A Blessed Hallows Eve and Reformation Day to all!
I’ve been praying a slightly modified form of the Suffrages from Evangelical Lutheran Worship for about two months. (To view the Suffrages in .pdf format, click here and scroll to the final few pages of the document.) I pray this on the train to and from work, and at work while walking to patient rooms or before lunch, for example. Without readings, it takes less than 3 minutes. With readings, perhaps 10 minutes. Quick and easy, yet rich and powerful, rooted in tradition. I like it.
But I’ve been thinking about Martin Luther’s statements that he would pray or recite the catechism every day. Of course, by catechism he didn’t mean the (mighty fine) Study Edition of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Rather, he was referring to the 10 Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, and Lord’s Prayer. Two of those are common in liturgical use – all of our churches pray the Lord’s Prayer and recite the Apostles’ Creed weekly. Indeed, the Suffrages of my daily prayer routine begins with the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. But why not the 10 Commandments? Though they appear in the liturgy via the lectionary a few times, why not practice a regular – weekly or daily – recitation of the 10 Commandments? Considering their foundational nature to Christian living and Lutheran catechetics, could a recitation of the 10 Commandments not be a rich addition to a spiritual practice, particularly a Lutheran’s spiritual practice? And what is a Lutheran spirituality without the Law?
I’d welcome the comments of any liturgical scholars out there, but in the meantime I’ll simply go ahead and begin reciting/praying the 10 Commandments, along with the Apostles’ Creed and Lord’s Prayer, as part of my daily prayer practice. And I’ll tell you if it "works" or not. But please, if you know of a good reason why or why not to use the 10 Commandments in a prayer practice or liturgical usage, please let me know.