First Thursday in Advent

Okay.  I know it has been a heckuva long time since posting.  Life gets busy.  Things get in the way.  This is a truth of my life – and likely yours too.

We’ve started the Advent journey, the count down to Christmas and once again our hearts lift with the story of that little babe born in the manger so long ago.  I don’t even mind the early onset Christmas music this year.  We NEED to hear some happy, joyful tunes in this screwy Scroogy world.

So I make a promise to post here daily.  And I will even offer you a morning and (soon) evening prayer service you can follow or just pray with us.  Bishop Jean and I recorded these in the wee smalls, feeling the nudge to invite everyone to pray and to remember that God is with us always, and most especially at Christmas.

December 6 is the feast of St. Nicholas, also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker, on whom our modern day Santa Claus is based. He was the Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor in 270 – a very early bishop indeed!

He had a great, compassionate heart and is credited with many miracles and generous acts, including saving three sisters from a life of prostitution and three other unfortunates who were about to be pickled for human consumption!  It is thought that he was in attendance at the council of Nicaea, at which the Nicene Creed was hammered out.

Because he was so generous and tended to dip into his own pocket to assist his community members experiencing challenges, one of his attributes is that of Patron Saint of pawn shops.  He is a fascinating saint.  You Can learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas

Now for today’s morning prayer service.

Morning Prayer for Thursday in Advent

An Order for Morning Prayer

(Note: this is intended as a form of private prayer but when doing with another or as a group, work through it responsively)

We greet the Day

O Lord, open our lips:
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever.
Amen.

Hear, O Israel

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.

There is no commandment greater than these.

Kyrie
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Collect
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Song of Mary  Luke 1.46–55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; *
for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever.
Amen.

Reading:  Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Psalm 97

1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
7 All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols—
worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, Lord.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.

Reflective Prayer
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
— St. Therese of Liseux

 Intercessory Prayers
We  offer to God the prayers of our hearts-

Gracious God source of all love and fount of all blessing, your Son Jesus Christ promised that you will hear us when we ask in faith.  Confident in his word, we offer you our prayers.

We pray for our world, for the leaders of nations and all in authority, that everyone may live in peace and mutual trust, sharing with justice the resources of the earth. May your love guide each heart.
(offer personal prayers for the world, leaders, the planet)

We give thanks for our church and every faith community across the world. Encourage clergy and religious leaders to lead with compassion, mirroring your love and grace by their lives and teaching.

We offer to your care, merciful God, all who are in sorrow, sickness, discouragement or any other trouble. Give them patience and a firm trust in your goodness. Change lives today through your mighty healing touch and bring to know your loving presence at work in their lives.

We pray for our own needs and concerns, giving thanks that answers and resolution are already on their way to us.  Especially, we offer these concerns to you…….

We give thanks for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing. May they find comfort and hope in the joy of your promise that you will greet us at the last and take us to your Father’s house.

Hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 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 today our daily bread.
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, the power,
and the glory,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Concluding prayers
Mother Mary, as you carried your dear Son in your immaculate womb, you also carried him in your heart. Pray for me, this Advent, that I may surrender myself to the will of the Father in imitation of you. You said “Yes” to all that God asked of you and never hesitated to fully embrace His divine will. Pray that I may imitate your perfect example so as to share a deeper union with you and your divine Son.  Amen

May the God of peace enable me to do his will in every kind of goodness, working in us what pleases him, through Jesus  Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

About The CCCChttps://journeyingwithgodcom.wordpress.comHoly Spirit, lead us, for all your ways are beautiful and all your paths are peace.... We are a progressive, inclusive, welcoming church community with roots in the Old Catholic Church, which has been around since the late 1800s. Our worship is the best of all worlds - a little Anglican, a little Catholic, a little Lutheran, and a lotta love. We have valid orders, apostolic succession, uphold the Seven Sacraments and we follow the Two Great Commandments given to us by Christ.

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