Morning Prayer 4.8.17, William Augustus Muhlenberg, Priest, 1877, & Anne Ayres, Religious, 1896

This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

An Episcopal church in Fargo, North Dakota thinks so highly of Christian inclusiveness that they’ve commissioned a stained glass window for Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Trans people. The people of St. Stephen’s, Fargo, call this the Integrity window, after the LGBT caucus in the Episcopal Church; besides rainbow stripes and a commemoration of St. Aelred of Rievaulx, the patron saint of friendship, it includes these essential words from the Baptismal Covenant of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” To which the candidate for baptism replies, “I will.” (Valley News Live)

Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, “I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

CONFESSION OF SIN

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.

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.

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 you are 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 137:1-8

1  By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, *
when we remembered you, O Zion.
2  As for our harps, we hung them up *
on the trees in the midst of that land.
3  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.”
4  How shall we sing the LORD’s song *
upon an alien soil?
5  If I forget you, O Jerusalem, *
let my right hand forget its skill.
6  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.

7  Remember the day of Jerusalem, O LORD,
against the people of Edom, *
who said, “Down with it! down with it!
even to the ground!”
8  O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, *
happy the one who pays you back
for what you have done to us!

Psalm 144

1  Blessed be the LORD my rock! *
who trains my hands to fight and my fingers to battle;
2  My help and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, *
my shield in whom I trust,
who subdues the peoples under me.
3  O LORD, what are we that you should care for us? *
mere mortals that you should think of us?
4  We are like a puff of wind; *
our days are like a passing shadow.
5  Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down; *
touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6  Hurl the lightning and scatter them; *
shoot out your arrows and rout them.
7  Stretch out your hand from on high; *
rescue me and deliver me from the great waters,
from the hand of foreign peoples,
8  Whose mouths speak deceitfully *
and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
9  O God, I will sing to you a new song; *
I will play to you on a ten-stringed lyre.
10  You give victory to rulers *
and have rescued David your servant.
11  Rescue me from the hurtful sword *
and deliver me from the hand of foreign peoples,
12  Whose mouths speak deceitfully *
and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
13  May our sons be like plants well nurtured from their youth, *
and our daughters like sculptured corners of a palace.
14  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.
15  May there be no breaching of the walls, no going into exile, *
no wailing in the public squares.
16  Happy are the people of whom this is so! *
happy are the people whose God is 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.

London-born Anne Ayres moved to New York in 1836, was stirred to action by the sermons of Fr. Muhlenberg, founded the Sisters of the Holy Communion, the first Anglican religious order in North America, and worked with him to found and staff St. Luke’s Hospital, which greatly improved acute care in the city. The Sisterhood lasted until 1940. (slhson.org)

THE LESSONS
Jeremiah 31:27-34 (NRSV)

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD. In those days they shall no longer say:

“The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Canticle: A Song of Creation
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor 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, *
sing praise and give honor 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, *
sing praise and give honor 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, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.
Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

In the heart of San Francisco is an urban wilderness called Mount Sutro Forest. Situated in the city’s fog belt, it was mostly planted in non-native Asian eucalyptus 100 years ago; at the top of the 900-foot hill, Rotary Meadow provides a garden of native California plants. (Sarah Gustafson in The New York Times)

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
sing praise and give honor 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, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

III The People of God

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

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Romans 11:25-36 (NRSV)

So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,

“Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.”
“And this is my covenant with them,
when I take away their sins.”

As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him,
to receive a gift in return?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
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.

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.

John 11:28-44 (NRSV)

When Martha had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

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 power of 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.

William Augustus Muhlenberg was the great-grandson of the “father of Lutheranism” in the American colonies, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, and the grandson of Frederick Muhlenberg, a pastor and member of the Continental Congress, later Speaker of the House of Representatives. William Augustus first made his mark as a teacher in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and led the town to establish one of the first public schools there; when he became a priest he continued to develop new educational theory and practice and is considered a forerunner of John Dewey, the great educational philosopher. Muhlenberg taught that a child who was not a great student in the beginning could become one later, with the proper guidance. When he turned to religious education, he made sure that rigorous standards still applied, even as he sought to make the school a religious community. (anglicanhistory.org)

Collect of the Day: William Augustus Muhlenberg, Priest, 1877, and Anne Ayers, Religious, 1896

God of justice and truth, do not let your Church close its eyes to the plight of the poor and neglected, the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, the lonely and those who have none to care for them. Give us that vision and compassion with which you so richly endowed William Augustus Muhlenberg and Anne Ayers, that we may labor tirelessly to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for Saturday in the Fifth Week of Lent

O Lord, in your goodness you bestow abundant graces on your elect: Look with favor, we entreat you, upon those who in these Lenten days are being prepared for Holy Baptism, and grant them the help of your protection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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.

Saturday Morning Prayer List

For Those Seeking God’s Will
Sixroute, David, Tom, Brad & Danny, vocation
Dinah, religious life
Shirley & Maureen, discernment
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry

St. Gregory’s Abbey, a Benedictine order for men in Three Rivers, Michigan. (The Episcopal Church)

For Religious Orders & Communities
Society of the Sisters of Bethany, UK
St. Gregory’s Abbey, OSB, Michigan
St. Joseph’s Monastery, Mississippi
St. Mark’s Abbey, Australia
and for Orders in other Communions and Churches

Please add your own prayers here.

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: Blessed Jesus, at your word (#440, Liebster Jesu, Johann Rudolph Ahle; Tobias Clausnitzer, tr. Catherine Winkworth, alt.) – Journeysongs Third Edition, 2012

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