Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Morning Prayer, St. John the Evangelist's Day, 27 Dec 2011 (Collect, Psalter, OT, and NT Lections Included)

King's College, Cambridge:  A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 2010.  "While Shepherds watched their flocks"

The Order for Morning Prayer,
Daily Throughout the Year

At the beginning of Morning Prayer the Minister shall read with a loud voice some one or more of these Sentences of the Scriptures that follow. And then he shall say that which is written after the said Sentences.

WHEN the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Ezek. xviii. 27.
I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Psalm li. 3.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Psalm li. 9.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm li. 17.
Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Joel ii. 13.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws which he set before us. Daniel ix. 9, 10.
O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jer. x. 24. Psalm vi. 1.
Repent ye; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. St. Matt. iii. 2.
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. St. Luke xv. 18, 19.
Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Psalm cxliii. 2.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 St. John i. 8, 9.

DEARLY beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us, in sundry places, to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloak them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought, at all times, humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me;

A general Confession to be said of the whole Congregation after the Minister, all kneeling.

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Absolution, or Remission of sins, to be pronounced by the Priest alone, standing; the people still kneeling.

ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power, and commandment, to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins : He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The people shall answer here, and at the end of all other prayers, Amen.

If no priest be present the person saying the service shall read the Collect for the Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity, that person and the people still kneeling.

Then the Minister shall kneel, and say the Lord's Prayer with an audible voice; the people also kneeling, and repeating it with him, both here, and wheresoever else it is used in Divine Service.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen. 

Then likewise he shall say,

O Lord, open thou our lips.
Answer. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.
Priest. O God, make speed to save us.
Answer. O Lord, make haste to help us.

Here all standing up, the Priest shall say,

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Priest. Praise ye
the Lord.
Answer. The Lord's Name be praised.

Then shall be said or sung this Psalm following; Except on Easter Day, upon which another Anthem is appointed; and on the nineteenth day of every month it is not to be read here, but in the ordinary course of the Psalms.

Venite, exultemus Domino.
Psalm 95

O COME, let us sing unto the Lord : let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving : and shew ourselves glad in him with Psalms.
For the Lord is a great God : and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are all the corners of the earth : and the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it : and his hands prepared the dry land.
O come, let us worship and fall down : and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is the Lord our God : and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts : as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness;
When your fathers tempted me : proved me, and saw my works.
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said : It is a people that do err in their hearts, for they have not known my ways.
Unto whom I sware in my wrath : that they should not enter into my rest.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Then shall follow the Psalms in order as they be appointed. And at the end of every Psalm throughout the year, and likewise at the end of Benedicite, Benedictus, Magnificat, and Nunc dimittis, shall be repeated, 

Day 27. Morning Prayer.

Psalm 120. Ad Dominum
WHEN I was in trouble I called upon the Lord : and he heard me.
2. Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips : and from a deceitful tongue.
3. What reward shall be given or done unto thee, thou false tongue : even mighty and sharp arrows, with hot burning coals.
4. Woe is me, that I am constrained to dwell with Mesech : and to have my habitation among the tents of Kedar.
5. My soul hath long dwelt among them : that are enemies unto peace.
6. I labour for peace, but when I speak unto them thereof : they make them ready to battle.

Psalm 121. Levavi oculus
I WILL lift up mine eyes unto the hills : from whence cometh my help.
2. My help cometh even from the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.
3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
4. Behold, he that keepeth Israel : shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5. The Lord himself is thy keeper : the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand;
6. So that the sun shall not burn thee by day : neither the moon by night.
7. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil : yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
8. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in : from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 122. Laetatus sum
I WAS glad when they said unto me : We will go into the house of the Lord.
2. Our feet shall stand in thy gates : O Jerusalem.
3. Jerusalem is built as a city : that is at unity in itself.
4. For thither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord : to testify unto Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord.
5. For there is the seat of judgement : even the seat of the house of David.
6. O pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee.
7. Peace be within thy walls : and plenteousness within thy palaces.
8. For my brethren and companions' sakes : I will wish thee prosperity.
9. Yea, because of the house of the Lord our God : I will seek to do thee good.

