Evening Prayer, Rite II (Thursday, May 27, 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 37: 19-42
19 The Lord cares for the lives of the godly, * and their inheritance shall last for ever.
20 They shall not be ashamed in bad times, * and in days of famine they shall have enough.
21 As for the wicked, they shall perish, * and the enemies of the Lord, like the glory of
the meadows, shall vanish; they shall vanish like smoke.
22 The wicked borrow and do not repay, * but the righteous are generous in giving.
23 Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land, *
but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
24 Our steps are directed by the Lord; * he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
25 If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong, * for the Lord holds them by the hand. 26 I have been young and now I am old, *
but never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.
27 The righteous are always generous in their lending, *
and their children shall be a blessing.
28 Turn from evil, and do good, * and dwell in the land for ever.
29 For the Lord loves justice; * he does not forsake his faithful ones.
30 They shall be kept safe for ever, * but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
31 The righteous shall possess the land * and dwell in it for ever.
32 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, * and their tongue speaks what is right.
33 The law of their God is in their heart, * and their footsteps shall not falter.
34 The wicked spy on the righteous * and seek occasion to kill them.
35 The Lord will not abandon them to their hand, *
nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
36 Wait upon the Lord and keep his way; *
he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
37 I have seen the wicked in their arrogance, * flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
38 I went by, and behold, they were not there; *
I searched for them, but they could not be found.
39 Mark those who are honest; observe the upright; *
for there is a future for the peaceable.
40 Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all; * the future of the wicked is cut off.
41 But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the Lord; *
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
42 The Lord will help them and rescue them; *
he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because they seek refuge in him.
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: Deuteronomy 4: 32-40
For ask now about former ages, long before your own, ever since the day that God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of heaven to the other: has anything so great as this ever happened or has its like ever been heard of? Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and lived? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by terrifying displays of power, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, while you heard his words coming out of the fire. And because he loved your ancestors, he chose their descendants after them. He brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, giving you their land for a possession, as it is still today. So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Keep his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding you today for your own well-being and that of your descendants after you, so that you may long remain in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.
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 2 Corinthians 3: 1-18
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ towards God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!
Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A Reading from Luke 16: 1-9
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
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.