Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 51

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Galatians 2:11-21

Paul Shows that Peter Was Wrong

When Peter came to Antioch, I challenged him to his face, because he was wrong. Peter ate with the non-Jewish people until some Jewish people sent from James came to Antioch. When they arrived, Peter stopped eating with those who weren’t Jewish, and he separated himself from them. He was afraid of the Jews. So Peter was a hypocrite, as were the other Jewish believers who joined with him. Even Barnabas was influenced by what these Jewish believers did. When I saw they were not following the truth of the Good News, I spoke to Peter in front of them all. I said, “Peter, you are a Jew, but you are not living like a Jew. You are living like those who are not Jewish. So why do you now try to force those who are not Jewish to live like Jews?”

We were not born as non-Jewish “sinners,” but as Jews. Yet we know that a person is made right with God not by following the law, but by trusting in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus, that we might be made right with God because we trusted in Christ. It is not because we followed the law, because no one can be made right with God by following the law.

We Jews came to Christ, trying to be made right with God, and it became clear that we are sinners, too. Does this mean that Christ encourages sin? No! But I would really be wrong to begin teaching again those things that I gave up. It was the law that put me to death, and I died to the law so that I can now live for God. I was put to death on the cross with Christ, and I do not live anymore—it is Christ who lives in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself to save me. By saying these things I am not going against God’s grace. Just the opposite, if the law could make us right with God, then Christ’s death would be useless.

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


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

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

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: 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 to 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 44

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
    our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
    in days long ago:
You drove out the pagan nations by your power
    and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
    and set our ancestors free.
They did not conquer the land with their swords;
    it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
    and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
    for you loved them.

You are my King and my God.
    You command victories for Israel.
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
    only in your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow;
    I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
    you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long
    and constantly praise your name. Interlude

But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor.
    You no longer lead our armies to battle.
You make us retreat from our enemies
    and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
You have butchered us like sheep
    and scattered us among the nations.
You sold your precious people for a pittance,
    making nothing on the sale.
You let our neighbors mock us.
    We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
You have made us the butt of their jokes;
    they shake their heads at us in scorn.
We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
    shame is written across our faces.
All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
    All we see are our vengeful enemies.

All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
    We have not violated your covenant.
Our hearts have not deserted you.
    We have not strayed from your path.
Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
    You have covered us with darkness and death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
God would surely have known it,
    for he knows the secrets of every heart.
But for your sake we are killed every day;
    we are being slaughtered like sheep.

Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Get up! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you look the other way?
    Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
We collapse in the dust,
    lying face down in the dirt.
Rise up! Help us!
    Ransom us because of your unfailing love.

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

Leviticus 10:1-7

God Destroys Nadab and Abihu

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their pans for burning incense, put fire in them, and added incense; but they did not use the special fire Moses had commanded them to use in the presence of the Lord. So fire came down from the Lord and destroyed Nadab and Abihu, and they died in front of the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord was speaking about when he said,

‘I must be respected as holy
    by those who come near me;
before all the people
    I must be given honor.’”

So Aaron did not say anything about the death of his sons.

Aaron’s uncle Uzziel had two sons named Mishael and Elzaphan. Moses said to them, “Come here and pick up your cousins’ bodies. Carry them outside the camp away from the front of the Holy Place.” So Mishael and Elzaphan obeyed Moses and carried the bodies of Nadab and Abihu, still clothed in the special priest’s inner robes, outside the camp.

Then Moses said to Aaron and his other sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Don’t show sadness by tearing your clothes or leaving your hair uncombed. If you do, you will die, and the Lord will be angry with all the people. All the people of Israel, your relatives, may cry loudly about the Lord burning Nadab and Abihu, but you must not even leave the Meeting Tent. If you go out of the entrance, you will die, because the Lord has appointed you to his service.” So Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar obeyed Moses.

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 the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Saturday: Morning 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 to 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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

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 35

A psalm of David.

O Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
    Fight those who fight against me.
Put on your armor, and take up your shield.
    Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.
Lift up your spear and javelin
    against those who pursue me.
Let me hear you say,
    “I will give you victory!”
Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me;
    turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me.
Blow them away like chaff in the wind—
    a wind sent by the angel of the Lord.
Make their path dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me.
    I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me.
So let sudden ruin come upon them!
    Let them be caught in the trap they set for me!
    Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me.

Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
    I will be glad because he rescues me.
With every bone in my body I will praise him:
    Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
    Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”

Malicious witnesses testify against me.
    They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
They repay me evil for good.
    I am sick with despair.
Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.
    I denied myself by fasting for them,
    but my prayers returned unanswered.
I was sad, as though they were my friends or family,
    as if I were grieving for my own mother.
But they are glad now that I am in trouble;
    they gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don’t even know;
    they slander me constantly.
They mock me and call me names;
    they snarl at me.

How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
    Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
    Protect my life from these lions!
Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
    I will praise you before all the people.
Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat.
    Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
They don’t talk of peace;
    they plot against innocent people who mind their own business.
They shout, “Aha! Aha!
    With our own eyes we saw him do it!”

O Lord, you know all about this.
    Do not stay silent.
    Do not abandon me now, O Lord.
Wake up! Rise to my defense!
    Take up my case, my God and my Lord.
Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice.
    Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
Don’t let them say, “Look, we got what we wanted!
    Now we will eat him alive!”

May those who rejoice at my troubles
    be humiliated and disgraced.
May those who triumph over me
    be covered with shame and dishonor.
But give great joy to those who came to my defense.
    Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord,
    who delights in blessing his servant with peace!”
Then I will proclaim your justice,
    and I will praise you all day long.

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, you call us at different times to work and to rest. May this weekend bring opportunities for service, for stillness, time for others and occasions for rest.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Prepare us to receive your Word, our voices to proclaim your gospel and our hands to serve our Lord.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For hands quick to obey, for minds clean and holy, for speech kind and truthful and for motives pure and godly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

 Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you are the friend of sinner’s and elevate the lowly; you lift the weak and heal the broken. Keep me from thoughtlessly following the crowd when my Lord stooped to minister to those on the edges of society. May I find my mission in the margins.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For vigilance to the call of your Spirit, consideration to the needs of others and concern to the cry of the lost.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring wholeness to my family today. May they be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, and blessed wherever they go.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • Bring salvation to my friends today. May their adversity be your opportunity and their deepest needs be met in the deepest love of Calvary.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we plead for your people, joining the prayers of the Church on earth with the prayers of the Church that is triumphant in glory. Bring everything to a finish and return for a bride that is spotless and pure!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For those who lead in worship and those who minister in prayer and advice. May they know genuine anointing and constant refreshing.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For our Pastors, Leaders, and those in authority. Give them the courage to speak boldly, strength to lead bravely and compassion to love tenderly.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For Followers who sit at a distance – open their hearts to the fullness of Christ. For Disciples who walk in your footsteps – may they be held by the power of God. For Pilgrims who stand before your throne – may they inspire by the testimony of their lives.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!

The World

  • God of the Nations we stand in the gap and pray for the world.  Today we pray for the people of Bolivia, subject to terrible poverty and in desperate need of a move of God.  Equip your people to make Disciples, feed the sheep and outstretch a hand to those who are broken in spirit.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • We thank you for the missionaries who are already working here.  Bring them strength, wisdom and encouragement and enable them to form strong relationships with those they are seeking to reach.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For wise Governance concerning the poor and the mistreated indigenous peoples.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • For spiritually mature leaders to guide your flock, and for churches that have developed deep roots as authentic disciples.
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!
  • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and your mercies never come to an end! We ask you Jesus, in your mercy, to heal those who are sick with the Coronavirus today!
              – Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and love lasts forever!


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

Acts 9:32-43

Peter Heals Aeneas

As Peter was traveling through all the area, he visited God’s people who lived in Lydda. There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to leave his bed for the past eight years. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Stand up and make your bed.” Aeneas stood up immediately. All the people living in Lydda and on the Plain of Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

Peter Heals Tabitha

In the city of Joppa there was a follower named Tabitha (whose Greek name was Dorcas). She was always doing good deeds and kind acts. While Peter was in Lydda, Tabitha became sick and died. Her body was washed and put in a room upstairs. Since Lydda is near Joppa and the followers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two messengers to Peter. They begged him, “Hurry, please come to us!” So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room where all the widows stood around Peter, crying. They showed him the shirts and coats Tabitha had made when she was still alive. Peter sent everyone out of the room and kneeled and prayed. Then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, stand up.” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called the saints and the widows into the room and showed them that Tabitha was alive. People everywhere in Joppa learned about this, and many believed in the Lord. Peter stayed in Joppa for many days with a man named Simon who was a tanner.

