Morning Prayer
Advent
Friday, 8 December 2017
The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Lesser Festival]

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips
Alland our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Reveal among us the light of your presence
Allthat we may behold your power and glory.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

a suitable hymn, or A Song of the King’s Glory

1The earth is the Lord’s and all that fills it,
the compass of the world and all who dwell therein.

2For he has founded it upon the seas
and set it firm upon the rivers of the deep.

3‘Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord,
or who can rise up in his holy place?’

4‘Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
who have not lifted up their soul to an idol,
nor sworn an oath to a lie;

5‘They shall receive a blessing from the Lord,
a just reward from the God of their salvation.’

6Such is the company of those who seek him,
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

7Lift up your heads, O gates;
be lifted up, you everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.

8‘Who is the King of glory?’
‘The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord who is mighty in battle.’

9Lift up your heads, O gates;
be lifted up, you everlasting doors;
and the King of glory shall come in.

10‘Who is this King of glory?’
‘The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory.’

Psalm 24

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

This opening prayer may be said

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 25

Refrain: Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
O my God, in you I trust; 
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies triumph over me.

2 Let none who look to you be put to shame, 
but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.

3 Make me to know your ways, O Lord, 
and teach me your paths.

4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, 
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you have I hoped all the day long.

5 Remember, Lord, your compassion and love, 
for they are from everlasting. R

6 Remember not the sins of my youth
or my transgressions, 
but think on me in your goodness, O Lord,
according to your steadfast love.

7 Gracious and upright is the Lord; 
therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.

8 He will guide the humble in doing right 
and teach his way to the lowly.

9 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth 
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. R

10 For your name’s sake, O Lord, 
be merciful to my sin, for it is great.

11 Who are those who fear the Lord? 
Them will he teach in the way that they should choose.

12 Their soul shall dwell at ease 
and their offspring shall inherit the land.

13 The hidden purpose of the Lord is for those who fear him 
and he will show them his covenant.

14 My eyes are ever looking to the Lord, 
for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. R

15 Turn to me and be gracious to me, 
for I am alone and brought very low.

16 The sorrows of my heart have increased; 
O bring me out of my distress.

17 Look upon my adversity and misery 
and forgive me all my sin.

18 Look upon my enemies, for they are many 
and they bear a violent hatred against me.

19 O keep my soul and deliver me; 
let me not be put to shame, for I have put my trust in you.

20 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, 
for my hope has been in you.

21 Deliver Israel, O God, 
out of all his troubles.

Refrain: Remember, Lord, your compassion and love.

Free us, God of mercy,
from all that keeps us from you;
relieve the misery of the anxious and the ashamed
and fill us with the hope of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 26

Refrain: Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

1 Give judgement for me, O Lord,
for I have walked 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 in your truth.

4 I have not joined the company of the false, 
nor consorted with the deceitful. R

5 I hate the gathering of evildoers 
and I will not sit down with the wicked.

6 I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord, 
that I may go about your altar,

7 To make heard the voice of thanksgiving 
and tell of all your wonderful deeds.

8 Lord, I love the house of your habitation 
and the place where your glory abides. R

9 Sweep me not away with sinners, 
nor my life with the bloodthirsty,

10 Whose hands are full of wicked schemes 
and their right hand full of bribes.

11 As for me, I will walk with integrity; 
redeem me, Lord, and be merciful to me.

12 My foot stands firm; 
in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Refrain: Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

Have mercy on us and redeem us, O Lord,
for our merits are your mercies
and in your judgement is our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Isaiah 29.1-14

Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
   the city where David encamped!
Add year to year;
   let the festivals run their round.
Yet I will distress Ariel,
   and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
   and Jerusalem shall be to me like an Ariel.
And like David I will encamp against you;
   I will besiege you with towers
   and raise siege-works against you.
Then deep from the earth you shall speak,
   from low in the dust your words shall come;
your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
   and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.


But the multitude of your foes shall be like fine dust,
   and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.
And in an instant, suddenly,
   you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
   with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
   all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,
   shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating
   and wakes up still hungry,
or a thirsty person dreams of drinking
   and wakes up faint, still thirsty,
so shall the multitude of all the nations be
   that fight against Mount Zion.


Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,
   blind yourselves and be blind!
Be drunk, but not from wine;
   stagger, but not from strong drink!
For the Lord has poured out upon you
   a spirit of deep sleep;
he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
   and covered your heads, you seers.

The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot, for it is sealed.’ And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot read.’


The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
   and honour me with their lips,
   while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
so I will again do
   amazing things with this people,
   shocking and amazing.
The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
   and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.

Canticle

A Song of the Wilderness, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 30 (page 581) or number 49 (page 601), may be said

Refrain:

AllLift up your voice with strength,
O herald of good tidings. Alleluia.

1The wilderness and the dry land shall rejoice,
the desert shall blossom and burst into song.

2They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.

3Strengthen the weary hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.

4Say to the anxious, ‘Be strong, fear not,
your God is coming with judgement,
coming with judgement to save you.’

5Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

6Then shall the lame leap like a hart,
and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.

7For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;

8The ransomed of the Lord shall return with singing,
with everlasting joy upon their heads.

9Joy and gladness shall be theirs,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 35.1, 2b-4a, 4c-6, 10

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

AllLift up your voice with strength,
O herald of good tidings. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Matthew 13.24-43

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet:
‘I will open my mouth to speak in parables;
   I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.’

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

Now it is time to awake out of sleep,
Allfor the night is far spent and the day is at hand.
Now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed,
Allfor the night is far spent.
Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light,
Allfor the day is at hand.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
and make no provision for the flesh,
Allfor the night is far spent and the day is at hand.

from Romans 13

Gospel Canticle

The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah) is normally said, or A Song of Redemption (page 620) may be said

Refrain:

All In the womb of Mary, you found a dwelling place on earth,
O Christ;
remain for ever in our hearts. Alleluia.

1Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,
who has come to his people and set them free.

2He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
born of the house of his servant David.

3Through his holy prophets God promised of old
to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all that hate us,

4To show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant.

5This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

6Free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

7And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

8To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of all their sins.

9In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

10To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1.68-79

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

All In the womb of Mary, you found a dwelling place on earth,
O Christ;
remain for ever in our hearts. Alleluia.

Prayers

Intercessions are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life

Prayers may include the following concerns from the cycle on pages 364–365

The Church, that she may be ready for the coming of Christ
The leaders of the Church
The nations, that they may be subject to the rule of God
Those who are working for justice in the world
The broken, that they may find God’s healing

A form of prayer found on page 377 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty and everlasting God,
who stooped to raise fallen humanity
through the child-bearing of blessed Mary:
grant that we, who have seen your glory
      revealed in our human nature
and your love made perfect in our weakness,
may daily be renewed in your image
and conformed to the pattern of your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

Awaiting his coming in glory,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur 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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May the Lord, when he comes,
find us watching and waiting.
AllAmen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.