Morning Prayer 13.5.17, Frances Perkins, Mother of U.S. Social Security, 1965

I preferred wisdom to scepters and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.

U.S. Medal of Honor winner Master Sergeant Wilburn K. Ross has died; he was cited for astonishing bravery in a battle with Nazi forces in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France in 1944. His unit had lost more than half their 88 men when he took a forward position ahead of his riflemen, then proceeded to wage virtually a one-man battle for five hours. Armed only with a machine gun, with enemy forces advancing to within four yards of him, he mowed down 50 Germans in less than a minute and broke the assault single-handedly. Heroism was widespread that day; four other members of his unit also won the Medal, awarded in 1945 at a stadium in Nuremberg where Adolf Hitler used to stage his disgusting rallies. How did Sgt. Ross become so precise a marksman? As a boy in tiny Strunk, Kentucky, he used to set a wooden kitchen match in a tree in the backyard, take his stand and try to light it with his .22. His Mom used to yell at him for wasting her good matches – until she found out later he didn’t waste a one. (Medal of Honor Society)

On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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. Alleluia.

Christ Our Passover
1 Cor. 5:7-8; Rom. 6:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:20-22

Alleluia.
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ has been raised from the dead, *
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, *
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

Psalm 55

1  Hear my prayer, O God; *
do not hide yourself from my petition.
2  Listen to me and answer me; *
I have no peace, because of my cares.
3  I am shaken by the noise of the enemy *
and by the pressure of the wicked;
4  For they have cast an evil spell upon me *
and are set against me in fury.
5  My heart quakes within me, *
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
6  Fear and trembling have come over me, *
and horror overwhelms me.
7  And I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! *
I would fly away and be at rest.
8  I would flee to a far-off place *
and make my lodging in the wilderness.
9  I would hasten to escape *
from the stormy wind and tempest.”
10  Swallow them up, O Lord;
confound their speech; *
for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
11  Day and night the watchmen make their rounds upon its walls, *
but trouble and misery are in the midst of it.
12  There is corruption at its heart; *
its streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
13  For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
then I could have borne it; *
or had it been enemies who vaunted themselves against me,
then I could have hidden from them.
14  But it was you, my companion, *
my own familiar friend, dear to my own heart.
15  We took sweet counsel together, *
and walked with the throng in the house of God.
16  Let death come upon them suddenly;
let them go down alive into the grave; *
for wickedness is in their dwellings, in their very midst.
17  But I will call upon God, *
and the LORD will deliver me.
18  In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday,
I will complain and lament, *
and the LORD will hear my voice.
19  God will bring me safely back from the battle waged against me; *
for there are many who fight me.
20  God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me and bring them down; *
they never change; they do not fear God.
21  My companion stretched forth a hand against a comrade; *
and broke a covenant.
22  The speech of my companion is softer than butter, *
but with war at heart.
23  The words of my comrade are smoother than oil, *
but they are drawn swords.
24  Cast your burden upon the LORD,
who will sustain you; *
the LORD will never let the righteous stumble.
25  For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful *
down to the pit of destruction, O God.
26  They shall not live out half their days, *
but I will put my trust in you.

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.

Dove Project at St. Paul’s, Indianapolis, in which parishioners were given designs and paper to cut out, without knowing what the final product would be: a flock of hundreds of doves symbolizing the Holy Spirit and peace. Created by Jay Mermoud expressly for this space to observe the Day of Pentecost, 2015, this was his second such installation in the diocese. (parish photo)

THE LESSONS
Wisdom 7:1-14 (NRSV)

I also am mortal, like everyone else,
a descendant of the first-formed child of earth;
and in the womb of a mother I was molded into flesh,
within the period of ten months, compacted with blood,
from the seed of a man and the pleasure of marriage.
And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air,
and fell upon the kindred earth;
my first sound was a cry, as is true of all.
I was nursed with care in swaddling cloths.
For no king has had a different beginning of existence;
there is for all one entrance into life, and one way out.
Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepters and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,
because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,
and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
I loved her more than health and beauty,
and I chose to have her rather than light,
because her radiance never ceases.
All good things came to me along with her,
and in her hands uncounted wealth.
I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;
but I did not know that she was their mother.
I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;
I do not hide her wealth,
for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals;
those who get it obtain friendship with God,
commended for the gifts that come from instruction.

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.

A bluebird ready for his close-up. (funpeep.com)

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.

Colossians 3:12-17 (NRSV)

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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 the Baptist, in prison, sending his disciples to Jesus. (Rouen Cathedral, France; Gordon Plumb)

Luke 7:18-35 (NRSV)

The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?'” Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’

I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (And all the people who heard this, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.)

“To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,

‘We played the flute for you,
and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

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.

The only woman in the room: Episcopal laywoman Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor and first woman cabinet member in U.S. history, stands directly behind President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he signs the Social Security Act of 1935. It was her idea, but he had misgivings about whether it would ever pass Congress. Today it’s remembered – monthly – as the greatest and most lasting achievement of the New Deal. (photographer unknown)

Collect of the Day: Frances Perkins, Public Servant and Prophetic Witness, 1965

Loving God, we bless your Name for Frances Perkins, who lived out her belief that the special vocation of the laity is to build a society in which all may live in health and decency: Help us, following her example and in union with her prayers, to contend tirelessly for justice and for the protection of all, that we may be faithful followers of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever 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
Sixroute, David, Tom, Brad & Danny, vocation
Dinah, religious life
Scotty, direction
Shirley & Maureen, discernment
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

For Religious Orders & Communities
Community of the Sisters of the Love of God, UK
Companions of Mary the Apostle, New York
Companions of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts
Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas
Episcopal Carmel of St. Teresa, Maryland

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. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

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: God Bless America (Irving Berlin) – Martina McBride at the Rose Bowl Parade, Pasadena, California, ABC News, 2002

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