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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Tuesday, The Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany
Morning Prayer
The Martyrs of Japan

The Opening

Opening Sentence

I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6b

Hymn: Awake, awake: fling off the night!

Awake, awake: fling off the night!
For God has sent his glorious light;
and we who live in Christ's new day
must works of darkness put away.

Let in the light; all sin expose
to Christ, whose life no darkness knows.
Before his cross for guidance kneel;
his light will judge and, judging, heal.

Awake, and rise up from the dead,
and Christ his light on you will shed.
Its power will wrong desires destroy,
and your whole nature fill with joy.

Then sing for joy, and use each day;
give thanks for everything alway.
Lift up your hearts; with one accord
praise God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Words: J.R. Peacey
Tune: Deus tuorum militum

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.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of his holiness: 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

Worship the Lord in the beauty of his holiness: Come let us adore him.

The Psalm

Psalm 78 or
Coverdale
Part I Attendite, popule

1Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.

3That which we have heard and known,
and what our forefathers have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.

4We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, *
and the wonderful works he has done.

5He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
which he commanded them to teach their children;

6That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;

7So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;

8And not be like their forefathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

9The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;

10They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in his law;

11They forgot what he had done, *
and the wonders he had shown them.

12He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13He split open the sea and let them pass through; *
he made the waters stand up like walls.

14He led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.

15He split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.

16He brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.

17But they went on sinning against him, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.

18They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.

19They railed against God and said, *
"Can God set a table in the wilderness?

20True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the
gullies overflowed; *
but is he able to give bread
or to provide meat for his people?"

21When the LORD heard this, he was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and his anger mounted against Israel;

22For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.

23So he commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.

24He rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.

25So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
he provided for them food enough.

26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and led out the south wind by his might.

27He rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and wingd birds like the sand of the sea.

28He let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.

29So they ate and were well filled, *
for he gave them what they craved.

30But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.

31So God's anger mounted against them; *
he slew their strongest men
and laid low the youth of Israel.

32In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in his wonderful works.

33So he brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.

34Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, *
and repent, and diligently search for God.

35They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.

36But they flattered him with their mouths *
and lied to him with their tongues.

37Their heart was not steadfast toward him, *
and they were not faithful to his covenant.

38But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins
and did not destroy them; *
many times he held back his anger
and did not permit his wrath to be roused.

39For he remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.

The Lessons

The Old Testament Reading

Genesis 26:1-33

1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to King Abimelech of the Philistines. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, Do not go down to Egypt; settle in the land that I shall show you. 3Reside in this land as an alien, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will fulfil the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and will give to your offspring all these lands; and all the nations of the earth shall gain blessing for themselves through your offspring, 5because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

6So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, She is my sister; for he was afraid to say, My wife, thinking, or else the men of the place might kill me for the sake of Rebekah, because she is attractive in appearance. 8When Isaac had been there a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw him fondling his wife Rebekah. 9So Abimelech called for Isaac, and said, So she is your wife! Why then did you say, She is my sister? Isaac said to him, Because I thought I might die because of her. 10Abimelech said, What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us. 11So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, Whoever touches this man or his wife shall be put to death.

12Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in the same year reaped a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, 13and the man became rich; he prospered more and more until he became very wealthy. 14He had possessions of flocks and herds, and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. 15(Now the Philistines had stopped up and filled with earth all the wells that his fathers servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham.) 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, Go away from us; you have become too powerful for us.

17So Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar and settled there. 18Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham; for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19But when Isaacs servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20the herders of Gerar quarrelled with Isaacs herders, saying, The water is ours. So he called the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21Then they dug another well, and they quarrelled over that one also; so he called it Sitnah. 22He moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he called it Rehoboth, saying, Now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

23From there he went up to Beer-sheba. 24And that very night the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the God of your father Abraham; do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous for my servant Abrahams sake. 25So he built an altar there, called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. And there Isaacs servants dug a well.

26Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army. 27Isaac said to them, Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you? 28They said, We see plainly that the Lord has been with you; so we say, let there be an oath between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you 29so that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord. 30So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths; and Isaac set them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32That same day Isaacs servants came and told him about the well that they had dug, and said to him, We have found water! 33He called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba to this day.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

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

Ecce, Deus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Testament Reading

Hebrews 13:17-25

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighingfor that would be harmful to you.

18Pray for us; we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honourably in all things. 19I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you very soon.

20Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

22I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been set free; and if he comes in time, he will be with me when I see you. 24Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. 25Grace be with all of 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

John 7:53-8:11

John 7

53 Then each of them went home,

John 8

1 while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4they said to him, Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? 6They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. 8And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus straightened up and said to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? 11She said, No one, sir. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

The Christian faith was first introduced into Japan in the sixteenth century by Jesuit and later by Franciscan missionaries. By the end of that century, there were probably about 300,000 baptized believers in Japan.
Unfortunately, this promising beginning met reverses, brought about by rivalries between different groups of missionaries and political intrigues by the Spanish and Portuguese governments, along with power politics among factions in the Japanese government itself. The result was a suppression of Christians.
The first victims were six Franciscan friars and twenty of their converts, who were executed at Nagasaki on 5 February 1597. (They were tied to crosses, the crosses were raised to an upright position, and they were then quickly stabbed to death by a soldier with a javelin.) After a short interval of relative tolerance, many other Christians were arrested, imprisoned for life, or tortured and killed; and the Church was totally driven underground by 1630. However, when Japan was re-opened to Western contacts 250 years later, it was found that a community of Japanese Christians had survived underground, without clergy, without Scriptures, with only very sketchy instructions in the doctrines of the faith, but with a firm commitment to Jesus as Lord. (I remind you that 250 years is a long time -- 250 years ago Americans were loyal subjects of King George II. The preceding statement is valid only until 2010.)

