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The First Sunday in Lent - 2014

The First Sunday in Lent.

Psalm 32
eati, quorum
BLESSED is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven : and whose sin is covered.
2. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin : and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3. For while I held my tongue : my bones consumed away through my daily complaining.
4. For thy hand is heavy upon me day and night : and my moisture is like the drought in summer.
5. I will acknowledge my sin unto thee : and mine unrighteousness have I not hid.
6. I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord : and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.
7. For this shall every one that is godly make his prayer unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found : but in the great water-floods they shall not come nigh him.
8. Thou art a place to hide me in, thou shalt preserve me from trouble : thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.
9. I will inform thee, and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go : and I will guide thee with mine eyes.
10. Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding : whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle. lest they fall upon thee.
11. Great plagues remain for the ungodly : but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord, mercy embraceth him on every side.
12. Be glad, O ye righteous, and rejoice in the Lord : and be joyful, all ye that are true of heart.

The Collect.
O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

{The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.}

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 58.1-14
Psalter: Psalm 51, 54 | 119.1-32
Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 6.1-10
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 4.1-11

Toon: “This is one of three Collects in the BCP of 1662 addressed to the Lord Jesus Christ instead of to his Father. The others are for Advent III and St. Stephen's Day. The reason why this Collect is addressed to Jesus is because of the desire at the beginning of Lent to identify with him in his forty days & nights fast and by the Father's grace to reap the spiritual benefits of union with him.

It was composed for the first Book of the Common Prayer of 1549 and replaced one, addressed to the Father, that had been used in the medieval Church. This Latin prayer in the judgment of Archbishop Cranmer put too much emphasis upon the value before God as a good work of fasting. As translated it is: "O God, who purifiest thy Church by the yearly observance of the Lenten fast: Grant unto thy household, that it may follow out in good works those holy inspirations which it endeavours to obtain from thee by abstinence. Through Jesus Christ our Lord."

So the new prayer does not lessen the obligation to fasting but identifies fasting with the Lord Jesus (the Gospel for the Day describes his fasting) who as the New Man, the Second Adam, fasted in body by abstinence from food and drink, and in soul, by his bearing our sins. In our Lord there was no sin and since fasting is the expression of penitence, humiliation and mourning, his fasting was not for himself. He fasted for us both in his identification with man as a sinner before God, his Father, and also as providing an example of godliness to man.

Perhaps the petition in this Collect is inspired by Romans 8:13. "If ye live after the flesh [as your natural bodily desires and affections propose] ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit (by his presence, power and guidance) do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." By the discipline of fasting in Lent, which is offered in love to the Lord Jesus as a service unto him, we place ourselves in the position where the Holy Spirit is able to help us mortify, or put to death, the worldly, fleshly desires of our human nature and body, and in their place follow the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Ghost, thereby enabling us to obey Christ's teaching. In all this Christ is our Strength and our Example.

The Collect ends with an ascription of praise and glory to the Holy Trinity for the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Incarnate Son, is the Second Person thereof.

On this Sunday and during the week the Church continues to pray the Collect for Ash Wednesday” (

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