Morning Prayer 31.3.20, John Donne, Priest & Poet, 1631

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.'”

With America’s schools closed, teachers coast to coast are scrambling to keep kids occupied and learning, as well as fed and sheltered. In tiny Watseka, Illinois, elementary educators got up a social distancing scavenger hunt, with colorful finds on their windows, doors and porches. Then they stand in the window, smiling and waving, as mom drives by with the kids. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)

I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” Luke 15:18-19

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 95:1-7

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For you are a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills; *
from where is my help to come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, *
the maker of heaven and earth.
3 The LORD will not let your foot be moved *
and the One who watches over you will not fall asleep.
4 Behold, the One who keeps watch over Israel *
shall neither slumber nor sleep;
5 It is the LORD who watches over you; *
the LORD is your shade at your right hand,
6 So that the sun shall not strike you by day, *
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; *
the LORD shall keep you safe.
8 The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in, *
from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 122

1 I was glad when they said to me, *
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
2 Now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built as a city *
that is at unity with itself;
4 To which the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD, *
the assembly of Israel,
to praise the Name of the LORD.
5 For there are the thrones of judgment, *
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: *
“May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls *
and quietness within your towers.
8 For the sake of my kindred and companions, *
I pray for your prosperity.
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God, *
I will seek to do you good.”

Psalm 123

1 To you I lift up my eyes, *
to you enthroned in the heavens.
2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, *
and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
3 So our eyes look to you, O LORD our God, *
until you show us your mercy.
4 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy, *
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
and of the derision of the proud.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Illustrators of Figures de la Bible, 1728: Israelites’ Cruel Bondage in Egypt

THE LESSONS
Exodus 5:1 – 6:1 (NRSV)

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.'” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and I will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the LORD our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labors!” Pharaoh continued, “Now they are more numerous than the people of the land and yet you want them to stop working!” That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labor at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.”

So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least.'” So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw. The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw.” And the supervisors of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, “Why did you not finish the required quantity of bricks yesterday and today, as you did before?”

Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, “Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.” He said, “You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks.” The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, “You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks.” As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them. They said to them, “The LORD look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

Then Moses turned again to the LORD and said, “O LORD, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.”

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”

Canticle: A Song of Praise
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Everyone has a hymn: choir rehearsal at St. Margaret’s, Washington, D.C., 2017. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

1 Corinthians 14:20-33a, 39-40 (NRSV)

Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. In the law it is written,

“By people of strange tongues
and by the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people;
yet even then they will not listen to me,”
says the Lord.

Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all. After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, “God is really among you.”

What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let them be silent in church and speak to themselves and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to someone else sitting nearby, let the first person be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. And the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets, for God is a God not of disorder but of peace.

So, my friends, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order.

Canticle: A Song to the Lamb
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.

(John Hembree)

Mark 9:42-50 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

“For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

V. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

John Donne the priest was the most famous preacher of his day as Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral. John Donne the poet wrote, “We think that Paradise and Calvary, Christ’s Cross, and Adam’s Tree, stood in one place; Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me; As the first Adam’s sweat surrounds my face, May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.”

Collect of the Day: John Donne, Priest, 1631

O God of eternal glory, whom no one living can see and yet whom to see is to live; grant that with your servant John Donne, we may see your glory in the face of your Son, Jesus Christ, and then, with all our skill and wit, offer you our crown of prayer and praise, until by his grace we stand in that last and everlasting day, when death itself will die, and all will live in you, who with the Holy Spirit and the same Lord Jesus Christ are on God in everlasting light and glory. Amen.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

For the Nation

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

U.S. Servicemembers Hunker Down, No Losses in War Last Week

They Have Names, begun by Clint Gilliland in 2007
Week of March 24-30, 2020
source: iCasualties

Total War Deaths: 7,028

Iraq Total Deaths: 4,580
War Officially Ended: December 2011
Current Troop Level: 5,200 + 600 in Syria

-no casualties this past week-

Afghanistan Total Deaths: 2,448
War Officially Ended: December 2014
Current Troop Level: 14,000

-no casualties this past week-

For Those We Love on Active Duty
Molly + Chris, deployed separately
Patrick
Logan

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Country

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

Collect for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

VIDEO: The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Bob Dylan) – Peter, Paul & Mary with John Sebastian, undated

Evening Prayer 30.3.20, Monday in 5 Lent

Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.

