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.
Sundays: From Psalm 85, Benedixisti, Domine
You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, *
you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven all the iniquity of your people *
and blotted out all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your fury *
and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
Restore us then, O God our Saviour; * let your anger depart from us.
Show us your mercy, O Lord, * and grant us your salvation.
I will listen to what you, Lord God, are saying, *
for you are speaking peace to your faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to you.
Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you, *
that your glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Righteousness shall go before you, *
and peace shall be a pathway for your feet.
1 Kings 18.17-39
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, ‘Is it you, you troubler of Israel?’ He answered, ‘I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore have all Israel assemble for me at Mount Carmel, with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.’
So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel. Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.’ The people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, ‘I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets number four hundred and fifty. Let two bulls be given to us; let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; the god who answers by fire is indeed God.’ All the people answered, ‘Well spoken!’ Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; then call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it.’ So they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, ‘O Baal, answer us!’ But there was no voice, and no answer. They limped about the altar that they had made. At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, ‘Cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is meditating, or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.’ Then they cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances until the blood gushed out over them. As midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no answer, and no response.
Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come closer to me’; and all the people came closer to him. First he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down; Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, ‘Israel shall be your name’; with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. Then he made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain two measures of seed. Next he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, ‘Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt-offering and on the wood.’ Then he said, ‘Do it a second time’; and they did it a second time. Again he said, ‘Do it a third time’; and they did it a third time, so that the water ran all round the altar, and filled the trench also with water.
At the time of the offering of the oblation, the prophet Elijah came near and said, ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.’ Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt-offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord indeed is God; the Lord indeed is God.’
Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,*
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,*
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old*
that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our forebears,*
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:*
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,*
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
You my child shall be called the prophet of the Most High,*
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation*
by the forgiveness of all their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God*
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,*
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.
We have been afraid of the fierceness of your love, which sears our hearts as with a laser. Lord, have mercy upon us.
We have refused to believe that you are gentle in judgment, that your hands loosen the knots of our bitterness. Christ, have mercy upon us.
We have failed to see that your eyes are wise in discernment, that your justice restores us and heals. Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Wisdom, coming from the mouth of the Most High! You reign over all things from one end of the earth to the other; come and teach us the way of wisdom. Lord Jesus, come soon!
O Lord and Head of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai; come with outstretched arm and ransom us. Lord Jesus, come soon!
O Morning Star, Splendour of Light eternal and bright Sun of justice; come and shine on all who live in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Lord Jesus, come soon!
O King of the nations, you alone can fulfil their desires; Cornerstone, you make opposing nations one; come and save us. You formed us all from clay. Lord Jesus, come soon!
O Emmanuel, Hope of the nations and their Savior; come and save us, Lord our God. Lord Jesus, come soon!
The Spirit and the Bride say, Come! Amen! Lord Jesus, come soon!
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.
Stir up our hearts, Lord, to prepare the way of your only-begotten Son: that, in his coming, we might serve you with our hearts made pure; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy 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.