29 June 2012

An Office for the Church's Missionary Work

From A New Prayer Book, Oxford: London

Blessed be the Lord God for his tender mercy whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us;
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

JESUS said, They shall come from the east and west, and from the north and south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
Thanks be to thee, O Christ, for thy holy Gospel.

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.
Thanks be to thee, O Christ, for thy holy Promise.

Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you.
Thanks be to thee, O Christ, for thy holy Word.

Ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
Thanks be to thee, O Christ, for thy holy Gospel.

Let us pray,


Thanks be to thee, most glorious God, + Father Son, and Holy Spirit, for the revelation of thyself in this our world, and for thy commission to thy Church to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to every creature.
Thanks be to thee, O God.

For the early disciples who were sent forth by Christ to proclaim the coming of the kingdom;
We praise thee, O God.

For the apostles of the nations, who in obedience to his word carried the Gospel through the world;
We praise thee, O God.

For the missionaries, known and unknown, who first brought the Gospel to these shores;
We praise thee, O God.

For all the faithful who, in ages of darkness, kept their lamps burning and watched for the coming of the Lord;
We praise thee, O God.

For all who at any time have recalled the Church to her great task of evangelizing the world;
We praise thee, O God.

For those who have gone to the ends of the earth with the joyful news, and have sought out the dark places to bring light to them that dwell in the shadow of death;
We praise thee, O God.

For thy messengers who have joined the noble army of martyrs, and for all converts to the faith who have sealed their testimony with their blood;
We praise thee, O God.

For the innumerable company who now praise thy Name, out of every kindred and nation and tongue;
We praise thee, O God. Alleluia. Amen.

We humbly acknowledge, O Lord our unworthiness of thy mercies, and confess how little we have done to hand on in freedom and fulness the faith which was brought to us through so many perils, and purchased with such pain.
Our long neglect of this, our bounden duty,
O Lord,  forgive.

Our past unfaithfulness,
O Lord,  forgive.

Our neglected opportunities,
O Lord,  forgive.

Our deafness to thy calls,
O Lord,  forgive.

Our small sacrifice for so great a cause, 
O Lord,  forgive.

Our forgetfulness of those who have gone forth relying on our prayers,
O Lord,  forgive.

We beseech thee to hear us, O Lord, that thou wouldst stir up the hearts of thy faithful people to greater obedience, and unite thy Church to face the world's great need.
That thou wouldst send forth labourers into thy harvest;
Hear us, we beseech thee.

That those who have gone forth may be supported by thy presence, guided by thy counsel, and filled with thy power;
Hear us, we beseech thee.

Let us pray in silence for . . .

Finally, O Lord, we pray thee to give to all professing Christians living in foreign lands a sense of their responsibility, that they may adorn the doctrine of our Saviour by their good example, and so commend the faith to tohers; and we beseech thee to hasten the time when the Gospel shall be preached to all nations, and the whole world filled with the knowledge of thy love.  Amen.

O God of all the nations of the earth, help us to remember the multitudes who have been created in thine image, yet know not the fulness of thy truth; and, according to the love of thy Son Jesus Christ, grant that by the prayers and labours of thy Church they maybe delivered from superstition and unbelief, and brought to worship thee; through him whom thou hast sent to be our salvation, the resurrection and the life of all the faithful, they Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shine in your hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Devotional Offices for General Use
John Wallace Suter, DD
The Century Co.: New York, 1928

+We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.