Thursday, November 19, 2009

Morning Prayers for Thanksgiving 2009

Just in case you're looking for a liturgy, here's what we're doing this year.

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O give thanks unto the Lord, and call upon his Name; tell the people what things he hath done. Psalm 105:1

Confession of Sin

The Officiant says to the people

Dearly beloved, we have come together in the presence of Almighty God our heavenly Father, to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his holy Word, and to ask, for ourselves and on behalf of others, those things that are necessary for our life and our salvation. And so that we may prepare ourselves in heart and mind to worship him, let us kneel in silence, and with penitent and obedient hearts confess our sins, that we may obtain forgiveness by his infinite goodness and mercy.

Silence may be kept.

Officiant and People together, all kneeling

Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep,
we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
we have offended against thy holy laws,
we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
spare thou those who confess their faults,
restore thou those who are penitent,
according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord;
and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Officiant remains kneeling and says

The Almighty and merciful Lord grant us absolution and remission of all our sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit. Amen.

Officiant: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Officiant: Let us pray.

The Collect of the Day

Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Invitatory and Psalter

All stand

Officiant: O Lord, open thou our lips.
People: And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.

Officiant and People

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 145

I will magnify thee, O God, my King; *
and I will praise thy Name for ever and ever.

Every day will I give thanks unto thee; *
and praise thy Name for ever and ever.

Great is the LORD, and marvellous worthy to be praised; *
there is no end of his greatness.

One generation shall praise thy works unto another, *
and declare thy power.

As for me, I will be talking of thy worship, *
thy glory, thy praise, and wondrous works;

So that men shall speak of the might of thy marvellous acts; *
and I will also tell of thy greatness.

The memorial of thine abundant kindness shall be showed; *
and men shall sing of thy righteousness.

The LORD is gracious and merciful; *
long-suffering, and of great goodness.

The LORD is loving unto every man; *
and his mercy is over all his works.

All thy works praise thee, O LORD; *
and thy saints give thanks unto thee.

They show the glory of thy kingdom, *
and talk of thy power;

That thy power, thy glory, and mightiness of thy kingdom, *
might be known unto men.

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, *
and thy dominion endureth throughout all ages.

The LORD upholdeth all such as fall, *
and lifteth up all those that are down.

The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord; *
and thou givest them their meat in due season.

Thou openest thine hand, *
and fillest all things living with plenteousness.

The LORD is righteous in all his ways, *
and holy in all his works.

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him; *
yea, all such as call upon him faithfully.

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; *
he also will hear their cry, and will help them.

The LORD preserveth all them that love him; *
but scattereth abroad all the ungodly.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD; *
and let all flesh give thanks unto his holy Name for ever and ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son*
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning; *
is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Lessons

A Reading from Deuteronomy, chapter 26, verses 1 through 11

And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein;

That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.

And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the LORD thy God, that I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us.

And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the LORD thy God.

And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage:

And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:

And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:

And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey.

And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:

And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.

The Word of the Lord
Answer: Thanks be to God.

Hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” Trinity 715

A Reading from John, chapter 6, verses 26 through 35

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

The Word of the Lord
Answer: Thanks be to God.

The Apostles’ Creed

Officiant and People together, all standing

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Prayers

The people stand or kneel

Officiant: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Officiant: Let us pray.

Officiant and People

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,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Then follows this set of Suffrages

V. O Lord, show thy mercy upon us;
R. And grant us thy salvation.
V. Endue thy ministers with righteousness;
R. And make thy chosen people joyful.
V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
R. For only in thee can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under thy care;
R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
V. Let thy way be known upon earth;
R. Thy saving health among all nations.
V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
V. Create in us clean hearts, O God;
R. And sustain us with thy Holy Spirit.

A General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we thine unworthy servants
do give thee most humble and hearty thanks
for all thy goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all men.
We bless thee for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for thine inestimable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we beseech thee,
give us that due sense of all thy mercies,
that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful;
and that we show forth thy praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to thy service,
and by walking before thee
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost,
be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

Officiant and People read the following verses in turn

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

A Litany of Thanksgiving
Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.

