Tracing the origins of daily prayer from the New Testament and Patristic period, through the Reformation and Renaissance to the present, this book examines the development of daily rites across a broad range of traditions including: Pre-Crusader Constantinopolitan, East and West Syrian, Coptic and Ethiopian, non-Roman and Roman Western. Structure, texts and ceremonial are examined, and contemporary scholarship surveyed. Concluding with a critique of the present tenor of liturgical revision, Gregory Woolfenden raises key questions for current liturgical change, suggests to whom these questions should be addressed, and proposes that the daily office might be the springboard for an authentic baptismal spirituality. The author explores how prayer and poetic texts indicate that the thrust of the ancient offices was a movement from night to morning - from death to resurrection.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction and survey of research; From evening to morning: biblical and patristic symbolism; The church orders; A brief summary of historical developments and geographical locations; From Jerusalem and the Palestinian monastic traditions to modern orthodoxy; The Jerusalem pattern of prayer in Cappadocia and Armenia; Vespers and matins in pre-crusades Constantinople and later developments; The East Syrian/Chaldean tradition; The West Syrian and Maronite traditions; The daily prayer of the Coptic and Ethiopian churches; The Roman and Benedictine offices; The old Spanish offices; The Ambrosian and other non-Roman western traditions; The shape and theology of the office; Bibliography; Indexes.
'At a time when there is a growing thirst for spiritual nourishment through prayer, the Daily Office continues to be a focus of fascination. In this work Gregory Woolfenden introduces readers to the complexities of its growth in the various historical Churches, its revisions and new compilations in the Western traditions in the Twentieth Century, and provides theological rationale for future developments and enrichments.' Bryan D. Spinks. Professor of Liturgical Studies, Yale Divinity School 'Unlike other studies of the origins of Christian prayer, Woolfenden seeks to elucidate its theology and symbolism... All historians of Christian worship will read this study with much profit.' International Review of Biblical Studies '... a welcome addition in carrying the discussion forward and expanding the range of historical liturgies covered... We are showered throughout the book with a welcome abundance of texts, particularly in relation to the theme of light. There is quite a full bibliography and good indexes. This book is a welcome addition to the few standard works on the topic.' Worship 'This book's well-organised and detailed presentation of such wide variety of sources [...] is undoubtedly its greatest achievement... those who have an interest in the developing traditions of daily prayer will find that Woolfenden's marshalling of the evidence makes an important contribution to scholarship in this area.' Church Times 'What this book will give the church historian is an expansion of the work done by previous scholars, particularly in relation to eastern offices, generous reproduction and analysis of actual texts said and sung, and some fruits of the author's special research into Spanish Mozarabic liturgy on which he has already published.' Ecclesiastical History '... Woolfenden is to be congratulated on attempting to paint a panoramic picture of daily prayer in a way that complements, rather than repeats, early scholarship. Readers are provided with a