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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Monday in the Second Week of Advent
Morning Prayer
Thomas Merton

The Opening

Opening Sentence

In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3

Hymn: Comfort, comfort ye, my people

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.
Hark, the voice of one that crieth
in the desert far and near,
calling us to new repentance
since the kingdom now is here.
Oh, that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.
Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain:
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
Now o'er earth is shed abroad;
and all flesh shall see the token
that the word is never broken.
Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

Choir: St James Episcopal Church, Bozeman, Montana, USA | Words: Johann Olearius, tr. Catherine Winkworth | Music: Genevan, Louis Bourgeois

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.

Jubilate

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 25
or Coverdale

1To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you;*
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3Show me your ways, O LORD,*
and teach me your paths.
4Lead me in your truth and teach me,*
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you have I trusted all the day long.
5Remember, O LORD, your compassion and love, *
for they are from everlasting.
6Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions;*
remember me according to your love
and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.
7Gracious and upright is the LORD;*
therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8He guides the humble in doing right *
and teaches his way to the lowly.
9All the paths of the LORD are love and faithfulness *
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
10For your Name's sake, O LORD,*
forgive my sin, for it is great.
11Who are they who fear the LORD? *
he will teach them the way that they should choose.
12They shall dwell in prosperity,*
and their offspring shall inherit the land.
13The LORD is a friend to those who fear him *
and will show them his covenant.
14My eyes are ever looking to the LORD,*
for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
15Turn to me and have pity on me,*
for I am left alone and in misery.
16The sorrows of my heart have increased;*
bring me out of my troubles.
17Look upon my adversity and misery *
and forgive me all my sin.
18Look upon my enemies, for they are many, *
and they bear a violent hatred against me.
19Protect my life and deliver me;*
let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
20Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, *
for my hope has been in you.
21Deliver Israel, O God,*
out of all his troubles.

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

The Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 5:8-12,18-23

8 Ah, you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land.9The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing: Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant. 10For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield a mere ephah.11Ah, you who rise early in the morning in pursuit of strong drink, who linger in the evening to be inflamed by wine, .12whose feasts consist of lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine, but who do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands!

18Ah, you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood, who drag sin along as with cart ropes. 19who say, "Let him make haste, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the plan of the Holy One of Israel hasten to fulfillment, that we may know it!" 20Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes, and shrewd in your own sight. 22Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drink.23who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of their rights!

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.

The New Testament Reading

1 Thessolonians 5:1-11

1Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you.2For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.3When they say, 'There is peace and security,' then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape.4But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;5for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.

6So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober;7for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.9For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.

11Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

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.

The Gospel

Luke 21:20-28

20'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; 22for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfillment of all that is written.23Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people;24they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.25'There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.27Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in a cloud" with power and great glory.28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.'

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Thomas Merton was born in 1915 in France, of American parents. His early education was in France (Lycee de Montauban 1927-8) and England (Oakham School, 1929-32; Clare College, Cambridge, 1933-4). He came to America and attended Columbia University, graduated in English in 1938, worked there one year as a teaching assistant, and got his M.A. in 1939. In 1939 he joined the Roman Catholic Church, and taught at St Bonaventure for the next two years. In 1941 he entered the Trappist monastery of Gethsemani near Louisville, Kentucky. The Trappists, called more formally Cistercians of the Strict Observance, are (or were before Vatican II) an extremely strict Roman Catholic monastic order, devoted to communal prayer (they spend at least four hours a day in chapel, chanting the praises of God), to private prayer and contemplation, to study, and to manual labor. Except for those whose special duties require otherwise, they are vowed not to speak except in praise of God. Thus, when not singing in chapel, they are silent.

Toward the end of his life, Merton developed an interest in Buddhist and other Far Eastern approaches to mysticism and contemplation, and their relation to Christian approaches. He was attending an international conference on Christian and Buddhist monasticism in Bangkok, Thailand, when he was accidentally electrocuted on 10 December 1968.

His published books include the following. I have starred those that one biographer of his considers his best work. After some titles, I have inserted quotations from the work (from a selection made by another reader).

1944 Thirty Poems.
1946 a Man in the Divided Sea.
1947 Figures For an Apocalypse, a book of poems.
* 1948 Seven Storey Mountain,
a spiritual autobiography. This is the book that made him famous.
1949 Exile Ends in Glory.
* 1949 Seeds of Contemplation,
about prayer.
* 1949 Waters of Siloe, a history of the Trappist order. "Siloe," More commonly spelled "Siloam," is a pool in Jerusalem. Jesus healed A blind man by daubing clay on his eyes and sending him to wash it off in the pool of Siloam.
1949 Tears of the Blind Lions.
1950 What Are These Wounds?
1951 the Ascent To Truth
* 1953 Sign of Jonas

1953 Bread in the Wilderness
1954 Last of the Fathers
* 1955 No Man Is an Island

"Music and art and poetry attune the soul to God because they induce a kind of contact with the Creator and Ruler of the Universe."

