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Celebrating Common Prayer

© The Society of Saint Francis 1992

Franciscan Supplement

Prayers & Praises

1 O God,
you resist the proud and give grace to the humble.
Help us not to think proudly
but to serve you with the humility
which pleases you,
so we may walk in the footsteps of your servant Francis
and receive the gift of your grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

2 Merciful God,
you made your Church rich
through the poverty of blessèd Francis.
Help us, like him,
not to trust in earthly things
but to seek your heavenly gifts;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour . . .

3 O God,
by whose inspiration
Francis became a little brother to all
and did not fear to take the message of peace
and love even into the heart of the enemy:
give us, who follow him,
a like spirit of reconciliation and generosity
in our own day;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

4 O God, by the life of blessèd Francis,
you moved your people to a love of simple things.
May we, after his example,
hold lightly to the things of this world
and store up for ourselves treasure in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

5 O Most High, almighty, good Lord, God,
grant your people grace
to renounce the vanities of this world;
that, after the example of blessèd Francis,
we may delight in all your creatures, for love of you,
with perfectness of joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

6 O God, by your servant, Francis,
you taught us renewed reverence
for the Incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ.
As we learn to serve him on earth,
so may we know more truly
his presence in our hearts with great joy;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer . . .

7 Keep us faithful, O God,
to the inspiration of blessèd Francis,
that seeking nothing for ourselves
we may bring true riches to the world;
through him who gave us himself,
Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

8 Lord Jesus,
in your servant Francis
you displayed the wonderful power of the cross.
Help us always to follow you
in the way of the holy cross,
and give us strength to resist all temptation;
to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
be all glory for ever. Amen.

9 Lord God,
you came among us as a servant.
Fill us with your humility
that we may, like Francis our brother,
forget ourselves in love for you
and in compassion for others;
and in the lonely, the rejected,
the deprived and the imprisoned,
find Christ our Lord . . .

10 Maker of all,
you helped the blessèd Francis
to reflect the image of Christ
through a life of poverty and humility.
By walking in his footsteps,
and imitating his joyful love,
may we follow faithfully the pattern of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

11 Blessèd Lord,
as Francis found joy in creation,
in beauty and simplicity,
but perfect joy in sharing the sufferings of the world:
so may we, abiding in your love,
receive your gift of perfect joy,
and by the power of your Spirit
radiate your peace,
and find, even in suffering,
the glory of God. Amen.

12 O God,
you strengthened your servant, Francis,
with the power of constancy in suffering.
Grant us, after his example,
for love of you,
to despise the prosperity of this world
and to fear none of its adversities;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

13 Father in heaven,
your servant Francis
found perfect joy in being rejected.
Help us also to draw near
to our crucified Lord
that the joy of his triumph may shine in us
to your glory and the healing of your world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

14 O Lord Jesus Christ,
you raised up Francis
to renew in your Church
the life of simplicity and evangelical poverty
and imprinted on his flesh the marks of your wounds.
Pour out your Spirit on us,
that, following you in the nakedness of the cross
and bearing your wounds in our hearts,
we may at length attain to your perfect likeness;
who with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

15 O God,
you gave us blessèd Francis
to be a teacher and a leader
in following the ways of your only-begotten Son.
Grant, we pray,
that we who honour his memory here on earth
may share his glory in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

16 Lord, make us to walk in your Way:
`Where there is love and wisdom,
there is neither fear nor ignorance;
where there is patience and humility,
there is neither anger nor annoyance;
where there is poverty and joy,
there is neither greed nor avarice;
where there is peace and contemplation,
there is neither care nor restlessness;
where there is the fear of God to guard the dwelling,
there no enemy can enter;
where there is mercy and prudence,
there is neither excess nor harshness';
this we know through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Francis of Assisi

17 Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to
eternal life. Amen. 19th-Century French Prayer

18 God of mercy,
your words gave Francis
freedom to become your servant.
Set us free to follow his path of poverty,
to proclaim his message of peace,
and to live his life of prayer
in the power of the Spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit
gives freedom through forgiveness
and new life in your love. Amen.

19 Most High and glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of our hearts
and give us a true faith, a certain hope
and a perfect love.
Give us a sense of the Divine
and knowledge of Yourself,
so that we may do everything
in fulfilment of your holy will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . . Francis of Assisi

O Friend of the forsaken
and Lover of the unloved,
make us bearers of your presence to all.
Teach us to walk in the poverty of your Son
and to be among your people as those who serve;
in the name of him who for our sakes
became poor, Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

21 O God,
your love led Francis and Clare
to establish our three Orders.
Draw us into your love, that,
in its perfection,
we may grow in love towards all
with whom we have to do;
for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who gives himself in love to all. Amen.

Grant, O God,
that as your servant Francis carried
the love and peace of Christ
into the hearts of all who knew him,
so may those who seek to follow his example
shed abroad that same love and peace
in the minds of all and in the dark places
of the earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Lord God,
pour your abundant blessing
on those who after the pattern of blessèd Clare
have left all to follow you
in a life of poverty, prayer and penance;
assist them with your grace
that they may persevere
in their vocation to the end
and that all their needs may be supplied;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

24 Lord God,
who gave a clear shining light
amid the darkness of this world
in the holiness of blessèd Clare,
through whom you renew your Church
with a continual increase:
grant us, we pray,
to follow in her footsteps
so that at the last, we may rejoice with her
in the clear light of your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Lord God,
who opened the eyes of the blessèd Francis
to the vocation of those you call to serve you
in the world:
grant such grace to the members of the Third Order
that being crucified with Christ
they may show forth among all
the radiance of his risen life;
who with you and the Holy Spirit
is alive and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God,
you have given your Holy Spirit to the Church
to lead us into all truth.
Bless with your grace and presence
the members of this chapter;
keep us steadfast in faith and united in love,
that we may reveal your glory
and prepare the way of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong, you are great.
You are the Most High, you are almighty.
You, holy Father, are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love, you are wisdom.
You are humility, you are endurance.
You are rest, you are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches and you suffice for us.
You are beauty, you are gentleness.
You are our protector,
you are our guardian and defender.
You are courage, you are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, great and wonderful Lord,
God almighty, merciful Saviour. Amen. Francis of Assisi