For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

The Collect
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Officiant: Let us bless the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red Beans and Rice

1 16-ounce package red kidney beans
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 leftover ham bone, 1 1/2 cups meat left on
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or 2 or more tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
6 cups hot cooked rice

1. Rinse beans in running cold water; discard any stones or shriveled beans. Put into large bowl and cover with 2” water; let soak overnight, at least 8 hours.
2. Three or four hours before serving, drain beans and rinse; place in 8-quart Dutch oven, cover with water, and heat to boiling, uncovered. Skim all the foam that rises to the top. Add bay leaf.
3. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot olive oil, cook onion and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Stir onion and garlic into beans with all the remaining ingredients, except rice.
5. Return to boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours or until beans are tender and mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
6. Remove ham bone to cutting board; cut meat into bite-size chunks. Return cut-up ham to beans, discard bone. Serve spooned over rice.

Serve with greens, cornbread, and slices of sharp cheese. Also goes well with grilled fish.

Recipe says it makes 8 main dish servings, but for us it’s only about six, probably because I don’t ever have a hambone.

Pre-soaking the beans, discarding the soak-water, and skimming the foam are absolutely necessary if you don’t want unpleasant side-effects from eating dried beans.

If you don’t have a hambone, you can use a quart of chicken stock for part of the cooking water. If you don’t have real stock made from bones, add a packet of unflavored gelatin to a cup of cold water, stir, and add to cooking water. The gelatin from the bones makes more protein available, and really does make the meal stick to your ribs longer than it would without it.

The veggies and seasonings except the bay leaf can be added to the last half-hour of cooking – I prefer it that way, but adding them at the beginning means you don’t have to remember to do anything else to them later on.

I like to add a generous spoonful of gumbo filé after putting the beans into a serving dish. It helps thicken it and adds a little je ne sais quoi.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009 make our lives an art...

[Originally posted 4 January 2006, to explain the phrase in my header]

One of the books I received for Christmas was one I’ve been wanting for several years, I’ll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition, a collection of essays by twelve Southerners, originally published in 1930. There’s so much good in here that I’m afraid I’m devouring it too rapidly to be able to taste it all, so I’ll have to reread - perhaps to the family. I think it would make a nice read-aloud in the winter evenings after Christmas is over. In the four essays I’ve read so far, several common themes keep reappearing, and today I’d like to share a bit of one of them - the idea of an aesthetic life, of living beautifully and graciously, which has nothing at all to do with material wealth.

We feed and clothe and exercise our bodies, for example, in order to be able to do something with our minds. We employ our minds in order to achieve character…. We achieve character, personality, gentlemanliness in order to make our lives an art and to bring our souls into relation with the whole scheme of things, which is the divine nature.
(John Gould Fletcher, “Education, Past and Present,” pp. 119-120)

The arts of the [antebellum South], such as they were, were not immensely passionate, creative, or romantic; they were the eighteenth-century social arts of dress, conversation, manners, the table, the hunt, politics, oratory, the pulpit. These were arts of living and not arts of escape; they were also community arts, in which every class of society could participate after its kind. The South took life easy, which is itself a tolerably comprehensive art.
(John Crowe Ransom, “Reconstructed but Unregenerate,” p. 12)

The art gallery or art museum theory of art to which philanthropists and promoters would persuade us views art as a luxury quite beyond the reach of ordinary people. Its attempt to glorify the arts by setting them aside in specially consecrated shrines can hardly supply more than a superficial gilding to a national culture, if the private direction of that culture is ugly and materialistic…. The truly artistic life is surely that in which the aesthetic experience is not curtained off, but mixed up with all sorts of instruments and occupations pertaining to the round of daily life. It ranges all the way from pots and pans, chairs and rugs, clothing and houses, up to dramas publicly performed and government buildings.
(Donald Davidson, “A Mirror for Artists,” pp. 39-40)

[O]nly in an agrarian society does there remain much hope of a balanced life, where the arts are not luxuries to be purchased but belong as a matter of course in the routine of his living.
(Ibid, pp. 51-2)