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The Opening

The Psalms

The Lessons

The Commemoration

The Creed

The Prayers

The Ending

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Wednesday, 27 September
Morning Prayer, Proper 20
Vincent de Paul

The Opening

Opening Sentence

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

Hymn: God is love

God is love: let heaven adore him;
God is love: let earth rejoice;
let creation sing before him,
and exalt him with one voice.
He who laid the earth's foundation,
he who spread the heavens above,
he who breathes through all creation,
he is love eternal love.

God is love: and though with blindness
sin afflicts the souls of men,
God's eternal loving-kindness
holds them fast and guides them in.
Sin and death and hell shall never
o'er us final triumph gain;
God is love, so Love for ever
o'er the universe must reign.

Singers: The congregation and choir of St. David's Cathderal, Wales
Words: Timothy Reese
Tune: Hydrofol

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 mercy of the Lord is everlasting: Come let us adore him.

Invitatory Psalm

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 Antiphon

The mercy of the Lord is everlasting:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalm

Psalm 119:97-120 or
Coverdale

Mem Quomodo dilexi!

97Oh, how I love your law! *
all the day long it is in my mind.

98Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, *
and it is always with me.

99I have more understanding than all my teachers, *
for your decrees are my study.

100I am wiser than the elders, *
because I observe your commandments.

101I restrain my feet from every evil way, *
that I may keep your word.

102I do not shrink from your judgments, *
because you yourself have taught me.

103How sweet are your words to my taste! *
they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.

104Through your commandments I gain understanding; *
therefore I hate every lying way.

Nun Lucerna pedibus meis

105Your word is a lantern to my feet *
and a light upon my path.

106I have sworn and am determined *
to keep your righteous judgments.

107I am deeply troubled; *
preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.

108Accept, O LORD, the willing tribute of my lips, *
and teach me your judgments.

109My life is always in my hand, *
yet I do not forget your law.

110The wicked have set a trap for me, *
but I have not strayed from your commandments.

111Your decrees are my inheritance for ever; *
truly, they are the joy of my heart.

112I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes *
for ever and to the end.

Samekh Iniquos odio habui

113I hate those who have a divided heart, *
but your law do I love.

114You are my refuge and shield; *
my hope is in your word.

115Away from me, you wicked! *
I will keep the commandments of my God.

116Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live, *
and let me not be disappointed in my hope.

117Hold me up, and I shall be safe, *
and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.

118You spurn all who stray from your statutes; *
their deceitfulness is in vain.

119In your sight all the wicked of the earth are but dross; *
therefore I love your decrees.

120My flesh trembles with dread of you; *
I am afraid of your judgments.

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

Old Testament Lesson

22 Kings 6:1-23

Now the company of prophets said to Elisha, "As you see, the place where we live under your charge is too small for us. 2Let us go to the Jordan, and let us collect logs there, one for each of us, and build a place there for us to live." He answered, "Do so." 3Then one of them said, "Please come with your servants." And he answered, "I will." 4So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5But as one was felling a log, his ax head fell into the water; he cried out, "Alas, master! It was borrowed." 6Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7He said, "Pick it up." So he reached out his hand and took it.

8 Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, "At such and such a place shall be my camp." 9But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, "Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there." 10The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place so that it was on the alert. 11The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this; he called his officers and said to them, "Now tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?" 12Then one of his officers said, "No one, my lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber."

13 He said, "Go and find where he is; I will send and seize him." He was told, "He is in Dothan." 14So he sent horses and chariots there and a great army; they came by night, and surrounded the city. 15When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, "Alas, master! What shall we do?" 16He replied, "Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them." 17Then Elisha prayed:"O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see." So the LORD opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18When the Arameans came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, "Strike this people, please, with blindness." So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. 19Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." And he led them to Samaria. 20As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, "O LORD, open the eyes of these men so that they may see." The LORD opened their eyes, and they saw that they were inside Samaria. 21When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, "Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?" 22He answered, "No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master." 23So he prepared for them a great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent them on their way, and they went to their master. And the Arameans no longer came raiding into the land of Israel.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 11 The Third Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19
Surge, illuminare

Arise, shine, for your light has come,*
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.

For behold, darkness covers the land;*
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.

But over you the Lord will rise,*
and his glory will appear upon you.

Nations will stream to your light,*
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.

Your gates will always be open;*
by day or night they will never be shut.

They will call you, The City of the Lord,*
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Violence will no more be heard in your land,*
ruin or destruction within your borders.

You will call your walls, Salvation,*
and all your portals, Praise.

The sun will no more be your light by day;*
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.

The Lord will be your everlasting light,*
and your God will be your glory.
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 Lesson

1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons- 10not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? 13God will judge those outside. 'Drive out the wicked person from among you.'

When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? 2Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we are to judge angels-to say nothing of ordinary matters? 4If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? 5I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer and another, 6but a believer goes to court against a believer-and before unbelievers at that? 7In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8But you yourselves wrong and defraud-and believers at that.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 16 The Song of Zechariah Luke 1:68-79
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.

