O praise the Lord, all you nations,
for his merciful love towards us is great. Psalm 117
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: John Wesley
Tune: Madrid https://tinyurl.com/2rwzj2jw
1 Now I have found the ground wherein
Sure my soul’s anchor may remain–
The wounds of Jesus, for my sin
Before the world’s foundation slain;
Whose mercy shall unshaken stay,
When heav’n and earth are fled away.
2 Father, Thine everlasting grace
Our scanty thought surpasses far,
Thy heart still melts with tenderness,
Thy arms of love still open are,
Returning sinners to receive,
That mercy they may taste and live.
3 O Love, Thou bottomless abyss,
My sins are swallowed up in thee!
Covered is my unrighteousness,
Nor spot of guilt remains on me,
While Jesus’ blood, through earth and skies
Mercy, free, boundless mercy! cries.
4 With faith I plunge me in this sea,
Here is my hope, my joy, my rest;
Hither, when hell assails, I flee,
I look into my Savior’s breast.
Away, sad doubt and anxious fear!
Mercy is all that’s written there.
5 Though waves and storms go o’er my head,
Though strength, and health, and friends be gone,
Though joys be withered all and dead,
Though every comfort be withdrawn,
On this my steadfast soul relies–
Father, Thy mercy never dies!
6 Fixed on this ground will I remain,
Though my heart fail and flesh decay;
This anchor shall my soul sustain,
When earth’s foundations melt away.
Mercy’s full pow’r I then shall prove,
Loved with an everlasting love.
(Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y9wwyccr)
1 Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way *
and walk in the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies *
and seek him with their whole heart.
3 For they who do no wickedness *
walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast charged *
that we shall diligently keep thy commandments.
5 O that my ways were made so direct *
that I might keep thy statutes!
6 So shall I not be confounded *
while I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will thank thee with an unfeigned heart *
when I shall have learned the judgements of thy righteousness.
8 I will keep thy ceremonies *
O forsake me not utterly.
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way *
even by ruling himself after thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee *
O let me not go wrong out of thy commandments.
11 Thy words have I hid within my heart *
that I should not sin against thee.
12 Blessed art thou, O Lord *
O teach me thy statutes.
13 With my lips have I been telling *
of all the judgements of thy mouth.
14 I have had as great delight in the way of thy testimonies *
as in all manner of riches.
15 I will talk of thy commandments *
and have respect unto thy ways.
16 My delight shall be in thy statutes *
and I will not forget thy word.
17 O do well unto thy servant *
that I may live, and keep thy word.
18 Open thou mine eyes *
that I may see the wondrous things of thy law.
19 I am a stranger upon earth *
O hide not thy commandments from me.
20 My soul breaketh out for the very fervent desire *
that it hath alway unto thy judgements.
21 Thou hast rebuked the proud *
and cursed are they that do err from thy commandments.
22 O turn from me shame and rebuke *
for I have kept thy testimonies.
23 Princes also did sit and speak against me *
but thy servant is occupied in thy statutes.
24 For thy testimonies are my delight *
and my counsellors.
25 My soul cleaveth to the dust *
O quicken thou me, according to thy word.
26 I have acknowledged my ways, and thou heardest me *
O teach me thy statutes.
27 Make me to understand the way of thy commandments *
and so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
28 My soul melteth away for very heaviness *
comfort thou me according unto thy word.
29 Take from me the way of lying *
and cause thou me to make much of thy law.
30 I have chosen the way of truth *
and thy judgements have I laid before me.
31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies *
O Lord, confound me not.
32 I will run the way of thy commandments *
when thou hast set my heart at liberty.
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.
(Karl Kohlhase: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-119-1-32-KH.mp3)
How blessed whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
How blessed who keep his teachings,
who seek him with all of their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness;
they walk within his ways.
You have ordained your precepts,
we’ll keep them diligently.
O let my ways be firmly set,
to always keep your statutes!
Then I shall not be ashamed,
when I look upon Your commands.
I’ll give thanks with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous judgments.
Yes, I will keep your laws;
O do not completely leave me!
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it by your word.
With all my heart I have sought you;
don’t let me stray from your laws.
Your word I’ve treasured within my heart,
so I will not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
instruct me in your laws.
