Sunday morning November 15

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Opening response

Lord, open my lips
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
All your faithful ones bless you
They speak of the glory of your kingdom.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
ruler and judge of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In the darkness of this age that is passing away
may the light of your presence which the saints enjoy
surround our steps as we journey on.
May we reflect your glory this day
and so be made ready to see your face
in the heavenly city where night shall be no more.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Ah! What Avails My Strife

Charles Wesley
Ah! what avails my strife,
My wandering to and fro?
Thou hast the words of endless life,
Ah! Whither should I go?

Thy condescending grace
To me did freely move;
It calls me still to seek thy face,
And stoops to ask my love.

My worthless heart to gain,
The God of all that breathe
Was found in fashion as a man,
And died a cursèd death.

And can I yet delay
My little all to give?
To tear my soul from earth away
For Jesus to receive?

Ah! no: I all forsake;
My friends, my life resign;
Gracious redeemer, take, O take,
And seal me ever thine!

Confession of sin

Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
call him while he is yet near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.

cf Isaiah 55

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have committed evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your faithful love.
Wash us completely clean of our guilt; purify us from our sin.
Put a new, faithful spirit deep inside us,
and return the joy of your salvation to us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Psalm 51

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bless the Lord,
because he has listened to our request for mercy.
Therefore our hearts will rejoice
and we will thank him with our song.

cf Psalm 28:7,9

The Word of God

Psalm 96

Bow down to the Lord in his holy splendor!

Sing to the Lord a new song!
    Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord! Bless his name!
    Share the news of his saving work every single day!
Declare God’s glory among the nations;
    declare his wondrous works among all people
    because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise.
He is awesome beyond all other gods
    because all the gods of the nations are just idols,
        but it is the Lord who created heaven!
Greatness and grandeur are in front of him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Give to the Lord, all families of the nations—
    give to the Lord glory and power!
Give to the Lord the glory due his name!
    Bring gifts!
    Enter his courtyards!
Bow down to the Lord in his holy splendor!
    Tremble before him, all the earth!
Tell the nations, “The Lord rules!
    Yes, he set the world firmly in place;
    it won’t be shaken.
    He will judge all people fairly.”
Let heaven celebrate! Let the earth rejoice!
    Let the sea and everything in it roar!
    Let the countryside and everything in it celebrate!
    Then all the trees of the forest too
        will shout out joyfully
        before the Lord because he is coming!
He is coming to establish justice on the earth!
    He will establish justice in the world rightly.
    He will establish justice among all people fairly.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Bow down to the Lord in his holy splendor!

Psalm prayer

Lord God, you draw us by your beauty
and transform us by your holiness;
let our worship echo all creation’s praise
and declare your glory to the nations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
1 Samuel 9:27-10:2, 10:17-26

As they were nearing the edge of town Samuel said, “Tell the boy to go on ahead of us” (the servant did so) “but you stop for a bit so I can tell you God’s word.”

Samuel took a small jar of oil and poured it over Saul’s head and kissed him. “The Lord hereby anoints you leader of his people Israel,” Samuel said. “You will rule the Lord’s people and save them from the power of the enemies who surround them. And this will be the sign for you that the Lord has anointed you as leader of his very own possession: When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you, ‘The donkeys you went looking for have been found. Now your father has stopped thinking about the donkeys and is worried about you. He’s asking: What should I do about my son?’

Samuel summoned the people to the Lord at Mizpah. Then he told the Israelites: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the Egyptians’ power and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you. But today you’ve rejected your God who saved you from all your troubles and difficulties by saying, ‘No! Appoint a king over us!’ So now assemble yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.”

Then Samuel brought all the Israelite tribes forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was selected. Next Samuel brought the tribe of Benjamin forward by its families, and the family of Matri was selected. Samuel then brought the family of Matri forward, person by person, and Saul, Kish’s son, was selected. But when they looked for him, he wasn’t to be found. So they asked another question of the Lord: “Has the man come here yet?”

The Lord said, “Yes, he’s hiding among the supplies.” They ran and retrieved Saul from there, and when he stood up in the middle of the people, he was head and shoulders taller than anyone else.

“Can you see the one the Lord has chosen?” Samuel asked all the people. “He has no equal among the people.”

Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Samuel then explained to the people how the monarchy should operate and wrote it in a scroll and placed it in the Lord’s presence. Then Samuel sent every person back to their homes. Saul also went back to his home in Gibeah. Along with him went courageous men whose hearts God had touched.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 13:31-35

He told another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his field. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it’s grown, it’s the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches.”

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through all the dough.”

Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables, and he spoke to them only in parables. This was to fulfill what the prophet spoke:

I’ll speak in parables; 
        I’ll declare what has been hidden since the beginning of the world.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

God, you will guide us with your counsel, 
and afterward receive us with glory.

Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued
from the power of our enemies
so that we could serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes,
for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

God, you will guide us with your counsel, 
and afterward receive us with glory.

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


Father, hear our prayer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son was revealed
to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory
we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
as our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


May Christ, who has opened the kingdom of heaven,
bring us to reign with him in glory.