Daily Morning Prayer December 29 (Holy Innocents)

Join us to pray live via Zoom videoconference at 8:00 a.m. ET using the following link:  Zoom Link for Daily Morning Prayer


The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. John 1:14


Let us confess our sins to God.

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O God, let our mouth proclaim your praise.
And your glory all the day long.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Alleluia!

Alleluia. To us a child is born: O come, let us adore him. Alleluia.

Psalm 63:1-8 Deus, Deus meus

O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; *
my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you,
as in a barren and dry land where there is no water.
Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place, *
that I might behold your power and your glory.
For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; *
my lips shall give you praise.
So will I bless you as long as I live *
and lift up my hands in your Name.
My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, *
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,
When I remember you upon my bed, *
and meditate on you in the night watches.
For you have been my helper, *
and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Alleluia. To us a child is born: O come, let us adore him. Alleluia.

Psalm 2 Quare fremuerunt gentes?

1 Why are the nations in an uproar? *
Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?

2 Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the princes plot together, *
against the Lord and against his Anointed?

3 “Let us break their yoke,” they say; *
“let us cast off their bonds from us.”

4 He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
the Lord has them in derision.

5 Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
and his rage fills them with terror.

6 “I myself have set my king *
upon my holy hill of Zion.”

7 Let me announce the decree of the Lord: *
he said to me, “You are my Son;
this day have I begotten you.

8 Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for
your inheritance *
and the ends of the earth for your possession.

9 You shall crush them with an iron rod *
and shatter them like a piece of pottery.”

10 And now, you kings, be wise; *
be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Submit to the Lord with fear, *
and with trembling bow before him;

12 Lest he be angry and you perish; *
for his wrath is quickly kindled.

13 Happy are they all *
who take refuge in him!

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Isaiah 49:13-23

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his suffering ones.

But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me,
my Lord has forgotten me.’
Can a woman forget her nursing-child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
Your builders outdo your destroyers,
and those who laid you waste go away from you.
Lift up your eyes all around and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
and like a bride you shall bind them on.

Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
The children born in the time of your bereavement
will yet say in your hearing:
‘The place is too crowded for me;
make room for me to settle.’
Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away—
so who has reared these?
I was left all alone—
where then have these come from?’

Thus says the Lord God:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
Kings shall be your foster-fathers,
and their queens your nursing-mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.

Canticle C
The Song of Hannah
1 Samuel 2:1-8

My heart exults in you, O God; *
my triumph song is lifted in you.
My mouth derides my enemies, *
for I rejoice in your salvation.
There is none holy like you, *
nor any rock to be compared to you, our God.
Do not heap up prideful words or speak in arrogance; *
Only God is knowing and weighs all actions.
The bows of the mighty are broken, *
but the weak are clothed in strength.
Those once full now labor for bread, *
those who hungered now are well fed.
The childless woman has borne sevenfold, *
while the mother of many is forlorn.
God destroys and brings to life, casts down and raises up; *
gives wealth or takes it away, humbles and dignifies.
God raises the poor from the dust; *
and lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with the rulers *
and inherit a place of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are God’s *
on which the whole earth is founded.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Matthew 18:1-14

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling-blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling-block comes!

‘If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.

‘Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

Canticle N
A Song of God’s Love
1 John 4:7-11

Beloved, let us love one another, *
for love is of God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, *
for God is Love.
In this the love of God was revealed among us, *
that God sent his only Son into the world,
so that we might live through Jesus Christ.
In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us *
and sent his Son that sins might be forgiven.
Beloved, since God loved us so much, *
we ought also to love one another.
For if we love one another, God abides in us, *
and God’s love will be perfected in us.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

An Affirmation of Faith (Northumbria Community)

Lord, You have always given
bread for the coming day;
and though I am poor,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept
me safe in trials;
and now, tried as I am,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked
the road for the coming day;
and though it may be hidden,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
this darkness of mine;
and though I cannot yet see,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
when time was ripe;
and though you be silent now,
today I believe.

Hear our cry, O God.
And listen to our prayer.
Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven, 
     hallowed be your Name, 
     your kingdom come, 
     your will be done, 
         on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins 
     as we forgive those 
         who sin against us. 
Save us from the time of trial, 
     and deliver us from evil. 
For the kingdom, the power, 
     and the glory are yours, 
     now and for ever. Amen.

V. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your congregation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among the nations;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away;
R. Never forget the lives of your poor.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
V. Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;
R. So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

We remember today, O God, the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem by King Herod. Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Loving Jesus: Protect and sustain us with your hand. Open the door of your love that, sealed with your wisdom, we may be free to serve you with joy. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Feel free to add your own prayers and intercessions, or take a moment to Light a Prayer Candle with your intention for the day.

We hold an intention today for all who grieve, and especially those who grieve when a child has died. Protect and sustain them in your loving arms, and grant peace to those who mourn.

We pray for those in formation with the St. Phoebe School; for those seeking and discerning; and for all deacons in their lives, work, and ministries bridging the Church and the world.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy 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.

Let us bless the Lord. 
Thanks be to God.

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