Prayer with intention or intentions with prayer?

Christ-Icon-with-LampadeWarning  mini rant, and question post.  Ok this post is not intended to be a rant, and I really hope no one takes it that way.

Well last Sunday we missed church.  I just got off working the night shift, and numerous members of my family were feeling sick.  We have had a week of sinus problems at our house.  I guess you can say that the absence will grow the heart fonder.

Ok now to the little rant.  Ok it is not a big deal.  Really it isn’t.  Possibly this just bothers me because of perspective or Roman Catholic programming.  This could just be a difference of understanding on what is in fact being done.

I am talking about some of the liturgies or services of the church.  Like sometimes I have seen the office of prayers before Divine Liturgy spouted off by a reader in a monotone plain chant.  At the Byzantine Catholic parish I was at the very opposite happens.  It is a very beautiful service all to itself.  With beautiful chant.  It is a lovely way to start things off. After Liturgy I have witnessed what I assume is the noonday office being read just before the final blessing in the Divine Liturgy.  It is quickly spouted off so fast that I am unable to make out every bit.

My understanding from a Benedictine perspective of the Liturgy of the Hours is they should not be rushed.  So that those who offer this office can reflect and meditate.  That this work is of great importance, and shows the nature of the heart of those who offer the prayers.

Are these offices hurried and rushed because they are being done out of obedience.  If that is the case it would be a practice of an obligation?  Maybe it does not matter if they are hurried or rushed. If we are all just standing listening.  Or actually participating in these prayers.  Maybe it is part of that continued prayer of the Church to God.  If that is the case I still do not understand the point of rushing through it.  To me I would almost rather see it shortened or omitted from public worship altogether.

As someone who tries to pray 4 to 6 of the hours daily.  It would be easy to rush through them.  Honestly I have, and the results show it.  To me it seems that we receive only when we invest.  If we take what God has given us, and make it a labor of love.  The benefits are to great to be numbered.  If we take these gifts, talents, and moments and squander them.  We get… well we don’t get the same graces.

Seriously can anyone offer input on this? I would greatly appreciate it.

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3 thoughts on “Prayer with intention or intentions with prayer?

  1. I haven’t experienced that in my parish but, of course, I really have only gone to Vespers. I would be interested in hearing what others have to say about this

  2. I’ve seen this in a parish I’ve visited as well. If it is something that bothers you greatly, you could prayerfully consider talking to the priest (who knows, it may bother him as well). I went to a parish once where a majority of the prayers of the hours and during liturgy seemed rushed.

    I’m now going to a different parish. At this one, the priest gets choked up at times during the beautiful prayers and has to pause for a few moments and wipe away the tears. I love it 🙂

  3. Thank you Jeremy for your comment! Yes the problem was more with the reader and not the practice of the parish. Other readers have taken their time praying the noon day prayers. Still they seem rather rushed at the parish I have been going to now, but the words are distinguishable. They also seem more purposely prayed.

    I am so glad you found a parish you enjoy. I am also glad you found my blog!

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