During Lent 2018 we ran the Caldecote Lent Challenge – a series of emails, one for each of the 40 days of Lent, which offered bite-sized introductions to the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer’s Morning Prayer service.

The series was appreciated both by those who had no background in this liturgy, and by those who had said the service for fifty years. We all learned a huge amount, and gave us a simple structure for daily devotional time during Lent. But what we learned is certainly not restricted to Lent – or even to the Book of Common Prayer – so we’re happy to make this available to you, whenever you discover this page and wherever you live!

Each email contains three regular pick ‘n’ mix features:

  1. Today’s Spotlight: this is a short bit of info on one aspect of the Morning Prayer service from the Book of Common Prayer. So if you don’t know your Te Deum from your Benedictus, this offers a great introduction, one theme per day.
  2. The Challenge: depending on the time you have, choose either the 5 minute or the 15 minute challenge. Each one will help you use a small section of the service to pray and start off your day.
  3. Lent Extras: each day there’s an optional ‘Word of the Day’ which gives a thumbnail definition of one of the more obscure words in the liturgy, and ‘Music of the Day’ – a link to hear a piece of music inspired by the texts found in the morning prayer service, including some real gems from around the world.

Choose one of the three indexes – topic, word or music – and either go through the list of links from Day 1 to Day 40, or dip into whatever looks interesting.

Each day the Word of the Day feature took a word that many of us struggle to know the meaning of, or looked into the origins of words that we think we know, to discover some surprising angles that help us in our understanding and in our worship:

  1. Sabaoth
  2. catholic
  3. dayspring
  4. Ghost
  5. remission
  6. shew forth
  7. sundry
  8. the same
  9. quick
  10. temptation
  11. magnify
  12. miserable
  13. brethren
  14. iniquity
  15. the provocation
  16. err
  17. inheritance
  18. concord
  19. beseech
  20. trespass
  21. endue
  22. vouchsafe
  23. very
  24. visited
  25. comfort
  26. communion (of saints)
  27. contrite
  28. sober
  29. proved
  30. tempted
  31. devices
  32. dissemble
  33. heartily
  34. wretchedness
  35. confounded
  36. quire
  37. rubric
  38. maundy
  39. matins

Each day we listened to a piece of music from YouTube which related to either the Spotlight or one of the Challenges posed in the day’s email:

  1. Purcell’s Te Deum
  2. The Apostles’ Creed (Tongan youth)
  3. The Benedictus (Herbert Oakeley)
  4. May the Grace of Christ our Saviour (Benjaminn M. Culli)
  5. Bach’s Gloria Patri
  6. Adonai Seftai Tiftach (O Lord open my lips)
  7. The Venite (Taize style)
  8. The Venite (William Byrd)
  9. The Jubilato Deo Peter Anglea)
  10. The Lord’s Prayer (Charlotte Church)
  11. The Benedicite (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
  12. Benedicite in B flat (Herbert Sumsion)
  13. The Apostles’ Creed (Ryan Cayabyab)
  14. Psalm 2 (Genevan Psalter)
  15. The Venite (Ancient Hebrew reconstruction)
  16. Allegri’s Miserere (King’s College Choir)
  17. The Prayers (New College Oxford Evensong)
  18. Dominus Vobiscum (The Lord be with you; Sydney Guillaume)
  19. The Kyrie (Muungano National Choir)
  20. The Lord’s Prayer (Rachmaninov)
  21. O Lord, open my lips (David von Kampen)
  22. Te Deum (Stanford)
  23. Psalm 62 (Owen Alstott)
  24. Benedictus (traditional chant)
  25. Te Deum (Polish setting)
  26. The Creed (Tony Umeh, Nigeria)
  27. Jubilate Deo (William Walton)
  28. The Miserere (Aramaic chant)
  29. The Venite (Mendelssohn)
  30. Glory be to the Father (Schubert)
  31. Go down Moses (Louis Armstrong)
  32. The Lord’s Prayer (Only Boys Aloud)
  33. The Te Deum (5th-century monastic chant)
  34. Psalm 116 (Herbert Howells)
  35. Siyakudumisa Thixo (Te Deum, Youth of the Ethiopian Church)
  36. Hear the voice and prayer (Quartonal)
  37. Spem in Alium (Tallis)
  38. The Lamentations of Jeremiah (Tallis)
  39. Salvator Mundis (Tallis, sung by The Sixteen)
  40. If ye love me (Tallis, sung by Harmony Quartet)

A Postscript

The time invested to produce this Lenten series has been freely given, but if you would like to support our future work, we are grateful for all gifts, big or small. They help us to make this ‘small church with a big vision’ sustainable for the future so that we can continue to serve God in Caldecote and Childerley, and – through our website and emails like this – well beyond our small community. Please click here if you would like to make a single or regular donation to Caldecote Church today.

With thanks for your support,
Dona McCullagh