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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
Perpetua and Felicity

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13

Hymn: Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve

Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve,
And press with vigor on;
A heavenly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown.

'Tis God's all animating voice,
That calls thee from on high;
'Tis his own hand presents the prize
To thine aspiring eye.

A cloud of witnesses around,
Hold thee in full survey;
Forget the steps already trod,
And onward urge thy way.

Blessed Savior, introduced by thee,
Have we our race begun;
And crown'd with victory, at thy feet
We lay our trophies down.

Strand Seventh Day Adventist Church on the 31 March 2012. Cape Town, South Africa

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 is full of compassion and mercy:
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!
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

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 37
or Coverdale
Part I Noli mulari

1Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; *
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2For they shall soon wither like the grass, *
and like the green grass fade away.
3Put your trust in the Lord and do good; *
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4Take delight in the Lord, *
and he shall give you your heart's desire.
5Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in him, *
and he will bring it to pass.
6He will make your righteousness as clear as the light *
and your just dealing as the noonday.
7Be still before the Lord *
and wait patiently for him.
8Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, *
the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
9Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *
do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
10For evildoers shall be cut off, *
but those who wait upon the Lord shall possess the land.
11In a little while the wicked shall be no more; *
you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
12But the lowly shall possess the land; *
they will delight in abundance of peace.
13The wicked plot against the righteous *
and gnash at them with their teeth.
14The Lord laughs at the wicked, *
because he sees that their day will come.
15The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
to strike down the poor and needy, *
to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
16Their sword shall go through their own heart, *
and their bow shall be broken.
17The little that the righteous has *
is better than great riches of the wicked.
18For the power of the wicked shall be broken, *
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

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

Deuteronomy 7:6-11

6For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you-for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8It was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath that he swore to your ancestors, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10and who repays in their own person those who reject him. He does not delay but repays in their own person those who reject him. 11Therefore, observe diligently the commandment-the statutes, and the ordinances-that I am commanding you today.

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

Titus 1:1-16

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, 2in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began- 3in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior, 4To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you:

6 someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. 7For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; 8but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. 10There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; 11they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. 12It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, 'Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.' 13That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth. 15To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

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 1:29-34

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, "After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me." 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.' 32And John testified, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit." 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.'

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

During a persecution of Christians under the emperor Septimius Severus, a group of Christians died together in the arena at Carthage. Their final days have been recorded for us in a document that is partly in their own words, and partly in those of an anonymous narrator (sometimes thought to be Tertullian). What follow are extracts, sometimes condensed, from that document.

Vivia Perpetua was a catechumen (i.e. a convert not yet baptized), well educated and from a prosperous family, about 22 years old, married and apparently recently widowed, with a child at her breast, and with two brothers and both parents still living. (Her father was not a Christian.) Felicity (Latin: Felicitas) was a slave woman in advanced pregnancy. With them were Revocatus (also a slave), Saturninus, and Secundus.

They were arrested and placed in a dungeon, but after a few days two deacons visited the prison and by a gift of money to the jailers arranged (1) that they should have an interval in the better part of the prison to refresh themselves, and (2) that Perpetua should be allowed to keep her child with her.

Perpetua had a vision in which she saw a golden ladder, guarded by a fierce dragon, but she climbed it, stepping on the dragon's head to do so. At the top, she found herself in a green meadow, with many white-robed figures, and in their midst a shepherd, who welcomed her and gave her a morsel of cheese from the sheep-milk. She awakened and understood that their martyrdom was certain.

Perpetua writes:
After a few days there was a report that we were to have a hearing in court. And my father came to me from the city, worn out with anxiety. He came up to me, that he might cast me down, saying: "Have pity, my daughter, on my grey hairs. Have pity on your father, if I am worthy to be called a father by you. If with these hands I have brought you up to this flower of your age, if I have preferred you to all your brothers, do not deliver me up to the scorn of men. Have regard to your brothers, have regard to your mother and your aunt, have regard to your son, who will not be able to live after you. Lay aside your courage, and do not bring us all to destruction; for none of us will speak in freedom if you should suffer anything."