The Life Tabernacle drew 500 people to an auditorium Sunday in a town called Central, Louisiana outside Baton Rouge, the state capital, defying no-congregating orders from public health and government officials and the commandment “Thou shalt not kill.” The pastor closed the church to reporters, but the news spread coast to coast. Nearly every megachurch is independent, with no supervision or higher authority to curb financial, sexual or public health abuses. Now Baton Rouge has 500 fresh virus carriers. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

Hymn: O Gracious Light

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Psalm 35

1 Fight those who fight me, O LORD; *
attack those who are attacking me.
2 Take up a shield and armor *
and rise up to help me.
3 Draw the sword and bar the way against those who pursue me: *
say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
4 Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; *
let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, *
and let the angel of the LORD drive them away.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, *
and let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
7 For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; *
without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
8 Let ruin come upon them unawares; *
let them be caught in the net they hid;
let them fall into the pit they dug.
9 Then I will be joyful in you, O LORD; *
I will glory in your victory.
10 My very bones will say, “LORD, who is like you? *
You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
11 Malicious witnesses rise up against me; *
they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
12 They pay me evil in exchange for good; *
my soul is full of despair.
13 But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth *
and humbled myself by fasting;
14 I prayed with my whole heart,
as one would for a friend or a brother; *
I behaved like one who mourns for a mother,
bowed down and grieving.
15 But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together;
they gathered against me; *
strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and would not stop.
16 They put me to the test and mocked me; *
they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17 O Lord, how long will you look on? *
rescue me from the roaring beasts,
and my life from the young lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great congregation; *
I will praise you in the mighty throng.
19 Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, *
or let those who hate me without a cause wink at each other.
20 For they do not plan for peace, *
but invent deceitful schemes against the quiet in the land.
21 They opened their mouths at me and said, *
“Aha! we saw it with our own eyes.”
22 You saw it, O LORD; do not be silent; *
O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Awake, arise, to my cause! *
to my defense, my God and my Lord!
24 Give me justice, O LORD my God,
according to your righteousness; *
do not let them triumph over me.
25 Do not let them say in their hearts,
“Aha! just what we want!” *
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed you up.”
26 Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; *
let those who boast against me be clothed with dismay and shame.
27 Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; *
let them say always, “Great are you, O LORD,
you desire the prosperity of your servant.”
28 And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness *
and of your praise all the day long.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSON
Mark 9:30-41 (NRSV)

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.”

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

V. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

St. Botolph’s Aldgate, London, where Thomas Bray was rector. Botolph was an English abbot whose story is lost to history, but he was the patron saint of travelers, and when the City of London built its walls and gates, a church was placed at each gate so people could stop and pray for traveling mercies on their way out of town. (parish photo)

Collect of the Day: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

In Time of Calamity

O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and viruses, we flee to you for succor. Deliver the people, we beseech you, from their peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the needy; prosper the means of their safety; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we all may apply our hearts unto your heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Answering of Prayer

Almighty God, you have promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in your Son’s Name: We beseech you mercifully to incline your ear to us who have now made our prayers and supplications to you; and grant that those things which we have faithfully asked according to your will, may effectually be obtained, to the relief of our necessity, and to the setting forth of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Ibba, South Sudan; Mbamili, Nigeria; and Wau, South Sudan

Monday Evening Prayer List: Thanksgivings

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Please add your own prayers here.

