In the Morning
These devotions follow the basic structure of the Daily Office of the Church and are particularly appropriate for families with young children.
The Reading and the Collect may be read by one person, and the other parts said in unison, or in some other convenient manner.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
Miserere mei, Deus
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,*
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,*
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
12 O give me the comfort of your help again,*
and sustain me with your willing Spirit.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
A READING FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Judith Prepares to Go to Holofernes
10 When Judith had ceased crying out to the God of Israel, and had ended all these words, 2 she rose from where she lay prostrate and called her maid and went down into the house where she lived on sabbaths and on her feast days; 3 and she removed the sackcloth which she had been wearing, and took off her widow’s garments, and bathed her body with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment, and combed her hair and put on a tiara, and arrayed herself in her gayest apparel, which she used to wear while her husband Manas′seh was living. 4 And she put sandals on her feet, and put on her anklets and bracelets and rings, and her earrings and all her ornaments, and made herself very beautiful, to entice the eyes of all men who might see her. 5 And she gave her maid a bottle of wine and a flask of oil, and filled a bag with parched grain and a cake of dried fruit and fine bread; and she wrapped up all her vessels and gave them to her to carry.
6 Then they went out to the city gate of Bethu′lia, and found Uzzi′ah standing there with the elders of the city, Chabris and Charmis. 7 When they saw her, and noted how her face was altered and her clothing changed, they greatly admired her beauty, and said to her, 8 “May the God of our fathers grant you favor and fulfil your plans, that the people of Israel may glory and Jerusalem may be exalted.” And she worshiped God.
9 Then she said to them, “Order the gate of the city to be opened for me, and I will go out and accomplish the things about which you spoke with me.” So they ordered the young men to open the gate for her, as she had said. 10 When they had done this, Judith went out, she and her maid with her; and the men of the city watched her until she had gone down the mountain and passed through the valley and they could no longer see her.
Judith Is Captured
11 The women went straight on through the valley; and an Assyrian patrol met her 12 and took her into custody, and asked her, “To what people do you belong, and where are you coming from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I am a daughter of the Hebrews, but I am fleeing from them, for they are about to be handed over to you to be devoured. 13 I am on my way to the presence of Holofer′nes the commander of your army, to give him a true report; and I will show him a way by which he can go and capture all the hill country without losing one of his men, captured or slain.”
14 When the men heard her words, and observed her face—she was in their eyes marvelously beautiful—they said to her, 15 “You have saved your life by hurrying down to the presence of our lord. Go at once to his tent; some of us will escort you and hand you over to him. 16 And when you stand before him, do not be afraid in your heart, but tell him just what you have said, and he will treat you well.”
17 They chose from their number a hundred men to accompany her and her maid, and they brought them to the tent of Holofer′nes. 18 There was great excitement in the whole camp, for her arrival was reported from tent to tent, and they came and stood around her as she waited outside the tent of Holofer′nes while they told him about her. 19 And they marveled at her beauty, and admired the Israelites, judging them by her, and every one said to his neighbor, “Who can despise these people, who have women like this among them? Surely not a man of them had better be left alive, for if we let them go they will be able to ensnare the whole world!”
Judith Is Brought before Holofernes
20 Then Holofer′nes’ companions and all his servants came out and led her into the tent. 21 Holofer′nes was resting on his bed, under a canopy which was woven with purple and gold and emeralds and precious stones. 22 When they told him of her he came forward to the front of the tent, with silver lamps carried before him. 23 And when Judith came into the presence of Holofer′nes and his servants, they all marveled at the beauty of her face; and she prostrated herself and made obeisance to him, and his slaves raised her up.
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He 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,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
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.
A hymn or canticle may be used.
Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.
The Lord's Prayer
Our 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,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that, guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday after the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, or the Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity (Proper 27)
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A COLLECT FOR SABBATH REST
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.
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