Almighty, immortal, just and merciful God,
give to us poor creatures to do for you
that which we know to be your will,
and to will always that which is well-pleasing to you;
so that, inwardly purified, illumined and enkindled
by the flame of your Holy Spirit,
we may be enabled to follow in the footprints
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
and by your grace at length attain to you,
the Most High;
who in perfect Trinity and simple Unity,
live and reign, God all-powerful,
for ever and ever. Amen. Francis of Assisi

Hail, Queen Wisdom!
The Lord save you, with your sister,
pure, holy Simplicity.
Lady holy Poverty, God keep you,
with your sister, holy Humility.
Lady holy Love, God keep you,
with your sister, holy Obedience.
All holy virtues, God keep you,
God, from whom you proceed and come.
In all the world, there is no one
who can possess any one of you
without first dying to self. Francis of Assisi


Our Father: Creator, Redeemer, Saviour and Comforter.

In heaven: In the angels and the saints. You give them light so that they may have knowledge, because you are light. You inflame them so that they may love, because you are love. You live continually in them so that they may be happy, because you are the supreme good, the eternal good, and it is from you all good comes and without you there is no good.

Hallowed be your name: May our knowledge of you become ever clearer, so that we may realise the breadth of your blessings, the extent of your promises, the height of your majesty and the depth of your judgements.

Your kingdom come: So that you may reign in us by your grace and bring us to your kingdom, where we shall see you clearly, love you perfectly, be happy in your company and enjoy you for ever.

Your will be done, on earth as in heaven: That we may love you with our whole heart by always thinking of you; with our whole mind by directing our whole intention towards you and seeking your glory in everything; and with all our strength by spending all our energies and affections of soul and body in the service of your love alone. And may we love our neighbour as ourselves, encouraging them all to love you as best we can, rejoicing at the good fortune of others, just as if it were our own, and sympathising with their misfortunes, while giving offence to no one.

Give us today our daily bread: Your own beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to remind us of the love he showed for us and to help us to understand and appreciate it and everything that he did or said or suffered.

And forgive us our sins: In your infinite mercy, and by the power of the passion of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, together with the merits and the intercession of the Blessèd Virgin Mary and all the saints.

As we forgive those who sin against us: And if we do not forgive perfectly, make us forgive perfectly, so that we may truly love our enemies for love of you and pray fervently to you for them, returning no one evil for evil, anxious only to serve everybody in you.

Lead us not into temptation: Hidden or obvious, sudden or unforeseen.

But deliver us from evil: Present, past or future. Amen. Francis of Assisi

(The Praises Before the Office)
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
who was, and who is, and who is coming:
We praise and glorify you for ever.

Worthy are you, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honour and power.
We praise and glorify you for ever.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength
and honour and glory and blessing.
We praise and glorify you for ever.

Let us bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We praise and glorify you for ever.

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
We praise and glorify you for ever.

Praise our God, all you his servants,
and you who fear him, the small and the great.
We praise and glorify you for ever.

Praise him in his glory, heaven and earth,
and every creature that is in heaven and on the earth
and under the earth and such as are on the seas,
and all that are in them.
We praise and glorify you for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
We praise and glorify you for ever.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and shall be for ever. Amen.
We praise and glorify you for ever. Francis of Assisi

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen,
Mary, Mother of God, ever Virgin;
chosen by the most holy Father in heaven,
consecrated by him, with his most holy belovèd Son
and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter:
on you descended and in you still remains
all the fullness of grace and every good.
Hail, his Palace; hail, his Tabernacle;
hail, his Robe; hail, his Handmaid;
hail, his Mother;
and hail, all holy Virtues, who,
by the grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
are poured into the hearts of the faithful.
So that, faithless no longer,
they may be made faithful servants of God
through you. Francis of Assisi

33 Holy Virgin Mary,
among all women in the world
there is none like you:
daughter and handmaid
of the Most High King and heavenly Father;
mother of our most holy Lord, Jesus Christ;
spouse of the Holy Spirit;
pray for us,
with Michael the archangel
and all the powers of heaven
and all the saints,
to your most holy and belovèd Son,
our Lord and Master. Francis of Assisi

May the power of your love, Lord Christ,
fiery and sweet as honey,
so absorb our hearts
as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven.
Grant that we may be ready
to die for love of your love,
as you died for love of our love. Amen.
Francis of Assisi

35 Give to your Church, O God,
a bold vision and a daring charity,
a refreshed wisdom and a courteous understanding,
that the eternal message of your Son
may be acclaimed as the good news of the age;
through him who makes all things new,
even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

36 Heavenly Father, draw us nearer to yourself
that we may know your will;
Loving Lord Jesus, fill us with all joy and peace
that we may respond to your call;
Holy Spirit, inspire us
that we may celebrate our faith
and give glory to you, God,
ever blessèd Trinity,
now and for ever. Amen.

37 O God,
take our minds and think through them,
take our lips and speak through them,
take our hearts and set them on fire
with love for you;
may your kingdom come,
on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

38 Spirit of God,
make us open to others in listening,
generous to others in giving
and sensitive to others in praying;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

39 O God,
may we live in faith,
walk in hope
and be renewed in love,
until the world reflects your glory
and you are all in all. Amen.


40 Loving God,
look with mercy on your servants
who seek in solitude and silence
refreshment of soul and strengthening for service;
grant them your abundant blessing
in the peace of Christ our Lord. Amen.

41 Grant us, O merciful God,
the will to seek you, whom we desire above all,
that we may find you and be found in you;
may your love and wisdom guide words spoken in your name;
may we find faith and hope
in the still small voice which tells us of your presence;
may we be one with you in Jesus our Redeemer. Amen.

42 Lord Jesus Christ,
speak to our hearts in the stillness,
keep us steadfast in the foundation that cannot be shaken,
lift up our eyes to behold the vision of your glory;
and perfect our faith, now and always. Amen.

43 Loving Father,
all our wants are tempered through the needs of others
and all our needs are met through your grace:
lift us above our doubts and uncertainties
into the calmness of your presence,
that safeguarded by your peace
we may serve you and all your creation
through the love which is eternal,
even your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

44 Eternal Spirit of God, breathe on us
that we may know quiet and contented minds
and lay all our burdens on Christ;
take from us all anxiety and disquiet
and draw our hearts to the Father
by the power of your love;
lead us to the peace that passes all understanding,
to the silence which reveals you among us. Amen.

45 CROSS PRAYERS (not used in Christmastide and Eastertide)

Having in mind Saint Francis' devotion to the passion of Christ
and looking upon the figure of the Crucified,
with arms outstretched,
let us pray to the Lord.

(A short silence may be observed)

You have sealed, O Lord, your servant Francis,
With the signs of our redemption.

Lord Jesus Christ,
who when the world was growing cold,
to the inflaming of our hearts by the fire of your love
raised up blessèd Francis
bearing in his body the marks of your passion:
mercifully grant to us, your people,
true penitence
and grace to bear the Cross for love of you;
who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Or the prayer of Francis before the crucifix:

Most High and glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of our hearts
and give us a true faith, a certain hope
and a perfect love.
Give us a sense of the divine
and knowledge of yourself,
so that we may do everything
in fulfilment of your holy will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

The Blessing
May the life-giving cross
be the source of all our joy and peace. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


May our blessèd Lady pray for you.
May Saint Francis and Saint Clare pray for you.
May all the saints of God pray for you.
May the holy angels befriend you
and watch around you to protect you.
Brother/Sister N., may the Lord bless you. Amen.


After `The Ministry of the Word' in the Eucharist, or at the beginning of `The Prayers' in an Office, the candidate for blessing comes and stands before the Officiant. The Community stands around the candidate, but not obscuring the view of the people.

We are gathered here to welcome and bless N., who has been chosen to serve as Minister/Guardian of N.

The Officiant then addresses the candidate:

N., in the presence of the Community, do you commit yourself to this trust and responsibility?

Candidate I do.

Officiant Will you guard those put in your care, nurture them in the faith and, by your life and example, proclaim the living Word among them, after the spirit of the blessèd Francis?

Candidate I will, God being my helper.

Officiant Will you see that the observance of the Rule is maintained, with love, patience and understanding?

Candidate I will, God being my helper.

The candidate steps aside and the Officiant addresses the Community:

Brothers and Sisters, will you love and support N. in this ministry?

Community We will.

Officiant Let us then silently offer our prayers to God and ask a blessing on N. in this ministry.

The candidate kneels before the Officiant and a period of silence is observed. The Officiant and the Community stretch out their right hands over the candidate and the Officiant says:

May our blessèd Lady pray for you.
May Saint Francis, who bore the marks
of the Lord Jesus, pray for you.
May Saint Clare pray for you.
May all the saints of the three Orders
pray for you.
May the holy angels befriend you
and watch around you to protect you.
And I will pronounce upon you
the blessing which our holy father, Francis,
gave to Brother Leo, his companion:
The Lord bless you and watch over you,
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you,
the Lord look kindly on you
and give you peace.
N., the Lord bless you.

And all present proclaim:

The Officiant then gives `The Peace' to the newly-blessed and the Community expresses its approval in a suitable manner.
If the blessing is in the context of a Eucharist, the President then continues, offering `The Peace' to all present, and the Eucharist proceeds with `The Preparation of the Gifts'.
If the blessing is in the context of an Office, the Officiant continues with `The Prayers'.


This form of service may be used on 16 April each year, the traditional date of the taking of vows by Saint Francis.
It may be used on other occasions, such as during a Community Retreat, on Saint Francis Day or at Community gatherings.
It takes place either at the Eucharist (after the gospel and homily), or at Evening Prayer (after the second lesson).
The opening call to commitment and the blessing may be given by different Community members.
The Paschal Candle may be lit and the Community gathered around it. Symbols of profession may be displayed.

The Officiant begins:
Let us recall the words of Saint Francis:
`Most belovèd brothers and sisters,
blessèd children, hear me,
We have promised great things,
still greater things are promised to us.
Let us keep our promises
and strive to attain what has been promised to us.'

All the brothers and sisters in profession then say together:
Most High and everlasting God,
accept us now as we come to renew our love and service.
Gathered in your name and by your grace
we affirm once again our promise and vow to you,
in the sight of the holy angels,
and of all the company of heaven,
and dedicate ourselves to the service
of our Lord Jesus Christ
in the way of the blessèd Francis
by living in obedience,
without property,
and in chastity,
according to the Rule of our Community
and the life of the gospel,
God being our helper.

The Officiant then gives the blessing:
In the words of the blessèd Francis, I bless you.
`May whoever observes all these things
be filled in heaven with the blessings of the Most High
and on earth with the blessing of Jesus Christ
in union with the blessing of the Holy Spirit,
the Comforter,
and all the powers of heaven and all the saints.
And I, your poor servant,
as much as I am able,
confirm for you this most holy blessing.' Amen.


This may be used when anyone is departing from the local Community. It may be adapted according to circumstances, including the absence of the person leaving. To symbolise unending love, the group may gather in a circle.

