Daily Service or PRAYERS. In the ancient Church, wherever it was practicable, daily service was established, at which every clergyman was compelled to attend, under pain of suspension or deprivation, whether it was his duty to officiate or not. This subject is determined by several councils, by the first council of Toledo, and by that of Agde: the law of Justinian punishes the neglect of this duty with degradation, because of the scandal it gives to the laity. In some churches a daily celebration of the Lord's Supper seems to have been recommended, and to some extent practiced. There are found testimonies on this subject in Tertullian, Cyprian, and Irenaeus; the last of whom says; "It is the will of our Lord that we should make our offering at his altar frequently, and without intermission." But there was no fixed and express rule as to the time of celebration. The rubric of the Church of England declares that all "priests and deacons are to say daily the morning and evening prayer, either privately or openly, not being let by sickness or some other urgent cause. And the curate that ministereth in every parish church or chapel, being at home, and not being otherwise reasonably hindered, shall say the same in the parish church or chapel where he ministereth, and shall cause a bell to be tolled thereunto a convenient time before he begin, that the people may come to hear God's word and to pray with him." But this rule is now a dead letter. — Prayer-book, Preface;
Bingham, Orig. Eccl. bk. vi, chap. 3, § 5, 6; Procter, On Common Prayer, p. 195-197.