A Collect for Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

VIDEO: Wood and Nails (Keith Watts; Isaac Wardell, Madison Cunningham) – Audrey Assad & Josh Garrells, 2017

Morning Prayer 30.3.20, Monday in 5 Lent

One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

The Lakota and Dakota people of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation have won another round in court in their efforts to stop the flow of an oil and gas pipeline that runs a stone’s throw from their drinking water. A Federal judge ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a more extensive environmental impact study, saying the Dakota Access Pipeline’s “effects on the quality of the human environment are likely to be highly controversial.” The tribe draws its water from the Missouri River a few feet from the reseervation’s border – as do all cities and towns downstream from the rez. Pipelines are a public good, but where pipelines are located is a life and death matter in their immediate area, as Big Oil and the U.S. government found out when public outcry prevented them from laying the pipe right past predominantly white Bismarck, North Dakota. If it’s too dangerous for puny Bismarck, it’s too dangerous for the Native Americans whose land we stole. Above: Standing Rock protesters taking the fight to Washington, 2017. (Al Drago/The New York Times)

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

GENERAL CONFESSION

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 95:1-7

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For you are a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Psalm 31

1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.
5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O LORD, O God of truth.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols, *
and I put my trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; *
for you have seen my affliction;
you know my distress.
8 You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; *
you have set my feet in an open place.
9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.
11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,
a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten, out of mind, as if I were dead; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.
13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me;
they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. *
I have said, “You are my God.
15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me.”
17 LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; *
rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, *
haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19 How great is your goodness, O LORD!
which you have laid up for those who fear you; *
which you have done in the sight of all
for those who put their trust in you.
20 You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; *
you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD! *
for you have shown me the wonders of your love in a besieged city.
22 Yet I said in my alarm,
“I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.” *
Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
when I cried out to you.
23 Love the LORD, all you who are faithful; *
the LORD protects the pious,
but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, *
all you who wait for the LORD.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Moses and Aaron; artist unknown

THE LESSONS
Exodus 4:10-20, 27-31 (NRSV)

But Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.” But he said, “O my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “What of your brother Aaron, the Levite? I know that he can speak fluently; even now he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you his heart will be glad. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. He indeed shall speak for you to the people; he shall serve as a mouth for you, and you shall serve as God for him. Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”

Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro and said to him, “Please let me go back to my kindred in Egypt and see whether they are still living.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” The LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt; for all those who were seeking your life are dead.” So Moses took his wife and his sons, put them on a donkey and went back to the land of Egypt; and Moses carried the staff of God in his hand.

The LORD said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he went; and he met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD with which he had sent him, and all the signs with which he had charged him. Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people. The people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had given heed to the Israelites and that he had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Canticle: First Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Speaking in tongues (KTF)

1 Corinthians 14:1-19 (NRSV)

Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, those who prophesy speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. Those who speak in a tongue build up themselves, but those who prophesy build up the church. Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you in some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It is the same way with lifeless instruments that produce sound, such as the flute or the harp. If they do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is being played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different kinds of sounds in the world, and nothing is without sound. If then I do not know the meaning of a sound, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.

Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also. Otherwise, if you say a blessing with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since the outsider does not know what you are saying? For you may give thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Jesus and Children (Faith Improvised)

Mark 9:30-41 (NRSV)

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.”

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your Name for ever.
V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.

Monks in their peaceful place at Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York. (OHC)

Collect of the Day: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Rosary Prayer
said on the cruciform bead

Dear Lord Jesus,
help me do the things I should.
To be to others kind and good.
And in all I do or say,
grow more loving every day.

Monday Morning Prayer List: Most Recent

700,000 cases of coronavirus around the world, more than double last week
Nathaniel, awaiting transplant
Krystal & Sheridan, Yvonne’s niece and her husband
Reuben Hufham & Martha Rivenbark, brother & sister, both with pancreatic cancer
Sara McCarty, ovarian cancer
Greg & Kristen, strength and purpose
Ernie, prostate cancer, & his wife Donna
Nora, anxiety, mourning her mother
Lesley, car accident, longterm care planning
Padre Mickey Dresbach, chemotherapy
John Rapson, lung cancer
Honorary Deacon Clint, home hospice
Yvonne, ongoing chemo
Martha’s surgery recovery and physical therapy
Jocelyn’s walking better
Phyllis E., stroke & heart failure; husband Dennis
Colby & family got some good news
Jennifer’s stem cell transplant
Rowena, Martha’s niece, diabetes, dialysis, frequent hospital stays

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: For all thy saints, O Lord (David Galvin; Richard Mant) – graduate composition recital, 2014

Evening Prayer 29.3.20, Fifth Sunday in Lent

The LORD said to Moses, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.”

