Third Order of Service

PRELUDE
The service may begin with a Chorale, an Introit, a Processional Hymn, or opening sentences.

SENTENCES, one or more to be read by the Minister:

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah XL: 31.

Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah XL: 3.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands and a pure heart;
Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm XXIV:3–5.

Send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me;
Let them bring me unto thy holy hill.
Then will I go unto the altar of God,
Unto God my exceeding joy. Psalm XLIII:3,4.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Long-suffering and of great mercy,
The Lord is good to all,
And his tender mercies are over all his works. Psalm CXLV: 8. 9.

There is one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians IV: 6.

EXHORTATION, by the Minister:

From the world of many things and many doings we come to seek the unity of God. By many cares, by many pleasures, by diverse and selfish aims are we separated from one another, and divided within ourselves. The manifoldness of the world bewilders our minds; temptations and perplexities break us in sunder. Yet in all the universe is no wholly severed thing, for all things are composed in the order of God. Nor can any of us ever find his own good a separate thing, apart from the good of all men and all nations. Then let us here seek for a time to walk in that world of the Divine One where all several persons and things may be brought to that accord of spirit which alone is our peace.

INVOCATION, by the Minister:

Let us pray:
O God, our Father, in whom are calmness and peace, reconcile the dissensions which divide us from one another, and bring us into a unity of love which may bear some likeness to thy blessed nature, that we may be spiritually one, as well in ourselves as with each other, through that peace of thine which maketh all things peaceful, and through the grace, mercy, and tenderness wherewith thou, O Lord, art our Father, for ever. Amen.
or:
O Eternal, thy Spirit hath not changed its ways, nor hath the human heart forgotten its speechless longing for thy presence. Even as of old thy secret place is in the humble, contrite heart. Even as of old thy Spirit listeneth more to our hearts than to our lips. In this quiet hour and silent place come thou to us and touch our hearts with thine unutterable love. Amen.

Prayer to be said by the Minister and people:
Source of all good! Day by day are thy blessings renewed to us; and again we come with thankful hearts to seek the sense of thy presence. O that we could be reborn like the morning. For even as we seek to commune with thee shadows from our past dim the joy of our aspiration. We remember our thoughtless lives, our impatient tempers, our selfish aims; and yet we know that thou has neither made’us blind like the creatures that have no sin, nor left us without holy guidance —— thy still, small voice speaking in our inmost conscience, and thine open word, having dwelt among us full of grace and truth, appealing to us to choose the better part. Take us now to serve thee in newness of spirit, and sweep away every dust of care, every trace of fear, every taint of an uncharitable mind. Amen.

Then may be said the Lord’s Prayer, the people joining:
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.

O Lord, open thou our lips.
And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.
Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

HYMN, CANTICLE or ANTHEM

RESPONSIVE READING

ASCRIPTION, to be said or sung.

Blessed be the Lord, our God; who only do-eth won-drous things.

And blessed be his glo-rious name, Forever and ev-er. A-men.

FIRST LESSON

CHANT, if desired.

SECOND LESSON, if desired.

The Minister may then say:
Here endeth the reading of the lesson.
The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. O Lord, Show thy mercy upon us.
And grant us thy salvation.
O God, make clean our hearts within us.
And take not thy holy Spirit from us.

Then may follow a period of silent meditation, after which the Minister may read the Litany, the people responding, and one or more of the following or other suitable prayers, or may offer prayer in his own words.

LITANY

O Thou, who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea, we pray thee to enlarge our faith and love that we may think of needs beyond our own. We pray for all nations and their leaders, that they may walk in the ways of righteousness and peace; for people of all faiths throughout the world, that they may be illumined by thy light, and guided by thy Spirit;

O God, grant this, our prayer.

We pray for the cities and towns of our land, that those who are chosen to govern may be wise and upright, and that we may so cultivate the spirit of tolerance and charity that our differences may not deeply divide us, nor our practices dishonor us, nor our conflicts leave us embittered:

Enable us to build the City of God upon earth.

