Breastplate, Teresa’s Bookmark, Columba’s Blessing, etc – and from Psalm 27 for Morning Prayer, Psalm 90 for Midday Prayer and Psalm 130 for Evening Prayer. There are sung versions of all parts of the Daily Office which are available in CD and sheet music from our Resources Shop. Many have found that the use of the CD whilst travelling to or from work by car can be very helpful.
Scripture readings and Meditations
Morning and Evening Prayer include scripture readings, meditations and prayers. Most of the selected scriptures are short and time should be allowed after each reading for its meaning to filter down from the head to the heart, and to seek the significance of each for that day. The relevant meditation for the day of the month follows, and repetition of them month by month turns them into familiar friends – they are worth learning by heart. Again, time should be allowed for new insights to develop in the mind and heart before moving on. Some find that the mornings tend to be too rushed for lengthy silences and that this can best wait till evening prayer. The important thing is to find a rhythm that works for you.
After the scripture readings and meditations, there is an opportunity to pray whatever is on your mind and heart, offering to God the concerns of the day, your personal needs and prayers for other people. A ‘prayer basket’ or ‘prayer pot’ may be used from which are selected three names for holding up before God. The basket or prayer pot contains slips of paper on which have been written the names of folk to be remembered in prayer. (It is of course important that names are added and removed regularly as circumstances change.) The selected slips may be placed where they can be seen from time to time during the day, or carried around, as a reminder for continued prayer. The Community also uses a quarterly Prayer Guide (contact Ellen or Charlotte in the Community Office). When there is no information about the particular needs of the persons, families and situations brought to mind, the following prayer is helpful: These dear ones, O Lord, bless Thou and keep in every place where they are.
This is specially devised for use in the middle of a busy working day. For this reason it is short, and can be prayed in the time it takes to boil a kettle, especially if committed to memory. Some find it helpful to make a point of saying it whilst moving around (whilst preparing lunch for instance) as a reminder to pray as we work and work as we pray. Others find it a welcome opportunity to withdraw from the tensions and busyness of the day to spend some time quiet and alone with God, putting the day’s work into a different perspective.
Midday Prayer retains the ‘thee and ‘thou’ forms of speech. This may seem unfamiliar to the many who are used only to modern language, but it is a deliberate attempt to highlight the contemporary relevance of the treasure of prayer from long ago.