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 heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 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.
1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The word of the Lord. / Thanks be to God.
4 If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The Word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL SONG – I Stand Amazed (NATHAN DRAKE)
I stand amazed in the presence Of Jesus the Nazarene And wonder how He could love me A sinner condemned unclean How marvelous how wonderful And my song shall ever be How marvelous how wonderful Is my Savior's love for me He took my sins and my sorrows He made them His very own (And) He bore the burden to Calvary And suffered and died alone And with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see It will be my joy through the ages To sing of His love for me
33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. 35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
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.
- Jesus is talking with the religious leaders and they are questioning his authority. Imagine yourself as one of these leaders responding to Jesus and listening to the story about the landowner and tenants. What is happening for you? What are you thinking and feeling?
- What do you make of Jesus’ story? What is his overall point? Can you sum it up in one sentence?
- Notice how the religious leaders react to Jesus’ story. It’s clear that they have a blind spot. Can you say what it is? How is this a warning for us too?
- Read the Gospel again.
- The word “Gospel” means “good news.” What makes this story 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?
Who is Lord but our Lord Who is God only God You are the highest You are most good Matchless is Your love Our praise will rise above Your peace like a river Floods over us Our hearts are restless until they find rest in You Our hearts are restless until they find rest in You This is where my hope lies This is where my souls sighs And I will always find my rest in You So full of mercy Beauty and mystery You are most hidden But always with us You cannot change yet You change ev'rything
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 God, you have built your Church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. Join us together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may become a holy temple, acceptable to you; 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 – You Grace Is Enough (Matt Maher)
Great is Your faithfulness O God You wrestle with the sinner's restless heart You lead us by still waters into mercy And nothing can keep us apart Remember Your people Remember Your children Remember Your promise O God Your grace is enough Your grace is enough Your grace is enough for me Great is Your love and justice God of Jacob You use the weak to lead the strong You lead us in the song of Your salvation And all Your people sing along Your grace is enough Heaven reaches out to us Your grace is enough for me God I sing Your grace is enough I'm covered in Your love Your grace is enough for me for me
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.