God said: “Let there be light”; and there was light,
And God saw that the light was good.
This very day the Lord has acted.
May God’s Name be praised.
Venite [Psalm 95]
Come, let us raise a joyful song,
a shout of triumph to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into Your presence with thanksgiving,
singing songs of triumph.
For You are a great God, a great king over all gods.
The depths of the earth are in Your hands; mountains belong to You.
The sea is Yours, for You made it;
and the dry land Your hands fashioned.
Let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the One who made us.
For You are our God, and we are the flock that You shepherd.
We will know Your power and presence this day,
if we will but listen for Your voice.
Collect of the Season [A Collect for Eastertide]
Through Your Divine Son,
You overcame death and offer to us the gift of life that knows no end:
Grant that we who celebrate this truth with joy,
may be raised from the death of sin to a life of grace…
Collect of the Office [A Collect for Morning Prayer]
Drive far from us all wrong desires,
and incline our hearts to keep Your ways:
Grant that having cheerfully done Your will this day,
we may, when night comes, rejoice and give You thanks;
through the One Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Canticle: Benedictus [Zechariah's Song]
Blessed be God, who has turned to His people and saved us and set us free.
You have raised up for us a strong deliverer, and so You promised:
Age after age You proclaimed by the lips of Your holy prophets,
that You would deliver us, calling to mind Your solemn covenant.
This was the promise that You made: To rescue us and free us from fear,
so that we might worship You with a holy worship,
in Your holy presence our whole life long.
In Your tender compassion, the morning sun has risen upon us –
to shine on us in our darkness, to guide our feet into the paths of peace.
Canticle of the Day [A Song of Pilgrimage from the Old Testament Apocryphal Book of Ecclesiasticus]
When we were young,
we asked in our prayers for Your wisdom.
In Your sanctuary, before we set out on our travels,
we laid claim to her, and we shall seek her to the end.
From the first blossom of spring to the reaping of the harvest,
she has been the delight of our heart.
From our youth
our steps have followed her without swerving.
We had hardly begun to listen when we were rewarded,
and we gained for ourselves much instruction.
We made much progress in our studies–
all glory to You Who has granted us wisdom.
We set our hearts on finding her,
and by keeping ourselves pure, we found her.
With her we gained understanding from the first,
therefore we will never be at a loss.
Because we passionately yearned to discover her, a noble possession was ours.
As our reward we were given eloquence,
and with it, we shall praise You. [A]
34. We will bless You at all times; praise shall always be on our lips.
We will glory in Your Name; let the humble hear and rejoice.
We will proclaim Your greatness, and exalt Your Holy Name.
We sought You and You answered us, and delivered us from our terror.
We look upon You and You are radiant; let not our faces be ashamed.
We called in our affliction and You heard us, saving us from trouble.
Your angels surround those who fear You, and You will deliver them.
We can taste and see that You are good, that happy are they that trust in You.
May all Your saints fear You, for those who do lack nothing. [A]
Who among us desires life? Then they must learn the fear of the Lord:
To keep their lips from lying, and their tongues from spreading evil.
We shall turn from evil and do good; we shall seek peace and pursue it.
Your face is against all evil, to root its remembrance from the earth. [A]
Your eyes are upon the righteous, Your ears are open to their cries.
The righteous cry and You hear them, and deliver them from their trouble.
You are near to the brokenhearted, and save those whose spirits are crushed.
Many are the troubles of the righteous, but You will deliver them.
You will ransom the lives of Your servants; and none of them will be punished. [A]
35. Fight those who fight against us.
Take up Your shield and armor and rise up to help us.
Bar the way against our enemy, and be our salvation.
Let our enemy be as the chaff before the wind; let Your angels drive them away.
For they have secretly set a net for us, and without a cause.
You have seen all this, do not be silent; do not remain so far away.
How long will You simply look on? Do not let them triumph over us. [A]
Awake, and arise to our cause; come quickly to our defense.
Grant us justice according to Your righteousness.
We will glory in Your victory, and be joyful in Your Name.
We will offer our thanks in the great congregation;
And our tongues will tell of Your righteousness all the day long. [A]
Whoever is least among you will be the greatest.
Who do you think is greater:
The one who is seated at the head of the table
or the one who serves?
You have been taught that it is the one
who is seated at the head of the table,
but I am here among you as one who serves.
For some, rulers are rulers
and commanders are commanders.
But for us, rulers are slaves
and commanders are servants.
Those who would lead
must become the ones who serve.
Whoever would become great among you
must become the least among you.
Whoever exalts themselves will be humbled,
whoever humbles themselves will be exalted.
Blessed are the humble and the meek;
the whole world will be theirs.
This is the way of the kingdom–
A man set out at daybreak
to go into the market to hire laborers to work in the vineyard.
He arranged a fair wage with them
and sent them off to work.
At noon he came again to the marketplace
and hired more workers,
promising them a fair wage as well.
The same thing happened again in mid-afternoon
and again as the sun was going down.
When the day’s work was done,
he called them together to pay them,
paying all of the workers the same wage.
Those who had worked the longest were angry
because they expected to be paid more.
The master said to them,
“What does it matter to you if I am generous?”
You ask me: “Who will be the greatest in the kingdom?”
You have heard it said that no one in history
is greater then John the Baptizer, and it is true.
But in the future, anyone in the kingdom
will be greater than he.
The first will be last,
and the last will be first, I tell you.
And whoever is least among you will be the greatest.
Prayers of the People
We give You thanks, Almighty God: For all Your gifts
so freely bestowed upon us and all whom You have made:
We bless You for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of life;
above all, for the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the hope of glory and for the means of grace.
We thank You, O Lord.
Grant us such an awareness of Your mercies, we pray,
that with truly thankful hearts, we may give You praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving ourselves to Your service,
and by walking before You in holiness and righteousness all our days.
Hear us, O Lord.
We offer prayers for all those with whom we share the Journey:
For our loved ones, those who have been given to us,
and to whom we have been given: [n].
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.
For those whom we have loved who are now absent from us: [n].
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.
And for those we know who face particular trials and tests this day: [n].
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.
We entrust all who are dear to us to Your never-failing love and care,
for this life and the life to come;
knowing that You will do for them
far more than we can desire or pray for.
Now with all your people on earth, we pray the prayer
that Jesus taught those He called brothers and sisters and friends:
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.
Thanks be to God – Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of Life.
We go in peace to serve the Lord,
and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ go with us all.
[Taken from Venite: A Book of Daily Prayer. Please send any typos to Phil Owen.]