• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for January 5, 2021

Eve of the Epiphany

Evening Prayer

January 5, 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, Rite II

[BCP, p. 116]



Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

[Isaiah 60:3; BCP, p. 76]



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 29

[BCP, p. 620]


1 Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, *

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his Name; *

worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; *

the LORD is upon the mighty waters.

4 The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; *

the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; *

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *

and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire; the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; *

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

8 The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe *

and strips the forests bare.

9 And in the temple of the LORD *

all are crying, "Glory!"

10 The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; *

the LORD sits enthroned as King for evermore.

11 The LORD shall give strength to his people; *

the LORD shall give his people the blessing of peace.


Psalm 98

[BCP, p. 727]


1 Sing to the LORD a new song, *

for he has done marvelous things.

2 With his right hand and his holy arm *

has he won for himself the victory.

3 The LORD has made known his victory; *

his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.

4 He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *

and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

5 Shout with joy to the LORD, all you lands; *

lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.

6 Sing to the LORD with the harp, *

with the harp and the voice of song.

7 With trumpets and the sound of the horn *

shout with joy before the King, the LORD.

8 Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *

the lands and those who dwell therein.

9 Let the rivers clap their hands, *

and let the hills ring out with joy before the LORD, when he comes to judge the earth.

10 In righteousness shall he judge the world *

and the peoples with equity.


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 (66:18-23)


For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud-- which draw the bow-- to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the LORD. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the LORD; so shall your descendants and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD.


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 Romans (16:7-13)


Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name" and again he says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people" and again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him" and again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


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

January 5: Sarah, Theodora, and Syncletica of Egypt, d. 4th-5th century (p. 29)


Sarah, Theodora, and Syncletica are the three desert mothers, or ammas, whose sayings are included in the fifth-century Apophthegmata Patrum, the sayings of the desert fathers. The collections include a total of forty-seven sayings attributed to these three women.


The sayings relate that Amma Sarah lived beside a beautiful river for sixty years, yet never lifted her eyes in distraction from prayer to look at it. She often said, “If I prayed to God that all people should approve of my conduct, I should find myself a penitent at the door of each one, but I shall rather pray that my heart may be pure towards all.” Many people came to visit her seeking spiritual advice. On one occasion some monks came to her claiming to be from the highly regarded community of Scetis and she offered them a basket of fruit from which they took the rotten fruit and left the good fruit for others to eat. She then said to them, “You are true monks of Scetis.” At another time, some elderly monks, considered to be great anchorites, came to see her hoping to humiliate her and shame her. They came to her and said, “Be careful not to become conceited because we great anchorites are coming to see you, a mere woman!” Amma Sarah only replied, “According to nature I am a woman, but not according to my thoughts. It is I who am a man and you who are women.”


Amma Theodora was the wife of a Roman tribune, but after his death she retired to the desert to live an ascetic life. She was consulted by many people for her wisdom on prayer. According to one of her teachings, those who set their minds to pray are often overcome with distraction, depression, faintheartedness, or headaches. But she relates the story of how a certain monk, every time he felt too ill to pray, declared: “Clearly I am very near death, and so I should get up and pray right now before I die!” In this way, he resisted temptation. Yet Amma Theodora also stressed that temptations can only be overcome through humility rather than through asceticism, for even the demons fast and keep vigil and live in deserted places, but they do not have humility.


Amma Syncletica lived a life of asceticism in a tomb in Alexandria. She wrote, “if you find yourself in a place, do not forsake it to go to another place, for that will harm you a great deal. Just as a bird who abandons the eggs that she was sitting on prevents them from hatching, so too a monastic grows cold and her faith dies when she wanders from one place to another.” She also taught that it was possible to live a spiritual life within secular society, not only as a monk or a nun. “There are many who live in the desert yet behave as though they were in town, and they are wasting their time. It is possible to be a monastic in one’s mind while living in a crowd, and it is also possible for a monastic to live in a crowd amidst her own thoughts.”


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 Sarah, Blessed Theodora, and Blessed Syncletica 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: Second Sunday after Christmas Day

[BCP, p. 214]


Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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 Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

[BCP, p. 214]


O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Collect of the Day: Sarah, Theodora, and Syncletica of Egypt, d. 4th-5th century

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 30]


Fix our hearts on You, O God, in pure devotion, that aided by the example of your servants Sarah, Theodora, and Syncletica, the vain pursuits of this world may have no hold upon us, and that by the consuming fire of your Spirit, we may be changed into the image and likeness of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with you and the same Spirit be all honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.


A Collect for Aid against Perils

[BCP, p. 123]


Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only 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)



Credits: 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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