Morning Prayer 9.9.19, Constance & Companions, Martyrs of Memphis, 1878

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‘The altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.’

Hurricane Dorian isn’t dead yet; this was Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sunday, where hundreds of thousands were without power. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:2

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

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 41

1 Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! *
the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.
2 The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive,
so that they may be happy in the land; *
the LORD does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed *
and ministers to them in their illness.
4 I said, “LORD, be merciful to me; *
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies are saying wicked things about me: *
asking when I will die, and when my name will perish.
6 Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; *
their heart collects false rumors;
they go outside and spread them.
7 All my enemies whisper together about me *
and devise evil against me.
8 They say a deadly thing has fastened on me; *
that I have taken to my bed and will never get up again.
9 Even my best friend, whom I trusted,
who broke bread with me, *
has scorned me and turned against me.
10 But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, *
and I shall repay them.
11 By this I know you are pleased with me, *
that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 In my integrity you hold me fast, *
and shall set me before your face for ever.

13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel *
from age to age. Amen. Amen.

Psalm 52

1 You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness *
against the godly all day long?
2 You plot ruin;
your tongue is like a sharpened razor, *
O worker of deception.
3 You love evil more than good *
and lying more than speaking the truth.
4 You love all words that hurt, *
O you deceitful tongue.
5 Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, *
topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling,
and root you out of the land of the living!
6 The righteous shall see and tremble, *
and they shall laugh at you, saying,
7 “This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, *
but trusted in great wealth
and relied upon wickedness.”
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; *
I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9 I will give you thanks for what you have done *
and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.

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.

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout: Jeroboam at the Altar of Incense

THE LESSONS
1 Kings 13:1-10 (NRSV)

While Jeroboam was standing by the altar to offer incense, a man of God came out of Judah by the word of the LORD to Bethel and proclaimed against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the LORD: ‘A son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who offer incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’” He gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign that the LORD has spoken: ‘The altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.’” When the king heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him!” But the hand that he stretched out against him withered so that he could not draw it back to himself. The altar also was torn down, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. The king said to the man of God, “Entreat now the favor of the LORD your God, and pray for me, so that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God entreated the LORD; and the king’s hand was restored to him, and became as it was before. Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and dine, and I will give you a gift.” But the man of God said to the king, “If you give me half your kingdom, I will not go in with you; nor will I eat food or drink water in this place. For thus I was commanded by the word of the LORD: You shall not eat food, or drink water, or return by the way that you came.” So he went another way, and did not return by the way that he had come to Bethel.

Canticle: First Song of Isaiah
Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

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.

St. Timothy (artist unknown)

Philippians 1:1-11 (NRSV)

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

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.

Joseph, one of the great heroes of the faith, took Christ’s crucified body and placed it in his own secure tomb – an act of love with an essential consequence; Christ couldn’t be resurrected credibly without his body being entirely accounted for. The time of death was also crucial; Joseph only had a short period to get Jesus into the tomb and seal it, before sundown and the Sabbath made all activity cease. (The Rev. Tobias S. Haller)

The Rev. Tobias S. Haller, BSG: Joseph of Arimathaea. It must have been dangerous to witness the Crucifixion and risk being identified as a sympathizer of a notorious criminal; most of the disciples made themselves scarce. But the two Marys were there, along with Joseph, who dared to ask the governor for Christ’s body. Matthew tells us Joseph was a wealthy man, which may have helped convince Pilate to grant his request. We don’t know whether Joseph suffered for defying the mob, which was already excited on the Eve of Passover; we do know it was a courageous thing to do.

Mark 15:40-47 (NRSV)

There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

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. 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.

A window at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Memphis, Tennessee commemorates Constance and members of the Community of St. Mary, which has served the cathedral parish for 140 years. Their best known work was caring for the sick and dying during a yellow fever outbreak in 1878. The popular term “Martyrs of Memphis” is applied to all those in the city and from elsewhere who lost their lives while providing care, regardless of religious affiliation. (Gary Bridgman)

Collect of the Day: Constance, Nun, and Her Companions, 1878

We give you thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death; Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the Renewal of Life

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Rosary Prayer
said on the cruciform bead

Dear Lord Jesus,
help me do the things I should.
To be to others kind and good.
And in all I do or say,
grow more loving every day.

Monday Morning Prayer List: Most Recent

Honorary Deacon Clint, home hospice
Jimmy, stroke
Jon, diabetic macular edema and glaucoma; laser surgery upcoming
Martha’s physical therapy
Klayton, a child, joint pains
Eric Binswanger, age 28, battling infection
Padre Mickey Dresbach, recovery from surgery
Sheryl Nesbeth, miscarriage and low blood pressure; husband Ian
Wanda, lung cancer
Pastor Bruce Gilette, acute leukemia
Jim, in hospice, and wife Clare
Marilyn, Jan’s sister, major illness, & devoted caregiver Bill
St. Paul’s, Chester, wellness clinic opens on time this month
Marsi, cancer
Andrea Williams, recurrence of lymphoma
Yvonne, next steps
Lauren, healing & strength, & Flynt, patient understanding
Denise, back and ankle
Jennifer, shingles

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: Built on the rock (Kirken den er et, Ludwig M. Endeman, 1840, arr. Pete Eklund; Nicolai Grundtvig, tr. Carl Doving) – University of Nebraska Men’s Choir at First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, a year ago

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