Wednesday
Morning Prayer
Thecla of Iconium

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: Fairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my souls glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heavn can boast.
All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine.

The Hastings College Choir

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

119:97-120

Mem Quomodo dilexi!

97 Oh, how I love your law! *
all the day long it is in my mind.
98 Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, *
and it is always with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, *
for your decrees are my study.
100 I am wiser than the elders, *
because I observe your commandments.
101 I restrain my feet from every evil way, *
that I may keep your word.
102 I do not shrink from your judgments, *
because you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste! *
they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
104 Through your commandments I gain understanding; *
therefore I hate every lying way.

NunLucerna pedibus meis

105 Your word is a lantern to my feet *
and a light upon my path.
106 I have sworn and am determined *
to keep your righteous judgments.
107 I am deeply troubled; *
preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept, O Lord, the willing tribute of my lips, *
and teach me your judgments.
109 My life is always in my hand, *
yet I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a trap for me, *
but I have not strayed from your commandments.
111 Your decrees are my in heritance for ever; *
truly, they are the joy of my heart.
112 I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes *
for ever and to the end.

SamekhIniquos odio habui

113 I hate those who have a divided heart, *
but your law do I love.
114 You are my refuge and shield; *
my hope is in your word.
115 Away from me, you wicked! *
I will keep the commandments of my God.
116 Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live, *
and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
117 Hold me up, and I shall be safe, *
and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.
118 You spurn all who stray from your statutes; *
their deceitfulness is in vain.
119 In your sight all the wicked of the earth are but dross; *
therefore I love your decrees.
120 My flesh trembles with dread of you; *
I am afraid of your judgments.

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

Judith 10:1-23

1When Judith had stopped crying out to the God of Israel, and had ended all these words,2she rose from where she lay prostrate. She called her maid and went down into the house where she lived on sabbaths and on her festal days.3She removed the sackcloth she had been wearing, took off her widow’s garments, bathed her body with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment. She combed her hair, put on a tiara, and dressed herself in the festive attire that she used to wear while her husband Manasseh was living.4She put sandals on her feet, and put on her anklets, bracelets, rings, ear-rings, and all her other jewellery. Thus she made herself very beautiful, to entice the eyes of all the men who might see her.5She gave her maid a skin of wine and a flask of oil, and filled a bag with roasted grain, dried fig cakes, and fine bread; then she wrapped up all her dishes and gave them to her to carry.

6Then they went out to the town gate of Bethulia and found Uzziah standing there with the elders of the town, Chabris and Charmis.7When they saw her transformed in appearance and dressed differently, they were very greatly astounded at her beauty and said to her,8‘May the God of our ancestors grant you favour and fulfil your plans, so that the people of Israel may glory and Jerusalem may be exalted.’ She bowed down to God.

9Then she said to them, ‘Order the gate of the town to be opened for me so that I may go out and accomplish the things you have just said to me.’ So they ordered the young men to open the gate for her, as she requested.10When they had done this, Judith went out, accompanied by her maid. The men of the town watched her until she had gone down the mountain and passed through the valley, where they lost sight of her.

11As the women were going straight on through the valley, an Assyrian patrol met her12and took her into custody. They asked her, ‘To what people do you belong, and where are you coming from, and where are you going?’ She replied, ‘I am a daughter of the Hebrews, but I am fleeing from them, for they are about to be handed over to you to be devoured.13I am on my way to see Holofernes the commander of your army, to give him a true report; I will show him a way by which he can go and capture all the hill country without losing one of his men, captured or slain.’

14When the men heard her words, and observed her face she was in their eyes marvellously beautiful they said to her,15‘You have saved your life by hurrying down to see our lord. Go at once to his tent; some of us will escort you and hand you over to him.16When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart, but tell him what you have just said, and he will treat you well.’

17They chose from their number a hundred men to accompany her and her maid, and they brought them to the tent of Holofernes.18There was great excitement in the whole camp, for her arrival was reported from tent to tent. They came and gathered around her as she stood outside the tent of Holofernes, waiting until they told him about her.19They marvelled at her beauty and admired the Israelites, judging them by her. They said to one another, ‘Who can despise these people, who have women like this among them? It is not wise to leave one of their men alive, for if we let them go they will be able to beguile the whole world!’

20Then the guards of Holofernes and all his servants came out and led her into the tent.21Holofernes was resting on his bed under a canopy that was woven with purple and gold, emeralds and other precious stones.22When they told him of her, he came to the front of the tent, with silver lamps carried before him.23When Judith came into the presence of Holofernes and his servants, they all marvelled at the beauty of her face. She prostrated herself and did obeisance to him, but his slaves raised her up.

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, illumin are

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

Acts 19:1-10

1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples.2He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’3Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’4Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied7altogether there were about twelve of them.

8He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.9When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.10This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.

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

Luke 4:1-13

1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.3The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’4Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.”’

5Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.6And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please.7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’8Jesus answered him, ‘It is written,
“Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.”’

9Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,10for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you”,
11and
“On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’
12Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Commemoration

Thecla was a saint of the early Christian Church, and a reported follower of Paul the Apostle. The earliest record of her life comes from the ancient apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla.

According to the Acts of Paul and Thecla, Thecla was a young noble virgin who listened to Paul's "discourse on virginity" and became Paul's follower and a Disciple of Paul's teachings and Ministry. Thecla's mother and her fianc Thamyris became concerned Thecla would follow Paul's demand "one must fear only one God and live in chastity", and punished both Paul and Thecla.

Thecla was miraculously saved from burning at the stake by the onset of a storm and traveled with Paul to Antioch of Pisidia. There a nobleman named Alexander desired Thecla and attempted to take her by force. Thecla fought him off, assaulting him in the process, and was put on trial for assaulting a nobleman. She was sentenced to be eaten by wild beasts, but was again saved by a series of miracles when the female beasts protected her against her male aggressors.

Thecla gained a massive "cult-like" following, and became perhaps the most prominent figure for female empowerment at the time. She listened to Paul's teachings to fear nobody but God, and live in chastity. She demonstrates these teachings on several occasions starting from the first time she heard Paul speak by leaving Thamyris, fighting off Alexander, and surviving several life threatening situations. She traveled to preach the word of God and became an icon encouraging women to also live a life of chastity and follow the word of the Lord.

from Wikipedia

Prayer

God of liberating power, empower courageous evangelists among us, that men and women everywhere may know the freedom that you offer; 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

1 Corinthians 9:1–10
Psalm 119:33–40
Luke 24:13–35

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 in heritance;

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 20

Grant us, Lord, not to be 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

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 Egypt.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

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

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.

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 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: Who can cheer the heart like Jesus

Who can cheer the heart like Jesus
By His presence all divine
True and tender, pure and precious
O, how blest to call Him mine
All that thrills my soul is Jesus
He is more than life to me
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see

What a wonderful redemption
Never can a mortal know
How my sin, though red like crimson
Can be whiter than the snow
All that thrills my soul is Jesus
He is more than life to me
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see

Every need His hand supplying
Every good in Him I see
On His strength divine relying
He is all in all to me
All that thrills my soul is Jesus
He is more than life to me
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see

Singers: Mennonite Hour Men's Chorus
Words and music: Thoro Harris

A Prayer of Self-Dedication

Almighty and eternal God,
so draw our hearts to you,
so guide our minds,
so fill our imagin ations,
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 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.

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. Alleluia.

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 in heritance 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.