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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Thursday
Morning Prayer, Advent 1
Ambrose

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

Awake, my soul

[27 second introduction]

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run
Shake off dull sloth and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice

[Interlude]

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew
Disperse my sins as morning dew
Guard my first spring of thought and will
And with Thyself my spirit fill

[Interlude]

Direct, control, suggest this day
All I design or do or say
That all my pow'rs with all their might
In Thy sole glory may unite

[Interlude]

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise God, all creatues here below
Praise God above, ye heav'nly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Words: Thomas Ken
Music: Tallis Canon
Arrangement: Nancy Raabe

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.
The Spirit of the Lord renews the face of the Earth: Come let us adore him.

Invitatory Psalm

Come let us sing to the Lord;*
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving*
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God,*
and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth,*
and the heights of the hills are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it,*
and his hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,*
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.*
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

Antiphon

The Spirit of the Lord renews the face of the Earth:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 18 or
Coverdale
Part I Diligam te, Domine

1I love you, O LORD my strength, *
O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.

2My God, my rock in whom I put my trust, *
my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge;
you are worthy of praise.

3I will call upon the LORD, *
and so shall I be saved from my enemies.

4The breakers of death rolled over me, *
and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.

5The cords of hell entangled me, *
and the snares of death were set for me.

6I called upon the LORD in my distress *
and cried out to my God for help.

7He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling; *
my cry of anguish came to his ears.

8The earth reeled and rocked; *
the roots of the mountains shook;
they reeled because of his anger.

9Smoke rose from his nostrils
and a consuming fire out of his mouth; *
hot burning coals blazed forth from him.

10He parted the heavens and came down *
with a storm cloud under his feet.

11He mounted on cherubim and flew; *
he swooped on the wings of the wind.

12He wrapped darkness about him; *
he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.

13From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds, *
burst hailstones and coals of fire.

14The LORD thundered out of heaven; *
the Most High uttered his voice.

15He loosed his arrows and scattered them; *
he hurled thunderbolts and routed them.

16The beds of the seas were uncovered,
and the foundations of the world laid bare, *
at your battle cry, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

17He reached down from on high and grasped me; *
he drew me out of great waters.

18He delivered me from my strong enemies
and from those who hated me; *
for they were too mighty for me.

19They confronted me in the day of my disaster; *
but the LORD was my support.

20He brought me out into an open place; *
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

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 4:6-13

6 I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. 7And I also withheld the rain from you when there were still three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would be rained upon, and the field on which it did not rain withered; 8so two or three towns wandered to one town to drink water, and were not satisfied; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. 9I struck you with blight and mildew; I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards; the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. 10I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword; I carried away your horses; and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. 11I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a brand snatched from the fire; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD. 12Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel! 13For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth- the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 8 The Song of Moses Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18
Cantemus Domino

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted;*
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge;*
the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him,*
the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior;*
Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharaoh and his army has he hurled into the sea;*
the finest of those who bear armor have been
drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them;*
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might;*
your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand;*
the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed;*
with your might you brought them in safety to
your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord,*
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
for ever and for ever.
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 3:11-18

11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. 14Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 20 Glory to God
Gloria in excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Gospel

