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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for July 21, 2020

Tuesday in the Week of Proper 11

Evening Prayer

July 21, 2020

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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]

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ

[Philippians 1:2; 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.


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 47

[BCP, p. 650]

1 Clap your hands, all you peoples; *

    shout to God with a cry of joy.

2 For the LORDMost 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 LORDwith 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.

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 (26:47-56)

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

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 "non-biblical Christian literature" [OPTIONAL]

[(BCP, p. 142)]

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 Elizabeth, Blessed Amelia, Blessed Sojourner, and Blessed Harriet, 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: Proper 11

[BCP, p. 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 (pre-publication)]

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]

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)

About Today's Commemoration(s)

July 20: 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. 311-313 (pre-publication)]

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 27, 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.

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