Wednesday
Morning Prayer
Catherine of Alexandria, Barbara of Nicomedia, and Margaret of Antioch

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: Open my eyes, that I may see

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my ears, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my heart, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Singers: Sheridan Seventh-day Adventist Church
Words and Music: Clara H. Scott
Tune: Open My Eyes

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. Alleluia.

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

The Psalm

119: 145-176 or
Coverdale

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.

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 Lesson

Obadiah 15-21

15For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. 16For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, all the nations around you shall drink; they shall drink and gulp down, and shall be as though they had never been.

17But on Mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall take possession of those who dispossessed them. 18The house of Jacob shall be a fire, the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor of the house of Esau; for the Lord has spoken. 19Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau, and those of the Shephelah the land of the Philistines; they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria, and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. 20The exiles of the Israelites who are in Halah shall possess Phoenicia as far as Zarephath; and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the towns of the Negeb. 21Those who have been saved shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.

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.

The New Testament Lesson

1 Peter 2:1-10

1Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” 8and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Canticle 16
The Song of Zechariah
Benedictus Dominus Deus

Luke 1:68-79

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 19:23-30

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” 27Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

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

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: Proper 29

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; 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 Palestine.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers, members of the Working group of Mennonite congregations (in German).

A Collect 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.

The Commemoration

On this day are remembered three women martyrs who were some of the most popular saints in ancient and midiaeval times, but who are today regarded as of doubtful historicity. Nevertheless, their stories have inspired Christians over the centuries.

Catherine of Alexandria's story has caught the popular imagination of many generations (she is, for example, one of the personages from whom Joan of Arc claimed to receive regular visits and messages), although most scholars judge it to be simply a work of fiction with no historical basis. No references to her can be traced earlier than the ninth (or possibly the eighth) century.

It is said that Catherine was a Christian maiden of Alexandria in Egypt, possessed of beauty, brains, and noble birth. She rebuked the heathen emperor Maxentius for his idolatry, and he responded by offering to marry her if she would renounce her faith. She refused. Fifty philosophers were set to refute her in a public debate. She easily won every point, and made them look foolish. The emperor, a sore loser, had them burned alive. The emperor went out of town on business, and when he returned, he discovered that Catherine had converted his queen and the 200 soldiers of the empress's bodyguard. This was too much. He had the Empress and her soldiers put to death. Catherine was sentenced to be tortured on a spiked wheel, but the wheel flew apart and the fragments killed many of her accusers. After this and other marvels, Catherine was beheaded, and from her veins flowed not blood but milk. The angels carried her to Mount Sinai, where St. Catherine's Monastery is now located.

She is depicted carrying a spiked wheel, representing the manner in which it was proposed to put her to death. The "catherine-wheel," a form of fireworks that spins as it burns, is named for her.

Catherine is patron of preachers, philosophers, librarians (probably association with the Library of Alexandria), young girls, and craftsmen working with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc). The Mt. Sinai monastery was built by Justinian in 527, and has borne the name of Catherine since the eighth or ninth century. The monastery survives unmolested by the moslems (by express command of Mohammed) and has a vast but uncatalogued treasure of ancient manuscripts. One of the earliest known manuscripts of the complete New Testament, the Codex Sinaiaticus, was found there, borrowed by the finder, and never returned to the monastery. (I believe that it is now in the British Museum.) Since then, they have been a bit crusty to visiting scholars.

witten by James Kiefer

Barbara of Nicomedia, or Great Martyr Barbara, was an early Christian Greek saint and martyr. Accounts place her in the 3rd century in Heliopolis of Phoenicia, present-day Baalbek, Lebanon. There is no reference to her in the authentic early Christian writings nor in the original recension of Saint Jerome's martyrology. Her name can be traced to the 7th century, and veneration of her was common, especially in the East, from the 9th century.

Saint Barbara is often portrayed with miniature chains and a tower. As one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Barbara continues to be a popular saint in modern times, perhaps best known as the patron saint of armourers, artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her old legend's association with lightning.

According to the hagiographies, Barbara, the daughter of a rich pagan, was carefully guarded by her father who kept her locked up in a tower in order to preserve her from the outside world. Having secretly become a Christian, she rejected an offer of marriage that she received through her father.

Dragged before the prefect of the province, Martinianus, who had her cruelly tortured, Barbara held true to her Christian faith. During the night, the dark prison was bathed in light and new miracles occurred. Every morning, her wounds were healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally, she was condemned to death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the death-sentence. However, as punishment for this, he was struck by lightning on the way home and his body was consumed by flame. Barbara was buried by a Christian, Valentinus, and her tomb became the site of miracles.

More at Wikipedia

Margaret, known as Margaret of Antioch in the West, and as Saint Marina the Great Martyr in the East, is said to have been martyred in 304, but was declared apocryphal by Pope Gelasius I in 494; however devotion to her revived in the West with the Crusades.

According to the version of the story in Golden Legend, she was a native of Antioch and the daughter of a pagan priest named Aedesius. Her mother having died soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a Christian woman. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, Margaret was disowned by her father, adopted by her nurse, and lived in the country keeping sheep with her foster mother (in what is now Turkey). Olybrius, Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked to marry her, but with the demand that she renounce Christianity. Upon her refusal, she was cruelly tortured, during which various miraculous incidents occurred. One of these involved being swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive when the cross she carried irritated the dragon's innards.

The Sisters of St. Margaret were named for this St. Margaret.

more at Wikipedia

Prayer

Embolden your church, O God, with the stories of your saints Catherine, Barbara, and Margaret, that we might face all trials and adversities with a fearless mind and an unbroken spirit, knowing that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who strengthens us. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Alternate Psalm and Readings

Judith 12:16-13:10
Psalm 119:97–104
Mark 9:42-50

Intercessions

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

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.

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 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: O God, our help in ages past

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home.

Under the shadow of thy throne,
thy saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting thou art God,
to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in thy sight
are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guide while troubles last,
and our eternal home!

Choir: Mennonite youth choir from Minnesota
Words: Isaac Watts (1719)
Music: William Croft (1708)

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.

The Ending

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.

Benediction

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

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

Hymn: God Be With You

God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide, uphold you;
With his sheep securely fold you.
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.


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.

The Psalm

Psalm 119 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.

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

The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:5

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.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you: Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly City, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever. Amen.

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

The Ending

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.