Morning Prayer for the 4th Sunday in Lent, in Quarantine
Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13
Jesus said, “If any will come after me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34
Opening Hymn: “O for a thousand tongues to sing” Hymnal 1982, #4931, v.1-5
The Invitatory and Psalter
V. O Lord, open thou our lips,
R. And our mouths shall show forth your praise.
V. Glory to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
Venite Psalm 95:1-7 Hymnal 1982, S35
Come, let us sing to the Lord; * let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving * and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, * and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the caverns of the earth, * and the heights of the hills are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, * and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come let us bow down and bend the knee, * and kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God, * and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to his voice.
First Lesson: Ephesians 5:8-14
Hymn: “The King of love my shepherd is” Hymnal 1982, #645 (Psalm 32)
Second Lesson: John 9:1-41
The Apostle’s 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 power of 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, and 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.
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 debts,
as we forgive our debtors
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever. Amen.
V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your name for ever.
V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy upon us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.
A Collect for the 4th Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, giver of both grace and power, help and challenge: Keep us whole, both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities, sickness, malice, and evil; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A Collect for the Renewal of Life
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.
A Collect for Grace
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.
A Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you, through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21
Blessing and Dismissal
Be at peace wherever the day may take you and among whom, in your goings and your comings, and in your returning home, and may the blessing of God Almighty: Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, be upon you and remain with you, always.
About Episcopal Worship and this Service
Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the principle worship service in The Episcopal Church. Along with Holy Baptism, it is at the center of the church’s sacramental life, and the chief means by which we worship as a community. In times of quarantine, however, for reasons of public health and safety, the community may not be able to gather for this important memorial of our salvation.
At such times, we may and should turn to another worship resource: the Daily Office. It consists of Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline (late night), as well as Daily Devotions for use by individuals and families. Each office, as they’re called, offers worship of praise and thanksgiving by means of word and song.
Morning Prayer, or Matins, is the liturgy by which many Christians have begun their days for well over a thousand years. It opens with a call to worship and repentance, and often a hymn, then invites us to raise up psalms of praise and mercy. We then hear the lessons appointed for the day, each of which is followed by a canticle or hymn drawn from a biblical or devotional text from one of the prophets or saints. A homily, which is a commentary on the lessons of the day, often follows.
Then comes the Apostles’ Creed, an ancient statement of our faith, followed by a series of prayers. These include The Lord’s Prayer, which we say together; Suffrages (intercessory prayers), which we read by alternate versus; Collects, which are prayers particular to the day or occasion; Thanksgivings, which we also say together; and a final Blessing.
The biblical readings, or lessons, for any day of the church are found in two slightly different versions. One is at the back of the Book of Common Prayer in the section marked “The Lectionary” and “Daily Office Lectionary.” The other is an updated one which we use on Sundays, as do many other churches. It is called the “Revised Common Lectionary,” or RCL. The link below leads to it. The RCL works on a three-year cycle, taking the church through much of the Bible. All of the New Testament, except for the more disturbing parts of the Book of Revelation, is read each year.
If you’ve not done so in a while, or ever, now’s a good time to explore the prayers and devotions available to us in the resources listed below, particularly the Book of Common Prayer and Enriching Our Worship. They are meant to help each of us draw closer to God and to each other – especially when we can’t otherwise do so in person.
Resources (available for free online)
These resources contain many of the prayers, hymns, and worship services used in The Episcopal Church and by Episcopalians in their daily devotions.
This source shows the readings assigned for use in Sunday worship and for daily office use for each day of the year, with links to online Bibles.
A Prayer in Times of Sickness and Contagion
Holy God, giver of life and health, source of all wisdom and peace: Comfort and relieve your servants who suffer from sickness or fear, give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs, and let your grace be with all those who work to protect us from contagion and disease. May we be strengthened against any weakness, sickness, fear, and doubt, and place our confidence in your loving care through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen