Morning Prayer 19.12.20, Saturday in Advent 3

Have mercy on some who are wavering; save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear.

A man drove off the road in the wee hours Thursday in upstate New York and ended up buried in 40 inches of snow for 10 hours before being rescued. His location was Owego, outside Binghamton, but he couldn’t get a cellphone signal to connect, as a snowplow came by and buried him further. Finally a call did go through, but the connection was so poor, the GPS only got within 3 miles of him. But that was enough to send out the state police, where a sharp-eyed trooper thought a certain snowbank looked a little different from the rest. He reached out his hand, thinking he might have found a row of mailboxes, when he touched the glass of the driver’s-side window. Kevin Kresin, 58, was so cold he had stopped shivering, but Sgt. Jason Cawley dug him out and drove him to an ambulance, which got him to a hospital and saved his life. (New York State Police)

Watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. Mark 13:35-36

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 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 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.

Peter Gorba, 1990: Remnant of Israel

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 10:20-27 (NRSV)

On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on the one who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in all the earth.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: O my people, who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they beat you with a rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. For in a very little while my indignation will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. The LORD of hosts will wield a whip against them, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb; his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. On that day his burden will be removed from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck.

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.

The Caribbean island of St. Kitts, seen from Sir Timothy’s Hill. St. Kitts and Nevis are the Western Hemisphere’s smallest country, a Commonwealth nation with Elizabeth II as Queen, but fully independent since 1983. (Fred Hsu)

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.

If Jude was the author of the Epistle by that name, we know a little more about him than we do about St. Simon. The letter ends with a glorious doxology, which we use on Friday mornings as our final blessing.

St. Jude’s letter ends with this glorious doxology, which we use on Friday mornings as our final blessing: “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling…”

Jude 17-25 (NRSV)

You, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.” It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on some who are wavering; save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies. Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. 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.

Rembrandt van Rijn, 1660: Preaching of St. John the Baptist.

Luke 3:1-9 (NRSV)

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

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.

Baptismal font at the Church of St. John Baptist, Thomaston, Maine. (Josh Thomas/Daily Office Network)

Collect of the Day: Third Sunday of Advent

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

For Social Justice

Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer for an Epidemic
© Daily Office Network

O God, our creator and preserver, we cry out to you along with our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are struggling to overcome the coronavirus epidemic, where so many lives have been lost already and millions more are threatened. We pray for your grace and mercy that an end to this disease will come soon; and that life, labor, community and human touch will be restored. Give us courage and strength to amend our ways of living in the face of this great human tragedy, cooperating with medical authorities to preserve our own health and safeguard others. Help us overcome our fears and give us confidence to ask this in the Name of your most blessed Son, who came and gave his life so that we might live fully, Jesus our Lord and Savior. 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
Christine
Jodi
Leah
Shirley
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

For Religious Orders
Society of the Holy Cross, Korea
Society of the Precious Blood, UK, Lesotho & South Africa
Society of the Sisters of Bethany, UK
St. Gregory’s Abbey, OSB, Michigan
St. Joseph’s Monastery, Mississippi
St. Mark’s Abbey, Australia
and for Orders in other Communions and Churches

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: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (George Fredereick Handel, from Messiah, Part 1, HWV 56) – Anne Sofie von Otter, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, cond. Neville Marriner, 2015

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