Morning Prayer
Nicholas Ferrar

The Opening

Opening Sentence

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Isaiah 40:5

Hymn: Comfort, comfort ye, my people

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.
Hark, the voice of one that crieth
in the desert far and near,
calling us to new repentance
since the kingdom now is here.
Oh, that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.
Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain:
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
Now o'er earth is shed abroad;
and all flesh shall see the token
that the word is never broken.
Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

Choir: St James Episcopal Church, Bozeman, Montana, USA
Words: Johann Olearius, tr. Catherine Winkworth
Music: Louis Bourgeois
Tune: Genevan


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.

Our King and Savior now draws near:
Come let us adore him.


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.


Our King and Savior now draws near:
Come let us adore him.

The Psalms

5 Verba mea auribus or

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord; *
consider my meditation.
2 Hearken to my cry for help, my King and my God, *
for I make my prayer to you.
3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; *
early in the morning I make my appeal and watch for you.
4 For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, *
and evil cannot dwell with you.
5 Braggarts cannot stand in your sight; *
you hate all those who work wickedness.
6 You destroy those who speak lies; *
the bloodthirsty and deceitful, O Lord, you abhor.
7 But as for me, through the greatness of your mercy I will
go into your house; *
I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness,
because of those who lie in wait for me; *
make your way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouth; *
there is destruction in their heart;
10 Their throat is an open grave; *
they flatter with their tongue.
11 Declare them guilty, O God; *
let them fall, because of their schemes.
12 Because of their many transgressions cast them out, *
for they have rebelled against you.
13 But all who take refuge in you will be glad; *
they will sing out their joy for ever.
14 You will shelter them, *
so that those who love your Name may exult in you.
15 For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; *
you will defend them with your favor as with a shield.

6 Domine, ne in furore or

1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; *
do not punish me in your wrath.
2 Have pity on me, Lord, for I am weak; *
heal me, Lord, for my bones are racked.
3 My spirit shakes with terror; *
how long, O Lord, how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; *
save me for your mercy's sake.
5 For in death no one remembers you; *
and who will give you thanks in the grave?
6 I grow weary because of my groaning; *
every night I drench my bed
and flood my couch with tears.
7 My eyes are wasted with grief *
and worn away because of all my enemies.
8 Depart from me, all evildoers, *
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my supplication; *
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be confounded and quake with fear; *
they shall turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

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

Isaiah 1:21-31

21 How the faithful city
has become a whore!
She that was full of justice,
righteousness lodged in her
but now murderers! 22 Your silver has become dross,
your wine is mixed with water. 23 Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not defend the orphan,
and the widow’s cause does not come before them.

24 Therefore says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah, I will pour out my wrath on my enemies,
and avenge myself on my foes! 25 I will turn my hand against you;
I will smelt away your dross as with lye
and remove all your alloy. 26 And I will restore your judges as at the first,
and your counsellors as at the beginning.
Afterwards you shall be called the city of righteousness,
the faithful city.

27 Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
and those in her who repent, by righteousness. 28 But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together,
and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. 29 For you shall be ashamed of theoaks
in which you delighted;
and you shall blush for the gardens
that you have chosen. 30 For you shall be like an oak
whose leaf withers,
and like a garden without water. 31 The strong shall become like tinder,
and their work like a spark;
they and their work shall burn together,
with no one to quench them.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 13
A Song of Praise
Benedictus es, Domine

Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

The New Testament Lesson

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

1You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2but though we had already suffered and been shamefully maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. 3For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, 4but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; 6nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, 7though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. 8So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

9You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was towards you believers. 11As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, 12urging and encouraging you and pleading that you should lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 18
A Song to the Lamb
Dignus es

Revelation 4:11; 5:9-10, 13

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.

