Year IV: Week 1 of Lent

Wednesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

This week marked the beginning of the season of Lent, the traditional 40 days of prayer, fasting, reflection and repentance that precedes the great Easter celebrations.   Just as Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness learning to overcome the Enemy, so we set this time aside for spiritual warfare and renewal.  It is common during this time to imitate the simplicity of Jesus in the wilderness by abstaining from rich foods and strong drink during this season, and to devote extra time to the practice of the spiritual disciplines.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 67 (Doxology)

All: 

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, 
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.   Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

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 73

The Tragedy of the Wicked, and the Blessedness of Trust in God
A Psalm of Asaph.

Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes bulge with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.
They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.

Therefore his people return here,
And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
And they say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.

If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.

Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.

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


WORSHIP

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


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

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

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

Personal Requests

  • Almighty God, you embraced our sin and wretchedness in order that we might be accepted by your Father.  May we ever be mindful of the love that sought us, the blood that bought us and the grace that brought us to your Kingdom.
             –  Lord, have mercy…
  • When other things  have claimed my affection and held me back from obedience.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • When there has been a secret ‘but’ in my prayers and reservations in my worship.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • When the praise of man has elated me and the blame of man has depressed me, and when my love of self has polluted my service.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

 Family & Friends

  • Father of all, bless my family today.  Help me to seek their forgiveness for wrongs committed against them, knowing that both he who offends and he who takes offense both sin in equal proportions.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For times when I have highlighted their failures rather that celebrate their success.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For failing to give them the time they deserve, the attention they crave and the love they need.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for your church all across this world and throughout all ages.  Forgive us when we have not strived to see your face in their face and your life in their life; taking our brothers and sisters for granted rather than seeing them as a precious gift.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For times I have not worshipped as I ought, given as I should or cared as I could.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For turning away when the hardest was asked of me, knowing that someone else would be asked instead.
              –  Lord, have mercy…
  • For broken commitments, unspoken prayers and lying words that promise much but deliver little.
              –  Lord, have mercy…

The World

  • Father and creator of mankind, I place myself again on your altar for the sake of the world.  Set me alight again and spare not the sacrifice.  I present my life, reputation, ambitions, plans and loved ones into your hands.  May I be ever and only for your glory.
             –  Lord, have mercy…
  • Let earth no more my heart divide.  May I know you in your life, your death and your resurrection power.
             –  Lord, have mercy…
  • May I be your light, your witness and your ambassador.  Having rejected the world and its accolades, I now live hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” when you return.
             –  Lord, have mercy…

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

John 3:16-21

For God So Loved the World

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

.

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 Prayer: The Principle of Intercession.

Conscious of the darkness and pain around me, I resolve to pray daily for the wellbeing of those whom God brings to my heart. As a follower of the Way of Prayer, I will stand in the gap and intercede for all in need.

All:
This is The Way of Prayer: The Principle of Intercession.


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.)

O God, your glory is always to have mercy.
Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways,
And bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith,
To embrace and hold fast to the truth incarnate,
Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God be merciful to you,
Gracious to your petitions,
And fully present in your life.  Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year II: Week 1 of Easter

Easter Monday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Easter Monday:  Yesterday we began the season of Eastertide.  Easter is the annual celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, and has been observed from the earliest days of the church.  In the Jewish calendar, Jesus died during the Passover Feast, and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days later.  The church follows this sequence of events, with the season of Eastertide occupying the 50 days between the two great festivals.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 67  (Deus misereatur)

All: 

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,  
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.  Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

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 18:1-30

God the Sovereign Saviour
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lordthe words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.
From the brightness before Him,
His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.

The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
Hailstones and coals of fire.
He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Lord,
At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me,
For they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
For You will save the humble people,
But will bring down haughty looks.

