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 the New Creation from the Book of Isaiah]
You are the Lord,
and this is Your holy word.
“Stop dwelling on things long past,
and brooding over days gone by.
Behold, I am about to do something new;
it is unfolding right before you.
Can you see it?”
Even through the wilderness, You shall make a way for us,
and a path for us even in the wasteland.
Rivers shall spring forth in the desert,
where Your children shall drink,
so that we might proclaim Your praise. [A]
38. Do not rebuke us in Your anger, we pray.
There is no health in us because of our sin and of Your indignation.
Our iniquities overwhelm us, like a burden too much for us to bear.
We are utterly bowed down; we go about as in mourning all the day long.
We are numb and crushed; and wail from the groaning of our hearts.
Our hearts are pounding and our strength fails; our eyes are growing dark.
Our friends draw back from our affliction and stand away from us.
We are like the deaf who cannot hear; from whose lips can come no defense. [A]
You know our desires, O God; our sighing is not hidden from You.
In You have we fixed our hope, and we know that You will answer.
Truly we are on the verge of falling, and our pain is always with us.
We will confess our sin and be sorry for our iniquities.
Do not forsake us; be not far from us; make haste to help us [A]
39. We will keep watch on our ways so that we do not offend.
Let us recall the number of our days, that we may see how short life is.
You have given us a mere handful; our lifetime is as nothing in Your sight.
We walk about like shadows, and in vain we are in turmoil.
We heap up riches and cannot tell who will gather them. [A]
And now where is our hope? Only in You; deliver us from our transgressions.
Take Your affliction from us; we are worn down by what we have suffered.
Hear our prayer, and give ear to our cry; hold not Your peace at our tears.
For we are but sojourners in this land, as were our mothers and fathers.
Turn Your gaze from us that we may be glad again; before we are no more. [A]
40. We waited patiently for You; and You stooped and heard our cry.
You lifted us out of the mire and put a new song of praise on our lips.
Great things have You done; how great are Your wonders and designs.
There is none to compare with You; and happy are they who trust in You.
Oh, that we could tell of Your works; but they are more than we can say. [A]
You take no pleasure in sacrifice; You have required no burnt offerings from us.
So we simply say, “Behold, we come to You.”
In Your Book, it is written of us,
that we love to do Your will, that Your law is in us.
You know that we have not held back from proclaiming Your Name.
We have not concealed Your righteousness or Your love.
We have spoken of Your faithfulness; do not withhold Your compassion. [A]
Trouble is upon us; our sins have overtaken us; and our hearts will surely fail.
Be pleased, we pray, to deliver us; let all who seek You rejoice and be glad.
Let those who love You continually bless Your Name.
Though we are poor and afflicted, You will hold us in Your regard.
Do not tarry, for You only are our help and our deliverance. [A]
The light will shine in the darkness.
You do not put a lamp under a basket
but up on a stand.
You do not put it down in the cellar
but out in the doorway so that it can be seen.
When you build a fire
You want it to burn.
What you have heard only in whispers,
you must shout aloud from rooftops.
What has only been talked about in darkness,
you must speak abroad in daylight.
This is the way of the kingdom–
A man sent his servant
to invite his friends to dinner on short notice.
At each house, the servant said:
“My master wants you to come to dinner this evening.”
The first friend replied:
“Please give your master my regrets.
I must see some people who owe me money.”
The second friend replied:
“Please excuse me, I am busy this evening.
I am planning a party for someone else.”
The third friend said:
“I cannot be there, I must collect the rent
from a new property that I own.”
When the servant returned and told his master
the master was angry.
“Then go out into the streets,” he said,
“and invite anyone that you happen to see.”
If you have ears, then hear this:
If my friends are silent,
then the stones themselves will begin to shout.
For this light will shine in the darkness.
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.]