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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Monday
Morning Prayer, Advent 1
John of Damascus

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. Mark 13:35, 36

Hymn: Blessd Jesus, at Thy Word

Blessd Jesus, at Thy Word
We are gathered all to hear Thee;
Let our hearts and souls be stirred
Now to seek and love and fear Thee,
By Thy teachings sweet and holy,
Drawn from earth to love Thee solely.

All our knowledge, sense and sight
Lie in deepest darkness shrouded,
Til Thy Spirit breaks our night
With the beams of truth unclouded.
Thou alone to God canst win us;
Thou must work all good within us.

Glorious Lord, Thyself impart!
Light of light, from God proceeding,
Open Thou our ears and heart;
Help us by Thy Spirits pleading;
Hear the cry Thy people raises;
Hear and bless our prayers and praises.

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Praise to Thee and adoration!
Grant that we Thy Word may trust
And obtain true consolation
While we here below must wander,
Till we sing Thy praises yonder.

Words: Tobias Clausnitzer
Choir of Christ Covenant Church

Confession

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Versicle and Response

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Our King and Savior now draws near: Come let us adore him.

Invitatory Psalm

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Antiphon

Our King and Savior now draws near: Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 1 or
Coverdale
Beatus vir qui non abiit

1Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of
the wicked, *
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seats of the scornful!

2Their delight is in the law of the LORD, *
and they meditate on his law day and night.

3They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; *
everything they do shall prosper.

4It is not so with the wicked; *
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.

5Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when
judgment comes, *
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.

6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, *
but the way of the wicked is doomed.

Psalm 2
or Coverdale

1 Why are the nations in an uproar? *
Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?
2 Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the princes plot together, *
against the LORD and against his Anointed?
3 "Let us break their yoke," they say; *
"let us cast off their bonds from us."
4 He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
the Lord has them in derision.
5 Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
and his rage fills them with terror.
6 "I myself have set my king *
upon my holy hill of Zion."
7 Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *
he said to me, "You are my Son;
this day have I begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance *
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
9 You shall crush them with an iron rod *
and shatter them like a piece of pottery."
10 And now, you kings, be wise; *
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Submit to the LORD with fear, *
and with trembling bow before him;
12 Lest he be angry and you perish; *
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
13 Happy are they all *
who take refuge in him!

Psalm 3 or
Coverdale
Domine, quid multiplicati

1LORD, how many adversaries I have! *
how many there are who rise up against me!

2How many there are who say of me, *
"There is no help for him in his God."

3But you, O LORD, are a shield about me; *
you are my glory, the one who lifts up my head.

4I call aloud upon the LORD, *
and he answers me from his holy hill;

5I lie down and go to sleep; *
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

6I do not fear the multitudes of people *
who set themselves against me all around.

7Rise up, O LORD; set me free, O my God; *
surely, you will strike all my enemies across the face,
you will break the teeth of the wicked.

8Deliverance belongs to the LORD. *
Your blessing be upon your people!

Gloria Patri

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

The Lessons

Old Testament Lesson

Amos 2:9-16 (NRSV)

6 Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Israel,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous forsilver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals
7 they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of theearth,
and push the afflicted out of theway;
father and son go in to the samegirl,
so that my holy name is profaned;
8 they lay themselves down beside every altar
on garments taken in pledge;
and in the house of their God theydrink
wine bought with fines they imposed.

9 Yet I destroyed the Amorite beforethem,
whose height was like the height of cedars,
and who was as strong as oaks;
I destroyed his fruit above,
and his roots beneath.
10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,
and led you for forty years in thewilderness,
to possess the land of the Amorite.
11 And I raised up some of your children to be prophets
and some of your youths to be nazirites.
Is it not indeed so, Opeople ofIsrael?

says the Lord.
12 But you made the nazirites drinkwine,
and commanded the prophets,
saying, You shall not prophesy.
13 So, I will press you down in yourplace,
just as a cart presses down
when it is full of sheaves.
14 Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong shall not retain their strength,
nor shall the mighty save theirlives;
15 those who handle the bow shall notstand,
and those who are swift of foot shall not save themselves,
nor shall those who ride horses save their lives;
16 and those who are stout of heart among the mighty
shall flee away naked on thatday,

says the Lord.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 9 The First Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 12:2-6
Ecce, Deus

Surely, it is God who saves me;*
I will trust in him and not be afraid.

