Year V: Week 3 of Advent

Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast of St. Thomas: Thomas was one of the twelve apostles, often known as ‘doubting Thomas’ after having initial doubts regarding the resurrection. Tradition has it that in 52AD he sailed to India to take the gospel to this as yet unreached people group, dying in Chennai (Madras) after twenty years of fruitful ministry.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 24 (Domini est terra)

All:

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything it it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 128

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    all who follow his ways!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
    How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine,
    flourishing within your home.
Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees
    as they sit around your table.
That is the Lord’s blessing
    for those who fear him.

May the Lord continually bless you from Zion.
    May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.
    May Israel have peace!

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Mighty Lord, as we begin the weekend, we place our focus on you who said, “Come aside and rest awhile.” Renew our hearts and strengthen our bodies we pray. Reveal your Son in us, and conform us to your image.
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For an open heart to receive your grace and open ears to hear your word…
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For the ability to be an instrument of your peace and a channel of reconciliation…
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you came at Advent to make of every nation a single people that you call not only your family but your friends. May we truly be found to be the friends of God today as we follow Him who was the friend of sinners.
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For those who live on the fringes of our community – give us grace to include them into our world.
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For agencies and individuals who work to build family amongst the dispossessed and friendship with those who struggle in loneliness…
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your Bride, the Church; that this week she may grow strong in faith and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. We ask that her numbers will daily increase and her love for you be ever more fervent.
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For those who bring your word to our streets, for Street Pastors, Street Evangelism Teams and all forms of outreach…
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For those who bring mercy to our cities, for the work of Food Bank, Homeless Night Shelters, the agencies of practical aid and the many other expressions of Christian charity…
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For the destitute and homeless, may their needs be met and a bright future secured…
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.

The World

  • Ever Living God, we bring the nations to you and ask for the restoration of great missionary activity, that the forces of darkness may be pushed back. As we are called to a prophetic vocation in Christ, may we proclaim your mighty deeds!
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For communities bound in fear and ungodly traditions that bring people into emotional and mental slavery…
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.
  • For the ongoing work of our partners in India. May they go from strength to strength and know protection, favour and spiritual power.
              – Lord, bring to completion the work you have begun.


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your 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 yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Luke 1:39-56

Mary Visits Elizabeth

Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hills of Judea. She came to Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She cried out in a loud voice, “God has blessed you more than any other woman, and he has blessed the baby to which you will give birth. Why has this good thing happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. You are blessed because you believed that what the Lord said to you would really happen.”

Mary Praises God

Then Mary said,

“My soul praises the Lord;
my heart rejoices in God my Savior,
because he has shown his concern for his humble servant girl.
From now on, all people will say that I am blessed,
because the Powerful One has done great things for me.
    His name is holy.
God will show his mercy forever and ever
    to those who worship and serve him.
He has done mighty deeds by his power.
    He has scattered the people who are proud
    and think great things about themselves.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    and raised up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away with nothing.
He has helped his servant, the people of Israel,
    remembering to show them mercy
as he promised to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his children forever.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Simple Living.

Mindful of the deeply damaging nature of modern materialistic culture, I choose to live a simple life that reflects the teachings of Jesus. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I shall live within my means, shun any sort of debt and free myself from the compulsion to posses what I cannot afford or do not need.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Simple Living.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Father, all-powerful God,
Your eternal Word took flesh on our earth,
When the Virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan.
Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice which announces his glory,
And open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for his coming.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may God the Son, coming among us in power,
Reveal in our midst the promise of his glory. Amen.


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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