Morning Prayer 12.20.11: Advent 4

Iraq and Afghanistan War Deaths (US and Coalition Forces) Total 7632: and They Have Names.

The Department of Defense confirmed the deaths of the following Americans recently:

Iraq: Total casualties: 4802

No casualties this past week

Afghanistan: Total casualties: 2830

LEVY, Christopher P. J., 21, LCPL, USMC, Ramseur, NC, II Marine Expeditionary Force
MUNIZ, Christopher L., 24, SGT, US Army, New Cuyama, CA, 25th Infantry Division
WILDRICK, Jr., Ronald H., 30, SPEC, US Army, Blairstown, NJ, 25th Infantry Division
VAQUERANO, Jalfred D., 20, PVT, US Army, Apopka, FL, 1st Armored Division
GRIFFITH, Samuel M., 36, no rank provided, USMC, Virginia Beach, FL, 4th Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company


“On any given night, at least 75,600 veterans are homeless.”

— Timothy Campbell, president and CEO of Volunteers of America (source: AP)

Jan Victors, 1645: Hannah Gives Her Son to the Priest

In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3


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 95:1-7

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 66

Be joyful in God, all you lands; *
sing the glory of his Name;
sing the glory of his praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! *
because of your great strength your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down before you, *
sings to you, sings out your Name.”
Come now and see the works of God, *
how wonderful he is in his doing toward all people.
He turned the sea into dry land,
so that they went through the water on foot, *
and there we rejoiced in him.
In his might he rules for ever;
his eyes keep watch over the nations; *
let no rebel rise up against him.
Bless our God, you peoples; *
make the voice of his praise to be heard;
Who holds our souls in life, *
and will not allow our feet to slip.
For you, O God, have proved us; *
you have tried us just as silver is tried.
You brought us into the snare; *
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water; *
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.

I will enter your house with burnt-offerings
and will pay you my vows, *
which I promised with my lips
and spoke with my mouth when I was in trouble.
I will offer you sacrifices of fat beasts
with the smoke of rams; *
I will give you oxen and goats.
Come and listen, all you who fear God, *
and I will tell you what he has done for me.
I called out to him with my mouth, *
and his praise was on my tongue.
If I had found evil in my heart, *
the Lord would not have heard me;
But in truth God has heard me; *
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer, *
nor withheld his love from me.

Psalm 67

May God be merciful to us and bless us, *
show us the light of his countenance and come to us.
Let your ways be known upon earth, *
your saving health among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, *
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide all the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has brought forth her increase; *
may God, our own God, give us his blessing.
May God give us his blessing, *
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.

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

1 Samuel 2:1-10 (NEB)

Then Hannah offered this prayer:

My heart rejoices in the LORD,
in the LORD I now hold my head high;
my mouth is full of derision of my foes,
exultant because thou has saved me.
There is none except thee,
none so holy as the LORD,
no rock like our God.
Cease your proud boasting,
let no word of arrogance pass your lips;
for the LORD is a god of all knowledge:
he governs all that men do.

Strong men stand in mute dismay
but those who faltered put on new strength.
Those who had plenty sell themselves for a crust,
and the hungry grow strong again.
The barren woman has seven children,
and the mother of many sons is left to languish.

The LORD kills and he gives life,
he sends down to Sheol, he can bring the dead up again.
The LORD makes a man poor, he makes him rich,
he brings down and he raises up.
He lifts the weak out of the dust
and raises the poor from the dunghill;
to give them a place among the great,
to set them in seats of honor.

For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s,
he has built the world upon them.
He will guard the footsteps of his saints,
while the wicked sing into silence and gloom;
not by mere strength shall a man prevail.

Those that stand against the LORD will be terrified
when the High God thunders out of heaven.
The LORD is judge even to the ends of the earth,
he will give strength to his king
and raise high the head of his anointed prince.

Canticle: A Song of Pilgrimage
Priusquam errarem
Ecclesiasticus 51:13-16, 20b-22

Before I ventured forth,
even while I was very young, *
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer.
In the forecourts of the temple I asked for her, *
and I will seek her to the end.
From first blossom to early fruit, *
she has been the delight of my heart.
My foot has kept firmly to the true path, *
diligently from my youth have I pursued her.
I inclined my ear a little and received her; *
I found for myself much wisdom and became adept in her.
To the one who gives me wisdom will I give glory, *
for I have resolved to live according to her way.
From the beginning I gained courage from her, *
therefore I will not be forsaken.
In my inmost being I have been stirred to seek her, *
therefore have I gained a good possession.
As my reward the Almighty has given me the gift of language,*
and with it will I offer praise to God.

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

Titus 2:1-10 (NRSV)

But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine. Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.

Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.

Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.

Canticle: A Song of Faith
1 Peter 1:3-4, 18-21

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, *
by divine mercy we have a new birth into a living hope;
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, *
we have an inheritance that is imperishable in heaven.
The ransom that was paid to free us *
was not paid in silver or gold,
But in the precious blood of Christ, *
the Lamb without spot or stain.
God raised Jesus from the dead and gave him glory *
so that we might have faith and hope in God.

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


I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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.


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: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

[A Collect for Wisdom
By Cody Maynus

God of our ancestors, you have sent your Wisdom to preserve your people and speak through your prophets. Send this Holy Wisdom, the One who was present when you created the world, that She may be our counselor in pleasant times and our comforter in times of grief and suffering. We ask this through the intercession of Mary, the Seat of Wisdom, and her ever-redeeming Son. Amen.]

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect 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.

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++

4 thoughts on “Morning Prayer 12.20.11: Advent 4

  1. It’s in the lectionary so we will read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it. Even and especially the hard bits. They remind us of where we have been, where we still need to go to enact God’s economy here on Earth, and if nothing else, to provoke preachers and lay vicars to conversation on them!


  2. Probably more apropos is that the 2nd Reading on Christmas I and II (the Eve and Dawn Eucharists of Christmas) are from Titus, and have been for centuries. Since the readings for the Office this week don’t always occur (depending on when Christmas is) it seems like nice preparation to be able to meditate on them beforehand. I can’t recall the last time I heard someone preach on Titus at Christmas. (Hmmmmm…….)


  3. I would like to hear a sermon on Titus. I’m all for submission to God, but “slaves submit to your masters, and wives, submit to your husbands” is offensive in the absence of a thoughtful, nuanced, learned and pastoral sermon, or a freewheeling debate afterward that can put Paul’s remarks in the context of their times.

    Fr. Bob knows I favor excising this passage of Titus from the Office lectionary, because of the general lack of such sermons or discussions on a Tuesday; I know that he does not. We respect each other’s positions.


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