For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

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

  • Lord Jesus, you met your disciples on the Emmaus road and showed yourself alive.  May our hearts burn within us as we live every day in your presence and hope dawn afresh with every new morning.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • Lord Jesus, your brought life from the grave and in your body abolished death.  Give us the courage of the early disciples.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • Lord Jesus, you brought hope to the hopeless and strength to the weary.  Give us the faith of the early disciples.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • Lord Jesus, you brought direction to the lost and focus to the wandering.  Give us the persistence of the early disciples.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you called us into your family and spoke to us as friends.  Open doors for us with our families and give us opportunities with our friends.  Make us good witnesses to the resurrection and enable us to bear true testimony to what we have seen and heard.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • May this Easter mark a new start in our relationships and a new beginning in our families.  Make us your ministers of reconciliation.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • In this new season, open our eyes to that of which we must lay hold and that of which we must let go.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!

The Church

  • As your church has knelt at your Cross and waited at your grave; so raise her up in newness of life and fullness of power.  Continue to work out in her the victory you wrought at Calvary, in works of love and words of power.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • You crushed the enemy’s head and destroyed the works of the Devil.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • You shattered the Wicked One’s stronghold and delivered the captives of sin.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • You exposed the Deceiver’s lies and broke the bars of hell.
              –  The Lord is risen indeed! 

The World

  • Lord Jesus, by your death and resurrection you purchased humanity for God.  Lead them out into the liberty of the Sons of God and take back the world you ransomed.  Let your Kingdom come, on earth even as it is in heaven!
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • For yours in the Kingdom, the power and the glory…
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • For yours in the Kingdom, the power and the glory…
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!
  • For yours in the Kingdom, the power and the glory…
              –  The Lord is risen indeed!

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

John 20:19-31

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Jesus and Thomas

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of This Book

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

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


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 237


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 of glory,
By the raising of your Son,
You have broken the chains of death and hell.
Fill your Church with faith and hope;
For a new day has dawned,
And the way to life stands open,
In our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God the Father,
By whose love Christ was raised from the dead,
Open to you the gates of everlasting life.  Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year II: Week 1 of Easter

Easter Sunday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

FEAST: Easter Sunday:  Today marks the end of the season of Lent and the beginning of the season of Eastertide.  Easter is the annual celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, and has been observed from the earliest days of the church.  In the Jewish calendar, Jesus died during the Passover Feast, and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days later.  The church follows this sequence of events, with the season of Eastertide occupying the 50 days between the two great festivals.

Like all major feasts, today we use the longer Nicene Creed in place of the shorter Apostles Creed.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 100  (Jubilate Deo)

All: 

A Song of Praise for the Lord’s Faithfulness to His People
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

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

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God
A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall 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

  • Almighty God, today we celebrate your Resurrection and an empty tomb!  Death where is your sting?  Grave where is your victory?
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Today we celebrate a life that couldn’t be quenched and a light that couldn’t be extinguished!
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Today we celebrate a battle won and a victory accomplished!
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Today we celebrate a greater Exodus, a greater deliverance, a greater Covenant and a greater Saviour!
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, may our friends and family experience the hope we profess, and this season be one of fruitful evangelism amongst those we love.  Open our lips to declare with the first disciples…
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Open our hearts to those who remain in slavery to sin, self and Satan.  May they hear the joyful sound…
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Open our homes to the homeless and our lives to the loveless that they may know the reason we cry…
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you conquered death and led captivity captive in order that your Bride may always be by your side.  We delight in your love for us, and exult our Lord, our King and our Bridegroom..
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Let resurrection life and power fill your Body.  May Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox unite in worship, and with one voice declare the wonders of our God!
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Let resurrection hope bring courage to the persecuted church.  May she be delivered from her oppressors and kept in all her trials.
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Let resurrection joy sweep away the clouds of sin and shame.  May your people rise with renewed strength to testify to your victory.
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!

The World

  • Lord Jesus, you said that if you be lifted up that you would draw all people to you.  Bring in the harvest!  Empower Evangelists, Apostles and Missionaries to speak your word with boldness as they declare…
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • Send revival to the nations of the earth.  Shake your church and save the world!  Wake us from our sleep with the shout…
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!
  • May our land thrill again to the gospel.  Make us men and women of God, prophets to the nation and lovers of the people.  May our lives tell out the old, old story
              –  Christ is Risen from the dead!


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

John 20:1-18

The Resurrection

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going towards the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

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


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 16


Pause for Reflection…


THE NICENE CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
Of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
Eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
True God from true God,
Begotten, not created,
Of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation,
He came down from heaven:
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
And was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again,
In accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
And his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the world to come.  Amen.


COLLECT

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

Lord of all life and power,
Who through the mighty resurrection of your Son,
Overcame the old order of sin and death,
To make all things new in him:
Grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you,
May reign with Christ in glory;
To whom with you and the Holy Spirit
Be praise and honour, glory and might,
Now and throughout all eternity.  Amen


BLESSING

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

And may God the Son,
Who burst from the grave in glorious victory,
Give you joy as you share the Resurrection Story.  Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year II: Holy Week

Holy Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

VIGIL: Holy Saturday:  Today we remember Jesus as he was buried in the tomb and left for dead.  Little did the disciples know that while they wept in despair, the Lord Jesus was plundering hell and preparing to rise triumphantly on Resurrection morning.   The Old Testament readings continue to build towards the Exodus and the Crossing of the Sea, which is itself a type of the death and resurrection of Christ.  It is common for Christians to hold vigil on this night, meditating on the crucifixion narrative and seeking God in prayer well into the night.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 67  (Deus misereatur)

All: 

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,  
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.  Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

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 13

Trust in the Salvation of the Lord
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

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

  • Lord Jesus, you descended into the grave, taking my sin and shame into the depths of the earth so that I may ascend the heights of heaven. As I keep watch at your grave, let my old life go down into death that I may rise with you in newness of life on resurrection day.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • May your tomb spell the end of sin and self and your sepulchre be the finish of the flesh.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • May your death swallow up my life, that your life may swallow up my death.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you were laid in the tomb of a friend and left to do battle alone. As I keep watch at your grave, may the victory be won in my life and the power of sin be broken. Let self descend into the grave, that Christ’s own life may arise at the sound of your voice.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • May I no longer count my life as my own. Let it be no longer ‘I’ that lives, but Christ that lives in me.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • In this place of surrender I yield my friends and family into your hands. Do with us as you wish, we are yours to command.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, your church was conceived on the cross, incubated in the grave and born at the resurrection. Knit us into your body, and join us to your people. May we know the ending of the old life and the beginning of the new.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • Baptised into his death, your Church stands as testimony to the power of the Cross
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • Baptised into his death, your Church stands as testimony to the incorruptible life of God.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • Baptised into his death, your Church stands as testimony to the resurrection of the dead.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.

The World

  • Mighty God, for a world that rejects you, a nation that ignores you and a people that abuses you, have mercy and forgive. Hold not our sins against us but let the Cross be the solution and the Grave be our salvation.
              –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • For the Church Militant which suffers across the world. Let hope arise and the adversary be defeated!
               –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • For the Church Triumphant which stands before the Throne. Let glory arise and the Lamb be vindicated!
               –  If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.


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

John 19:31-42

Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

Jesus Is Buried

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

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


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 356


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.)

Creator of heaven and earth:
Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son,
Was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath,
So may we await with him the coming of the third day,
And rise with him to newness of life;
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the Spirit, who strengthens us to suffer with Christ,
That we may share His glory,
Set your minds on life and peace. Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year II: Holy Week

Good Friday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

FAST: Good Friday:  Today is a major fast of the Church; a time for self-denial and the great focal point of the Lenten season of repentance.  In our readings we remember the arrest and death of Jesus at Calvary and spend time considering the sin that caused him to suffer there.  Try to take some extra time today for self-examination, perhaps by missing meals and using the time saved for prayer instead.  The name ‘Good Friday’ is probably a corruption of the phrase ‘God Friday’ and has been a major event in the Church’s calendar since ancient times. Because there is a lot of narrative surrounding the events of this day you will find two New Testament readings in the devotions today.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 67  (Deus misereatur)

All: 

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,  
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.  Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

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 22

The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah
To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.” A Psalm of David.

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.

But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.

But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.

Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.

For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.

But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!

You have answered Me.

I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!

All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.

All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.

