Morning Prayer 11.14.17, Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, 1796

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“What city was like the great city?”

Survivors huddled around a fire in Pol-e-Zahab, Iran, after an earthquake killed more than 400 people Sunday. Lord, have mercy. (Pouria Pakizeh/Iranian Students News Agency)

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1

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 95:1-7
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 78:1-39

1 Hear my teaching, O my people; *
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; *
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3 That which we have heard and known,
and what our ancestors have told us, *
we will not hide from their children.
4 We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, *
and the wonderful works God has done.
5 God set up decrees for Jacob
and established a law for Israel, *
commanding them to teach it to their children;
6 That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn; *
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7 So that they might put their trust in God, *
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep God’s commandments;
8 And not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn and rebellious generation, *
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

9 The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, *
turned back in the day of battle;
10 They did not keep the covenant of God, *
and refused to walk in God’s law;
11 They forgot what God had done, *
and the wonders shown to them.
12 God worked marvels in the sight of their ancestors, *
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 God split open the sea and let them pass through; *
making the waters stand up like walls.
14 God led them with a cloud by day, *
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15 God split the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16 God brought streams out of the cliff, *
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17 But they went on sinning against the LORD, *
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.

18 They tested God in their hearts, *
demanding food for their craving.
19 They railed against God and said, *
“Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20 True, God struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; *
but is God able to give bread
or to provide meat for this people?”
21 Hearing this, the LORD was full of wrath; *
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
the LORD’s anger mounted against Israel;
22 For they had no faith in God, *
nor did they put their trust in the LORD’s saving power.
23 So God commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
24 God rained down manna upon them to eat *
and gave them grain from heaven.
25 So mortals ate the bread of angels; *
God provided for them food enough.
26 God caused the east wind to blow in the heavens *
and mightily led out the south wind.
27 God rained down flesh upon them like dust *
and wingèd birds like the sand of the sea.
28 God let it fall in the midst of their camp *
and round about their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled, *
for the LORD gave them what they craved.

30 But they did not stop their craving, *
though the food was still in their mouths.
31 So God’s anger mounted against them; *
God slew their strongest
and laid low the youth of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they went on sinning *
and had no faith in God’s wonderful works.
33 So God brought their days to an end like a breath *
and their years in sudden terror.
34 Whenever God slew them, they would repent, *
and they would diligently search for God.
35 They would remember that God was their rock, *
and the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered God with their mouths *
and lied to God with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward God, *
and they were not faithful to the covenant.
38 But being so merciful, God forgave their sins
and did not destroy them; *
many times God held back anger
and did not permit divine wrath to be roused.
39 For the LORD remembered that they were but flesh, *
a breath that goes forth and does not return.

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.

Ezra reads the Law. (Abidan Paul Shah)

THE LESSONS
Nehemiah 9:26-38 (NRSV)

Ezra said, “Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their backs and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. Therefore you gave them into the hands of their enemies, who made them suffer. Then in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hands of their enemies. But after they had rest, they again did evil before you, and you abandoned them to the hands of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them; yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you rescued them according to your mercies. And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a person shall live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. Many years you were patient with them, and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; yet they would not listen. Therefore you handed them over to the peoples of the lands. Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

“Now therefore, our God—the great and mighty and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love—do not treat lightly all the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings, our officials, our priests, our prophets, our ancestors, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until today. You have been just in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly; our kings, our officials, our priests, and our ancestors have not kept your law or heeded the commandments and the warnings that you gave them. Even in their own kingdom, and in the great goodness you bestowed on them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you and did not turn from their wicked works. Here we are, slaves to this day—slaves in the land that you gave to our ancestors to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts. Its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins; they have power also over our bodies and over our livestock at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.”

Because of all this we make a binding declaration in writing, and our princes, our Levites and our priests witness the sealing.

Canticle: A Song of Pilgrimage
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.

A merchant ship destroyed. (PotC fansite)

Revelation 18:9-20 (NRSV)

And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas, alas, the great city,
Babylon, the mighty city!
For in one hour your judgment has come.”

And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves—and human lives.

“The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your dainties and your splendor
are lost to you,
never to be found again!”

The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

“Alas, alas, the great city,
clothed in fine linen,
in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,
with jewels, and with pearls!
For in one hour all this wealth has been laid waste!”

And all shipmasters and seafarers, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

“What city was like the great city?”

And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out,

“Alas, alas, the great city,
where all who had ships at sea
grew rich by her wealth!
For in one hour she has been laid waste.
Rejoice over her, O heaven,
you saints and apostles and prophets!
For God has given judgment for you against her.”

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.

Jesus and the Canaanite woman. (iconographer unknown)

Matthew 15:21-28 (NRSV)

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

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

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. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

Seabury was a British Crown loyalist before and during the American Revolution, but when the war was won he supported the new government. It took almost 20 years after the Declaration of Independence and an act by the Scottish Episcopal Church before the U.S. Church finally got its own bishop. Seabury wasn’t the first choice, either, but he was willing to make the long voyage to Britain. (Smithsonian)

Collect of the Day: Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, 1796

We give you thanks, O Lord our God, for your goodness in bestowing upon this Church the gift of the episcopate, which we celebrate in this remembrance of the consecration of Samuel Seabury; and we pray that, joined together in unity with our bishops and nourished by your holy Sacraments, we may proclaim the gospel of redemption with apostolic zeal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Green Beret Killed in Afghan Combat
They Have Names, compiled since 2007 by Clint Gilliland

Total War Deaths: 8,391

Iraq: Total Deaths: 4,848
– no U.S. or allied casualties reported this past week-

Afghanistan: Total Deaths: 3,543
CRIBBEN, Stephen B., 33, SGT 1st Class, US Army, Simi Valley, CA, 10th Special Forces Group

A U.S. Army sergeant 1st class whose group is based in Fort Carson, Colorado was killed Saturday in Afghanistan in the line of duty, the Department of Defense said. Sgt. 1st Class Stephen B. Cribben was 33 years old and originally from Simi Valley, California. He was killed in the Logar Province as part of a combat operation there. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, the DoD said. He enlisted in the Army in 2002 and had just started a tour in Afghanistan. Cribben was a Special Forces Comm Sergeant who earned the Bronze Star Medal, nine Army Achievement Medals, five Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, and many other commendations.

For Those in the Armed Forces of our Country

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.

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: Eternal ruler of the ceaseless round (#617, Song I, Orlando Gibbons, arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams; John White Chadwick) – St. Bartholomew’s Schola, 2016

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