Morning Prayer 2.23.11, St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna & Martyr, 156

St. Polycarp Extinguishing the Fire at Smyrna (unknown). When the proconsul ordered him to curse Christ, Polycarp answered, "Eighty-six years have I served him, and he never did me any wrong."

I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. Isaiah 49:6b

INVITATORY & PSALTER

O God, let our mouth proclaim your praise.
And your glory all the day long.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 95
Venite

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Psalm 119:145-176

I call with my whole heart; *
answer me, O LORD, that I may keep your statutes.
I call to you; oh, that you would save me! *
I will keep your decrees.
Early in the morning I cry out to you, *
for in your word is my trust.
My eyes are open in the night watches, *
that I may meditate upon your promise.
Hear my voice, O LORD, according to your loving-kindness; *
according to your judgments, give me life.
They draw near who in malice persecute me; *
they are very far from your law.
You, O LORD, are near at hand, *
and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your decrees *
that you have established them for ever.

Behold my affliction and deliver me, *
for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me; *
according to your promise, give me life.
Deliverance is far from the wicked, *
for they do not study your statutes.
Great is your compassion, O LORD; *
preserve my life, according to your judgments.
There are many who persecute and oppress me, *
yet I have not swerved from your decrees.
I look with loathing at the faithless, *
for they have not kept your word.
See how I love your commandments! *
O LORD, in your mercy, preserve me.
The heart of your word is truth; *
all your righteous judgments endure for evermore.

Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, *
but my heart stands in awe of your word.
I am as glad because of your promise *
as one who finds great spoils.
As for lies, I hate and abhor them, *
but your law is my love.
Seven times a day do I praise you, *
because of your righteous judgments.
Great peace have they who love your law; *
for them there is no stumbling block.
I have hoped for your salvation, O LORD, *
and have fulfilled your commandments.
I have kept your decrees *
and I have loved them deeply.
I have kept your commandments and decrees, *
for all my ways are before you.

Let my cry come before you, O LORD; *
give me understanding, according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you; *
deliver me, according to your promise.
My lips shall pour forth your praise, *
when you teach me your statutes.
My tongue shall sing of your promise, *
for all your commandments are righteous.
Let your hand be ready to help me, *
for I have chosen your commandments.
I long for your salvation, O LORD, *
and your law is my delight.
Let me live, and I will praise you, *
and let your judgments help me.
I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; *
search for your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

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 LESSONS
Ruth 2:1-13 (NRSV)

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you.” They answered, “The LORD bless you.” Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the LORD reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.”

Canticle: A Song of Ezekiel
Ezekiel 36:24-28

I will take you from among all nations; *
and gather you from all lands to bring you home.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you; *
and purify you from false gods and uncleanness.
A new heart I will give you *
and a new spirit put within you.
I will take the stone heart from your chest *
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will help you walk in my laws *
and cherish my commandments and do them.
You shall be my people, *
and I will be your God.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 1:23 – 2:17 (NRSV)

But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth. I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in the faith. So I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice; for I am confident about all of you, that my joy would be the joy of all of you. For I wrote you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent – not to exaggerate it – to all of you. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ. And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

When I came to Troas to proclaim the good news of Christ, a door was opened for me in the Lord; but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said farewell to them and went on to Macedonia.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.

Canticle: A Song of the Spirit
Revelation 22:12-17

“Behold, I am coming soon,” says the Lord,
“and bringing my reward with me, *
to give to everyone according to their deeds.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, *
the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life, *
and may enter the city through the gates.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you, *
with this testimony for all the churches.
“I am the root and the offspring of David, *
I am the bright morning star.”
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride; *
“Come!” let each hearer reply!
Come forward, you who are thirsty, *
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
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,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and 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

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: Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna, 156

O God, the maker of heaven and earth, you gave your venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Saviour, and steadfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, following his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Grace

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power; that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer 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.

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.

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 God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

Please pray for the people of New Zealand, who suffered an earthquake at Christchurch on February 22. Some 65 people are reported dead so far, and the iconic Christchurch Cathedral has suffered major damage; the dean said he feared people were trapped inside.

One thought on “Morning Prayer 2.23.11, St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna & Martyr, 156

  1. Pingback: Polycarp and Socrates in Corinth | Corinthian Matters

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