• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for December 9, 2020

Wednesday after the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Evening Prayer

December 9, 2020


Check out the live stream at 5:00 p.m. at www.FaceBook.com/StMattSav.


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


Note: We are praying using Rite II (contemporary English) language, as is our normal pattern at St. Matthew's. It reminds us that we can speak to God with our ordinary, everyday language. 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.




Evening Prayer, Rite II

[BCP, p. 116]



Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

[Psalm 141:2; BCP, p. 115]



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 119: Daleth

[BCP, p. 765]

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.


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 John (7:53-8:11)


Then each of them went home, while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, sir." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again."


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 9: Ambrose of Milan, Bishop and Theologian, d. 397 (p. 543)


Ambrose was the son of a Roman governor in Gaul, and in 373, he himself became governor in Upper Italy. Though brought up in a Christian family, Ambrose had not been baptized. He became involved in the election of a Bishop of Milan only as mediator between the battling factions of Arians and Nicene Christians. The election was important, because the victorious party would control the powerful see of Milan.


Ambrose exhorted the nearly riotous mob to keep the peace and to obey the law. Suddenly both sides raised the cry, “Ambrose shall be our bishop!” He protested, but the people persisted. Hastily baptized, he was ordained as a bishop on December 7th, 373.


Ambrose rapidly won renown as a defender of orthodoxy against Arianism and as a statesman of the church. He was also a skillful hymnodist. He introduced antiphonal chanting to enrich the liturgy and wrote straightforward, practical discourses to educate his people in such matters of doctrine as Baptism, the Trinity, the Eucharist, and the Person of Christ. His persuasive preaching was an important factor in the conversion of Augustine of Hippo.


Ambrose did not fear to rebuke emperors, including the hot-headed Theodosius, whom he forced to do public penance for the slaughter of several thousand citizens of Thessalonica. He also preached passionate sermons in defense of the poor and the needy. In a homily on Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21) he declares: “The story of Naboth is an old one, but it is repeated every day. Who among the rich does not daily covet the goods of others? Who among the wealthy does not make every effort to drive the poor person out from his little plot and turn the needy out from the boundaries of his ancestral fields? Who is satisfied with what is his? What rich person’s thoughts are not preoccupied with his neighbor’s possessions? It is not one Ahab who was born, therefore, but— what is worse—Ahab is born every day, and never does he die as far as this world is concerned. For each one who dies there are many others who rise up; there are more who steal property than who lose it…How far, O rich, will you extend your mad greed?”


A meditation attributed to him includes these words: “Lord Jesus Christ, you are for me medicine when I am sick; you are my strength when I need help; you are life itself when I fear death; you are the way when I long for heaven; you are light when all is dark; you are my food when I need nourishment.” Among hymns attributed to Ambrose are “The eternal gifts of Christ the King” (The Hymnal 1982, #233; #234), “O Splendor of God’s glory bright” (#5), and a series of hymns for the daily office.


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 Ambrose, 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: 2nd Advent

[BCP, p. 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: Ambrose of Milan, Bishop and Theologian, d. 397

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 544]


O God, who gave your servant Ambrose grace eloquently to proclaim your righteousness in the great congregation and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of your Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellence in preaching and faithfulness in ministering your Word, that your people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; 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.


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.


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]


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