Evening Prayer 12.30.15, Frances Joseph Gaudet, Educator & Prison Reformer, 1934

Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
 

Incarceration rates in the United States and other leading nations, published last year by the Washington Post.

Incarceration rates in the United States and other leading nations, published last year by the Washington Post.

Behold, the dwelling of God is with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God. Revelation 21:3

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 23

1  The LORD is my shepherd; *
I shall not be in want.
2  You make me lie down in green pastures *
and lead me beside still waters.
3  You revive my soul *
and guide me along right pathways for your Name’s sake.
4  Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil; *
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5  You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; *
you have anointed my head with oil,
and my cup is running over.
6  Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, *
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

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.

Joseph-Marie Vien, 1752: Jesus Heals the Official’s Son (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille, France)

Joseph-Marie Vien, 1752: Jesus Heals the Official’s Son (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille, France)

THE LESSON
John 4:46-54 (NRSV)

Then Jesus came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.

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 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.

A happy by-product of national church procedures for naming blessed role models (that is, saints) in the faith is that parishes and institutions associated with the person preserve and enhance their memory; think of William White's house and historic St. Thomas African Church in Philadelphia; the Phillips Brooks statue at Trinity Church, Boston; Wilfred Grenfell Association properties in Newfoundland and Labrador; and the Martyrs of Memphis. St. Luke’s, New Orleans is another example, the "memory home" of Frances Joseph Gaudet. This historic African-American parish, held its annual Frances Joseph Gaudet celebration Sunday evening in Gaudet Hall, the community center named for her. This graphic is from their event page on Facebook. Her legacy lives on in scholarships for Black students.

A happy by-product of national church procedures for naming blessed role models (saints) in the faith is that parishes and institutions associated with the person preserve and enhance their memory; think of William White’s house or historic St. Thomas African Church in Philadelphia; the Phillips Brooks statue at Trinity Church, Boston; Wilfred Grenfell Association properties in Newfoundland and Labrador; and the Martyrs of Memphis. St. Luke’s, New Orleans is another example, the “memory home” of Frances Joseph Gaudet. This historic African-American parish held its annual Frances Joseph Gaudet celebration Sunday evening in Gaudet Hall, the community center named for her. Her legacy also lives on in scholarships for Black students, four and five generations after her death. This graphic is from St. Luke’s 2015 Frances Gaudet Day event page on Facebook; there are tweets about her (including ours) on Twitter – which would no doubt come as a happy surprise to her if she could see us all now.

Collect of the Day: Frances Joseph Gaudet, Educator and Prison Reformer, 1934

Merciful God, who raised up your servant Frances Joseph Gaudet to work for prison reform and the education of her people: Grant that we, encouraged by the example of her life, may work for those who are denied the fullness of life by reasons of incarceration and lack of access to education; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For the beauty of the Earth: Palo Duro Canyon, Texas. The rock formation, center left, is known as the Lighthouse.

For the beauty of the Earth: Palo Duro Canyon, Texas. The rock formation, center left, is known as the Lighthouse.

For the Beauty of the Earth

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, 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.

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

For Disaster Victims
Suicide attack in Mardan, Pakistan
Gas tanker explosion, Nigeria
Landslide in China
Attacks in San Bernardino, Paris and Mali
Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and Europe
Famine in Ethiopia and South Sudan

For Prisoners
Prisoners of ISIS & Boko Haram: #BringBackOurGirls
Victims of human trafficking
Guantanamo; political prisoners

The innocent, the guilty, the victims of crime
Children and families of prisoners
Prison chaplains and ministries, especially Sally & Francesca
John P. Craine House, diversion and prevention programs
Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers
All who are condemned to die

For those who suffer for the sake of Conscience

O God our Father, whose Son forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our merciful and righteous Judge. Amen.

Prayer 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.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

VIDEO: Soul Cake (compiled by the Rev. M.P. Holme, 1893; adapt. Paul Stookey, Tracy Batteaste and Elaina Mezzetti) – Sting, Live from Durham Cathedral, 2009

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