By Fr. Bill Kneemiller
This Advent I am doing a four-part series on Family Prayer using the “Prayer of the Church” and its shorter version of the Liturgy of the Hours. Family prayer time has some tough competition with other activities and sports, so free time seems limited. Add to that, the average American watches more than 30 hours of TV or media a week. Families may wonder: How can we fit in one more thing?
First of all, we’ve heard the great saying that “The family that prays together, stays together!” Please consider starting with the church’s simple Night Prayer, which is usually one psalm, a Scripture and a few other prayers that join us with the universal church praying around the world.
If you have the “Shorter Christian Prayer” book, just turn to page 330 and enjoy. Religious Supply Center in Davenport has sold more than 1,400 copies in the last two years, as the Quad Cities is a shining example of this “Prayer of the Church.” Also, the web site www.universalis.com has all the prayer hours. For those of you with Smart phones, the computer app is IBreviary.
Here’s a fun way to start: On Nov. 29 — and all of the Thursdays in Advent — I will host a Pizza and Psalms Party at Wise Guys Pizza in the back banquet room at 2408 53rd St. in Davenport. Two sessions will be offered: 4:30-6 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Please join us, even if you can stay for just a half-hour. Kids get a discount. If you are one of the 1,400 “Shorter Christian Prayer” book owners, bring it. I will also have print-outs. For families or groups of more than six, please email me at (email@example.com), or call (563) 321-0124 as I coordinate groups. Come for the pizza and stay for the psalms!
On the last Thursday fun session, Dec 20, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., we will have a “Christmas Pizza Party for Haiti.” This party will support the Holy Land Military Rosary project that partners with ServeHaiti to employ desperately poor people in producing the military rosaries in Grand-Bois, Haiti. The rosaries are shipped to 140 military chaplains around the world!
Coming up: the next couple of articles will focus on families that have been praying the Liturgy of the Hours or its shorter version. Send a report to me by email or phone (see information above) on how it has enriched your family’s life.
(Fr. Bill Kneemiller is chaplain at The Kahl Home in Davenport.)