St James (the Great)
James, often called ‘the Great’, was a Galilean fisherman who, with his brother John, was one of the first apostles called by Jesus to follow him. The two brothers were with Jesus at his Transfiguration and with him again in the garden of Gethsemane. They annoyed the other followers of Jesus by asking to sit one on his left and the other on his right when he came into his glory and they were present for the appearances of Christ after the resurrection. James was put to death by the sword on the order of Herod Agrippa, who hoped in vain that, by disposing of the Christian leaders, he could stem the flow of those hearing the good news and becoming followers in the Way. James’ martyrdom is believed to have taken place in the year 44.EH
Ant. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God;
blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God;
blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Ps. When the Lord brought back the exiles of Sion, *
we thought we were dreaming.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter; *
on our tongues, songs of joy. Matthew 5; Psalm 126
New every morning is your love,
great God of light,
and all day long you are working for good in the world.
Stir up in us the desire to serve you,
to live peacefully with our neighbors,
and to devote each day to your Son,
our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. BCW
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be 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.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!
HYMN: Cecil Frances Alexander
Tune: Dunlap’s Creek https://tinyurl.com/y8hxak72
1. For thy blest saints, a noble throng,
who fell by fire and sword,
or early died or flourished long,
we praise thy Name, 0 Lord;
2. For James who left his father’s side,
not lingering by the sea:
he heard what could not be denied,
thy summons, “Follow me;”
3. He stood with thee beside the dead;
he climbed the mount with thee,
and saw the glory round thy head,
one of thy chosen three;
4. He knelt beneath the olive shade,
he drank thy cup of pain,
and slain by Herod’s flashing blade
he saw thy face again.
5. Lord, may we learn to drink thy cup,
and meek and firm be found,
when thou shalt come to take us up
where thine elect are crowned.
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk
Psalm 119:33-72 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/uzj6wj2
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes *
and I shall keep it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law *
yea, I shall keep it with my whole heart.
35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments *
for therein is my desire.
36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies *
and not to covetousness.
37 O turn away mine eyes, lest they behold vanity *
and quicken thou me in thy way.
38 O stablish thy word in thy servant *
that I may fear thee.
39 Take away the rebuke that I am afraid of *
for thy judgements are good.
40 Behold, my delight is in thy commandments *
O quicken me in thy righteousness.
41 Let thy loving mercy come also unto me, O Lord *
even thy salvation, according unto thy word.
42 So shall I make answer unto my blasphemers *
for my trust is in thy word.
43 O take not the word of thy truth utterly out of my mouth *
for my hope is in thy judgements.
44 So shall I alway keep thy law *
yea, for ever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty *
for I seek thy commandments.
46 I will speak of thy testimonies also, even before kings *
and will not be ashamed.
47 And my delight shall be in thy commandments *
which I have loved.
48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved *
and my study shall be in thy statutes.
49 O think upon thy servant, as concerning thy word *
wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust.
50 The same is my comfort in my trouble *
for thy word hath quickened me.
51 The proud have had me exceedingly in derision *
yet have I not shrinked from thy law.
52 For I remembered thine everlasting judgements, O Lord *
and received comfort.
53 I am horribly afraid *
for the ungodly that forsake thy law.
54 Thy statutes have been my songs *
in the house of my pilgrimage.
55 I have thought upon thy Name, O Lord, in the night-season *
and have kept thy law.
56 This I had *
because I kept thy commandments.
57 Thou art my portion, O Lord *
I have promised to keep thy law.
58 I made my humble petition in thy presence with my whole heart *
O be merciful unto me, according to thy word.
59 I called mine own ways to remembrance *
and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60 I made haste, and prolonged not the time *
to keep thy commandments.
61 The congregations of the ungodly have robbed me *
but I have not forgotten thy law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee *
because of thy righteous judgements.
63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee *
and keep thy commandments.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy *
O teach me thy statutes.
65 O Lord, thou hast dealt graciously with thy servant *
according unto thy word.
66 O learn me true understanding and knowledge *
for I have believed thy commandments.
67 Before I was troubled, I went wrong *
but now have I kept thy word.
68 Thou art good and gracious *
O teach me thy statutes.
69 The proud have imagined a lie against me *
but I will keep thy commandments with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is as fat as brawn *
but my delight hath been in thy law.
71 It is good for me that I have been in trouble *
that I may learn thy statutes.
