Holy One, open our lips:
and we shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to God, Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.
Thursdays: From Psalm 139, Domine, probasti
Lord, you have searched me out * and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; *
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand will lead me *
and your mighty hand hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night.”
Darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts; *
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made; *
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
CLOSING Isaiah 40
The Lord is the everlasting God,*
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
who does not faint nor grow weary,* whose understanding is unsearchable,
who gives power to the faint,*
increase of strength to those who have no might.
Even youth shall faint and be weary;*
the young shall fall exhausted.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;* they shall mount up with wings like eagles.
They shall run and not be weary,*
they shall walk and not faint.
READING: Ecclesiastes 3:16 – 4:3
Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work. I said in my heart with regard to human beings that God is testing them to show that they are but animals. For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows whether the human spirit goes upwards and the spirit of animals goes downwards to the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?
Again I saw all the oppressions that are practised under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power—with no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
We have not put the voice of the voiceless first.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We have colluded with the structures of greed.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
We have put money first, loving it too much.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Risen Christ, you fill our lives with your compassion
so that we may always seek you.
Risen Christ, you know our longing: lead us on the path of eternity.
Risen Christ, we pray to you for those who are just beginning to know you.
Risen Christ, we pray to you for those who cannot believe
your love is always offered.
Risen Christ, you are the support of those who encounter difficulties
and discouragement: lead us on the path of eternity.
Risen Christ, we pray to you for those who have been victims of violence and humiliation: come to heal their wounds.
Risen Christ, you guide us by your Spirit: gather all the nations into your Kingdom.
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.
Do not bring us to the time of trial,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Thursdays: Jesus our joy, by your continual presence within us, you lead us to give our life. Even if we forget you your love remains, and you send your Holy Spirit upon us. Amen.
O God, who on the day of Pentecost enlightened the hearts of your people by the fire of the Holy Spirit: give us wisdom and understanding, and lead us into all truth, that your Church may be kept in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
God most holy, we give you thanks for bringing us out of the shadow of night into the light of morning; and we ask you for the joy of spending this day in your service, so that when evening comes, we may once more give you thanks, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
The Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil; and bring us to life eternal. Amen.