Daily Morning Prayer for Thursday, September 22: Commemoration of Episcopal Deaconesses


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


At our most recent General Convention, a trial use Commemoration was added to celebrate the lives and ministry of our historic Episcopal Deaconesses. From the General Convention report:

The Episcopal deaconess movement describes a ministry of women who were set apart for service by their bishops, beginning in 1857 and ending with the ordination of women as deacons, authorized by General Convention in 1970. Episcopal deaconesses joined a wider, multi-denominational movement that began in Europe in the 19th century. Deaconesses ministered as nurses, teachers, chaplains, caregivers, administrators, fundraisers and missionaries; both within the U.S. and around the world. Episcopal deaconesses ministered both as individuals and as communities. They often served under difficult conditions, with little compensation, and always under gendered definitions. They ministered in times of peace and in times of war.

With the establishment of formation programs in several states, and communities for their life and work, the number of deaconesses in the Episcopal Church grew, peaking in 1922 with 226 living deaconesses. When in 1970 women were admitted to ordination as deacons, the Church’s deaconesses, perpetual deacons and transitional deacons were joined in a single order of deacons; and women were thus counted among clergy for the first time.

Some 500 Episcopal deaconesses blessed the Church and the world with their diverse ministries, and provided an example of courageous faithfulness that challenged later generations to recognize God’s call to women.


Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to
the ends of the world. Psalm 19:4


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!

Invitatory: Psalm 67:1-5 Deus misereatur

O God, be merciful to us and bless us, *
show us the light of your countenance and come to us.

Let your ways be known upon earth, *
your saving health among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, *
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide all the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
let all the peoples praise you.

Psalm 34 Benedicam Dominum

1 I will bless the Lord at all times; *
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

2 I will glory in the Lord; *
let the humble hear and rejoice.

3 Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; *
let us exalt his Name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me *
and delivered me out of all my terror.

5 Look upon him and be radiant, *
and let not your faces be ashamed.

6 I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me *
and saved me from all my troubles.

7 The angel of the Lord encompasses those who fear him, *
and he will deliver them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; *
happy are they who trust 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.

1 Corinthians 12:1-13

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Canticle P
A Song of the Spirit
Revelation 22:12-17

“Behold, I am coming soon,” says the Lord,
“and bringing my reward with me, *
to give to everyone according to their deeds.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, *
the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life, *
and may enter the city through the gates.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you, *
with this testimony for all the churches.
“I am the root and the offspring of David, *
I am the bright morning star.”
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride; *
“Come!” let each hearer reply!
Come forward, you who are thirsty, *
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

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

Mark 9:33-41

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

Canticle R
A Song of True Motherhood
Julian of Norwich

God chose to be our mother in all things *
and so made the foundation of his work,
most humbly and most pure, in the Virgin’s womb.
God, the perfect wisdom of all, *
arrayed himself in this humble place.
Christ came in our poor flesh *
to share a mother’s care.
Our mothers bear us for pain and for death; *
our true mother, Jesus, bears us for joy and endless life.
Christ carried us within him in love and travail, *
until the full time of his passion.
And when all was completed and he had carried us so for joy, *
still all this could not satisfy the power of his wonderful love.
All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God, *
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.

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

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.

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.

O God of love, we bless you for calling and equipping the deaconesses of the Episcopal Church, who served your people at risk or in need, at home and throughout the world. With grateful hearts we honor their hard work, perseverance, and leadership in following Jesus into places of suffering or hardship, injustice or unchampioned hope. May we, like them, bear the light of Christ to all people with humility and grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Intercessions

All blessing, honor, and glory,
all wisdom, praise, and thanks be yours,
O God of our salvation!
We pray in communion with all the saints on earth and heaven,
with the martyrs and the faithful in all ages,
and in the name of the Lamb who was slain,
who alone is worthy of worship.

(we name our prayers and intercessions, silently or aloud)

Bless us with your healing presence;
make us hungry for justice;
strengthen our faith;
and increase our love for others,
especially those we find it most difficult to love. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom:

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. 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

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