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.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
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
Give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
11 Then Holofer′nes said to her, “Take courage, woman, and do not be afraid in your heart, for I have never hurt any one who chose to serve Nebuchadnez′zar, the king of all the earth. 2 And even now, if your people who live in the hill country had not slighted me, I would never have lifted my spear against them; but they have brought all this on themselves. 3 And now tell me why you have fled from them and have come over to us—since you have come to safety. 4 Have courage; you will live, tonight and from now on. No one will hurt you, but all will treat you well, as they do the servants of my lord King Nebuchadnez′zar.”
Judith Explains Her Presence
5 Judith replied to him, “Accept the words of your servant, and let your maidservant speak in your presence, and I will tell nothing false to my lord this night. 6 And if you follow out the words of your maidservant, God will accomplish something through you, and my lord will not fail to achieve his purposes. 7 Nebuchadnez′zar the king of the whole earth lives, and as his power endures, who had sent you to direct every living soul, not only do men serve him because of you, but also the beasts of the field and the cattle and the birds of the air will live by your power under Nebuchadnez′zar and all his house. 8 For we have heard of your wisdom and skill, and it is reported throughout the whole world that you are the one good man in the whole kingdom, thoroughly informed and marvelous in military strategy.
9 “Now as for the things Ach′ior said in your council, we have heard his words, for the men of Bethu′lia spared him and he told them all he had said to you. 10 Therefore, my lord and master, do not disregard what he said, but keep it in your mind, for it is true: our nation cannot be punished, nor can the sword prevail against them, unless they sin against their God.
11 “And now, in order that my lord may not be defeated and his purpose frustrated, death will fall upon them, for a sin has overtaken them by which they are about to provoke their God to anger when they do what is wrong. 12 Since their food supply is exhausted and their water has almost given out, they have planned to kill their cattle and have determined to use all that God by his laws has forbidden them to eat. 13 They have decided to consume the first fruits of the grain and the tithes of the wine and oil, which they had consecrated and set aside for the priests who minister in the presence of our God at Jerusalem—although it is not lawful for any of the people so much as to touch these things with their hands. 14 They have sent men to Jerusalem, because even the people living there have been doing this, to bring back to them permission from the senate. 15 When the word reaches them and they proceed to do this, on that very day they will be handed over to you to be destroyed.
16 “Therefore, when I, your servant, learned all this, I fled from them; and God has sent me to accomplish with you things that will astonish the whole world, as many as shall hear about them. 17 For your servant is religious, and serves the God of heaven day and night; therefore, my lord, I will remain with you, and every night your servant will go out into the valley, and I will pray to God and he will tell me when they have committed their sins. 18 And I will come and tell you, and then you shall go out with your whole army, and not one of them will withstand you. 19 Then I will lead you through the middle of Judea, till you come to Jerusalem; and I will set your throne in the midst of it; and you will lead them like sheep that have no shepherd, and not a dog will so much as open its mouth to growl at you. For this has been told me, by my foreknowledge; it was announced to me, and I was sent to tell you.”
20 Her words pleased Holofer′nes and all his servants, and they marveled at her wisdom and said, 21 “There is not such a woman from one end of the earth to the other, either for beauty of face or wisdom of speech!” 22 And Holofer′nes said to her, “God has done well to send you before the people, to lend strength to our hands and to bring destruction upon those who have slighted my lord. 23 You are not only beautiful in appearance, but wise in speech; and if you do as you have said, your God shall be my God, and you shall live in the house of King Nebuchadnez′zar and be renowned throughout the whole world.”
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.
Tuesday after the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost, or the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity (Proper 28)
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that bringing forth in abundance the fruit of good works, they may be abundantly rewarded when our Savior Jesus Christ comes to restore all things; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A COLLECT FOR PEACE
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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