Psalm 123. Ad te levavi oculos meos
UNTO thee lift I up mine eyes : O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
2. Behold, even as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress : even so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until he have mercy upon us.
3. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us : for we are utterly despised.
4. Our soul is filled with the scornful reproof of the wealthy : and with the despitefulness of the proud.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,
As it was in the beginning, is now and every shall be, world without end, Amen.

Then shall be read distinctly with an audible voice the First Lesson, taken out of the Old Testament, as is appointed in the Calendar, except there be proper Lessons assigned for that day : He that readeth so standing and turning himself, as he may best be heard of all such as are present. And after that, shall be said or sung, in English, the Hymn called Te Deum Laudamus, daily throughout the Year.

Note, That before every Lesson the Minister shall say, Here beginneth such a Chapter, or Verse of such a Chapter, of such a Book : And after every Lesson, Here endeth the First, or the Second Lesson.

OT Lection: 

Exodus 33:9-19

King James Version (KJV)

9And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses.
10And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
11And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
12And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
13Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
14And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
15And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
16For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
17And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
18And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
19And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Te Deum Laudamus.

WE praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee : the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud : the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubin and Seraphin : continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy : Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty : of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world : doth acknowledge thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true : and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost : the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory : O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son : of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man : thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death : thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come : to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants : whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people : and bless thine heritage.
Govern them : and lift them up for ever.
Day by day : we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name : ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us : have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us : as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted : let me never be confounded.

Or this Canticle, Benedicite, omnia opera.
O ALL ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Heavens, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Waters that be above the firmament, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Sun and Moon, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Winds of God, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Fire and Heat, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Dews and Frosts, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Frost and Cold, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Ice and Snow, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Nights and Days, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Light and Darkness, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Lightnings and Clouds, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O let the Earth bless the Lord : yea, let it praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Mountains and Hills, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Green Things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Wells, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Seas and Floods, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Whales, and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Children of Men, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O let Israel bless the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye Spirits and Souls of the Righteous, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O ye holy and humble Men of heart, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Then shall be read in like manner the Second Lesson, taken out of the New Testament. And after that, the Hymn following; except when that shall happen to be read in the Chapter for the day, or for the Gospel on Saint John Baptist's Day.

NT Lection: 

John 13:21-35

King James Version (KJV)

21When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 23Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 26Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. 31Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

St. Luke i. 68-80

BLESSED be the Lord God of Israel : for he hath visited and redeemed his people;
And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us : in the house of his servant David;
As he spake by the mouth of his holy Prophets : which have been since the world began;
That we should be saved from our enemies : and from the hand of all that hate us.
To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers : and to remember his holy Covenant;
To perform the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham : that he would give us;
That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies : might serve him without fear;
In holiness and righteousness before him : all the days of our life.
And thou, Child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest : for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people : for the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God : whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us;
To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death : and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Or this Psalm,   Jubilate Deo. Psalm 100

O BE joyful in the Lord, all ye lands : serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
Be ye sure that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves : we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise : be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting : and his truth endureth from generation to generation.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Then shall be sung or said the Apostle's Creed by the Minister and the people standing : Except only such days as the Creed of Saint Athanasius is appointed to be read.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth :
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost: The holy Catholick Church; The Communion of Saints: The Forgiveness of sins: The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.

And after that these Prayers following, all devoutly kneeling: the Minister first pronouncing with a loud voice,

The Lord be with you.
Answer. And with thy spirit.
Minister. Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Then the Minister, Clerks, and people shall say the Lord's Prayer with a loud voice.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, As it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Then the Priest standing up shall say,

O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
Answer. And grant us thy salvation.
Priest. O Lord, save the Queen.
Answer. And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
Priest. Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
Answer. And make thy chosen people joyful.
Priest. O Lord, save thy people.
Answer. And bless thine inheritance.
Priest. Give peace in our time, O Lord.
Answer. Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
Priest. O God, make clean our hearts within us.
Answer. And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

Then shall follow three Collects; the first of the day, which shall be the same that is appointed at the Communion; The second for Peace; The third for Grace to live well. And the two last Collects shall never alter, but daily be said at Morning Prayer throughout all the year, as followeth, all kneeling.

