Good morning everyone. Below you will find a service of Morning Prayer that includes readings, prayers, and music. We are living through unprecedented times, and there are many ongoing challenges, but we have an amazing opportunity to take up new practices of reading, singing, and praying in our own homes. We are not alone in this. God is in our midst, leading us through.
Instructions: If you are in a group, choose someone to lead (unbolded parts) and the rest will respond in unison (bolded parts). You may want to divide up responsibilities for the prayers and readings. Notice too that I’ve included music selections with lyrics. This is entirely optional, but if it suits you, please feel free to sing along. Many blessings in your time of worship. – Pastor Sean+
Seek the Lord while he wills to be found, call upon him when he draws near; let the wicked forsake their ways, and the evil ones their thoughts; and let them return to the Lord, and he will have compassion, and to our God, for he will richly pardon. Isaiah 55.6, 7 Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbour. 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 neighbours 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 upon us, pardon and deliver us from all of our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord, open our lips, And our mouth shall proclaim your praise. O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us. 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 Lord is our refuge: O come, let us worship. 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. The Lord is our refuge: O come, let us worship.
SONG – Rising (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal)
I believe there’s a morning not followed by night When all the blind that are calling will be given new sight I believe that all children who come to You Christ Are free cos You heal them, You hear all our cries. I believe in Your Love I believe in Your Love And that You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising I believe in Your mercy, like oceans it flows For all who are thirsty, for all our sorrows I believe we’ll rise higher with hearts made low And that Your heart is a fire when it’s dark and it’s cold I believe in Your Love I believe in Your Love And that You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising And it is well with my soul It is well with my soul ‘Cos You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising I believe in Your Love I believe in Your Love And that You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising Yeah You heal all the fallen And with You we’re rising (2x)
The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name— he is holy. The King is mighty, he loves justice— you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them. He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them. Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy. 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.
12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” 19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” The word of the Lord. / Thanks be to God.
1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. 2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
The Word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL SONG – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (NATHAN DRAKE)
Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it mount of God's redeeming love. Here I find my greatest treasure; hither by thy help I've come; and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; he, to rescue me from danger, bought me with his precious blood. Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee: prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
The Gospel of Christ. / Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
BIBLE STUDY FOR INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL GROUPS
Have a look at the questions below. They are deigned to help you make the most of the Gospel reading. There’s no need to answer every question. Draw on them as they seem helpful for your reflection and/or discussion. The hope by the end is that our reading and meditating will turn naturally to prayer.
- Return to the Gospel and read it again
- What stands out for you? What are your impressions? Try to isolate a moment, image, theme, phrase or word that feels important. Write it down. Take some time to reflect. Give yourself freedom to wonder.
- Imagine yourself in the Gospel story. Look around. What can you see? What can you hear? Who is present? How do the characters appear in your mind’s eye? What do they sound like?
- Where is Jesus in the story? What does he do? How do the other characters relate to him?
- The Pharisees (religious leaders) are trying to trap Jesus by having him choose sides. If he agrees with the imperial tax, he would seem to be siding with Rome and the Herodians (Jewish political leaders beholden to Rome). If he disagrees with the tax, he would seem to be siding with the Zealots (militant revolutionaries) who resisted foreign occupation. Both options are a problem for Jesus given that he has his own unique missional agenda. What do you think of his answer? Why do you think the religious and political leaders marveled at it?
- What is happening for you in this moment of reflection? What are you thinking and feeling? Where do you find yourself in the story?
- Read the Gospel again.
- The word “Gospel” means “good news.” What makes this passage of scripture good news?
- We believe that God speaks into our lives and reveals himself to us through scripture. What could God be saying through our readings for this morning? How is he making himself known to you?
- God not only speaks and reveals himself, but he invites us to respond to him. Are there parts of our readings you’d like to turn back to God in prayer? Is there something you’d like to celebrate? Something to confess? Something to ask for? Something to rest in?
- When you think about your life in connection with our readings is there something you’d like to start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing?
We will feast in the house of Zion We will sing with our hearts restored He has done great things we will say together We will feast and weep no more We will not be burned by the fire He is the Lord our God We are not consumed by the flood Upheld protected gathered up In the dark of night before the dawn My soul be not afraid For the promised morning oh how long Oh God of Jacob be my strength Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed You are the faithful one And from the garden to the grave Bind us together bring shalom
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
Let us confess our faith as we say, I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He 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, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 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.
God of light and power and glory, we rejoice in your light, we live by your power, we look for your glory. Open our eyes to behold your presence, that we may give ourselves to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen. In peace let us pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy. For peace from on high and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For bishop David, and for all clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For Elizabeth our Queen, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For this place where we live, for every city and community, and for those who live in them in faith, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For all who are affected by coronavirus, through illness or isolation or anxiety, that they may find relief and recovery, let us pray to the Lord, Lord, have mercy. For our own needs and the needs of others, for the lonely, the sick and the suffering … (silent prayer) Together we pray, Lord have mercy Remembering all the saints, we commit ourselves, one another, and our whole life to Christ our God. To thee, O Lord. O Lord our God, you call us in the depths of our being: open our ears to your call, open our hearts to your love, open our minds to your will, that we may know you and give ourselves fully in your service, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Almighty and everliving God, increase in us your gift of faith, that forsaking what lies behind and reaching out to what is before, we may run the way of your commandments and win the crown of everlasting joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray as our Saviour taught us, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
SONG – Father Let Your Kingdom Come (PORTER’S GATE)
Hallelu hallelujah Father let Your kingdom come May the works of my hands bring You joy May the works of my hands bring You joy May the works of my hands bring You joy May the works of my hands bring You joy May the words from my mouth speak Your peace May the words from my mouth speak Your peace May the words from my mouth speak Your peace May the words from my mouth speak Your peace You make all things new You make all things new In places we don't choose You make all things new
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.