I’m not sure I can really call it a habit, when I’ve only been twice, but I am attempting to form the habit of attending morning prayer. This time, I’m not dragging myself out of bed at 6.30am to go to the service in the centre of town, but merely at 8am to cross the road to my nearby chapel. Morning prayer is read there every day except Thursdays and Sundays, when communion is held, and Saturdays, when presumably the clergy get a lie in.

I won’t pretend that it’s a well-attended service. In fact, yesterday I arrived five minutes early to find the chapel in darkness and completely deserted. I spent ten minutes sorting out the choir music from the night before, until our senior ordinand arrived and almost fell over in shock to see an actual person attending morning prayer. Today the assistant chaplain joined us, but I don’t think any of the other students ever attend.

I love morning prayer. It’s probably my favourite of the daily offices, after compline. Actually I like evensong too. Alright, I enjoy all of the offices equally, but there’s something special about beginning the day in prayer with other people. I’ve had to accept that given the choice between staying in bed or getting up on my own to read the Bible, I will always choose my pillow. The incentive of not wanting to let someone else down works wonders.

The flipside of getting up at 8am is that I need to get to bed earlier. Perhaps I’m just someone who needs a lot of sleep, or perhaps the fatigue disorder I suffered a couple of years ago has had a lasting impact, but without a regular nine hours I find it impossible to function for more than a few days. By writing this post I am breaking my self-imposed rule to be off my computer by 10pm. A reminder of my word for the year: focus. I will focus on my sleep pattern, and with that, to bed.

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