O Lord open thou our lips – And our mouths shall shew forth thy praise
O God make speed to save us – O Lord make haste to help us
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end amen
Praise Ye the Lord – The Lord’s name be praised.
For many centuries, Christians have prayed in this place, for themselves, for their neighbours and for the world, and they have stood here as a witness to this city and to the whole nation. As long as Christians have done this, the country has prospered and been at peace. So we meet here under the eyes of the saints of this cathedral and hope to pass on the whole blessing of the gospel to our nation. As long as we remain faithful, this country will continue to prosper and be at peace.
At this time of year, at Lent, we prepare to follow the passion of our Lord. During this fast we take up the discipline of prayer and penitence. We intercede and we repent. With the words of God we speak to the world, and with the prayers of the world we speak to God. We say whatever should have been said, but has not been, and we repent on behalf of all those so caught in sin that they are not yet able to repent for themselves. We speak for them as well as for ourselves.
We pray in particular for our public servants. We pray that God would give them confidence in their office and in the authority given to them to carry it out. We pray that they would uphold the law, and protect the nation from all attempts to impose other laws and ideologies. We pray that they will uphold the law and perform their office with a respect and affection for the whole people of this country, not despising any, but working truly for the common good.
So let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church militant here in earth…
ALMIGHTY and ever-living God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers and supplications, and to give thanks, for all men: We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant, that all they that do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity, and godly love. We beseech thee also to save and defend all Christian people, their leaders and rulers, and specially thy servant ELIZABETH our Queen; that under her we may be godly and quietly governed: And grant unto her whole parliament, and to all those public servants put in authority under her, that they may truly and impartially minister justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of our common life and virtue. And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace; and specially to this city; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy Word; truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all them, who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom: Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen
Lord you have given us your gospel. It has converted us from violence to peace, from ignorance to knowledge, and from fear and misery to contentment and happiness. Lord you have blessed us, and out of many people made one nation.
Give us more of that blessing, and with thankfulness, so we can pass that blessing on to our children, and they to their children, so that this people will always give you thanks, and your blessing will remain on the whole nation. Lord, in your mercy – hear our prayer
Lord give courage to all the young women of Rotherham, Rochdale, Bradford, Birmingham, Stoke, Telford, Aylesbury, Oxford, and every other place where they have been threatened. Save them from those who despise them and considered them beneath the law. Lord, in you mercy – hear our prayer
Lord, give comfort to all who have been attacked. Give them your promise that the threat hanging over them will be removed, the justice denied them will be given, that those who have assaulted them will be punished, so that they and all our young women can live without fear of any aggression. Lord, in your mercy – Hear our Prayer
Lord, give warning to our political leaders and public servants. We pray for all in power, for all political parties, for social services and officers of local government. We pray for the Police Force, Crown Prosecution Service, and Probation Service. We pray for all courts, for all lawyers, judges and juries. We pray that God will give them courage, not to conceal crime but to uphold the law, impartially. We pray that he will give us courage to speak without fear in police interview rooms, courts and prisons. We pray for all journalists and their editors, and for all citizens, that they would speak the truth. And to all Christians, those who can hear, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Lord, in your mercy – Hear our Prayer
4. Commination and Litany
At the beginning of Lent people who have sinned are given the opportunity for public penance, so that they can turn from their sin and so that others would avoid that sin in the first place. So on our own behalf, and for the sake of our country, we now say, Lord have mercy upon us, for You Lord, shall judge us. Let us say together, God shall judge – God shall judge.
The Lord our God is the only Lord. Those who serve other gods – God shall judge
Idolaters and all who exalt themselves – God shall judge.
Blasphemers and all who misuse the name of God – God shall judge
The Lord’s Day is holy. Those who profane it – God shall judge
Anyone who does not honour his father, mother, and all the generations before them – God shall judge
Murderers, and all who are malicious or cruel – God shall judge
Adulterers and fornicators – God shall judge
Robbers and thieves and those who defraud – God shall judge
False witnesses and all evil speakers, liars and slanderers – God shall judge
The envious, extortioners and those who grind the face of the poor – God shall judge
Amen. Lord have mercy on us, and save us from sin.
Lord, do not remember our offences, or the offences of our parents, grandparents or any generation before us. Lord, deliver our young people from all that threatens them. Lord, spare your people, whom you have redeemed with your most precious blood. Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Let us say together, Lord Deliver us – Lord, Deliver us.
From sin and evil and all assaults of the devil – Lord deliver us.
From all blindness and hardness of heart – Lord deliver us
From the arrogance of power and wealth – Lord deliver us
From pride and self-deception – Lord deliver us
From envy, fear and malice – Lord deliver us
From trouble within our families, and from loss of father or mother – Lord deliver us
From debt and poverty – Lord deliver us
From isolation, loneliness and neglect – Lord deliver us
From depression, illness and excessive medication – Lord deliver us
From drunkenness, addiction and drugs – Lord deliver us
From fear and from despair – Lord deliver us
From disrespect and mistreatment of our young woman – Lord deliver us
From pornography, sexual exploitation and prostitution – Lord deliver us
From gangs, law-breaking and intimidation on the street – Lord deliver us
From assault, rape and murder – Lord deliver us
From every attempt to remove our liberty – Lord deliver us
From contempt for our culture and law – Lord deliver us
From distortion of history and loss of identity – Lord deliver us
From every attempt to reduce the protection of the law – Lord deliver us
From all attempts to take away our responsibility or increase our dependence – Lord deliver us
From concealment of our full dignity under the law – Lord deliver us
From attempts on our equality under one Law – Lord deliver us
From attempts to deny our sovereignty or citizenship – Lord deliver us
From attempts to impose foreign law – Lord deliver us
From entrapment by any cult – Lord deliver us
From every failure of honesty or public spiritedness
From our sins, and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil – Lord deliver us
By your Cross and Passion – Lord deliver us
By your precious Death and Burial – Lord deliver us
By your glorious Resurrection and Ascension – Lord deliver us
and by the coming of your Holy Spirit – Lord deliver us
Bring to account, Lord all who exercise power in government. Give them confidence in their authority to act for the common good. Restore dignity to Parliament and to every institution that holds authority to account.
Do not let them promise what they cannot give, and do not let us demand more from them than they are rightly able to give. Keep us from ideology, from all vexatious laws and the destruction of our traditions. Release those in debt and give redemption to those in prison. Give our people confidence to marry and start families, to every family give the strength to hold together, and let every class and community serve the common good.
Lord, bring all that have erred, and been deceived, into the way of truth. Strengthen those who stand; comfort and help the weak-hearted; raise up them that fall and in your mercy finally beat down Satan under our feet. Lord, forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and turn their hearts. Give us, with them, true repentance; forgive us our negligence and sin, and give us grace, by your Holy Spirit, to live our lives according to your holy Word.
Lord, have mercy upon us – Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us – Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us – Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world – grant us thy peace.
O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world – grant us thy peace
Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
All people that on earth do dwell,
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice:
him serve with fear, his praise forth tell,
come ye before him and rejoice.
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
without our aid he did us make:
we are his folk, he doth us feed,
and for his sheep he doth us take.
O enter then his gates with praise,
approach with joy his courts unto;
praise, laud, and bless his Name always,
for it is seemly so to do.
For why? The Lord our God is good,
his mercy is for ever sure;
his truth at all times firmly stood,
and shall from age to age endure.
Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time, with one accord, to make our common supplications unto thee and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy name, thou wilt grant their requests: fulfil now oh Lord the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be expedient for them, granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth and in the world to come life everlasting.
Lighten our darkness we beseech thee, oh Lord and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son our saviour, Jesus Christ amen
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen