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The Great Litany

The Great Litany is found on page 148 of the Book of Common Prayer (click here to listen to an audio recording)

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.
O God the Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon us.
O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God,
Have mercy upon us.
Remember not, Lord Christ, our offenses, nor the offenses of our forefathers; neither reward us according to our sins. Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and by thy mercy preserve us for ever.
Spare us, good Lord.
From all evil and wickedness; from sin; from the crafts and assaults of the devil; and from everlasting damnation,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From all blindness of heart; from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all want of charity,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From all inordinate and sinful affections; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and commandment,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine,
Good Lord, deliver us.
From all oppression, conspiracy, and rebellion; from violence, battle, and murder; and from dying suddenly and unprepared,
Good Lord, deliver us.
By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation; by thy holy Nativity and submission to the Law; by thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,
Good Lord, deliver us.
By thine Agony and Bloody Sweat; by thy Cross and Passion; by thy precious Death and Burial; by thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension; and by the Coming of the Holy Ghost,
Good Lord, deliver us.
In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our prosperity; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,
Good Lord, deliver us.
We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God; and that it may please thee to rule and govern thy holy Church Universal in the right way,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to illumine all bishops, priests, and deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of thy Word; and that both by their preaching and living, they may set it forth, and show it accordingly,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to bless and keep all thy people,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to send forth laborers into thy harvest, and to draw all mankind into thy kingdom,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give to all people increase of grace to hear and receive thy Word, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to bring into the way of truth all such as have erred, and are deceived,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give us a heart to love and fear thee, and diligently to live after thy commandments,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee so to rule the hearts of thy servants, the President of the United States (or of this nation), and all others in authority, that they may do justice, and love mercy, and walk in the ways of truth,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to make wars to cease in all the world; to give to all nations unity, peace, and concord; and to bestow freedom upon all peoples,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to show thy pity upon all prisoners and captives, the homeless and the hungry, and all who are desolate and oppressed,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the bountiful fruits of the earth, so that in due time all may enjoy them,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That It may please thee to inspire us, in our several callings, to do the work which thou givest us to do with singleness of heart as thy servants, and for the common good,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to preserve all who are in danger by reason of their labor or their travel,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to preserve, and provide for, all women in childbirth, young children and orphans, the widowed, and all whose homes are broken or torn by strife,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to visit the lonely; to strengthen all who suffer in mind, body, and spirit; and to comfort with thy presence those who are failing and infirm,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to support, help, and comfort all who are in danger, necessity, and tribulation,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to have mercy upon all mankind,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to give us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to thy holy Word,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand; to comfort and help the weak-hearted; to raise up those who fall; and finally to beat down Satan under our feet,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to grant to all the faithful departed eternal life and peace,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to grant that, in the fellowship of NN. and all the saints, we may attain to thy heavenly kingdom,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
Son of God, we beseech thee to hear us.
Son of God, we beseech thee to hear us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Grant us thy peace.
O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, hear us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

What is the Great Litany?

The Great Litany is said to be the first prayer composed in the English language (i.e. not an English translation from another language) for use in public worship. It is used in Anglican worship at various times and seasons, but is probably most frequently experienced during the season of Lent because of its distinctly penitential nature. In many churches, it is chanted in procession around the perimeter of the worship space.

In the Great Litany, nearly every general area of prayer is addressed including prayer for various aspects of the church, the world, the government, and the poor. These petitions are prefaced by a series of requests asking God to deliver us from all manner of afflictions: evil, sin, heresy, schism, natural disasters, political disasters, violence, death, etc.

Also, an intercessory prayer including various petitions that are said or sung by the leader, with fixed responses by the congregation. It was used as early as the fifth century in Rome.

It was led by a deacon, with the collects led by a bishop or priest. The Litany was the first English language rite prepared by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. It was first published in 1544. Cranmer modified an earlier litany form by consolidating certain groups of petitions into single prayers with response.

The Litany’s use in church processions was ordered by Henry VIII. It was printed as an appendix to the eucharist in the 1549 BCP [Book of Common Prayer].

Henry VIII commissioned Cranmer to write the Litany because at the time it was the practice for litanies to be offered in procession through public neighborhoods. Henry was disappointed that people were not responding and joining in the prayers.

He keenly perceived that this was because the people “understode no parte of suche prayers or suffrages as were used to be songe and sayde.” He accordingly decreed that a litany be written in English.

The 1928 BCP allowed the Litany to be used after the fixed collects of Morning or Evening Prayer, or before the Eucharist, or separately. The 1928 BCP included a short Litany for Ordinations as an alternative to the Litany.

The 1979 BCP titled the Litany “The Great Litany” (p. 148), distinguishing it from other litanies in the Prayer Book. The Great Litany, though now seeming like an oddity to many, is a reminder that English speaking and worshipping Christians from the beginning earnestly desired God’s intervention and involvement in all areas of life.

WORSHIP SERVICES

The first sermon in the renovated building

Sunday Worship

The Episcopal Church year is a three-year cycle, referred to as Year A, Year B and Year C, and starts on the first Sunday in Advent. This year, which began on November 30, 2014, is the start of Year B.

The liturgy or worship Service of God is central to our parish life at Trinity. It is here that we gather weekly to celebrate God’s gift to us, His only Son – Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! “Come and see what the Lord has done …”

Our Episcopal liturgy—that is, our manner of worshipping and praising God—is recognized as distinctively beautiful. The text is taken directly from the Book of Common Prayer as revised in 1979 by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. This is the latest revision of the liturgy first begun in 1549.

From our Anglican Chant to our four-part harmonies of familiar and traditional hymns, most of the congregation’s hymns are taken from the Hymnal 1982, but the parish has also added Wonder, Love and Praise and Lift Every Voice and Sing II which contain newer and more popular Christian songs.