A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.

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

  • Lord Jesus, we thank you for going all the way to Calvary for your people, not holding our sins against us but lavishing your grace upon us. As we contemplate the cross, we despise the sin that put you there and reckon our sinful nature to be crucified with Christ.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the sins that I have committed and the good that I have failed to do, I cling to you, crucified Saviour.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the blood that paid my ransom and the love that took my place, I cling to you, crucified Lord.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the atonement of the Lamb and the redemption blood that paid my ransom and the love that took my place, I cling to you, crucified God.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you died for your friends even when your friends betrayed and abandoned you, and you hold out your hands to me even when I neglect you. Today I kneel at the foot of the Cross and dedicate my life afresh to live for you for the sake of all.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the friends who would mock and the friends who would listen, hear my prayer and grant forgiveness for they know not what they do.
    –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For those I love who would spurn the Cross and reject the call of Christ. Break into their lives this Easter and soften their hearts.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you went to Calvary to win a Bride. May the power of your Cross unite your Church and the story of your Passion inspire your people. Keep your sacrifice ever before our eyes and keep our feet ever upon your path.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord
  • For the peace of your people, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the unity of your Bride, in heaven, on earth and yet to be born.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the power of your witness, from pole to pole and shore to shore.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, you were the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. Send us as your ambassadors and support us as your witnesses. May the world know again the reality of the crucified Saviour in the lives of the committed Saints.
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the tribes still in darkness and the nations still in fear, embracing your Cross I say, “Send me, Lord”
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the war and the pain, for a world running wild, embracing your Cross I say, “Send me, Lord”
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the blood and the tears, for the sweat and the nails, embracing the Cross I say, “Send me, Lord”
              –  May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…


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.


FIRST GOSPEL READING

John 18:1-19:30

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.When Jesus said to them, “I am he”, they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.”This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

Peter Denies Jesus

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest,but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter Denies Jesus Again

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a cock crowed.

Jesus Before Pilate

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfil the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

My Kingdom Is Not of This World

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgement seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’, but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

The Death of Jesus

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished”, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

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


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 78


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 Jesus Christ,
Son of the living God,
May your passion, cross and death be ever set,
Between the judgment of the Law and the brokenness of our souls.
Grant mercy and grace to the living,
Rest to the departed,
Peace and unity to your Church
Forgiveness to sinners.
And everlasting life and glory to your people.  Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may Christ, who accepted the cup of sacrifice,
In obedience to the Father’s will,
Keep you steadfast as you walk with Him the way of His cross.  Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year II: Holy Week

Maundy Thursday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Maundy Thursday:  Today is traditionally referred to as Maundy Thursday, when we remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and in particular his revelation as the Servant-King in the act of foot-washing.  Most scholars agree that the English word Maundy is derived from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”), the statement by Jesus in John 13:34 used by Jesus to explain the meaning of the washing of the feet of the disciples.  Because there is a lot of narrative surrounding the events of this day, both today and tomorrow you will find two New Testament readings in the devotions.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 67  (Deus misereatur)

All: 

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,  
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.  Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

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 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    for ever.

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


WORSHIP

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


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

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

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

Personal Requests

  • Lord Jesus, you came to earth to die and give your life so that we might live. As we feast on your body, so may your shed blood cleanse us from all sin. Lead us forth from our Egyptian slavery and lead us on to the Promised Land that lies beyond the Cross.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • Let us abhor the sin that led you to the Cross and despise the iniquity that lingers in our hearts. Purify us, Lord.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • Remove from us all pride and haughty attitudes. May we aspire for greatness by deliberately seeking obscurity.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you washed your disciples feet and told us that to become great in the Kingdom of Heaven was to become the servant of all. Help us to seek the lowest place and embrace the role of a servant to our brothers and sisters.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • Spending your last moments with your friends you taught us the value of community. Bind us together in the hard times and knit us together in the times of great joy.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • Give us the grace to bear with each other’s faults, failures and fears. May we overcome unkindness with the compassion of Christ.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you let your body be broken so your Church may be one. Unite your people, empower your Bride and forgive her sins. May Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox come to the unity of the Spirit and fullness of the faith.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • May we serve your body even as you served your friends, not despising the place of the servant but elevating it to the highest place of all.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • May we seek to serve, and follow your humility in washing the feet of those around us.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…

