Morning Prayer 18th December 2016

Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and his name shall be called Emman′u-el”
(which means, God with us). St. Matthew 1.23

Psalm 144

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
    and my fingers for battle;
my rock and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues the peoples under him.

O Lord, what is man that thou dost regard him,
    or the son of man that thou dost think of him?
Man is like a breath,
    his days are like a passing shadow.

Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down!
    Touch the mountains that they smoke!
Flash forth the lightning and scatter them,
    send out thy arrows and rout them!
Stretch forth thy hand from on high,
    rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
    from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies,
    and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

I will sing a new song to thee, O God;
    upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to thee,
who givest victory to kings,
    who rescuest David thy servant.
Rescue me from the cruel sword,
    and deliver me from the hand of aliens,
whose mouths speak lies,
    and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

May our sons in their youth
    be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
    cut for the structure of a palace;
may our garners be full,
    providing all manner of store;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
    and ten thousands in our fields;
may our cattle be heavy with young,
    suffering no mischance or failure in bearing;
may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
Happy the people to whom such blessings fall!
    Happy the people whose God is the Lord!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Micah 5.2-5a

But you, O Bethlehem Eph′rathah,
    who are little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
    from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
    when she who is in travail has brought forth;
then the rest of his brethren shall return
    to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
    to the ends of the earth.

And this shall be peace.

St. Luke 1.26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?”And the angel said to her,

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

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 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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Collect

We beseech thee, Almighty God, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation, that when thy Son Jesus Christ cometh he may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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