Praying at Home Today: Tuesday 8 September 2020
A warm welcome to PrayingAtHome.com, where you can find worship resources for praying at home today or wherever you are.
We hope these readings, prayers, music and the short reflection will help you stay in touch with the Church and to sustain you on your journey through life.
We follow the Track 2 “related” Old Testament reading and psalm (or equivalent response).
Opening to the Word
You can spend a few moments in silence,
focussing on your breathing
to become more mindful of the present moment
and to open yourself more fully
to God’s presence within you.
In the name of the living God,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Bonum mihi lex oris tui,
super millia auri et argenti.
Mieux vaut pour moi la loi de ta bouche
que 1000 objets en or et en argent.
Psalm 118 (119):72
The Liturgy of the Word *
One link to all three readings
Separate links to each reading
Difficult readings today!
Today’s readings are quite challenging, to put it mildly.
The Old Testament reading, part of the Torah, the Law, deals (literally) with those who do wrong.
With the evidence of two or three witnesses, these wrong-doers can be put to death by stoning. (One witness is insufficient, it must be two or more, and these witnesses are to be the first to throw the stones, after which everyone else joins in.)
In one version of the Bible, this reading is headed “Abuses in worship”. It’s clear from its context that this is about preventing the scourge of worshipping false gods. Moses is determined that there shall be no idolatry among the people of Israel (well, we know from last week’s readings how successful that was!).
In Romans, Paul tells the early Christians to be subject to the civil authorities, for these authorities have been instituted by God (and, hopefully, answerable to God).
Not just to avoid the wrath of the authorities, but also for one’s own good conscience.
More recent phenomena
From the seventh or eighth century comes a document of particular interest to those interested in worship.
It’s a kind of events management document, describing the ritual action for Mass with the Pope at S. Maria Maggiore in Rome, starting with the procession of the papal household in the Lateran.
Things have moved on since Deuteronomy. Although there’s no stoning of people for idolatry, a member of the choir can be excommunicated just for getting something wrong.
It’s a classic document, well worth a read* for an insight into how the liturgy was celebrated at that time.
These days, fortunately, musicians tend not to be excommunicated for relatively minor faults!
The value of today’s readings for us
Two things jump out at me.
First, two or three witnesses are needed to provide valid testimony, and they have the burden of being the first to punish the wrong-doer (with the responsibility before God of this “privilege”).
Second, as our Short Reading tells us, the law of God is something more than simply rules and regulations; it is living, handed on from generation to generation: an inestimable treasure.
O Lord, open thou our lips.
and our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
* I have to declare an interest: the author of this fresh translation of Ordo Romanus Primus, Fr Alan Griffiths, taught me much of what I know about liturgy; I owe him a great debt.
We pray for those who enable our worship to take place:
servers, readers, preachers, presiders and musicians.
We thank God for those who dedicate their lives to scholarship,
to give us fresh understanding of our heritage.
Please hold the following in your prayers today:
Veronica, Helen, Jan, Sue and Rachel;
Fr Alan, Micheal, Ken and Gerry.
And as the Church celebrates the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we ask her prayers and those of all those who have gone before us
marked with the sign of faith.
a moment of silence
Pray for us all.
Music for reflection *
The Lord’s Prayer
We can say the Lord’s Prayer in any language or version we choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
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.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificatur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié.
Que ton règne vienne.
Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offences
comme nous pardonnons aussi
à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
mais délivre-nous du mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
you call us to follow you with open hearts;
may we treasure your words that give us life.
Returning to the world
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements
In that lectionary, the readings are in the following order: Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament reading; we have changed the order to the more usual OT, Psalm and NT.
English Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Latin Bible texts are from Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and are in the Public Domain.
French Bible texts are from Version Segond 21, copyright © 2007 Société Biblique de Genève by Société Biblique de Genève.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown in Scotland, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.
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