Morning Prayer 4.7.17, USA: Independence Day

Sovereignty passes from nation to nation
on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.

Today is a major feast day in the U.S. dioceses of The Episcopal Church, by order of the General Convention. Many Episcopal churches will be open today for services; above; open doors at St. Alban’s, Washington, D.C. (parish photo)

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1

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.

Psalm 100
Jubilate

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 33

1 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; *
it is good for the just to sing praises.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp; *
play upon the psaltery and lyre.
3 Sing for the LORD a new song; *
sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4 For your word, O LORD, is right, *
and all your works are sure.
5 You love righteousness and justice; *
your loving-kindness, O LORD, fills the whole earth.
6 By the word, O LORD, were the heavens made, *
by the breath of your mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7 You gather up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin *
and store up the depths of the sea.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; *
let all who dwell in the world stand in reverence.
9 For the LORD spoke, and it came to pass; *
the LORD commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; *
and thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11 But the LORD’s will stands fast for ever, *
and the designs of the LORD’s heart from age to age.

12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! *
happy the people you have chosen to be your own!
13 O LORD, you look down from heaven, *
and behold all the people in the world.
14 From where you sit enthroned you turn your gaze *
on all who dwell on the earth.
15 You fashion all the hearts of them *
and understand all their works.
16 There is no ruler that can be saved by a mighty army; *
a warrior is not delivered by great strength.
17 The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; *
for all its strength it cannot save.
18 Behold, your eye, O LORD, is upon those who fear you, *
on those who wait upon your love,
19 To pluck their lives from death, *
and to feed them in time of famine.
20 Our soul waits for you, O LORD; *
you are our help and our shield.
21 Indeed, our heart rejoices in you, *
for in your holy Name we put our trust.
22 Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, *
as we have put our 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.

THE LESSONS
Ecclesiasticus 10:1-8, 12-18 (NRSV)

A wise magistrate educates his people,
and the rule of an intelligent person is well ordered.
As the people’s judge is, so are his officials;
as the ruler of the city is, so are all its inhabitants.
An undisciplined king ruins his people,
but a city becomes fit to live in through the understanding of its rulers.
The government of the earth is in the hand of the Lord,
and over it he will raise up the right leader for the time.
Human success is in the hand of the Lord,
and it is he who confers honor upon the lawgiver.

Do not get angry with your neighbor for every injury,
and do not resort to acts of insolence.
Arrogance is hateful to the Lord and to mortals,
and injustice is outrageous to both.
Sovereignty passes from nation to nation
on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.

The beginning of human pride is to forsake the Lord;
the heart has withdrawn from its maker.
For the beginning of pride is sin,
and the one who clings to it pours out abominations.
Therefore the Lord brings upon them unheard-of calamities,
and destroys them completely.
The Lord overthrows the thrones of rulers,
and enthrones the lowly in their place.
The Lord plucks up the roots of the nations,
and plants the humble in their place.
The Lord lays waste the lands of the nations,
and destroys them to the foundations of the earth.
He removes some of them and destroys them,
and erases the memory of them from the earth.
Pride was not created for human beings,
or violent anger for those born of women.

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.

James 5:7-10 (NRSV)

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance.

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.

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

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.

Eleven U.S. presidents have been Episcopalian, some to lasting fame and some to permanent obscurity. Few people now living can identify this one, of whom a newspaper wrote in its obituary, “No duty was neglected in his administration, and no adventurous project alarmed the nation,” which sounds like a one-way ticket to Poughkeepsie. He reformed the civil service, though; Chester Alan Arthur, Republican of New York. God bless America!

Collect of the Day: Independence Day

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and who lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Our Country

Almighty God, you have given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness; and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

No U.S./Allied War Deaths Last Week, Thanks Be to God
They Have Names, compiled since 2007 by Clint Gilliland

Total War Deaths: 8,376

Iraq: Total Deaths: 4,841
– no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week

Afghanistan: Total Deaths: 3,535
– no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week

Civilian Death Estimates (Outdated)
Iraq: 155,923 – 174,355 (Iraq Body Count Project, through March 2016)
Afghanistan: more than 26,000 (Costs of War, Brown University, through January 2015)

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: Divine Hours at Sewanee: The University of the South – The Rev. Chris Brian, 2011

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