Mellitus, Bishop of London, first Bishop at St Paul’s, 624
The Seven Martyrs of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Solomon Islands, 2003
Praise the name of the Lord; give praise, you servants of the Lord,
You that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; make music to his name, for it is lovely.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself and Israel for his own possession.
For I know that the Lord is great and that our Lord is above all gods.
The Lord does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all the deeps.
He brings up the clouds from the ends of the earth; he makes lightning with the rain and brings the winds out of his treasuries.
He smote the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn of man and beast.
He sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh and all his servants.
He smote many nations and slew mighty kings:
Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan.
He gave their land as a heritage, a heritage for Israel his people.
Your name, O Lord, endures for ever and shall be remembered through all generations.
For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak; eyes have they, but cannot see;
They have ears, but cannot hear; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them shall become like them, and so will all who put their trust in them.
Bless the Lord, O house of Israel; O house of Aaron, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O house of Levi; you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
Blessed be the Lord from Zion, who dwells in Jerusalem.
So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.