I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me. Amen.
Confession and Forgiveness
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Your 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 nothing good in us. O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; according to Your promises declared unto men in Christ Jesus our Lord. Grant that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to the glory of His name. Amen
The First Reading is taken from 2 Samuel 13:23-39
[Absalom Avenges the Violation of His Sister] After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. Absalom came to the king, and said, "Your servant has sheepshearers; will the king and his servants please go with your servant?" But the king said to Absalom, "No, my son, let us not all go, or else we will be burdensome to you." He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. Then Absalom said, "If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us." The king said to him, "Why should he go with you?" But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. Absalom made a feast like a king's feast. Then Absalom commanded his servants, "Watch when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, 'Strike Amnon,' then kill him. Do not be afraid; have I not myself commanded you? Be courageous and valiant." So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons rose, and each mounted his mule and fled. While they were on the way, the report came to David that Absalom had killed all the king's sons, and not one of them was left. The king rose, tore his garments, and lay on the ground; and all his servants who were standing by tore their garments. But Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah, said, "Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king's sons; Amnon alone is dead. This has been determined by Absalom from the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take it to heart, as if all the king's sons were dead; for Amnon alone is dead." But Absalom fled. When the young man who kept watch looked up, he saw many people coming from the Horonaim road by the side of the mountain. Jonadab said to the king, "See, the king's sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about." As soon as he had finished speaking, the king's sons arrived, and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept very bitterly. But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son day after day. Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed there three years. And the heart of the king went out, yearning for Absalom; for he was now consoled over the death of Amnon.
The Second Reading is taken from Acts 20:17-38
[Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders] From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. When they came to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God's grace. "And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one's silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship.
The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 9:42-50
[Temptations to Sin] "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 hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. "For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."
Psalm 89:1-18 Misericordias Domini
1 Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 'I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? who is like the LORD among the gods?
7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible to all those round about him.
8 Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea and still the surging of its waves.
10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12 You have made the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; love and truth go before your face.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
16 They rejoice daily in your Name; they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength, and by your favor our might is exalted.
18 Truly, the LORD is our ruler; The Holy One of Israel is our King.
Psalm 89:19-52 Tunc locutus es
19 You spoke once in vision and said to your faithful people: "I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
21 My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.
22 No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my Name.
25 I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.
26 He will say to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
27 I will make him my firstborn and higher than the kings of the earth.
28 I will keep my love for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of heaven."
30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my judgments;
31 If they break my statutes and do not keep my commandments;
32 I will punish their transgressions with a rod and their iniquities with the lash;
33 But I will not take my love from him, nor let my faithfulness prove false.
34 I will not break my covenant, nor change what has gone out of my lips.
35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness: 'I will not lie to David.
36 His line shall endure for ever and his throne as the sun before me;
37 It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon, the abiding witness in the sky.'"
38 But you have cast off and rejected your anointed; you have become enraged at him.
39 You have broken your covenant with your servant, defiled his crown, and hurled it to the ground.
40 You have breached all his walls and laid his strongholds in ruins.
41 All who pass by despoil him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes and made all his enemies rejoice.
43 You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not sustained him in battle.
44 You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his youth and have covered him with shame.
46 How long will you hide yourself, O LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? how long will your anger burn like fire?
47 Remember, LORD, how short life is, how frail you have made all flesh.
48 Who can live and not see death? who can save himself from the power of the grave?
49 Where, Lord, are your loving-kindnesses of old, which you promised David in your faithfulness?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant is mocked, how I carry in my bosom the taunts of many peoples,
51 The taunts your enemies have hurled, O LORD, which they hurled at the heels of your anointed.
52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore! Amen, I say, Amen.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Prayer of the Day
Holy God, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more cheer than gloom, spread more joy than despair. Let me remind those I meet that our final existence will be total joy, and that we may taste this joy through the Spirit even today. Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy, and forget momentarily all the temporary unpleasantness in their lives. And in my final moment, may I hear You whisper, “When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.” Amen.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
O God, who is near us always, I thank you for all the good gifts with which you have filled my life; for love that makes life beautiful, for all thoughts that uplift and gladden, for faith to believe and strength to attain, for every experience which humbles and teaches the need of you. Let me never doubt that, having led me thus far, you will lead me to the end. I wish to serve you; show me how I can do it best. Graciously look upon me and use me as you will. And grant that I may employ all of your gifts to the end of setting forth of your glory; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
A Prayer for Mission
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.
by Celtic Woman
by Celtic Woman
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Oh God, hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that you will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and always, Amen.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.