The Gospel

Luke 20:9-18

9He began to tell the people this parable: ‘A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. 10When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. 12And he sent yet a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. 13Then the owner of the vineyard said, “What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.” 14But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, “This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.” 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.’ When they heard this, they said, ‘Heaven forbid!’ 17But he looked at them and said, ‘What then does this text mean:
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone”?
18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Nicholas Ferrar, born in 1592, was the founder of a religious community that lasted from 1626 to 1646. After Nicholas had been ordained as a deacon, he and his family and a few friends retired to Little Gidding, Huntingdonshire, England, to devote themselves to a life of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (Matthew 6:2,5,16). They restored the abandoned church building, and became responsible for regular services there. They taught the neighborhood children, and looked after the health and well-being of the people of the district. They read the regular daily offices of the Book of Common Prayer, including the recital every day of the complete Psalter. (Day and night, there was always at least one member of the community kneeling in prayer before the altar, that they might keep the word, "Pray without ceasing.") They wrote books and stories dealing with various aspects of Christian faith and practice. They fasted with great rigor, and in other ways embraced voluntary poverty, so that they might have as much money as possible for the relief of the poor.

The community was founded in 1626 (when Nicholas was 34). He died in 1637 (aged 45), and in 1646 the community was forcibly broken up by the Puritans of Cromwell's army. The memory of the community survived to inspire and influence later undertakings in Christian communal living, and one of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets is called "Little Gidding."

written by James Kiefer


From Simon Kershaw:

James supplies various details about Nicholas Ferrar's life. This is a supplement (mostly from memory, so there may be one or two lapses).

Ferrar was born in February 1593. The date is commonly given (as James did) as 1592, but this is the usual calendar confusion: England was not then using the new calendar adopted in October 1582. It was 1593 according to our modern calendar, but at the time the new year in England began on the following 25 March.

His exact date of birth is unknown, but the Community at Little Gidding observed the quatercentenary of his baptism on 27th February this year (unfortunately we couldn't get there). I quote from Seeds (the magazine of the Friends of Little Gidding and of the Society of Christ the Sower):

On 27th February, the anniversary of Nicholas's baptism, we met in our candlelit church for a communion service using the original 1549 rite---a form of worship familiar to the Ferrars. Margaret selected a variety of readings about the life of Nicholas and the first Community; and for hymns we used some of George Herbert's poetry set to 17th century music.

[Actually the statement about the 1549 rite being familiar to the Ferrars is either a misprint or a mistake: the 1559 Prayer Book of Elizabeth I would have been the BCP they knew, and the eucharist in particular is a little different between the two books.]

His family was quite wealthy, and were heavily involved in the Virginia Company, which had a Royal Charter for the plantation of the colony of Virginia. People like Sir Walter Raleigh were often visitors to the family home in London. Ferrar's niece was named Virginia, the first known use of this name. Ferrar studied at Cambridge and would perhaps have gone on to further study and the life of a don, but the damp air of the fens was bad for his health and he travelled to Europe, spending time in the warmer climate of Italy, where he would have seen the work of Philip Neri and other Oratorians.

On his return to England he found his family had fared badly. His brother John had become over-extended financially, and the Virginia Company was in danger of losing its charter. Nicholas threw himself into preserving his family from ruin. In this he was successful, and he served for a short time as a Member of Parliament, where he tried to promote the cause of the Virginia Company (which in fact did lose its charter).

At the age of 34 he gave all this up to move to found a community of prayer. In this he was supported by his mother, Mary Ferrar, and his brother John. They discovered and bought the manor of Little Gidding, a village which had been deserted since the Black Death (a major outburst of bubonic plague in the 14th century), a few miles off the Great North Road, and probably recommended by John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln whose palace was at the nearby village of Buckden. The first thing they did was to clear the tiny church which was being used as a barn and restore it for worship. Mary Ferrar and her extended family and household (about 30 people all told) moved into the manor house. Nicholas Ferrar was ordained Deacon and was the leader and spiritual director of the community.