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 Community: The Principle of Celebration.

Recognising the power of corporate witness and worship, I prioritise the Sunday gatherings of my church, committing to being a contributor and not just a consumer. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will find a place to serve within the church and arrive on time, with an expectant heart and a cheerful spirit.

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


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.)

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit,
Upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
Grant that your people may be fervent,
In the fellowship of your gospel,
That, always abiding in you,
They may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes,
The love of God be embodied in your hands,
The wisdom of God be present in your words
And the knowledge of God be implanted in your heart,
That all might see, and seeing, may believe. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Friday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 134

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
you who serve at night in the house of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward the sanctuary,
and praise the Lord.

May the Lord, who made heaven and earth,
bless you from Jerusalem.

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Galatians 2:1-10

Other Apostles Accepted Paul

After fourteen years I went to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas. I also took Titus with me. I went because God showed me I should go. I met with the believers there, and in private I told their leaders the Good News that I preach to the non-Jewish people. I did not want my past work and the work I am now doing to be wasted. Titus was with me, but he was not forced to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. We talked about this problem because some false believers had come into our group secretly. They came in like spies to overturn the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to make us slaves. But we did not give in to those false believers for a minute. We wanted the truth of the Good News to continue for you.

Those leaders who seemed to be important did not change the Good News that I preach. (It doesn’t matter to me if they were “important” or not. To God everyone is the same.) But these leaders saw that I had been given the work of telling the Good News to those who are not Jewish, just as Peter had the work of telling the Jews. God gave Peter the power to work as an apostle for the Jewish people. But he also gave me the power to work as an apostle for those who are not Jews. James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be the leaders, understood that God had given me this special grace, so they accepted Barnabas and me. They agreed that they would go to the Jewish people and that we should go to those who are not Jewish. The only thing they asked us was to remember to help the poor—something I really wanted to do.

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


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

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

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Friday: 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 to 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 43

Declare me innocent, O God!
    Defend me against these ungodly people.
    Rescue me from these unjust liars.
For you are God, my only safe haven.
    Why have you tossed me aside?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?
Send out your light and your truth;
    let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you live.
There I will go to the altar of God,
    to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
    O God, my God!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

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

Leviticus 9:1-24

Aaron and His Sons Offer Sacrifices

On the eighth day after the time of appointing, Moses called for Aaron and his sons and for the elders of Israel. He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf and a male sheep that have nothing wrong with them, and offer them to the Lord. The calf will be a sin offering, and the male sheep will be a whole burnt offering. Tell the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering and a calf and a lamb for a whole burnt offering; each must be one year old, and it must have nothing wrong with it. Also take a bull and a male sheep for fellowship offerings, along with a grain offering mixed with oil. Offer all these things to the Lord, because the Lord will appear to you today.’”

So all the people came to the front of the Meeting Tent, bringing the things Moses had commanded them to bring, and they stood before the Lord. Moses said, “You have done what the Lord commanded, so you will see the Lord’s glory.”

Then Moses told Aaron, “Go to the altar and offer sin offerings and whole burnt offerings. Do this to remove your sins and the people’s sins so you will belong to God. Offer the sacrifices for the people and perform the acts to remove their sins for them so they will belong to the Lord, as the Lord has commanded.”

So Aaron went to the altar and killed the bull calf as a sin offering for himself. Then his sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the corners of the altar. He poured out the rest of the blood at the bottom of the altar. Aaron took the fat, the kidneys, and the best part of the liver from the sin offering and burned them on the altar, in the way the Lord had commanded Moses. The meat and skin he burned outside the camp.

Then Aaron killed the animal for the whole burnt offering. His sons brought the blood to him, and he sprinkled it on all sides of the altar. As they gave him the pieces and head of the burnt offering, Aaron burned them on the altar. He also washed the inner organs and the legs of the burnt offering and burned them on top of the burnt offering on the altar.

Then Aaron brought the offering that was for the people. He took the goat of the people’s sin offering and killed it and offered it for the sin offering, just as he had done the first sin offering.

