Morning Prayer 13.2.16, Absalom Jones, 1st Black Priest in The Episcopal Church, 1818

You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone.

St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, founded by Fr. Absalom Jones after he and his friend Richard Allen led followers in walking walked out of St. George's Methodist Church one Sunday, when the White church tried to spring racial segregation on them. They established the Free African Society, a mutual aid association, built their own church and applied to the Episcopal diocese for membership. Bishop William White admitted the new church and eventually ordained Absalom Jones, while Richard Allen decided to found his own denomination, the venerable African Methodist Episcopal Church. (Episcopal News Service)

Historic St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, founded by Fr. Absalom Jones after he and his friend Richard Allen led followers walking out of St. George’s Methodist Church one Sunday, when the White church tried to spring racial segregation on them. Jones and Allen established the Free African Society, a mutual aid association, built their own church and applied to the Episcopal diocese for membership. Bishop William White admitted the new church and eventually ordained Jones, while Allen decided to found his own denomination, the venerable African Methodist Episcopal Church. (Episcopal News Service)

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
Venite

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 the Lord is 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 30

1  I will exalt you, O LORD,
because you have lifted me up *
and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
2  O LORD my God, I cried out to you, *
and you restored me to health.
3  You brought me up, O LORD, from the dead; *
you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
4  Sing to the LORD, you faithful servants; *
give thanks for the remembrance of God’s holiness.
5  For God’s wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, *
God’s favor for a lifetime.
6  Weeping may spend the night, *
but joy comes in the morning.
7  While I felt secure, I said,
“I shall never be disturbed. *
You, LORD, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains.”
8  Then you hid your face, *
and I was filled with fear.
9  I cried to you, O LORD; *
I pleaded with the Lord, saying,
10  “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit? *
will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
11  Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me; *
O LORD, be my helper.”
12  You have turned my wailing into dancing; *
you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy.
13  Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; *
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

Psalm 32

1  Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, *
and whose sin is put away!
2  Happy are they to whom the LORD imputes no guilt, *
and in whose spirit there is no guile!
3  While I held my tongue, my bones withered away, *
because of my groaning all day long.
4  For your hand was heavy upon me day and night; *
my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.
5  Then I acknowledged my sin to you, *
and did not conceal my guilt.
6  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” *
Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
7  Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in time of trouble; *
when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.
8  You are my hiding-place;
you preserve me from trouble; *
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
9  “I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; *
I will guide you with my eye.
10  Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding; *
who must be fitted with bit and bridle,
or else they will not stay near you.”
11  Great are the tribulations of the wicked; *
but mercy embraces those who trust in the LORD.
12  Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the LORD; *
shout for joy, all who are true of heart.

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 LESSONS
Ezekiel 39:21-29 (NRSV)

I will display my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt treacherously with me. So I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. They shall forget their shame, and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they live securely in their land with no one to make them afraid, when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have displayed my holiness in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will leave none of them behind; and I will never again hide my face from them, when I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.

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.

Garden flowers in Guatemala. (Juan Carlos)

Garden flowers in Guatemala: sing praise and give honor for ever. (Juan Carlos)

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.

Philippians 4:10-20 (NRSV)

I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.

You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

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.

John 17:20-26 (NRSV)

Jesus prayed, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

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.

Absalom Jones and his friend Richard Allen led a walkout from their Philadelphia Methodist church when it tried to impose racial segregation one Sunday. They organized their own church, which eventually became St. Thomas's African Episcopal Church, on the condition that Mr. Jones be licensed as a layreader and eventually ordained. (Delaware Art Museum)

Father Absalom Jones and historic St. Thomas’s African Episcopal Church never had an easy time of it. The Methodists they broke away from eventually donated land on which Jones could build his new church, but then repossessed it and charged them money to get their building back. Negotiations with Episcopal Bishop White were also fraught; White held most of the power to admit them to his diocese, but the St. Thomas congregation demanded a condition that Mr. Jones be licensed as a layreader and eventually ordained, so they could exert their own leadership. He spent many, many years as a deacon before White finally made him a priest. That legacy of resisting racism is what makes St. Thomas’s a vibrant and respected parish today. (Delaware Art Museum)

Collect of the Day: Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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
Dioceses of Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Spokane: new bishops
Tom
Dinah
Danny, vocation
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

For Religious Orders and Communities
Community of St. Mary at the Cross, UK
Community of St. Mary the Virgin, UK
Community of the Blessed Lady Mary, Zimbabwe
Community of the Gifts of the Holy Fire, Zimbabwe
Community of the Gospel, USA

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: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon on Absalom Jones – Washington National Cathedral, 6 February 2016

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