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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Saturday, The Third Sunday After the Epiphany
Morning Prayer
Lydia, Dorcas, and Phobe

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:3

Hymn: Lord God, we thank you, now the night is over

Lord God, we thank you, now the night is over,
active and watchful, stand we here before you;
singing we offer prayer and meditation:
thus we adore you.

Monarch of all things, fit us for your mansions;
banish our weakness, health and wholeness sending;
bring us to heaven, where your saints united
joy without ending.

Singers: Donna Seda (soprano), Laurel Helgren (alto), Gaye Gay (tenor), Bob Mangels (bass)
Words: attributed to Gregory the Great, sixth century; trans. Percy Dearmer, 1906
Music: Christe sanctorum
Recorded for The Mission of St. Clare

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 forever Amen.

The Earth is the Lord's for he made it:
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 Earth is the Lord's for he made it:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 55 or
Coverdale
Exaudi, Deus

1Hear my prayer,O God; *
do not hide yourself from my petition.

2Listen to me and answer me; *
I have no peace, because of my cares.

3I am shaken by the noise of the enemy *
and by the pressure of the wicked;

4For they have cast an evil spell upon me *
and are set against me in fury.

5My heart quakes within me, *
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

6Fear and trembling have come over me, *
and horror overwhelms me.

7And I said, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! *
I would fly away and be at rest.

8I would flee to a far-off place *
and make my lodging in the wilderness.

9I would hasten to escape *
from the stormy wind and tempest."

10Swallow them up, O Lord;
confound their speech; *
for I have seen violence and strife in the city.

11Day and night the watchmen make their rounds
upon her walls, *
but trouble and misery are in the midst of her.

12There is corruption at her heart; *
her streets are never free of oppression and deceit.

13For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
then I could have borne it; *
or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,
then I could have hidden from him.

14But it was you, a man after my own heart, *
my companion, my own familiar friend.

15We took sweet counsel together, *
and walked with the throng in the house of God.

16Let death come upon them suddenly;
let them go down alive to the grave; *
for wickedness is in their dwellings, in their very midst.

17But I will call upon God, *
and the LORD will deliver me.

18In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday,
I will complain and lament, *
and he will hear my voice.

19He will bring me safely back from the battle
waged against me; *
for there are many who fight me.

20God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me and
bring them down; *
they never change; they do not fear God.

21My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade; *
he has broken his covenant.

22His speech is softer than butter, *
but war is in his heart.

23His words are smoother than oil, *
but they are drawn swords.

24Cast your burden upon the LORD,
and he will sustain you; *
he will never let the righteous stumble.

25For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful *
down to the pit of destruction, O God.

26They shall not live out half their days, *
but I will put my trust 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

The Old Testament Reading

Genesis 18:1-16
1Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3and said, "My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. 4Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant." They said, "Do as you have said." 6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes." 7And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. 8So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. 9Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" So he said, "Here, in the tent." 10And He said, "I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" 13And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' 14Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." 15But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh!" 16Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 12 A Song of Creation

Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65
Benedicite, omnia opera Domini

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.

Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat.

Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.

Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.

Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.

All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.

O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

New Testament Reading

Hebrews 10:26-39
26For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37" For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38Now thejust shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." 39But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

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 6:16-27
16Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." 21Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. 22On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone- 23however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks- 24when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" 26Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

When Paul on his second missionary journey carried his preaching out of Asia and into Europe, he began at the city of Philippi in Macedonia (north of Greece). His first European convert was a woman named Lydia, a merchant who dealt in purple-dyed goods. (Purple dye, made from a certain mollusk, was extremely expensive. One use of it was for the stripes in the togas of Roman senators. Lydia's occupation suggests that she had considerable capital.) She and her household were baptized, and she invited Paul, with Luke and his other companions, to make her house their headquarters in Philippi.