With my lips I have proclaimed,
all the rulings of your mouth.
I’ve rejoiced in the way of your teachings,
as much as in all wealth.
I will meditate on your precepts,
and also regard your ways.
I will take delight in your precepts;
and never forget your statutes.
Deal bountifully with your servant,
Let me live in keeping your word.
Open my eyes so that I may see,
wonderful things from your law.
I am a stranger upon the earth;
don’t hide from me Your commands.
My soul is crushed with a longing,
for Your judgments at all times.
You rebuke the proud who are cursed,
who wander from your commandments.
Take away my reproach and contempt,
for I hold to what you teach.
Even though princes may sit and deride me,
your laws your servant meditates.
Your teachings are also my delight;
for they are my counselors.
My soul cleaves to the dust;
revive me by your word.
Confessing my ways, you give answer;
instruct me in your laws.
To understand the way of your precepts,
I will meditate on your wonders.
My soul is weeping from grief;
O strengthen me by your word.
Please remove the false way from me,
and graciously grant me your law.
I have chosen the faithful way;
and have placed your words before me.
I will cling to your testimonies; O LORD,
don’t put me to shame!
I’ll run the way of your commands,
for you will enlarge my heart.
you subdue the arrogant
and raise the humble;
you feed the hungry
and reveal the poverty of wealth.
Help us to praise your name in all times and places,
that we may be faithful servants
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: Joel 1:1-20
The Lord’s word that came to Joel, Pethuel’s son:
Hear this, elders;
pay attention, everyone in the land!
Has anything like this ever happened in your days,
or in the days of your ancestors?
Tell it to your children,
and have your children tell their children,
and their children tell their children.
What the cutting locust left,
the swarming locust has eaten.
What the swarming locust left,
the hopping locust has eaten.
And what the hopping locust left,
the devouring locust has eaten.
Wake up, you who drink too much, and weep.
Scream over the sweet wine,
all you wine drinkers,
because it is snatched from your mouth;
because a nation, powerful and beyond number,
has invaded my land.
Its teeth are like lions’ teeth;
its fangs are like those of a lioness.
It has destroyed my vines,
splintered my fig trees,
stripped off their bark and thrown it down;
their branches have turned white.
Lament like a woman dressed in funeral clothing,
one who has lost the husband of her youth.
The grain offering and the drink offering are gone from the Lord’s temple.
The priests and the Lord’s ministers mourn.
The fields are devastated,
the ground mourns;
for the grain is destroyed,
the new wine dries up,
the olive oil fails.
Be shocked, you farmers;
howl, you vinedressers,
over the wheat and the barley,
for the crops of the field are destroyed.
The grapevine is dried up;
the fig tree withers.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple—
all the trees of the field are dried up.
Joy fades away from the people.
Dress for a funeral and grieve, you priests;
lament, ministers of the altar.
Come, spend the night in funeral clothing, servants of my God,
because the grain offering and the drink offering
have gone from the temple of your God.
Demand a fast,
request a special assembly.
Gather the elders
and all the land’s people
to the temple of the Lord your God,
and cry out to the Lord.
What a terrible day!
The day of the Lord is near;
it comes like chaos from the Almighty.
Isn’t the food cut off
right before our eyes?
Aren’t joy and gladness also gone from our God’s house?
The grain shrivels under the shovels;
the barns are empty.
The granaries are in ruin
because the grain has dried up.
How the animals groan!
Herds of cattle are in distress
because there is no pasture for them;
even the flocks of sheep pant.
To you, Lord, I cry,
for fire has completely destroyed
the pastures of the wilderness;
and flames have burned
all the trees of the field.
Even the field’s wild animals cry to you
because the streams have dried up;
the fire has completely destroyed
the meadows of the wilderness.
HYMN: Psalm 78; para. Isaac Watts
Tune: Nun danket all https://tinyurl.com/ytwyhnxe
1 Let children hear the mighty deeds
Which God performed of old,
Which in our younger years we saw,
And which our fathers told.
2 Make unto them His glories known,
His works of pow’r and grace;
And we’ll convey His wonders down
Through ev’ry rising race.
3 Our lips shall tell them to our sons,
And they again to theirs;
That generations yet unborn
May teach them to their heirs.
