Friday, The First Sunday in Lent
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' Luke 15:18, 19
Hymn: God is love
God is love: let heaven adore him;
God is love: let earth rejoice;
let creation sing before him,
and exalt him with one voice.
He who laid the earth's foundation,
he who spread the heavens above,
he who breathes through all creation,
he is love eternal love.
God is love: and though with blindness
sin afflicts the souls of men,
God's eternal loving-kindness
holds them fast and guides them in.
Sin and death and hell shall never
o'er us final triumph gain;
God is love, so Love for ever
o'er the universe must reign.
Singers: The congregation and choir of St. David's Cathderal, Wales
Words: Timothy Reese
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.
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 is full of compassion and mercy: Come let us adore him.
1 Come, let us sing to the Lord; *
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is a great God, *
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the caverns of the earth, *
and the heights of the hills are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it, *
and his hands have molded the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 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!
8 Harden not your hearts,
as your forebears did in the wilderness, *
at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,
when they tempted me.
9 They put me to the test, *
though they had seen my works.
10 Forty years long I detested that generation and said, *
"This people are wayward in their hearts;
they do not know my ways."
11 So I swore in my wrath, *
"They shall not enter into my rest."
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come let us adore him.
Psalm 40 or
1I waited patiently upon the LORD; *
he stooped to me and heard my cry.
2He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay; *
he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.
3He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God; *
many shall see, and stand in awe,
and put their trust in the LORD.
4Happy are they who trust in the LORD! *
they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.
5Great things are they that you have done, O LORD my God!
how great your wonders and your plans for us! *
there is none who can be compared with you.
6Oh, that I could make them known and tell them! *
but they are more than I can count.
7In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure *
(you have given me ears to hear you);
8Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required, *
and so I said, "Behold, I come.
9In the roll of the book it is written concerning me: *
'I love to do your will, O my God;
your law is deep in my heart.'"
10I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation; *
behold, I did not restrain my lips;
and that, O LORD, you know.
11Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance; *
I have not concealed your love and faithfulness from the
12You are the LORD;
do not withhold your compassion from me; *
let your love and your faithfulness keep me safe for ever,
13For innumerable troubles have crowded upon me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see; *
they are more in number than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails me.
14Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; *
O LORD, make haste to help me.
15Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed
who seek after my life to destroy it; *
let them draw back and be disgraced
who take pleasure in my misfortune.
16Let those who say "Aha!" and gloat over me be confounded, *
because they are ashamed.
17Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad; *
let those who love your salvation continually say,
Great is the LORD!"
18Though I am poor and afflicted, *
the Lord will have regard for me.
19You are my helper and my deliverer; *
do not tarry, O my God.
Psalm 54 or
Deus, in nomine
1Save me, O God, by your Name; *
in your might, defend my cause.
2Hear my prayer, O God; *
give ear to the words of my mouth.
3For the arrogant have risen up against me,
and the ruthless have sought my life, *
those who have no regard for God.
4Behold, God is my helper; *
it is the Lord who sustains my life.
5Render evil to those who spy on me; *
in your faithfulness, destroy them.
6I will offer you a freewill sacrifice *
and praise your Name, O LORD, for it is good.
7For you have rescued me from every trouble, *
and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes.
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.
1 Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt.
2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,
3 and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.
4 The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody.
5 One night they both dreamedthe cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prisoneach his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning.
6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled.
7 So he asked Pharaoh's officers, who were with him in custody in his master's house, 'Why are your faces downcast today?'
8 They said to him, 'We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.' And Joseph said to them, 'Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.'
9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, 'In my dream there was a vine before me,
10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and the clusters ripened into grapes.
11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.'
12 Then Joseph said to him, 'This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days;
13 within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.
14 But remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place.
15 For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.'
16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, 'I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head,
17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.'
18 And Joseph answered, 'This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days;
19 within three days Pharaoh will lift up your headfrom you! and hang you on a pole; and the birds will eat the flesh from you.'
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand;
22 but the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Canticle 14 A Song of Penitence
Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners,*
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.
1 Corinthians 3:16-23
16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their craftiness,'
20 and again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'
21 So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours,
22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the futureall belong to you,
23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Canticle 18 A Song to the Lamb
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13
Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for ever more.
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.
13 Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them.
14 As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, 'Follow me.' And he got up and followed him.
15 And as he sat at dinner in Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciplesfor there were many who followed him.
16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?'
17 When Jesus heard this, he said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.'
18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, 'Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?'
19 Jesus said to them, 'The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.
21 'No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.
22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.'
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna (today known as Izmir), a city on the west coast of Turkey. The letters to the "seven churches in Asia" at the beginning of the book of Revelation include a letter to the church in Smyrna, identifying it as a church undergoing persecution.
Polycarp is said to have known the Apostle John, and to have been instructed by him in the Christian faith. Polycarp, in his turn, was known to Irenaeus, who later became Bishop of Lyons in what is now France. We have (1) Irenaeus's brief memoir of Polycarp; (2) a letter to Polycarp from Ignatius of Antioch, written around 115 AD when Ignatius was passing through Turkey, being sent in chains to Rome to be put to death; (3) a letter from Polycarp to the church at Philippi, written at the same time; and (4) an account of the arrest, trial, conviction, and martyrdom of Polycarp, written after his death by one or more members of his congregation.
Polycarp was denounced to the government, arrested, and tried on the charge of being a Christian. When the proconsul urged him to save his life by cursing Christ, he replied: "Eighty-six years I have served him, and he never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?" The magistrate was reluctant to kill a a gentle old man, but he had no choice.
Polycarp was sentenced to be burned. As he waited for the fire to be lighted, he prayed:
Lord God Almighty, Father of your blessed and beloved child Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and hosts and all creation, and of the whole race of the upright who live in your presence: I bless you that you have thought me worthy of this day and hour, to be numbered among the martyrs and share in the cup of Christ, for resurrection to eternal life, for soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. Among them may I be accepted before you today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, just as you, the faithful and true God, have prepared and foreshown and brought about. For this reason and for all things I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved child, through whom be glory to you, with him and the Holy Spirit, now and for the ages to come. Amen.
The fire was then lit and shortly thereafter a soldier stabbed Polycarp to death by order of the magistrate. His friends gave his remains honorable burial, and wrote an account of his death to other churches. See the Penguin volume, Ancient Christian Writers.
written by James Kiefer
O God, the maker of heaven and earth, who gave to your venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Saviour, and steadfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, following his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Alternate Psalm and Readings
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.
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.
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.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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.
We pray for the people of the Czech Republic.
We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the United Free Will Baptist
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.
Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Hymn: This is the truth
This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love:
Therefore dont turn me from your door,
But hearken all, both rich and poor.
The first thing which I do relate
Is that God did man create,
The next thing which to you I'll tell,
Woman was made with man to dwell.
Thus we were heirs to endless woes,
Till God the Lord did interpose,
And so a promise soon did run,
That he would redeem us by his Son.
And at that season of the year
Our blest Redeemer did appear,
He here did live, and here did preach,
and many thousands he did teach.
Thus he in love to us behaved,
To show us how we must be saved;
And if you want to know the way,
Be pleased to hear what he did say.
Singers: The choir of St. David's Cathedral, Wales
Music and words: Traditional
Arrangement: Vaughn Williams
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.
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.
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.
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
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.