The community attracted much attention and was visited by the king, Charles I. He was attracted by a gospel harmony they had produced, and asked to borrow it, only returning it several months later in exchange for a promise of a new harmony to give to his son, Charles, Prince of Wales. This the Ferrars did, and the superbly produced and bound manuscript book passed through the royal collection, and is now held by the British Library. Another friend of the community was George Herbert (also born in 1593 I believe) who was a deacon and held the prebend of Leighton Bromswold, 4 or 5 miles south of Little Gidding. After being ordained priest he moved elsewhere, but died shortly afterwards, leaving Nicholas Ferrar as his "literary executor".

Ferrar, who never married, died on 4th December 1637**, and was buried outside the church in Little Gidding. The leadership of the community passed to his brother John. They were visited by the king twice more. Once he came with the Prince of Wales and donated to the community some money he had won at cards off the prince the previous night. But his third visit was in secret and at night. He was fleeing from defeat (at the battle of Naseby?) and heading north to try to enlist support from the Scots. This was Cromwell country (Cromwell himself was born in Huntingdon, had lived there and in Saint Ives, and was MP for Cambridge(?), but John brought him secretly to Little Gidding, and got him away the next day.

** I don't know why he is commemorated on the wrong day in both the ECUSA and the CofE [JEK: I assume that it is because John of Damascus is commemorated on 4 December.]

The community was now in much danger. The presbyterian Puritans were now in the ascendancy, and the community was condemned in a series of scurillous pamphlets as `an Arminian Nunnery'. (Arminius was a Dutch reformer/theologian who opposed the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and election.)

In 1646, the community was forcibly broken up by Parliamentary soldiers. The brass font was thrown into the pond (from where, much damaged, it was recovered 200 years later). The village remained the property of the Ferrar family, however, and in the early 18th century another Nicholas Ferrar restored the church, shortening the nave by about 8 feet, and building the "dull facade" as Eliot calls it.

Passing out of the family, the church was further restored in the mid 19th century by William Hodgkinson, who had the armorial stained glass (4 windows with the arms of Ferrar (incorrect), Charles I, Bishop Williams & himself) inserted, and put in a rose window at the east end (this rose window was removed a couple of years ago and replaced by a Palladian-style window with plain glass). It was Hodgkinson who discovered the font and had it restored to the church. He also put in a magnificent 18th century chandelier.

In the 20th century there was a revival of interest in Ferrar & Little Gidding, typified by the romantic historical novel John Inglesant. Bp Mandell Creighton (Bishop of London at the turn of the century) wrote an article on Ferrar for the Dictionary of National Biography. The story of how T.S. Eliot came to write the poem is told in Dame Helen Gardner's book The Composition of Four Quartets [now out or print]. He probably visited Little Gidding only once, in May 1936. A friend was writing a play about the visit of Charles I to Gidding, and asked Eliot for his comments. After writing The Dry Salvages, Eliot wanted to complete what he now saw as a set of 4 poems, and he quickly settled on Little Gidding. It was written and published during the war when it was by no means certain that English culture and religion would survive. The opening stanzas, according to Dame Helen, are the only piece of narrative verse in the Four Quartets, unique amongst Eliot's poetry. The "place you would be likely to come from" is London and the blitz, or German air raids; the "route you would be likely to take" is straight up the A1 from London and then across country just as I described yesterday, and is the same whether you are Charles I ("a broken king") or not knowing what you would find (as my own first visit). The pig-sty is now part of the community guest house.

Inspired by all these things, the Friends of Little Gidding was founded after the war, with the Bishop of Ely as president and Eliot as a vice-president. In the 1970s Robert Van de Weyer, one of whose ancestors had been Herbert's patron at Leighton Bromswold, founded a trust to buy the farm house as the start of a new community and as a place of retreat. Van de Weyer was an economics lecturer at Cambridge University, and was for a time also the (non-stipendiary) priest-in-charge of Little Gidding and several parishes around. His wife, Sarah, is a leading member of the diocesan Mothers' Union and its links with the church in Sudan. The community appears to be thriving, with (at a guess) some 30 members, families, couples and singles, of several denominations (RC, Anglican, and others) with some members working outside, others within the Community. They also own the vicarage at Leighton Bromswold where some of the younger members of the community live. There is also a guest house at Little Gidding. There's also about 300 Friends, including Karen and me. By coincidence we used to live about a dozen miles from East Coker, a pretty Somerset village, featured in another of the Quartets, where Eliot's ancestors lived before emigrating to Massachusetts, and where Eliot is buried. One day perhaps we'll get to those Dry Salvages out at Cape Ann, Mass ... perhaps one of you has been there?

We find the atractions of community life never so great as when we visit Little Gidding, a truly holy place.

POSTSCRIPT (April 1994):

The community is now called the Society of Christ the Sower. [Note: this community no longer exists.]

The Friends of Little Gidding has several hundred members, including Karen and me. Friends receive a regular newsletter from the Society, a prayer cycle of members and friends, and regular books put together by the society. Recently the book has become a book of devotional readings which may be used at the Daily Office. The first such (still current) is a series of readings culled from the writings of St Francis, and from various near-contemporary hagiographies.

Further details available on request. Hope this helps.

-- simon.kershaw@smallworld.co.uk

Several people have privately asked for more information about the Community of Christ the Sower and the Friends of Little Gidding. The following paragraphs are from the back of the Society's latest publication, a series of daily readings on the life of St Francis of Assisi.


Founded in 1947 by Alan Maycock, the Friends of Little Gidding organised for over thirty years an annual pilgrimage and raised funds for the maintenance of the church at Little Gidding. One of the original members was T.S. Eliot, whose poem entitled Little Gidding helped to renew interest in the place and its history.

Alan Maycock looked forward to community life being restored to Little Gidding. And when this occurred in the late 1970s the Friends decided to attach themselves to the Society of Christ the Sower.

Today the Friends of Little Gidding is primarily a network of prayer, and to this end a prayer calendar is sent every three months to all Friends. They also receive every six months a book in the series Daily Listening published by the Society. Many Friends also take an active interest in the life of the Society, visiting Little Gidding and corresponding with members.

The Friends of Little Gidding, Little Gidding, Huntingdon, PE17 5RJ
telephone +832 293383


Subject: A December pilgrimage

You drive out of Cambridge, north-west up the busy A604 dual carriageway, passing by Saint Ives. Over the A1 (the "Great North Road") onto the brand-new A14. After a few miles turn off north and drive a few hundred yards to Leighton Bromswold, where George Herbert was the incumbent. Then on, further north, down narrow country lanes, hardly wide enough for 2 cars to pass. Now you're out of the flat East Anglian fens and into the Huntingdonshire Wolds, where the land rises gently and is lightly wooded. A few more turnings, through Steeple Gidding, and on towards Great Gidding. Finally, a little signpost points down a single-lane track: "Little Gidding". Down this muddy road for a few hundred yards and you reach a small group of simple brick houses clustered around a large old farm house. A sign proclaims "The Community of Christ the Sower" in a circle around four ears of wheat arranged as a cross, and points to a small car park off to the left---it's just another muddy field. Out of the car the cold, damp misty December air hits you: you sniff, button up your coat and wish you'd worn wellingtons.

