the church’s morning prayer
“Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel because He has visited and ransomed His people.” —Luke 1:68
Many hundreds of thousands of priests and religious have promised under pain of sin to pray each morning today’s Gospel reading, Zechariah’s canticle, as part of praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I promised to do this decades ago, and by God’s grace I have kept my promise.
The Church so emphasizes Zechariah’s prophecy because:
- It is a prophecy, and prophets are part of the foundation of the Church (Eph 2:20ff).
- Zechariah prayed this prayer when he was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Lk 1:67). May we also be filled with the Holy Spirit when we pray it.
- This prophecy teaches us that each morning should remind us that Jesus is “the Dayspring” (Lk 1:78), the Dawn (see Rv 22:16), the Light of the world (Jn 8:12).
- This prophecy immediately precedes the Bible’s account of the first Christmas and praying this prayer has proven a good way to prepare to meet Christ in a new way during the Christmas season.
Although most of you are not obligated to pray Zechariah’s canticle each day, pray it today and each day of the Christmas season. You may decide to pray this prayer forever as Jesus guides your “feet into the way of peace” (Lk 1:79).
Prayer: Jesus, may I make any sacrifice necessary to give You myself as Your Christmas gift.
Promise: “Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before Me; your throne shall stand firm forever.” —2 Sm 7:16
Praise: Gloria has prayed morning and evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for twenty years.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from December 1, 2022, through January 31, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio April 12, 2022
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.