Evening Prayer 8.3.16, Charles Freeman Bragg, Jr., Priest, 1940

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”

For almost 50 years Fr. George F. Bragg Jr. served as rector of St. James’s, Lafayette Square, Baltimore, the third oldest Black Episcopal church in the United States – and the oldest in the South. He took a parish struggling under White leadership and made it grow. (Wikipedia)

For almost 50 years Fr. George F. Bragg Jr. served as rector of St. James’s, Lafayette Square, Baltimore, the third oldest Black Episcopal church in the United States – and the oldest in the South. He took a parish struggling under White leadership and made it grow. (Wikipedia)

Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:15-16

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 81

1  Sing with joy to God our strength *
and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.
2  Raise a song and sound the timbrel, *
the merry harp, and the lyre.
3  Blow the ram’s-horn at the new moon, *
and at the full moon, the day of our feast.
4  For this is a statute for Israel, *
a law of the God of Jacob.
5  God laid it as a solemn charge upon Joseph, *
when the people came out of the land of Egypt.
6  I heard an unfamiliar voice saying, *
“I eased their shoulder from the burden;
their hands were set free from bearing the load.”
7  You called on me in trouble, and I saved you; *
I answered you from the secret place of thunder
and tested you at the waters of Meribah.
8  Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you: *
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9  There shall be no strange god among you; *
you shall not worship a foreign god.
10  I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt and said, *
“Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
11  And yet my people did not hear my voice, *
and Israel would not obey me.
12  So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their hearts, *
to follow their own devices.
13  Oh, that my people would listen to me! *
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14  I should soon subdue their enemies *
and turn my hand against their foes.
15  Those who hate the LORD would cringe before me, *
and their punishment would last for ever.
16  But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat *
and satisfy them with honey from the rock.

Psalm 82

1  God arises in the council of heaven; *
and gives judgment in the midst of the gods:
2  ”How long will you judge unjustly, *
and show favor to the wicked?
3  Save the weak and the orphan; *
defend the humble and needy;
4  Rescue the weak and the poor; *
deliver them from the power of the wicked.
5  They do not know, neither do they understand;
they go about in darkness; *
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6  Now I say to you, ‘You are gods, *
and all of you children of the Most High;
7  Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, *
and fall like any leader.’”
8  Arise, O God, and rule the earth, *
for you shall take all nations for your own.

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 LESSON
John 1:29-42 (NRSV)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

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.

George F. Bragg and sons: they were priests too. The early history of African Americans in The Episcopal Church would be nearly impossible to recover without the scholarship and historiographical work of George Freeman Bragg. He authored “First Negro Priest on Southern Soil,” “Men of Maryland,” “History of the Afro-American Group of the Episcopal Church” and “Richard Allen and Absalom Jones.”

George F. Bragg and sons; they were priests too. The early history of African Americans in The Episcopal Church would be nearly impossible to recover without the scholarship and historiographical work of George Freeman Bragg. He authored “First Negro Priest on Southern Soil,” “Men of Maryland,” “History of the Afro-American Group of the Episcopal Church” and “Richard Allen and Absalom Jones.” He was born in slavery during the Civil War, worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, and was ordained the 12th Black priest in Episcopal Church history in 1888 – without waiting the customary five years before Black deacons could be ordained priests. (Wikipedia)

Collect of the Day: George Freeman Bragg, Jr., Priest, 1940

Almighty God, we thank you for the strength and courage of George Freeman Bragg, who rose from slavery to freedom, documented African-American history, and helped to found the first advocacy group for black people. Grant that we may tell the story of your wondrous works in ways that proclaim your justice in our own time, to the glory of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 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: bighorn sheep in Joshua Tree National Park, California. (Koustubh Kulkarni)

For the beauty of the Earth: bighorn sheep in Joshua Tree National Park, California. (Koustubh Kulkarni)

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
People with disabilities killed in Japan
Suicide bombers in Turkey, Iraq, Bangladesh & Saudi Arabia
Drought in Southern Africa, India and Papua New Guinea
Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and Europe
Famine in Ethiopia and South Sudan

For Prisoners
Matthew

Prisoners of ISIS & Boko Haram: #BringBackOurGirls
Victims of human trafficking, including U.S. & Australian detainees
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: For the beauty of the earth – (John Rutter) – Vocal Arts Academy Milwaukee, 2013

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