A footpath leads from the car park alongside the garden of the big house, and brings you to a small churchyard, tidily kept, with several tombs. A small church, with a weird 18th century facade, stands in the middle of the churchyard, a small door in the middle of the west front. Before the door stands an altar-tomb, a couple of feet high: this is the grave of Nicholas Ferrar. Inside the church it's dark, and still bitterly cold and damp. It's just a single aisle, say 30 feet long by 15 feet wide, with a small sanctuary beyond. There're no pews or seats, just 17th-century collegiate-style stalls around the west, north and south walls. Brightly-coloured 19th-century stained glass windows depict the coats of arms of Nicholas Ferrar (incorrectly), King Charles I, and the 19th-century restorer. A brass font with a battered crown stands like a standard candlestick at the north side of the sanctuary step. On the south side, a low doorway leads to the tiny vestry, about 8 feet square, with a disused fireplace, and an old cupboard, piled with dusty hymn and prayer books. Back out into the church again. At the west end is a small display of guide books, postcards, and copies of "Four Quartets" and other Eliot works. You turn round to the east and say a prayer. Then back out into the fast-fading December afternoon light and look around. You're standing on a hill looking south across the rolling countryside and bare ploughed fields. There is no sound except for a few birds calling overhead, and the occasional distant gunshot. It's hard to believe you're only 4 or 5 miles from the A1, one of the country's busiest roads. It's easy to believe that this was the peace and quiet which drew Nicholas Ferrar and his family from the busy world of London commerce to establish the only community in the Church of England in the 300 years between the dissolution of the monasteries, and the Oxford movement. It's easy to see what draws Christians of all denominations to this simple shrine, to remember the example of Nicholas Ferrar, and to live in a community at this place. You walk round to the farm house, in through the front door. In the hall is a small display of Ferrar and Gidding memorabilia, and you turn left into a decent-sized room labelled the Parlour. In the corner a lady looks up from her reading, smiles and welcomes you, "Would you like some tea? Cake?" "Yes, please." She disappears. Around the walls are more Ferrar pictures, and photographs of Little Gidding and members of the Community. It's lovely and warm and you undo your coat and look with dismay at your mud-spattered trousers. A notice tells you that the tables and chairs in the room were made by a member of the community and that you can buy similar furniture. Your host returns and you gratefully sit down to eat and drink, noting the books on the bookstall. Further conversation, then it's time to drive home in the dark, pledging to return someday, and pondering the advantages of community life.

The Feast of Nicholas Ferrar is celebrated on 1st December in the ECUSA calendar, and on 2nd December the English Alternative Service Book calendar. Nicholas Ferrar died on Monday 4th December 1637.
We moved to this area in November 1986 and first made this pilgrimage in December, not knowing quite what we would find when we got there. We've been back several times, usually at this time of the year, and hopefully we'll get there again before the year is out.

POSTSCRIPT (Decemeber 1994): The font has now been removed from the Church, where it was becoming damaged. It is to be displayed in the Parlour, and a new font made by local craftsmen. The small vestry has been restored as a small, heated, side chapel or oratory.


from Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire
beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.


Lord God, make us so worthy of your perfect love; that, with your deacon Nicholas Ferrar and his household, we may rule ourselves according to your Word, and serve you with our whole heart; 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 127
Proverbs 1:20-33
Matthew 13:4752

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.


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 First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Newfrontiers.

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: To my humble supplication

To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

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 the Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Prisons and Correctional Institutions

Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy's sake. Amen.

For the Victims of Addiction

Blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

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

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


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.

Noonday Prayer

The Opening

O God, make speed to save us.

O Lord, make haste to help us.

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. Alleluia.

The Psalm

Psalm 126 In convertendo

1When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, *
then were we like those who dream.
2Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
and our tongue with shouts of joy.
3Then they said among the nations, *
The Lord has done great things for them.
4The Lord has done great things for us, *
and we are glad indeed.
5Restore our fortunes, O Lord, *
like the watercourses of the Negev.
6Those who sowed with tears *
will reap with songs of joy.
7Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

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 Reading

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

Thanks be to God.

The Prayers

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

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.

Lord, hear our prayer;

And let our cry come to you.

Let us pray.

Almighty Savior, who at noonday called your servant Saint Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles: We pray you to illumine the world with the radiance of your glory, that all nations may come and worship you; for you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

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

The Ending

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.