1.41am on Thursday 20 February 2020

Evening Prayer (Evensong) in Contemporary Language


Please note: Daily Prayer provided by the official Church of England web site, © The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2002-2004.

Evening Prayer on Thursday
Thursday, 20 February 2020

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
AllO Lord, make haste to help us.

One or more of the following is said or sung:
a prayer of thanksgiving (page 110),
a suitable hymn,
or A Song of God’s Chosen One

1There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

3The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

4He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

5But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

7The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

8They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11.1,2,3b-4a,6,9

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 61

Refrain: You are my refuge, O God,
a strong tower against the enemy.

1 Hear my crying, O God, 
and listen to my prayer.

2 From the end of the earth I call to you with fainting heart; 
O set me on the rock that is higher than I.

3 For you are my refuge, 
a strong tower against the enemy.

4 Let me dwell in your tent for ever 
and take refuge under the cover of your wings. R

5 For you, O God, will hear my vows; 
you will grant the request of those who fear your name.

6 You will add length of days to the life of the king, 
that his years may endure throughout all generations.

7 May he sit enthroned before God for ever; 
may steadfast love and truth watch over him.

8 So will I always sing praise to your name, 
and day by day fulfil my vows.

Refrain: You are my refuge, O God,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Risen Christ,
as you knew the discipline of suffering
and the victory that brings us salvation,
so grant us your presence in our weakness
and a place in your unending kingdom
now and for evermore.

Psalm 62

Refrain: Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul.

1 On God alone my soul in stillness waits; 
from him comes my salvation.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, 
my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.

3 How long will all of you assail me to destroy me, 
as you would a tottering wall or a leaning fence?

4 They plot only to thrust me down from my place of honour;
lies are their chief delight; 
they bless with their mouth, but in their heart they curse.

5 Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul; 
for in him is my hope.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, 
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken. R

7 In God is my strength and my glory; 
God is my strong rock; in him is my refuge.

8 Put your trust in him always, my people; 
pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.

9 The peoples are but a breath,
the whole human race a deceit; 
on the scales they are altogether lighter than air.

10 Put no trust in oppression; in robbery take no empty pride; 
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.

11 God spoke once, and twice have I heard the same, 
that power belongs to God.

12 Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord, 
for you repay everyone according to their deeds.

Refrain: Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul.

O God, teach us to seek security,
not in money or theft,
not in human ambition or malice,
not in our own ability or power,
but in you, the only God,
our rock and our salvation.

Psalm 64

Refrain: The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.

1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; 
preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, 
from the gathering of evildoers.

3 They sharpen their tongue like a sword 
and aim their bitter words like arrows,

4 That they may shoot at the blameless from hiding places; 
suddenly they shoot, and are not seen.

5 They hold fast to their evil course; 
they talk of laying snares, saying, ‘Who will see us?’

6 They search out wickedness and lay a cunning trap, 
for deep are the inward thoughts of the heart. R

7 But God will shoot at them with his swift arrow, 
and suddenly they shall be wounded.

8 Their own tongues shall make them fall, 
and all who see them shall wag their heads in scorn.

9 All peoples shall fear and tell what God has done, 
and they will ponder all his works.

10 The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord
and put their trust in him, 
and all that are true of heart shall exult.

Refrain: The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.

Cut through the malice of our hearts, redeeming God,
with the Spirit’s sword,
wound the pride of our rebellion
with the grace that makes righteous
and bring near the day of Christ,
when love shall reign in joy;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Ecclesiastes 9

All this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hate one does not know. Everything that confronts them is vanity, since the same fate comes to all, to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to those who sacrifice and those who do not sacrifice. As are the good, so are the sinners; those who swear are like those who shun an oath. This is an evil in all that happens under the sun, that the same fate comes to everyone. Moreover, the hearts of all are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. But whoever is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished; never again will they have any share in all that happens under the sun.

Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that are given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the skilful; but time and chance happen to them all. For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them.

I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed important to me. There was a little city with few people in it. A great king came against it and besieged it, building great siege-works against it. Now there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. So I said, ‘Wisdom is better than might; yet the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heeded.’
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
   than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
   but one bungler destroys much good.

Canticle

Great and Wonderful, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 63 (page 621), may be said

Refrain:

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

1Great and wonderful are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty.

2Just and true are your ways,
O ruler of the nations.

3Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
for you alone are holy.

4All nations shall come and worship in your presence:
for your just dealings have been revealed.

Revelation 15.3, 4

AllTo the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

John 20.1-10

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned.
AllI have called you by name; you are mine.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

from Isaiah 43

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or A Song of Christ’s Appearing (page 621) may be said

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

3He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

4He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

6He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

8The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

Prayers

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs

Prayers may include the following concerns from the cycle on pages 362–363

Local government, community leaders
All who provide local services
Those who work with young or elderly people
Schools, colleges and universities
Emergency and rescue organizations

One of the forms of prayer found on pages 362–371 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty God,
you have created the heavens and the earth
and made us in your own image:
teach us to discern your hand in all your works
and your likeness in all your children;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things,
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur 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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

All The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.
Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

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