The Officiant begins:
God of our beginnings and endings,
we celebrate all we have shared with N. & N.
and ask your blessing as they continues on their journey.
May the love that is in our hearts
be a bond that unites us forever,
wherever we may be.
May the power of your presence
bless this moment of our leave-taking;
this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.

Then may follow either the following PSALMODY or some other.

1 You, O God, will guard us from all evil:
you will protect our lives.

2 You will protect our going out and our coming in:
both now and for ever.

3 Where can I flee from your Spirit:
or where can I flee from your presence?

4 If I climb to heaven, you are there:
if I lie in the grave, you are there also.

5 If I take the wings of the morning:
and dwell in the depths of the sea,

6 Even there, your hand shall lead me:
your hand shall hold me fast.
from Psalms 121 & 139

Glory . . .

Any of the following READINGS may be used.
I thank my God, every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel. And this is my prayer, that love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ we may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1. 3, 4, 9

Exodus 13. 21-22; John 3. 5-8; John 16. 21-24; 2 Corinthians 4. 7-9.

The following RESPONSE may be said. The Community may say their words together or different individuals take a particular part.

Community (1) As you journey onward,
we ask forgiveness where we have failed you;
we give thanks for all you have given us;
we assure you of our love and prayers.

Those As I leave, I ask forgiveness where I have failed you;
leaving I give thanks for all that you have given to me;
I assure you of my love and prayers.

Community (2) As you experience the pain of change,
and the insecurity of moving on,
we pray that you may also experience
the blessing of inner growth.

Those I know that God goes with me.

Community (3) As you meet the poor, the pained,
and the stranger on the Way,
we pray that you may see in each one
the face of Christ.

Those I know that God goes with me.

Community (4) As you walk through the good times and the bad,
we pray that you may never lose sight
of the shelter of God's loving arms.

Those I know that God goes with me.

Community (5) As you ponder your decisions
and wonder over the fruits of your choice,
we pray that the peace of Christ
may reign in your heart.

Those I know that God goes with me.

The Officiant then says,
We praise and thank you, God of the journey,
for our brothers and sisters who are soon to leave us.
We entrust them into your loving care,
knowing that you are always the faithful traveller
and companion on the Way.
Shelter and protect them from all harm and anxiety.
Grant them the courage to meet the future,
and grace to let go into new life;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

N. & N., may God bless you. Amen.

Then each person present may make the sign of the cross on the forehead of those leaving, saying,
Go in peace, for our God goes with you.

and `The Kiss of Peace' may be exchanged.

The Principles of the First Order

These are as printed in the Daily Office SSF. The current version is available on this site.


DAY 1 Jesus the Master speaks, I tell you most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; wherever I am, my servant will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
The Master sets before us in the example of his own sacrifice the secret of fruit-bearing. He surrenders himself to death and, lo!, he becomes the source of new life to myriads. Lifted up from the earth in sacrifice, he draws unto him all those multitudes of which the Greeks, whose coming kindled his vision, are the foretaste and prophecy. The life that is cherished perishes; the life that is renounced is eternal.

DAY 2 This law of renunciation and sacrifice, which is the law of the Master's own life and fruit-bearing, he lays also upon his servants, bidding them follow him in the same path. To those who thus follow he promises the ineffable reward of union with himself and acceptance by the Father.
The object, therefore, of the First Order is to build up a body of men and women who, accepting Christ as their Lord and Master, will seek to follow him in the way of renunciation and sacrifice as an act of witness and for the loving service of his brothers and sisters in the world.


DAY 3 The community, recognising that God has at all times called certain of his children to embrace a state of celibacy for the kingdom of heaven's sake, that they may be free to give themselves without distraction to his service, sets before itself the aim of building up a body of men and women who shall be completely dedicated to him alone both in body and spirit. These, after a sufficient period of probation, voluntarily in response to God's call, dedicate themselves to a life of devotion to our Lord under the conditions of poverty, chastity and obedience.

It is not without reason that these three conditions of poverty, chastity and obedience have ever been embraced by those desiring to live the life of religious detachment; for they stand for the ideal of perfect renunciation of the world, the flesh and the devil, which are the three great enemies of the spiritual life.


DAY 5 The Master willingly embraced a life of poverty in this world. He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor. He chose a stable for his birthplace and for his upbringing the house of a village carpenter. Even that home he left in early manhood and became a wayfarer, with nowhere to lay his head.
Us also he calls to poverty. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. None of you can be disciples of mine without parting with all his possessions.
The brothers and sisters, therefore, seek to be poor in spirit. They desire to escape from the love of the world and the things that are in the world and rather, like their patron Saint Francis, to be in love with poverty. They covet only the unsearchable riches of Christ. They recognise, indeed, that while some of their members may be called to a literal following of Saint Francis in a life of actual penury and extreme simplicity, for most, so high an ideal will not be possible.

DAY 6 The brothers and sisters desire to possess nothing which cannot be shared by those around them and such things as will help to satisfy their needs. They receive no pay and own no personal possessions. They live as a family having all things in common. They receive for their use the simple necessities of life. Yet what they receive they regard not as their own but rather as lent to them for a season.
Nor must they, while excluding the snare of the world from their individual lives, allow it to return in the corporate community, where it may work a wider and more fatal destruction. It would be small gain were they to surrender their personal possessions only to live in luxury through the abundance of the common stock. Therefore the community must turn away from excess. The buildings it erects and the style and manner of life which it permits must be the simplest that are consistent with good health and efficient work. If there is money beyond what such simple needs require, let it be spent in works of mercy and service, or else be used for the house of God, which it is right and seemly with proper moderation to adorn, or for the purchase of books which are necessary to the work of study.

DAY 7 In all things let the brothers and sisters exhibit the simplicity of true Franciscans who, caring little for the world where they are but strangers and pilgrims, have their hearts set on that spiritual home where their treasure lies.


