Behind-The-Scenes: 1st Feature

Here is your first behind-the-scenes feature. Hours of reading, prayer, and research, (and even a little fasting) have gone to good purpose. I will be releasing it in March, which is not so very far off.

Introducing Project # 1….. Drum roll, please…..

Book of Hours: A Heart of Prayer e-course!

What's that, you say? Write your own book of hours? Really?

Oh, yes! Because I believe you can do it. It doesn't take a seasoned writer or poet to bring soulful words of prayer to the page. What it takes is a heart for prayer; a desire to still your soul and commune with divine Love.

What is a Book of Hours?

You might say a book of hours is a type of devotional. It originated with the monastic practices of the Desert Fathers from the 3rd century A.D. and has been developed and adapted over time as a regular observance in various liturgies. A Book of Hours observes eight* different times of prayer each day, or eight pauses: Vigils, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline. During these times, the spiritual seeker is invited to stop what she is doing and observe the “hour” through prayer or mindfulness, as a way to steady the soul and find release from the pressures of the day.

As many of you know, I wrote and self-published a book of hours last year. I wrote quickly and inspired, from some deep places of the heart longing for a freedom to be heard. After a successful initial release of the book, I heard from folks who wanted to know how I wrote it. And more importantly, how they could write one, too?

That hit straight home for me. You see, freedom is a high value of mine, and I will do all I can to open up new avenues to enhance the spiritual journey. In the past year, I have had the privilege of facilitating some online groups in their quest for self-expression through the written word, so this request was right up my alley. Not only that, but the inquiries have been persistent. So adding to the inner tug of my own heart are the outer nudges that this is something to make a priority.

What about you? Have you ever wanted to observe the hours with your own language? Does the idea of writing your own prayers or poetry in a way that reflects your unique heart, purpose, and creative input appeal to you? (These questions are right out of my introductory remarks on the e-course. How’s that for a teaser?!)

Here's a sneak peek, (or two!)

Sampler 1:


Sampler 2:

Now, I am still under construction, so this may not be quite the final draft you end up seeing, but it gives you a pretty good idea of where some of the activities in the course might be headed. I'm excited about it, and I hope you will be, too.

If you are new to the concept of praying the hours, I hope this has made you curious enough to want to research further on your own. I'd be delighted if you would consider taking this soon-to-be-released journey with me. I would be honored to help clear the path and give you some tools to create your own devotional practice. If you have friends who may be interested, please be sure to share this post, and stay tuned for the launch post coming soon!

Thank you for sharing in my excitement.



*In some traditions, only seven holy pauses are observed. In my own written version of the book of hours, this is the case as well. For the purposes of this course, I am including the eighth addition, the hour of Prime, for those who want to pray every three hours over the course of a twenty-four hour day.

Jamie Bagley