Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Emily Malbone Morgan *


Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory, honour and power. For you created all things and by your will they were given existence and life. Amen.


Ever by my love be owned,
Jesu, who has loved me true
and has for my sin atoned,
sin wherewith I grieved you;
Ah, how well is it with me
whensoever I bow my knee
at the cross where you expired
and true life for me acquired.

Heal my soul, you who are my salvation;
heal my weakness; heal my grief:
take away my tribulation;
be to all my ills relief:
ills the Fall on me has brought,
ills I for myself have wrought:
let your blood be my heart bedewing,
ever be my peace renewing.

Be your bleeding wounds impressed
evermore upon my heart;
thus may every hour be blessed,
nor my thoughts from you depart.
Treasure of mine you are most blessed;
all my heart in you shall rest:
be your love on me descending,
at your feet, O Jesu! bending.

( Bernard of Clairvaux )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Emily Malbone Morgan: justice and rest for working women

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Emily Malbone Morgan, founder of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, strong advocates for working women and for the betterment of their working conditions.

To get some understanding of the importance of the SCHC, this is the way the National Women’s History Museum describes the situation facing working women in the years 1880 to 1930:

“Women who worked in manufacturing in factories composed one fifth of the female workforce and were mostly concentrated in the garment and textile industries (in shirtwaist, cloth hat, underwear, and white goods mills, for example). Women factory workers faced frequent wage cuts, worked gruelling hours, and endured horrible working conditions. In the New York garment factories, women typically worked twelve to fourteen hours, seven days a week at a sewing machine in a factory without central heating, electricity, or ventilation. There were no protections against the spread of fire. Because of these working conditions, women often suffered from serious workplace injuries, chronic migraines and fatigue, swollen feet and ankles, and contagious illnesses that spread quickly and easily in the cramped factories."

With deep roots in Anglican spirituality, Emily Malbone Morgan called together a group of women for prayer and companionship, out of this work the Society. was born in 1884.

Morgan had a particular concern for working women who were tired and restless and who had little hope for a vacation. In response, Morgan, with the help of a growing number of her "companions," developed summer vacation houses across the northeast where working women and their daughters could have some time away for physical and spiritual renewal and refreshment.

In 1901, the Society established a permanent home in Byfield, Massachusetts. With the construction of new facilities on the site in 1915, it took the name Adelynrood, which continues to exist as the headquarters and retreat centre of the Society. At present, SCHC has thirty-one chapters with more than seven hundred Companions, lay and ordained women, serving in six countries.

Scripture. In "Psalm Eighty-Four," verses five to seven, we read:

Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the dry valley they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.


Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for factory workers, in particular those who work in sweatshops, those who work long hours for little pay.

... for the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, for unions, industrial chaplains, worker priests and all who campaign for the welfare of factory workers throughout the world.

... that we may all be allowed, and allow ourselves, time for rest and leisure away from the pressures of work.

... for the people of Kuwait who celebrate their national day today.

... for those who died in an explosion in a shop in Leicester, England, this morning; for those who may be still buried under the rubble. DETAILS

... that the truce in Syria may be honoured by all parties involved in the fighting.

... for the one hundred and fourteen Nigerian girls who were abducted from their school by Boko Haram on the nineteenth of February; for their speedy and safe return to their families.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


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. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From “A Slip of the Tongue” by C. S. Lewis:

This is my endlessly recurrent temptation: to go down to that sea (I think Saint John of the Cross called God a sea) and there neither dive nor swim nor float, but only dabble and splash, careful not to get out of my depth and holding on to the lifeline which connects me with my things temporal. It is different from the temptations that met us at the beginning of the Christian life. Then we fought (at least I fought) against admitting the claims of the eternal at all. And when we had fought, and been beaten, and surrendered, we supposed that all would be fairly plain sailing. This temptation comes later. It is addressed to those who have already admitted the claim in principle and are even making some sort of effort to meet it. Our temptation is to look eagerly for the minimum that will be accepted. We are in fact very like honest but reluctant taxpayers. We approve of an income tax in principle. We make our returns truthfully. But we dread a rise in the tax. We are very careful to pay no more than is necessary. And we hope, we very ardently hope, that after we have paid it there will still be enough left to live on.


Gracious God, you raised up Emily Malbone Morgan to establish the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross and to provide respite for women working in factories: draw us to follow her example of thanksgiving, intercession and simplicity of life in service of social justice, unity, and mission; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now forever. Amen.

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


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