DAY 8 The brothers and sisters are bound, like all Christians, to resist and by God's grace to conquer the temptations of the flesh and to live lives of purity and self-control. They must ever strive through faithful self-discipline and prayer to be chaste both in mind and body.
Furthermore, that they may wait upon the Lord without distraction and give themselves wholly to his work, being wedded only to Christ, their true spouse, they embrace of their own will the vocation of celibacy. They do this not because they believe that the unmarried state is in itself higher than the married, but because they believe that for them the unmarried state is that in which God wishes them to serve him. Therefore they look to him with confidence to give them the grace needed for this life which, if they should undertake it contrary to his will, would be to them a state of greater rather than less distraction than that of marriage.

DAY 9 In thus accepting the state of chastity, the brothers and sisters must ever be on their guard against the temptation to self-centredness, coldness or a lack of sympathy with the interests of others. Their espousal to Christ must not weaken or mar their human affections. Rather must their union with him enable them to love more richly with his love all with whom they are brought in contact.


DAY 10 The Master, who, coming into the world not to do his own will but the will of him that sent him, in obedience accepted even death, death on a cross, says to those who follow him, Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. The brothers and sisters desire, therefore, to surrender their wills to the will of God in the spirit of perfect obedience that, being delivered from self-will and pride, they may find true freedom and peace and be ready instruments which he can use for his purpose.

DAY 11 Further, by voluntarily accepting the Rule as binding upon them, the brothers and sisters pledge themselves to abide by this Rule and to obey the decisions of the Chapter, by which the common mind of the community is expressed and interpreted.
It is the work of the Ministers to administer the Rule and to see that the decisions of the Chapter are observed. Their directions, therefore, unless they order something contrary to the Rule or in itself sinful, must be promptly and cheerfully carried out. In their absence obedience is due to their Assistants. Brothers or sisters put in charge of a department of work are also to be obeyed in that department. But none may, on any authority, act contrary to the guiding of their own consciences. The Ministers are, like the other members, under obedience to the Rule and Chapter and are bound to exercise their authority, not in a spirit of partiality or pride or selfishness, but with equal consideration and love and with humble prayer for the divine wisdom.

DAY 12 The obligation of particular obedience within the community is gladly accepted by the members, not as something different from the obedience which they owe to God, but rather as part of that obedience. They are confident that, if God has called them to a life under Rule, they will, in fulfilling the obligations of that life, be most truly obeying him and that whatever limitations or humiliations their obedience may involve will, if cheerfully accepted, be a means by which pride is vanquished and a more perfect consecration achieved.
When working away from the community, the brothers and sisters should put themselves under the discipline of the parish or society in which they are staying.


DAY 13 The brothers and sisters seek to serve their Master by the life of devotion, by sacred study and by works. In the life of the community as a whole all these three ways must find full and balanced expression. It is not, indeed, to be expected that all will devote themselves equally to each of these three tasks. It is right that their several employments should vary according to the particular ability which God has given them, as that some should, with the approval of their Minister, give themselves in large measure to prayer and contemplation, others to the pursuit of learning and the writing of books and others mainly to the ministry of active service. Yet must room be found in the lives of all for at least some measure of each of these three employments.


DAY 14 Praise and prayer constitute the atmosphere in which the brothers and sisters must strive to live. They must endeavour to maintain a constant recollection of the presence of God and of the unseen world. An ever-deepening devotion to Christ is the hidden source of all their strength and joy. He is for them the One all-lovely and adorable, God incarnate, crucified and risen, whose love is the inspiration of service and the reward of sacrifice.

DAY 15 That their union with this Lord and Master may be ever renewed and strengthened, the brothers and sisters unite in offering daily before God the memorial of his death and passion and feeding often upon his sacrificial life. The Holy Eucharist is the centre round which their life revolves. It is above all the heart of their prayer life. The time of morning prayer is the preparation of mind and spirit for entrance within the sanctuary. The meditation which follows later is the opportunity for quiet tryst with him who, through the sacrament, is present inwardly and for feeding on him in the heart by faith with thanksgiving. The services of intercession and thanksgiving are times when those who have been thus joined with God in communion and meditation may plead with God in sure reliance on his promise: if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it, and also thank him for continuous experience of its fulfilment. The evening office is the renewed offering of praise and prayer to the same Lord at the end of the day's work and, in its closing silence, the hearts of all are together steeped afresh in the peace of that inward uncreated light which, as the shadows of life deepen, abides unchanged. Compline is the Master's blessing of protection and peace.

DAY 16 The brothers and sisters must strive ever to remember how essential is the work of prayer to every department of their lives. Without the constant renewal of divine grace the spirit flags, the will is weakened, the conscience grows dull, the mind loses its freshness and even the bodily vigour is impaired. They must, therefore, always be on their guard against the constant temptation to let other work encroach upon the hours of prayer, remembering that if they seek in this way to increase the bulk of their activity it can only be at the cost of its true quality and value. They must be regular and punctual in their attendance at corporate prayer. They must also bear in mind that it is of little value to be present at the common devotions in a formal or careless spirit. They must seek to make of each office an offering of true devotion from the heart. The reverent, ordered and earnest offering of the corporate worship is the very heart of the community's life.

DAY 17 So too the brothers and sisters must guard with jealous watchfulness the times of private prayer. They must remember that corporate worship is not a substitute for the quiet communion of the individual soul with God, and they must strive to go forward to ever fuller enjoyment of such communion until they are living in so constant a remembrance of God's presence that they do indeed pray continually.

