Morning Prayer 22 March 2012: James DeKoven, Priest, 1879

(We finished Genesis yesterday, and today we begin the reading of Exodus, which will continue for ten days, pause for Holy Week – we’ll get Lamentations instead – then resume on Easter Monday. Exodus is the story of God’s liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.)

The members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor.

Shoshannah Brombacher: Hebrew Midwives in Egypt

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

O God, let our mouth proclaim your praise.
And your glory all the day long.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 95:1-7
Venite

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

Psalm 69:1-23, 31-38

Save me, O God, *
for the waters have risen up to my neck.
I am sinking in deep mire, *
and there is no firm ground for my feet.
I have come into deep waters, *
and the torrent washes over me.
I have grown weary with my crying;
my throat is inflamed; *
my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;
my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. *
Must I then give back what I never stole?
O God, you know my foolishness, *
and my faults are not hidden from you.
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
Lord GOD of hosts; *
let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me,
O God of Israel.
Surely, for your sake I have suffered reproach, *
and shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my own kindred, *
an alien to my mother’s children.
Zeal for your house has eaten me up; *
the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
I humbled myself with fasting, *
but that was turned to my reproach.
I put on sack-cloth also, *
and became a byword among them.
Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, *
and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, this is my prayer to you, *
at the time you have set, O LORD:
“In your great mercy, O God, *
answer me with your unfailing help.
Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; *
let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,
neither let the deep swallow me up; *
do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; *
in your great compassion, turn to me.”

“Hide not your face from your servant; *
be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
Draw near to me and redeem me; *
because of my enemies deliver me.
You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; *
my adversaries are all in your sight.”
Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; *
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I could find no one.
They gave me gall to eat, *
and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.

As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; *
your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
I will praise the Name of God in song; *
I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, *
more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
The afflicted shall see and be glad; *
you who seek God, your heart shall live.
For the LORD listens to the needy, *
and his prisoners he does not despise.
Let the heavens and earth praise him, *
the seas and all that moves in them;
For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; *
they shall live there and have it in possession.
The children of his servants will inherit it, *
and those who love his Name will dwell therein.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSONS
Exodus 1:6-22 (NRSV)

Then Joseph died, and all his brothers, and that whole generation. But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

Canticle: The Song of Moses
Cantemus Domino
Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him, *
the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharoah and his army has he hurled into the sea;
the finest of those who bear armor have been drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand; *
the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
with your might you brought them in safety to your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
for ever and for ever.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 (NRSV)

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Magna et mirabilia
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.

Mark 8:27 – 9:1 (NRSV)

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”

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 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.

Collect for Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness of body, mind, and spirit; that, being restored to wholeness, we may with free hearts become what you intend us to be and accomplish what you want us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

DeKoven was an American priest and professor who rose to prominence during the "ritualism" controversy of the 1870s; is it proper to allow candles on the altar? Do vestments promote idolatry? He shrugged off the trivial, external aspects but insisted that adoration of Christ's Person in the Sacrament is "the inalienable privilege of every Christian and Catholic heart." He was twice elected Bishop, but failed both times to receive "consents" from other dioceses. Since then his position has almost entirely prevailed in the American Church, with candles and vestments everywhere. Eucharist was restored as the principal form of worship in Episcopal churches - and the Office is read Daily by more people than ever.

Collect of the Day: James De Koven, Priest, 1879

Almighty and everlasting God, the source and perfection of all virtues, who inspired your servant James De Koven to do what is right and to preach what is true: Grant that all ministers and stewards of your mysteries may impart to your faithful people, by word and example, the knowledge of your grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Those with Mental Illness

O heavenly Father, we beseech you to have mercy upon all your children who are living with mental illness. Give them loving and supportive families and friends, and bless their caregivers with wisdom and compassion. Restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, and give them health and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Bor, South Sudan

Prayer for Mission

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 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.

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.++

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