Edith Cavell, Nurse 1915
Edith was a Belgian nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium whom she sheltered in her home during the First World War. She was arrested for treason, court-martialed, confessed and condemned to death.
The night before her execution, she said, “Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.” These words were later inscribed on a memorial to her near Trafalgar Square. Her strong Anglican beliefs propelled her to help all those who needed it, both German and Allied soldiers. She was quoted as saying, “I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved.”
Cavell, who was 49 at the time of her execution, was already notable as a pioneer of modern nursing in Belgium.
May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which[c] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
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 will be forever. Amen.
Jubilate Psalm 100
Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; *
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.
Know this: The Lord himself is God; *
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise; *
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting; *
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.
Psalm 73 Quam bonus Israel!
1 Truly, God is good to Israel, *
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; *
I had almost tripped and fallen;
3 Because I envied the proud *
and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
4 For they suffer no pain, *
and their bodies are sleek and sound;
5 In the misfortunes of others they have no share; *
they are not afflicted as others are;
6 Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace *
and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
7 Their iniquity comes from gross minds, *
and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
8 They scoff and speak maliciously; *
out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
9 They set their mouths against the heavens, *
and their evil speech runs through the world.
10 And so the people turn to them *
and find in them no fault.
11 They say, “How should God know? *
is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 So then, these are the wicked; *
always at ease, they increase their wealth.
13 In vain have I kept my heart clean, *
and washed my hands in innocence.
14 I have been afflicted all day long, *
and punished every morning.
15 Had I gone on speaking this way, *
I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand these things, *
it was too hard for me;
17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God *
and discerned the end of the wicked.
18 Surely, you set them in slippery places; *
you cast them down in ruin.
19 Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction, *
come to an end, and perish from terror!
20 Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord, *
when you arise you will make their image vanish.
21 When my mind became embittered, *
I was sorely wounded in my heart.
22 I was stupid and had no understanding; *
I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23 Yet I am always with you; *
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me by your counsel, *
and afterwards receive me with glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? *
and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
26 Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, *
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27 Truly, those who forsake you will perish; *
you destroy all who are unfaithful.
28 But it is good for me to be near God; *
I have made the Lord God my refuge.
29 I will speak of all your works *
in the gates of the city of Zion.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Before they went to sleep, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men: ‘I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that dread of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt in fear before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. As soon as we heard it, our hearts failed, and there was no courage left in any of us because of you. The Lord your God is indeed God in heaven above and on earth below. Now then, since I have dealt kindly with you, swear to me by the Lord that you in turn will deal kindly with my family. Give me a sign of good faith that you will spare my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.’ The men said to her, ‘Our life for yours! If you do not tell this business of ours, then we will deal kindly and faithfully with you when the Lord gives us the land.’
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the outer side of the city wall and she resided within the wall itself. She said to them, ‘Go towards the hill country, so that the pursuers may not come upon you. Hide yourselves there for three days, until the pursuers have returned; then afterwards you may go on your way.’ The men said to her, ‘We will be released from this oath that you have made us swear to you if we invade the land and you do not tie this crimson cord in the window through which you let us down, and you do not gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your family. If any of you go out of the doors of your house into the street, they shall be responsible for their own death, and we shall be innocent; but if a hand is laid upon any who are with you in the house, we shall bear the responsibility for their death. But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be released from this oath that you made us swear to you.’ She said, ‘According to your words, so be it.’ She sent them away and they departed. Then she tied the crimson cord in the window.
Canticle 13 A Song of Praise Benedictus es, Domine
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34
Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
‘I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.’
His disciples said, ‘Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’
Canticle 18 A Song to the Lamb Dignus es
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13
Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for evermore.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth;
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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.
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 be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
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.
V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern them 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.
Living God, the source of all healing and wholeness: we bless you for the compassionate witness of your servant Edith Cavell. Inspire us to be agents of peace and reconciliation in a world beset by injustice, poverty, and war. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, to the ages of ages. Amen.
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. 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.
Friends in Christ,
God invites us to hold the needs of our siblings
as dear to us as our own needs.
Loving our neighbors as ourselves,
we offer our thanksgivings and our petitions
on behalf of the church and the world.
(we name our prayers, silently or aloud)
Hear our prayers, God of power,
and through the ministry of your Son
free us from the grip of the tomb,
that we may desire you as the fullness of life
and proclaim your saving deeds to all the world. Amen.
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 ourselves 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.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Daily Morning Prayer for Commemoration of Edith Cavell was prepared and led by Elvira Beracochea, postulant for the diaconate in the Diocese of Virginia.