DAY 18
It is to assist such an attitude and practice of recollection that the rules of silence have been laid down and the brothers and sisters will welcome and use such silence, regarding it not as the imposition of an artificial restraint, nor merely as an external rule to be observed by refraining from speech, but as an opportunity for growing in the sense of the divine presence. They will welcome in a like spirit the retreats and days of quiet which the community's Rule provides as times when, in withdrawal from all external distractions, the life of the spirit may be renewed and deepened.
In these and suchlike ways, the brothers and sisters will seek to keep ever fresh and living their devotion to Christ our Lord; and when, through human frailty, they fail in their high endeavour they will yet return again to Christ with humble contrition and earnest purpose of amendment; and they will hold in special esteem that sacrament of penance and absolution whereby they are cleansed from sin and renewed in the life of grace.


DAY 19 The true knowledge is the knowledge of God. The highest wisdom is that holy wisdom whereby the soul is made one with God. The first place, therefore, in the brothers' and sisters' work of study will always be given to the study and practice of the way of the soul's ascent to God and the devotional study of the scriptures as one of the chief aids to that end. They will study also the teaching of the Christian saints concerning the spiritual life.
It is the hope of the community that some of its houses may be not only homes of prayer but also homes of learning. It is out of this recognition of the value and importance of study that some of the hours each day are set apart for this purpose under the Rule; and it is mainly for the uninterrupted securing of these hours that the rule of the lesser silence is laid down whenever possible.


DAY 20 Jesus the Master took on himself the form of a servant. He did not come to be served but to serve. He went about doing good, healing the sick, preaching good tidings to the poor, binding up the brokenhearted. Those who would claim to be his servants and follow him must be diligent in ministry to others.
The active works by which the brothers and sisters seek to serve their Master begin within the house and garden. The sweeping, dusting and other menial offices, as well as certain forms of manual work, are apportioned among them so that all may contribute their share to the work of the household and the cost of their own living. All must be capable of engaging in some form of manual work. All must consider the interests of the community in its work for God and study strict economy. Brothers and sisters will do their own work as far as possible. Saint Francis said that the idle member has no place in the community.

DAY 21 Outside the special works of service to the community itself there are many opportunities of ministry, particularly to the uncared-for, the sick, the suffering and the needy. The community sets before it, as the special programme of service which it would like to be able to carry out, those acts of mercy the doing of which even to the humblest the Master declares that he will accept as done unto himself. By helping in the relief of poverty we may give him food and drink. By hospitality to strangers we may take him in. By relieving those homeless and naked we may clothe him. By caring for the sick we may relieve him. By visiting the prisoners we may cheer him. The community does not, indeed, expect ever to have at its disposal many funds for the administration of charitable relief, but it will gladly lend its members in the work of such relief and co-operate with others who are doing it. In all such work, the community will seek to serve all irrespective of creed, offering its services not as a bribe but as a reflection of the love of Christ himself.

DAY 22 But chiefest of all forms of service that the brothers and sisters can offer must ever be the effort to show others in his beauty and power the Christ who is the inspiration and joy of their own lives. They will seek to do this, not in a spirit of aggression, nor with contempt for the beliefs of others, but rather because, knowing in their own experience the power of Christ to save from sin and to give newness of life, they must needs seek to share their own supreme treasure. Out of the fullness, therefore, of devoted love they would seek to give their belovèd Master to all.
They must remember that, in this task of showing Christ to others, the witness of life is more eloquent than that of words. Franciscans must, therefore, seek rather to be living lives through which Christ can manifest himself than to preach much in public. Nevertheless, there will be some amongst them called more particularly to the ministry of the Word and all must be ready at all times to give an answer for the faith that is in them, and particularly to guide all who are sincerely seeking after truth. They must also be ready by instruction and prayer and spiritual direction to strengthen the faith of Christians and lead them forward in the spiritual life.

DAY 23 The brothers and sisters must be glad at all times to relieve those who come to them for help or counsel. They must never give the impression that they have no time for such ministry. Rather must they be ready to lay aside all other work, including even the work of prayer, where such service is immediately required, confident that such a negligence will surely be well-pleasing to the Servant of all.


DAY 24 The three notes which must ever in special degree mark the lives of the brothers and sisters are humility, love and joy. If these prevail within its members, the object of the community will be fulfilled and its work fruitful. If they are lacking, it will be unprofitable and barren.


DAY 25 The brothers and sisters will strive to keep ever before them the example of him who emptied himself, taking the form of a servant and who, on the last night of his life, humbly in the guise of a slave, washed his disciples' feet. They will ever seek after his pattern to clothe themselves with humility towards one another.
Humility is the recognition of the truth about God and ourselves, the recognition of our own insufficiency and dependence, seeing that we have nothing which we have not received. It is the mother of all Christian virtues. As Saint Bernard of Clairvaux has said, No spiritual house can stand for a moment save on the foundation of humility. It is the first condition of a happy life within the family. Thus those in the house must remember that brothers and sisters who are always confident that they are right and eager to impose their opinion on others, will themselves be unhappy as chafing under the discipline of subordination and correction and will also make the life of the family unhappy by marring that distinctive atmosphere of harmony and order which depends on everyone doing their allotted task with cheerfulness. The glad acceptance of the rule of obedience, and the loyal fulfilment of orders that are distasteful or difficult, will be one sure means of growing in this grace.

DAY 26 The brothers and sisters must also refrain from all contemptuous thoughts one of another and, not seeking for pre- eminence, must esteem others better than themselves. The faults that they see in others must be subjects for prayer rather than criticism and they must be more diligent to cast out the beam from their own eye than the mote from another's. They must be ready not only gladly to accept the lowest place when bidden, but rather of their own accord take it. Nevertheless, if entrusted with a work of which they feel incapable or unworthy, they must not shrink from accepting it on the plea of humility but attempt it confidently through the power that is made perfect in weakness.
In their relations also with those outside, the brothers and sisters must strive to show their Master's humility. They must welcome gladly all opportunities of humble service that come to them and never desire pre-eminence or praise. In particular, they must resist the temptation to consider themselves superior to others because dedicated to a life of religion, realising how much greater often are the sacrifices and difficulties of those engaged in the ordinary professions of life and how much more nobly they face them.


DAY 27 The Master says, By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples. Love is thus the distinguishing feature of all true disciples of Christ. It must be specially an outstanding note in the lives of those seeking to be specially consecrated to Christ as his servants. God is love and, for those whose lives are hidden with Christ in God, love will be the very atmosphere which surrounds all that they do.
This love the brothers and sisters must show towards all to whom they are united by natural ties of relationship or friendship. They will love them not less but more as their love for Christ grows deeper.
They will love also with a special affection those to whom they are united within the family of the community, praying for each individually and seeking to grow in love for each. They must be on their guard against all that injures this love: the bitter thought, the hasty retort, the angry gesture; and never fail to ask forgiveness of any against whom they have sinned. They must seek to love equally with others those with whom they have least natural affinity. For this love of one another is not simply the welling up of natural affection but a supernatural love which God gives them through their common union with Christ. As such it bears testimony to its divine origin. Our Lord intended the unity of those who believe in him to be a special witness to the world of his divine mission. The community must show the spectacle of a Christian family whose members, even though they be of varied race and education and character, are bound into a living fellowship by this supernatural love.
Lastly, in all their relationships with those, whether Christians or not, with whom their work brings them in contact they will seek to show forth this same supernatural Christ-like love; and, remembering that love is measured by sacrifice, they will seek gladly to spend whatever gifts they may possess of body, mind and spirit in the service of those to whom God calls them to minister.


DAY 28 Finally, the brothers and sisters, rejoicing in the Lord always, must show forth in their lives the grace and beauty of divine joy. They must remember that they follow the Son of Man, who came eating and drinking, who loved the birds and the flowers, who blessed little children, who was the friend of publicans and sinners, who sat at the tables alike of the rich and the poor. They will, therefore, put aside all gloom and moroseness, all undue aloofness from the common interests of people and delight in laughter and good fellowship. They will rejoice in God's world and all its beauty and its living creatures, calling nothing common or unclean. They will mingle freely with all kinds of people, seeking to banish sorrow and to bring good cheer into other lives. They will carry with them an inner secret of happiness and peace which all will feel, if they may not know its source.

DAY 29 This joy, likewise, is a divine gift and comes only from union with God in Christ. As such it can abide even in days of darkness and difficulty, giving cheerful courage in the face of disappointment and an inward serenity and confidence in sickness and suffering. Those who possess it can be content, for Christ's sake, with weakness, contempt, persecution, hardship and frustration; for when they are weak, then they are strong.

DAY 30 These three notes of humility, love and joy, which should mark the lives of the brothers and sisters, are all supernatural graces which can be won only from the divine bounty. They can never be attained through our own unaided exertions. They are miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. But it is the purpose of Christ our Master to work miracles through his servants and, if they will but be emptied of self and utterly surrendered to him, they will become chosen vessels of his Spirit and effective instruments of his mighty working, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or conceive.

The Rule of Life of the First Order

In applying the spirit of The Principles of the First Order to our daily life and work and in recognition of our vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we, the members of the First Order pledge ourselves to the observance of the following Rule of Life:

To be present frequently at the Eucharist, regarding daily communion as the ideal.

To be present at the Offices as they are said in each house and to pray Offices privately when unable to do so corporately. These shall normally be the Offices of Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer.

To spend at least one hour a day in prayer in addition to the time spent at the Eucharist and the Offices.

When away from a house, to observe Morning and Evening Prayer, to secure at least half an hour daily for prayer and to be present at the Eucharist as opportunity may offer.

To spend some hours each week in study.

To carry out such manual work as the head of house shall prescribe.

To observe the appointed rules of silence.

To observe the fasting rules according to the custom of the house and not to exceed them without permission.

To live the life of penance; daily to examine conscience and to confess
sins to God and, holding in special esteem that sacrament of confession
and absolution whereby we are cleansed from sin and renewed in the life
of grace, to seek the benefit of absolution as conscience requires.

To make a retreat at least once a year.

To have a holiday each year, as defined in the Provincial Statutes.

To become familiar with the documents of the Society by reading The Rule.

Franciscan Holy Days


Common of Martyrs, page 484.
God of our salvation,
we thank you for the first Franciscan martyrs
who shared in the passion of your belovèd Son.
May we also persevere until death
in bearing witness to you
and share with them in the glory of eternity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

COLETTE Religious Reformer (7 February) III
Common of Religious, page 487.
God our sustainer,
who inspired Colette to be an example
and leader of evangelical perfection for many:
grant that the spirit of Francis and Clare
which she wisely taught
and wondrously confirmed by her example
may ever abide in us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

First Order SSF (16 April) Page 296.

PACHOMIUS Abbot (15 May) III
Common of Religious, page 487.
Everliving God,
who called your servant Pachomius
to live the evangelical counsels
dedicated to the common life:
grant to all Christians
living in community
the spirit of forgiveness, acceptance and love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

MARGARET OF CORTONA Penitent & Tertiary (16 May) III
Common of Religious, page 487.
God of mercy,
give us grace that we may truly repent of our sins
following the example of your servant, Margaret of Cortona;
and that, by a living faith,
we may obtain full forgiveness;
through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Franciscan Friar (20 May) III
Common of Religious, page 487.
God of glory,
who gave your servant Bernardine
a most tender love of the Holy Name of Jesus:
grant that we may always be alive
with the spirit of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Common of Religious, page 487.
Grant, O God,
that as your servant Antony of Padua
proclaimed your gospel both in word and deed,
so may we bear witness
to the eternal kingdom of your Son;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

BONAVENTURE Friar, Bishop and Teacher (15 July) III
Common of a Teacher, page 485.
we thank you for the blessings given to your Church
through the holiness and wisdom
of your servant Bonaventure:
grant that we may follow him
in the way that leads to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

(2 August, especially where actual date not known) I
See page 481.