We pray for all who seek, day by day, to guide and mould the opinions of men; for thinkers and writers, teachers and preachers, that inspired by high ideals they may utter only what is true, uphold what is just, and maintain what is right:

Grant us the spirit of truth in our own hearts.

We pray for all artists and craftsmen, poets and musicians, who enrich the world with works of beauty and skill; for those who study nature to seek out the uses and declare the wonders of thy works; that through their gifts and discoveries our common life may be enlarged and adorned:

Open our eyes that we may behold the beauty of thy world.

We pray for all who buy and sell and get gain, that they may seek no advantage for themselves that would hinder the good of all; for all who work in field or factory, by whose labors we are clothed and fed; for all who toil beneath the earth or fly the pathways of the air; for all who go down to the sea in ships; for all men and women in their various callings, that they may have joy and gladness in their work.

Increase our faith that all good works shall be established forevermore.

Bind us in one spirit with all our human-kind through our prayers and our labors, that occasions of strife may be lessened, and that counsels of selfishness may be turned into concern for the common good. Amen.

PRAYERS

O God of peace, we turn aside from an unquiet world, seeking rest for our spirits and light for our thoughts. We bring our work to be sanctified, our wounds to be healed, our sins to be forgiven, our hopes to be renewed, our better selves to be quickened. O thou, in whom there is harmony, draw us to thyself, and silence the discords of our wasteful lives. Thou who art one in all, and in whom all are one, take us out of the loneliness of self, and fill us with the fulness of thy truth and love. Thou whose greatness is beyond our utmost thought, whose goodness is beyond our highest praise, lift us above our common littleness and our daily imperfections; send visions of the beauty that is in thy world; of the love that is in thee; of the good that may be in us. Amen.

Eternal God, in whom is harmony, peace, and concord; heal thou the divisions which separate thy children from one another, and enable them to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. While there are diversities of knowledge and of faith, and we cannot all be of the same mind, may we be made one in brotherly love, and in devotion to thy holy will. Deliver us from all blindness and prejudice, from all clamor and evil speaking, that by the charity of our temper and thought and life, we may show forth the power and beauty of the religion we profess, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.

Most gracious and loving Father, thou hast opened the hand of thy bounty, to fill our lives with blessing. Thou dost shelter us in the arms of thy mercy; thou providest for us perpetually, and lovest us with unfailing love. As thou hast laid thine hand upon us in blessing, so fill our hearts with thankfulness, and tune our lips to praise. Grant that what thou hast sown in mercy may spring up in duty; and let thy grace so strengthen our good purposes that we may walk in the light of thy countenance. and in the paths of thy commandments, now and for evermore. Amen.

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage, we humbly implore thy grace that we may always prove a people mindful of thy favor, glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties; preserve our unity; fashion into one happy people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy name we entrust the authority of government, to the end that there be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to thy law we show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness. and in the day of trouble suffer not our trust in thee to fail. Amen.

Eternal Spirit of grace and goodness, Strength of the righteous, Inspirer of seer and prophet, thou dost stand revealed in holy men and women; in following them we learn how we may best resemble thee. In them we see the likeness of thy righteousness rebuking sin, and know the power of holiness. Through them we feel thy tender mercy, and in their faces look on the Eternal. May their spirit rest upon our lives, making our daily toil, like theirs, divine; filling us with shame for our short-comings and with patient striving for a better mind; teaching us not to be pleasers of ourselves, but to be filled with pity to redress the ills of men. Strengthen us, O God, to sow the fields of love and duty, that others may hereafter reap in joy the harvest of our toil. Amen.

Then may follow a period of silence, an organ interlude, or the following chant.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts: Heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Glory be to thee, O Lord most high. Amen.

OFFERTORY, during which an anthem may be sung.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

HYMN

SERMON

PRAYER

HYMN

BENEDICTION

POSTLUDE

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