Evening Prayer, Rite II (Thursday, December 10, 2020)
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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
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. 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.
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 37: 19-42
19 they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance.
20 But the wicked perish, and the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
21 The wicked borrow, and do not pay back,
but the righteous are generous and keep giving;
22 for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
23 Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights in our way;
24 though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
26 They are ever giving liberally and lending, and their children become a blessing.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; so you shall abide for ever.
28 For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones.
The righteous shall be kept safe for ever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it for ever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak justice.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their steps do not slip.
32 The wicked watch for the righteous, and seek to kill them.
33 The Lord will not abandon them to their power, or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.
34 Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on the destruction of the wicked.
35 I have seen the wicked oppressing, and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
36 Again I passed by, and they were no more;
though I sought them, they could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless, and behold the upright, for there is posterity for the peaceable.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
The First Lesson: A Reading from the book of Amos 9: 1-10
I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said: Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people; and those who are left I will kill with the sword; not one of them shall flee away, not one of them shall escape.
Though they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down. Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search out and take them; and though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the sea-serpent, and it shall bite them. And though they go into captivity in front of their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them; and I will fix my eyes on them for harm and not for good.
The Lord, God of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who live in it mourn, and all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt; who builds his upper chambers in the heavens, and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the surface of the earth— he Lord is his name.
Are you not like the Ethiopians to me, O people of Israel? says the Lord. Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? The eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth —except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, says the Lord.
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: A Reading from the Book of Revelations 2: 8-17
And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life:
‘I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich. I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Whoever conquers will not be harmed by the second death.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword: ‘I know where you are living, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan lives. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling-block before the people of Israel, so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and practice fornication. So you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then. If not, I will come to you soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 23: 13-26
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
‘Woe to you, blind guides, who say, “Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.” You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? And you say, “Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.” How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it; and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.
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.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
V. Show us your mercy, O Lord; R. And grant us your salvation. V. Clothe your ministers with righteousness; R. Let your people sing with joy. V. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world; R. For only in you can we live in safety.
V. Lord, keep this nation under your care; R. And guide us in the way of justice and truth. V. Let your way be known upon earth; R. Your saving health among all nations. V. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten; R. Nor the hope of the poor be taken away. V. Create in us clean hearts, O God; R. And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.
A Prayer for our Country
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Protection
O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labour, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Prayer for Social Justice
Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A Prayer for the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.
**Friends, who can we pray for tonight? Let us offer up our intercessions & thanksgivings**
· Prayers for the reposed souls of all who have died from Covid-19. We pray for their grieving families.
· Prayers for Mother Rhoda, Fr. Roy Cole, Arthur Ellwell, Trevor Chase, Jennifer Sprosty, John Owens, Fr. Free, Nelly Johnson, Rev. Roslyn Dimerson, Maggie White, Violet Cheeks and all those on our prayer list and for all those who may be suffering in mind, body and spirit.