Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, September 28, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Our God and God of our fathers,

let our prayer come before you

and do not ignore our supplication.

For we are not so brazen-faced

 and stiff-necked

to say to you,

Adonoy, our God, and God of our fathers,

    “We are righteous and have not sinned.”

But, indeed, we and our fathers have sinned.

We have trespassed [against God and man, and we are devastated by our guilt];

We have betrayed [God and man, we have been ungrateful for the good done to us];

We have stolen; We have slandered.

We have caused others to sin;

We have caused others to commit sins for which they are called , wicked;

We have sinned with malicious intent;

We have forcibly taken others’ possessions even though we paid for them;

We have added falsehood upon falsehood; We have joined with evil individuals or groups;

We have given harmful advice;

We have deceived; we have mocked;

We have rebelled against God and His Torah;

We have caused God to be angry with us;

We have turned away from God’s Torah;

We have sinned deliberately;

We have been negligent in our performance of the commandments;

We have caused our friends grief;

We have been stiff-necked, refusing to admit that our suffering is caused by our own sins.

We have committed sins for which we are called , [raising a hand to hit someone].

We have committed sins which are the result of moral corruption;

We have committed sins which the Torah refers to as abominations;

We have gone astray;

We have led others astray.  

English text taken from The Metsudah Machzor, via Sefaria.

Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, when they are closest to G‑d and to the essence of their souls. Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement,” as the verse states, “For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d.”  (Leviticus 16:30).

For nearly 26 hours Orthodox Jews “afflict their souls” by avoiding the following five actions: eating or drinking, wearing leather shoes, applying lotions or creams, washing or bathing and engaging in conjugal relations. Like Shabbat, no work is to be done, and special holiday candles are lit before the onset of the holy day.

The traditional confessional prayer, the Vidui, is composed of two parts, the Ashamnu and the Al Chet, that we read aloud on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Ashamnu (translated as “we have trespassed” or “we are guilty”) is an abbreviated confession, an alphabetic acrostic, and written in first person plural. Jews recite this confessional in the plural to represent our shared responsibility and culpability in all of our lives and missteps. They also share this confessional as a reminder that forgiveness is also shared. 

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us pray:

For the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For those affected by the wild fires in the west: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane, Bruce, Pauline, John, Bill, Stephanie, Hank, Nancy.

For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Budd, Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Patna (North India), Chandigarh (North India).

For all who have died:  especially Ronald, Robert, Harry, Lawrence, Ralph.

For one another.

Something to share

Poem for Yom Kippur

From the left and from the right I hear:
“We have sinned, we have dealt treacherously, we
have slandered.”

But I hear another song in my heart:
I believe in the truthfulness of art
In being energetic, in being sensitive, in the essentials

Today I believe in prayerfulness
I believe in the man to come
who will give water to the barren areas
But first and foremost I believe in Love

And until we stop shedding blood
I live in a dream
Waiting for the day of love (and), understanding, the day (today).

  Leonard Bernstein

News & Updates

Reminders                                

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can.

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.