Sanctifying Time

“Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I myself will awaken the dawn.” (Psalm 108:2)

For all of the problems with our old apartment building in New York city, one of its blessings is that it we are up nineteen floors and overlook the East River and across Queens to the horizon. On days when I do not say my Morning Prayers with the staff at the church center where I work, I say them at sunrise looking out my living room windows at the dawn.

Indeed, I try to “awaken the dawn” by beginning as the first narrow strip of purple appears on the skyline and finishing in the full light of the morning sun. That is not always possible, of course, but when we can say our prayers somehow in harmony with the natural order, it is very powerful. Like when I when I can pray the “phos hilaron” just at sunset — “Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’

Monastics often refer to the “sanctification of time” and it is this phenomenon to which they refer. Praying at (relatively) set times each day — morning, noon, vespers, bedtime — helps us be aware of God’s presence throughout the day and night. It draws a thread of praise and thanksgiving through the sometimes-not-very noble activities of the day and, in fact, makes them holy. Jews, Muslims, and many other religious share this same insight and practice.

And so, in our prayers, we remember that it is God who has “brought us in safety to this new day”…that it is God whom we ask to “preserve us”…to help us “not… fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity” and to “in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling” of the Divine purpose..”

May it be so. Amen.

2 Responses to “Sanctifying Time”

  1. rwk Says:

    Thanks for the reminder of the importance of the morning and realizing that our rising to face the new day is a gift of God. I pray this week will go better than last. God Bless, RWK

  2. lynnjshepard Says:

    Speaking of time, I followed the automatically generated link from my Morning Prayer for Epiphany page in 2009 and ended up at this entry, which I have enjoyed, although I’m reading it after dark, in a different time and season. Glad I landed here.

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