Evening Prayer, Rite II (Thursday, August 6, 2020)
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Feast of the Transfiguration
Today we celebrate the occasion (recorded in M 17:1-8 = P 9:2-8 = L 9:28-36) on which Christ, as He was beginning to teach His disciples that He must die and rise again, revealed Himself in shining splendour to Peter, James, and John. Moses and Elijah were present, and are taken to signify that the Law and the Prophets testify that Jesus is the promised Messiah. God the Father also proclaimed him as such, saying, "This is My Beloved Son. Listen to him." For a moment the veil is drawn aside, and men still on earth are permitted a glimpse of the heavenly reality, the glory of the Eternal Triune God. In the East, the Festival of the Transfiguration has been celebrated since the late fourth century and is one of the twelve great festivals of the East Orthodox calendar.
In the West it was observed after the ninth century by some monastic orders, and in 1457 Pope Callistus III ordered its general observance. At the time of the Reformation, it was still felt in some countries to be a "recent innovation," and so was not immediately taken over into most Reformation calendars, but is now found on most calendars that have been revised in the twentieth century. A recent tendency in the West is to commemorate the Transfiguration on the Sunday just before Lent, in accordance with the pattern found in the Synoptics, where Jesus is represented as beginning to speak of his forthcoming death just about the time of the Transfiguration, so that it forms a fitting transition between the Epiphany season, in which Christ makes himself known, and the Lenten season, in which he prepares the disciples for what lies ahead. Whether observing the Transfiguration then will affect the observation of it on 6 August remains to be seen.
Leader: Let my prayer be set forth in thy sight as the incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2
Confession of Sin Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.
Silence may be kept.
Leader and People (together): Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, we have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, spare thou those who confess their faults, restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord; and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
Leader: The Almighty and merciful Lord grant us absolution and remission of all our sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit. 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 forever. Amen.
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 thy praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thou art 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
85 Benedixisti, Domine (read responsively) 1 You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, *you have restored the good fortune of Jacob. 2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *and blotted out all their sins. 3 You have withdrawn all your fury *and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
4 Restore us then, O God our Savior; *let your anger depart from us. 5 Will you be displeased with us for ever? *will you prolong your anger from age to age? 6 Will you not give us life again, *that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your mercy, O Lord, *and grant us your salvation. 8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, *for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him. 9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *that his glory may dwell in our land. 10 Mercy and truth have met together; *righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, *and righteousness shall look down from heaven. 12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, *and our land will yield its increase. 13 Righteousness shall go before him, *and peace shall be a pathway for his feet. 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.