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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
Elizabeth Seton

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: The first Noel

The first Noel the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay tending their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

This star drew nigh to the northwest,
Over Bethlehem it took its rest;
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.

Then entered in those Wise Men three,
Full reverently upon the knee,
And offered there, in His presence,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Singers: Betty G and Nandy
Words: Traditional

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.

Invitatory Psalm

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!

Antiphon

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

The Psalms

Psalm 85 or
Coverdale
Benedixisti, Domine

1You have been gracious to your land, O LORD, *
you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.

2You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *
and blotted out all their sins.

3You have withdrawn all your fury *
and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.

4Restore us then, O God our Savior; *
let your anger depart from us.

5Will you be displeased with us for ever? *
will you prolong your anger from age to age?

6Will you not give us life again, *
that your people may rejoice in you?

7 Show us your mercy, O LORD, *
and grant us your salvation.

8I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.

9Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
that his glory may dwell in our land.

10Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12The LORD will indeed grant prosperity, *
and our land will yield its increase.

13Righteousness shall go before him, *
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

Psalm 87 or
Coverdale
Fundamenta ejus

1On the holy mountain stands the city he has founded; *
the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

2Glorious things are spoken of you, *
O city of our God.

3I count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me; *
behold Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia:
in Zion were they born.

4Of Zion it shall be said, "Everyone was born in her, *
and the Most High himself shall sustain her."

5The LORD will record as he enrolls the peoples, *
"These also were born there."

6The singers and the dancers will say, *
"All my fresh springs are in you."

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

Old Testament Lesson

Joshua 3:14-4:7

Joshua 3

14 When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were in front of the people. 15Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, 16the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing towards the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.

Joshua 4

1When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua: 2Select twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, 3and command them, Take twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests feet stood, carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you camp tonight. 4Then Joshua summoned the twelve men from the Israelites, whom he had appointed, one from each tribe. 5Joshua said to them, Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the Israelites, 6so that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, What do those stones mean to you? 7then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial for ever.

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

Ephesians 5:1-20

1Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be associated with them. 8For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light 9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
Sleeper, awake!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.

15Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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 9:1-12,35-38

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? 3Jesus answered, Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that Gods works might be revealed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the mans eyes, 7saying to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, Is this not the man who used to sit and beg? 9Some were saying, It is he. Others were saying, No, but it is someone like him. He kept saying, I am the man. 10But they kept asking him, Then how were your eyes opened? 11He answered, The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, Go to Siloam and wash. Then I went and washed and received my sight. 12They said to him, Where is he? He said, I do not know.

35Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, Do you believe in the Son of Man? 36He answered, And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him. 37Jesus said to him, You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he. 38He said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (August 28, 1774 January 4, 1821) was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized in the Roman Catholic Church, on September 14, 1975.

Seton was born on August 28, 1774 to Richard Bayley of New York City. She was raised in the Episcopal Church. Her mother, daughter of an Episcopal priest, died when Elizabeth was three. At the age of nineteen, she married William Magee Seton, a wealthy businessman. Five children were born to the marriage.

Her husband's business lost several ships at sea and the family ended up bankrupt. Soon after, her husband became ill and his doctors sent him to Italy for the warmer climate, with Elizabeth Seton accompanying him. In Italy, they were held in quarantine, during which time her husband died. She spent time with a wealthy family where she was exposed to Catholicism. Two years later she converted to Roman Catholicism, on March 14, 1805 and was received into the Church by the first bishop of Baltimore, John Carroll.

To support her children, she started a school in Baltimore, but it failed due to the anti-Catholic bigotry of the day. In 1809, after some trying and difficult years, Elizabeth moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where a year later she established Saint Joseph's Academy and Free School, a school dedicated to the education of Catholic girls, at the invitation of Samuel Sutherland Cooper.

Eventually, Elizabeth was able to establish a religious community in Emmitsburg, Maryland dedicated to the care of the children of the poor. It was the first religious community of apostolic women founded in the United States. The order was called the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

The remainder of Elizabeth's life was spent in leading and developing the new order, which expanded to include the Sulpician priests of Baltimore. Today, six independent religious communities trace their roots to the humble beginnings of the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Prayer

Holy God, you blessed Elizabeth Seton with your grace as wife, mother, educator and founder, that she might spend her life in service to your people: Help us, by her example, to express our love for you in love of others; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 119:105-112
2 Esdras 2:15-24
Romans 16:19-20
Luke 14:15-23

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

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Bulgaria.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers, members of the Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church.

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 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 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: The Wexford Carol

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son.
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day.
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born.
The night before that happy tide,
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark right well what came to pass:
From every door repelled, alas;
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall.
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep,
To whom God's angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
"Prepare and go," the angels said,
"To Bethlehem, be not afraid,
"For there you'll find, this happy morn
"A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born."
With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold,
They did our Saviour Christ behold.
Within a manger he was laid,
And by his side a virgin maid,
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife.
Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son.

Singers: Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, UK | Music: Traditional

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.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20,21

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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