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 God's Grace from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians]
Blessed be God, Who has given to us
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.
Before the foundation of the world,
You chose us in Christ for Your children,
to be without blemish in your sight, to be full of love.
And You ordained that we would be adopted
as your children through Jesus, Your Son.
This was Your will and Your pleasure,
in order that the glory of Your gracious gift,
so graciously conferred upon us in Your beloved One,
might redound to Your praise.
Our release has been secured and our sins forgiven.
In the richness of Your grace,
You lavished on us all wisdom and insight.
You made known to us Your purpose,
in accordance with the plan You ordained in Christ,
to be put into effect when the time was ready:
Namely, that the whole universe,
everything in heaven and in earth,
might be brought to unity with Christ. [A]
96. We sing to You a new song; we sing with all the earth.
We sing to You and bless Your holy Name;
we proclaim the news of Your salvation.
We declare Your glory and Your wonders among all the people.
For great You are and greatly to be praised. [A]
Oh, the majesty of Your presence, and the splendor of Your sanctuary.
We ascribe to You the honor due Your Name;
We bring our offerings and come into Your courts.
We worship You in the beauty of holiness,
and may the whole earth tremble before You.
You are God, and You will judge us with equity. [A]
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad.
Let the seas thunder and the fields rejoice and all that dwell therein.
Let even the trees shout with joy before You. [A]
97. You are the Most High; let the whole earth be glad.
Though clouds and darkness are roundabout You,
Your foundations are just and righteous.
The heavens declare Your righteousness, and all people can see Your glory.
For You are God, the Most High over all the earth.
You love those that hate evil; and you preserve the lives of Your saints.
Light springs up for the righteous, and gladness for the true of heart.
We rejoice in You, and give our thanks to Your Holy Name. [A]
The One Who made us is merciful, we must be merciful, too.
Blessed are the ones who show mercy,
mercy will be shown to them.
You have heard this saying:
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”
And if you knew what this saying means,
then you would not condemn anyone.
I did not come to destroy lives
but to save them.
I have been sent to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives and
recovery of sight to the blind;
to set at liberty those oppressed and to proclaim the coming of the kingdom.
This is the way of the kingdom–
There was a man who had two sons.
The younger one went to his father and asked for his inheritance.
This father gave it to him and the son left home
to seek his fortune in a far country.
But he wasted all of the money on reckless living
and when a famine fell upon the land,
he found himself tending swine just to stay alive.
Finally he said to himself,
“Even the swine have more than I do.
I am going home to beg for my father’s mercy.”
When he was still a long way off,
his father saw him and ran to meet him.
“Father, forgive me,” said the son.
“I am no longer worthy even to be called your son.
Let me live here as one of your servants.”
But the father threw his arms around his son and kissed him,
and called to his servants for clean clothes and shoes
and gave his own ring for his son’s finger.
Rejoicing, he told the servants to prepare a feast
and to invite all of his friends.
“my son who was lost has come home,” he cried.
The elder son, returning from the fields,
heard the noise from the feast as he drew near the house.
When he learned what had happened.
he was so angry that he would not go in.
His father came out to him and the elder son said angrily,
“I am faithful to you and always have been,
while my brother has done nothing but bring you disgrace.
Yet you have never thrown a feast for me.”
“My dear son,” the father said, “You are always with me,
and everything I have is yours and always will be.
Come into the house, this is the time for rejoicing.
Your brother who was dead has come back to life.”
Truly I say to you:
The One Who made us is merciful,
we must be merciful, too.
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.]