Evening Prayer 9.13.17, Eve of Holy Cross

A spoken version – with music for the feast – is available here.

He is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one.

U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to Earth September 3 after spending more time at the International Space Station than anyone else in U.S. history – 665 days, almost two years. She served as commander twice and also holds the record for most space walks by a woman (10), most hours outside the vehicle (60) and oldest woman in space (57). She was formerly Chief Astronaut of the United States. So why do men keep saying women don’t have what it takes to be scientists?

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth tremble before the Holy One. Psalm 96:9

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

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 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, *
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, *
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;
3 Though its waters rage and foam, *
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.
4 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, *
the holy habitation of the Most High.
6 God is in the midst of the city;
it shall not be overthrown; *
God shall help it at the break of day.
7 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken; *
God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.
8 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

9 Come now and look upon the works of the LORD, *
what awesome things God has done on earth.
10 It is the LORD who makes war to cease in all the world; *
who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire.
11 ”Be still, then, and know that I am God; *
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth.”
12 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Psalm 87

1 On the holy mountain stands the city God has founded; *
the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
2 Glorious things are spoken of you, *
O city of our God.
3 I count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me; *
behold Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia:
in Zion were they born.
4 Of Zion it shall be said, “Everyone was born in Zion, *
and the Most High shall sustain it.”
5 Enrolling the people, the LORD will record, *
“These also were born there.”
6 The singers and the dancers will say, *
“All my fresh springs are in you.”

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.

Cutaway illustration of Solomon’s Temple. (Center for Online Jewish Studies)

THE LESSONS
1 Kings 8:22-30 (NRSV)

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart, the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. Therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O LORD my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.”

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.

Ephesians 2:11-22 (NRSV)

So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

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 power of 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.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Compassion

Collect of the Day: Holy Cross Day

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. 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

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.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Sialkot, Pakistan

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

So many citizens of hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico loaded up boats to take supplies to nearby St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, people began calling them the Puerto Rican Navy; one man evacuated 600 people starting Friday, six days before help started arriving from the mainland. Meanwhile USVI Gov. Kenneth Mapp flatly denied that looting set in on the two islands, even after evidence showed that local law enforcement couldn’t respond to calls for assistance once the islands’ infrastructure collapsed. Who could call the cops when nobody had phone service or WiFi? (Erica P. Rodriguez/The New York Times)

For Disaster & Terror Victims
Tens of thousands of Rohingyas forced to flee Myanmar
Refugee Crisis in the Middle East, Asia and Europe

Houston, Beaumont & surrounding region, flood & wind damage
Caribbean nations severely damaged & low on food by Hurricane Irma
Florida & the Southeast flooded, many without power
Wildfires on the U.S. West Coast
Hundreds of flood and mudslide victims in Sierra Leone
Drought in Southern Africa, India and Papua New Guinea
Famine in Niger, Mali, Ethiopia, Yemen and South Sudan

For Prisoners
Blake
Matthew

Prisoners of ISIS & Boko Haram: #BringBackALLOurGirls
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
John P. Craine House, diversion and prevention programs
Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers
All who are condemned to die

Song of the Prisoners
Psalm 79:8, 11, 13

Remember not our past sins;
let your compassion be swift to meet us; *
for we have been brought very low.
Let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners come before you, *
and by your great might spare those who are condemned to die.
For we are your people and the sheep of your pasture; *
we will give you thanks for ever
and show forth your praise from age to age.

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.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. 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: Take up your cross (Steve Millikan) – Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, 1993

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