Evening Prayer, Rite II (Thursday, March 4, 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.
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
1 O God, why have you utterly cast us off? *
why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, *
the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance, and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3 Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; *
the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries roared in your holy place; *
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5 They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees; *
they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
6 They set fire to your holy place; *
they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name and razed it to the ground.
7 They said to themselves, "Let us destroy them altogether." *
They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8 There are no signs for us to see; there is no prophet left; *
there is not one among us who knows how long.
9 How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? *
will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10 Why do you draw back your hand? * why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11 Yet God is my King from ancient times, * victorious in the midst of the earth.
12 You divided the sea by your might *
and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13 You crushed the heads of Leviathan *
and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
14 You split open spring and torrent; * you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15 Yours is the day, yours also the night; * you established the moon and the sun.
16 You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; * you made both summer and winter.
17 Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, *
how a foolish people despised your Name.
18 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; *
never forget the lives of your poor.
19 Look upon your covenant; * the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20 Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; * let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21 Arise, O God, maintain your cause; * remember how fools revile you all day long.
22 Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, *
the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.
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: A Reading from Jeremiah 4: 9-10, 19-28
On that day, says the Lord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded. Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, “It shall be well with you”, even while the sword is at the throat!’
My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent; for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Disaster overtakes disaster, the whole land is laid waste. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, my curtains in a moment. How long must I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? ‘For my people are foolish, they do not know me; they are stupid children, they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but do not know how to do good.’
I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled. I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the Lord, before his fierce anger. For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. Because of this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above grow black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back.
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 Letter of Paul to the Romans 2: 12-24
All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relation to God and know his will and determine what is best because you are instructed in the law, and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth, you, then, that teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You that forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you rob temples? You that boast in the law, do you dishonour God by breaking the law? For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
A Reading from the Gospel of John 5: 19-29
Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomsoever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.
‘Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
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 Protection
Leader: 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