The Collects,

Saint John the Evangelist's Day.
MERCIFUL Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Nativity of our Lord

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The second Collect,   for Peace.
O GOD, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; Defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The third Collect,   for Grace.
O LORD, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day; Defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Quires and Places where they sing here followeth the Anthem.

Then these five Prayers following are to be read here: Except when the Litany is read; and then only the two last are to be read, as they are there placed.

A Prayer for the Queen's Majesty.
O LORD, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that she may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant her in health and wealth long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies; and finally, after this life, she may attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Prayer for the Royal Family.

ALMIGHTY God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly beseech thee to bless Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Charles, Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family: Endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly grace; prosper them with all happiness; and bring them to thine everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for the Clergy and People.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who alone workest great marvels; Send down upon our Bishops, and Curates, and all Congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise, that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests; Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen

2 Corinthians 13

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.  

Here endeth the Order of Morning Prayer throughout the Year.
King's College Cambridge 2010 
 In dulci jubilo

Sunday, December 25, 2011

For Pope-Analysts: B16's "Urbi and Orbi" and Christmas Greetings

Urbi et Orbi: Pope sends Christmas greeting in 65 languages and asks help for Horn of Africa

2011-12-25 22:11:56 

December 25, 2011. ( By noon, thousands of people had flocked to St. Peter's Square in Rome to hear the pope's Christmas greeting, which this year sounded like this: “May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may your hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the Saviour has been born for us”.

The pope read his Christmas speech, which mentioned the situation in the Middle East and remembered those who are facing special difficulties.

Benedict XVI
Together let us ask God’s help for the peoples of the Horn of Africa, who suffer from hunger and food shortages, aggravated at times by a persistent state of insecurity. May the international community not fail to offer assistance to the many displaced persons coming from that region and whose dignity has been sorely tried”.
Among the dozens of languages used by the pope, among them was Chinese, Urdu, Latin and Esperanto, which brought the applause of many of the language's admirers.
The pope then gave his solemn blessing, the “Urbi et Orbi,” “to the city of Rome and the world”. It's significant because only he can impart the blessing. It's traditionally given only on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

In St. Peter's Square, alongside the impressive Christmas tree from Ukraine, the traditional Nativity scene can now be seen adorning the center of Christianity, a tradition that began 30 years ago

Royal Family Attends Christmas Service While Duke Philip Recovers in Hospital

Royal family attend Christmas service

The Queen and members of the Royal Family attended a Christmas Day church service today as the Duke of Edinburgh recuperated in hospital following surgery.

The Duchess of Cambridge joined royals at the service at a church on the Queen's estate in Sandringham, Norfolk, for the first time as 90-year-old Prince Philip was being treated at Papworth Hospital near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, following treatment for a blocked coronary artery.

Police estimated 3,000 well-wishers had gathered outside St Mary Magdalene Church to see royals, including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, arrive.
Royal family attend Christmas service (AFP)Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives ahead of the British Royal family Christmas Day church service

England rugby player Mike Tindall and the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips, who married in the summer, also attended the service.

The royals traditionally gather at Sandringham for Christmas. Philip normally walks the few hundred yards from the main house to the church and is not thought to have missed a Christmas Day service before.

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Well-wishers called out with questions about the Duke, but members of the family did not respond.

The Duchess of Cambridge is spending her first Christmas as part of the Royal Family following her marriage to Prince William, now the Duke of Cambridge, in April.

By 9.30am hundreds of people were waiting at the gates, with queues stretching back around 300 yards.