Curé d'Ars, Tertiary (4 August) III
Common of any Saint, page 490.
God of love,
who filled your servant John Vianney
with zeal as a priest, pastor and confessor:
help us, by your grace,
to win all our brothers and sisters for Christ
and to share with them in eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

CLARE Founder of the Second Order (11 August) I
The TUESDAY Office is used.
God of peace,
who in the holiness of blessèd Clare
gave us a clear light
to shine in the darkness of this world:
give us grace so to follow in her footsteps
that we may, at the last, rejoice with her
in your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Day Morning Evening
10 Aug Pss 27, 113
Canticle 42
Song of Songs 8. 3-7a
Revelation 19. 1-9

11 Aug Pss 63, 148 Pss 61, 66
Canticle 26 or 30 or 60 Canticle 42
Ecclesiasticus 2. 1-9 Isaiah 54. 1-8
Matthew 13. 44-51 Matthew 11. 25-end

Magnificat Come, O child of God, and look to your Redeemer,*
Eve and you will shine with glory.

Preparation Alleluia! Clare loved the Lord with her whole heart.
O come, let us worship. Alleluia!

Benedictus It is your Father's good pleasure*
to give you the kingdom of heaven.

Magnificat You have left all things and followed me;*
you will be repaid a hundred times over
and gain eternal life.

Christian Monarch, Patron of the Third Order
(25 August) III
Common of any Saint, page 490.
Sovereign God,
who raised your servant Louis
from the cares of earthly rule
to the glory of your heavenly Kingdom:
grant, we pray, that with him
we may have fellowship with the King of kings,
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

The FRIDAY Office is used.
Lord Jesus Christ,
who when the world was growing cold,
to the inflaming of our hearts by the fire of your love
raised up blessèd Francis
bearing in his body the marks of your passion:
mercifully grant to us, your people,
true penitence
and grace to bear the Cross for love of you;
who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Morning Evening
Opening Canticle 19
Pss 71, 150 Pss 27, 121
Canticle 5 or 60 Canticle 49 or 67
1 Kings 19. 1-12 Isaiah 6. 1-8
Luke 10. 1-16 John 12. 20-41

Preparation Alleluia! Christ crucified is the power and wisdom of God.
O come, let us worship. Alleluia!

Benedictus There will appear in heaven the sign
that heralds the Redeemer,*
whom they will see coming in power and glory.

Magnificat Christ carried our sins in his body to the cross;*
through his wounds, we have been healed.

FRANCIS OF ASSISI Friar (4 October) I
The Transitus is said in the evening of 3 October and may be incorporated in an Office, or the Eucharist or a specially devised service. When used, it replaces Cross Prayers.

The Officiant begins:
Francis, poor and lowly, enters heaven rich,
While saints and angels sing their songs of praise.

PSALM 142 is recited.

The Officiant then says:
With arms outstretched, let us pray to the Lord.


Let us pray.
O God,
who made your Church rich
through the poverty of the blessèd Francis:
help us, who remember his death,
not to trust in earthly things
but to seek your heavenly gifts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Then is given the solemn blessing and the bell is tolled forty-four
times (to mark the years of his life).

To the prayers of the saints I commend you.
May the most pure Virgin, Mother of God,
Patroness of all Franciscans, pray for you.
May Saint Francis, our father,
who bore the marks of the Lord Jesus, pray for you.
May Saint Antony, illustrious preacher, pray for you.
May Saint Bonaventure, seraphic doctor, pray for you.
May Saint Bernardine, lover of the Holy Name of Jesus, pray for you.
May Saint Clare, first-born of the Second Order, pray for you.
May Saint Louis, Saint Elizabeth and the illustrious saints of the Third Order, pray for you.
May all the saints of God pray for you.
May the holy angels befriend you and watch around you to protect you.
And I will pronounce upon you the blessing which our holy father, Francis,
gave to Brother Leo, his companion:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you peace.
May the Lord give you his holy benediction. Amen.

The TUESDAY Office, of Religious, is used.
God our Father,
you ever delight to reveal yourself
to the childlike and lowly of heart:
grant that, following the example
of our blessèd father, Francis,
we may count the wisdom of this world as foolishness
and know only Jesus Christ and him crucified;
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Day Morning Evening

3 Oct Transitus
Ps 104
Canticle 36
Genesis 1. 24-31
1 Corinthians 1. 17-end

4 Oct Pss 19, 148 Pss 8, 145
Canticle 8 or 30 Canticle 63
Isaiah 52. 7-15 Isaiah 55
Luke 12. 22-34 Matthew 10. 5-22

Magnificat The life that I now live,*
Eve I live by faith in the Son of God.

Preparation Alleluia! Christ exalts the humble and meek.
O come, let us worship. Alleluia!

Benedictus He was as the morning star,*
and as the sun shining upon the temple
of the Most High.

Magnificat Christ will be honoured in my body,
whether by life or by death;*
for to me to live is Christ
and to die is gain.

NIGHT PRAYER is from the TUESDAY Office.

Common of Religious, page 487.
God of peace,
who gave blessèd Peter of Alcantara
great gifts of penitence and prayer:
may we follow his example
and casting aside all that is the enemy of the Spirit
lay hold upon your heavenly treasure,
which you give us
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Tertiary (19 November) III
Common of any Saint, page 490.
Merciful God,
who helped Elizabeth of Hungary
to recognise and honour Christ in the poor:
grant that we may use
the prosperity of this present world
for the glory of your eternal Kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .

Common of Group Commemorations, page 489.
Everlasting God,
you have adorned your Church
with the splendours of the saintly followers
of our holy father, Francis:
grant that as we commemorate their holiness
we may come at last with all the pure of heart
to share the vision of your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .


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