Year V: Week 26 of Ordinary Time

Sunday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All: 
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All:
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens!
    Praise him from the skies!
Praise him, all his angels!
    Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
Praise him, sun and moon!
    Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
Praise him, skies above!
    Praise him, vapours high above the clouds!
Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
    for he issued his command, and they came into being.
He set them in place forever and ever.
    His decree will never be revoked.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you creatures of the ocean depths,
fire and hail, snow and clouds,
    wind and weather that obey him,
mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all livestock,
    small scurrying animals and birds,
kings of the earth and all people,
    rulers and judges of the earth,
young men and young women,
    old men and children.

Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
    For his name is very great;
    his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
He has made his people strong,
    honouring his faithful ones—
    the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

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 
(Optional)

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


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Song of Solomon 5:1-9

The Man Speaks

I have entered my garden, my sister, my bride.
    I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey.
    I have drunk my wine and my milk.

The Friends Speak

Eat, friends, and drink;
    yes, drink deeply, lovers.

The Woman Dreams

I sleep, but my heart is awake.
    I hear my lover knocking.
“Open to me, my sister, my darling,
    my dove, my perfect one.
My head is wet with dew,
    and my hair with the dampness of the night.”
I have taken off my garment
    and don’t want to put it on again.
I have washed my feet
    and don’t want to get them dirty again.
My lover put his hand through the opening,
    and I felt excited inside.
I got up to open the door for my lover.
    Myrrh was dripping from my hands
and flowing from my fingers,
    onto the handles of the lock.
I opened the door for my lover,
    but my lover had left and was gone.
    When he spoke, he took my breath away.
I looked for him, but I could not find him;
    I called for him, but he did not answer.
The watchmen found me
    as they patrolled the city.
They hit me and hurt me;
    the guards on the wall took away my veil.
Promise me, women of Jerusalem,
    if you find my lover,
    tell him I am weak with love.

The Friends Answer the Woman

How is your lover better than other lovers,
    most beautiful of women?
How is your lover better than other lovers?
    Why do you want us to promise this?

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


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER 

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning.  You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus, we thank you for another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth towards the prize.  Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. 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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