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery has died, co-founder with Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which sought to unite African-American factions to advance the Civil Rights Movement. When King emerged as a leader in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he endured criticism from conservative pastors who feared that militancy would eliminate the progress they had made, and from radicals who argued he didn’t go far enough. Many on the right and the left were jealous of his prominence, talent and success, and the SCLC aimed to give all sides a chance to be heard and make joint decisions. Lowery took over the SCLC after King’s assassination and kept it going for 20 years. But the movement splintered anyway, rent by controversies over King’s later initiatives criticizing the Vietnam War and his effort to unite the marginalized of all races in a Poor People’s Campaign. Lowery lived to see the election of the first black President and gave the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. Above: with King’s widow Coretta Scott in 1988, kicking off another demonstration in Washington. (Bob Daugherty/AP)

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Hymn: Light of the World

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 145

1 I will exalt you, O God my Sovereign, *
and bless your Name for ever and ever.
2 Every day will I bless you *
and praise your Name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *
there is no end to your greatness.
4 One generation shall praise your works to another *
and shall declare your power.
5 I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty *
and all your marvelous works.
6 They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *
and I will tell of your greatness.
7 They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *
they shall sing of your righteous deeds.
8 The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, *
slow to anger and of great kindness.
9 O LORD, you are loving to everyone *
and your compassion is over all your works.
10 All your works praise you, O LORD, *
and your faithful servants bless you.
11 They make known the glory of your reign *
and speak of your power;
12 That the peoples may know of your power *
and the glorious splendor of your reign.
13 Your reign is an everlasting reign; *
your dominion endures throughout all ages.
14 O LORD, you are faithful in all your words *
and merciful in all your deeds.
15 The LORD upholds all those who fall *
and lifts up those who are bowed down.
16 The eyes of all wait upon you, O LORD, *
and you give them their food in due season.
17 You open wide your hand *
and satisfy the needs of every living creature.
18 O LORD, you are righteous in all your ways *
and loving in all your works.
19 O LORD, you are near to those who call upon you, *
to all who call upon you faithfully.
20 You fulfill the desire of those who fear you; *
you hear their cry and help them.
21 O LORD, you preserve all those who love you, *
but you destroy all the wicked.
22 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD; *
let all flesh bless your holy Name for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

French, 13th C.: Moses’ Staff Becomes a Snake (Morgan Library, New York City)

THE LESSONS
Exodus 3:16 – 4:12 (NRSV)

The LORD said to Moses, “Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. I declare that I will bring you up out of the misery of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ They will listen to your voice; and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; let us now go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go. I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed; each woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman living in the neighbor’s house for jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

Then Moses answered, “But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.'” The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses drew back from it. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand, and seize it by the tail,” so he reached out his hand and grasped it, and it became a staff in his hand—“so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

Again, the LORD said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” He put his hand into his cloak; and when he took it out, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back into your cloak,” so he put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored like the rest of his body. “If they will not believe you or heed the first sign, they may believe the second sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or heed you, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

But Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Jesus escapes a stoning. (uncredited)

John 8:46-59 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.” The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he is the judge.

“Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ though you do not know him. But I know him; if I would say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, California, designed by Tim Hursley of Skidmore Owings Merrill.

Collect of the Day: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer for a Pandemic
by Cameron Bellm

May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between
preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for
our children when their schools close
remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money
in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically
wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace
of God to our neighbors. Amen.

A Collect for Sundays

Lord God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ triumphed over the powers of death and prepared for us our place in the new Jerusalem: Grant that we, who have this day given thanks for his resurrection, may praise you in that City of which he is the light, and where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday Evening Prayer List: for the Daily Office Network

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You’re invited to offer your own prayers here.

A Collect for Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: Behold the Lamb of God (G.F. Handel, Messiah. Mvt. 22) – Emek Hefer Choir, 2011

Morning Prayer 29.3.20, Fifth Sunday in Lent

Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.

