Morning Prayer
Lent
Sunday, 4 March 2018
The Third Sunday of Lent

Preparation

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

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love,
Allaccording to your judgement give us life.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

a suitable hymn, or A Song of Penitence

1Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness;
according to the abundance of your compassion
blot out my offences.

2Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness
and cleanse me from my sin.

3For I acknowledge my faults
and my sin is ever before me.

4Against you only have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,

5So that you are justified in your sentence
and righteous in your judgement.

6Cast me not away from your presence
and take not your holy spirit from me.

7Give me again the joy of your salvation
and sustain me with your gracious spirit;

8Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked
and sinners shall return to you.

9Deliver me from my guilt, O God,
the God of my salvation,
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.

Psalm 51.1-5, 12-15

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 18.1-25

Refrain: The Lord my God shall make my darkness to be bright.

1 I love you, O Lord my strength. 
The Lord is my crag, my fortress and my deliverer,

2 My God, my rock in whom I take refuge, 
my shield, the horn of my salvation and my stronghold.

3 I cried to the Lord in my anguish 
and I was saved from my enemies. R

4 The cords of death entwined me 
and the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

5 The cords of the Pit fastened about me 
and the snares of death entangled me.

6 In my distress I called upon the Lord 
and cried out to my God for help.

7 He heard my voice in his temple 
and my cry came to his ears. R

8 The earth trembled and quaked; 
the foundations of the mountains shook;
they reeled because he was angry.

9 Smoke rose from his nostrils
and a consuming fire went out of his mouth; 
burning coals blazed forth from him.

10 He parted the heavens and came down 
and thick darkness was under his feet.

11 He rode upon the cherubim and flew; 
he came flying on the wings of the wind.

12 He made darkness his covering round about him, 
dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion. R

13 From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds 
burst hailstones and coals of fire.

14 The Lord also thundered out of heaven; 
the Most High uttered his voice
with hailstones and coals of fire.

15 He sent out his arrows and scattered them; 
he hurled down lightnings and put them to flight.

16 The springs of the ocean were seen,
and the foundations of the world uncovered 
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your displeasure. R

17 He reached down from on high and took me; 
he drew me out of the mighty waters.

18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, 
from foes that were too mighty for me.

19 They came upon me in the day of my trouble; 
but the Lord was my upholder.

20 He brought me out into a place of liberty; 
he rescued me because he delighted in me. R

21 The Lord rewarded me after my righteous dealing; 
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me,

22 Because I had kept the ways of the Lord 
and had not gone wickedly away from my God,

23 For I had an eye to all his laws, 
and did not cast out his commandments from me.

24 I was also wholehearted before him 
and kept myself from iniquity;

25 Therefore the Lord rewarded me
after my righteous dealing, 
and according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. R

Refrain: The Lord my God shall make my darkness to be bright.

From your royal throne, O God,
you sent your living Word
to pierce the gloom of oppression;
so, in our souls’ night,
come with your saving help
and penetrate our darkness with the
rays of your glory
in 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.

Jeremiah 38

Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah was saying to all the people, Thus says the Lord, Those who stay in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but those who go out to the Chaldeans shall live; they shall have their lives as a prize of war, and live. Thus says the Lord, This city shall surely be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon and be taken. Then the officials said to the king, ‘This man ought to be put to death, because he is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.’ King Zedekiah said, ‘Here he is; he is in your hands; for the king is powerless against you.’ So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. Now there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.

Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. The king happened to be sitting at the Benjamin Gate, So Ebed-melech left the king’s house and spoke to the king, ‘My lord king, these men have acted wickedly in all they did to the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into the cistern to die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.’ Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘Take three men with you from here, and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he dies.’ So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe of the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern by ropes. Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, ‘Just put the rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes.’ Jeremiah did so. Then they drew Jeremiah up by the ropes and pulled him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

King Zedekiah sent for the prophet Jeremiah and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, ‘I have something to ask you; do not hide anything from me.’ Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘If I tell you, you will put me to death, will you not? And if I give you advice, you will not listen to me.’ So King Zedekiah swore an oath in secret to Jeremiah, ‘As the Lord lives, who gave us our lives, I will not put you to death or hand you over to these men who seek your life.’

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, If you will only surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be handed over to the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand.’ King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, for I might be handed over to them and they would abuse me.’ Jeremiah said, ‘That will not happen. Just obey the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall go well with you, and your life shall be spared. But if you are determined not to surrender, this is what the Lord has shown me—a vision of all the women remaining in the house of the king of Judah being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and saying,
“Your trusted friends have seduced you
   and have overcome you;
Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,
   they desert you.”
All your wives and your children shall be led out to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the king of Babylon; and this city shall be burned with fire.’

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘Do not let anyone else know of this conversation, or you will die. If the officials should hear that I have spoken with you, and they should come and say to you, “Just tell us what you said to the king; do not conceal it from us, or we will put you to death. What did the king say to you?” then you shall say to them, “I was presenting my plea to the king not to send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there.” All the officials did come to Jeremiah and questioned him; and he answered them in the very words the king had commanded. So they stopped questioning him, for the conversation had not been overheard. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.

Canticle

The Song of Manasseh, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 20 (page 570), number 33 (page 584) or number 41 (page 592), may be said

Refrain:

AllFull of compassion and mercy and love
is God, the Most High, the Almighty. Alleluia.

1Lord almighty and God of our ancestors,
you who made heaven and earth in all their glory:

2All things tremble with awe at your presence,
before your great and mighty power.

3Immeasurable and unsearchable is your promised mercy,
for you are God, Most High.

4You are full of compassion, long-suffering and very merciful,
and you relent at human suffering.

5O God, according to your great goodness,
you have promised forgiveness for repentance
to those who have sinned against you.

6The sins I have committed against you
are more in number than the sands of the sea.

7I am not worthy to look up to the height of heaven,
because of the multitude of my iniquities.

8And now I bend the knee of my heart before you,
imploring your kindness upon me.

9I have sinned, O God, I have sinned,
and I acknowledge my transgressions.

10Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
according to your great mercy.

11For all the host of heaven sings your praise,
and your glory is for ever and ever.

Manasseh 1a, 2, 4, 6, 7a, b, 9a, c, 11, 12, 14b, 15b

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.

AllFull of compassion and mercy and love
is God, the Most High, the Almighty. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

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

Philippians 1.1-26

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 defence 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 on 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.

I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear.

Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defence of the gospel; the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will result in my deliverance. It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

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

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
AllO my God, in you I trust.
You are the God of my salvation,
AllTo you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
In you I hope all the day long.
AllO my God, in you I trust.
Remember, Lord, your compassion and love,
for they are from everlasting.
AllTo you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
O my God, in you I trust.

from Psalm 25

Gospel Canticle

The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah) is normally said,
or Saviour of the World (page 644) may be said

Refrain:

AllBlessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

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:

AllBlessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

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

Those preparing for baptism and confirmation
Those serving through leadership
Those looking for forgiveness
Those misled by the false gods of this present age
All who are hungry

A form of prayer found on page 380 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 God,
whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son 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

Trusting in the compassion of God,
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)

Trusting in the compassion of God,
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 God our Redeemer show us compassion and love.
AllAmen.

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