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+
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 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.
SONG – Hosanna (Paul Baloche)
Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You 'Cause when we see You we find strength to face the day In Your presence all our fears are washed away, washed away Refrain: Hosanna, Hosanna You are the God who saves us Worthy of all our praises Hosanna, Hosanna Come have Your way among us We welcome You here, Lord Jesus Hear the sound of hearts returning to You, we turn to You In Your Kingdom broken lives are made new, You make us new 'Cause when we see You we find strength to face the day In Your presence all our fears are washed away, washed away [Refrain] 'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day In Your Presence all our fears are washed away 'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away [Refrain]
PSALM 118:1-2, 19-29
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 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.
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. 12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. 13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword. The Lord Will Appear 14 Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, 15 and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar. 16 The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. 17 How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women. The word of the Lord. / Thanks be to God.
1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
The Word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL SONG – All Glory, Laud and Honour (Nathan Drake)
All glory, laud and honor, To Thee, Redeemer, King, To Whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring. Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son, Who in the Lord’s Name comest, The King and Blessed One. The company of angels Are praising Thee on High, And mortal men and all things Created make reply. To Thee, before Thy passion, They sang their hymns of praise; To Thee, now high exalted, Our melody we raise.
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
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?
Now to the gate of my Jerusalem, The seething holy city of my heart, The saviour comes. But will I welcome him? Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start; They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing, And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find The challenge, the reversal he is bringing Changes their tune. I know what lies behind The surface flourish that so quickly fades; Self-interest, and fearful guardedness, The hardness of the heart, its barricades, And at the core, the dreadful emptiness Of a perverted temple. Jesus come Break my resistance and make me your home.
- 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?
I am tangled up in contradiction. I am strangled by my own two hands. I am hunted by the hounds of addiction. Hosanna! Hosanna! I have lied to everyone who trusts me. I have tried to fall when I could stand. I have only loved the ones who loved me. Hosanna! Hosanna! Refrain: O Hosanna! See the long awaited king, Come to set his people free. We cry O Hosanna! Come and tear the temple down. Raise it up on holy ground. Hosanna! Hosanna! I have struggled to remove this raiment, Tried to hide every shimmering strand. I contend with these ghosts and these hosts of bright angels. Hosanna! I have cursed the man that you have made me. I have nursed the beast that bays for my blood. Oh, I have run from the one who would save me. Save me, Hosanna! Hosanna! [Refrain] We cry for blood, And we take your life. Hosanna! We cry for blood, And we take your life. It is blood, It is life that you have given. You have crushed beneath your heel the vile serpent. You have carried to the grave the black stain. You have torn apart the temple's holy curtain. You have beaten Death at Death's own game. Hosanna! [Refrain]
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.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, cleanse and deliver us from our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and bring us into the way that leads to life; through him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.
Holy Father, as Christ entered Jerusalem, let him enter our lives, let the King of glory come in, that he may rule in our hearts, and that we may offer our love and lives to him; through the same Christ our Lord, who offered his life for us, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. 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.
ENTRANCE TO HOLY WEEK
On this day our Lord Jesus Christ entered the holy city of Jerusalem in triumph. The people welcomed him with palms and shouts of praise, but the path before him led to self-giving, suffering, and death. Today we greet him as our King, although we know his crown is thorns and his throne a cross. We follow him this week from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrection by way of the dark road of suffering and death. United with him in his suffering on the cross, may we share his resurrection and new life. Let us pray. Assist us mercifully with your help, Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy into the celebration of those mighty acts whereby you give us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONG – How Can I Keep from Singing (Audrey Assad)
My life flows on in endless song; Above earth's lamentation, I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn That hails a new creation Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing It finds an echo in my soul How can I keep from singing? What though my joys and comforts die? I know my Savior liveth What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that refuge clinging Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth How can I keep from singing? I lift my eyes, the cloud grows thin I see the blue above it And day by day this pathway smooths, Since first I learned to love it. The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart A fountain ever springing For all things are mine since I am his How can I keep from singing? No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that refuge clinging Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth How can I keep from singing?
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.