Evening Prayer, Rite II (Thursday, April 28, 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 neighbours 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.
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 59, 60
1 Rescue me from my enemies, O God; * protect me from those who rise up against me.
2 Rescue me from evildoers * and save me from those who thirst for my blood.
3 See how they lie in wait for my life, how the mighty gather together against me; *
not for any offense or fault of mine, O LORD.
4 Not because of any guilt of mine * they run and prepare themselves for battle.
5 Rouse yourself, come to my side, and see; * for you, LORD God of hosts, are Israel's God.
6 Awake, and punish all the ungodly; * show no mercy to those who are faithless and evil.
7 They go to and fro in the evening; * they snarl like dogs and run about the city.
8 Behold, they boast with their mouths, and taunts are on their lips; *
"For who, they say, will hear us?"
9 But you, O LORD, you laugh at them; * you laugh all the ungodly to scorn.
10 My eyes are fixed on you, O my Strength; * for you, O God, are my stronghold.
11 My merciful God comes to meet me; * God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
12 Slay them, O God, lest my people forget; *
send them reeling by your might and put them down, O Lord our shield.
13 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips,
for the cursing and lies that they utter, * let them be caught in their pride.
14 Make an end of them in your wrath; * make an end of them, and they shall be no more.
15 Let everyone know that God rules in Jacob, * and to the ends of the earth.
16 They go to and fro in the evening; * they snarl like dogs and run about the city.
17 They forage for food, * and if they are not filled, they howl.
18 For my part, I will sing of your strength; * I will celebrate your love in the morning;
19 For you have become my stronghold, * a refuge in the day of my trouble.
20 To you, O my Strength, will I sing; *
for you, O God, are my stronghold and my merciful God.
1 O God, you have cast us off and broken us; *
you have been angry; oh, take us back to you again.
2 You have shaken the earth and split it open; * repair the cracks in it, for it totters.
3 You have made your people know hardship; *
you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
4 You have set up a banner for those who fear you, *
to be a refuge from the power of the bow.
5 Save us by your right hand and answer us, *
that those who are dear to you may be delivered.
6 God spoke from his holy place and said: *
"I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.
7 Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; * Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.
8 Moab is my wash-basin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, *
and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."
9 Who will lead me into the strong city? * who will bring me to Edom?
10 Have you not cast us off, O God? * you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
11 Grant us your help against the enemy, * for vain is the help of man.
12 With God we will do valiant deeds, * and he shall tread our enemies under foot.
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: Wisdom 5: 9-23
All those things have vanished like a shadow, and like a rumour that passes by; like a ship that sails through the billowy water, and when it has passed no trace can be found, no track of its keel in the waves; or as, when a bird flies through the air, no evidence of its passage is found; the light air, lashed by the beat of its pinions and pierced by the force of its rushing flight, is traversed by the movement of its wings, and afterwards no sign of its coming is found there; or as, when an arrow is shot at a target, the air, thus divided, comes together at once, so that no one knows its pathway. So we also, as soon as we were born, ceased to be, and we had no sign of virtue to show, but were consumed in our wickedness.’ Because the hope of the ungodly is like thistledown carried by the wind, and like a light frost driven away by a storm; it is dispersed like smoke before the wind, and it passes like the remembrance of a guest who stays but a day.
But the righteous live for ever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them. The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armour, and will arm all creation to repel his enemies; he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and wear impartial justice as a helmet; he will take holiness as an invincible shield, and sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against his frenzied foes. Shafts of lightning will fly with true aim, and will leap from the clouds to the target, as from a well-drawn bow, and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them; a mighty wind will rise against them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.
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: Colossians 2: 8-23
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A Reading from Luke 6: 39-49
He also told them a parable: "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye. "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house."
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
** Reflections on the readings **
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.