1956 the Living Bread, about the Lord's Supper.
1957 the Silent Life
1957 the Strange Islands
1958 Thoughts in Solitude
1959 the Secular Journal of Thomas Merton
1959 Selected Poems of Thomas Merton
1960 Disputed Questions
1960 Spiritual Direction and Meditation
1961 Behavior of Titans
1961 Wisdom of the Desert
1962 a Thomas Merton Reader
1962 New Seeds of Contemplation
1962 Original Child Bomb
1963 Life and Holiness
1963 Emblems of a Season of Fury
1964 Seeds of Destruction
1965 Seasons of Celebration
1965 the Way of Chuang Tzu
1966 Raids On the Unspeakable
* 1966 Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

"Businesses, are, in reality, quasi-religious sects. When you go to work in one, you embrace A New Faith. And if they are really big businesses, you progress from faith to a kind of mystique. Belief in the product, preaching the product, in the end the product becomes the focus of a transcendental experience. Through 'the product' one communes with the vast forces of life, nature, and history that are expressed in business."

"Advertising treats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments."

"Technology is not in itself opposed to spirituality and to religion. But it presents a great temptation."

1967 Mystics and Zen Masters
1968 Cables To the Ace
1968 Faith and Violence
1968 Zen and the Birds of Appetite

(His death occurs here. Later works were presumably edited by others after his death, and are either previously unpublished material or anthologies of work already published.)

1969 My Argument With the Gestapo
1969 the Geography of Lograire
1969 the Climate of Monastic Prayer
1969 Contemplative Prayer
1970 the True Solitude: Selections From the Writings of Thomas Merton.
* 1971 Contemplation in a World of Action, a series of essays.
1971 Thomas Merton On Peace
1971 Opening the Bible
1973 the Asian Journals of Thomas Merton, a collection of his writings about Oriental philosophy and mysticism.
1980 Love and Living, a collection from his writings.

"A superficial freedom to wander aimlessly here or there, to taste this or that, to make a choice of distractions (in Pascal's sense) is simply a sham. It claims to be a freedom of 'choice' when it has evaded the basic task of discovering who it is that chooses."

"The danger of education, I have found, is that it so easily confuses means with ends. Worse than that, it quite easily forgets both and devotes itself merely to the mass production of uneducated gradtuates--people literally unfit for anything except to take part in an elaborate and completely artificial charade which they and their contemporaries have conspired to call 'life'."

"The least of the work of learning is done in classrooms."

"Anyone who regards love as a deal made on the basis of 'needs' is in danger of falling into a purely quantitative ethic. If love is a deal, then who is to say that you should not make as many deals as possible?"

"[A publisher asked me to write something on 'The Secret of Success,' and I refused.] If I had a message to my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success. ... If you have learned only how to be a success, your life has probably been wasted. If a university concentrates on producing successful people, it is lamentably failing in its obligation to society and to the students themselves."

"War represents a vice that mankind would like to get rid of but which it cannot do without. Man is like an alcoholic who knows that drink will destroy him but who always has a reason for drinking. So with war."

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Gracious God, you called your monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 62
Isaiah 57:14-19
Colossians 2:2-10
John 12:27-36

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

or traditional

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 Second Sunday of Advent

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; 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 Saudi Arabia.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations.

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 thoseof 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: There will come a day

There will come a day
When all your troubles fly away
In the twinkling of an eye
In the twinkling of an eye
You will hear the trumpets
and your body shall be changed
and you'll feel what it means
to be alive
and your deaf old ears
will hear him for the first time
and it's like the sweetest voice
you ever knew
And the holes,
in his hands,
in his hands
will be all you need to know
of Jesus' perfect love for you
And we shall all be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
In the twinkling of an eye
we will be changed
Yes, we shall all be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
Like the lightning in the sky
we will be changed
I have heard the Gospel
of the saviour's love for me
and it cannot be denied
no, it cannot be denied
Jesus gave his life
so helpless sinners could be free
then he rose up from the grave
and he's alive
Though this frail old flesh
is not ready to receive it
Yet, we know and we believe
we're going home
When his blood-brought bride
will arise
will arise
and see the glory of the Lamb
upon his throne
And we shall all be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
In the twinkling of an eye
we will be changed
Yes, we shall all be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
Like the lightning in the sky
we will be changed
There will come a day
when all my labour is complete
and it shall not be in vain
no, it shall not be in vain
I will lay my treasure down
before my saviour's feet
and I'll rise up to meet him in the sky
And a voice from the throne
will declare that now forever
God will live among His people every day
with no more to mourn
as our tears are long forgotten
and the former things have
all but passed away
And we shall all be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
In the twinkling of an eye
we will be changed
Yes, we shall all be changed
Like the lightning in the sky
In the twinkling of an eye
we will be changed
Yes, we shall all be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
In the twinkling of an eye
we will be changed
Yes, we shall all be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
Like the lightning in the sky
we will be changed
In the twinkling of an eye
we will be changed

Singers: New Scottish Hymns Band
Words and Music: New Scottish Hymns

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.

The 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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