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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Monday, The Fourth Sunday in Lent
Morning Prayer
Gregory the Great

The Opening

Opening Sentence

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgivenesses, because we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws which he set before us. Daniel 9:9,10

Hymn: Dear Lord and Father

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
In deeper reverence, praise.

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
O still, small voice of calm.

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.

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 Lord is full of compassion and mercy:

Come, let us adore him.

The Psalms

Psalm 89 or
Coverdale
Part I Misericordias Domini

1Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; *
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.

2For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; *
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.

3"I have made a covenant with my chosen one; *
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:

4'I will establish your line for ever, *
and preserve your throne for all generations.'"

5The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, *
and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;

6For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? *
who is like the LORD among the gods?

7God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, *
great and terrible to all those round about him.

8Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? *
O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.

9You rule the raging of the sea *
and still the surging of its waves.

10You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; *
you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

11Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; *
you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.

12You have made the north and the south; *
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.

13You have a mighty arm; *
strong is your hand and high is your right hand.

14Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; *
love and truth go before your face.

15Happy are the people who know the festal shout! *
they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.

16They rejoice daily in your Name; *
they are jubilant in your righteousness.

17For you are the glory of their strength, *
and by your favor our might is exalted.

18Truly, the LORD is our ruler; *
The Holy One of Israel is our King.

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 49:1-28

1 Then Jacob called his sons, and said: 'Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father.

3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the first fruits of my vigor, excelling in rank and excelling in power.

4 Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel because you went up onto your father's bed; then you defiled ityou went up onto my couch!

5 Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords.

6 May I never come into their council; may I not be joined to their company for in their anger they killed men, and at their whim they hamstrung oxen.

7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall bow down before you.

9 Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion, like a lionesswho dares rouse him up?

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his.

11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey's colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes;

12 his eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.

13 Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea; he shall be a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon.

14 Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds;

15 he saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant; so he bowed his shoulder to the burden, and became a slave at forced labor.

16 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan shall be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider falls backward.

18 I wait for your salvation, O LORD.

19 Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels.

20 Asher's food shall be rich, and he shall provide royal delicacies.

21 Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns.

22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall.

23 The archers fiercely attacked him; they shot at him and pressed him hard.

24 Yet his bow remained taut, and his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

25 by the God of your father, who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26 The blessings of your father are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey, and at evening dividing the spoil.'

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 9 The First Song of Isaiah Isaiah 12:2-6
Ecce, Deus

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.

For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.

Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.

And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;

Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.

Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.

Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

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.

New Testament Reading

1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.

16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?

17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

18 Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?

19 What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?

20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.

21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

23 "All things are lawful," but not all things are beneficial. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.

24 Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other.

25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience,

26 for "the earth and its fullness are the Lord's."

27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience.

28 But if someone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience

29 I mean the other's conscience, not your own. For why should my liberty be subject to the judgment of someone else's conscience?

30 If I partake with thankfulness, why should I be denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,

33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved.

1 Be imitators of me, as I am of 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

Mark 7:24-37

24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice,

25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.

26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

27 He said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."

28 But she answered him, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."

29 Then he said to her, "For saying that, you may gothe demon has left your daughter."

30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.

32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him.

33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.

34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."

35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.

36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.

37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Only two popes, Leo I and Gregory I, have been given the popular title of "the Great." Both served during difficult times of barbarian invasions in Italy; and during Gregory's term of office, Rome was also faced with famine and epidemics.

Gregory was born around 540, of a politically influential family, and in 573 he became Prefect of Rome; but shortly afterwards he resigned his office and began to live as a monk. In 579 he was made apocrisiarius (representative of the Pope to the Patriarch of Constantinople). Shortly after his return home, the Pope died of the plague, and in 590 Gregory was elected Pope.

Like Leo before him, he became practical governor of central Italy, because the job needed to be done and there was no one else to do it. When the Lombards invaded, he organized the defense of Rome against them, and the eventual signing of a treaty with them. When there was a shortage of food, he organized the importation and distribution of grain from Sicily.