Then Aaron brought the whole burnt offering and offered it in the way that the Lord had commanded. He also brought the grain offering to the altar. He took a handful of the grain and burned it on the altar, in addition to the morning’s burnt offering.

Aaron also killed the bull and the male sheep as the fellowship offerings for the people. His sons brought him the blood, and he sprinkled it on all sides of the altar. Aaron’s sons also brought to Aaron the fat of the bull and the male sheep—the fat tail, the fat covering the inner organs, the kidneys, and the best part of the liver. Aaron’s sons put them on the breasts of the bull and the sheep. Then Aaron burned these fat parts on the altar. He presented the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord as the priests’ share of the offering, as Moses had commanded.

Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. When he had finished offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the fellowship offering, he stepped down from the altar.

Moses and Aaron went into the Meeting Tent. Then they came out and blessed the people, and the Lord’s glory came to all the people. Fire came out from the Lord and burned up the burnt offering and fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and bowed facedown on the ground.

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:
Mighty God, as we come to the end of our week,
Grant your blessings over all we love and your increase upon all we do,
We ask this in Jesus name. 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Friday: Morning 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 to 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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

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 34

A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.

I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
    not one of them is broken!

Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
    No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

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 forgive us the coldness of our hearts and the rebellion that so often lurks under the surface. Erase the remnant of our old selves and let the power of Jesus Christ reign in our hearts. Renew us in your image, O God, and transform us by your Word.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May holiness and true faith reside within us. Give us new hearts to replace the old and a new song with which to praise God!
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May love and compassion replace sin and selfishness and may what we sing and confess be the reality in our daily lives.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to build a Christ-centred family. May our home be full of peace, beauty, colour, simplicity, and love. May the essence of Christ saturate every heart.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • May we bring encouragement, comfort, wisdom, and joy to our friends. May they experience our acceptance, loyalty, and faithfulness every day.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For those weighed down with crushing burdens, difficult circumstances, and depressing situations. Bring hope and release, O God.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • Reveal to us how we may show genuine concern for those who do not believe, through caring words and loving deeds.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, our desire is to live worthy of the call you have made on our lives. Send us into the world as pioneers! Command us to the heights as mountaineers! Give us the spirit that refuses the easy road, the soft choice, and the comfortable life when the cry is heard, “Who will go for us?”
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For hearts passionate for missions, souls forged in the furnace of adversity, hands trained in the fury of battle and bodies toughened for the use of the Master.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For missionaries, evangelists and those who take your word to the nations of the world. Protect, keep, empower, and inspire!
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we present to you the world that you created and the people that you died for. Today we pray for the Nation of Benin, the least evangelised country in Africa. We pray for revival in your Church, that Christians would stop turning to traditional occult practices for the answers, but that they would turn and seek the most High God.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • We pray that you would raise up Mothers and Fathers of the faith, who are able to Disciple, Feed and Guide your people.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For the thousands of children who are trafficked each year from the boarders of Benin to work as slave labourers to their Eastern neighbours; we pray for Jubilee and a releasing of these little ones from the bonds of slavery.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • For an increase in missionaries, that the lost would be become found and the forgotten be brought into family.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…
  • God, you promised to your people in the wilderness that you would be their healer (Exo 15:26) if they would listen to you and follow your commandments! Forgive us as we have gone our own way, help us follow your voice as you bring healing in our lives.
              – May our prayers be to you as incense…


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

Acts 9:23-31

After many days, they made plans to kill Saul. They were watching the city gates day and night, but Saul learned about their plan. One night some followers of Saul helped him leave the city by lowering him in a basket through an opening in the city wall.

Saul Preaches in Jerusalem

When Saul went to Jerusalem, he tried to join the group of followers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he was really a follower. But Barnabas accepted Saul and took him to the apostles. Barnabas explained to them that Saul had seen the Lord on the road and the Lord had spoken to Saul. Then he told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus.

And so Saul stayed with the followers, going everywhere in Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He would often talk and argue with the Jewish people who spoke Greek, but they were trying to kill him. When the followers learned about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and from there sent him to Tarsus.

The church everywhere in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace and became stronger. Respecting the Lord by the way they lived, and being encouraged by the Holy Spirit, the group of believers continued to grow.