Matthew 21:33-46

33 'Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son." 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.' 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?' 41They said to him, 'He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.' 42Jesus said to them, 'Have you never read in the scriptures: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes"?a 43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.'c 45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Ambrose was governor of Northern Italy, with capital at Milan. When the see of Milan fell vacant, it seemed likely that rioting would result, since the city was evenly divided between Arians and Athanasians. (Explanatory Note: Athanasians affirm that the Logos or Word (John 1:1) is fully God in the same sense that the Father is, while Arians affirm that the Logos is a creature, the first being created by the Father. East Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Prebyterians, Reformed, Baptists, Methodists, etc. are Athanasians. The Watchtower Society (J's Witnesses), the Philippine group called the Iglesia ni Christi (spelling?), and some other groups are Arians. The Unitarians started out as Arians, and some of them still hold this position.) Ambrose went to the meeting where the election was to take place, and appealed to the crowd for order and good will on both sides. He ended up being elected bishop with the support of both sides. He gave away his wealth, and lived in simplicity. By his preaching, he converted the diocese to the Athanasian position, except for the Goths and some members of the Imperial Household. (Note: The Arian emperor Constantius (son of Constantine the Great) had sent missionaries (Arians, of course) to convert the Gothic tribes. The Goths were the chief source of mercenary troops for the Empire. Thus for many years the Army was Arian although a majority of civilians were Athanasian.) On one occasion, the Empress ordered him to turn over a church to the Arians so that her Gothic soldiers could worship in it. Ambrose refused, and he and his people occupied the church. Ambrose composed Latin hymns in the rhythm of "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow," and taught them to the people, who sang them in the church as the soldiers surrounded it. The Goths were unwilling to attack a hymn-singing congregation, and Ambrose won that dispute.

He subsequently won another dispute, when the Emperor, enraged by a crowd who defied him, ordered them all killed by his soldiers. When he next appeared at church, Ambrose met him at the door and said, "You may not come in. There is blood on your hands." The emperor finally agreed to do public penance and to promise that thereafter he would never carry out a sentence of death without a forty-day delay after pronouncing it. Less creditable, to modern Christians, is Ambrose's dispute with the emperor when certain Christians burned a Jewish synagogue, and the emperor commanded them to make restitution. Ambrose maintained that no Christian could be compelled to provide money for the building of a non-Christian house of worship, no matter what the circumstances.

Ambrose was largely responsible for the conversion of St. Augustine. The hymn Te Deum Laudamus ("We praise Thee, O God") was long thought to have been composed by Ambrose in thanksgiving for that conversion. The current opinion is that Ambrose did not write it, but that he may well have written the Creed known as the Athanasian Creed. He is perhaps the first writer of Christian hymns with rhyme and (accentual) meter, and northern Italy still uses his style of plainchant, known as Ambrosian chant, rather than the more widespread Gregorian chant. On the negative side, many Christians will regret his contribution to increased preoccupation with the relics of martyrs. He died 4 April 397, but (because this date so often falls in Holy Week or Easter Week) he is commonly remembered on the anniversary of his consecration as bishop, 7 December.

Ambrose is regarded as one of the Eight Great Doctors (=Teachers) of the Undivided Church. The list includes four Latin (Western) Doctors (Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Pope Gregory the Great), and four Greek (Eastern) Doctors (Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus -- not to be confused with Gregory of Nyssa, the brother of Basil).

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

O God, who gave your servant Ambrose grace eloquently to proclaim your righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of your Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellence in preaching and faithfulness in ministering your Word, that your people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 27:5-11
Ecclesiasticus 2:7-11,16-18
Acts 4:23-31
Luke 12:35-37,42-44

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

Show us your mercy, O Lord;

And grant us your salvation.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness;

Let your people sing with joy.

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;

For only in you can we live in safety.

Lord, keep this nation under your care;

And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Let your way be known upon earth;

Your saving health among all nations.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;

Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;

And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Collect of the Day: The First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Chile

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Baptist General Conference (Sweden)

A Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal, who divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through 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 Peace Among Nations

Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For Those in the Armed Forces of Our Country

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Conservation of Natural Resources

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Come thou long-expected, Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Joy to those who long to see thee
Dayspring from on high, appear.

Come thou promised Rod of Jesse

Of thy birth we long to hear!
O'er the hills the angels singing new,
glad tidings of a birth;

"Go to him, your praises bringing,

Christ the Lord has come to Earth."

Come to Earth to taste our sadness
He whose glories knew no end;
By his life he brings us gladness
Our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Red Mountain Music/Singer:Ashley Spurling.

A Prayer of Self-Dedication

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray you, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 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.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20,21

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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