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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Thursday
Morning Prayer

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy, which will come to all the people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10, 11

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!
Praise him 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 Psalms

Psalm 68 or
Coverdale
Exsurgat Deus

1Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *
let those who hate him flee before him.

2Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at
the presence of God.

3But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
let them also be merry and joyful.

4Sing to God, sing praises to his Name;
exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *
YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him!

5Father of orphans, defender of widows, *
God in his holy habitation!

6God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners
into freedom; *
but the rebels shall live in dry places.

7O God, when you went forth before your people, *
when you marched through the wilderness,

8The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

9You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
you refreshed the land when it was weary.

10Your people found their home in it; *
in your goodness, O God, you have made provision
for the poor.

11The Lord gave the word; *
great was the company of women who bore the tidings:

12"Kings with their armies are fleeing away; *
the women at home are dividing the spoils."

13Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, *
you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver,
whose feathers are like green gold.

14When the Almighty scattered kings, *
it was like snow falling in Zalmon.

15O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! *
O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan!

16Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain,
at the hill which God chose for his resting place? *
truly, the LORD will dwell there for ever.

17The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
even thousands of thousands; *
the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai.

18You have gone up on high and led captivity captive;
you have received gifts even from your enemies, *
that the LORD God might dwell among them.

19Blessed be the Lord day by day, *
the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.

20He is our God, the God of our salvation; *
God is the LORD, by whom we escape death.

21God shall crush the heads of his enemies, *
and the hairy scalp of those who go on still in their
wickedness.

22The Lord has said, "I will bring them back from Bashan; *
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea;

23That your foot may be dipped in blood, *
the tongues of your dogs in the blood of your enemies."

24They see your procession, O God, *
your procession into the sanctuary, my God and my King.

25The singers go before, musicians follow after, *
in the midst of maidens playing upon the hand-drums.

26Bless God in the congregation; *
bless the LORD, you that are of the fountain of Israel.

27There is Benjamin, least of the tribes, at the head;
the princes of Judah in a company; *
and the princes of Zebulon and Naphtali.

28Send forth your strength, O God; *
establish, O God, what you have wrought for us.

29Kings shall bring gifts to you, *
for your temple's sake at Jerusalem.

30Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, *
and the peoples, a herd of wild bulls with its calves.

31Trample down those who lust after silver; *
scatter the peoples that delight in war.

32Let tribute be brought out of Egypt; *
let Ethiopia stretch out her hands to God.

33Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; *
sing praises to the Lord.

34He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; *
he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.

35Ascribe power to God; *
his majesty is over Israel;
his strength is in the skies.

36How wonderful is God in his holy places! *
the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people!
Blessed be God!

Gloria Patri

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. Amen.

The Lessons

The Old Testament Lesson

Genesis 28:10-22

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the LORD stood beside him and said, 'I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.' Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the LORD is in this place-and I did not know it!' And he was afraid, and said, 'How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.' So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one tenth to you.'

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 8 The Song of Moses
Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18
Cantemus Domino

I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
the Lord has become my Savior.
This is my God and I will praise him, *
the God of my people and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
Yahweh is his Name.
The chariots of Pharaoh and his army has he hurled into the sea; *
the finest of those who bear armor have been
drowned in the Red Sea.
The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy.
Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
who is like you, glorious in holiness,
awesome in renown, and worker of wonders?
You stretched forth your right hand; *
the earth swallowed them up.
With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
with your might you brought them in safety to
your holy dwelling.
You will bring them in and plant them *
on the mount of your possession,
The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established.
The Lord shall reign *
for ever and for ever.
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 Lesson

Hebrews 11:13-22

All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, 'It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.' He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead-and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, 'bowing in worship over the top of his staff.' By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.

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 10:7-17

So again Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away-and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Gladys Aylward was born in London in 1904 (or a few years earlier). She worked for several years as a parlor maid, and then attended a revival meeting at which the preacher spoke of dedicating one's life to the service of God. Gladys responded to the message, and soon after became convinced that she was called to preach the Gospel in China. At the age of 26, she became a probationer at the China Inland Mission Center in London, but failed to pass the examinations. She worked at other jobs and saved her money. Then she heard of a 73-year-old missionary, Mrs. Jeannie Lawson, who was looking for a younger woman to carry on her work. Gladys wrote to Mrs. Lawson and was accepted if she could get to China. She did not have enough money for the ship fare, but did have enough for the train fare, and so in October of 1930 she set out from London with her passport, her Bible, her tickets, and two pounds ninepence, to travel to China by the Trans-Siberian Railway, despite the fact that China and the Soviet Union were engaged in an undeclared war. She arrived in Vladivostok and sailed from there to Japan and from Japan to Tientsin, and thence by train, then bus, then mule, to the inland city of Yangchen, in the mountainous province of Shansi, a little south of Peking (Beijing). Most of the residents had seen no Europeans other than Mrs. Lawson and now Miss Aylward. They distrusted them as foreigners, and were not disposed to listen to them.

