Burning Heart presents a Lauralee Farrer production

Story

PRAYING THE HOURS:
Time is Not Money

Wake up. Go to work.
Come home. Go to bed.
That’s how I spent my time.
Strange expression: I spent my time,
as if it were cash.

I had the instinct to choose something else.
I intended to. But I didn’t.
This is true of everyone I know.

Still, we are surprised when life turns out to be
something less than we expected.
Less than we hoped for.

Eternity is not something that happens after you die—
it moves like a river under the surface of our lives,
constantly reminding us of the things that last forever.
Every day we are given a thousand chances to choose the things that matter.
But we ignore them. As if we had forever.
As if we would never die.

Sooner or later, the clock stops for everyone.
I only wish I could have seen before what I see now.

—the Traveling Man

The core of the Praying the Hours project is based on the ancient practice of fixed-hour prayer observed by the Abrahamic faith traditions. By personifying each hour into a character, we tell the story of a 24-hour day as if the hours were a community of friends. The Traveling Man (our everyman) is hit by a car. Over the time that he takes to cross over from this life into the next, he visits with each of eight friends and sees his own life anew from the lens of eternity—not as something that happens to you after you die, but as the river that flows under the surface of ordinary life. The project is based on a true story.

The Praying the Hours project is composed of two parts: a narrative feature and eight 30-minute short films. The narrative feature Praying the Hours tells the journey of the Traveling Man from this life into the next as he is summoned by friends with whom he has surprising, unresolved business. In the eight 30-minute segments that accompany the feature, the extended Praying the Hours project investigates the lives of each of his friends more deeply, using their stories to consider each of the ancient hours of prayer from a new perspective. Those stories are:

  • Vigils, The Story of the Doubting Believer
  • Lauds, The Story of the Childless Woman
  • Prime, The Story of the Rushing Man
  • Terce, The Story of the Single Mother
  • Sext, The Story of the Recovering Stranger
  • None, The Story of the Mournful Songwriter
  • Vespers, The Story of the Grieving Fiance
  • Compline, The Story of the Reluctant Teacher

The purpose of this ambitious project is to observe a life from the perspective of both chronos (clock time) and kairos (grace time) and to consider that time itself is a breviary—or book of prayer. If so, to ignore its daily, extravagant inspirations is to suffer misalignment with our deepest selves.

Advertisements