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Posts Tagged ‘pagan prayer’

So I’ve always been a praying person. For a long time I only did extemporaneous prayers, like a good little Protestant kid, even though I really hated my wordy, fumbly, formulaic prayers that all seemed kind of pointless. (I was fortunate enough to grow up in a praying home, and my grandfather is a beautiful pray-er, so I had good role models at least.) Then I found Catholicism, and a whole new world of prayers opened up for me. Though I’ve (obviously) left that behind, I’m finding myself a praying pagan more and more.

Recent devotions have brought up the idea that I need to be keeping a sort of horarium – an office of the hours. My days run together; they can be pretty unstructured as someone who works from home. Earlier this year John Beckett, who is becoming a dear friend as well as being someone whose opinion I respect in the pagan world, challenged his readers to have a “contemplative season” between Yule and Imbolc. I took his challenge and ran with it, and came up with a little daily office to say during the day.

Of course, being the unstructured hooligan that I am, I don’t have set times for anything, but I have three prayers to say each day. One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night.

This is all great.

Except that while I can regularly say a prayer in the morning, and regularly say a prayer at night before bed, praying in the afternoon is making me bonkers.

Either I remember at 10am, and it’s too early, or I just flat forget the damn thing until it’s 10pm and I’m going to bed. I have a prayer for when I’ve forgotten a prayer, and I think I’m using it most days right now because of the stupid afternoon prayer that I can’t make myself remember to pray, even with a phone alarm going off at 2:30.

And yet.

My calling has never been stronger. I’ve had one of the most intense Imbolc seasons I’ve ever had, with spiritual experiences that will shape my life, possibly for years to come. Prayer changes things. I’ve heard it said that prayer isn’t something you do, it’s something the gods do that you are part of. While I don’t know that my middling, fairly ineffective devotions count as something as powerful as all that, I can’t deny that this practice has deepened into something I want to keep doing.

So I will. You can come too, if you like. We can be bad at praying together. I promise, once you get used to it, it’s not so bad.

*From the Latin for “three times daily”, as typically seen on a prescription for medication.

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(While rubbing hands under running/pouring water, say:)​

May I be pure, that I might cross through the sacred.

(Bring hands to face, feeling the refreshing, cleansing waters, saying:)

May I cross through the sacred, that I may attain the holy.​

(Stand for a complete breath, and appreciate the moment of blessings, while saying:)

May I attain the holy, that I may be blessed in all things.​

-Rev William Ashton

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