“Newness of Life” reflection for February 27, 2022 by Christina Brennan Lee for the 8th Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C.
“Newness of Life” — Have you ever noticed those three words in prayers from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP)? I wouldn’t have recognized them by themselves yet I have used them countless times in reading and praying through the Daily Office. (The Daily Office consists of prayers for specific hours of the day. Please see my note below.). If you’ve been to other Episcopal churches that use the Prayers of the People in the BCP, you’ve probably used Form VI at one time or another and that phrase is just about at the very end on page 393. It is also used in prayer during the Great Vigil of Easter, the Burial of the Dead, and elsewhere.
One of the prayer times in the Daily Office is known as Compline (kom-plin), beginning on page 127 in the BCP. It is read/prayed Live at 8 p.m. every weeknight on SsAM’s Facebook page. After the untold numbers of times I have read that phrase, long before and especially in the nearly 1 ½ years I’ve been reading Compline live on SsAM’s Facebook page, suddenly a couple of weeks ago it just stood out for me. It just stopped me. Although I kept on reading aloud, my mind stayed in that spot. Part of the prayer in which the phrase occurs is: “forgive us all our offenses; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.” It continues to stand out for me each time I read it.
I did an online search at the Book of Common Prayer website to find out all the other places it occurs in the Book of Common Prayer. And each day since I have been pondering the phrase. I’m slowly beginning to discover what “Newness of Life” means for me and what it calls me to do. What does it mean for you?
NOTE ON THE DAILY OFFICE: At the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, we say the Daily Office on our Facebook Page with Morning Prayer at 8 a.m., Evening Prayer at 5 p.m., and Compline at 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays, Morning Prayer is at 8:30 a.m. and Noonday prayer at 12 Noon. Please tune in and pray with us any time. You don’t even need to have a prayer book. Also ALL of our Prayer Team’s readings are recorded so you can hear these short services at any hour of the day or night! You do not need a Facebook account to watch. Click here to learn more about broadcast prayer services at SsAM. Others on the team are Wanda Smith, Sr. Rosie Castelli, Mary Morgan, and Adele Meredith. Give it a chance and listen for that phrase “newness of life”. P.S., we can always use more Team Members. It’s easy and done from your home computer! Check with any one of us and we’ll get you started.
Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” —Romans 6:4
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Every week, Christina Brennan Lee writes the Prayers of the People we use in our worship services on Sundays. She also leads weekday prayer services. Click here to see her People’s Prayers website.