Royal family attend Christmas service (AP)From left, Britain's Prince Andrew, Prince William, Kate Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend a Christmas Service

Veteran royal-watcher Mary Relph, 77, from Shouldham, near Sandringham, said the royals had been spending Christmas at Sandringham for the last two decades and queues had never been as long.

"I have never seen queues like this on Christmas Day before, I have never seen this amount of people here since Diana was alive," she said.

"People are obviously coming to see Kate Middleton."

She said she was sure the Duke of Edinburgh had never missed a Christmas at Sandringham before.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said Kate was wearing a hat by Jane Corbett.

Her coat was created by an independent British dressmaker, he added, but declined to reveal the designer's identity.

"The Duchess is keen to use independent British dressmakers, whose skills and craftsmanship she admires," he said.

Corbett, who is based in Hungerford, Berkshire, describes herself as a "couture milliner and artist" on her website.

She has been creating bespoke hats for more than 15 years and was trained by Rose Cory, the late Queen Mother's milliner.

Corbett designed the pale blue hat that mother Carole Middleton wore to Kate's wedding in April.

Every piece is hand-crafted to suit each client, their outfit and occasion, her website says.

The Queen wore a dress in lavender Armani wool gabardine and a coat in lavender wool boucle, both by Karl Ludwig.

Her ivory hat with lavender wool boucle detail at the base was created by Angela Kelly.

She wore a diamond shell brooch with a pearl at the centre.

During the service, rector of Sandringham the Rev Jonathan Riviere said: "We pray for the Queen and the Royal Family, especially today we pray for Prince Philip and his continued recovery."

Archbishop of Canterbury's Christmas Sermon & Comments re: Book of Common Prayer

Archbishop of Canterbury's Christmas Sermon

‘Don’t build lives on selfishness and fear’
Dr. Rowan Williams
When the first Christians read – or more probably heard – the opening words of John’s gospel, they would have understood straight away quite a lot more than we do. They would have remembered, many of them, that in Hebrew ‘word’ and ‘thing’ are the same, and they would all have known that in Greek the word used has a huge range of meaning – at the simplest level, just something said; but also a pattern, a rationale, as we might say, even the entire structure of the universe seen as something that makes sense to us, the structure that holds things together and makes it possible for us to think.

Against this background, we can get a glimpse of just what is being said about Jesus. His life is what God says and what God does; it is the life in which things hold together; it is because of the life that lives in him that we can think. Jesus is the place where all reality is focused, brought to a point. Here is where we can see as nowhere else what connects all reality – all human experience and all natural laws. Edward Elgar famously said about his Enigma Variations that they were all based on a tune that everyone knew – and no-one has ever worked out what he meant. But John’s gospel declares that the almost infinite variety of the life we encounter is all variations on the theme that is stated in one single clear musical line, one melody, in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. ‘In him was life, and the life was the light of men.’