HYMN: O love of God, how strong and true (#456, de Tar, Calvin Hampton; Horatius Bonar) – Church of the Holy Cross, Shreveport, Louisiana, 2018

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, because we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws which he set before us. Daniel 9:9-10

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 100

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Psalm 118 (PCP)

1 Give thanks to the LORD, who is good; *
whose mercy endures for ever.
2 Let Israel now proclaim, *
“The mercy of the LORD endures for ever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron now proclaim, *
“The mercy of the LORD endures for ever.”
4 Let those who fear the LORD now proclaim, *
“The mercy of the LORD endures for ever.”
5 I called to the LORD in my distress; *
the LORD answered by setting me free.
6 The LORD is at my side, therefore I will not fear; *
what can anyone do to me?
7 The LORD is at my side to help me; *
I will triumph over those who hate me.
8 It is better to rely on the LORD *
than to put any trust in flesh.
9 It is better to rely on the LORD *
than to put any trust in rulers.
10 All the ungodly encompass me; *
in the Name of the LORD I will repel them.
11 They hem me in, they hem me in on every side; *
in the name of the LORD I will repel them.
12 They swarm about me like bees;
they blaze like a fire of thorns; *
in the name of the LORD I will repel them.
13 I was pressed so hard that I almost fell, *
but the LORD came to my help.

14 The LORD is my strength and my song, *
and has become my salvation.
15 There is a sound of exultation and victory *
in the tents of the righteous:
16 ”The right hand of the LORD has triumphed! *
the right hand of the LORD is exalted!
the right hand of the LORD has triumphed!”
17 I shall not die, but live, *
and declare the works of the LORD.
18 The LORD has punished me sorely, *
but he did not hand me over to death.

19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them;
I will offer thanks to the LORD.
20 ”This is the gate of the LORD; *
those who are righteous may enter.”
21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
22 The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the LORD’s doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 On this day the LORD has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Hosanna, LORD, hosanna! *
LORD, send us now success.
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; *
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
27 God is the LORD, who has shined upon us; *
form a procession with branches up to the horns of the altar.
28 “You are my God, and I will thank you; *
you are my God, and I will exalt you.”
29 Give thanks to the LORD, who is good; *
whose mercy endures for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Richard McBee, 1979: Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones

THE LESSONS
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSV)

The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.

Canticle: A Song of Penitence
Prayer of Manasseh, 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

(Gloria Dei Church, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania)

Romans 8:6-11 (NRSV)

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Eduard von Gebhardt, 1896: The Raising of Lazarus (Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf)

John 11:1-45 (NRSV)

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

When Martha had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

A homily by the Rev. Kirk Kubicek of the Diocese of Maryland may be read here.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

V. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

St. Joseph’s, Salado, Texas, 2015; let us never again take Communion for granted. (parish photo)

Collect of the Day: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Protection

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of your servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Medical Scientists
Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, California

God of wisdom,
bless medical scientists and researchers around the world
with insight and skill, dedication and fortitude
as they combat coronavirus,
so that their work yields knowledge and understanding,
speedily finding a vaccine, treatments and deterrents to its spread.

Source of life,
grant public health and government officials
the strength to act swiftly and decisively
with compassion and understanding
in service to humankind,
fighting this outbreak
and the other diseases that still plague the planet,
diseases threatening the lives of our brothers and sisters,
nations and communities,
young and old.

Rock of Ages,
bring an end to disease and suffering
so that all may know
your compassion and your grace.

Praised are you, Adonai, healer of flesh, maker of wonders. Amen.

THE INTERCESSIONS
Deacon or other leader

In peace, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”

For the holy Church of God, that it may be filled with truth and love, and be found without fault at the day of your coming, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For Michael our Presiding Bishop, for all bishops and other ministers, and for all the holy people of God, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For all who fear God and believe in you, Lord Christ, that our divisions may cease, and that all may be one as you and the Father are one, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the mission of the Church, that in faithful witness it may preach the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and forbearance may grow among nations and peoples, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those in positions of public trust, especially governors, mayors, members of Congress and public health officials, that they may serve the common good and promote the dignity and worth of every person, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the poor, the persecuted, the sick, and all who suffer; for refugees, prisoners, and all who are in danger; that they may be relieved and protected, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For this congregation, that we may be delivered from hardness of heart, and show forth your glory in all that we do, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For all who have commended themselves to our prayers; for our families, friends and neighbors; that being freed from anxiety, they may live in joy, peace, and health, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For all who have died in the communion of your Church, and those whose faith is known to you alone, that, with all the saints, they may have rest in that place whre there is no pain or grief, but life eternal, we pray to you, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Rejoicing in the fellowship of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life to Christ our God.

To you, O Lord, our God.

(The officiant may offer a concluding collect.)

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Look with compassion, O Lord, upon this your people;
that, rightly observing this holy season,
they may learn to know you more fully,
and to serve you with a more perfect will;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.++

VIDEO: Come Alive (Dry Bones) (Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren) – Lauren Daigle, 2016

Evening Prayer 28.3.20, James Solomon Russell, Priest, 1935

“I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.”

American playwright Terrence McNally has died of the coronavirus after a long and prolific career, including hit Broadway comedies and dramas (Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; Master Class; Love! Valour! Compassion!), musicals (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime), Hollywood screenplays (Andre’s Mother) and the librettos of four operas. He was best known for introducing Gay characters and situations to Broadway audiences unused to seeing them, starting in pre-Stonewall 1965 with a bomb, leading him to claim for the rest of his life that he was the worst-reviewed author in Broadway history. But in less than ten years he was cranking out hits like The Ritz, which threw Mafia henchmen into a Gay bathhouse with men running around in skimpy towels, and The Full Monty, in which unemployed steelworkers become unlikely male strippers. A four-time Tony Award winner, he added a fifth for lifetime achievement just last year. (Fred R. Conrad)

I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” Luke 15:18-19

GENERAL CONFESSION

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Hymn: Light of the World

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 136

1 Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
4 Who only does great wonders, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
5 Who by wisdom made the heavens, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
6 Who spread out the earth upon the waters, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
7 Who created great lights, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
8 The sun to rule the day, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
9 The moon and the stars to govern the night, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
10 Who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
11 And brought out Israel from among them, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
12 With a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
13 Who divided the Red Sea in two, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
15 But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
16 Who led the chosen people through the wilderness, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
17 Who struck down great rulers, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
18 And slew mighty kings, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
20 And Og, the king of Bashan, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
21 And gave away their lands for an inheritance, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
22 An inheritance for Israel, the chosen servant, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
23 Who remembered us in our low estate, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
24 And delivered us from our enemies, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
25 Who gives food to all creatures, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSON
Mark 9:14-29 (NRSV)

When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet Jesus. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you are able! All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

V. Show us your mercy, O Lord;
R. And grant us your salvation.
V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
R. Let your people sing with joy.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let your way be known upon earth;
R. Your saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

St. Paul’s College, founded by today’s saint, closed in 2013 after 125 years, but the James Solomon Russell/St. Paul’s Museum and Archives opened in August 2019 in the college’s former student center, now the county convention center. He also started 20 churches in southern Virginia. (museum photo)

Collect of the Day: James Solomon Russell, Priest, 1935

O God, the font of resurrected life, we bless you for the courageous witness of your priest, James Solomon Russell, whose ministry overcame all adversities; draw us into the wilderness and speak tenderly to us there so that we might love and worship you as he did, in assurance of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, always and ever. Amen.

In Time of Calamity

O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and viruses, we flee to you for succor. Deliver the people, we beseech you, from their peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the needy; prosper the means of their safety; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we all may apply our hearts unto your heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship on the morrow give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Ibadan, Ibadan North and Ibadan South, Nigeria; Mbale, Uganda; and Washington, USA

For Our Mission Partners
Cuttington University School of Nursing, Liberia
Haiti Nursing Foundation
Diocese of Brasilia Afterschool Program, Brazil
Rosebud Episcopal Mission, South Dakota
St. André’s School, Mithon, Haiti
Matthew Shepard Foundation

For the Episcopal Church & All National Church Bodies

For Specialized Ministries
Brotherhood of St. Andrew; Tom Welch, executive director
Young adult, singles and parents’ ministries
Union of Black Episcopalians and other racial/ethnic caucuses
Episcopal Church Women and Mothers’ Unions
Episcopal Peace Fellowship and church peace activists

Please add your own prayers here.

For Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

VIDEO: My God, accept my heart today (#697, Song 67, anonymous, adapt. Orlando Gibbons; Matthew Bridges) – St. Patrick’s Schola Cantorum, 2015

Morning Prayer 28.3.20, James Solomon Russell, Priest, 1935

If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Virus humor from First Baptist Church, Providence, Rhode Island, founded in 1638 by Roger Williams, a Nonconformist who advocated for the separation of church and state. This building was erected in 1775. (William J. Kole/AP)

Rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 95:1-7

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For you are a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Psalm 107:33-43

33 The LORD changed rivers into deserts, *
and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34 A fruitful land into salt flats, *
because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35 God changed deserts into pools of water *
and dry land into water-springs.
36 God settled the hungry there, *
and they founded a city to dwell in.
37 They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, *
and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38 God blessed them, so that they increased greatly; *
God did not let their herds decrease.
39 Yet when they were diminished and brought low, *
through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40 (God pours contempt on nobles *
and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41 God lifted up the poor out of misery *
and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The upright will see this and rejoice, *
but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
43 Whoever is wise will ponder these things, *
and consider well the mercies of the LORD.

Psalm 108:1-6

1 My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; *
I will sing and make melody.
2 Wake up, my spirit;
awake, lute and harp; *
I myself will waken the dawn.
3 I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; *
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, *
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.
6 So that those who are dear to you may be delivered, *
save with your right hand and answer me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Moses and the Burning Bush; Byzantine mosaic, St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai.

THE LESSONS
Exodus 2:23 – 3:15 (NRSV)

After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”

But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.”

Canticle: A Song of Creation
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.
Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat.
Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.
Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina, as the highest point in North America east of the Mississippi River, sing praise and give honor forever! (Ken Thomas)

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Jesus and his mother (Coptic Orthodox Church Fathers)

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NRSV)

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Jesus heals an epileptic boy; iconographer unknown.

Mark 9:14-29 (NRSV)

When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet Jesus. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you are able! All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your Name for ever.
V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.

James Solomon Russell was born into slavery in Virginia in 1851. He attended Hampton Institute (now University) for a year and became a teacher, where he made his elementary pupils recite the Apostles Creed every day. This attracted the attention of Episcopalians; one bought him a Prayer Book, he was able to enroll in the Bishop Payne Divinity School, and he was ordained a priest. In 1888 he and his wife started St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia, which he served for 40 years, requiring students to attend Morning and Evening Prayer five days a week. He was twice elected a Suffragan Bishop for Colored Work in the segregated South, which would have made him the first black bishop in the Episcopal Church, but he refused the appointments, which would have brought institutional racism into the House of Bishops. St. Paul’s College educated black students for 125 years before closing in 2013.

Collect of the Day: James Solomon Russell, Priest, 1935

O God, the font of resurrected life, we bless you for the courageous witness of your priest, James Solomon Russell, whose ministry overcame all adversities; draw us into the wilderness and speak tenderly to us there so that we might love and worship you as he did, in assurance of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, always and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Morning Prayer List

For Those Seeking God’s Will
Hilary
Michelle
Shirley
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

For Religious Orders
Sisters of St. Margaret, Massachusetts, Haiti, Sri Lanka & UK
Sisters of the Transfiguration, Ohio
Society of St. Francis (men), Australia; Brazil; Korea; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Solomon Islands; California; UK
Society of St. Francis, Third Order – Africa, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and the Americas
Society of St. John the Evangelist, Massachusetts & UK

Please add your own prayers here.

For Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

VIDEO: I Repent (Steve Green and Phil Naish; Dave Noel) – Steve Green, 1998