1.01am 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 Wednesday
Wednesday, 19 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 Descending

1I love you, O Lord my strength.
The Lord is my crag, my fortress and my deliverer.

2In my distress I called upon the Lord
and cried out to my God for help.

3He heard my voice in his temple
and my cry came to his ears.

4He parted the heavens and came down
and thick darkness was under his feet.

5He rode upon the cherubim and flew;
he came flying on the wings of the wind.

6He made darkness his covering round about him,
dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.

7From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds
burst hailstones and coals of fire.

8The Lord also thundered out of heaven;
the Most High uttered his voice
with hailstones and coals of fire.

9For you will save a lowly people
and bring down the high looks of the proud.

10You also shall light my candle;
the Lord my God shall make my darkness to be bright.

11As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is tried in the fire;
he is a shield to all who trust in him.

Psalm 18.1, 6, 7 ,10-14, 28, 29, 31

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 59

Refrain: You, O God, are my strong tower.

1 Rescue me from my enemies, O my God; 
set me high above those that rise up against me.

2 Save me from the evildoers 
and from murderous foes deliver me.

3 For see how they lie in wait for my soul 
and the mighty stir up trouble against me.

4 Not for any fault or sin of mine, O Lord; 
for no offence, they run and prepare themselves for war.

5 Rouse yourself, come to my aid and see; 
for you are the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel.

6 Awake, and judge all the nations; 
show no mercy to the evil traitors. R

7 They return at nightfall and snarl like dogs 
and prowl about the city.

8 They pour out evil words with their mouths;
swords are on their lips; 
‘For who’, they say, ‘can hear us?’

9 But you laugh at them, O Lord; 
you hold all the nations in derision.

10 For you, O my strength, will I watch; 
you, O God, are my strong tower.

11 My God in his steadfast love will come to me; 
he will let me behold the downfall of my enemies. R

12 Slay them not, lest my people forget; 
send them reeling by your might
and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

13 For the sins of their mouth, for the words of their lips, 
let them be taken in their pride.

14 For the cursing and falsehood they have uttered, 
consume them in wrath, consume them till they are no more.

15 And they shall know that God rules in Jacob, 
and to the ends of the earth. R

16 And still they return at nightfall and snarl like dogs 
and prowl about the city.

17 Though they forage for something to devour, 
and howl if they are not filled,

18 Yet will I sing of your strength 
and every morning praise your steadfast love;

19 For you have been my stronghold, 
my refuge in the day of my trouble.

20 To you, O my strength, will I sing; 
for you, O God, are my refuge,
my God of steadfast love.

Refrain: You, O God, are my strong tower.

Strong and merciful God,
stand with the oppressed
against the triumph of evil
and the complacency of your people,
and establish in Jesus Christ
your new order of generosity and joy,
for he is alive and reigns now and for ever.

Psalm 60

Refrain: Restore us again, O God our Saviour.

1 O God, you have cast us off and broken us; 
you have been angry; restore us to yourself again.

2 You have shaken the earth and torn it apart; 
heal its wounds, for it trembles.

3 You have made your people drink bitter things; 
we reel from the deadly wine you have given us.

4 You have made those who fear you to flee, 
to escape from the range of the bow.

5 That your beloved may be delivered, 
save us by your right hand and answer us. R

6 God has spoken in his holiness: 
‘I will triumph and divide Shechem,
and share out the valley of Succoth.

7 ‘Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; 
Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my sceptre.

8 ‘Moab shall be my washpot;
over Edom will I cast my sandal; 
across Philistia will I shout in triumph.’ R

9 Who will lead me into the strong city? 
Who will bring me into Edom?

10 Have you not cast us off, O God? 
Will you no longer go forth with our troops?

11 Grant us your help against the enemy, 
for earthly help is in vain.

12 Through God will we do great acts, 
for it is he that shall tread down our enemies.

Refrain: Restore us again, O God our Saviour.

Risen Christ,
you claim your own among the nations;
mend what is broken in us, loving Saviour;
do not forsake us when we fail,
but in your service grant us daring and love;
for your name’s sake.

Psalm (67)

1 God be gracious to us and bless us 
and make his face to shine upon us,

2 That your way may be known upon earth, 
your saving power among all nations.

3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; 
let all the peoples praise you.

4 O let the nations rejoice and be glad, 
for you will judge the peoples righteously
and govern the nations upon earth.

5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; 
let all the peoples praise you.

6 Then shall the earth bring forth her increase, 
and God, our own God, will bless us.

7 God will bless us, 
and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

In the face of Jesus Christ
your light and glory have blazed forth,
O God of all the nations;
with all your people,
may we make known your grace
and walk in the ways of peace;
for your name’s sake.

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 8

Who is like the wise man?
   And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
Wisdom makes one’s face shine,
   and the hardness of one’s countenance is changed.

Keep the king’s command because of your sacred oath. Do not be terrified; go from his presence, do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, for he does whatever he pleases. For the word of the king is powerful, and who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ Whoever obeys a command will meet no harm, and the wise mind will know the time and way. For every matter has its time and way, although the troubles of mortals lie heavy upon them. Indeed, they do not know what is to be, for who can tell them how it will be? No one has power over the wind to restrain the wind, or power over the day of death; there is no discharge from the battle, nor does wickedness deliver those who practise it. All this I observed, applying my mind to all that is done under the sun, while one person exercises authority over another to the other’s hurt.

Then I saw the wicked buried; they used to go in and out of the holy place, and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the human heart is fully set to do evil. Though sinners do evil a hundred times and prolong their lives, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they stand in fear before him, but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.

There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people who are treated according to the conduct of the wicked, and there are wicked people who are treated according to the conduct of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. So I commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat, and drink, and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the days of life that God gives them under the sun.

When I applied my mind to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how one’s eyes see sleep neither day nor night, then I saw all the work of God, that no one can find out what is happening under the sun. However much they may toil in seeking, they will not find it out; even though those who are wise claim to know, they cannot find it out.

Canticle

A Song of the Blessed, or another suitable canticle,
for example, number 69 (page 627), may be said

Refrain:

AllRejoice and be glad
for you are the light of the world,
and great is your reward in heaven. Alleluia.

1Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

3Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

4Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

5Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

6Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

7Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

8Blessed are those who suffer persecution
for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5.3-10

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.

AllRejoice and be glad
for you are the light of the world,
and great is your reward in heaven. 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 19.31-end

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’ And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

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

Lord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.
AllLord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.

For I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
AllAnd afterwards receive me with glory.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllLord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.

from Psalm 73

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or the Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) (page 613) may be said

AllRemember your promise of mercy,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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.

AllRemember your promise of mercy,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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

The social services
All who work in the criminal justice system
Victims and perpetrators of crime
The work of aid agencies throughout the world
Those living in poverty or under oppression

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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