Wednesday, The Fifth Sunday in Lent
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:8, 9
Hymn: Forty days
Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild;
forty days and forty nights
tempted, and yet undefiled.
Should not we thy sorrow share
and from worldly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer,.
strong with thee to suffer pain?
Then if Satan on us press,
Jesus, Savior, hear our call!
Victor in the wilderness,
grant we may not faint nor fall!
So shall we have peace divine
holier gladness ours shall be;
round us, too, shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.
Keep, O keep us, Savior dear,
ever constant by thy side;
that with thee we may appear
at the eternal Eastertide.
Words: George Hunt Smyttan, 1856
Music: Heinlein Martin Herbst, 1676
Choir: Church of the Redeemer, Episcopal, Morristown, New Jersey
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.
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.
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.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy:
Come, let us adore him.
Psalm 119:145-176 or
Qoph Clamavi in toto corde meo
145I call with my whole heart; *
answer me, O LORD, that I may keep your statutes.
146I call to you;
oh, that you would save me! *
I will keep your decrees.
147Early in the morning I cry out to you, *
for in your word is my trust.
148My eyes are open in the night watches, *
that I may meditate upon your promise.
149Hear my voice, O LORD, according to your loving-kindness; *
according to your judgments, give me life.
150They draw near who in malice persecute me; *
they are very far from your law.
151You, O LORD, are near at hand, *
and all your commandments are true.
152Long have I known from your decrees *
that you have established them for ever.
Resh Vide humilitatem
153Behold my affliction and deliver me, *
for I do not forget your law.
154Plead my cause and redeem me; *
according to your promise, give me life.
155Deliverance is far from the wicked, *
for they do not study your statutes.
156Great is your compassion, O LORD; *
preserve my life, according to your judgments.
157There are many who persecute and oppress me, *
yet I have not swerved from your decrees.
158I look with loathing at the faithless, *
for they have not kept your word.
159See how I love your commandments! *
O LORD, in your mercy, preserve me.
160The heart of your word is truth; *
all your righteous judgments endure for evermore.
Shin Principes persecuti sunt
161Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, *
but my heart stands in awe of your word.
162I am as glad because of your promise *
as one who finds great spoils.
163As for lies, I hate and abhor them, *
but your law is my love.
164Seven times a day do I praise you, *
because of your righteous judgments.
165Great peace have they who love your law; *
for them there is no stumbling block.
166I have hoped for your salvation, O LORD, *
and have fulfilled your commandments.
167I have kept your decrees *
and I have loved them deeply.
168I have kept your commandments and decrees, *
for all my ways are before you.
Taw Appropinquet deprecatio
169Let my cry come before you, O LORD; *
give me understanding, according to your word.
170Let my supplication come before you; *
deliver me, according to your promise.
171My lips shall pour forth your praise, *
when you teach me your statutes.
172My tongue shall sing of your promise, *
for all your commandments are righteous.
173Let your hand be ready to help me, *
for I have chosen your commandments.
174I long for your salvation, O LORD, *
and your law is my delight.
175Let me live, and I will praise you, *
and let your judgments help me.
176I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; *
search for your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.
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.
8 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
9 "When Pharaoh says to you, 'Perform a wonder,' then you shall say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, and it will become a snake.' "
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did as the LORD had commanded; Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake.
11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same by their secret arts.
12 Each one threw down his staff, and they became snakes; but Aaron's staff swallowed up theirs.
13 Still Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh's heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go.
15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water; stand by at the river bank to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was turned into a snake.
16 Say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, "Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness." But until now you have not listened.'
17 Thus says the LORD, "By this you shall know that I am the LORD." See, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall be turned to blood.
18 The fish in the river shall die, the river itself shall stink, and the Egyptians shall be unable to drink water from the Nile.' "
19 The LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egyptover its rivers, its canals, and its ponds, and all its pools of waterso that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.' "
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and of his officials he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the river, and all the water in the river was turned into blood,
21 and the fish in the river died. The river stank so that the Egyptians could not drink its water, and there was blood throughout the whole land of Egypt.
22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts; so Pharaoh's heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them; as the LORD had said.
