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Fourth Sunday in Advent and Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle - 2016/17

The Fourth Sunday in Advent.
Psalm 5
Verba mea auribus.
PONDER my words, O Lord : consider my meditation
2. O hearken thou unto the voice of my calling, my King, and my God : for unto thee will I make my prayer.
3. My voice shalt thou hear betimes, O Lord : early in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4. For thou art the God that hast no pleasure in wickedness : neither shall any devil dwell with thee.
5. Such as be foolish shall not stand in thy sight : for thou hatest all of them that work vanity.
6. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing : the Lord will abhor both the blood-thirsty and deceitful man.
7. But as for me, I will come into thine house, even upon the multitude of thy mercy : and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8. Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness, because of mine enemies : make thy way plain before my face.
9. For there is no faithfulness in his mouth : their inward parts are very wickedness.
10. Their throat is an open sepulchre : they flatter with their tongue.
11. Destroy thou them, O God; let them perish through their own imaginations : cast them out in the multitude of their ungodliness; for they have rebelled against thee.
12. And let all them that put their trust in thee rejoice : they shall ever be giving of thanks, because thou defendest them; they that love thy Name shall be joyful in thee;
13. For thou, Lord, wilt give thy blessing unto the righteous : and with thy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield.

The Collect.
O LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let* and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
*“Let” – archaic: to impede or obstruct.

The Collect from the First Sunday in Advent is to be repeated every day, with the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas-Eve:

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 40.1-11
Psalter: Morning-98, 99; Evening-101, 103
Epistle Reading: Philippians 4.4-7
Gospel Reading: St. John 1.19-28

Saint Thomas the Apostle
21 December
The Collect
Almighty and everliving God, who for the more confirmation of the faith didst suffer thy holy Apostle Thomas to be doubtful in thy Son’s resurrection; Grant us so perfectly, and without all doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved. Hear us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for evermore. Amen.

The Epistle: Ephesians 2.19-22
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The Gospel: St. John 20.24-31
Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

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