4 O teach them with all diligence
The truths of God’s own Word,
To place in Him their confidence,
To fear and trust their Lord.
5 To learn that in our God alone
Their hope securely stands;
That they may ne’er forget His works,
But walk in His commands.
Reading: Hebrews 10:26-39
If we make the decision to sin after we receive the knowledge of the truth, there isn’t a sacrifice for sins left any longer. There’s only a scary expectation of judgment and of a burning fire that’s going to devour God’s opponents. When someone rejected the Law from Moses, they were put to death without mercy on the basis of the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think is deserved by the person who walks all over God’s Son, who acts as if the blood of the covenant that made us holy is just ordinary blood, and who insults the Spirit of grace? We know the one who said, Judgment is mine; I will pay people back. And he also said, The Lord will judge his people. It’s scary to fall into the hands of the living God!
But remember the earlier days, after you saw the light. You stood your ground while you were suffering from an enormous amount of pressure. Sometimes you were exposed to insults and abuse in public. Other times you became partners with those who were treated that way. You even showed sympathy toward people in prison and accepted the confiscation of your possessions with joy, since you knew that you had better and lasting possessions. So don’t throw away your confidence—it brings a great reward. You need to endure so that you can receive the promises after you do God’s will.
In a little while longer,
the one who is coming will come and won’t delay;
but my righteous one will live by faith,
and my whole being won’t be pleased with anyone who shrinks back.
But we aren’t the sort of people who timidly draw back and end up being destroyed. We’re the sort of people who have faith so that our whole beings are preserved.
HYMN: St Joseph the Hymnographer; trans. John Mason Neale
Tune: Knecht (Kocher) https://tinyurl.com/2axhea3m
1 O happy band of pilgrims,
If onward ye will tread
With Jesus as your fellow
To Jesus as your Head!
2 O happy if ye labour
As Jesus did for men;
O happy if ye hunger
As Jesus hungered then!
3 *The cross that Jesus carried
He carried as your due;
The crown that Jesus weareth,
He weareth it for you.
4 The trials that beset you,
The sorrows ye endure,
The manifold temptations
That death alone can cure,
5 What are they but his jewels
Of right celestial worth?
What are they but the ladder
Set up to heaven on earth?
6 O happy band of pilgrims,
Look upward to the skies,
Where such a light affliction
Shall win you such a prize!
Reading: Matthew 15:1-9
Then Pharisees and legal experts came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why are your disciples breaking the elders’ rules handed down to us? They don’t ritually purify their hands by washing before they eat.”
Jesus replied, “Why do you break the command of God by keeping the rules handed down to you? For God said, Honor your father and your mother, and The person who speaks against father or mother will certainly be put to death. But you say, ‘If you tell your father or mother, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you I’m giving to God as a gift,”then you don’t have to honor your father.’ So you do away with God’s Law for the sake of the rules that have been handed down to you. Hypocrites! Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you, This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. Their worship of me is empty since they teach instructions that are human rules.”
CANTICLE Revelation 15:3-4
(Chant by Joe Cox: https://tinyurl.com/yb3kd863)
Ant. All nations will draw near and fall down before you, *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.
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. Ant.
THE PRAYERS BCW
Great and wonderful God, we praise and thank you for the gift of renewal in Jesus
Christ. Especially we thank you for
opportunities for rest and recreation . . .
the regenerating gifts of the Holy Spirit . . .
activities shared by young and old . . .
fun and laughter . . .
every service that proclaims your love. . . .
You make all things new, O God, and we offer our prayers for the renewal of the
world and the healing of its wounds. Especially we pray for
those who have no leisure . . .
people enslaved by addictions . . .
those who entertain and enlighten . . .
those confronted with temptation . . .
the church in North America. . . .
Setting by Eric Wyse
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;
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.
Blessed are you, O Lord and Lover,
source of beauty and depth of passion.
Strengthen and inspire us to do the word we hear
and live the faith we confess. 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.
The three main scripture readings are © Common English Bible.
The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language versions of Psalms 114 and 115 are in the version used in Lutheran Service Book: Pew Edition Concordia Publishing House, and are from the Next to the Word of God YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkVRYL-MRebncw584Ql2xfg.
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 © 2022 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.