Prayer for the Morning
The Lord listens to our prayer:
let us approach the throne of grace.
Glory to the Father…. Amen.
O Cross of Christ, immortal tree
On which our Savior died,
The world is sheltered by your arms
That bore the Crucified.
From bitter death and barren wood
The tree of life is made;
Its branches bear unfailing fruit
And leaves that never fade.
O faithful Cross, you stand unmoved
While ages run their course;
Foundation of the universe,
Creation’s binding force.
Give glory to the risen Christ
And to his Cross give praise,
The sign of God’s unfathomed love,
The hope of all our days.
Psalm 102:2-6, 10-12, 16-21
To my words give ear, O Lord,/ give heed to my groaning. (Ps 5:2)
God heard the groaning of a world made helpless by sin and death. Just as the Israelites in the desert were healed by the sign of the serpents who were poisoning them, so also the human race is healed by the sign of the death that was destroying us until the Lord Jesus was lifted up on the cross to free those condemned to die.
O Lord, listen to my prayer
and let my cry for help reach you.
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear towards me
and answer me quickly when I call.
For my days are vanishing like smoke,
my bones burn away like a fire.
My heart is withered like the grass.
I forget to eat my bread.
I cry with all my strength
and my skin clings to my bones.
The bread I eat is ashes;
my drink is mingled with tears.
In your anger, Lord, and your fury
you have lifted me up and thrown me down.
My days are like a passing shadow
and I wither away like the grass.
The nations shall fear the name of the Lord
and all the earth’s kings your glory,
when the Lord shall build up Zion again
and appear in all his glory.
Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless;
he will not despise their prayers.
Let this be written for ages to come
that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;
for the Lord leaned down from his sanctuary on high.
He looked down from heaven to the earth
that he might hear the groans of the prisoners
and free those condemned to die.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Wisdom 16:5-8)
When the dire venom of beasts came upon them/ and they were dying from the bite of crooked serpents,/ your anger endured not to the end./ But as a warning, for a short time they were terrorized,/ though they had a sign of salvation, to remind them of the precept of your law./ For he who turned toward it was saved,/ not by what he saw,/ but by you, the savior of all./ And by this also you convinced our foes/ that you are he who delivers from all evil.
Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!/
This is the Lord for whom we looked;/ let us rejoice
and be glad that he has saved us! (Is 25:9)
Canticle of Zechariah
When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM. (Jn 8:28)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet
of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father…
O God, your Son was lifted up on the cross so that all who look upon him with the eyes of faith might be saved.
R/Make your Church a living sign of your love.
You sent your Son to bring glad tidings to the lowly:
– may the lowly in our midst read the Gospel in your people’s acts of love. R/
You sent your Son to heal the brokenhearted:
– may the brokenhearted of our world find relief in your people’s compassion. R/
You sent your Son to proclaim liberty to captives:
– may those imprisoned in addiction, loneliness, and despair find hope in your people’s active concern. R/
You saved us from death by your Death, O Lord. You raised us to life by your rising. Deepen your people’s communion with you in life and in death through our observance of Lent, who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.