Music for the Daily Office

Music for the Daily Office

Jack King

Jack joined Anglican Pastor as a writer in February, 2014. He is a native of Knoxville, TN and serves as rector of Apostles Anglican Church in his hometown. Before serving at Apostles, Jack served Methodist churches in Knoxville and Gateshead, England. In England, Jack discovered his love for the Anglican tradition that would later become his spiritual home. He was ordained an Anglican priest in 2008 on his 30th birthday. Jack is married to Emily and they have two young children. Jack received a B.A. in History from Samford University and a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School.

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About midway through my sabbatical, I began a small project that was completely unplanned. I began assembling resources to pray the Daily Offices using the catalogue of albums available on Apple Music. The project began as a result of trying to find my way through a season of dryness with the Daily Office (more on that in a future post).

In the end, I found that it was the sung aspects of the Daily Office that opened a new energy in my own devotional life. To hear the colors and tones of various psalms; to experience the lyrics of Simeon’s Song brightened with melody; to learn the Lord’s Prayer in a new meditative setting, these were just a few experiences that helped me experience the Daily Office anew.

A Disclaimer

I agree that the Daily Office works best when it’s said or sung among a gathered community. But gathering on a daily basis for the offices of prayer isn’t possible in most of America. I’m sure it exists, but it’s the exception rather than the rule. Even though gathering for the Daily Office in a corporate setting is ideal, I believe additional tools for worship are needed when that gathering isn’t available.

There are several sites that can assist you in praying the Daily Office. If you’re not sure where to find these, be sure to check out Texts for Common Prayer, The Trinity Mission, and Mission of St. Clare.

Helpful as these sites and resources are, it takes a bit more work to assemble resources to experience the musical beauty of the Daily Office. That’s where my search led me when I entered a dry season of prayer.

The Daily Office Playlists

The first playlist can be used for Morning Prayer, Noonday, Evening Prayer, and Compline. The arrangement of tracks, particularly the Psalms, follow this sequence. And the first track is an English church bell tone for good measure.

(Note: The embedded streaming version of this playlist stopped working shortly after this post was published. We will update this post when the playlist stream is repaired. Until then, you can find Jack’s Daily Office playlist at iTunes by clicking here)

The second playlist is the entire Psalter as sung by English Cathedral choirs. The collection of chanted psalms from Priory Records is impressive, but not always in sequential order on [Apple Music](Apple Music).

How I Use These Playlists with the Daily Office

  • The Psalms are sung in King James English. The King James Version doesn’t match word for word with the chanted lyrics. I usually read along in my Bible as I play the Psalms.
  • Soon, you’ll begin learning some chanted settings for the Psalms. You will find yourself singing them through the day. This helps you pray through your day.
  • I’ve included a few different versions of the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis. Different settings are good for variation and they help you hear the same Scripture in new ways.
  • I don’t use music every time I pray the Daily Office. These tools are good supplements to liturgical prayer, but not essential.

Editors Note:

One of our readers put together a Spotify version of these lists. Check it out here.

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