Commemoration of the Conversion of St. Paul

Opening Sentence of Scripture

The Lord has shown forth his glory: O come, let us adore him.

Confession of Sin

The Officiant says to the People

Let us humbly confess our sins to Almighty God.

Silence is kept. All kneeling the Officiant and People say

Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. we have followed too much the deceits and desires of our own hearts. we have offended against your 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; and apart from your grace, there is no health in us. O Lord, have mercy upon us. Spare those who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent, according to your promises declared to all people in Christ Jesus our Lord; And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may now live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of your holy Name. Amen.

The Priest alone stands and says

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

The Invitatory

All stand.

Officiant              O Lord, open our lips;

People                 And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Officiant              O God, make speed to save us;

People                 O Lord, make haste to help us.

Officiant              Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

People                 As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Officiant              Praise the Lord.

People                 The Lord’s name be praised.

All Together

The Lord has shown forth his glory: O come, let us adore him.

Venite          O Come

Psalm 95:1-7; 8-11

Come let us sing to the Lord; *
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God, *
and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth, *
and the heights of the hills are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it, *
and his hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

All Together

The Lord has shown forth his glory: O come, let us adore him.

A Reading from Psalm 119:49-72

49 Remember your word to your servant, *
because you have given me hope.

50 This is my comfort in my trouble, *
that your promise gives me life.

51 The proud have derided me cruelly, *
but I have not turned from your law.

52 When I remember your judgments of old, *
O Lord, I take great comfort.

53 I am filled with a burning rage, *
because of the wicked who forsake your law.

54 Your statutes have been like songs to me *
wherever I have lived as a stranger.

55 I remember your Name in the night, O Lord, *
and dwell upon your law.

56 This is how it has been with me, *
because I have kept your commandments.

57 You only are my portion, O Lord; *
I have promised to keep your words.

58 I entreat you with all my heart, *
be merciful to me according to your promise.

59 I have considered my ways *
and turned my feet toward your decrees.

60 I hasten and do not tarry *
to keep your commandments.

61 Though the cords of the wicked entangle me, *
I do not forget your law.

62 At midnight I will rise to give you thanks, *
because of your righteous judgments.

63 I am a companion of all who fear you *
and of those who keep your commandments.

64 The earth, O Lord, is full of your love; *
instruct me in your statutes.

65 O Lord, you have dealt graciously with your servant, *
according to your word.

66 Teach me discernment and knowledge, *
for I have believed in your commandments.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, *
but now I keep your word.

68 You are good and you bring forth good; *
instruct me in your statutes.

69 The proud have smeared me with lies, *
but I will keep your commandments with my whole heart.

70 Their heart is gross and fat, *
but my delight is in your law.

71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, *
that I might learn your statutes.

72 The law of your mouth is dearer to me *
than thousands in gold and silver.

All Together

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The People may be seated

First Lesson

A Reading from Isaiah 45: 18-25

For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord, and there is no other. I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, “Seek me in chaos.” I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right. Assemble yourselves and come together, draw near, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge—those who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed. In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.

Reader               The Word of the Lord.

People                 Thanks be to God.

Benedictus          The Song of Zechariah

Luke 1:68-79

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, * 
for he hath visited and redeemed his people; 
And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us * 
in the house of his servant David, 
As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, * 
which have been since the world began:

That we should be saved from our enemies, * 
and from the hand of all that hate us; 
To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, * 
and to remember his holy covenant; 
To perform the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham, * 
that he would give us, 
That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies * 
might serve him without fear, 
In holiness and righteousness before him, * 
all the days of our life.

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, * 
for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord 
to prepare his ways; 
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people * 
for the remission of their sins, 
Through the tender mercy of our God, * 
whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us; 
To give light to them that sit in darkness 
and in the shadow of death, * 
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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.

Second Lesson

A Reading from the book of Acts 9:1-22

Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.

Reader                 The Word of the Lord.

People                 Thanks be to God.

Surge, illuminare          Arise, shine, for your light has come

Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19

Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.

For behold, darkness covers the land; *
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.

But over you the Lord will rise, *
and his glory will appear upon you.

Nations will stream to your light, *
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.

Your gates will always be open; *
by day or night they will never be shut.

They will call you, The City of the Lord, *
The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Violence will no more be heard in your land, *
ruin or destruction within your borders.

You will call your walls, Salvation, *
and all your portals, Praise.

The sun will no more be your light by day; *
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.

The Lord will be your everlasting light, *
and your God will be your glory.

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.

A Reading commemorating the Conversion of St. Paul

The officiant may add a brief devotion or reading.

The Apostles’ Creed

Officiant and People together, all standing

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, 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 kneel or stand.

Officiant              The Lord be with you.

People                 And with your spirit.

Officiant              Let us pray.

Lord, have mercy [upon us].

Christ, have mercy [upon us].

Lord, have mercy [upon us].

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, forever and ever. Amen.

 Officiant        O Lord, show us your mercy;

People           And grant us your salvation.

Officiant        O Lord, save our nations;

People           And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Officiant        Clothe your ministers with righteousness;

People           And make your chosen people joyful.

Officiant        O Lord, save your people;

People           And bless your inheritance.

Officiant        Give peace in our time, O Lord;

People           For only in you can we live in safety.

Officiant        Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;

People           Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Officiant        Create in us clean hearts, O God;

People           And take not your Holy Spirit from us.

The Officiant Prays the Collects

The Collect of the Day

O god, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having this wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A Collect for Grace (Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Guidance (Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Endurance (Friday)

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Hymn: Exultet Caelum Laudibus

Let the round world with songs rejoice;
Let Heaven return the joyful voice;
All mindful of th’Apostles’ fame,
Let Heav’n and earth their praise proclaim.

Ye servants who once bore the light
Of Gospel truth o’er heathen night,
Still may your work that light impart,
To glad our eyes and cheer our heart.

O God, by Whom to them was giv’n
The key that shuts and opens Heav’n,
Our chains unbind, our loss repair,
And grant us grace to enter there.

For at Thy will they preached the Word
Which cured disease, which health conferred:
O may that healing power once more
Our souls to grace and health restore.

That when Thy Son again shall come,
And speak the world’s unerring doom,
He may with them pronounce us blest,
And place us in Thy endless rest.

To Thee, O Father; Son, to Thee;
To Thee, blest Spirit, glory be!
So was it ay for ages past,
So shall through endless ages last.

The General Thanksgiving

Officiant and People

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable 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 pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Officiant              Let us bless the Lord.

People                 Thanks be to God.

Officiant

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Romans 15:13