written by James Kiefer

February 5,1997 marks the 400th anniversary of the first Christian martyrs in Japan. The Japanese martyrs became Christians as a result of the witness of Roman Catholic missionaries who first arrived in Japan with the Portugese in 1543. The Jesuit priest Francis Xavier, whose mission work between 1549-1551 from Kyushu to Kyoto, laid the foundation for the future Christian church in Japan. In 1563, Omura Sumitada became the first daimyo baptized by a Jesuit priest. The first church was built in Kyoto in 1576. According to Martin Repp of the NCC Center for the Study of Japanese Religions, "between 1579 and 1582 the early missionary work was revised under Father Alessandro Valignano, one of the few who understood that Christianity had to loose its European flavor in order to become acceptable to the Japanese" (Martin Repp, "Introduction" Japanese Religions, Vol. 19 No. 1&2, Jan. 1994, p.1).
Because of unrest among his subjects attributed to Christians, Shogun Hideyoshi issued in 1587 the first decree banishing the propoagation of the Christian faith. After a century of civil war, he feared unrest that might lead to peasant revolts. He stated that the religions of Shinto and Buddhism were the only religions of Japan. Nevertheless, for ten years Christian missionaries enjoyed toleration in a restricted way. After the arrival of Spanish priests of the Franciscan and Dominican orders in the beginning of the 1590's, rivalry and quarrel arose among the Christian missionaries. The conflict was also between different European nationals. In 1596 the "San Filipe" incident dealt a serious blow to the Christian mission. The Spanish ship "San Filipe" ran aground and its cargo containing a lot of ammunition was confiscated. The ship's pilot was said to have told during interrogation that Spanish colonial expansion was normally proceeded by missionaries preparing the way for military conquest. This argument was taken up very quickly by the Japanese rulers.
In 1597 Jesuits and Franciscans were taken prisoner in the capital (the Jesuits were released soon due to their connection with the court) and twenty-six Christians, Japanese and foreigners, were executed in Nagasaki, becoming the first martyrs in Japan. The Rev. Sigfrid Schneider describes an incident from the martyrdom on February 5, 1597," On the way up the hill a nobleman tempted the youngest boy, Louis Ibaragi, who was only twelve years old to renounce his faith, He would not yield but eagerly asked: 'Where is my cross?' When they pointed out the smallest one to him he immediately embraced it and held on to it as a child clings to his toy." (Sigfried Schneider, Ofm, The 26 Martyrs of Japan, Chuo Press, 1980, p. 16)
In spite of local persecutions, the Roman Catholic mission continued to expand. Finally, in 1614, Shogun Ieyasu issued the edict of persecution and ensured its implementation: churches were destroyed, foreign missionaries were expelled, and Japanese Christians tortured and killed. From this time on Christians went into hiding and were known as Kakure Kirishitan (Hidden Christians). In 1637/38 the "Shimabara Rebellion," a peasant uprising in Kyushu under Christian leadership, was put down. In reaction to the turmoil caused by this last attempt at survival, the government closed the country to Roman Catholic traders as well as Christian missionaries. The contact with the West was henceforth strictly controlled. As an annual procedure, fumi-e (stepping on a metal image of Christ or Mary) was performed and Japanese had to publically confess that they had nothing to do with Christianity. In spite of the most cruel persecution, some Christians managed to survive and worshipped Christ in secret or under the guise of other religious rituals or tea ceremonies. Persecution of Christians continued until 1854 when Japan was opened by Commodore Perry.

by Jeff Powell, from Koinonia, the Newsletter of the Tokyo Union Church

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 Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Mission

O God, you manifest in your servants the signs of your presence: Send forth upon us the spirit of love, that in companionship with one another your abounding grace may increase among us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Cambodia.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Regular Baptist Churches, General Association of

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; 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 the Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Prisons and Correctional Institutions

Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy's sake. Amen.

For the Victims of Addiction

Blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

Hymn: Whence comes this bright celestial light

Whence comes this bright celestial light,
What cause produces this?
A heaven opens to my sight,
Bright scenes of joy and bliss.
O Lord Jehova art Thou here?
This light proclaims Thou art.
"I am in deed I'm always near
Unto the humble heart.

"Tall cedars fall before the wind,
The tempest breaks the oak,
While slender vines will bow and bend
And rise beneath the stroke.
I've chosen me a pleasant grove
And set my lovely vine
Here in my vinyard I will rove,
The humble heart is mine.

Of all the kinds that range at large,
I've chose one little flock,
And those I make my lovely charge,
Before them I will walk.
Their constant shepherd I will be,
And all their ways refine,
And they shall serve and rev'rence me,
The humble heart is mine."

Shaker hymn
George DeWitt Hymnal, New Lebanon, 1822

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.

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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