But this shouldn’t make us forget entirely the underlying image. The life that lives in Jesus, the everlasting divine agency that is uniquely embodied in him, is like something that is said – a word addressed to us. Because, like any word addressed to us, it demands a response. And the gospel goes on at once to tell us that the expected response was not forthcoming. Before we have even got to Christmas in the words of the gospel we are taken to Good Friday, and to the painful truth that the coming of Jesus splits the world into those who respond and those who don’t. Once the word is spoken in the world, there is no way back. Your response to it, says the gospel again and again, is what shows who and what you really are, what is deepest in you, what means most. What we say or do in our response to Jesus is our way of discovering for ourselves and showing to one another what is real in and for us. Like the other gospel writers, John hints very strongly that some people respond deeply and truthfully to Jesus without fully knowing who he is or what exactly they are doing in responding to him; this is not a recipe for tight religious exclusivism. But the truth is still an uncompromising one: if you cannot or will not respond, you are walking away from reality into a realm of trackless fogbound falsehood.
There is the question we cannot ignore. It’s been well said that the first question we hear in the Bible is not humanity’s question to God but God’s question to us, God walking in the cool of the evening in the Garden of Eden, looking for Adam and Eve who are trying to hide from him. ‘Adam, where are you?’ The life of Jesus is that question translated into an actual human life, into the conversations and encounters of a flesh and blood human being like all others – except that when people meet him they will say, like the woman who talks with him at the well of Samaria, ‘Here is a man who told me everything I ever did.’ Very near the heart of Christian faith and practice is this encounter with God’s questions, ‘who are you, where are you?’ Are you on the side of the life that lives in Jesus, the life of grace and truth, of unstinting generosity and unsparing honesty, the only life that gives life to others? Or are you on your own side, on the side of disconnection, rivalry, the hoarding of gifts, the obsession with control? To answer that you’re on the side of life doesn’t mean for a moment that you can now relax into a fuzzy philosophy of ‘life-affirming’ comfort. On the contrary: it means you are willing to face everything within you that is cheap, fearful, untruthful and evasive, and let the light shine on it. Like Peter in the very last chapter of John’s gospel, we can only say that we are trying to love the truth that is in Jesus, even as we acknowledge all we have done that is contrary to his spirit. And we say this because we trust that we are loved by this unfathomable mystery who comes to us in the shape of a newborn child, ‘full of grace and truth’.

Finding words to respond to the Word made flesh is and has always been one of the most demanding things human beings can do. Don’t believe for a moment that religious language is easier or vaguer than the rest of our language. It’s more like the exact opposite: think of St John writing his gospel, crafting the slow, sometimes repetitive pace of a narrative that allows Jesus to change the perspective inch by inch as a conversation unfolds. Or of St Paul, losing his way in his sentences, floundering in metaphors as he struggles to find the words for something so new that there are no precedents for talking about it. Or any number of the great poets and contemplatives of the Christian centuries. It isn’t surprising if we need other people’s words a lot of the time; and it’s of great importance that we have words to hand that have been used by others in lives that obviously have depth and integrity. That’s where the language of our shared worship becomes so important.

This coming year we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer. It has shaped the minds and hearts of millions; and it has done so partly because it has never been a book for individuals alone. It is common prayer, prayer that is shared. In its origins, it was meant to be – and we may well be startled by the ambition of this – a book that defined what a whole society said to God together. If the question ‘where are you?’ or ‘who are you?’ were being asked, not only individual citizens of Britain but the whole social order could have replied, ‘Here we are, speaking together – to recognize our failures and our ideals, to recognize that the story of the Bible is our story, to ask together for strength to live and act together in faithfulness, fairness, pity and generosity.’ If you thumb through the Prayer Book, you may be surprised at how much there is that takes for granted a very clear picture of how we behave with each other. Yes, of course, much of this language feels dated – we don’t live in the unselfconscious world of social hierarchy that we meet here. But before we draw the easy and cynical conclusion that the Prayer Book is about social control by the ruling classes, we need to ponder the uncompromising way in which those same ruling classes are reminded of what their power is for, from the monarch downwards. And the almost forgotten words of the Long Exhortation in the Communion Service, telling people what questions they should ask themselves before coming to the Sacrament, show a keen critical awareness of the new economic order that, in the mid sixteenth century, was piling up assets of land and property in the hands of a smaller and smaller elite.

The Prayer Book is a treasury of words and phrases that are still for countless English-speaking people the nearest you can come to an adequate language for the mysteries of faith. It gives us words that say where and who we are before God: ‘we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep’, ‘we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table’, but also, ‘we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of the everlasting kingdom’. It gives us words for God that hold on to the paradoxes we can’t avoid: ‘God… who art always more ready to hear than we to pray,’ ‘who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity, ‘whose property is always to have mercy.’ A treasury of words for God – but also a source of vision for an entire society: ‘Give us grace seriously to lay heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions’; ‘If ye shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God but also against your neighbours; then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them; being ready to make restitution’.

