• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for June 24, 2020

The Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Evening Prayer

June 24, 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. 117]



We give thanks to the Father, who has made us worthy to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

[Colossians 1:12; BCP, p. 77]



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 80 Qui regis Israel

  Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *

shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.

  In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *

stir up your strength and come to help us.

  Restore us, O God of hosts; *

show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

  O LORD God of hosts, *

how long will you be angered despite the prayers of your people?

  You have fed them with the bread of tears; *

you have given them bowls of tears to drink.

  You have made us the derision of our neighbors, *

and our enemies laugh us to scorn.

  Restore us, O God of hosts; *

show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

  You have brought a vine out of Egypt; *

you cast out the nations and planted it.

  You prepared the ground for it; *

it took root and filled the land.

10   The mountains were covered by its shadow *

and the towering cedar trees by its boughs.

11   You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea *

and its branches to the River.

12   Why have you broken down its wall, *

so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?

13   The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it, *

and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.

14   Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven; behold and tend this vine; *

preserve what your right hand has planted.

15   They burn it with fire like rubbish; *

at the rebuke of your countenance let them perish.

16   Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, *

the son of man you have made so strong for yourself.

17   And so will we never turn away from you; *

give us life, that we may call upon your Name.

18   Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; *

show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.


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 Malachi (4:1-6)


See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.


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 Matthew (11:2-19)


When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen! "But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon' the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."


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 "non-biblical Christian literature" [OPTIONAL]

[(BCP, p. 142)]


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, Blessed John the Baptist, and all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,

We entreat you, O Lord.


Collect of the Day: The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

[BCP, p. 241]

Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Collect of the Day: Proper 7

[BCP, p. 230]


O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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]



About Today's Commemoration(s)


June 24: The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 285 (pre-publication)]


John the Baptist, the prophet, and forerunner of Jesus, was the son of elderly parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, and according to the Gospel of Luke, he was related to Jesus on his mother’s side. His birth is celebrated six months before Christmas Day, since, according to Luke, Elizabeth became pregnant six months before the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary.

John figures prominently in all four Gospels, but the account of his birth is given only in the Gospel according to Luke. His father, Zechariah, a priest of the Temple at Jerusalem, was struck speechless because he doubted a vision foretelling John’s birth. When his speech was restored, Zechariah uttered a canticle of praise, the Benedictus, which is one of the canticles used in the Daily Office, traditionally at Morning Prayer.

John lived ascetically in the desert. He was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt, and ate locusts and wild honey. He preached repentance, and called upon people to prepare for the coming of the Kingdom and of the Messiah, baptizing his followers to signify their repentance and new life. Jesus himself was baptized by John in the Jordan River.


John is remembered during Advent as a prophet, and at Epiphany as the baptizer of Jesus. The Gospel according to John quotes the Baptist as saying to his followers that Jesus is the Lamb of God, and prophesying, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

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