Yangchen was an overnight stop for mule caravans that carried coal, raw cotton, pots, and iron goods on six-week or three-month journeys. It occurred to the two women that their most effective way of preaching would be to set up an inn. The building in which they lived had once been an inn, and with a bit of repair work could be used as one again. They laid in a supply of food for mules and men, and when next a caravan came past, Gladys dashed out, grabbed the rein of the lead mule, and turned it into their courtyard. It went willingly, knowing by experience that turning into a courtyard meant food and water and rest for the night. The other mules followed, and the muleteers had no choice. They were given good food and warm beds at the standard price, and their mules were well cared for, and there was free entertainment in the evening--the innkeepers told stories about a man named Jesus. After the first few weeks, Gladys did not need to kidnap customers -- they turned in at the inn by preference. Some became Christians, and many of them (both Christians and non-Christians) remembered the stories, and retold them more or less accurately to other muleteers at other stops along the caravan trails. Gladys practiced her Chinese for hours each day, and was becoming fluent and comfortable with it. Then Mrs. Lawson suffered a severe fall, and died a few days later. Gladys Aylward was left to run the mission alone, with the aid of one Chinese Christian, Yang, the cook.

A few weeks after the death of Mrs. Lawson, Miss Aylward met the Mandarin of Yangchen. He arrived in a sedan chair, with an impressive escort, and told her that the government had decreed an end to the practice of footbinding. (NOTE: Among the upper and middle classes, it had for centuries been the custom that a woman's foot should be wrapped tightly in bandages from infancy, to prevent it from growing. Thus grown women had extremely tiny feet, on which they could walk only with slow, tottering steps, which were thought to be extremely graceful.) The government needed a foot-inspector, a woman (so that she could invade the women's quarters without scandal), with her own feet unbound (so that she could travel), who would patrol the district enforcing the decree. It was soon clear to them both that Gladys was the only possible candidate for the job, and she accepted, realizing that it would give her undreamed-of opportunities to spread the Gospel.

During her second year in Yangchen, Gladys was summoned by the Mandarin. A riot had broken out in the men's prison. She arrived and found that the convicts were rampaging in the prison courtyard, and several of them had been killed. The soldiers were afraid to intervene. The warden of the prison said to Gladys, "Go into the yard and stop the rioting." She said, "How can I do that?" The warden said, "You have been preaching that those who trust in Christ have nothing to fear." She walked into the courtyard and shouted: "Quiet! I cannot hear when everyone is shouting at once. Choose one or two spokesmen, and let me talk with them." The men quieted down and chose a spokesman. Gladys talked with him, and then came out and told the warden: "You have these men cooped up in crowded conditions with absolutely nothing to do. No wonder they are so edgy that a small dispute sets off a riot. You must give them work. Also, I am told that you do not supply food for them, so that they have only what their relatives send them. No wonder they fight over food. We will set up looms so that they can weave cloth and earn enough money to buy their own food." This was done. There was no money for sweeping reforms, but a few friends of the warden donated old looms, and a grindstone so that the men could work grinding grain. The people began to call Gladys Aylward "Ai-weh-deh," which means "Virtuous One." It was her name from then on.

Soon after, she saw a woman begging by the road, accompanied by a child covered with sores and obviously suffering severe malnutrition. She satisfied herself that the woman was not the child's mother, but had kidnapped the child and was using it as an aid to her begging. She bought the child for ninepence--a girl about five years old. A year later, "Ninepence" came in with an abandoned boy in tow, saying, "I will eat less, so that he can have something." Thus Ai-weh-deh acquired a second orphan, "Less." And so her family began to grow.... She was a regular and welcome visitor at the palace of the Mandarin, who found her religion ridiculous, but her conversation stimulating. In 1936, she officially became a Chinese citizen. She lived frugally and dressed like the people around her (as did the missionaries who arrived a few years after in in the neighboring town of Tsechow, David and Jean Davis and their young son Murray, of Wales), and this was a major factor in making her preaching effective.