His influence on the forms of public worship throughout Western Europe was enormous. He founded a school for the training of church musicians, and Gregorian chant (plainchant) is named for him. The schedule of Scripture readings for the various Sundays of the year, and the accompanying prayers (many of them written by him), in use throughout most of Western Christendom for the next thirteen centuries, is largely due to his passion for organization. His treatise, On Pastoral Care, while not a work of creative imagination, shows a dedication to duty, and an understanding of what is required of a minister in charge of a Christian congregation. His sermons are still readable today, and it is not without reason that he is accounted (along with Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine of Hippo) as one of the Four Latin Doctors (=Teachers) of the ancient Church. (Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzen, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom are the Four Greek Doctors.)

English-speaking Christians will remember Gregory for sending a party of missionaries headed by Augustine of Canterbury (not to be confused with the more famous Augustine of Hippo) to preach the Gospel to the pagan Anglo-Saxon tribes that had invaded England and largely conquered or displaced the Celtic Christians previously living there. Gregory had originally hoped to go to England as a missionary himself, but was pressed into service elsewhere, first as apocrisiarius and then as bishop of Rome. He accordingly sent others, but took an active interest in their work, writing numerous letters both to Augustine and his monks and to their English converts.

I here mention something that was not Gregory's doing, but is an important part of Church history. It was in Gregory's lifetime that Rome, and with it the Western Empire, with astonishing suddenness, and for no reason that I know of, went monolingual. For more than six centuries previously, Greek had been spoken at Rome along with Latin. Every Roman with pretensions to being educated could speak it. Everyone involved in shipping and commerce, from banker to stevedore, could speak it. The list of the early Bishops of Rome has a fair proportion of Greek names. When Paul wrote an epistle to the Romans, he wrote in Greek as a matter of course. But in Gregory's lifetime this changed. Gregory was ambassador to the Eastern Patriarch at Constantinople for six years, but he never bothered to learn Greek. And in his day (not, as far as I have any reason to believe, as a result of his example or influence) most other Latin-speakers did not trouble to learn Greek either. The already existing difficulties of communication between Latin and Greek theologians were greatly exacerbated by this development. Increasingly, Latins did not read the commentaries and other writings of Greek Christians, and vice versa. Thus differences between the two that dialogue might have resolved were left to accumulate, culminating in the formal split between Latin and Greek Christendom in 1054.

If I were to select a ground on which this devout Christian of great accomplishments might reasonably be censured, it would be that his Dialogues, a book on the Lives of the Saints, is full of accounts of dreams and visions that various persons were said to have had of souls in Purgatory. Gregory, a man of keen critical judgement on many matters, was completely uncritical in his acceptance of these stories. A general belief in Purgatory was standard among Christians when he wrote; but his reliance on "ghost stories" to fill in the imaginative details gave the doctrine as held thereafter in Latin Christendom both a prominence and a coloring that it had not previously had, with results that many Christians, including adherents of the Pope, have thought regrettable.

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Almighty and merciful God, who raised up Gregory of Rome to be a servant of the servants of God, and inspired him to send missionaries to preach the Gospel to the English people: Preserve in your Church the catholic and apostolic faith they taught, that your people, being fruitful in every good work, may receive the crown of glory that never fades away; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 57:6-11
1 Chronicles 25:1a,6-8
Colossians 1:282:3
Mark 10:42-45

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 Fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and 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.

The World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of France.

The Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Christian Revival Crusade

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of 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 All Sorts and Conditions

O God, the creator and preserver of all, we humbly beseech you for all sorts and conditions of people; that you would be pleased to make your ways known unto them, your saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for your holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by your good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; that it may please you to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

For the Poor and Neglected

Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this, Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Those Who Live Alone

Almighty God, whose Son had nowhere to lay his head: Grant that those who live alone may not be lonely in their solitude, but that, following in his steps, they may find fulfillment in loving you and their neighbors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Tell out, my soul

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Savior shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age to same;
his holy Namethe Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children's children and for evermore!

Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith | Music: Woodlands, Walter Greatorext

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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