• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for December 16, 2021

Third Thursday of Advent

Evening Prayer

December 16, 2021


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




Evening Prayer

Enriching Our Worship 1 and Book of Common Prayer



The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

[Isaiah 40:5; BCP, p. 75]



Confession & Absolution

[EOW1, pp. 19-20]


Let us confess our sins to God.


Silence may be kept.


God of all mercy,

we confess that we have sinned against you,

opposing your will in our lives.

We have denied your goodness in each other,

in ourselves, and in the world you have created.

We repent of the evil that enslaves us,

the evil we have done,

and the evil done on our behalf.

Forgive, restore, and strengthen us

through our Savior Jesus Christ,

that we may abide in your love

and serve only your will. Amen.


A Bishop or Priest says:

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


[A Deacon or Lay Person says:]

[Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of 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

[EOW1, p. 20]


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


Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Alleluia!



O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron)

[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 59

[BCP, p. 665]


1 Rescue me from my enemies, O God; *

protect me from those who rise up against me.

2 Rescue me from evildoers *

and save me from those who thirst for my blood.

3 See how they lie in wait for my life, how the mighty gather together against me; *

not for any offense or fault of mine, O LORD.

4 Not because of any guilt of mine *

they run and prepare themselves for battle.

5 Rouse yourself, come to my side, and see; *

for you, LORD God of hosts, are Israel's God.

6 Awake, and punish all the ungodly; *

show no mercy to those who are faithless and evil.

7 They go to and fro in the evening; *

they snarl like dogs and run about the city.

8 Behold, they boast with their mouths, and taunts are on their lips; *

"For who, they say, will hear us?"

9 But you, O LORD, you laugh at them; *

you laugh all the ungodly to scorn.

10 My eyes are fixed on you, O my Strength; *

for you, O God, are my stronghold.

11 My merciful God comes to meet me; *

God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.

12 Slay them, O God, lest my people forget; *

send them reeling by your might and put them down, O Lord our shield.

13 For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, for the cursing and lies that they utter, *

let them be caught in their pride.

14 Make an end of them in your wrath; *

make an end of them, and they shall be no more.

15 Let everyone know that God rules in Jacob, *

and to the ends of the earth.

16 They go to and fro in the evening; *

they snarl like dogs and run about the city.

17 They forage for food, *

and if they are not filled, they howl.

18 For my part, I will sing of your strength; *

I will celebrate your love in the morning;

19 For you have become my stronghold, *

a refuge in the day of my trouble.

20 To you, O my Strength, will I sing; *

for you, O God, are my stronghold and my merciful God.


Psalm 60

[BCP, p. 667]


1 O God, you have cast us off and broken us; *

you have been angry; oh, take us back to you again.

2 You have shaken the earth and split it open; *

repair the cracks in it, for it totters.

3 You have made your people know hardship; *

you have given us wine that makes us stagger.

4 You have set up a banner for those who fear you, *

to be a refuge from the power of the bow.

5 Save us by your right hand and answer us, *

that those who are dear to you may be delivered.

6 God spoke from his holy place and said: *

"I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.

7 Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; *

Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.

8 Moab is my wash-basin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, *

and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."

9 Who will lead me into the strong city? *

who will bring me to Edom?

10 Have you not cast us off, O God? *

you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.

11 Grant us your help against the enemy, *

for vain is the help of man.

12 With God we will do valiant deeds, *

and he shall tread our enemies under foot.


Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.



The Lessons



A Reading from Matthew (25:1-13)


[Jesus said,] "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.


Hear what the Spirit is saying to God's people.

Thanks be to God.



Canticle J: A Song of Judith

[EOW1, p. 35; Judith 16:13-16]


I will sing a new song to my God, *

for you are great and glorious, wonderful in strength, invincible.

Let the whole creation serve you, *

for you spoke and all things came into being.

You sent your breath and it formed them, *

no one is able to resist your voice.

Mountains and seas are stirred to their depths, *

rocks melt like wax at your presence.

But to those who fear you, *

you continue to show mercy.

No sacrifice, however fragrant, can please you, *

but whoever fears the Lord shall stand in your sight for ever.


Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.



A Reading from Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

December 17: Lucy of Syracuse, Martyr, d. 304 [p. 547]


Lucy, or Lucia, was martyred at Syracuse, in Sicily, during the Diocletian persecution of 303-304. Her tomb can still be found in the catacombs of Syracuse. She was venerated soon after her death and her cult spread quickly throughout the church. She is among the saints and martyrs named in the Roman canon of the mass.


Most of the details of Lucy’s life are obscure. In the tradition, she is remembered for her purity of life and her gentleness of spirit. Because her name means “light,” she is sometimes thought of as the patron saint of those who suffer from diseases of the eyes.

In popular piety, Lucy is perhaps most revered because her feast day was for many centuries the shortest day of the year. (The reform of the calendar by Pope Gregory VIII in 1582 would shift the shortest day to December 21/22, depending upon the year.) It was historically on Lucy’s day that the light began gradually to return and the days to lengthen. This was particularly powerful in northern Europe, where the days of winter were quite short. In Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden, Lucy’s day has long been a festival of light that is kept as both an ecclesiastical commemoration and a domestic observance.


In the domestic celebration of Lucia, a young girl in the family dresses in pure white (a symbol of Lucy’s faith, purity, and martyrdom), wears a crown of lighted candles upon her head (a sign that on Lucy’s day the light is returning, and serves her family special foods prepared especially for the day. In praise of her service, the young girl is called Lucy for the day.



Canticle S: A Song of Our True Nature

[EOW1, p. 40; St. Julian of Norwich]


Christ revealed our frailty and our falling, *

our trespasses and our humiliations.

Christ also revealed his blessed power, *

his blessed wisdom and love.

He protects us as tenderly and as sweetly when we are in greatest need; *

he raises us in spirit

and turns everything to glory and joy without ending.

God is the ground and the substance, the very essence of nature; *

God is the true father and mother of natures.

We are all bound to God by nature, *

and we are all bound to God by grace.

And this grace is for all the world, *

because it is our precious mother, Christ.

For this fair nature was prepared by Christ

for the honor and nobility of all, *

and for the joy and bliss of salvation.


Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.



The Apostles' Creed

[EOW1, p. 41]


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

[EOW1, p. 42; BCP, p. 121]


V: God 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 [________ and] all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ, We entreat you, O Lord.



Collect of the Day: Third Sunday of Advent

[BCP, 211]


Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.



Collect of the Day: Lucy of Syracuse, Martyr, d. 304

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 548]


Loving God, for the salvation of all you gave Jesus Christ as light to a world in darkness: Illumine us, as you did your daughter Lucy, with the light of Christ, that by the merits of his passion, we may be led to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. 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. 125]


O God, you manifest in your servants the signs of your presence: Send forth upon us the spirit of love, that in companionship with one another your abounding grace may increase among us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Offer your own intercessions and thanksgivings.



One or both of the following prayers may be used:


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.


AND/OR


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.


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]



Credits: This service is drawn from The Book of Common Prayer (1979), Enriching Our Worship 1 (1997), 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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