Evening Prayer, Rite II (Thursday, April 15, 2021)
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7,8
The Confession of Sin
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbour.
Silence may be kept.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighboㅕrs as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
The Invitatory and Psalter
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
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. Alleluia.
O Gracious Light: Phos hilaron
O gracious light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of Life, and to be glorified through all the worlds.
Today’s Appointed Psalm and Lessons
Psalm 18: 21-50
21 The LORD rewarded me because of my righteous dealing; *
because my hands were clean he rewarded me;
22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD * and have not offended against my God;
23 For all his judgments are before my eyes, * and his decrees I have not put away from me;
24 For I have been blameless with him * and have kept myself from iniquity;
25 Therefore the LORD rewarded me according to my righteous dealing, *
because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
26 With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God; *
with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
27 With the pure you show yourself pure, * but with the crooked you are wily.
28 You will save a lowly people, * but you will humble the haughty eyes.
29 You, O LORD, are my lamp; * my God, you make my darkness bright.
30 With you I will break down an enclosure; * with the help of my God I will scale any wall.
31 As for God, his ways are perfect; the words of the LORD are tried in the fire; *
he is a shield to all who trust in him.
32 For who is God, but the LORD? * who is the Rock, except our God?
33 It is God who girds me about with strength * and makes my way secure.
34 He makes me sure-footed like a deer * and lets me stand firm on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle * and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze.
36 You have given me your shield of victory; *
your right hand also sustains me; your loving care makes me great.
37 You lengthen my stride beneath me, * and my ankles do not give way.
38 I pursue my enemies and overtake them; * I will not turn back till I have destroyed them.
39 I strike them down, and they cannot rise; * they fall defeated at my feet.
40 You have girded me with strength for the battle; *
you have cast down my adversaries beneath me; you have put my enemies to flight.
41 I destroy those who hate me; they cry out, but there is none to help them; *
they cry to the LORD, but he does not answer.
42 I beat them small like dust before the wind; * I trample them like mud in the streets.
43 You deliver me from the strife of the peoples; *
you put me at the head of the nations.
44 A people I have not known shall serve me;
no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me; * strangers will cringe before me.
45 The foreign peoples will lose heart; * they shall come trembling out of their strongholds.
46 The LORD lives! Blessed is my Rock! * Exalted is the God of my salvation!
47 He is the God who gave me victory * and cast down the peoples beneath me.
48 You rescued me from the fury of my enemies;
you exalted me above those who rose against me; * you saved me from my deadly foe.
49 Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O LORD, * and sing praises to your Name.
50 He multiplies the victories of his king; * he shows loving-kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants for ever.
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.
The First Lesson: Daniel 2: 31-49
‘You were looking, O king, and lo! there was a great statue. This statue was huge, its brilliance extraordinary; it was standing before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of that statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked on, a stone was cut out, not by human hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, were all broken in pieces and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
‘This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings—to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the might, and the glory, into whose hand he has given human beings, wherever they live, the wild animals of the field, and the birds of the air, and whom he has established as ruler over them all—you are the head of gold. After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; just as iron crushes and smashes everything, it shall crush and shatter all these. As you saw the feet and toes partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but some of the strength of iron shall be in it, as you saw the iron mixed with the clay. As the toes of the feet were part iron and part clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with clay, so will they mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever; just as you saw that a stone was cut from the mountain not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The great God has informed the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation trustworthy.’
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshipped Daniel, and commanded that a grain-offering and incense be offered to him. The king said to Daniel, ‘Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery!’ Then the king promoted Daniel, gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
The Song of Simeon: Nunc Dimittis, Luke 2:29-32
Lord, you now have set your servant free * to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, * whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, * and the glory of your people Israel.
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.
The Second Lesson: John 2: 18-29
Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.
I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.
If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A Reading from Luke 3: 1-14
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'" John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.