Table of Contents

close

The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

Calendar

Home

Top

close

Saturday, December 29
Morning Prayer
Thomas of Canterbury

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:2

Hymn: Sheep fast asleep

Sheep fast asleep,
there on a hill,
grass for a bed;
all is still.
Cold winter night, the frost appears;
shepherds keep watch by their fire.

Soft there a sound,
far, far away;
is it the steam?
winds at play?
Nay, friend, it is the heavenly choir,
singing throughout the spheres.

Star in the sky
shining; so bright!
Silent and pure,
wondrous light!
What tiding brings it Israel?
Can we new hope in it find?

Good news it brings!
"Fear not, I pray!
"Born is God's Child,
"born today!
"God's gift of love to all the earth,
"Our Lord, Emmanuel."

Glory to God!
Glory on high!
Sing ye Noel!
Day is nigh!
All you who dwell on earth below
Peace be to you, and good will

Come, let us go
to Bethlehem
Follow the star,
seeking him
Let us adore and worship still
In love and joy to grow

Singers: First Presbyterian Church Choir
Words: Genzo Miwa, trans. John Moss
Music: Chugoro Torii

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.

Alleluia. To us a child is born:
Come let us adore him. Alleluia.

Venite

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!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
And will be forever. Amen.

chanted by the Rev. T. Abigail Murphy

Antiphon

Alleluia. To us a child is born:
Come let us adore him. Alleluia.

The Psalm

Psalm 18:1-20
or Coverdale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 Smoke rose from his nostrils

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 The 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.

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

18 He delivered me from my strong enemies

and from those who hated me; *
for they were too mighty for me.

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

20 He 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

The Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 12:1-6

1 You will say in that day: I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, and you comforted me. 2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. 5Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. 6Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Canticle 12 A Song of Creation
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65
Benedicite, omnia opera Domini

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.

Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat.

Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.

Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.

Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.

All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.

O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

New Testament Reading

Revelation 1:1-8

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place; he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near. 4John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. 8'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

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

John 7:37-52

37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water."' 39Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 40When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, 'This is really the prophet.' 41Others said, 'This is the Messiah.' But some asked, 'Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?' 43So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, 'Why did you not arrest him?' 46The police answered, 'Never has anyone spoken like this!' 47Then the Pharisees replied, 'Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? 48Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49But this crowd, which does not know the law-they are accursed.' 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, 51'Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?' 52They replied, 'Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.'

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

On December 29, we remember Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, slain in his own cathedral in 1170, for his defiance of King Henry II. The death of Thomas reminds us that a Christian, even when safe from pagans, can be in danger from his fellow-Christians. It also reminds us that one can be martyred in a cause where the merits of the particular issue at hand are not obvious to all men of good will. The issue here, or one of the issues, was one of court jurisdiction. King Henry claimed that a cleric accused of an ordinary crime ought to be tried in the King's Courts like any layman. Thomas, who was Henry's Chancellor and his close friend, vigorously upheld the king's position. However, when he was made Archbishop of Canterbury with the king's support, he reversed himself completely and upheld the right of clergy to be tried only in Church courts, which could not inflict capital punishment. (This reversal does not imply fickleness or treachery. As Chancellor, Thomas was bound to serve the king. Now, as Archbishop, he was bound to defend the Church.) Henry wanted an arrangement by which (for example) a priest accused of murder would be tried by a Church Court, which if it found him guilty would degrade him to the rank of a layman, whereupon a King's Court would try him, and if it found him guilty would order him hanged. Thomas objected that a man could not be tried and punished twice for the same offense.

