O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.
Psalm 139 (138)
O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you.
Before ever a word is on my tongue
you know it, O Lord, through and through.
Behind and before you besiege me,
your hand ever laid upon me.
Too wonderful for me this knowledge,
too high, beyond my reach.
O where can I go from your spirit,
or where can I flee from your face?
If I climb the heavens, you are there.
If I lie in the grave, you are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn
and dwell at the sea’s furthest end,
even there your hand would lead me,
your right hand would hold me fast.
If I say: “Let the darkness hide me
and the light around me be night,”
even darkness is not dark for you
and the night is as clear as the day.
For it was you who created my being,
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all your creation.
Already you knew my soul
my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret
and moulded in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw all my actions,
they were all of them written in your book;
every one of my days was decreed
before one of them came into being.
To me, how mysterious your thoughts,
the sum of them not to be numbered!
If I count them, they are more than the sand;
to finish, I must be eternal, like you.
O God, that you would slay the wicked!
Men of blood, keep far away from me!
With deceit they rebel against you
and set your designs at naught.
Do I not hate those who hate you,
abhor those who rise against you?
I hate them with a perfect hate
and they are foes to me.
O search me, God, and know my heart.
O test me and know my thoughts.
See that I follow not the wrong path
and lead me in the path of life eternal.
Reading of the Day
Oh, the simplicity of St Paul’s words: ‘take heed to thyself’. See yourself as you really are, as a creature made by God in his own image: ‘thy hands have made me and fashioned me’, ‘I will thank thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ Recover the realisation that from God you come, to God you belong, and to God you go. Take heed to the meaning of the self before its Creator… Know yourself with your idols and your failures exposed in the presence of a creator who made you for himself, and who sees below the idols and the failures your longing for him. And likewise in the years which follow, take heed to thyself again, deliberately, regularly. It will not be easy. Not only will the round of ceaseless business in Church and Parish hinder you, but (and here is the more subtle danger) the devout practices of prayer and office and penitence can themselves be twisted into a sort of busyness which can hide you from yourself in an aroma of professional piety. So the need is for spaces of quietness in which you see yourself as you are, in the presence of the Creator who made you… Take heed to thyself, that self which can deceive unless it is revealed in naked simplicity before its God.
Michael Ramsey: Ordination Charge, from Durham Essays and Addresses, 1956, SPCK London
The Lord’s Prayer
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 them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Collect of the Day in the Novena
O God our Creator,
from whom we come and to whom we belong,
give us spaces of quietness where we may stand in your presence
in simplicity of heart.
You know our longing for you;
grant us also a longing for the unity of your Church,
that as you have made us in your image
we may grow into your likeness
in love for all those within the Body of your Son
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect for the Novena
O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful people
by the sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit;
Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things,
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of that same Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen