Family Prayer

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

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Family Prayer
In the Morning

Thursday after the First Sunday in Advent

Clement of Alexandria, Priest and Teacher of the Faith, 210


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.


1 PETER 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Sirach 34

Dreams Mean Nothing

34 A man of no understanding has vain and false hopes,
    and dreams give wings to fools.
As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind,
    so is he who gives heed to dreams.
The vision of dreams is this against that,
    the likeness of a face confronting a face.
From an unclean thing what will be made clean?
    And from something false what will be true?
Divinations and omens and dreams are folly,
    and like a woman in travail the mind has fancies.
Unless they are sent from the Most High as a visitation,
    do not give your mind to them.
For dreams have deceived many,
    and those who put their hope in them have failed.
Without such deceptions the law will be fulfilled,
    and wisdom is made perfect in truthful lips.

Experience as a Teacher

An educated man knows many things,
    and one with much experience will speak with understanding.
10 He that is inexperienced knows few things,
    but he that has traveled acquires much cleverness.
11 I have seen many things in my travels,
    and I understand more than I can express.
12 I have often been in danger of death,
    but have escaped because of these experiences.

Fear the Lord

13 The spirit of those who fear the Lord will live,
    for their hope is in him who saves them.
14 He who fears the Lord will not be timid,
    nor play the coward, for he is his hope.
15 Blessed is the soul of the man who fears the Lord!
    To whom does he look? And who is his support?
16 The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him,
    a mighty protection and strong support,
a shelter from the hot wind and a shade from noonday sun,
    a guard against stumbling and a defense against falling.
17 He lifts up the soul and gives light to the eyes;
    he grants healing, life, and blessing.

Offering Sacrifices

18 If one sacrifices from what has been wrongfully obtained, the offering is blemished;
    the gifts of the lawless are not acceptable.
19 The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly;
    and he is not propitiated for sins by a multitude of sacrifices.
20 Like one who kills a son before his father’s eyes
    is the man who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor.
21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor;
    whoever deprives them of it is a man of blood.
22 To take away a neighbor’s living is to murder him;
    to deprive an employee of his wages is to shed blood.

23 When one builds and another tears down,
    what do they gain but toil?
24 When one prays and another curses,
    to whose voice will the Lord listen?
25 If a man washes after touching a dead body, and touches it again,
    what has he gained by his washing?
26 So if a man fasts for his sins,
    and goes again and does the same things,
who will listen to his prayer?
    And what has he gained by humbling himself?

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.

Thursday 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.


Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


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