• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for December 17, 2020

Thursday after the 3rd Sunday of Advent

Evening Prayer

December 17, 2020


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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, 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 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.

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 Matthew (3:1-12)


In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'" Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."


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 Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018

December 17: Dorothy L. Sayers, Apologist and Spiritual Writer, d. 1957 (p. 553)


Dorothy Leigh Sayers is perhaps best known as a prolific fiction writer, but she was also a theological writer, linguist, translator, and passionate advocate of the truth of the Christian faith.


Dorothy was born in 1893 at Oxford to the chaplain of Christ Church. She would eventually graduate from Oxford in 1915 with honors. Although women were not awarded degrees at the time, she received her degree five years later when the policy changed. After graduation she became a copywriter at Benson’s advertising and was highly successful in that business. During her time there she wrote her first novel, Whose Body? featuring a famous recurring character of hers, Lord Peter Wimsey.


In addition to fiction, however, Sayers also drew on her deep Christian faith and devotion to write about concerns facing the church. She began with The Zeal for Thy House, a play, and afterwards a BBC radio drama about the life of Jesus entitled The Man Born to be King. She also took the church to task for its woeful neglect of dogma and doctrine, arguing in Creed or Chaos for the utmost importance of doctrine for Christian laity, and in the process cemented her place as a Christian apologist.


Writing on the centrality of dogma in Christianity, she wrote:


“It is not true at all that dogma is hopelessly irrelevant to the life and thought of the average man. What is true is that ministers of the Christian religion often assert that it is, present it for consideration as though it were, and, in fact, by their faulty exposition of it make it so. The central dogma of the Incarnation is that by which relevance stands or falls. If Christ were only man, then he is entirely irrelevant to any thought about God; if he is only God, then he is entirely irrelevant to any experience of human life. It is, in the strictest sense, necessary to the salvation of relevance that a man should believe rightly the Incarnation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Unless he believes rightly, there is not the faintest reason why he should believe at all. And in that case, it is wholly irrelevant to chatter about Christian principles.”


She died in 1957 and is buried under the tower in St. Anne’s Church in London.


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.


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, Blessed Dorothy whom we commemorate today, and all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,

We entreat you, O Lord.


Collect of the Day: 3rd Advent

[BCP, p. 212]


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: Dorothy L. Sayers, Apologist and Spiritual Writer, d. 1957

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 554 (pre-publication)]


Almighty God, who strengthened your servant Dorothy Sayers with eloquence to defend Christian teaching: Keep us, we pray, steadfast in your true religion, that in constancy and peace we may always teach right doctrine, and teach doctrine rightly; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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. 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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