• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Evening Prayer

December 24, 2020


No live stream of Evening Prayer today. Check out Christmas Eve Holy Communion at 4:00 PM at www.Facebook.com/StMattSav & https://www.stmattsav.org/post/christmas-eve-worship-2020


Want to pray on your own? Visit prayer.forwardmovement.org for many varieties of Daily Prayer in the Episcopal tradition.




Evening Prayer, Rite II

[BCP, p. 116]



Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

[John 8:12; BCP, p. 116]



Confession of Sin

[BCP, p. 116]


Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.


Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you

in thought, word, and deed,

by what we have done,

and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;

we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

have mercy on us and forgive us;

that we may delight in your will,

and walk in your ways,

to the glory of your Name. Amen.


The Officiant says the following (a Priest substitutes "you" for "us")


Almighty God have mercy on [us], forgive [us] all your sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen [us] in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep [us] in eternal life. Amen.



The Invitatory and Psalter

[BCP, p. 117]


V: O God, make speed to save us. R: 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 forever. Amen.

Alleluia!


O Gracious Light

[BCP, p. 118]


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.


The Psalm or Psalms Appointed


Psalm 89:1-29

[BCP, p. 713]


1 Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; *

from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.

2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; *

you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.

3 I have made a covenant with my chosen one; *

I have sworn an oath to David my servant:

4 'I will establish your line for ever, *

and preserve your throne for all generations.'"

5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, *

and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;

6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? *

who is like the LORD among the gods?

7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, *

great and terrible to all those round about him.

8 Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? *

O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.

9 You rule the raging of the sea *

and still the surging of its waves.

10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; *

you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; *

you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.

12 You have made the north and the south; *

Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.

13 You have a mighty arm; *

strong is your hand and high is your right hand.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; *

love and truth go before your face.

15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! *

they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.

16 They rejoice daily in your Name; *

they are jubilant in your righteousness.

17 For you are the glory of their strength, *

and by your favor our might is exalted.

18 Truly, the LORD is our ruler; *

The Holy One of Israel is our King. 19 You spoke once in vision and said to your faithful people: * "I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people. 20 I have found David my servant; * with my holy oil have I anointed him. 21 My hand will hold him fast * and my arm will make him strong. 22 No enemy shall deceive him, * nor any wicked man bring him down. 23 I will crush his foes before him * and strike down those who hate him. 24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, * and he shall be victorious through my Name. 25 I shall make his dominion extend * from the Great Sea to the River. 26 He will say to me, 'You are my Father, * my God, and the rock of my salvation.' 27 I will make him my firstborn * and higher than the kings of the earth. 28 I will keep my love for him for ever, * and my covenant will stand firm for him. 29 I will establish his line for ever * and his throne as the days of heaven."

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


A reading from Isaiah (59:15-21)


Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm brought him victory, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in fury as in a mantle. According to their deeds, so will he repay; wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render requital. So those in the west shall fear the name of the LORD, and those in the east, his glory; for he will come like a pent-up stream that the wind of the LORD drives on. And he will come to Zion as Redeemer, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the LORD. And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD: my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children, or out of the mouths of your children's children, says the LORD, from now on and forever.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


The Song of Mary

[BCP, p. 119; Luke 1:46-55]


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; * for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: * the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him * in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, * he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, * and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, * and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel, * for he has remembered his promise of mercy, The promise he made to our fathers, * 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.


A reading from the Letter to the Philippians (2:5-11)


Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


The Song of Simeon

[BCP, p. 120; 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 forever. Amen.


A Reading from Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

December 25: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a.k.a. Christmas (p. 559)


That Jesus was born is a fact both of history and revelation. The precise date of his birth, however, is not recorded in the Gospels, which are, after all, not biographies, and show little concern for those biographical details in which more modern Christians are interested. Such interest began to become prominent in the fourth century, together with the development of liturgical observances concerning the events of biblical history.


Scholars have offered various theories about how December 25th came to be selected as the date for the liturgical commemoration of the Nativity in the Western Church. An older scholarly view suggests that the date, coming as it does at the winter solstice, was already a sacred one, being observed by Roman pagans as the festival of the birth of the Unconquerable Sun (dies natalis Solis Invicti). This correspondence is noted by some early Christian writers themselves, who see it as a fitting parallel, but the pagan celebration was only established in the late third century, and the Christian observance of December 25th seems to have even earlier antecedents.


An alternative explanation calculates the date of Christmas based on the date of Passover and Easter. Many early Christian theologians, particularly in North Africa, calculated that the Crucifixion had taken place on the 14th of Nisan, which worked out to be March 25th on the Roman calendar. This date also became celebrated as the Feast of the Annunciation because of a widespread pious belief that Jesus died on the same date that he was conceived, showing how deeply interconnected all of the events of salvation history were. December 25th, then, becomes the date of Christ’s birth, because it is exactly nine months after the date of his conception. This method of calculating also explains the traditional dating in the Eastern church, which historically fixed the Nativity on January 6th rather than December 25th. The Eastern church calculated the date of both Annunciation and Crucifixion using not the 14th of Nisan, but rather the 14th of Artemisios, the first spring month on the Greek calendar. This translates to April 6th on the Roman calendar, which is nine months before January 6th.


The full title of the feast dates from the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. Prior to that revision, the day was known only as “Christmas Day.” The word “Christmas,” which can be traced to the twelfth century, is a contraction of “Christ’s Mass.”


The Apostles' Creed

[BCP, p. 120]


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.



The Prayers

[BCP, p. 121]


V: The Lord be with you. R: And also with you. Let us pray.


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.


Suffrages B

[BCP, p. 122]


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 Blessed Mary the Bearer of God, Blessed Matthew our patron, and all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,

We entreat you, O Lord.


Collect of the Day: 4th Advent

[BCP, p. 212]


Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Collect of the Day: The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a.k.a. Christmas

[BCP, p. 212]


O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


A Collect for the Presence of Christ

[BCP, p. 124]


Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.


Prayer for Mission

[BCP, p. 124]


Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.


Offer your own intercessions and thanksgivings.


The General Thanksgiving

[BCP, p. 125]


Almighty God, Father of all mercies,

we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks

for all your goodness and loving-kindness

to us and to all whom you have made.

We bless you for our creation, preservation,

and all the blessings of this life;

but above all for your immeasurable love

in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;

for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,

that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,

not only with our lips, but in our lives,

by giving up our selves to your service,

and by walking before you

in holiness and righteousness all our days;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,

be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.


A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

[BCP, p. 126]


Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication 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: Fulfill 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.


The Dismissal

[BCP, p. 126]


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)



Note: This service is drawn from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and other liturgical resources of The Episcopal Church and the scriptures are reprinted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

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