Common Prayer and Common Life

Last night I spoke with our high school aged confirmands. I was suppose to speak to them about the Book of Common Prayer, but the talk did not quite go as planned. Standing in front of the group I had intentions of going over the Table of Contents and trying to convince them that they should use this book. They were not listening. They were not interested.

I scanned the group. A pack of teenage girls giggled at almost everything I said. At a different point in my life, I would probably have curled into a ball and cried. Instead I forged ahead, directing them to our Baptismal Covenant. I wanted them to read the promises made on their behalf by their families, by their community.

I wondered if they even saw themselves in community at all. Did they realize that they actually lived a life in common with others and they must consider others? Did they realize that they were not alone? Did they realize that their actions and choices could very well make them alone?

I trudged through the presentation, showing them my prayer books. First, I showed them my first Book of Common Prayer, signed by my rector on my Confirmation. Every night I still use it to read my daily devotions before bed. The pages between 355 and 365 are about to fall out.

Then I showed them my ordination prayer book, signed by the same rector ten years later. I flipped through the pages, showing them the mementos that I kept in the book, and what communities it connected me to.

I am not sure the group got anything from what I was saying. I am pretty sure some of them might have toilet papered my car, but I got something from what I said.

I remembered again just how connected I really was and really am. I remembered the faith communities that built me up, and the individuals I met on the way. I hoped that those kids would one day have a Book of Common Prayer like mine- wrinkled from use and filled with the love that surrounds us in a great cloud of witnesses.


Claire Alcock said…
I just prepared some teenage girls for Confirmation. I must admit we didn't go anywhere near the Prayer Book!

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