72 The law of thy mouth is dearer unto me *
than thousands of gold and silver.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
Guide us, O God,
by your Word and Spirit,
that in your light we may see light,
in your truth find freedom,
and in your will discover your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: 1 Samuel 21:1-15
David came to Nob to the priest Ahimelech. Ahimelech came trembling to meet David, and said to him, ‘Why are you alone, and no one with you?’ David said to the priest Ahimelech, ‘The king has charged me with a matter, and said to me, “No one must know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.” I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what have you at hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.’ The priest answered David, ‘I have no ordinary bread at hand, only holy bread—provided that the young men have kept themselves from women.’ David answered the priest, ‘Indeed, women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition; the vessels of the young men are holy even when it is a common journey; how much more today will their vessels be holy?’ So the priest gave him the holy bread; for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds.
David said to Ahimelech, ‘Is there no spear or sword here with you? I did not bring my sword or my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.’ The priest said, ‘The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you will take that, take it, for there is none here except that one.’ David said, ‘There is none like it; give it to me.’
David rose and fled that day from Saul; he went to King Achish of Gath. The servants of Achish said to him, ‘Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands”?’ David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of King Achish of Gath. So he changed his behaviour before them; he pretended to be mad when in their presence. He scratched marks on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle run down his beard. Achish said to his servants, ‘Look, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?’
HYMN: Psalm 56; para. Timothy Dudley-Smith ©
Tune: Mount Zion https://tinyurl.com/y6qh9kt5
1. Merciful and gracious be,
O most High, remember me.
When my enemies assail
may your grace and power prevail.
Keep me in the day of fear
firm in faith that God is near.
2. What though some should do me wrong,
plan my hurt the whole day long,
lie in wait about my way,
twist the very words I say,
yet their time will soon be past;
judgement comes to all at last.
3. Lord, you know my days and years,
all my wanderings, all my tears;
though the world should work me ill
God himself will keep me still
in his light, through length of days,
strong to stand and swift to praise.
Reading: Acts 11.27 – 12.2
At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword.
HYMN: William J Irons
Tune: Mississippi https://tinyurl.com/y4k2nwyu
1 Sing with all the saints in glory,
sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, earth’s dark story,
to the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking,
soon the storms of time shall cease;
in God’s likeness we, awaken,
knowing everlasting peace.
2 Oh, what glory, far exceeding
all that eye has yet perceived!
Holiest hearts, for ages pleading
never that full joy conceived.
God has promised, Christ prepares it,
there on high our welcome waits.
Ev’ry humble spirit shares it,
Christ has passed the eternal gates.
3 Life eternal! heav’n rejoices:
Jesus lives who once was dead.
Shout with joy, O deathless voices!
Child of God, lift up your head!
Life eternal! Oh, what wonders
crowd on faith; what joy unknown,
when, amid earth’s closing thunders,
saints shall stand before the throne!
Reading: Matthew 20.20–28
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favour of him. And he said to her, ‘What do you want?’ She said to him, ‘Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’ But Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We are able.’ He said to them, ‘You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.’
When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’
CANTICLE Te Deum
(Chant by Joe Cox: https://tinyurl.com/ybzyundx)
We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud,
the Heavens and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world
doth acknowledge thee,
the Father, of an infinite majesty,
thine adorable, true, and only Son,
also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.
Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,
thou didst humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants,
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy saints,
in glory everlasting.
THE PRAYERS CW
Encouraged by our fellowship with all the saints,
let us make our prayers to the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Father, your Son called men and women to leave the past behind them and to follow him as his disciples in the way of the cross. Look with mercy upon those whom he calls today, marks with the cross and makes his disciples within the Church…
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Your Son told his disciples not to be afraid and at Easter breathed on them his gift of peace. Look with mercy upon the world into which he sent them out, and give it that peace for which it longs…
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Your Son formed around him a company who were no longer servants but friends, and he called all those who obeyed him his brother and sister and mother. Look with mercy upon our families and our friends and upon the communities in which we share…
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Your Son sent out disciples to preach and heal the sick. Look with mercy on all those who yearn to hear the good news of salvation, and renew among your people the gifts of healing… Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Your Son promised to those who followed him that they would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel and would share the banquet of the kingdom. According to your promise, look with mercy on those who have walked with Christ in this life and now have passed through death… Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
(Plainsong Mode 2: https://tinyurl.com/yctqq8cf)DL
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the bread of life;
and 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.
whose holy apostle Saint James,
leaving his father and all that he had,
was obedient to the calling of your Son Jesus Christ
and followed him even to death:
help us, forsaking the false attractions of the world,
to be ready at all times to answer your call without delay;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. EH
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14
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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
EH Exciting Holiness, Ed. Brother Tristram SSF © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997
RCLP Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.
WS2 Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources
DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.
CW Common Worship © 2000, Central Board of Finance of the Church of England
1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©
2 Eric Wyse, Lord’s Prayer, ©; audio from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_a40ME7aVk
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662).
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2020 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.