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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Saturday, 28 December
Morning Prayer
Thomas Aquinas

The Opening

Opening Sentence

From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to my Name, and a pure offering; for my Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11

Hymn: Come, Thou Fount of every blessing

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount! Im fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here Ill raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help Im come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

[Interlude]

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily Im constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my feeble heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
"Prone to leave the Lord I love."
Heres my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Singers: Sufjan Stevens | Words: Robert Robinson

Confession

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

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

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

Versicle and Response

Lord, open our lips.

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

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

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

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!

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

Isaiah 51: 1- 8

Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the LORD. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many. For the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples. I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended. Listen to me, you who know righteousness, you people who have my teaching in your hearts; do not fear the reproach of others, and do not be dismayed when they revile you. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my deliverance will be forever, and my salvation to all generations.

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

Galatians 3:23- 29

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.

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

Mark 7: 1- 23

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, 'Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?' He said to them, 'Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines." You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.' Then he said to them, 'You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother"; and, "Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die." But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, "Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban" (that is, an offering to God)- then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.' Then he called the crowd again and said to them, 'Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.' When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, 'Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?' (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, 'It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.' Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Painting of Thomas Aquinas holding the Church in one hand and the Scriptures in the other.

In the thirteenth century, when Thomas Aquinas lived, the works of Aristotle, largely forgotten in Western Europe, began to be available again, partly from Eastern European sources and partly from Moslem Arab sources in Africa and Spain. These works offered a new and exciting way of looking at the world. Many enthusiastic students of Aristotle adopted him quite frankly as as an alternative to Christianity. The response of many Christians was to denounce Aristotle as an enemy of the Christian Faith. A third approach was that of those who tried to hold both Christian and Aristotelian views side by side with no attempt to reconcile the two. Aquinas had a fourth approach. While remaining a Christian, he immersed himself in the ideas of Aristotle, and then undertook to explain Christian ideas and beliefs in language that would make sense to disciples of Aristotle. At the time, this seemed like a very dangerous and radical idea, and Aquinas spent much of his life living on the edge of ecclesiastical approval. His success can be measured by the prevalence today of the notion that of course all Christian scholars in the Middle Ages were followers of Aristotle.

Aristotle is no longer the latest intellectual fashion, but Aquinas's insistence that the Christian scholar must be prepared to meet other scholars on their own ground, to become familiar with their viewpoints, to argue from their premises, has been a permanent and valuable contribution to Christian thought.

Some Christian scholars today are undertaking, with varying degrees of success, to explore the relations between Christianity and various contemporary studies or world-outlooks that have been used as weapons by opponents of Christianity. Examples that come to mind include the following:
William G Pollard, Anglican priest, nuclear physicist at the Oak Ridge Laboratory (government-connected), Executive Director of the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies (not government-connected), and author of Chance and Providence and Physicist and Christian (both out of print but should be available used).
John Polkinghorne, FRS, Anglican priest, head of Queen's College, Cambridge, nuclear physicist, and author of Science and Creation, Science and Providence, and various other works, including most recently The Faith of a Physicist, now (Jan 1997) on display at your local bookstore. (For non-scientists, I will point out that "FRS" denotes a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the elite of British scientists.)
G B Sanders, author of Christianity after Freud. (For a brief summary of his thesis, consult the Christia Web page.
Various writers on "liberation theology" who have undertaken toshow that Marxism, properly interpreted, does not imply the falsity of Christianity.

Prayer

Almighty God, you have enriched your Church with the singular learning and holiness of your servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 119:97-104
Wisdom 7:7-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Matthew 13:47-52

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

music: video | choir

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 Andorra

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the National Presbyterian Church in Mexico

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: Eternal Ruler of the ceaseless round

Eternal Ruler of the ceaseless round
Of circling planets singing on their way;
Guide of the nations from the night profound
Into the glory of the perfect day;
Rule in our hearts, that we may ever be
Guided and strengthened and upheld by thee.

We are of thee, the children of thy love,
The brothers of thy well-beloved Son;
Descend, O Holy Spirit, like a dove
Into our hearts, that we may be as one;
As one with thee, to whom we ever tend,
As one with him, our Brother and our Friend.

We would be one in hatred of all wrong,
One in our love of all things sweet and fair,
One with the joy that breaketh into song,
One with the grief that trembles into prayer,
One in the power that makes thy children free
To follow truth, and thus to follow thee.

O clothe us with thy heavenly armour, Lord,
Thy trusty shield, thy sword of love divine:
Our inspiration be thy constant word;
We ask no victories that are not thine.
Give or withhold, let pain or pleasure be;
Enough to know that we are serving thee.

Singers: The Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids | Words: John White Chadwick, plus Ralph Vaughan Williams| Music: Orlando Gibbons

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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