St. John's Anglican Church

Birmingham, Alabama church

Birmingham, AL, Mt Laurel, Mt. Laurel, church, Anglican, Episcopal, Christian, Catholic, Reformed Episcopal, Holy Communion, Eucharist

The Exhortation in Morning Prayer

The BCP is a compendium of  simplicity and beauty of language and thought.  In the Exhortation (BCP 5) at the very outset of Morning Prayer, we are taught that the barrier to our communion with God is sin, and therefore we are to confess our sin.    Entrance into God’s holy presence ought to awaken in us a sense of our unworthiness … and God’s grace, grace which takes away our iniquity and enables us to offer our prayers before God.   God’s holiness, our unworthiness, God’s grace … what a vivid picture we have of this in Isaiah 6 :

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”

And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said,

“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.  He touched my mouth with it and said,
“Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

Now we are ready to pray.

Recent Morning Prayers

  • The Exhortation in Morning Prayer