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 Moderation.

Recognising that my body is a temple, and that a simple life lived at a sustainable speed is deeply beneficial, I choose to be mindful of my habits of diet and exercise, and to dress simply and modestly. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will not overeat, consume excess intoxicating substances, pollute my mind with impure thoughts or neglect my body through lack of adequate exercise.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Moderation.


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 God, who spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
And has in these days spoken to us by your Son,
Fill us with your Spirit,
That we may speak your Word,
Perform your will,
And fulfill the greater works that you promised,
Through Jesus Christ. Amen


BLESSING

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

And may the embrace of the Father,
Be the comfort you desire.
The name of the Son,
Be the one on whom you rely.
The presence of the Spirit,
Be with you every hour.
The Three in One,
Be the focus of all your 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.

Standard
Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Galatians 1:11-24

Paul’s Authority Is from God

Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the Good News I preached to you was not made up by human beings. I did not get it from humans, nor did anyone teach it to me, but Jesus Christ showed it to me.

You have heard about my past life in the Jewish religion. I attacked the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was becoming a leader in the Jewish religion, doing better than most other Jews of my age. I tried harder than anyone else to follow the teachings handed down by our ancestors.

But God had special plans for me and set me apart for his work even before I was born. He called me through his grace and showed his son to me so that I might tell the Good News about him to those who are not Jewish. When God called me, I did not get advice or help from any person. I did not go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was. But, without waiting, I went away to Arabia and later went back to Damascus.

After three years I went to Jerusalem to meet Peter and stayed with him for fifteen days. I met no other apostles, except James, the brother of the Lord. God knows that these things I write are not lies. Later, I went to the areas of Syria and Cilicia.

In Judea the churches in Christ had never met me. They had only heard it said, “This man who was attacking us is now preaching the same faith that he once tried to destroy.” And these believers praised God because of me.

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


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

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

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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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Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: 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 to 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 41

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
    The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
    and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
    and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
    and restores them to health.

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
    Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.
    “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.
They visit me as if they were my friends,
    but all the while they gather gossip,
    and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
All who hate me whisper about me,
    imagining the worst.
“He has some fatal disease,” they say.
    “He will never get out of that bed!”
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
    the one who shared my food, has turned against me.

Lord, have mercy on me.
    Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
I know you are pleased with me,
    for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
    you have brought me into your presence forever.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen!

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

Leviticus 8:1-36

Aaron and His Sons Appointed

The Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron and his sons and their clothes, the special olive oil used in appointing people and things to the service of the Lord, the bull of the sin offering and the two male sheep, and the basket of bread made without yeast. Then gather the people together at the entrance to the Meeting Tent.” Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the people met together at the entrance to the Meeting Tent.

Then Moses spoke to the people and said, “This is what the Lord has commanded to be done.” Bringing Aaron and his sons forward, Moses washed them with water. He put the inner robe on Aaron and tied the cloth belt around him. Then Moses put the outer robe on him and placed the holy vest on him. He tied the skillfully woven belt around him so that the holy vest was tied to Aaron. Then Moses put the chest covering on him and put the Urim and the Thummim in the chest covering. He also put the turban on Aaron’s head. He put the strip of gold, the holy crown, on the front of the turban, as the Lord commanded him to do.

Then Moses put the special oil on the Holy Tent and everything in it, making them holy for the Lord. He sprinkled some oil on the altar seven times, sprinkling the altar and all its tools and the large bowl and its base. In this way he made them holy for the Lord. He poured some of the special oil on Aaron’s head to make Aaron holy for the Lord. Then Moses brought Aaron’s sons forward. He put the inner robes on them, tied cloth belts around them, and put headbands on them, as the Lord had commanded him.

Then Moses brought the bull for the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons put their hands on its head. Moses killed the bull, took the blood, and with his finger put some of it on all the corners of the altar, to make it pure. Then he poured out the rest of the blood at the bottom of the altar. In this way he made it holy and ready for service to God. Moses took all the fat from the inner organs of the bull, the best part of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat that is on them, and he burned them on the altar. But he took the bull’s skin, its meat, and its intestines and burned them in a fire outside the camp, as the Lord had commanded him.

