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.
In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
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.
Sirach 39:1-11, 16-35
The Activity of the Scribe
39 On the other hand he who devotes himself
to the study of the law of the Most High
will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients,
and will be concerned with prophecies;
2 he will preserve the discourse of notable men
and penetrate the subtleties of parables;
3 he will seek out the hidden meanings of proverbs
and be at home with the obscurities of parables.
4 He will serve among great men
and appear before rulers;
he will travel through the lands of foreign nations,
for he tests the good and the evil among men.
5 He will set his heart to rise early
to seek the Lord who made him,
and will make supplication before the Most High;
he will open his mouth in prayer
and make supplication for his sins.
6 If the great Lord is willing,
he will be filled with the spirit of understanding;
he will pour forth words of wisdom
and give thanks to the Lord in prayer.
7 He will direct his counsel and knowledge aright,
and meditate on his secrets.
8 He will reveal instruction in his teaching,
and will glory in the law of the Lord’s covenant.
9 Many will praise his understanding,
and it will never be blotted out;
his memory will not disappear,
and his name will live through all generations.
10 Nations will declare his wisdom,
and the congregation will proclaim his praise;
11 if he lives long, he will leave a name greater than a thousand,
and if he goes to rest, it is enough for him.
16 “All things are the works of the Lord, for they are very good,
and whatever he commands will be done in his time.”
17 No one can say, “What is this?” “Why is that?”
for in God’s time all things will be sought after.
At his word the waters stood in a heap,
and the reservoirs of water at the word of his mouth.
18 At his command whatever pleases him is done,
and none can limit his saving power.
19 The works of all flesh are before him,
and nothing can be hid from his eyes.
20 From everlasting to everlasting he beholds them,
and nothing is marvelous to him.
21 No one can say, “What is this?” “Why is that?”
for everything has been created for its use.
22 His blessing covers the dry land like a river,
and drenches it like a flood.
23 The nations will incur his wrath,
just as he turns fresh water into salt.
24 To the holy his ways are straight,
just as they are obstacles to the wicked.
25 From the beginning good things were created for good people,
just as evil things for sinners.
26 Basic to all the needs of man’s life
are water and fire and iron and salt
and wheat flour and milk and honey,
the blood of the grape, and oil and clothing.
27 All these are for good to the godly,
just as they turn into evils for sinners.
28 There are winds that have been created for vengeance,
and in their anger they scourge heavily;
in the time of consummation they will pour out their strength
and calm the anger of their Maker.
29 Fire and hail and famine and pestilence,
all these have been created for vengeance;
30 the teeth of wild beasts, and scorpions and vipers,
and the sword that punishes the ungodly with destruction;
31 they will rejoice in his commands,
and be made ready on earth for their service,
and when their times come they will not transgress his word.
32 Therefore from the beginning I have been convinced,
and have thought this out and left it in writing:
33 The works of the Lord are all good,
and he will supply every need in its hour.
34 And no one can say, “This is worse than that,”
for all things will prove good in their season.
35 So now sing praise with all your heart and voice,
and bless the name of the Lord.
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 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.
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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