The Last Sunday before Lent
For another form of worship in the home based on today’s lessons in the Revised Common Lectionary, go to https://blogs.elca.org/worship/3369/
Ant. Tell no one about the vision you have seen
until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.
V. My heart overflows with noble words. *
To the king I address the song I have made. Matthew 17; Psalm 45
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: Carl P. Daw, Jr.
Tune: Abbot’s Leigh https://tinyurl.com/2ulv4ags
1 We have come at Christ’s own bidding
to this high and holy place,
where we wait with hope and longing
for some token of God’s grace.
Here we pray for new assurance
that our faith is not in vain,
searching like those first disciples
for a sign both clear and plain.
2 Light breaks through our clouds and shadows;
splendor bathes the flesh-joined Word;
Moses and Elijah marvel
as the heavenly voice is heard.
Eyes and hearts behold with wonder
how the law and prophets meet:
Christ, with garments drenched in brightness,
stands transfigured and complete.
3 Strengthened by this glimpse of glory,
fearful lest our faith decline,
we like Peter find it tempting
to remain and build a shrine.
But true worship gives us courage
to proclaim what we profess,
that our daily lives may prove us
people of the God we bless.
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk
Psalm 73 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/vztsodf)
1 Truly God is loving unto Israel *
even unto such as are of a clean heart.
2 Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone *
my treadings had well-nigh slipt.
3 And why? I was grieved at the wicked *
I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
4 For they are in no peril of death *
but are lusty and strong.
5 They come in no misfortune like other folk *
neither are they plagued like other men.
6 And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride *
and overwhelmed with cruelty.
7 Their eyes swell with fatness *
and they do even what they lust.
8 They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy *
their talking is against the most High.
9 For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven *
and their tongue goeth through the world.
10 Therefore fall the people unto them *
and thereout suck they no small advantage.
11 Tush, say they, how should God perceive it *
is there knowledge in the most High?
12 Lo, these are the ungodly, these prosper in the world,
and these have riches in possession *
and I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain,
and washed mine hands in innocency.
13 All the day long have I been punished *
and chastened every morning.
14 Yea, and I had almost said even as they *
but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.
15 Then thought I to understand this *
but it was too hard for me,
16 Until I went into the sanctuary of God *
then understood I the end of these men;
17 Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places *
and castest them down, and destroyest them.
18 O how suddenly do they consume *
perish, and come to a fearful end!
19 Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh *
so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
20 Thus my heart was grieved *
and it went even through my reins.
21 So foolish was I, and ignorant *
even as it were a beast before thee.
22 Nevertheless, I am alway by thee *
for thou hast holden me by my right hand.
23 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel *
and after that receive me with glory.
24 Whom have I in heaven but thee *
and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.
25 My flesh and my heart faileth *
but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
26 For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish *
thou hast destroyed all them that commit fornication against thee.
27 But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God *
and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
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.
Psalm 74 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/r9v5c9y)
1 O God, wherefore art thou absent from us so long *
why is thy wrath so hot against the sheep of thy pasture?
2 O think upon thy congregation *
whom thou hast purchased, and redeemed of old.
3 Think upon the tribe of thine inheritance *
and mount Sion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
4 Lift up thy feet, that thou mayest utterly destroy every enemy *
which hath done evil in thy sanctuary.
5 Thine adversaries roar in the midst of thy congregations *
and set up their banners for tokens.
6 He that hewed timber afore out of the thick trees *
was known to bring it to an excellent work.
7 But now they break down all the carved work thereof *
with axes and hammers.
8 They have set fire upon thy holy places *
and have defiled the dwelling-place of thy Name, even unto the ground.
9 Yea, they said in their hearts, Let us make havock of them altogether *
thus have they burnt up all the houses of God in the land.
10 We see not our tokens, there is not one prophet more *
no, not one is there among us, that understandeth any more.
11 O God, how long shall the adversary do this dishonour *
how long shall the enemy blaspheme thy Name, for ever?
12 Why withdrawest thou thy hand *
why pluckest thou not thy right hand out of thy bosom
to consume the enemy?
13 For God is my King of old *
the help that is done upon earth he doeth it himself.
14 Thou didst divide the sea through thy power *
thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
15 Thou smotest the heads of Leviathan in pieces *
and gavest him to be meat for the people in the wilderness.
16 Thou broughtest out fountains and waters out of the hard rocks *
thou driedst up mighty waters.
17 The day is thine, and the night is thine *
thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
18 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth *
thou hast made summer and winter.
19 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy hath rebuked *
and how the foolish people hath blasphemed thy Name.
20 O deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the multitude of the enemies *
and forget not the congregation of the poor for ever.
21 Look upon the covenant *
for all the earth is full of darkness, and cruel habitations.
22 O let not the simple go away ashamed *
but let the poor and needy give praise unto thy Name.