Next Moses brought the male sheep of the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons put their hands on its head. Then Moses killed it and sprinkled the blood on all sides of the altar. He cut the male sheep into pieces and burned the head, the pieces, and the fat. He washed the inner organs and legs with water and burned the whole sheep on the altar as a burnt offering made by fire to the Lord; its smell was pleasing to the Lord. Moses did these things as the Lord had commanded him.

Then Moses brought the other male sheep, the one used in appointing Aaron and his sons as priests, and Aaron and his sons put their hands on its head. Then Moses killed the sheep and put some of its blood on the bottom of Aaron’s right ear, some on the thumb of Aaron’s right hand, and some on the big toe of his right foot. Then Moses brought Aaron’s sons close to the altar. He put some of the blood on the bottom of their right ears, some on the thumbs of their right hands, and some on the big toes of their right feet. Then he sprinkled blood on all sides of the altar. He took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat on the inner organs, the best part of the liver, both kidneys with their fat, and the right thigh. From the basket of bread made without yeast that is put before the Lord each day, Moses took a loaf of bread, a loaf made with oil, and a wafer. He put these pieces of bread on the fat and right thigh of the male sheep. All these things he put in the hands of Aaron and his sons and presented them as an offering before the Lord. Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar on top of the burnt offering. So this was the offering for appointing Aaron and his sons as priests. It was an offering made by fire to the Lord, and its smell was pleasing to him. Moses also took the breast and presented it as an offering before the Lord. It was Moses’ share of the male sheep used in appointing the priests, as the Lord had commanded him.

Moses took some of the special oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and he sprinkled them on Aaron and Aaron’s clothes and on Aaron’s sons and their clothes. In this way Moses made Aaron, his clothes, his sons, and their clothes holy for the Lord.

Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons, “I gave you a command, saying, ‘Aaron and his sons will eat these things.’ So take the meat and basket of bread from the offering for appointing priests. Boil the meat at the door of the Meeting Tent, and eat it there with the bread. If any of the meat or bread is left, burn it. The time of appointing will last seven days; you must not go outside the entrance of the Meeting Tent until that time is up. Stay there until the time of your appointing is finished. The Lord commanded the things that were done today to remove your sins so you will belong to him. You must stay at the entrance of the Meeting Tent day and night for seven days. If you don’t obey the Lord’s commands, you will die. The Lord has given me these commands.”

So Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord had commanded through Moses.

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:
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. 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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Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Thursday: Morning 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 to 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. Because of that, our intercessions during this period will include prayers for every single nation of the world by name.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite, exultemus)

All:

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.

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 33

Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;
    it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
    make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
Sing a new song of praise to him;
    play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
For the word of the Lord holds true,
    and we can trust everything he does.
He loves whatever is just and good;
    the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

The Lord merely spoke,
    and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
    and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries
    and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the Lord,
    and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began!
    It appeared at his command.

The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations
    and thwarts all their schemes.
But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;
    his intentions can never be shaken.

What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,
    whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

The Lord looks down from heaven
    and sees the whole human race.
From his throne he observes
    all who live on the earth.
He made their hearts,
    so he understands everything they do.
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
    for all its strength, it cannot save you.

But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.

We put our hope in the Lord.
    He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
    for our hope is in you alone.

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

  • King of all, fill us today with knowledge of your will with spiritual wisdom and understanding. We want to live a life worthy of you, and to please you in every way. We pray that today we may produce results in every good work, that our heart may be strengthened with all power and courage to do your will.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Jireh for understanding in dealing with our finances, provision for every need and an abundance for every good work.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Rophé for insight in dealing with our flesh, healing for every sickness and strength for every endeavour.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We pray to Jehovah-Shalom for wisdom in dealing with the stress of life, calm in every storm and peace in every step.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