For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense,*
and he will be my Savior.

Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.

And on that day you shall say,*
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;

Make his deeds known among the peoples;*
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.

Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things,*
and this is known in all the world.

Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy,*
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

New Testament Lesson

2 Peter 1:1-11 (NRSV)

1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For anyone who lacks these things is nearsighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 19 The Song of the Redeemed
Revelation 15:3-4
Magna et mirabilia

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done,*
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth,*

O King of all the ages
Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name
for you only are the Holy One.

All nations will draw near and fall down before you
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Gospel

Matthew 21:1-11 (NRSV)

1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, 'The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately. " 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!" 10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

John is generally accounted "the last of the Fathers". He was the son of a Christian official at the court of the moslem khalif Abdul Malek, and succeeded to his father's office.
In his time there was a dispute among Christians between the Iconoclasts (image-breakers) and the Iconodules (image-venerators or image-respectors). The Emperor, Leo III, was a vigorous upholder of the Iconoclast position. John wrote in favor of the Iconodules with great effectiveness. Ironically, he was able to do this chiefly because he had the protection of the moslem khalif (ironic because the moslems have a strong prohibition against the religious use of pictures or images).
John is also known as a hymn-writer. Two of his hymns are sung in English at Easter ("Come ye faithful, raise the strain" and "The Day of Resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad!"). Many more are sung in the Eastern Church.
His major writing is The Fount of Knowledge, of which the third part, The Orthodox Faith, is a summary of Christian doctrine as expounded by the Greek Fathers.

The dispute about icons was not a dispute between East and West as such. Both the Greek and the Latin churches accepted the final decision.
The Iconoclasts maintained that the use of religious images was a violation of the Second Commandment ("Thou shalt not make a graven image... thou shalt not bow down to them").
The Iconodules replied that the coming of Christ had radically changed the situation, and that the commandment must now be understood in a new way, just as the commandment to "Remember the Sabbath Day" must be understood in a new way since the Resurrection of Jesus on the first day of the week.
Before the Incarnation, it had indeed been improper to portray the invisible God in visible form; but God, by taking fleshly form in the person of Jesus Christ, had blessed the whole realm of matter and made it a fit instrument for manifesting the Divine Splendor. He had reclaimed everything in heaven and earth for His service, and had made water and oil, bread and wine, means of conveying His grace to men. He had made painting and sculpture and music and the spoken word, and indeed all our daily tasks and pleasures, the common round of everyday life, a means whereby man might glorify God and be made aware of Him. (NOTE: I always use "man" in the gender-inclusive sense unless the context plainly indicates otherwise.)

Obviously, the use of images and pictures in a religious context is open to abuse, and in the sixteenth century abuses had become so prevalent that some (not all) of the early Protestants reacted by denouncing the use of images altogether. Many years ago, I heard a sermon in my home parish (All Saints' Church, East Lansing, Michigan) on the Commandment, "Thou shalt not make a graven image, nor the likeness of anything in the heavens above, nor in the earth beneath, nor in the waters under the earth -- thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them." (Exodus 20:4-5 and Deuteronomy 5:8-9) The preacher (Gordon Jones) pointed out that, even if we refrain completely from the use of statues and paintings in representing God, we will certainly use mental or verbal images, will think of God in terms of concepts that the human mind can grasp, since the alternative is not to think of Him at all. (Here I digress to note that, if we reject the images offered in Holy Scripture of God as Father, Shepherd, King, Judge, on the grounds that they are not literally accurate, we will end up substituting other images -- an endless, silent sea, a dome of white radiance, an infinitely attenuated ether permeating all space, an electromagnetic force field, or whatever, which is no more literally true than the image it replaces, and which leaves out the truths that the Scriptural images convey. (One of the best books I know on this subject is Edwyn Bevan's Symbolism and Belief, Beacon Press, originally a Gifford Lectures series.[note - now out of print]) C S Lewis repeats what a woman of his acquaintance told him: that as a child she was taught to think of God as an infinite "perfect substance," with the result that for years she envisioned Him as a kind of enormous tapioca pudding. To make matters worse, she disliked tapioca. Back to the sermon.) The sin of idolatry consists of giving to the image the devotion that properly belongs to God. No educated man today is in danger of confusing God with a painting or statue, but we may give to a particular concept of God the unconditional allegiance that properly belongs to God Himself. This does not, of course, mean that one concept of God is as good as another, or that it may not be our duty to reject something said about God as simply false. Images, concepts, of God matter, because it matters how we think about God. The danger is one of intellectual pride, of forgetting that the Good News is, not that we know God, but that He knows us (1 Corinthians 8:3), not that we love Him, but that He loves us (1 John 4:10).
(Incidentally, it was customary in my parish in those days for the preacher to preach a short "Children's Sermon," after which the children were dismissed for Sunday School, and the regular sermon and the rest of the service followed. What I have described above was the Children's Sermon. I remained for the regular sermon, but found it a bit over my head -- a salutary correction to my intellectual snobbery.)

