Daily Devotion for December 15, 2013
Third Sunday in Advent
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
This is what you would have to call "the voices of angels". The piece is Franz Biebl’s setting of Ave Maria. We have no information about the performance, other than the church appears to be Hungarian.
(Note: Composers frequently repeat, omit, or put phrases out of order.)
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Prayer of Ambrose of Milan
O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ's sake.
Confession of Sins, with a Prayer for Contrition and Pardon.
Most merciful God, whose eyes are too pure to behold iniquity, and who has promised forgiveness to all those who confess and forsake their sins; I come before you in a humble sense of my own unworthiness, confessing my many transgressions of your righteous laws. [* Here make a short pause, to remember and confess the sins and failings of the past week.] But, O gracious Father, who desires not the death of a sinner, look upon me, I beseech you, in mercy, and forgive me for all my transgressions. Make me deeply sensible of the great evil of them; and work in me a hearty repentance; that I may obtain forgiveness at your hands, who is ever ready to receive humble and penitent sinners; for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, my only Saviour and Redeemer.
Prayer to Be Filled with Christ’s Love (from Ephesians 14)
Heavenly Father, when I think of the wonder of your great plan for our salvation, I fall on my knees before you — you who have named every name in heaven or on earth — and I pray that out of the richness of your glory, you will strengthen me in my inner being with your Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray that I may be rooted and grounded in love, that I may have strength to comprehend with all the saints the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ Jesus, the love that surpasses knowledge, and be filled with the fullness that only you can give. In the name of Christ, I pray,
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and during the week to come.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 103:13-16 (NIV)
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
Luke 1:39-44 (NIV)
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
Notes on the Scripture
Daily Prayer is a non-denominational site; however, one of our goals is to broaden our knowledge and deepen our faith, by understanding all mainstream denominations and searching out the common thread of Christ's grace that each of them seeks.
The prayer/hymn Ave Maria is very much associated with the Catholic (or Roman Catholic) and Orthodox churches. This seems like an appropriate time to present it, because one of its most beautiful lines comes from today's reading from Luke, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb”, which Elizabeth spoke to Mary when she was pregnant with Jesus.
The prayer is also used in many Protestant churches, especially churches whose services are more liturgical in nature, such as Anglican, Episcopal, and Lutheran; however, it is doesn't receive the same degree of emphasis as in Catholic and Orthodox worship.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
English Translation from the Latin
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
English Translation from the Greek (used in Eastern Orthodox churches)
Mother of God and Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast given birth to the Saviour of our souls.