Family & Friends

  • Father of Jesus, we pray for those we know who do not know you. Give us opportunities to witness to them, grace to speak into their lives and words to bring them into your light.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • For those we have hurt with thoughtless comments, those we have injured through false words and those we have wounded through selfish actions.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • For those whose families are fracturing, whose homes are breaking and whose children are suffering. Restore and renew the Covenant, O God!
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church that she will be enriched with spiritual wisdom and discovery in knowing Christ; that her heart will be enlightened, that she will know the hope that is ours, the treasure of your heritage in the saints and your matchless power towards believers.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • May your people be established and grounded in love; fully able to understand the width, length, height and depth of the love of Christ, which exceeds all knowledge.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • May your people be filled with the complete measure of the fullness of God. Dwell in your people and take ownership of every part!
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, we join with you at the Throne of Grace and pray for humanity.  We ask you for the nation of Belize, a nation where superstition and the occult still has tremendous hold over the people.  Show yourself as the one true God, who was, and is, and is to come.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We lift up the Pastors who are currently serving in your Church in Belize, that you would strengthen them, increase their numbers and that out of their hearts shall flow rivers of living water.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We ask for unity in your Church in this nation, that barriers would dissolve, differences would be resolved and your Bride would be one as you are one.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • We thank you for missionaries who are sowing the seed of your gospel in this area, we pray that you would go before them and that the words they speak would fall onto good ground.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…
  • Father, we pray for wisdom for decision makers at this time – leaders, doctors, scientists and politicians. Holy Spirit bring wisdom.
              – Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield…

 


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

Acts 9:1-22

Saul Is Converted

In Jerusalem Saul was still threatening the followers of the Lord by saying he would kill them. So he went to the high priest and asked him to write letters to the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Then if Saul found any followers of Christ’s Way, men or women, he would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem.

So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?”

The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.”

The people traveling with Saul stood there but said nothing. They heard the voice, but they saw no one. Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but he could not see. So those with Saul took his hand and led him into Damascus. For three days Saul could not see and did not eat or drink.

There was a follower of Jesus in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision, “Ananias!”

Ananias answered, “Here I am, Lord.”

The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to Straight Street. Find the house of Judas, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He is there now, praying. Saul has seen a vision in which a man named Ananias comes to him and lays his hands on him. Then he is able to see again.”

But Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and the terrible things he did to your holy people in Jerusalem. Now he has come here to Damascus, and the leading priests have given him the power to arrest everyone who worships you.”

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to those who are not Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

So Ananias went to the house of Judas. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the one you saw on the road on your way here. He sent me so that you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something that looked like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he was able to see again! Then Saul got up and was baptized. After he ate some food, his strength returned.

Saul Preaches in Damascus

Saul stayed with the followers of Jesus in Damascus for a few days. Soon he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “Jesus is the Son of God.”

All the people who heard him were amazed. They said, “This is the man who was in Jerusalem trying to destroy those who trust in this name! He came here to arrest the followers of Jesus and take them back to the leading priests.”

But Saul grew more powerful. His proofs that Jesus is the Christ were so strong that his own people in Damascus could not argue with him.

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 the Gentle Footprint.

Conscious that the human race is fast destroying the natural habitat we all rely on for survival, I choose to live in such a way that reduces the suffering of all living creatures, healing and preserving our precious planet. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will guard the creation entrusted to us, and consume in such a way that is mindful, ethical and sustainable.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of the Gentle Footprint.


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.)

Lord God, your Son left the riches of heaven,
And became poor for our sake.
When we prosper save us from pride,
When we are needy save us from despair,
That we may trust in you alone,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the love of the Father,
The tenderness of the Son,
And the presence of the Spirit,
Gladden your heart,
And bring peace to your soul,
This day and all days. 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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Year V: Week 3 of Ordinary Time

Wednesday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


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


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 31:1-5

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

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.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Galatians 1:1-10

From Paul, an apostle. I was not chosen to be an apostle by human beings, nor was I sent from human beings. I was made an apostle through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Jesus from the dead. This letter is also from all those of God’s family who are with me.

To the churches in Galatia:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus gave himself for our sins to free us from this evil world we live in, as God the Father planned. The glory belongs to God forever and ever. Amen.

The Only Good News

God, by his grace through Christ, called you to become his people. So I am amazed that you are turning away so quickly and believing something different than the Good News. Really, there is no other Good News. But some people are confusing you; they want to change the Good News of Christ. We preached to you the Good News. So if we ourselves, or even an angel from heaven, should preach to you something different, we should be judged guilty! I said this before, and now I say it again: You have already accepted the Good News. If anyone is preaching something different to you, let that person be judged guilty!

Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

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


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

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

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

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

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

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

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. 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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