23 Arise, O God, maintain thine own cause *
remember how the foolish man blasphemeth thee daily.
24 Forget not the voice of thine enemies *
the presumption of them that hate thee increaseth ever more and more.
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.
God our strength,
you give honor to the pure in heart
and uphold all who trust in you.
Deliver us from chasing after this world’s illusions
that we may follow instead
the imperishable truth of your Word
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-12
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’
Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’
Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
HYMN: Psalm 50; para. Isaac Watts
Tune: St Andrew (Tans’ur) https://tinyurl.com/4otd754c
The Lord, the Judge, before his throne
Bids the whole earth draw nigh,
The nations near the rising sun,
And near the western sky.
No more shall bold blasphemers say,
“Judgment will ne’er begin;”
No more abuse his long delay
To impudence and sin.
Throned on a cloud our God shall come,
Bright flames prepare his way;
Thunder and darkness, fire and storm,
Lead on the dreadful day.
Heav’n from above his call shall hear,
Attending angels come,
And earth and hell shall know and fear
His justice and their doom.
“But gather all my saints,” he cries,
“That made their peace with God
By the Redeemer’s sacrifice,
And sealed it with his blood.
“Their faith and works, brought forth to light
Shall make the world confess,
My sentence of reward is right,
And heav’n adore my grace.”
Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
HYMN: William Merrell Vories
Tune: Pentecost https://tinyurl.com/stms78e6
1 Let there be light, O God of hosts!
Let there be wisdom on the earth!
Let broad humanity have birth!
Let there be deeds instead of boasts.
2 Within our passioned hearts instill
the calm that endeth strain and strife.
Make us your ministers of life.
Drive out the urge to curse and kill.
3 Give us the peace of vision clear
to see each other’s good, our own,
to joy and suffer not alone:
the love that casts aside all fear.
4 Let woe and waste of warfare cease,
that useful labor yet may build
its homes with love and laughter filled!
God, give your wayward children peace!
Reading: Mark 9:2-9
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
CANTICLE Exodus 15
(John Schiavone: https://tinyurl.com/ybknobsb)
Ant. I will sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
I will sing to the Lord, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
He is my God, I praise him;
the God of my father, I extol him. Ant.
The Lord is a warrior, LORD is his name!
Pharaoh’s chariots and army he hurled into the sea;
the elite of his officers were submerged in the Red Sea. Ant.
The flood waters covered them,
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, magnificent in power,
your right hand, O Lord, has shattered the enemy. Ant.
You brought in the people you redeemed
and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place where you made your seat, O Lord,
the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands established.
The Lord shall reign forever and ever. Ant.
THE PRAYERS Joe Milner
For the Church: that we may reach out to all who have been excluded or marginalized by our society and offer acceptance and inclusion in our community
For transformation: that we may present ourselves before Christ and confidently surrender to his touch all that is sinful, selfish, or alienating in our life
For unity in the human family: that God will awaken within us a spirit of fraternity and help us to cooperate with all peoples, races, and faith traditions in combating disease, poverty, and injustice
For the grace to imitate Christ: that God will help us to love others, confront lies and injustice, and surrender ourselves in service to God and neighbor as did Jesus
For greater consciousness: that we may be aware of those with fragile faith or who are struggling with confusion and choose our words and actions carefully so as not to quell the spark of faith planted in their hearts
For healing: that all who have been scandalized by the actions or inactions of those in authority may experience the healing and renewing touch of Jesus
For all who feel socially isolated: that those who have been ridiculed, laughed at, or bullied, may have their dignity as persons recognized and be welcomed into this faith community
For all who are physically isolated: that God will guide us in reaching out to them, assisting with their needs, and sharing faith with them
For all who are ill: that God will touch the sick and return them to wholeness, free the human family from the coronavirus, and speed the distribution of the vaccines
For all who are engaged: that they may grow in their love for each other and come to know Christ’s love through each other
For all married couples: that God will continue to deepen their love and help their relationship give witness to God’s loving presence in the world
For openness to the Spirit: that we may be attentive to the invitations of God to grow and change during the coming Lenten season
For all who are suffering: that God will assist and guide to fulfillment all who are searching for jobs, a place to call home, food for their table, or healthcare
For greater stewardship of earth’s resources: that God will help us understand the value of all living things and the wisdom to protect them for future generations
For peace: that God will inspire world leaders to take bold steps to end violence and promote justice through dialogue and understanding
(Traditional chant: https://tinyurl.com/ydzx5jdp)
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.]
you have revealed the glory of your love in Jesus Christ,
and have given us a share in your Spirit.
May we who listen to Christ
and, in the dark places where you send us,
reveal the light of your gospel. Amen. RCLP
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.
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/ ©
The intercessions are by Joe Milner, http://liturgy.slu.edu
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.