• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for December 8, 2021

Second Wednesday of Advent

Evening Prayer

December 8, 2021


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Evening Prayer

Enriching Our Worship 1 and Book of Common Prayer



In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

[Isaiah 40:3; 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.


[Or, 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 119:25-48

[BCP, p. 765]


Psalm 119: Daleth 25 My soul cleaves to the dust; * give me life according to your word. 26 I have confessed my ways, and you answered me; * instruct me in your statutes. 27 Make me understand the way of your commandments, * that I may meditate on your marvelous works. 28 My soul melts away for sorrow; * strengthen me according to your word. 29 Take from me the way of lying; * let me find grace through your law. 30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; * I have set your judgments before me. 31 I hold fast to your decrees; * O LORD, let me not be put to shame. 32 I will run the way of your commandments, * for you have set my heart at liberty.


Psalm 119: He 33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, * and I shall keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; * I shall keep it with all my heart. 35 Make me go in the path of your commandments, * for that is my desire. 36 Incline my heart to your decrees * and not to unjust gain. 37 Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; * give me life in your ways. 38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, * which you make to those who fear you. 39 Turn away the reproach which I dread, * because your judgments are good. 40 Behold, I long for your commandments; * in your righteousness preserve my life.


Psalm 119: Waw 41 Let your loving-kindness come to me, O LORD, * and your salvation, according to your promise. 42 Then shall I have a word for those who taunt me, * because I trust in your words. 43 Do not take the word of truth out of my mouth, * for my hope is in your judgments. 44 I shall continue to keep your law; * I shall keep it for ever and ever. 45 I will walk at liberty, * because I study your commandments. 46 I will tell of your decrees before kings * and will not be ashamed. 47 I delight in your commandments, * which I have always loved. 48 I will lift up my hands to your commandments, * and I will meditate on your statutes.


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 (23:1-12)


Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father-- the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.


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

Thanks be to God.



Canticle C: The Song of Hannah

[EOW1, p. 31; 1 Samuel 2:1-8]


My heart exults in you, O God; *

my triumph song is lifted in you.

My mouth derides my enemies, *

for I rejoice in your salvation.

There is none holy like you, *

nor any rock to be compared to you, our God.

Do not heap up prideful words or speak in arrogance; *

Only God is knowing and weighs all actions.

The bows of the mighty are broken, *

but the weak are clothed in strength.

Those once full now labor for bread, *

those who hungered now are well fed.

The childless woman has borne sevenfold, *

while the mother of many is forlorn.

God destroys and brings to life, casts down and raises up; *

gives wealth or takes it away, humbles and dignifies.

God raises the poor from the dust; *

and lifts the needy from the ash heap

To make them sit with the rulers *

and inherit a place of honor.

For the pillars of the earth are God’s *

on which the whole earth is founded.


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 on the Saints of The Episcopal Church by James Kiefer

December 6: Nicholas of Myra, Bishop, d. 342 [http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Nicholas.htm]


The story of St. Nicholas offers a possible way of dealing with the "Santa Claus" problem, to parents who do not want to lie to their children, even in fun, but do not want to say simply: "Bah, humbug! There is no such thing as Santa. Forget about him."


Nicholas was a native of the western part of what is now Asiatic Turkey. He became Bishop of Myra in the fourth century, and there are many stories of his love for God and for his neighbor.


The best-known story involves a man with three unmarried daughters, and not enough money to provide them with suitable dowries. This meant that they could not marry, and were likely to end up as prostitutes. Nicholas walked by the man's house on three successive nights, and each time threw a bag of gold in through a window (or, when the story came to be told in colder climates, down the chimney). Thus, the daughters were saved from a life of shame, and all got married and lived happily ever after.


Because of this and similar stories, Nicholas became a symbol of anonymous gift-giving. Hence, if we give a gift to someone today without saying whom it is from, it can be called "a present from Saint Nicholas (or Santa Claus [as he is called in Dutch])." Some parents explain this to their children and invite the child to join them in wrapping a toy (either something purchased for that purpose, at least partly with the child's allowance, or else a toy that the child has outgrown but that is still serviceable) or an outgrown but not shabby item of the child's clothing, or a package of food, and then going along to donate it to a suitable shelter that will give it to someone who will welcome it. This gift is then called "a present from Santa," so that the child understands that this is another name for an anonymous gift given to someone whom we do not know, but whom we love anyway because God does. (Presents within the family can be "From Santa" or "From Santa and...")


In many countries, Nicholas visits children on his feast day, 6 December, and brings them gifts then. In these countries, there is usually no exchange of Christmas presents, but there may be gifts again on January 6, the feast of the coming of the Wise Men, who brought gifts to the Holy Child of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In America, it may be thought necessary to yield to outside pressure and let Nicholas distribute gifts on December 25. ...


We are told, but it is uncertain, that Nicholas was imprisoned for his faith before the accession of Constantine, and that he was present at the Council of Nicea in 325.



Canticle L: A Song of Christ's Humility

[EOW1, p. 36; Philippians 2:6-11]


Though in the form of God, *

Christ Jesus did not cling to equality with God,

But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, *

and was born in human likeness.

Being found in human form, he humbled himself *

and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Therefore, God has highly exalted him *

and given him the name above every name,

That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, *

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, *

to the glory of God the Father.


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: Second Sunday of Advent

[BCP, 211]


Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



Collect of the Day: Nicholas of Myra, Bishop, d. 342

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 542]


Grant, Almighty God, that your church may be so inspired by the example of your servant Nicholas of Myra, that it may never cease to work for the welfare of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; 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 Protection

[BCP, p. 124]


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.



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.



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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