If you’re like me, you probably heard the old adage as a child: “A family that prays together stays together.” The point was that frequently making the effort to pray together as a family strengthens family ties and gives a solid foundation to relationships that cannot be easily broken.
For some time, I’ve thought about writing an article about the value of communal prayer in our religious community, and this old saying seemed an appropriate one to introduce the topic. As a matter of fact, our Constitutions say, “We want to be sisters to each other.” Who are “sisters” but members of the same “family”?
Praying together, and having everyone present, is very important to me and I am not alone. Our Constitutions lay out that we pray lauds and vespers (morning and evening prayer) as a rule in common. I do make every effort to facilitate our ability to pray office together.
Due to scheduling issues at our reception desk, at times we are not all able to be there for our evening office together. (One of us has to answer the phone over the supper hour if a staff person is not scheduled.) At St. Anne’s we are a very small convent community so the absence of one member is even more pronounced. I am grateful that, in the last couple of years, this has been diminished with some schedule changes that occurred.
We also have Eucharistic Adoration in our chapel and so often times our praying “family” is extended by the presence of visitors who join us. Praying the prayers of the church in common is truly a beautiful thing!