[Historical Digression: In the United States, what is often counted as the first bloodshed of the War of Independence was that of the Boston Massacre (5 March 1770), when a mob threw stones at a group of sentries, who eventually fired at them, killing five. The soldiers were tried for murder, and defended by John Adams (later the 2nd President of the United States). The jury acquitted all but two, whom it found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder, and Adams promptly said, "I claim for my clients the benefit of clergy." Under law, the penalty for murder was "death without benefit of clergy," whereas the penalty for manslaughter was simply "death." The former penalty was supposed by Mark Twain (see his novels The Prince and the Pauper (about England in 1547) and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court) to mean that the accused was to have no access to a clergyman before being killed, and that the law thus sought to destroy his soul as well as his body. Naturally, Twain was horrified. However, the law was not what he thought it was. In fact, "death without benefit of clergy" meant simply that anyone convicted of murder was to be put to death even if a cleric. On the other hand, conviction of manslaughter meant death only if the accused was a layman. But what was the legal definition of a cleric (or clerk, or scholar)? The courts had developed the principle that in order to claim benefit of clergy it was sufficient to be able to read. Moreover, the literacy test had become extremely standardized. The convicted man approached the court clerk, who opened a Bible, pointed to a verse, and said, "Read this." The verse pointed to, known as the Neck Verse, was Psalm 56:13 "Thou hast delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living." (The Hebrew word "nephesh," here translated "soul," is derived, like our word "spirit," from a root meaning "breath," and can also, where the context permits, be translated "throat" or "neck," a translation that would make the verse even more appropriate than it already is. I must check to see whether there are any old translations that so render it.) The accused would read the verse, or recite it from memory, and be certified as a clerk. He would then be branded on the thumb with a hot iron, as a sign that he was now a convicted felon, and could never claim the benefit of clergy again. That is why, when one takes an oath in court, one holds up one's right hand. The court must see that the witness has no brand on the hand, and is therefore not a convicted felon, and is therefore presumed to be trustworthy under oath. Thus some remnants of the issue disputed between Henry and Thomas were with us (in English-speaking countries at least) until the 1700's, and others are still with us. End of digression. Back to Thomas.]

Henry, being angered at opposition from someone whom he had counted on for support, was heard to exclaim in anger, "This fellow who has eaten my bread has lifted up his heel against me [see Psalm 41:9]. Have I no friend who will rid me of this upstart priest?" Four of his knights promptly rode to Canterbury, where they confronted the Archbishop and demanded that he back down. When he did not, they killed him. Public reaction was immediate and vigorous, and reckoned Thomas as a saint and a martyr, and Henry as a blaspheming murderer. Henry swore that he had not intended his remark to be taken seriously, and had himself publicly whipped at the tomb of Thomas. Thomas was very soon canonized, and his tomb was one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in Europe for the next three-and-a-half centuries. During a war between England and France, a King of France obtained a cease-fire to enable him to make a pilgrimage to Canterbury. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is concerned with a group of pilgrims on their way to the tomb of Thomas.

The chief moral that I draw from Thomas's life and death is that when a man seeks to serve God, God graciously accepts that service, even if the man is quite wrong about what it is that God expects of him.

I close by quoting a section from T.S. Eliot's play, "Murder in the Cathedral," which deals with the death of Thomas. Note that the words are Eliot's and not Thomas's. I quote it not as applicable simply to Thomas, but as applicable to all martyrs (and thus appropriate during the Witness Days) and indeed as directed to all Christians in their understanding of the Christian life, and how it involves both sorrow and joy.

The Archbishop preaches in the Cathedral on Christmas morning, 1170.
SERMON

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The fourteenth verse of the second chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Luke. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Dear children of God, my sermon this morning will be a very short one. I wish only that you should ponder and meditate on the deep meaning and mystery of our masses of Christmas Day. For whenever Mass is said, we re-enact the Passion and Death of Our Lord; and on this Christmas Day we do this in celebration of His Birth. So that at the same moment we rejoice in His coming for the salvation of men, and offer again to God His Body and Blood in sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. It was in this same night that has just passed, that a multitude of the heavenly host appeared before the shepherds at Bethlehem, saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men"; at this same time of all the year that we celebrate at once the Birth of Our Lord and His Passion and Death upon the Cross. Beloved, as the World sees, this is to behave in a strange fashion. For who in the World will both mourn and rejoice at once and for the same reason? For either joy will be overcome by mourning or mourning will be cast out by joy; so that it is only in these our Christian mysteries that we can rejoice and mourn at once for the same reason. But think for a while on the meaning of this word "peace." Does it seem strange to you that the angels should have announced Peace, when ceaselessly the world has been stricken with War and the fear of War? Does it seem to you that the angelic voices were mistaken, and that the promise was a disappointment and a cheat?

