Three-fold prayer practice
You've read above something about the importance of Holy Eucharist in the life of St. Mark's. "Eucharist" means thanksgiving, and It is the event in which we are grounded weekly in a grateful approach to life, rooted in "an attitude of gratitude."
The Daily Office is the Church’s daily act of prayer. Whether we say it in a group at a church or as an individual with morning coffee, the Office is our participation in the Church’s daily praise of God. Different psalms, readings and prayers are appointed for each day. At St. Mark's we offer Morning Prayer every day at 9:00 am (Monday through Saturday). To participate, come to the church, or follow the Zoom link directions (click on the calendar entry for Morning Prayer).
Seasonally we may offer other daily offices. Please check the calendar to look for current and upcoming offerings.
What some might call the restrictions of the daily office they find to be an opportunity to foster the inner life. The hours are appointed and named… Life’s fretfulness is transcended. The different and the novel are sweet, but regularity and repetition are also teachers… And if you have no ceremony, no habits, which may be opulent or may be simple but are exact and rigorous and familiar, how can you reach toward the actuality of faith, or even a moral life, except vaguely? The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us. Our battles with our habits speak of dreams yet to become real. –Mary Oliver
Through the Holy Spirit, God meets each of us right where we are—and a unique relationship is forged. That uniqueness is developed through engaging life in Christian community, and is shaped by our participation in the Eucharist and Daily Office. Christians also need individual and personal means, specific to their own style, to deepen that relationship with God. Personal devotions are a way to do this.
Through personal devotions, we each can experiment with forms of prayer that deepen intimacy with God, further illuminate our faith experience, and expand the scope of our relationship with Christ. Some make use of contemplation or meditation, or Centering Prayer; others may be attracted to intercession (praying for others such as using our Prayer Request link); some may be drawn to printed devotionals such as "Forward Day by Day" or "Jesus Calling"; still others may be drawn to "body prayer" engaged through walking or yoga.
We invite you to engage the practice of "Examen," popularized by the Jesuit, Ignatius, in the sixteenth century, as a means of identifying God's presence and movement in our lives day by day. Accessible for people of all ages including children, this means of daily recall and examination has proved a powerfully transformative expression of prayer for countless people regardless of denominational affiliation. Seasonal booklets available at the back of the church.
Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the faint-hearted, gives new strength to the courageous, brings travelers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, overrules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling sustains all those who stand firm. —From "On Prayer" by Tertullian
At St. Mark's we occasionally offer spirituality retreats and other “schools of prayer” to introduce members to forms of personal devotions and to help them explore these. Check the calendar for times. Our next offerings will be on Wednesday evening during Lent (beginning March 13) in which, through "Life Transformed: The Way of Love" we'll invite participant into a prayer-centered Rule of Life, practices for a Jesus-centered life.
To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life. ― Barbara Brown Taylor
"An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith"