Evening Prayer 12.21.15, St. Thomas the Apostle

You are my witnesses, says the LORD,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.

John Granville Gregory: Incredulity of St. Thomas, based on a famous painting by Caravaggio.

John Granville Gregory: Incredulity of St. Thomas, based on a famous painting by Caravaggio.

You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Ephesians 2:19

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.

Hymn: 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.

Psalm 27

1  The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear? *
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom then shall I be afraid?
2  When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh, *
it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
3  Though an army should encamp against me, *
yet my heart shall not be afraid;
4  And though war should rise up against me, *
yet will I put my trust in the LORD.
5  One thing have I asked of the LORD;
one thing I seek; *
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life;
6  To behold the fair beauty of the LORD *
and to seek God in the temple.
7  For on the day of trouble the LORD shall shelter me in safety; *
the LORD shall hide me in the secrecy of the holy place
and set me high upon a rock.
8  Even now the LORD lifts up my head *
above my enemies round about me.
9  Therefore I will offer in the holy place an oblation
with sounds of great gladness; *
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
10  Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call; *
have mercy on me and answer me.
11  You speak in my heart and say, “Seek my face.” *
Your face, LORD, will I seek.
12  Hide not your face from me, *
nor turn away your servant in displeasure.
13  You have been my helper;
cast me not away; *
do not forsake me, O God of my salvation.
14  Though my father and my mother forsake me, *
the LORD will sustain me.
15  Show me your way, O LORD; *
lead me on a level path, because of my enemies.
16  Deliver me not into the hand of my adversaries, *
for false witnesses have risen up against me,
and also those who speak malice.
17  What if I had not believed
that I should see the goodness of the LORD *
in the land of the living!
18  O tarry and await the LORD’s pleasure;
be strong, and the LORD shall comfort your heart; *
wait patiently for the LORD.

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 LESSONS
Isaiah 43:8-13 (NRSV)

Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
Let all the nations gather together,
and let the peoples assemble.
Who among them declared this,
and foretold to us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,
and let them hear and say, “It is true.”
You are my witnesses, says the LORD,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the LORD,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses, says the LORD.
I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
I work and who can hinder it?

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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.

John 14:1-7 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
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 Gospel Choir of historic St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, founded by Blessed Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest in The Episcopal Church. (Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service)

The Gospel Choir of historic St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, founded by blessed Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest in the Episcopal Church. (Lynette Wilson/Episcopal News Service)

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
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,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and 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 PRAYERS

Our 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.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit
in the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

The patron saint of St. Thomas’s, Dallas, Texas. He was less a doubter than a questioner - which was fine with Jesus, who extended himself with great generosity in response.

The patron saint of St. Thomas’s, Dallas, Texas. He was less a doubter than a questioner – and Jesus extended himself generously in response. He knew how hard it is to believe in a God we can’t see.

Collect of the Day: St. Thomas the Apostle

Everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

Monday Evening Prayer List: Thanksgivings

Birth of Peter Timothy
Oficio Diario and Vicar Michael Dresbach
Our donors!
Our mission partners in Haiti, South Sudan and among the Sioux
All those who give to food banks and pantries, and all who receive
Community Health Centers and Free Clinics

A Collect for Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

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. 2 Corinthians 13:14++

VIDEO: O Radiant Dawn (O Oriens) (James McMillan) – Spiritus Chamber Choir, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2012

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