Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

TUESDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF AUGUST, 2017
* MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty and everlasting God,
who stooped to raise fallen humanity
through the child-bearing of blessed Mary:
grant that we, who have seen your glory
revealed in our human nature
and your love made perfect in our weakness,
may daily be renewed in your image
and conformed to the pattern of your son,
Jesus Christ our lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

CANTICLE

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord:
unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name:
make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name, the Lord, the mighty one.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might:
powers and dominions lay their glory by;
proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word:
firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children's children and for evermore.

( Timothy Dudley-Smith )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Dormition of the Theotokos

Mary, mother of Jesus has been a cause of disunity for western Christians. Some, it is said, make too much of her, believing and teaching as doctrine things never said of her in holy scripture. Others, it is said, make too little of her, ignoring her role in Jesus’ own life and ministry, and ignoring her role in the Church’s life and worship.

We express this feast in the language of the Orthodox Christians, who celebrate her dormition, her falling asleep. In the Bible “falling asleep” is often used as a metaphor for death. But it is a hopeful metaphor, for a “falling asleep” presumes a “waking up.” And for followers of Jesus, that means eternal life.

Also the Orthodox, on this feast day, call attention to her greatest work, that of being the God-bearer, the one who brings God into the world. This was proclaimed in the ancient church at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.

Martin Luther famously wrote this about the title Theotokos: “Men have crowned all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God."

As a servant of the Word, Mary gladly obeyed God and did what was asked of her. In this she becomes an example for us to follow. So that, having served God faithfully in our lives, we may glorify him in our deaths and share eternal life with Mary and all the saints. We are called to be “God-bearers” too, bringing God into the world by our faith.

The first centuries of the Church tell us nothing about Mary. We last see her in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. We know not how long she lived, what she did, or how she ended her days. But, in celebrating her dormition, let us make her hope, our hope. And let us, with all God’s saints, look forward with expectation to the eternal life that awaits us.

Scripture. In the "Second Timothy," chapter four, verses six to eight, we read:

"As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

INTERCESSIONS

As we pray to God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we say with Mary:
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Your prophet of old foretold a day
when a virgin would conceive
and bear a son who would be called God-with-us.
Help us to look forward to your deliverance
and to seek the fullness of your kingdom.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Your angel declared to Mary that she was to be
the mother of the Saviour.
Help every Christian person to be open to your word
and obedient to your will.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Mary rejoiced with Elizabeth and sang your praise,
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord."
Help us to live joyful lives that sing your praise.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Mary bore a son of David’s line,
a king whose reign would never end.
Bless the nations of the world
with Christ’s gift of peace.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

The child Jesus grew in wisdom and stature
in the home of Mary and Joseph.
Strengthen our homes and families,
and keep under your protection
all those whom we love.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

At the foot of the cross of Christ
stood his mother,
and from the cross she received
his lifeless body in her arms.
Give comfort and healing to all who suffer
and all who watch the suffering
of those they love.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

The apostle John saw a vision
of a woman in heaven,
robed with the sun.
Bring us with all those who have died
in the faith of Christ
to share the joy of heaven
with Mary and all the saints.
Lord, have mercy on those who fear you.
Holy is your name.

Almighty and everlasting God,
your handmaid Mary magnified your name
and rejoiced in your saving love:
trusting in that same love,
we ask all these our prayers
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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 those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From the "First Letter of Cyril of Alexandria to Nestorius:

And thus is he said, albeit he have his being before the ages and be begotten of the Father, to be born after the flesh too, of a woman; not as though his divine nature received the beginning of being in the holy virgin, nor yet as though a second birth were needed on its own account, along with that of the Father. For it were alike idle and foolish to say that he who is before every age and co-eternal with the Father, needs a second beginning of being. But since for us and for our salvation, the Word having united the human nature to himself personally, proceeded forth of a woman, He is therefore said to have been born in the flesh. For not mere man was first born of the holy virgin, and then the Word of God came down upon him, but united from the very womb, he is said to have undergone birth in the flesh, as making his own the birth of his own flesh.

Thus shall we confess one Christ and lord; not as if co-worshipping a man with the Word but as worshipping one and the same, because not alien to the Word is his body with which he sits with the father, not as though two sons sit with the father but one in union with his own flesh. But if we reject the personal union as either impossible or as uncomely, we fall into saying, two sons; for we must needs sever and say that the one is man by himself, honoured with the title of son; by himself again, the Word of God, having of nature both the name and fact of sonship.

We must not therefore sever into two sons, the one lord Jesus Christ, for it will nothing aid the right utterance of the faith so to do, even though one should allege unity of persons, for the scripture has not said that the Word united to himself the person of a man, but that he has been made flesh. And the Word's being made flesh is nought else than that he partook of flesh and blood in like way with ourselves and made our body his own and proceeded man of a woman, not casting away the being God and his generation of God the Father, but even while in assumption of flesh remaining what he was.

Thus does the declaration of the exact faith everywhere set forth to us, thus shall we find that the holy Fathers thought, thus were they bold to call the holy virgin mother of God: not as though the nature of the Word or his Godhead took a beginning of being from the holy virgin, but in that the holy body souled with a reasonable soul was born of here, whereunto the Word united personally is said to have been born after the flesh.

CLOSING PRAYER

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Mary, mother of your incarnate son. Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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