In the East Orthodox tradition, three-dimensional representations are seldom used. The standard icon is a painting, highly stylized, and thought of as a window through which the worshipper is looking into Heaven. (Hence, the background of the picture is almost always gold leaf.) In an Eastern church, an iconostasis (icon screen) flanks the altar on each side, with images of angels and saints (including Old Testament persons) as a sign that the whole church in Heaven and earth is one body in Christ, and unites in one voice of praise and thanksgiving in the Holy Liturgy. At one point in the service, the minister takes a censer and goes to each icon in turn, bows and swings the censer at the icon. He then does the same thing to the congregation -- ideally, if time permits, to each worshipper separately, as a sign that every Christian is an icon, made in the image and likeness of God, an organ in the body of Christ, a window through whom the splendor of Heaven shines forth.

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Confirm our minds, O Lord, in the mysteries of the true faith, set forth with power by your servant John of Damscus; that we, with him, confessing Jesus to be true God and true Man, and singing the praises of the risen Lord, may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for evermore. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 29
Ecclesiastes 3:9-14
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
John 5:24-27

The Creed

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Prayers

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Suffrages

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;

Govern and uphold them, now and always.

Day by day we bless you;

We praise your name for ever.

Lord, keep us from all sin today;

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy;

For we put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope;

And we shall never hope in vain.

Collect of the Day: Christmas Day

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of El Salvador.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: To my humble supplication

To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

Birthdays
Anniversaries
For Recovery from Sickness
For Travelers
For a Person in Trouble or Bereavement
For Those to be Baptized
For the Departed
Full list of prayers

For All Sorts and Conditions

O God, the creator and preserver of all, we humbly beseech you for all sorts and conditions of people; that you would be pleased to make your ways known unto them, your saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for your holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by your good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; that it may please you to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

For the Poor and Neglected

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Those Who Live Alone

Almighty God, whose Son had nowhere to lay his head: Grant that those who live alone may not be lonely in their solitude, but that, following in his steps, they may find fulfillment in loving you and their neighbors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Come, then, and hearken, for he brings
Glad tidings from the King of kings!
Then cleansed be every breast from sin;
Make straight the way for God within;
Prepare we in our hearts a home,
Where such a mighty Guest may come.
For Thou art our Salvation, Lord,
Our Refuge, and our great Reward.
Without Thy grace our souls must fade
And wither like a flower decayed.
Stretch forth Thine hand, to heal our sore,
And make us rise and fall no more;
Once more upon Thy people shine,
And fill the world with love divine.
To Him Who left the throne of Heaven
To save mankind, all praise be given;
Like praise be to the Father done,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One.

Choir: St. John's Episcopal Church, Gainsville, Texas, USA
Words: Charles Coffin
Tune: Winchester New (1690)

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

The Ending

Benediction

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Romans 15:13

Hymn: God Be With You

God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide, uphold you;
With his sheep securely fold you.
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

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