Ecce Deus. Psalm 54.
Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is he that upholdeth my soul: reward thou evil unto mine enemies: and destroy them in thine anger, for thy righteousness sake, O Lord, my strength and my defender. Save me, O God, for thy Name’s sake: and avenge me in thy strength. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Behold, God is my helper . . .
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right: that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I Corinthians 10:1-13
Brethren: I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
[Psalm 9] O Lord our Governour, how excellent is thy Name in all the world. Thou that hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Alleluia. alleluia. [Psalm 59] Deliver me from mine enemies, O God: defend me from them that rise up against me. Alleluia.
St. Luke 15:11-32
At that time: Jesus said: A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
[Psalm 19] The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart, sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb: and moreover thy servant keepeth them.
[St. John 6] He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him, saith the Lord.
Below are plainsong renditions of the Psalms as published in the Saint Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter.
Throughout his career, Thomas Tallis was forced to adjust to new standards for the composition of church music (read more about those changes in “Sacred song and the Tudors”). One of his best-known anthems, “Verily, verily, I say unto you” is an example of the style that emerged and matured after the Reformation, influenced greatly by the precedent set by Tallis. The text comes from St. John 6:53-56. It is sung below by the Tallis Scholars, conducted by Peter Phillips.
The following poem is from John Keble’s The Christian Year (1827).
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire:
and after the fire a still small voice.
1 Kings xix. 12.
In troublous days of anguish and rebuke,
While sadly round them Israel’s children look,
And their eyes fail for waiting on their Lord:
While underneath each awful arch of green,
On every mountain-top, God’s chosen scene,
Of pure heart-worship, Baal is adored:
’Tis well, true hearts should for a time retire
To holy ground, in quiet to aspire
Towards promised regions of serener grace;
On Horeb, with Elijah, let us lie,
Where all around on mountain, sand, and sky,
God’s chariot wheels have left distinctest trace;
There, if in jealousy and strong disdain
We to the sinner’s God of sin complain,
Untimely seeking here the peace of Heaven —
“It is enough. O Lord! now let me die
E’en as my fathers did: for what am I
That I should stand where they have vainly striven?” —
Perhaps our God may of our conscience ask,
“What doest thou here frail wanderer from thy task?
Where hast thou left those few sheep in the wild?”
Then should we plead our heart’s consuming pain,
At sight of ruined altars, prophets slain,
And God’s own ark with blood of souls defiled;
He on the rock may bid us stand, and see
The outskirts of His march of mystery,
His endless warfare with man’s wilful heart;
First, His great Power He to the sinner shows
Lo! at His angry blast the rocks unclose,
And to their base the trembling mountains part
Yet the Lord is not here: ’Tis not by Power
He will be known—but darker tempests lower;
Still, sullen heavings vex the labouring ground:
Perhaps His Presence thro’ all depth and height,
Best of all gems that deck His crown of light,
The haughty eye may dazzle and confound.
God is not in the earthquake; but behold
From Sinai’s caves are bursting, as of old,
The flames of His consuming jealous ire.
Woe to the sinner should stern Justice prove
His chosen attribute; — but He in love
Hastes to proclaim, “God is not in the fire.”
The storm is o’er — and hark! a still small voice
Steals on the ear, to say, Jehovah’s choice
Is ever with the soft, meek, tender soul;
By soft, meek, tender ways He loves to draw
The sinner, startled by His ways of awe:
Here is our Lord, and not where thunders roll.
Back, then, complainer; loath thy life no more,
Nor deem thyself upon a desert shore,
Because the rocks the nearer prospect close.
Yet in fallen Israel are there hearts and eyes
That day by day in prayer like thine arise;
Thou know’st them not, but their Creator knows.
Go, to the world return, nor fear to cast
Thy bread upon the waters, sure at last
In joy to find it after many days.
The work be thine, the fruit thy children’s part:
Choose to believe, not see: sight tempts the heart
From sober walking in true Gospel ways.
The following hymn is from Bp. Christopher Wordsworth’s The Holy Year; or Hymns for Sundays and Holy Days throughout the Year (1862).
NINTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
The Pilgrimage of the Israelites through the Wilderness to Canaan, represented in the Epistle of the Week, as typical of our Christian Journey through the world, to our heavenly Canaan.
In all our wanderings here below
We see Thee, Lord, where’er we go;
From smitten Rock when waters flow,
Then Jesus bleeds.
Thy Word, and Paschal festival,
Thy Church, — we see Thee in them all
When showers of Manna round us fall.
Then Jesus feeds.
In all the gleams of grace divine
We see Thy holy Presence shine;
Pillar of Light, and heavenly sign,
There Jesus leads.
Our arm could not from Egypt free;
In our own strength no hope we see;
We lean not on ourselves, for we
Are broken reeds.
In all our long and weary way,
Pilgrims of Canaan, lest we stray.
Be Thou our Guide, be Thou our Stay
In all our needs.
Speed us, O speed us onward, Lord,
Supplies of heavenly grace afford.
And make us Thine in will and word.
And holy deeds.
So may we through Life’s Desert go,
And come where fruits of Eshcol grow,
And crystal waters ever flow
In verdant meads;
And there to Father, and to Son
And Holy Ghost, blest Three in One,
Sing ever praise, from Whom alone
All good proceeds.