Before I forget again.
Hubby and I were shopping for chairs (again) last weekend. We took a break at a Borders, and I saw One Nation Under God: The History of Prayer in America. As usual, I flipped to see what it said about the Universalists and Unitarians. Quite a bit really. I noted that late in life P. T. Barnum prayed from a Universalist devotional Manna, which I believe was written by John Coleman Adams. "I think," because my copy is in a Hollinger box somewhere.
The format is simple and still used: a biblical passage with a sermonette for each day of the year. Adams had an concern for comforting the sick and greiving, so (not having prayed from Manna) I have to think its core is comfort.
Following the "Chutney's morning prayer" thread, such a book can be used in public worship as the two readings, even though historically a non-biblical reading is more customary for evening services. Something to reflect on in the night hours. A little morning liturgy -- which tend to be stimulating; here, say, for a retreat -- might go:
- Liturgical greeting ("The Lord be with you . . .")
- Collect for purity
- First reading
- Psalm 95 (a traditional ordinary morning psalm)
- Second reading ("sermonette")
- Open prayer
- Lord's Prayer (unison)
- Collect for grace
- Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
- Blessing or dismissal