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 Word was made flesh and dwelt among us: O come, let us worship 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 turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, and to our God, for he will richly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as rain and snow fall from the heavens and return not again, but water the earth, Bringing forth life and giving growth, seed for sowing and bread for eating, So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not return to me empty; But it will accomplish that which I have purposed, and prosper in that for which I sent it. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us: O come, let us worship
SONG – Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Phil Wickham)
Hark! The herald-angels sing "Glory to the newborn king; Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled" Joyful all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies With the angelic host proclaim "Christ is born in Bethlehem" Hark! The herald-angels sing "Glory to the new-born king" Christ, by highest heaven adored Christ, the everlasting Lord, Late in time behold Him come Offspring of a Virgin's womb: Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity Pleased as man with man to dwell Jesus, our Emmanuel Hark! The herald-angels sing "Glory to the newborn King" Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings; Mild He lays His glory by Born that man no more may die Born to raise the sons of earth Born to give them second birth Hark! The herald angels sing "Glory to the new-born king"
Extol the Lord, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion. He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws 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.
A reading from Jeremiah, chapter 31, beginning at verse 7.
7 This is what the Lord says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, ‘Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ 8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. 9 They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. 10 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ 11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. 13 Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. 14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,” declares the Lord.
The word of the Lord. / Thanks be to God.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
The Word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL SONG – Angels We Have Heard on High (Nathan Drake)
Angels we have heard on high, singing sweetly through the night, and the mountains in reply echoing their brave delight. Refrain: Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria in excelsis Deo. Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be? Which inspire your heavenly songs? [Refrain] Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing; Come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King. [Refrain] See him in a manger laid whom the angels praise above. Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, while we raise our hearts in love. [Refrain]
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
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 designed 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.
- The first words of John’s gospel–“In the beginning–echo the start of Geneis, the first book of the Bible: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Why do you think John would begin his story of Jesus with this reference to the story of creation?
- In the Old Testament, God regularly acts by means of his “word.” What he says, happens–in Genesis itself, and regularly thereafter, “By the word of the Lord,” says the psalmist, “the heavens were made” (Ps. 33:6). God’s word is the one thing that will last, even though people and plants wither and die (Isaiah 40:6-8). God’s word will go our of his mouth and bring life, healing, and hope to Israel and the whole creation (Isaiah 55:10-11). How does this Old Testament background help us to understand what John is trying to tell us about the “Word [who] became flesh”?
- This is the theme of John’s gospel: If you want to know who the true God is, look long and hard at Jesus. How does our understnading of God get off track when we try to think about who he is apart from Jesus?
- Perhaps the most exciting thing about this opening passage is that we’re in it too: “To anyone who did accept him” (v. 12)–that means anyone at all, then and now. You don’t have to be born into a particular family or part of the world. God wants people from everywhere to be born in a new way, born into the family he began through Jesus and which has since spread through the world. How does accepting Jesus tranform our lives such that we become new people? Have you experienced this or seen it happen in the lives of others?
- What is happening for you in this moment? What are you thinking and feeling?
- 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?
What Child is this who laid to rest On Mary's lap is sleeping Whom angels greet with anthems sweet While shepherds watch are keeping This this is Christ the King Whom shepherds guard and angels sing Haste haste to bring Him laud The Babe the Son of Mary So bring Him incense gold and myrrh Come peasant king to own Him The King of kings salvation brings Let loving hearts enthrone Him Raise raise a song on high The virgin sings her lullaby Joy joy for Christ is born The Babe the Son of Mary (Mary) Nails spears shall pierce Him through The cross He bore for me for you Hail hail the Word made flesh The Babe the Son of Mary
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 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, In our own parishes we pray especially for Joyce Fanjoy, Roger & Lorraine Fanjoy 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 … For Ashley & Justin, Fred, Eldon, Bill, Dot … 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.
God of power and life, the glory of all who believe in you, fill the world with your splendour and show the nations the light of your truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, 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 – Noel (Lauren Daigle)
Love incarnate love divine Star and angels gave the sign Bow to babe on bended knee The Savior of humanity Unto us a Child is born He shall reign forevermore Noel Noel Come and see what God has done Noel Noel The story of amazing love The light of the world given for us Noel Son of God and Son of man There before the world began Born to suffer born to save Born to raise us from the grave Christ the everlasting Lord He shall reign forevermore
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.