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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 Third Week of Advent
Morning Prayer
Dorothy Leigh Sayers

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: My Jesus, my Saviour

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord, all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hand
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have
In You

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort
(My comfort)
My shelter
(My shelter)
You're my tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord, all the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hand
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand (yes, I will)
Nothing compares to the promise I have
Nothing compares to the promise I have
Nothing compares to the promise I have
In You

Singer: Ruben Studdard
Words and Music: Darlene Joyce Zschech

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

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,

attingens a fine usque ad finem,

fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:

veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

[O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,

reaching from one end to the other,

mightily and sweetly ordering all things:

Come and teach us the way of prudence.]

The Psalms

Psalm 41
or Coverdale

1Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! *
the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.
2 The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive,
so that they may be happy in the land; *
he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed *
and ministers to them in their illness.
4 I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; *
heal me, for I have sinned against you."
5 My enemies are saying wicked things about me: *
"When will he die, and his name perish?"
6 Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; *
their heart collects false rumors;
they go outside and spread them.
7 All my enemies whisper together about me *
and devise evil against me.
8 "A deadly thing," they say, "has fastened on him; *
he has taken to his bed and will never get up again."
9 Even my best friend, whom I trusted,
who broke bread with me, *
has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
10 But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, *
and I shall repay them.
11 By this I know you are pleased with me, *
that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 In my integrity you hold me fast, *
and shall set me before your face for ever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, *
from age to age. Amen. Amen.

Psalm 52
or Coverdale

1 You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness *
against the godly all day long?
2 You plot ruin;
your tongue is like a sharpened razor, *
O worker of deception.
3 You love evil more than good *
and lying more than speaking the truth.
4 You love all words that hurt, *
O you deceitful tongue.
5 Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, *
topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling,
and root you out of the land of the living!
6 The righteous shall see and tremble, *
and they shall laugh at him, saying,
7 "This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, *
but trusted in great wealth
and relied upon wickedness."
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; *
I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9 I will give you thanks for what you have done *
and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.

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 8:16-9:1

Isaiah 8

16 Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. 17I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18See, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19Now if people say to you, "Consult the ghosts and the familiar spirits that chirp and mutter; should not a people consult their gods, the dead on behalf of the living. 20for teaching and for instruction?" Surely, those who speak like this will have no dawn. 21They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry; when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will curse their king and their gods. They will turn their faces upward. 22or they will look to the earth, but will see only distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be thrust into thick darkness.

Isaiah 9

1But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

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

2 Peter 1:1-11

1Simeon 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.2May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.3His 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.4Thus 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.6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness.7and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.8For 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.9For anyone who lacks these things is nearsighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins.10Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble.11For 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.

The Gospel

Luke 22:39-53

39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.40When he reached the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.41Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed.42'Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.43Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength.44In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.45When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief.46and he said to them, 'Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.'

47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him.48but Jesus said to him, 'Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?.49When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, 'Lord, should we strike with the sword?.50Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.51But Jesus said, 'No more of this!' And he touched his ear and healed him.52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, 'Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit?.53When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!'

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Dorothy Leigh Sayers was an English writer and scholar, born at Oxford in 1893, the only child of an Anglican clergyman. She studied medieval literature at Oxford (Somerville College), being one of the first women to graduate (1915) from that university. Her first published writings were two volumes of verse,

1916 Op. 1
[Note: "Opus" is Latin for a work, especially an artistic production.]

1919 Catholic Tales and Christian Songs

Here (from memory) is the start of a poem from the former volume:

Christ walks the world again, his lute upon his back,
his red robe worn to tatters, his riches gone to rack.
The wind that wakes the morning blows his hair about his face,
and his arms and legs are ragged with the thorny briar's embrace,
for the hunt is up behind him, and his sword is at his side.
Christ the bonny outlaw walks the whole world wide,
singing: "Lady, lady, will you come away with me,
to lie among the bracken, and eat the barley bread?
We shall see new suns arise, in golden far-off skies,
for the son of God and woman has not where to lay his head."

She worked for several years writing advertising copy, until she was able to support herself by the sale of her books and stories.

In the following (selective) list of her works, I have made bold the ones that I think to be particularly good.

Detective Fiction:

Miss Sayers's first commercially successful writings were detective fiction, and she eventually rose to the very top of that field. In Howard Haycraft's The Art of The Mystery Story, a collection of every notable essay on the detective story written before 1948, her name is mentioned more frequently than that of anyone except Sherlock Holmes. She wrote mostly about Lord Peter Wimsey, a wealthy gentleman and scholar, lover of rare books and fine wines, who solved detective cases because he enjoyed it, and was good at it, and because it was a job worth doing.

In case anyone is wondering what a writer of detective fiction is doing on a list of memorable Christian writers, I reply that a detective story can present the thoughtful reader with many observations and questions about the nature of good and evil, about difficult moral choices, and about ways of dealing with others. Detective stories, like books of any other kind, vary in quality. When you open a novel by Sayers, and find that the first words are

Thou blind man's mark, thou fool's self-chosen snare,
Fond fancy's scum, and dregs of scattered thought,
Band of all evils, cradle of causeless care,
Thou web of will, whose end is never wrought,
Desire, desire! I have too dearly bought,
With price of mangled mind, thy worthless ware.

you know that you are not reading a run-of-the-mill whodunit.

Her Wimsey books include:

Plays:

Non-Fiction:

Translations:

Dorothy L. Sayers died 17 December 1957, leaving her translation of the Comedy unfinished. The last thirteen cantos and the notes and commentary to the Paradiso were supplied by her friend and fellow Dante scholar, Dr. Barbara Reynolds.


Books about Dorothy L. Sayers include the following:

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Incarnate God, who gave your servant Dorothy the grace of eloquence to defend your truth to a distressed church, and to proclaim the importance of Christian principles for the world; may we too, assisted by her prayers and example, be given the same grace of passionate conviction to teach right doctrine and to teach doctrine rightly; We ask this in your name, who lives and reigns with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Wisdom 7:714
Psalm 19
John 21:125

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 Third Sunday of Advent

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, 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 Slovenia.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Landmark Baptist Church.

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: O bless the Lord, my soul!

O bless the Lord, my soul!
His grace to thee proclaim!
And all that is within me join
to bless his holy Name!

O bless the Lord, my soul!
His mercies bear in mind!
Forget not all his benefits!
The Lord to thee is kind.

He clothes us with his love,
upholds us with his word
he heals all our infirmities
and ransoms us from death.

Then bless his holy Name,
whose grace hath made us whole,
whose loving-kindness crowns our days:
O bless the Lord, my soul!

Text: Psalm 103:1-5
Words: James Montgomery
Composer: Williams
Tune: Doncaster

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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