Born in Southampton in 1674, Isaac Watts was educated at the local grammar school and had the opportunity to go on to university, but declined because he preferred the dissenting academy at Stoke Newington. He received there an education of high academic standard and he went on to become the pastor to the Independent (or Congregationalist) Church at Mark Lane in London. Due to his deteriorating health, he resigned this post in 1712 and retired to Stoke Newington. Seven years later, he opposed the imposition of the doctrine of the Trinity on his fellow dissenting ministers, which led to the belief that he had become a Unitarian. Isaac wrote many collections of hymns and his own faith showed clearly through them: When I survey the wondrous cross, Jesus shall reign where’er the sun and many others still used in worship. He died at Stoke Newington on this day in 1748. EH
I’ve included an alternative tune for the opening hymn by Watts; try singing it to this tune instead.
Ant. Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad
before the face of the Lord for he comes.
V. O sing a new song to the Lord; *
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
O sing to the Lord; bless his name. *
Proclaim his salvation day by day.
Tell among the nations his glory, *
and his wonders among all the peoples. Psalm 2
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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: Isaac Watts
Tune: Chesterfield https://tinyurl.com/y5n9l6yn
1 Joy to the world; the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King:
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.
2 Joy to the earth, the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains,
Repeat the sounding joy.
3 No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow,
Far as the curse is found.
4 He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love.
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: Obadiah 15-21
For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
your deeds shall return on your own head.
For as you have drunk on my holy mountain,
all the nations around you shall drink;
they shall drink and gulp down,
and shall be as though they had never been.
But on Mount Zion there shall be those that escape,
and it shall be holy;
and the house of Jacob shall take possession of those who dispossessed them.
The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
the house of Joseph a flame,
and the house of Esau stubble;
they shall burn them and consume them,
and there shall be no survivor of the house of Esau;
for the Lord has spoken.
Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau,
and those of the Shephelah the land of the Philistines;
they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria,
and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
The exiles of the Israelites who are in Halah
shall possess Phoenicia as far as Zarephath;
and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
shall possess the towns of the Negeb.
Those who have been saved shall go up to Mount Zion
to rule Mount Esau;
and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.
HYMN: Isaac Watts
Tune: Cambridge New https://tinyurl.com/y3e8dt8d
1 Salvation, O the joyful sound,
’Tis pleasure to our ears;
A sov’reign balm for ev’ry wound,
A cordial for our fears.
2 Buried in sorrow and in sin,
At hell’s dark door we lay;
But we arise by grace divine
To see a heav’nly day.
3 Salvation! Let the echo fly
The spacious earth around;
While all the armies of the sky
Conspire to raise the sound.
Reading: Revelation 21:9-21
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth cornelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.
HYMN: Isaac Watts
Tune: Beulah https://tinyurl.com/y4vk88ls
1 There is a land of pure delight,
where saints immortal reign;
infinite day excludes the night,
and pleasures banish pain.
2 There everlasting spring abides,
and never-withering flowers;
death, like a narrow sea, divides
that heavenly land from ours.
3 Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
stand dressed in living green;
so to the Jews old Canaan stood,
while Jordan rolled between.
4 But timorous mortals start and shrink
to cross the narrow sea,
and linger shivering on the brink,
and fear to launch away.
5 O could we make our doubts remove,
those gloomy doubts that rise,
and see the Canaan that we love
with unbeclouded eyes;
6 Could we but climb where Moses stood,
and view the landscape o’er,
not Jordan’s stream, nor death’s cold flood,
should fright us from the shore!
Reading: Mark 10:17-27
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.” ’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’
CANTICLE Ephesians 1:3-10
(John Michael Talbot https://tinyurl.com/ya8y3kqs)
Ant. God chose us in his Son to be his beloved children.
Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, *
who bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens.
God chose us in him before the world began, *
to be holy and blameless in his sight.
He predestined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ, *
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.
In him and through his blood, we have been redeemed, *
and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God’s favor to us.
God has given us the wisdom to understand fully the mystery, *
the plan he was pleased to decree in Christ.
A plan to be carried out in Christ, in the fullness of time, *
to bring all things into one in him, in the heavens and on the earth
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 PRAYERS BCW
Give us your peace, O God, that we may rejoice in your goodness to us and to all
your children, and be thankful for your love revealed in Jesus Christ. Especially
we thank you for
people who reveal your truth and righteousness . . .
courage to be bold disciples . . .
those who show hospitality . . .
surprises that have blessed us . . .
the unity of the church of Jesus Christ. . . .
Give us your peace, O God, that we may be confident of your care for us and all
your children, as we remember the needs of others. Especially we pray for
friends and relatives who are far away . . .
neighbors in special need . . .
those who suffer hunger and thirst . . .
those who work at night while others sleep . . .
Episcopal and Methodist churches. . . .
Setting: Sanford Dole https://tinyurl.com/y7ldq7h5
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as 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.
God of truth and grace, you gave Isaac Watts gifts to present your praise in verse, that he might write psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for your Church: Give us grace joyfully to sing your praises now and in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. HWHM, alt.
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
Donation to Support This Ministry
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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.
1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©
BCP79 The Book of Common Prayer (1979), The Episcopal Church
HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men, © 2010, The Church Pension Fund
CW Material from the Order for Remembrance Sunday, Common Worship: Times and Seasons, © The Archbishops’ Council 2006 and published by Church House Publishing.
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.