Morning Prayer 12.29.15, Holy Innocents, tr.

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For the LORD has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his suffering ones.

The Christ Mass  December 25, after the service but before the potluck dinner, at Holy Innocents’, a growing house church in Little Lake, Michigan. The celebrant, Mother Gwen Hetler (rear, standing), is our Chaplain; she holds an icon of their former Holy Innocents window, which travels with them wherever they go.

The Christ Mass December 25, after the service but before the potluck dinner, at Holy Innocents’, a growing house church in Little Lake, Michigan. The celebrant, Mother Gwen Hetler (rear, standing), is our Chaplain; she holds an icon of their former Holy Innocents window, which travels with them wherever they go.

Behold, the dwelling of God is with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God. Revelation 21:3

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

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.

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 2

1  Why are the nations in an uproar? *
Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?
2  Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the rulers plot together, *
against the LORD and against the LORD’s Anointed?
3  “Let us break their yoke,” they say; *
“let us cast off their bonds from us.”
4  The One enthroned in heaven is laughing; *
the Lord has them in derision.
5  Then in wrath the LORD speaks to them, *
and divine rage fills them with terror.
6  “I myself have set my king *
upon my holy hill of Zion.”
7  Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *
the LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
this day have I begotten you.
8  Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance *
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
9  You shall crush them with an iron rod *
and shatter them like a piece of pottery.”
10  And now, you kings, be wise; *
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11  Submit to the LORD with fear, *
and with trembling bow down in worship;
12  Lest the LORD be angry and you perish; *
for divine wrath is quickly kindled.
13  Happy are they all *
who take refuge in the LORD!

Psalm 26

1  Give judgment for me, O LORD,
for I have lived with integrity; *
I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
2  Test me, O LORD, and try me; *
examine my heart and my mind.
3  For your love is before my eyes; *
I have walked faithfully with you.
4  I have not sat with the worthless, *
nor do I consort with the deceitful.
5  I have hated the company of evildoers; *
I will not sit down with the wicked.
6  I will wash my hands in innocence, O LORD, *
that I may go in procession round your altar,
7  Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving *
and recounting all your wonderful deeds.
8  LORD, I love the house in which you dwell *
and the place where your glory abides.
9  Do not sweep me away with sinners, *
nor my life with those who thirst for blood,
10  Whose hands are full of evil plots, *
and their right hand full of bribes.
11  As for me, I will live with integrity, *
redeem me, O LORD, and have pity on me.
12  My foot stands on level ground; *
in the full assembly I will bless the LORD.

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.

Sidney Nolan, 1951: Flight into Egypt

Sidney Nolan, 1951: Flight into Egypt

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 49:13-23 (NRSV)

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the LORD has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his suffering ones.

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
Your builders outdo your destroyers,
and those who laid you waste go away from you.
Lift up your eyes all around and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the LORD,
you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
and like a bride you shall bind them on.

Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land —
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
The children born in the time of your bereavement
will yet say in your hearing:
“The place is too crowded for me;
make room for me to settle.”
Then you will say in your heart,
“Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away —
so who has reared these?
I was left all alone —
where then have these come from?”

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s 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.

jesuschildren336

Matthew 18:1-14 (NRSV)

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.

“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”

Canticle: We Praise You, O God
Te Deum laudamus

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
All creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free
you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come to be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

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

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

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.

V.  Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R.  Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V.  Day by day we bless you;
R.  We praise your Name for ever.
V.  Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R.  Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V.  Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R.  For we put our trust in you.
V.  In you, Lord, is our hope;
R.  And we shall never hope in vain.

Peter Paul Rubens: Massacre of the Innocents. Matthew 2:16 tells us that Herod the Great ordered the murder of all boys age 2 and under in the area around Bethlehem, to cut off the one he thought might threaten his throne as King of the Jews. But St. Joseph saw to it that Jesus and his mother escaped.

Peter Paul Rubens: Massacre of the Innocents. Matthew 2:16 tells us that Herod the Great ordered the murder of all boys age 2 and under in the area around Bethlehem, to cut off the one he thought might threaten his throne as King of the Jews. But St. Joseph saw to it that Jesus and his mother escaped.

Collect of the Day: The Holy Innocents

We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Zaria, Nigeria

6 U.S. Airmen Killed Last Week in Afghan Suicide Bombing; Suffering Ends for Gunnery Sgt. Pearl

Total War Deaths: 8,327

Iraq: Total Deaths: 4,815
-no U.S. or allied combat casualties reported this past week

Afghanistan: Total Deaths: 3,512

BONACASA, Louis M., 31, Staff SGT, US Air National Guard, Coram, NY, 105th Security Forces Squadron
McBRIDE, Chester J., 30, Staff SGT, US Air Force, Statesboro, GA, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 405
TAUB, Peter W., 30, Staff SGT, US Air Force, Philadelphia, PA, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 816
CINCO, Michael A., 28, Staff SGT, US Air Force, Mercedes, TX, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 11th Field Investigations Squadron
LEMM, Joseph G., 45, Tech SGT, US Air National Guard, Bronx, NY, 105th Security Forces Squadron
VORDERBRUGGEN, Adrianna, 36, MAJ, US Air Force, Plymouth, MN, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 9th Field Investigations Squadron

Top row, L-R: Major Vorderbruggen, SSgt. Bonacasa, SSgt. McBride; bottom row, SSgt Taub, TSgt. Lemm, SSgt. Cinco. (Reuters)

Top row, L-R: Major Vorderbruggen, SSgt. Bonacasa, SSgt. McBride; bottom row, SSgt Taub, TSgt. Lemm, SSgt. Cinco. (Reuters)

Special Mention

Six years ago, Marine Gunnery SGT Eden Pearl sustained severe injuries from a roadside bomb exploding including a traumatic brain injury and burns over 90% of his body. He was said to have been the most severely wounded service member to have fought in the Afghanistan conflict and survived. Gunnery SGT Pearl endured multiple surgeries (mostly amputations), and seemingly unending skin grafts, as well as unimaginable pain for six years. Eden’s pain was finally relieved with his death on December 23rd. By his side were his wife, Alicia, and their daughter, Avery. Given his condition and prognosis, this was more of a Christmas Blessing.

Gunnery Sgt. Eden Pearl was wounded in 2009 and died last week.

Gunnery Sgt. Eden Pearl was wounded in 2009 and died last week.

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Countries

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

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++

VIDEO: Coventry Carol (English, 16th C.) – Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, 2011

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