Spirituality & Worship
Daily Prayer

The Daily Office

The Daily Office is an ancient tradition that appoints a specific set of prayers and readings for each day: one for morning and one for evening. If you feel the call to a disciplined liturgy daily or just occasionally, you'll find an appropriate form of prayer here.

The short service is from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and here each new service is preceded by a photo or piece of art that serves to spur a little contemplation.

If you are reading the Daily Office each day and miss a reading on our site, which updates twice per day for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, you can find any prior day's reading at DailyOffice.org.

Morning Prayer 4.19.14, Holy Saturday

Why should any who draw breath complain
about the punishment of their sins?

Church of the Advent, Boston, after the Stripping of the Altar Thursday night. (via Facebook)

Church of the Advent, Boston, after the Stripping of the Altar Thursday night. (via Facebook)

Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, “I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 95 (PCP)
Venite

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise a loud shout to the LORD with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God;
and a great Sovereign above all gods.
The LORD holds the caverns of the earth;
and sustains the heights of the hills.
The sea belongs to God, who made it,
whose hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,
and kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For the LORD is our God,
and we are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand.
Oh, that today you would hearken to God’s voice!

Harden not your hearts,
as your ancestors did in the wilderness, *
at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,
when they tempted me.
They put me to the test, *
though they had seen my works.
Forty years long I detested that generation and said, *
“This people are wayward in their hearts;
they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my wrath, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Psalm 88

1      O LORD, my God, my Savior, *
by day and night I cry to you.
2      Let my prayer enter into your presence; *
incline your ear to my lamentation.
3      For I am full of trouble; *
my life is at the brink of the grave.
4      I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; *
I have become like one who has no strength;
5      Lost among the dead, *
like the slain who lie in the grave,
6      Whom you remember no more, *
for they are cut off from your hand.
7      You have laid me in the depths of the Pit, *
in dark places, and in the abyss.
8      Your anger weighs upon me heavily, *
and all your great waves overwhelm me.
9      You have put my friends far from me;
you have made me to be abhorred by them; *
I am in prison and cannot get free.
10      My sight has failed me because of trouble; *
LORD, I have called upon you daily;
I have stretched out my hands to you.
11      Do you work wonders for the dead? *
will those who have died stand up and give you thanks?
12      Will your loving-kindness be declared in the grave? *
your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
13      Will your wonders be known in the dark? *
or your righteousness in the country where all is forgotten?
14      But as for me, O LORD, I cry to you for help; *
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
15      LORD, why have you rejected me? *
why have you hidden your face from me?
16      Ever since my youth, I have been wretched and at the point of death; *
I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind.
17      Your blazing anger has swept over me; *
your terrors have destroyed me;
18      They surround me all day long like a flood; *
they encompass me on every side.
19      My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, *
and darkness is my only companion.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSONS
Lamentations 3:37-58 (NRSV)

Who can command and have it done,
if the Lord has not ordained it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should any who draw breath complain
about the punishment of their sins?

Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the LORD.
Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands
to God in heaven.
We have transgressed and rebelled,
and you have not forgiven.

You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,
killing without pity;
you have wrapped yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can pass through.
You have made us filth and rubbish
among the peoples.

All our enemies
have opened their mouths against us;
panic and pitfall have come upon us,
devastation and destruction.
My eyes flow with rivers of tears
because of the destruction of my people.

My eyes will flow without ceasing,
without respite,
until the LORD from heaven
looks down and sees.
My eyes cause me grief
at the fate of all the young women in my city.

Those who were my enemies without cause
have hunted me like a bird;
they flung me alive into a pit
and hurled stones on me;
water closed over my head;
I said, “I am lost.”

I called on your name, O LORD,
from the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, “Do not close your ear
to my cry for help, but give me relief!”
You came near when I called on you;
you said, “Do not fear!”

You have taken up my cause, O Lord,
you have redeemed my life.

Canticle: A Song of Creation
Benedicite, omnia opera Domini
Song of the Three, 35-65

Invocation

Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

I The Cosmic Order

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.
Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
all winds and fire and heat.
Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
O shining light and enfolding dark.
Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

III The People of God

Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Doxology

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
sing praise and give honor for ever.
In the high vault of heaven, glorify the Lord, *
sing praise and give honor for ever.

Hebrews 4:1-16 (NRSV)

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “As in my anger I swore, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day – “today” – saying through David much later, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.

Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs. Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Canticle: Song of the Redeemed
Magna et mirabilia
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he 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.

THE PRAYERS

(The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us 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.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Altar of Repose at the same church, Advent, Boston. This is where the consecrated bread is kept Thursday night before being eaten on Good Friday, when Communion is only by the reserved sacrament. It’s customary in many Episcopal churches that the Altar of Repose be decorated with flowers, like a garden or a gravesite might be, though flowers are often forbidden elsewhere in the church until Easter Day. (via Facebook)

Altar of Repose at the same church, Advent, Boston. This side altar is where the consecrated bread is kept Thursday night before being eaten on Good Friday, when Communion is only by the reserved sacrament. It’s customary in many Episcopal churches that the Altar of Repose be decorated with flowers, like a garden or a gravesite might be, though flowers are often forbidden elsewhere in the church until Easter Day. (via Facebook)

Collect of the Day: Holy Saturday

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so may we await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, including Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

St. Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn, N.S.W. (Philip Johnson/redbubble.com)

St. Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn, N.S.W. (Philip Johnson/redbubble.com)

Saturday Morning Prayer List

For Religious Orders
Order of the Holy Cross, New York, California, Ontario & South Africa
Order of the Holy Paraclete, Yorkshire & Ghana
Sisters of Charity, Devon
Sisters of Emmaus Monastery, Michigan
Sisters of St. John the Divine, Ontario
and for Orders in other Communions and Churches

Please add your own prayers here.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

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