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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Tuesday, The Last Sunday After the Epiphany
Morning Prayer
Absalom Jones

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: Children of the heavenly Father

Children of the heavenly Father
safely in his bosom gather;
nestling bird nor star in heaven
such a refuge e'er was given.

God his own doth tend and nourish;
in his holy courts they flourish.
From all evil things he spares them;
in his mighty arms he bears them.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers,
Your protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Every foeman must surrender.

Though he giveth or he taketh,
God his children ne'er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Singers: Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute Singers
Words: Carolina Sandell
Music: Swedish folk song

Confession

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Versicle and Response

Lord, open our lips.

And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord has shown forth his glory: 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

The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 26 or
Coverdale
Judica me, Domine

1Give judgment for me, O LORD,
for I have lived with integrity; *
I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.

2Test me, O LORD, and try me; *
examine my heart and my mind.

3For your love is before my eyes; *
I have walked faithfully with you.

4I have not sat with the worthless, *
nor do I consort with the deceitful.

5I have hated the company of evildoers; *
I will not sit down with the wicked.

6I will wash my hands in innocence, O LORD, *
that I may go in procession round your altar,

7Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving *
and recounting all your wonderful deeds.

8LORD, I love the house in which you dwell *
and the place where your glory abides.

Psalm 28 or
Coverdale
Ad te, Domine

1O LORD, I call to you;
my Rock, do not be deaf to my cry; *
lest, if you do not hear me,
I become like those who go down to the Pit.

2Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you, *
when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.

3Do not snatch me away with the wicked or with the
evildoers, *
who speak peaceably with their neighbors,
while strife is in their hearts.

4Repay them according to their deeds, *
and according to the wickedness of their actions.

5According to the work of their hands repay them, *
and give them their just deserts.

6They have no understanding of the LORD'S doings,
nor of the works of his hands; *
therefore he will break them down and not
build them up.

7Blessed is the LORD! *
for he has heard the voice of my prayer.

8The LORD is my strength and my shield; *
my heart trusts in him, and I have been helped;

9Therefore my heart dances for joy, *
and in my song will I praise him.

10The LORD is the strength of his people, *
a safe refuge for his anointed.

11Save your people and bless your inheritance; *
shepherd them and carry them for ever.

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

Proverbs 30:1-33

1The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle.
Thus says the man: I am weary, O God,
I am weary, O God. How can I prevail?
2 Surely I am too stupid to be human;
I do not have human understanding.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the holy ones.
4 Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is the persons name?
And what is the name of the persons child?
Surely you know!
5 Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar.
7 Two things I ask of you;
do not deny them to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that I need,
9 or I shall be full, and deny you,
and say, 'Who is the Lord?
or I shall be poor, and steal,
and profane the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a servant to a master,
or the servant will curse you, and you will be held guilty.
11 There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are pure in their own eyes
yet are not cleansed of their filthiness.
13 There are thosehow lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14 there are those whose teeth are swords,
whose teeth are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mortals.
15 The leech has two daughters;
'Give, give, they cry.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, 'Enough:
16 Sheol, the barren womb,
the earth ever thirsty for water,
and the fire that never says, 'Enough.
17 The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
18 Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a girl.
20 This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats, and wipes her mouth,
and says, 'I have done no wrong.
21 Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when glutted with food;
23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maid when she succeeds her mistress.
24 Four things on earth are small,
yet they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are a people without strength,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the badgers are a people without power,
yet they make their homes in the rocks;
27 the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard can be grasped in the hand,
yet it is found in kings palaces.
29 Three things are stately in their stride;
four are stately in their gait:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among wild animals
and does not turn back before any;
31 the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
and a king striding before his people.
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
33 For as pressing milk produces curds,
and pressing the nose produces blood,
so pressing anger produces strife.

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

Philippians 3:1-11

1Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.

To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a safeguard.

2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! 3For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh 4even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

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 18:28-38

28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilates headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. 29So Pilate went out to them and said, 'What accusation do you bring against this man? 30They answered, 'If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you. 31Pilate said to them, 'Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law. The Jews replied, 'We are not permitted to put anyone to death. 32(This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, 'Are you the King of the Jews? 34Jesus answered, 'Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me? 35Pilate replied, 'I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done? 36Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here. 37Pilate asked him, 'So you are a king? Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. 38Pilate asked him, 'What is truth?

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, 'I find no case against him.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

In 1786 the membership of St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia included both blacks and whites. However, the white members met that year and decided that thereafter black members should sit only in the balcony. Two black Sunday worshippers, Absalom Jones (1746-1818) and Richard Allen (1760-1831), whose enthusiasm for the Methodist Church had brought many blacks into the congregation, learned of the decision only when, on the following Sunday, ushers tapped them on the shoulder during the opening prayers, and demanded that they move to the balcony without waiting for the end of the prayer. They walked out, followed by the other black members.
Absalom Jones conferred with William White, Episcopal Bishop of Philadelphia, who agreed to accept the group as an Episcopal parish. Jones would serve as lay reader, and, after a period of study, would be ordained and serve as rector. Allen wanted the group to remain Methodist, and in 1793 he left to form a Methodist congregation. In 1816 he left the Methodists to form a new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Jones (ordained deacon and priest in 1795 and 1802) and Allen (ordained deacon and elder in 1799 and 1816) were the first two black Americans to receive formal ordination in any denomination. (So I am told by my Episcopal source. On the other hand, a Baptist correspondent tells me of the earlier ordination of a black American to the Baptist ministry. Perhaps my first source either did not know of this, or did not consider the Baptist ordination to be "formal." This is not a question of snobbery. Some congregations I know simply ask someone who they think is a good speaker to be their preacher for a year, and there is no ceremony beyond the vote and his saying, "I accept.")

The African Methodist Episcopal Church Zion (AME Zion) formed in New York in about 1796 for similar reasons. The two groups were well organized before they heard of each other. The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, also historically black, was an offshoot in 1870 of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. (The Methodists split into North and South before the War of 1861-1865, and have since re-united.) These three black groups, and the United Methodist Church, and some other denominations of Methodist origin, are committed in principle to eventual union, but bureaucracies move slowly. Meanwhile, the groups are united in doctrine, and members of each are free to worship and to receive the Sacraments with members of the others.

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear: that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servants Absalom Jones and Richard Allen, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

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 Last Sunday after the Epiphany

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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 China.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Southern Baptist Convention

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: From all that dwell below the skies

From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator's praise arise;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let the Redeemer's name be sung
Through ev'ry land by ev'ry tongue.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Eternal are Thy mercies Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy Word;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia!

Singers: Scott Krippayne | Words: Issac Watts | Arrangment: Scott Krippayne, Kirk Cameron

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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