The king loved Esther more than all the other women; he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
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
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.
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!
1 We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks, *
calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds.
2 ”I will appoint a time,” says God; *
“I will judge with equity.
3 Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking, *
I will make its pillars fast.
4 I will say to the boasters, ‘Boast no more,’ *
and to the wicked, ‘Do not toss your horns;
5 Do not toss your horns so high, *
nor speak with a proud neck.'”
6 For judgment is neither from the east nor from the west, *
nor yet from the wilderness or the mountains.
7 It is God who judges; *
he puts down one and lifts up another.
8 For in the LORD’s hand there is a cup,
full of spiced and foaming wine; *
the LORD pours it out,
and all the wicked of the earth shall drink and drain the dregs.
9 But I will rejoice for ever; *
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 God shall break off all the horns of the wicked; *
but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
1 In Judah is God known; *
the Name of the LORD is great in Israel.
2 At Salem, O God, is your tabernacle, *
and your dwelling is in Zion.
3 There you broke the flashing arrows, *
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of battle.
4 How glorious you are! *
more splendid than the everlasting mountains!
5 The strong of heart have been despoiled;
they sink into sleep; *
none of the warriors can lift a hand.
6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, *
both horse and rider lie stunned.
7 What terror you inspire! *
who can stand before you when you are angry?
8 From heaven you pronounced judgment; *
the earth was afraid and was still;
9 When God rose up to judgment *
and to save all the oppressed of the earth.
10 Truly, wrathful Edom will give you thanks, *
and the remnant of Hamath will keep your feasts.
11 Make a vow to the LORD your God and keep it; *
let all around God bring gifts to the One who is worthy to be feared.
12 The LORD breaks the spirit of rulers, *
and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.
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.
Esther 2:5-8, 15-23 (NRSV)
Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away. Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter. So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in the citadel of Susa in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women.
When the turn came for Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was admired by all who saw her. When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won his favor and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and ministers—”Esther’s banquet.” He also granted a holiday to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal liberality.
When the virgins were being gathered together, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Now Esther had not revealed her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had charged her; for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Ahasuerus. But the matter came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, both the men were hanged on the gallows. It was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.
Canticle: A Song of the Wilderness
Isaiah 35:1-7, 10
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, *
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
It shall blossom abundantly, *
and rejoice with joy and singing.
They shall see the glory of the Lord, *
the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weary hands, *
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to the anxious, “Be strong, do not fear! *
Here is your God, coming with judgment to save you.”
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, *
and the ears of the deaf be unstopped.
Then shall the lame leap like a deer, *
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness *
and streams in the desert;
The burning sand shall become a pool *
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
The ransomed of God shall return with singing, *
with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Joy and gladness shall be theirs, *
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Acts 17:16-34 (NRSV)
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” At that point Paul left them. But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Canticle: A Song of the Heavenly City
Revelation 21:22-26, 22:1-4
I saw no temple in the city, *
for its temple is the God of surpassing strength and the Lamb.
And the city has no need of sun or moon to light it, *
for the glory of God shines on it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
By its light the nations shall walk, *
and the rulers of the world lay their honor and glory there.
Its gates shall never be shut by day, nor shall there be any night; *
into it they will bring the honor and glory of nations.
I saw the clean river of the water of life, bright as crystal, *
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The tree of life spanned the river, giving fruit every month, *
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
All curses cease where the throne of God and the Lamb stands,
and all servants give worship there; *
there they will see God’s face, whose Name shall be on their foreheads.
John 12:44-50 (NRSV)
Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”
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.
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.
Collect of the Day: Proper 19
O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect for Ember Day: For those to be ordained
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
For Social Justice
Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer for an Epidemic
© Daily Office Network
O God, our creator and preserver, we cry out to you along with our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are struggling to overcome the coronavirus epidemic, where so many lives have been lost already and millions more are threatened. We pray for your grace and mercy that an end to this disease will come soon; and that life, labor, community and human touch will be restored. Give us courage and strength to amend our ways of living in the face of this great human tragedy, cooperating with medical authorities to preserve our own health and safeguard others. Help us overcome our fears and give us confidence to ask this in the Name of your most blessed Son, who came and gave his life so that we might live fully, Jesus our Lord and Savior. 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
Christine meets with diocesan commission today
Diocesan Commissions on Ministry
For Religious Orders
Sisters of St. Margaret, Massachusetts, Haiti, Sri Lanka & UK
Sisters of the Transfiguration, Ohio
Society of St. Francis (men), Australia; Brazil; Korea; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Solomon Islands; California; UK
Society of St. Francis, Third Order – Africa, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and the Americas
Society of St. John the Evangelist, Massachusetts & UK
Please add your own prayers here.
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: When Christ was lifted from the Earth (#603, St. Botolph, Gordon Slater; Brian A. Wren) – St. Peter’s in the Loop, 2005