23 Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart.
24 And all the Egyptians had to dig along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the river.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Canticle 14 A Song of Penitence
Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners,*
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.
2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.
15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
16 to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
17 For we are not peddlers of God's word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.
1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we?
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all;
3 and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.
5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God,
6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Canticle 16 The Song of Zechariah
Benedictus Dominus Deus
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;*
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,*
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies,*
from the hands of all who hate us.
he promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,*
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear,*
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,*
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation*
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God*
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,*
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
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.
1 He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
3 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"
4 They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her."
5 But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you.
6 But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'
7 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
8 and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.
11 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;
12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.
14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.
15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."
16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
When Henry the Eighth of England died, he left three heirs: his son Edward and his two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Edward succeeded to the throne and was a staunch Protestant (or at least his advisors were). Under his rule, the church services, previously in Latin, were translated into English, and other changes were made. When Edward died, the throne passed to his sister Mary, who was firmly Roman Catholic in her beliefs. She determined to return England to union with the Pope. With more diplomacy, she might have succeeded. But she was headstrong and would take no advice. Her mother had been Spanish, and she determined to marry the heir to the throne of Spain, not realizing how much her people (of all religious persuasions) feared that this would make England a province of the Spanish Empire. She insisted that the best way to deal with heresy was to burn as many heretics as possible. (It is worth noting that her husband was opposed to this.) In the course of a five-year reign, she lost all the English holdings on the continent of Europe, she lost the affection of her people, and she lost any chance of a peaceful religious settlement in England. Of the nearly three hundred persons burned by her orders, the most famous are the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer.
Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury in the days of Henry, and defended the position that Henry's marriage to Katharine of Aragon (Spain) was null and void. When Edward came to the throne, Cranmer was foremost in translating the worship of the Church into English (his friends and enemies agree that he was an extraordinarily gifted translator) and securing the use of the new forms of worship. When Mary came to the throne, Cranmer was in a quandary. He had believed, with a fervor that many people today will find hard to understand, that it is the duty of every Christian to obey the monarch, and that "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13). As long as the monarch was ordering things that Cranmer thought good, it was easy for Cranmer to believe that the king was sent by God's providence to guide the people in the path of true religion, and that disobedience to the king was disobedience to God. Now Mary was Queen, and commanding him to return to the Roman obedience. Cranmer five times wrote a letter of submission to the Pope and to Roman Catholic doctrines, and four times he tore it up. In the end, he submitted. However, Mary was unwilling to believe that the submission was sincere, and he was ordered to be burned at Oxford on 21 March 1556. At the very end, he repudiated his final letter of submission, and announced that he died a Protestant. He said, "I have sinned, in that I signed with my hand what I did not believe with my heart. When the flames are lit, this hand shall be the first to burn." And when the fire was lit around his feet, he leaned forward and held his right hand in the fire until it was charred to a stump. Aside from this, he did not speak or move, except that once he raised his left hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
written by James Kiefer
Merciful God, through the work of Thomas Cranmer you renewed the worship of your Church by restoring the language of the people, and through his death you revealed your power in human weakness: Grant that by your grace we may always worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Alternate Psalm and Readings
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.
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.
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.
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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.
We pray for the people of Guinea.
We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Church of God of Prophecy
A Collect for Peace
Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.
To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.
Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
For our Country
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion us into one united people. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the President of the
and all in Civil Authority
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State (or, Commonwealth), and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Hymn: Forgive our sins
"Forgive our sins as we forgive,"
You taught us, Lord, to pray;
But You alone can grant us grace
To live the words we say.
How can Your pardon reach and bless
The unforgiving heart
That broods on wrongs and will not let
Old bitterness depart?
In blazing light your cross reveals
The truth we dimly knew:
How trifling others' debts to us;
How great our debt to You!
Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls
And bid resentment cease;
Then, by your mercy reconciled,
Our lives will spread your peace.
Words: Rosamond E. Herklots, 1905-87, alt.
Music: A Supplement to the Kentucky Harmony, Harrisonburg, 1820
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.
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.
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.
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
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.