Year V: 12 Days of Christmas

Friday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast of St. John, Apostle & Evangelist: John was one of the twelve apostles of the Lord Jesus. He was the author of the Gospel of John, the book of revelation and the three New Testament letters that bear his name. He is often referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and along with Peter and James formed Jesus’ inner circle. As the only disciple not to forsake Jesus at his crucifixion, he became the guardian of Mary until her death. Despite being banished to Patmos in old age, John is believed to be the longest living apostle and the only one not to die a martyr’s death.

Today is also the Third Day of Christmas, the traditional twelve day festival that begins on Christmas Day and runs until January 5th. During this time we concentrate our readings on Jesus’ early life. This leads us to January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate Christ’s revelation to the world as Messiah, predominantly in the events leading up to and immediately after his baptism.


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 in 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 93

The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty.
    Indeed, the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength.
The world stands firm
    and cannot be shaken.

Your throne, O Lord, has stood from time immemorial.
    You yourself are from the everlasting past.
The floods have risen up, O Lord.
    The floods have roared like thunder;
    the floods have lifted their pounding waves.
But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
    mightier than the breakers on the shore—
    the Lord above is mightier than these!
Your royal laws cannot be changed.
    Your reign, O Lord, is holy forever and ever.

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

  • Almighty God, we give you praise for a new day, for breath in our bodies and the opportunities of a new, fresh morning. Come to us we pray, and empower us by Your Spirit to do your will and walk in your footsteps…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For obedient hearts to perform your Word…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For the supply of our needs and hearts willing to share with those in lack…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, guard our family and friends this day. May our children grow strong in your House, our friends find peace in serving you and may all those we do life with go forward together in faith and confidence…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For those who refuse your call, that you would show them mercy and bring them home…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For those at University, that they may know your protection and grow strong in you…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.

 The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church all across this world. Unite your people, empower your Bride and forgive her sins. May Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox come to the unity of the Spirit and fullness of the faith.
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For Pope Francis, his bishops, priests, ministers, and all those that serve in that communion…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For our Orthodox brothers and sisters, often labouring under intense persecution…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For the churches of the Reformation, the Anglican communion and the free churches…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.

The World

  • Father and creator of mankind, we plead with you for this broken world. As you came at Advent as the Saviour of all, so turn your face towards the nations, not counting their sins against them, but in wrath remember mercy.
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For those who work for peace, reconciliation and social justice…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.
  • For the peace of Jerusalem, the salvation of the Jews and the restoration of your people…
              –  Lord, let your face shine upon us.

 


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

Matthew 2:1-12

Wise Men Come to Visit Jesus

Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea during the time when Herod was king. When Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, as were all the people in Jerusalem. Herod called a meeting of all the leading priests and teachers of the law and asked them where the Christ would be born. They answered, “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea. The prophet wrote about this in the Scriptures:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are not just an insignificant village in Judah.
A ruler will come from you
    who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod had a secret meeting with the wise men and learned from them the exact time they first saw the star. He sent the wise men to Bethlehem, saying, “Look carefully for the child. When you find him, come tell me so I can worship him too.”

After the wise men heard the king, they left. The star that they had seen in the east went before them until it stopped above the place where the child was. When the wise men saw the star, they were filled with joy. They came to the house where the child was and saw him with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their gifts and gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their own country by a different way.

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

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

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

Reader:
The Way of Community: The Principle of Forgiveness.

Aware that without constant diligence all humans are prone to conflict, I make it my solemn commitment to walk in forgiveness with my brothers and sisters. As a follower of the Way of Community, I would rather be wronged than break the bond of love and rather turn the other cheek than retaliate.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Forgiveness.


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.)

Almighty God,
Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
And to put on the armour of light,
Now in the time of this mortal life,
In which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
That on the last day,
When he shall come again in his glorious majesty
To judge the living and the dead,
We may rise to the life immortal;
Through him who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever. Amen


BLESSING

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

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. 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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