In the Morning
Thursday after the First Sunday in Advent
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 18:1-26, 30-33
The Majesty of God
18 He who lives for ever created the whole universe;
2 the Lord alone will be declared righteous.
4 To none has he given power to proclaim his works;
and who can search out his mighty deeds?
5 Who can measure his majestic power?
And who can fully recount his mercies?
6 It is not possible to diminish or increase them,
nor is it possible to trace the wonders of the Lord.
7 When a man has finished, he is just beginning,
and when he stops, he will be at a loss.
8 What is man, and of what use is he?
What is his good and what is his evil?
9 The number of a man’s days is great if he reaches a hundred years.
10 Like a drop of water from the sea and a grain of sand
so are a few years in the day of eternity.
11 Therefore the Lord is patient with them
and pours out his mercy upon them.
12 He sees and recognizes that their end will be evil;
therefore he grants them forgiveness in abundance.
13 The compassion of man is for his neighbor,
but the compassion of the Lord is for all living beings.
He rebukes and trains and teaches them,
and turns them back, as a shepherd his flock.
14 He has compassion on those who accept his discipline
and who are eager for his judgments.
The Right Spirit in Giving Alms
15 My son, do not mix reproach with your good deeds,
nor cause grief by your words when you present a gift.
16 Does not the dew assuage the scorching heat?
So a word is better than a gift.
17 Indeed, does not a word surpass a good gift?
Both are to be found in a gracious man.
18 A fool is ungracious and abusive,
and the gift of a grudging man makes the eyes dim.
The Need of Reflection and Self-control
19 Before you speak, learn,
and before you fall ill, take care of your health.
20 Before judgment, examine yourself,
and in the hour of visitation you will find forgiveness.
21 Before falling ill, humble yourself,
and when you are on the point of sinning, turn back.
22 Let nothing hinder you from paying a vow promptly,
and do not wait until death to be released from it.
23 Before making a vow, prepare yourself;
and do not be like a man who tempts the Lord.
24 Think of his wrath on the day of death,
and of the moment of vengeance when he turns away his face.
25 In the time of plenty think of the time of hunger;
in the days of wealth think of poverty and need.
26 From morning to evening conditions change,
and all things move swiftly before the Lord.
30 Do not follow your base desires,
but restrain your appetites.
31 If you allow your soul to take pleasure in base desire,
it will make you the laughingstock of your enemies.
32 Do not revel in great luxury,
lest you become impoverished by its expense.
33 Do not become a beggar by feasting with borrowed money,
when you have nothing in your purse.
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.
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.
A COLLECT FOR GUIDANCE
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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