These things said my father in his affection, kissing my hands, and throwing himself at my feet, and with tears he called me not Daughter, but Lady. And I grieved over the grey hairs of my father, that he alone of all my kindred would have no joy in my death. And I comforted him, saying, "On that scaffold, whatever God wills shall happen. For know that we are not placed in our own power but in that of God." And he departed from me in sorrow.

Perpetua had had a brother who died of cancer when he was eight years old. She prayed for him, and received assurance in a vision that all was well with him.

Her narrative continues:
After a few days, Pudens, an assistant overseer of the prison, began to hold us in high esteem, seeing that God was with us, and he admitted many of the brethren to see us, that we and they might be mutually refreshed.

Perpetua had another vision, in which she saw herself fighting against a gladiator in the arena, and winning. She understood this to signify victory over the devil.

Saturus also had a vision, which he records in his own words, in which he and the others, having died in the arena, are borne by angels into a beautiful garden, where they greet other martyrs who have gone before them, and are brought before the throne of God, surrounded by twenty-four elders (see Revelation 4), who greet them and say, "Enter into joy." Perpetua says to Saturus: "I was joyful in the flesh, and here I am more joyful still."

The narrator writes:
Now Felicitas was eight months pregnant, and the law did not allow a pregnant woman to be executed. She was accordingly fearful that her death would be postponed, and instead of dying with her fellow Christians she would be put to death later in the company of some group of criminals. She and her companions accordingly prayed, and Felicity went into labor, with the pains normal to an eight-month delivery. And a servant of the jailers said to her, "If you cry out like that now, what will you do when you are thrown to the beasts, which you despised when you refused to sacrifice?" And she replied: "Now it is I that suffer what I suffer; but then Another will be in me, who will suffer for me, because I also am about to suffer for Him." Thus she brought forth a little girl, whom a certain sister brought up as her own.

The day of their victory shone forth, and they proceeded from the prison to the amphitheater, as if to an assembly, joyous and of brilliant countenance. At the gate, the guards were going to dress them in the robes of those dedicated to Saturn and to Ceres. But that noble-minded woman [Perpetua?] said: "We are here precisely for refusing to honor your gods. By our deaths we earn the right not to wear such garments." The guards recognized the justice of her words, and let them wear their own clothing.

The men of their company were scheduled to be killed by beasts, but the wild boar turned on its keeper instead, and the bear refused to leave its cage. The leopard, however, attacked Saturus and mortally wounded him. He bade farewell to his guard, Pudens, encouraging him to obey God rather than man, and then fell unconscious.

For the young women there was prepared a fierce cow. Perpetua was first led in. She was tossed, and when she saw her tunic torn from her side, she drew it as a veil over her middle, rather mindful of her modesty than of her sufferings. Then she was called up again, and bound up her dishevelled hair, for it is not becoming for a martyr to die with dishevelled hair, which is a sign of mourning. She saw Felicity wounded, and took her hand and raised her up, and at the demand of the populace they were given a respite.

Now all the prisoners were to be slain with the sword, and they went to the center of the arena, first exchanging a farewell kiss of peace. The others died unmoving and silent, but when the awkward hand of the young executioner bungled her death-stroke, Perpetua cried out in pain, and herself guided his hand to her throat. Possibly such a woman could not have been slain unless she herself willed it, because she was feared by the impure spirit.

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

TEXT

Alternate Psalm and Readings

LIST

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: Ash Wednesday

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you havemade and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create andmake in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthilylamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness,may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remissionand forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who livesand reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for everand 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 China.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the

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: My song is love unknown

My song is love unknown,
My Savior's love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.

Singers: St. Martins Church Choir
Oboe: Dom Kelly, Flute: Emily Ogilvie
Words: Samuel Crossman
Composer: John Ireland
Music: Wesley

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.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14

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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