• Rev. Sarina Odden Meyer

Morning Prayer: Sabbath & the Beauty of Creation

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

The Call to Prayer

Alleluia! How good it is to praise our God! How pleasant and how fitting to sing God’s praise!

Psalm 147:1


The Request for Presence

Hear my prayer YHWH, listen to my plea! In your faithfulness and justice answer me, give me relief!

Psalm 143:1


The Greeting

On the day I called you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

Psalm 138:3


The Hymn

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with thee;

thou changest not; thy compassions they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt me.

Great is thy faithfulness; great is thy faithfulness; morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.


Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is thy faithfulness; great is thy faithfulness; morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow: blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is thy faithfulness; great is thy faithfulness; morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Thomas O. Chisholm

PCC Hymn #324 Great is thy faithfulness

The Refrain

On the seventh day God had finished all the work of creation, and so, on that seventh day, God rested. God blessed the seventh day and called it sacred, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.

Genesis 2:2-3


A Reading

The sabbath itself encourages God’s people to discover the secrets of the creation and especially to refrain from even the smallest work which would deny that God is the Creator and Ruler of the world….


When we Christians rest as if all our work were done, we celebrate God’s creative and redemptive accomplishments on our behalf. Knowing that God is the perfect Creator, we spend the day delighting in the beauties of the creation and thereby growing in our love for the Divine Designer and Crafter.


Observing the Sabbath gives us the opportunity to be as careful as we can to fill our lives with beauty and to share beauty with the world around us. When we observe a day especially set apart for beauty, all the rest of life is made more beautiful. That truth is illustrated by Monet’s painting entitled, “Spring through the Blossoms.” The canvas is entirely filled with white-flowered trees except for one bright-red roof in the center of the composition. Our eyes are immediately drawn to the roof, and its brilliance makes us more aware of the loveliness of the trees. In the same way, focusing on beauty on one day causes us to notice it on the other six days of the week. The Sabbath becomes a garden park in the midst of the technicization of life; it brings us tranquility and intimacy, sensitivity and creativity, butterflies and goldfinches and roses!

Marva J. Dawn


The Refrain

On the seventh day God had finished all the work of creation, and so, on that seventh day, God rested. God blessed the seventh day and called it sacred, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.

Genesis 2:2-3


The Psalm

The heavens herald your glory, O God, and the skies display your handiwork.

Day after day they tell their story, and night after night they reveal the depth of their understanding.

Without speech, without words, without even an audible voice,

their cry echoes through all the world, and their message reaches the end of the earth. For in the heavens the sun has pitched a tent.

It comes forth with the grandeur of a wedding procession, with the eagerness of an athlete ready to race.

It rises at one end of the sky and travels to the other end, and nothing escapes its warmth.


Your law, YHWH, is perfect; it refreshes the soul.

Your rule is to be trusted; it gives wisdom to the naive.

Your purposes, O God, are right; they gladden the heart.

Your command is clear; it gives light to the eyes.

Holding you in awe, YHWH, is purifying; it endures.

Your decrees are steadfast, and all of them just.

They are more precious than gold, than the purest gold,

and sweeter than honey, than honey fresh from the comb.

In them your faithful people find instruction;

there is great reward in keeping them.


But who can detect one’s own failings?

Forgive the misdeeds I don’t even know about!

Keep your faithful one from presumption as well, so that my faults never control me.

Then I will be blameless and innocent of grave error.


May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your sight, YHWH, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19


The Refrain

On the seventh day God had finished all the work of creation, and so, on that seventh day, God rested. God blessed the seventh day and called it sacred, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.

Genesis 2:2-3


The Gloria

All glory to Almighty God

for love so deep, so high, so broad!

The Trinity whom we adore

forever and forever more.

15th c. Latin, translated by Benjamin Webb

PCC Hymn #205 O love, how deep, how broad, how high (vs. 6)


The Lord’s Prayer


The Prayer Appointed for the Day

O God of the sabbath, you created the whole world in beauty. Often, we get so caught up in our work that we never take the time to enjoy the beauty of your creation. Help us to entrust our work to you and step out in faith to take a regular sabbath rest. Open our minds to comprehend the work of your hands, and to hear the silent witness of the world to your goodness and kindness. We pray for your blessing on our sabbath rest so that we might experience what the Psalmist wrote about in Psalm 19: witnessing the beauty of creation; from it, learning of the loving-kindness of your ways; and, in response, yearning to be transformed by the renewing of minds. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


The Concluding Prayer of the Church

Almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us in safety to the beginning of this day. Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome with adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Phyllis Tickle


- Inspired by Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours, Pocket Edition

- Marva J. Dawn. Keeping the Sabbath Wholly. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdman's Publishing Co., 1989 (pgs. 173-4).

- Bible translations from the NRSV or The Inclusive Bible.

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