Evening Prayer 12.31.16, Eve of Holy Name

I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.

(Coptic Orthodox Church Fathers)

(Coptic Orthodox Church Fathers)

Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this night in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.

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: Light of the World
Phos hilaron

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 90

1  Lord, you have been our refuge *
from one generation to another.
2  Before the mountains were brought forth,
or the land and the earth were born, *
from age to age you are God.
3  You turn us back to the dust and say, *
“Go back, O child of earth.”
4  For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past *
and like a watch in the night.
5  You sweep us away like a dream; *
we fade away suddenly like the grass.
6  In the morning it is green and flourishes; *
in the evening it is dried up and withered.
7  For we consume away in your displeasure; *
we are afraid because of your wrathful indignation.
8  Our iniquities you have set before you, *
and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9  When you are angry, all our days are gone; *
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10  The span of our life is seventy years,
perhaps in strength even eighty; *
yet the sum of them is but labor and sorrow,
for they pass away quickly and we are gone.
11  Who regards the power of your wrath? *
who rightly fears your indignation?
12  So teach us to number our days *
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

13  Return, O LORD; how long will you tarry? *
be gracious to your servants.
14  Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; *
so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
15  Make us glad by the measure of the days that you afflicted us *
and the years in which we suffered adversity.
16  Show your servants your works *
and your splendor to their children.
17  May the graciousness of the LORD our God be upon us; *
prosper the work of our hands;
prosper our handiwork.

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.

This is said to be King David's tomb on what is said to be Mt. Zion, but both claims are problematical; the Biblical description of where Zion was is sufficiently vague, and the holy city has been built up and destroyed so much that no one really know where the hill might have been; three different spots have been identified and publicly claimed over the city's history. "Mt. Zion" has become a theological and literary device to refer to the city as a whole, and to heaven more generally; David's tomb was lost eons ago, but pilgrims need a place to go. (Berthold Werner)

This is said to be King David’s tomb on Mt. Zion, but both claims are problematical. The Biblical description of where Zion was is sufficiently vague, and the holy city has been built up and destroyed so much that no one really knows where the hill might have been; three different spots have been identified and claimed over its history. “Mt. Zion” has become a theological and literary device to refer to the city as a whole, and to heaven more generally; David’s tomb was lost eons ago, but pilgrims need a place to go and this location has a better claim than others. (Berthold Werner)

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 65:15b-25 (NRSV)

To his servants he will give a different name.
Then whoever invokes a blessing in the land
shall bless by the God of faithfulness,
and whoever takes an oath in the land
shall swear by the God of faithfulness;
because the former troubles are forgotten
and are hidden from my sight.

For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain,
or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD —
and their descendants as well.
Before they call I will answer,
while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent — its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.

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.

Brian Kershisnik, 2006: Nativity

Brian Kershisnik, 2006: Nativity

Revelation 21:1-6 (NRSV)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”

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, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He 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,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
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.

A controversial Nativity scene two years ago at Claremont United Methodist Church in California depicting homicide victim Trayvon Martin as “A Child Is Born, A Son Is Given,” 2014. (John Zachary)

A controversial Nativity scene two years ago at Claremont United Methodist Church in California depicting homicide victim Trayvon Martin as “A Child Is Born, A Son Is Given.” It didn’t win any popularity contests, but it made people think. (John Zachary)

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.

He Qi: Nativity

He Qi: Nativity

Collect of the Day: The Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Wesley Covenant Prayer
for Watch Night and Other Occasions
attr. Richard Alleine; alt. John Wesley

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

For Peace

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquillity your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship on the morrow give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

For Our Mission Partners
Cuttington University School of Nursing, Liberia
The American Friends of Cuttington, New York
Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, New York; Canon Jamie Callaway
Diocese of Brasilia Afterschool Program, Brazil
Rosebud Episcopal Mission, South Dakota
St. André’s School, Mithon, Haiti

For Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

VIDEO: Jesus richte mein Beginnen (J.S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248) – Kammerchor der Frauenkirche, Dresden, 2015

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