Morning Prayer Readings
Ember Friday after Advent 3

The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
The Collect
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The Psalter


Psalm 40:1-16


The Fortieth Psalm

Expectans expectavi.


I WAITED patiently for the LORD, * and he inclined unto me, and heard my calling.
 
He brought me also out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay, * and set my feet upon the rock, and ordered my goings.
 
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, * even a thanksgiving unto our God.
 
Many shall see it, and fear, * and shall put their trust in the LORD.
 
Blessed is the man that hath set his hope in the LORD, * and turned not unto the proud, and to such as go about with lies.
 
O LORD my God, great are the wondrous works which thou hast done, like as be also thy thoughts, which are to us-ward; * and yet there is no man that ordereth them unto thee.
 
If I should declare them, and speak of them, * they should be more than I am able to express.
 
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, * but mine ears hast thou opened.
 
Burnt-offering and sacrifice for sin hast thou not required: * then said I, LO, I come;
 
In the volume of the book it is written of me, that I should fulfil thy will, O my God: * I am content to do it; yea, thy law is within my heart.
 
I have declared thy righteousness in the great congregation: * lo, I will not refrain my lips, O LORD, and that thou knowest.
 
I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; * my talk hath been of thy truth, and of thy salvation.
 
I have not kept back thy loving mercy and truth * from the great congregation.
 
Withdraw not thou thy mercy from me, O LORD; * let thy loving-kindness and thy truth alway preserve me.
 
For innumerable troubles are come about me; my sins have taken such hold upon me, that I am not able to look up; * yea, they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me.
 
O LORD, let it be thy pleasure to deliver me; * make haste, O LORD, to help me.
 

 
vs 17 Let them be ashamed, and confounded together, that seek after my soul to destroy it; * let them be driven backward, and put to rebuke, that wish me evil.
 
Let them be desolate, and rewarded with shame, * that say unto me, Fie upon thee! fie upon thee!
 
Let all those that seek thee, be joyful and glad in thee; * and let such as love thy salvation, say alway, The LORD be praised.
 
As for me, I am poor and needy; * but the Lord careth for me.
 
Thou art my helper and redeemer; * make no long tarrying, O my God.



 

The First Lesson


Jeremiah 23:23-32


Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.



 

The Second Lesson

II Corinthians 5:5

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.



 

The Collect

Ember Days

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The First Sunday in Advent
(to be said throughout Advent)

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.



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