The Gospel

Matthew 5:38-48

38 'You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

43 'You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Vincent de Paul was born in Gascony in about 1580, of peasant stock. He was an intelligent lad, and his father sent him off to be educated. He was ordained at twenty, and at first was interested chiefly in a successful career. But when he was thirty, he accepted a post as chaplain and tutor in the household of Philip de Gondi, Count of Joigny. This brought him into contact with the peasants on the Gondi estate, and he became concerned for their needs, physical and spiritual. A peasant who believed himself to be dying confessed to him that his previous confessions for many years had been dishonest. Vincent began to preach in the local church on confession, repentance, forgiveness, and the love of God. His sermons drew such crowds of penitents that he had to call in a group of other priests to assist him. He took on the pastorship of a neighboring church attended by a more fashionable and aristocratic crowd, and there he likewise drew many of his listeners to repentance and amendment of life. Returning to Paris, he worked among the prisoners destined for the galleys who were being held at the Conciergerie.

(A reader asked whether "galleys" was a misprint for "gallows". No, until fairly recently (certainly into the 1820's) French convicts were often sentenced to pull the oars on ships. There is a an essay on the subject by the historian W H (Warren) Lewis (brother of C.S. Lewis) in the book Essays Presented To Charles Williams, Oxford U Press, about 1945. The best known account is in the novel Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, which contains several long essays on the galley system. Hugo's novels often have long sections where the action stops completely, while the author explains to the reader some aspect of French culture or history. The novelist Ayn Rand, who considers Hugo the world's greatest novelist, complains that these sections affect her like commercials interrupting a television drama. It seems an odd complaint from the author of Atlas Shrugged, but I digress.)

In 1625 he established the Congregation of the Mission (now known as the Vincentians, or the Lazarists), a community of priests who undertook to renounce all ecclesiastical advancement and devote themselves to work in the small towns and villages of France. In an age not noted for "interdenominational courtesy," he instructed his missioners that Protestants were to be treated as brothers, with respect and love, without patronage or condescension or contentiousness. Wealthy men and women came to him, expressing a wish to amend their lives, and he organized them into a Confraternity of Charity, and set them to work caring for the poor and sick in hospitals and in home visits. In 1633 the Archbishop or Paris gave him the Priory of St Lazare as a headquarters. There he offered retreats six times a year for those who were preparing for the ministry. These lasted two weeks each, and each involved about eighty students. He then began to offer similar retreats for laypersons of all classes and widely varying backgrounds. He said (identifying Lazarus of the Parable with Lazarus of Bethany):

This house was formerly used as a retreat for lepers, and not One of them was cured. Now it is used to receive sinners, who are sick men coveed with spiritual leprosy, but are cured by the grace of God. Nay, rather, they are dead men brought back to life. What a joy it is to think that the house of St Lazare is a house of resurrection! Lazarus, after he had been four days in the tomb, came out alive, and our Lord who raised him up still gives the same grace to many who, after staying here some days as in the grave of Lazarus, come out with a new life.

Out of his Confraternity of Charity there arose an order of nuns called the Daughters (or Sisters) of Charity, devoted to nursing those who were sick and poor. He said of them, "Their convent is the sick-room, their chapel the parish church, their cloister the streets of the city." Many babies were abandoned in Paris every year, and when Vincent saw some of them, he established an orphanage for them, and thereafter often wandered through the slums, looking in corners for abandoned babies, which he carried back to the orphanage.

He complained to the King that ecclesiastical posts were distributed simply as political favors, and that the spiritual qualifications of the appointees were simply ignored. The King responded by creating a Council of Conscience to remedy the matter, with Vincent at the head. On one occasion, a noblewoman of the court, furious with Vincent because he refused to nominate her son for a position as bishop, threw a stool at him. He left the room with a stream of blood pouring from his forehead, and said to a companion who was waiting for him, "Is it not wonderful how strong a mother's love for her son can be?" He died 27 September 1660.

written by James Kiefer

Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for your servant Vincent de Paul, who gave himself to training clergy to work among the poor and provided many institutions to aid the sick, orphans and prisoners. May we, like him, encounter Christ in the needy, the outcast and the friendless, that we may come at length into your kingdom where you reign, one God, holy and undivided Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Psalm 37:27-33
Amos 8:4-6
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Matthew 9:35-38

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

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

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;

Govern and uphold them, now and always.

Day by day we bless you;

We praise your name for ever.

Lord, keep us from all sin today;

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy;

For we put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope;

And we shall never hope in vain.

Collect of the Day: Pentecost, proper 20

Grant us, Lord, not to anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things which are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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 El Salvador.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church.

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.

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 Peace

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
United States
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: Come, gracious Spirit

Come, Gracious Spirit, heavenly Dove,
with light and comfort from above;
be thou our guardian, thou our guide
o'er every thought and step preside.
O'er every thought and step preside.

The light of truth to us display,
and make us know and choose thy way;
plant holy fear in every heart,
that we from thee may ne'er depart.
That we from God may ne'er depart.

Lead us to holiness, the road
which we must tke to dwell with God
lead us to Christ, the living way
nor let us from His pastures stray.
Nor let us from His pastures stray.

Lead us to God our final rest
to be with Him forever blest
lead us to heaven, its bliss to share
fulless of joy forever there.
Fulless of joy forever there.

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.

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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