Reflect now, how Our Lord Himself spoke of Peace. He said to His disciples: "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Did He mean peace as we think of it: the kingdom of England at peace with its neighbors, the barons at peace with the King, the householder counting over his peaceful gains, the swept hearth, his best wine for a friend at the table, his wife singing to the children? Those men His disciples knew no such things: they went forth to journey afar, to suffer by land and sea, to know torture, imprisonment, disappointment, to suffer death by martyrdom. What then did He mean? If you ask that, remember that He said also, "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you." So then, He gave to his disciples peace, but not peace as the world gives.

Consider also one thing of which you have probably never thought. Not only do we at the feast of Christmas celebrate at once Our Lord's Birth and His Death: but on the next day we celebrate the martyrdom of his first martyr, the blessed Stephen. Is it an accident, do you think, that the day of the first martyr follows immediately the day of the Birth of Christ? By no means. Just as we rejoice and mourn at once, in the Birth and Passion of Our Lord; so also, in a smaller figure, we both rejoice and mourn in the death of martyrs. We mourn, for the sins of the world that has martyred them; we rejoice, that another soul is numbered among the Saints in Heaven, for the glory of God and for the salvation of men.

Beloved, we do not think of a martyr simply as a good Christian who has been killed because he is a Christian: for that would be solely to mourn. We do not think of him simply as a good Christian who has been elevated to the company of the Saints: for that would be simply to rejoice: and neither our mourning nor our rejoicing is as the world's is. A Christian martyrdom is no accident. Saints are not made by accident. Still less is a Christian martyrdom the effect of a man's will to become a Saint, as a man by willing and contriving may become a ruler of men. Ambition fortifies the will of man to become ruler over other men: it operates with deception, cajolery, and violence, it is the action of impurity upon impurity. Not so in Heaven. A martyr, a saint, is always made by the design of God, for His love of men, to warn them and to lead them, to bring them back to His ways. A martyrdom is never the design of man; for the true martyr is he who has become the instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, not lost it but found it, for he has found freedom in submission to God. The martyr no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of martyrdom. So thus as on earth the Church mourns and rejoices at once, in a fashion that the world cannot understand; so in Heaven the Saints are most high, having made themselves most low, seeing themselves not as we see them, but in the light of the Godhead from which they draw their being.

I have spoken to you today, dear children of God, of the martyrs of the past, asking you to remember especially our martyr of Canterbury, the blessed Archbishop Elphege; because it is fitting, on Christ's birthday, to remember what is that peace which he brought; and because, dear children, I do not think that I shall ever preach to you again; and because it is possible that in a short time you may have yet another martyr, and that one perhaps not the last. I would have you keep in your hearts these words that I say, and think of them at another time. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

[End of sermon]

essay written by James Kiefer

Prayer

O God, our strength and our salvation, who called your servant Thomas Becket to be a shepherd of your people and a defender of your Church: Keep your household from all evil and raise up among us faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 125
2 Esdras 2:42-48
1 John 2:3-6, 15-17
Mark 11:24-33

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: Christmas

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

For Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Taiwan.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Zion Christian Church.

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; 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 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 Joy in God's Creation

O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Good Use of Leisure

O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Unemployed

Heavenly Father, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Guide the people of this land so to use our public and private wealth that all may find suitable and fulfilling employment, and receive just payment for their labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Carol our Christmas

Carol our Christmas, an upside down Christmas;
Snow is not falling and trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and welcome the Christ Child,
Warm in our sunshine and sweetness of air.

Sing of the gold and the green and the sparkle,
Water and river and lure of the beach.
Sing in the happiness of open spaces,
Sing a nativity summer can reach!

Shepherds and musterers move over hillsides.
Finding not angels but sheep to be shorn;
Wise ones make journeys whatever the season.
Searching for signs of the truth to be born.

Right side up Christmas belongs to the universe,
Made in the moment a woman gives birth;
Hope is the Jesus gift, love is the offering,
Everywhere, anywhere, here on the earth.

Lyrics Shirley Murray
Music Colin Gibson

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.

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.

return to the December calendar

return to the Home Page