Morning Prayer 8.20.11, Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot, 1153

Bernard was born near Dijon, France, the son of a knight and landowner. At 23 he entered a Benedictine abbey. Two years later he talked four of his brothers and 26 friends into helping him establish a Cistercian abbey at Clairvaux, from which grew 60 more Cistercian communities.

The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

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

Psalm 100
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.

Psalm 137:1-6

By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.
As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the midst of that land.
For those who led us away captive asked us for a song,
and our oppressors called for mirth: *
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
How shall we sing the LORD’s song *
upon an alien soil?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, *
let my right hand forget its skill.
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you, *
if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.

Psalm 144

Blessed be the LORD my rock! *
who trains my hands to fight and my fingers to battle;
My help and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, *
my shield in whom I trust,
who subdues the peoples under me.
O LORD, what are we that you should care for us? *
mere mortals that you should think of us?
We are like a puff of wind; *
our days are like a passing shadow.
Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down; *
touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Hurl the lightning and scatter them; *
shoot out your arrows and rout them.
Stretch out your hand from on high; *
rescue me and deliver me from the great waters,
from the hand of foreign peoples,
Whose mouths speak deceitfully *
and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
O God, I will sing to you a new song; *
I will play to you on a ten-stringed lyre.
You give victory to kings *
and have rescued David your servant.
Rescue me from the hurtful sword *
and deliver me from the hand of foreign peoples,
Whose mouths speak deceitfully *
and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
May our sons be like plants well nurtured from their youth, *
and our daughters like sculptured corners of a palace.
May our barns be filled to overflowing with all manner of crops; *
may the flocks in our pastures increase by thousands and tens of thousands;
may our cattle be fat and sleek.
May there be no breaching of the walls, no going into exile, *
no wailing in the public squares.
Happy are the people of whom this is so! *
happy are the people whose God is the LORD!

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

THE LESSONS
2 Samuel 23:1-7, 13-17 (NRSV)

Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel: The spirit of the LORD speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away; for they cannot be picked up with the hand; to touch them one uses an iron bar or the shaft of a spear. And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.

Towards the beginning of harvest three of the thirty chiefs went down to join David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. David said longingly, “O that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” Then the three warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the LORD, for he said, “The LORD forbid that I should do this. Can I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. The three warriors did these things.

Canticle: A Song of Creation
Benedicite, omnia opera Domini
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.
Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat.
Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.
Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Acts 25:13-27 (NRSV)

After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to welcome Festus. Since they were staying there several days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man here who was left in prison by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him and asked for a sentence against him. I told them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met the accusers face to face and had been given an opportunity to make a defense against the charge. So when they met here, I lost no time, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. When the accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the crimes that I was expecting. Instead they had certain points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. Since I was at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges. But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of his Imperial Majesty, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to the emperor.” Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you will hear him.”

So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then Festus gave the order and Paul was brought in. And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all here present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish community petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death; and when he appealed to his Imperial Majesty, I decided to send him. But I have nothing definite to write to our sovereign about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write – for it seems to me unreasonable to send a prisoner without indicating the charges against him.”

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Magna et mirabilia
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

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

THE APOSTLES’ 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

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: Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153

O God, by whose grace your servant Bernard of Clairvaux, kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of the World Council of Churches
Vancouver Assembly, 1983

Eternal God whose image lies in the hearts of all people,
We live among peoples whose ways are different form ours,
whose faiths are foreign to us, whose tongues are unintelligible to us.
Help us to remember
that you love all people with your great love,
that all religion is an attempt to respond to you,
that the yearnings of other hearts are much like our own and are known to you.
Help us to recognize you in
the words of truth,
the things of beauty,
the actions of love about us.
We pray through Christ,
who is a stranger to no one land more than another,
and to every land no less than another.

For Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications 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: Fulfil 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.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

6 thoughts on “Morning Prayer 8.20.11, Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot, 1153

  1. Hi Josh —
    It occured to me this AM that I don’t recall having seen the General Thanksgivin included in Morning Prayer emails. Have you done that and I missed it? If not, would you considering adding it (as an option) among the cuncluding prayers of the Office?
    Peace,
    Jack+

    Like

    • Fr. Jack,

      We print, and the e-mails contain, the General Thanksgiving as follows:

      Sunday Morning Prayer
      Tuesday Evening Prayer
      Wednesday MP
      Thursday EP
      Friday EP

      There’s nothing magic about this formula but that’s how we do it (and we’ve done so for quite some time). I don’t think it should be every day but I do think it should be often. It’s a very popular prayer, I know that.

      If you or others have input on this, please comment.

      Josh

      Like

  2. Hi Josh —
    thanks for the reply, which explains why I’ve seldom seen the Great Thanksgiving. I ver seldom say MP on Sunday, as my preparation for Eucharist is more typically a time of meditative prayer, while my family schedule makes EP a rarity for me. So that leaves Wed. MP, when I should have seen it. Will keep my eyes open then now!

    Like

    • Jack,

      You’re probably a fairly typical user. We know MP is more popular than EP and that Sunday is our day of least traffic. I do commend Sunday MP though for those who don’t already have a Eucharist-prep routine, and I like to “reward” members who read EP with some favorite prayers.

      Maybe I’ll switch the Thanksgiving from Friday evening to morning. And maybe I prefer Thanksgiving in the evening after I’ve had something in the day to be thankful for.

      josh

      Like

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