God of light, eternal and bright-shining, do not allow the noises and shadows of this fleeting world to confuse us. Do not allow the deceptions of this world to muddle us. Give us strength to bear and face willingly the evils that we encounter.
-Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
Prayer of the Bible
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."...He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.
-from Psalm 91:1-5
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
O Lord, God of hosts, be with us. For we have no helper in our hardships and tribulations but You. Absolve, forgive, and remit, O God, our transgressions; those which we have committed willingly and those we have committed unwillingly, those which we have committed knowingly and those which we have committed unknowingly, the hidden and manifest, O Lord forgive us, for the sake of Your Holy name by which we are called.
-The Agpeya of the Coptic Church
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayer for ourselves and others
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing you have received, fading symbols of honor, trappings of power, but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.
-Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)