THE WORLD

  •  Lord Jesus, you spilt your blood to bring peace to the earth. May all peoples be drawn to the glory of your sacrifice and all nations stand in awe of your love. May humanity be redeemed by your ransom and restored at your table.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • Open our hearts afresh to the multitudes that stand in the valley of decision today, with no one to guide them and no one to care.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • Give us a voice to the lost and a message to the broken. Keep us from the busyness of business that blots out the cry of the hurting.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…
  • May we be a signpost to the perplexed, a shepherd to the lost and a servant to the least.
              –  We worship you, our Servant-King…


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.


FIRST GOSPEL READING

John 12:27-13:38

The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.Now is the judgement of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

The Unbelief of the People

When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

“He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
    and understand with their heart, and turn,
    and I would heal them.”

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

Jesus Came to Save the World

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it round his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped round him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterwards you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

One of You Will Betray Me

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the money bag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”, or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

A New Commandment

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterwards.”Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow till you have denied me three times.

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


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 100


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.)

Grant, Lord, that you may increase and we may decrease.
That others may be loved more than we,
That others may be esteemed more than we,
That others may be chosen and if necessary, we be set aside,
That others may be praised and we go unnoticed,
That others needs may be preferred to our needs,
That you may you may find prominence and we may find obscurity.
Jesus, grant us the grace to desire it.  Amen.

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930) 


BLESSING

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

And may Christ, who, despising the shame, embraced the cross;
Establish you with the same heart and mind,
And lead you courageously on the path He trod. Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year II: Holy Week

Wednesday of Holy Week: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Wednesday of Holy Week:  This week is what is commonly referred to as Holy Week; the final week of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday.  During this time we focus on the last few days of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the events leading up to and including his death. This morning, we focus on the Anointing at Bethany while our afternoon readings continue to tell the story of the liberation of the Children of Israel in their Exodus from Egypt.


CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 67  (Deus misereatur)

All: 

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,  
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.  Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

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 2

The Messiah’s Triumph and Kingdom

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

“I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

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

  • Lord Jesus, you took the way of the cross to open the Kingdom of heaven to us. As Mary anointed your feet with oil so we pour out our love to you today and wash your feet with tears of devotion.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Anoint us also with your Spirit, and set us apart for your service.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Strip from us all sense of shame and remove from us all fear of man.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…

Family & Friends

  • God of Glory, teach us to love with reckless abandonment and selfless service. May our friends and family be won not only by the words of our mouths, but by the deeds of our hands. May we pour out our life in acts of love for your creation.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • May we save our best for you, not holding back but lavishing our lives on the Saviour who gave his all for us.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • May the fragrance of Christ be found in our families, removing all strife and overpowering all selfish desires.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we ask for your church, your people, your bride, your family. May the power of your Passion unite us and the reality of your Cross inspire us. Bring us all to the unity of the faith and the fullness of the Godhead.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Fill your church with your presence and your people with your love. Empty us that we may be full.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Break out amongst us in revival power. Remove from us all coldness of heart and lethargy of spirit.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…

The World

  • Lord of all, in a world that is fast forgetting Calvary, lift high the Cross and send forth your people. Forgive our nation her many sins, pardon her leaders for their many offenses and be merciful to us for our many iniquities.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Lift high the Cross and shatter the works of Satan.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Lift high the Cross and break the power of evil.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…
  • Lift high the Cross and prepare the world for your coming.
              –  We pour out our lives to you…


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

John 12:1-11

Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the money bag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

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


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 104


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.)

O Lord,
The house of my soul is narrow;
Enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, Oh please repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
To whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
And spare Your servant from unknowing sins,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,   Amen.

(From a prayer of St. Augustine – AD354-430)


BLESSING

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

And may you be delivered from the tempter’s power,
The snares of this world and the enemy’s wiles.
Now and forever,  Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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