Then the war came. In the spring of 1938, Japanese planes bombed the city of Yangcheng, killing many and causing the survivors to flee into the mountains. Five days later, the Japanese Army occupied Yangcheng, then left, then came again, then left. The Mandarin gathered the survivors and told them to retreat into the mountains for the duration. He also announced that he was impressed by the life of Ai-weh-deh and wished to make her faith his own. There remained the question of the convicts at the jail. The traditional policy favored beheading them all lest they escape. The Mandarin asked Ai-weh-deh for advice, and a plan was made for relatives and friends of the convicts to post a bond guaranteeing their good behavior. Every man was eventually released on bond. As the war continued Gladys often found herself behind Japanese lines, and often passed on information, when she had it, to the armies of China, her adopted country. She met and became friends with "General Ley," a Roman Catholic priest from Europe who had taken up arms when the Japanese invaded, and now headed a guerilla force. Finally he sent her a message. The Japanese are coming in full force. We are retreating. Come with us." Angry, she scrawled a Chinese note, CHI TAO TU PU TWAI, "Christians never retreat!" He sent back a copy of a Japanese handbill offering $100 each for the capture, dead or alive, of (1) the Mandarin, (2) a prominent merchant, and (3) Ai-weh-deh. She determined to flee to the government orphanage at Sian, bringing with her the children she had accumulated, about 100 in number. (An additional 100 had gone ahead earlier with a colleague.) With the children in tow, she walked for twelve days. Some nights they found shelter with friendly hosts. Some nights they spent unprotected on the mountainsides. On the twelfth day, they arrived at the Yellow River, with no way to cross it. All boat traffic had stopped, and all civilian boats had been seized to keep them out of the hands of the Japanese. The children wanted to know, "Why don't we cross?" She said, "There are no boats." They said, "God can do anything. Ask Him to get us across." They all knelt and prayed. Then they sang. A Chinese officer with a patrol heard the singing and rode up. He heard their story and said, "I think I can get you a boat." They crossed, and after a few more difficulties Ai-weh-deh delivered her charges into competent hands at Sian, and then promptly collapsed with typhus fever and sank into delirium for several days.

As her health gradually improved, she started a Christian church in Sian, and worked elsewhere, including a settlement for lepers in Szechuan, near the borders of Tibet. Her health was permanently impaired by injuries received during the war, and in 1947 she returned to England for a badly needed operation. She remained in England, preaching there. In 1955, she returned to the Orient and opened an orphanage on Formosa (Taiwan), which she continued to run while she lived. Miss Gladys Aylward, the Small Woman, Ai-weh-deh, died 3 January 1970.

In 1957, Alan Burgess wrote a book about her, The Small Woman. It was condensed in The Reader's Digest, and made into a movie called The Inn of The Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. When Newsweek magazine reviewed the movie, and summarized the plot, a reader, supposing the story to be fiction, wrote in to say, "In order for a movie to be good, the story should be believable!" Phyllis Thompson wrote a biography of her in 1971. I do not know the title, but have some evidence that it may be The Little Woman in China. In 1997, Moody Press published a biography called The Little Woman, listing Gladys Aylward and Christine Hunter as co-authors.

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Gladys Aylward, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of China. Raise up in this and every land heralds and evangelists of your kingdom, that your Church may make proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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 First Sunday after Christmas

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Mission

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people
is governed and sanctified:
Receive our supplications and prayers
which we offer before you for
all members of your holy Church,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may truly and devoutly serve you;
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Togo

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Catholic Charismatic Church of Canada

A Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal,
who divides the day from the night
and turns the shadow of death into the morning:
Drive far from us all wrong desires,
incline our hearts to keep your law,
and guide our feet into the way of peace;
that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes,
rejoice to give you thanks;
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 Peace Among Nations

Almighty God our heavenly Father,
guide the nations of the world
into the way of justice and truth,
and establish among them that peace
which is the fruit of righteousness,
that they may become the kingdom
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For Those in the Armed Forces of Our Country

Almighty God,
we commend to your gracious care and keeping
all the men and women of our armed forces
at home and abroad.
Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace;
strengthen them in their trials and temptations;
give them courage to face the perils which beset them;
and grant them a sense of your abiding presence
wherever they may be;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Conservation of Natural Resources

Almighty God, in giving us
dominion over things on earth,
you made us fellow workers in your creation:
Give us wisdom and reverence
so to use the resources of nature,
that no one may suffer from our abuse of them,
and that generations yet to come
may continue to praise you for your bounty;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: While by the sheep

While by the sheep I watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

How great my joy! (Great my joy!)
Joy, joy, joy! (Joy, joy, joy!)
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
(Praise we the Lord in heaven on high)!

There shall he lie in a manger mean,
Who shall redeem the world from sin.

How great my joy! (Great my joy!)
Joy, joy, joy! (Joy, joy, joy!)
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
(Praise we the Lord in heaven on high)!

Lord, evermore to me be nigh,
Then shall my heart be fill'd with joy!

How great my joy! (Great my joy!)
Joy, joy, joy! (Joy, joy, joy!)
Praise we the Lord in heaven on high!
(Praise we the Lord in heaven on high)!

Singers: Singers Unlimited | Translation: Theodore Baker | Music: Traditional

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.

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