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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for July 20, 2021

Tuesday after Proper 11

Evening Prayer

July 20, 2021

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Evening Prayer

Enriching Our Worship 1 and Book of Common Prayer

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 & 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.


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 47

[BCP, p. 650]

1 Clap your hands, all you peoples; *

shout to God with a cry of joy.

2 For the LORD Most High is to be feared; *

he is the great King over all the earth.

3 He subdues the peoples under us, *

and the nations under our feet.

4 He chooses our inheritance for us, *

the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

5 God has gone up with a shout, *

the LORD with the sound of the ram's-horn.

6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; *

sing praises to our King, sing praises.

7 For God is King of all the earth; *

sing praises with all your skill.

8 God reigns over the nations; *

God sits upon his holy throne.

9 The nobles of the peoples have gathered together *

with the people of the God of Abraham.

10 The rulers of the earth belong to God, *

and he is highly exalted.

Psalm 48

[BCP, p. 651]

1 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised; *

in the city of our God is his holy hill.

2 Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, *

the very center of the world and the city of the great King.

3 God is in her citadels; *

he is known to be her sure refuge.

4 Behold, the kings of the earth assembled *

and marched forward together.

5 They looked and were astounded; *

they retreated and fled in terror.

6 Trembling seized them there; *

they writhed like a woman in childbirth, like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.

7 As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; *

God has established her for ever.

8 We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, O God, *

in the midst of your temple.

9 Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world's end; *

your right hand is full of justice.

10 Let Mount Zion be glad and the cities of Judah rejoice, *

because of your judgments.

11 Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her; *

count the number of her towers.

12 Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds; *

that you may tell those who come after.

13 This God is our God for ever and ever; *

he shall be our guide for evermore.

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 Mark (4:21-34)

He said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!" And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away." He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come." He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

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

Thanks be to God.

Canticle D: A Song of the Wilderness

[EOW1, p. 32; Isaiah 35:1-7, 10]

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, *

the desert shall rejoice and blossom;

It shall blossom abundantly, *

and rejoice with joy and singing.

They shall see the glory of the Lord, *

the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weary hands, *

and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to the anxious, “Be strong, do not fear! *

Here is your God, coming with judgment to save you.”

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, *

and the ears of the deaf be unstopped.

Then shall the lame leap like a deer, *

and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness *

and streams in the desert;

The burning sand shall become a pool *

and the thirsty ground, springs of water.

The ransomed of God shall return with singing, *

with everlasting joy upon their heads.

Joy and gladness shall be theirs, *

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

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

July 20: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (d. 1902), Amelia Bloomer (d. 1894), Sojourner Truth (d. 1883), Harriet Ross Tubman (d. 1913), Social Reformers [p. 303]

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)

Born on November 12, 1815, into an affluent, strict Calvinist family in Johnstown, New York, Elizabeth, as a young woman, took seriously the Presbyterian doctrines of predestination and human depravity. She became very depressed, but resolved her mental crises through action. She dedicated her life to righting the wrongs perpetrated upon women by the church and society.

She and four other women organized the first Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York, July 19-20, 1848. The event set her political and religious agenda for the next 50 years. She held the Church accountable for oppressing women by using Scripture to enforce the subordination of women in marriage and to prohibit them from ordained ministry. She held society accountable for denying women equal access to professional jobs, property ownership, the vote, and for granting less pay for the same work.

In 1881, the Revised Version of the Bible was published by a committee which included no women scholars. Elizabeth founded her own committee of women to write a commentary on Scripture, and applying the Greek she had learned as a child from her minister, focused on passages used to oppress and discriminate against women.

Although Elizabeth blamed male clergy for women’s oppression, she attended Trinity Episcopal Church in Seneca Falls with her friend Amelia Bloomer. As a dissenting prophet, Elizabeth preached hundreds of homilies and political speeches in pulpits throughout the nation. Wherever she visited, she was experienced as a holy presence and a liberator. She never lost her sense of humor, despite years of contending with opposition, even from friends. In a note to Susan B. Anthony, she said: “Do not feel depressed, my dear friend; what is good in us is immortal, and if the sore trials we have endured are sifting out pride and selfishness, we shall not have suffered in vain.” Shortly before she died in New York City, on October 26th, 1902, she said: “My only regret is that I have not been braver and bolder and truer in the honest conviction of my soul.”

Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818–1894)

Amelia Jenks, the youngest of six children, was born in New York on May 27th, 1818, to a pious Presbyterian family. Early on she demonstrated a kindness of heart and a strict regard for truth and right. As a young woman, she joined in the temperance, anti-slavery, and women’s rights movements.

Amelia Jenks Bloomer never intended to make dress reform a major platform in women’s struggle for justice. But, women’s fashion of the day prescribed waist-cinching corsets, even for pregnant women, resulting in severe health problems. Faith and fashion collided explosively when she published in her newspaper, The Lily, a picture of herself in loose-fitting Turkish trousers, and began wearing them publicly. Clergy, from their pulpits, attacked women who wore them, citing Moses: “Women should not dress like men.” Amelia fired back: “It matters not what Moses had to say to the men and women of his time about what they should wear. If clergy really cared about what Moses said about clothes, they would all put fringes and blue ribbons on their garments.” Her popularity soared as she engaged clergy in public debate.

She insisted that “certain passages in the Scriptures relating to women had been given a strained and unnatural meaning.” And, of St. Paul she said: “Could he have looked into the future and foreseen all the sorrow and strife, the cruel exactions and oppression on the one hand and the blind submission and cringing fear on the other, that his words have sanctioned and caused, he would never have uttered them.”

And of women’s right to freedom, she wrote: “the same Power that brought the slave out of bondage will, in His own good time and way, bring about the emancipation of woman, and make her the equal in power and dominion that she was in the beginning.”

