That's sixteen minutes and forty seconds, not 4:40 PM for those of you who use the 24-hour clock.
That's how long it took me to do the Daily Office this morning. Confession of Sin, Invitatory and Psalter, The Lessons with assigned Canticles, Apostle's Creed, The Prayers, The Collects, The Great Thanksgiving, and The Great Buh-bye (that's not what it's called, but that's what I call it).
Now, this is not an Olympic time trial or anything like that. But I decided to time the speed at which I could do the Office, without rushing, because we (my EfM class) are planning to introduce its usage to our congregation at St. John's as one of the offerings during Lent.
The Rector began to explain the Office to me during a meeting yesterday. Knowing that he doesn't read my blog and is therefore unfamiliar with how many times I've written out my thoughts from the passages assigned to the day, I politely informed him that I do the morning office and it doesn't take me long to do it. Precisely how long? Well, I estimated that I might take 25 minutes if I stop to ponder the readings of the morning. If we're doing the Office, he would like for it not to be longer than 20 minutes, and he suggested maybe we could cut the Apostle's Creed. I told him my 25 includes not only the Apostle's Creed, but that I have a tendency to do all the available collects. We, my EfM mentor and I, pointed out that the liturgy we developed out of the BCP only makes use of one Psalm, two readings, two collects, and the shorter of the two suffrages. In short, we'd see his 20 minutes... and probably be able to come in at or under the time!
We're talking about introducing a spiritual practice that allows people to begin their day centered in prayer... and thinking on God and, one hopes, perhaps creating an opening for God to become the center of our lives as opposed to our desires, our greed, our pride, etc. etc. Our liturgy has spaces for quiet reflection so we can allow the prayers and the Scripture to roll around in our head and our heart and give us something to "chew on" for the day. If that takes 20 minutes or 25 minutes, so be it. We're starting at a time designed to get state workers to their jobs, so this shouldn't be an issue.
And it may only take 16:40.