Dorcas (or Tabitha in Aramaic -- both names mean "gazelle") is mentioned in Acts 9:36-42. She was a member of the early Christian community in Joppa, a seacoast town of Israel, and noted for her acts of charity, in particular for making garments and giving them to needy widows. When she fell ill and died, Peter came to see her, and raised her to life. His words to her, "Tabitha, kumi," (Tabitha, arise), are reminiscent of the words of Jesus to the daughter of Jairus, "Talitha, kumi," (little girl, arise) as given in Mark 5:41. Whether this is anything more than coincidence is hard to say. If the Aramaic words of Jesus had been quoted by Luke rather than by Mark, one might suppose that Luke was underscoring a resemblance between the two episodes (the reader is invited to look up both stories, the former in M 9:18-26 = P 5:22-43 = L 41-56 and the latter in A 9:36-42). As it is, I am not sure that Luke (or Peter, presumably Mark's source for his account) intends a connection.Phoebe (the name means "bright" or "radiant": Apollo and Diana, the god and goddess of the sun and moon respectively, were often referred to as "Phoebos" and "Phoebe"), was a Diakonos of the Church at Chenchreae, the eastern seaport of the city of Corinth. (Corinth was on a narrow isthmus that connected southern Greece (the Peleponessus) with northern Greece and the mainland of Europe. Attempts had been made to dig a canal through the isthmus in order to shorten shipping routes, but no attempt was successful till modern times. Accordingly many ships were simply dragged out of the water, put on rollers, and moved across the isthmus and into the water on the other side. Naturally, the crew got shore leave. Naturally, Corinth became famous as a port that accommodated sailors with shore leave. This may account for the fact that Paul has a great deal more to say about sexual matters when writing to the Corinthians than he does in other connections.) When Paul mentions her, she has left the vicinity of Corinth and is in Rome, so that Paul commends her to the Church there.

There has been some dispute about whether Paul means to say that she was a "deacon" in the Church (holding the same office held later by Athanasius in Alexandria and Lawrence in Rome), or whether he refers to another office, that of the "deaconess," not the same as a female deacon (but in that event, one would have expected a feminine form of the word), or whether he is simply using the word in a non-technical sense to mean someone known for her helpfulness and service to the Church. He calls her a Diakonos, a word which the KJV translates as "deacon" three times (Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:8,12), as "servant" seven times (including the reference to Phoebe) and as "minister" twenty times (including references to Paul himself). It is a word that originally had the meaning in secular Greek of "someone who is responsible for, attends to, ministers to, or waits on a person or group of persons or a task or area of responsibility." Later, it came to be used in a technical sense to denote a certain office in the church. One has to guess from the context whether it is being used in the technical sense or in the older, descriptive sense. A similar problem sometimes arises with Angelos, which is Greek for "messenger, bringer of news." The form Euangelos means "bringer of good news," and gives rise to our word "evangelist." When mysterious beings gave messages to men from God, and then disappeared, they were called "messengers of God," or simply "messengers," and so Angelos came to mean sometimes "messenger" and sometimes "angel." Sometimes the context does not make it clear which is meant. Again, the Greek Martyros means "witness," but came to refer to the particular kind of witness who says, "Jesus is Lord," when he faces death for saying it. Hence, Martyros is sometimes to be translated "witness" and sometimes "martyr." Similarly, Episcopos can mean "overseer" or "bishop," and Presbyteros can mean "elder person" or "presbyter, priest."

Phoebe was in any event a person of consequence in a congregation near Corinth, someone who had made a valuable contribution there.

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Filled with your Holy Spirit, gracious God, your earliest disciples served you with the gifts each had been given: Lydia in business and stewardship, Dorcas in a life of charity and Phoebe as a deacon who served many. Inspire us today to build up your Church with our gifts in hospitality, charity and bold witness to the Gospel of Christ; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 100
Malachi 3:16-18
Acts 16:11-15
Luke 8:1-3

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 Third Sunday After the Epiphany

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Mission

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.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Scotland.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

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

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all you works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; 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 Joy in God's Creation

O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Good Use of Leisure

O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Unemployed

Heavenly Father, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Guide the people of this land so to use our public and private wealth that all may find suitable and fulfilling employment, and receive just payment for their labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

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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