Later in life, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a frontier town, she worked to establish churches, libraries, and school houses. She provided hospitality for traveling clergy of all denominations, and for temperance lecturers and reformers. Trinity Episcopal Church, Seneca Falls, New York, where she was baptized, records her as a “faithful Christian missionary all her life.” Amelia Jenks Bloomer died in Council Bluffs on December 30th, 1894.

Sojourner Truth (c.1797-1883)

Sojourner Truth, born Isabella Baumfree to James and Elizabeth Baumfree near the turn of the 19th century, spent the first twenty-eight years of her life as a slave in the state of New York. During that time, she was separated first from her siblings and then from her children as they were sold to various slaveholders. In 1826, when her owner refused to honor his promise to emancipate her ahead of New York’s abolition of slavery, Sojourner took her infant daughter and, in her words, “walked off, believing that to be all right.” She later learned that her young son Peter had been illegally sold by her former master, and was enslaved in Alabama. She filed suit, and in 1828, two years after her escape, she won her case, becoming one of the first black women to ever prevail in an American court over a white man.

With slavery abolished in the state, Sojourner moved to New York City as a free woman. Having undergone a religious conversion after her escape, she became involved in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded when white members of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia would not permit African-Americans to worship alongside them as equals. Heartened by the knowledge that a black woman, Jarena Lee, had been ordained as a minister in the AME tradition, Truth was known to preach and pray and sing with remarkable passion and eloquence. She also worked at a shelter for homeless women, convinced that showing Christ’s love required meeting the material needs of the poor and vulnerable. The next decades of her life would prove tumultuous for Sojourner. She was abused by men in positions of religious authority, and in 1835 was falsely accused of crimes she did not commit. She was acquitted of all charges, and later successfully sued her accusers for slander.

At approximately forty-six years old, Sojourner heard a call from God, telling her to go east and preach the gospel, telling the truth of her experiences as a slave and proclaiming the Christian imperative to support the abolition of slavery. It was at this time that she abandoned the names given to her by her master at birth, taking up for herself the name Sojourner Truth. After over a year of itinerant preaching, she joined an abolitionist co-operative in Northampton, Massachusetts, which had been founded on principles of women’s rights and pacifism in addition to its abolitionist mission. Sojourner became a traveling preacher, approaching white religious meetings and campgrounds and asking to speak. Captivated by her charismatic presence, her wit, and her wisdom, they found her hard to refuse. She never learned to read or write, but quoted extensive Bible passages from memory in her sermons. Her reputation grew and she became part of the abolitionist and women’s rights speakers’ network.

During a women’s rights convention in Ohio, Sojourner gave the speech for which she is best remembered, now known as “Ain’t I a Woman.” She had listened for hours to clergy attack women’s rights and abolition, using the Bible to support their oppressive logic: God had created women to be weak and blacks to be a subservient race. Speaking extemporaneously, she exposed the hypocrisy of the white male ministers, pointing out the ways in which slavery had forced her to become as strong as any man, and noting that Jesus himself never turned women away or refused to teach them on account of their gender. Until her death, she continued to speak and preach, advocating for the right to vote to be expanded to all women, not only white women. Sojourner passed away at her home in Michigan on November 26th, 1883.

Harriet Ross Tubman (1820-1913)

Slave births were recorded under property, not as persons with names; but we know that Harriet Ross was born sometime during 1820 on a Maryland Chesapeake Bay plantation, was the sixth of eleven children born to Ben Ross and Harriet Green. Although her parents were loving and they enjoyed a cheerful family life inside their cabin, they lived in fear of the children being sold off at any time.

Harriet suffered beatings and a severe injury, but grew up strong and defiant, refusing to appear happy and smiling to her owners. To cope with brutality and oppression, she turned to religion. Her favorite Bible story was about Moses who led the Israelites out of slavery. The slaves prayed for a Moses of their own.

When she was about 24, Harriet escaped to Canada, but could not forget her parents and other slaves she left behind. Working with the Quakers, she made at least 19 trips back to Maryland between 1851 and 1861, freeing over 300 people by leading them into Canada. She was so successful that $40,000 was offered for her capture.

Guided by God through omens, dreams, warnings, she claimed her struggle against slavery had been commanded by God. She foresaw the Civil War in a vision. When it began, she quickly joined the Union Army, serving as cook and nurse, caring for both Confederate and Union soldiers. She served as a spy and scout. She led 300 black troops on a raid which freed over 750 slaves, making her the first American woman to lead troops into military action.

In 1858–9, she moved to upstate New York where she opened her home to African American orphans and to helpless old people. Although she was illiterate, she founded schools for African American children. She joined the fight for women’s rights, working with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, but supported African American women in their efforts to found their own organizations to address equality, work, and education. She died on March 10th, 1913, in Auburn, New York.

Canticle P: A Song of the Spirit

[EOW1, p. 38; Revelation 22:12-17]

“Behold, I am coming soon,” says the Lord,

“and bringing my reward with me, *

to give to everyone according to their deeds.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, *

the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,

that they may have the right to the tree of life, *

and may enter the city through the gates.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you, *

with this testimony for all the churches.

“I am the root and the offspring of David, *

I am the bright morning star.”

“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride; *

“Come!” let each hearer reply!

Come forward, you who are thirsty, *

let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

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: Proper 11

[BCP, 231]

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son 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: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (d. 1902), Amelia Bloomer (d. 1894), Sojourner Truth (d. 1883), Harriet Ross Tubman (d. 1913), Social Reformers

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 314]

O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servants Elizabeth, Amelia, Sojourner, and Harriet. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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]

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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), 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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