Family Prayer

according to the Book of Common Prayer, 2019
Anglican Church in North America

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Family Prayer
In the Morning

Wednesday after the First Sunday in Advent

John of Damascus, Priest and Teacher of the Faith, 760


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.

Opening Sentence

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.

PSALM 51:15

In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.


The Psalm

Psalm 51:10-12

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.



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.

Sirach 21

Various Sins

21 Have you sinned, my son? Do so no more,
    but pray about your former sins.
Flee from sin as from a snake;
    for if you approach sin, it will bite you.
Its teeth are lion’s teeth,
    and destroy the souls of men.
All lawlessness is like a two-edged sword;
    there is no healing for its wound.

Terror and violence will lay waste riches;
    thus the house of the proud will be laid waste.
The prayer of a poor man goes from his lips to the ears of God,
    and his judgment comes speedily.
Whoever hates reproof walks in the steps of the sinner,
    but he that fears the Lord will repent in his heart.
He who is mighty in speech is known from afar;
    but the sensible man, when he slips, is aware of it.

A man who builds his house with other people’s money
    is like one who gathers stones for his burial mound.
An assembly of the wicked is like tow gathered together,
    and their end is a flame of fire.
10 The way of sinners is smoothly paved with stones,
    but at its end is the pit of Hades.

Wisdom and Foolishness

11 Whoever keeps the law controls his thoughts,
    and wisdom is the fulfilment of the fear of the Lord.
12 He who is not clever cannot be taught,
    but there is a cleverness which increases bitterness.
13 The knowledge of a wise man will increase like a flood,
    and his counsel like a flowing spring.
14 The mind of a fool is like a broken jar;
    it will hold no knowledge.

15 When a man of understanding hears a wise saying,
    he will praise it and add to it;
when a reveler hears it, he dislikes it
    and casts it behind his back.
16 A fool’s narration is like a burden on a journey,
    but delight will be found in the speech of the intelligent.
17 The utterance of a sensible man will be sought in the assembly,
    and they will ponder his words in their minds.

18 Like a house that has vanished, so is wisdom to a fool;
    and the knowledge of the ignorant is unexamined talk.
19 To a senseless man education is fetters on his feet,
    and like manacles on his right hand.
20 A fool raises his voice when he laughs,
    but a clever man smiles quietly.
21 To a sensible man education is like a golden ornament,
    and like a bracelet on the right arm.

22 The foot of a fool rushes into a house,
    but a man of experience stands respectfully before it.
23 A boor peers into the house from the door,
    but a cultivated man remains outside.
24 It is ill-mannered for a man to listen at a door,
    and a discreet man is grieved by the disgrace.
25 The lips of strangers will speak of these things,
    but the words of the prudent will be weighed in the balance.
26 The mind of fools is in their mouth,
    but the mouth of wise men is in their mind.
27 When an ungodly man curses his adversary,
    he curses his own soul.
28 A whisperer defiles his own soul
    and is hated in his neighborhood.

A period of silence may follow.

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.

The Collect

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.

Wednesday after the First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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.


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