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 have a partner or are in a small 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+
Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! May his grace and peace be with you. May he fill our hearts with joy. 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!
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: 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 full of compassion and mercy: O come, let us worship.
CHRIST OUR PASSOVER
1 Corinthians 5.7–8; Romans 6.9–11; 1 Corinthians 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!
SONG – Holy Holy Holy (Audrey Assad)
Holy holy holy Lord God Almighty Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee Holy holy, holy Merciful and mighty God in three Persons blessed Trinity Holy holy holy Tho’ the darkness hide Thee Tho’ the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see Only Thou are holy There is none beside Thee Perfect in pow’r in love in purity Holy holy holy Lord God Almighty All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea Holy holy holy Merciful and mighty God in three Persons blessed Trinity
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. 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.
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. The word of the Lord. / Thanks be to God.
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 2 1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
The Word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL SONG – Come Ye Sinners (Nathan Drake)
Come ye sinners poor and needy Weak and wounded sick and sore Jesus ready stands to save you Full of pity, love and pow'r I will arise and go to Jesus He will embrace me in His arms And in the arms of my dear Savior Oh there are ten thousand charms Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome God's free bounty glorify True belief and true repentance Every grace that brings you nigh Feel Him prostrate in the garden On the ground your Maker lies On the bloody tree, behold him Sinner, will this not suffice?
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
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 story. Look around. What can you see? What can you hear? Who are the main characters? What do they look like? How do they sound?
- Where is Jesus in the story? How do the other characters relate to him? Who do they think he is?
- What is happening for you? What are you thinking and feeling? Where do you find yourself in the story? Which characters do you find easiest to relate to?
- Consider the poem “Palm Sunday” by Malcolm Guite below. Notice how he associates the fickleness of the crowd with the hardness of his own heart. Can you relate to this in your own life?
- 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?
Lord I come I confess Bowing here I find my rest And without You I fall apart You're the one that guides my heart Lord I need You oh I need You Ev'ry hour I need You My one defense my righteousness Oh God how I need You Where sin runs deep Your grace is more Where grace is found is where You are And where You are Lord I am free Holiness is Christ in me Where You are Lord I am free Holiness is Christ in me So teach my song to rise to You When temptation comes my way And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You Jesus You're my hope and stay And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You Jesus You're my hope and stay Lord I need You oh I need You Ev'ry hour I need You My one defense my righteousness Oh God how I need You My one defense my righteousness Oh God how I need You
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.
Alleluia to our God, praise and thanksgiving for life and life eternal. Alleluia to our Lord Jesus Christ, conqueror of death and hell. Father Son, and Holy Spirit, we praise you for your life-giving and life-renewing powers, this glorious day and evermore. 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 archbishop 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 … (we pray now for those in need, whether aloud or quietly in our own hearts ...) 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 eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us, let us pray with confidence as our Savior 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 – The Earth Shall Know (Porter’s Gate)
Let us come of one accord To lift up praises to our King There is splendor and power all around Him And we will gather all together Every nation tribe creed and color Let the Body come alive And our Creator be glorified And the earth shall know God's name And the earth will sing God's praise All of the earth shall sing The praise of our God of our God Let us come of one accord To see each other and our needs When we gather there is power all around us Power to live right power to be light Over our cities and neighbors to speak life Spirit give us eyes to see Your perfect will for humanity Heal the land meet the need Set the captives free
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.