The world has changed, the very rhythms of our speech have changed, our society is irreversibly more plural, and we have – with varying degrees of reluctance – found other and usually less resonant ways of talking to God and identifying who we are in his presence. If we used only the Prayer Book these days we’d risk confusing the strangeness of the mysteries of faith with the strangeness of antique and lovely language. But we’re much the poorer for forgetting it and pushing it to the margins as much as we often do in the Church. And it is crucial to remember the point about the Prayer Book as something for a whole society, binding together our obligations to God and to one another, in a dense interweaving of love and duty joyfully performed.

The Prayer Book was once the way our society found words to respond to the Word, to say who and where they were in answer to God’s question. Those who prayed the Prayer Book, remember, included those who abolished the slave trade and put an end to child labour, because of what they had learned in this book and in their Bibles about the honour of God and of God’s children. They knew their story; they knew how to give an answer for themselves, how to join up the muddle of their experience in a coherent pattern by relating it to the unchanging truth and grace of God. That’s why the coming year’s celebration is not about a museum piece.

The most pressing question we now face, we might well say, is who and where we are as a society. Bonds have been broken, trust abused and lost. Whether it is an urban rioter mindlessly burning down a small shop that serves his community, or a speculator turning his back on the question of who bears the ultimate cost for his acquisitive adventures in the virtual reality of today’s financial world, the picture is of atoms spinning apart in the dark.

And into that dark the Word of God has entered, in love and judgment, and has not been overcome; in the darkness the question sounds as clear as ever, to each of us and to our church and our society: ‘Britain, where are you?’ Where are the words we can use to answer?

HRM Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Message in Full

A video version is found at the Telegraph.

The full text is found at BBC's website.  We have the full text below.

In full: Queen's Christmas Speech

Prince Philip and The Queen The Queen has spoken about the importance of family

Here is the text in full of the Queen's 2011 Christmas message, which was recorded on 9 December - before her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was treated in hospital for a blocked coronary artery.

"In this past year my family and I have been inspired by the courage and hope we have seen in so many ways in Britain, in the Commonwealth and around the world.

We've seen that it's in hardship that we often find strength from our families; it's in adversity that new friendships are sometimes formed; and it's in a crisis that communities break down barriers and bind together to help one another.

Families, friends and communities often find a source of courage rising up from within. Indeed, sadly, it seems that it is tragedy that often draws out the most and the best from the human spirit.

When Prince Philip and I visited Australia this year, we saw for ourselves the effects of natural disaster in some of the areas devastated by floods, where in January so many people lost their lives and their livelihoods.

We were moved by the way families and local communities held together to support each other.

Prince William travelled to New Zealand and Australia in the aftermath of earthquakes, cyclones and floods and saw how communities rose up to rescue the injured, comfort the bereaved and rebuild the cities and towns devastated by nature.

The Prince of Wales also saw first-hand the remarkable resilience of the human spirit after tragedy struck in a Welsh mining community, and how communities can work together to support their neighbours.

This past year has also seen some memorable and historic visits - to Ireland and from America.

The spirit of friendship so evident in both these nations can fill us all with hope. Relationships that years ago were once so strained have through sorrow and forgiveness blossomed into long-term friendship.

It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow.

Of course, family does not necessarily mean blood relatives but often a description of a community, organisation or nation. The Commonwealth is a family of 53 nations, all with a common bond, shared beliefs, mutual values and goals.

It is this which makes the Commonwealth a family of people in the truest sense, at ease with each other, enjoying its shared history and ready and willing to support its members in the direst of circumstances.

They have always looked to the future, with a sense of camaraderie, warmth and mutual respect while still maintaining their individualism.

The importance of family has, of course, come home to Prince Philip and me personally this year with the marriages of two of our grandchildren, each in their own way a celebration of the God-given love that binds a family together.

For many, this Christmas will not be easy. With our armed forces deployed around the world, thousands of service families face Christmas without their loved ones at home.

The bereaved and the lonely will find it especially hard. And, as we all know, the world is going through difficult times. All this will affect our celebration of this great Christian festival.

Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.

God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us we pray.

Cast out our sin

And enter in.

Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas."