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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for March 26, 2020

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Evening Prayer for Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent

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(St. Matthew's Vestry is meeting virtually today from 4:00-5:30.)

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

Note: We are praying using Rite I (traditional, Elizabethan, "Ye Olde English") language during the season of Lent. This change is to help us slow down and pay attention to the words we are praying and also to experience different forms of the Confession of Sin. We will return to our typical Rite II (contemporary English) language on Easter.

I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6b)

Confession of Sin

Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.

Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, we have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, spare thou those who confess their faults, restore thou those who are penitent, according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord; and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Almighty and merciful Lord grant us absolution and remission of all our sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of his Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Invitatory and Psalter

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 Phos hilaron

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 thy praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thou art 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: Qoph Clamavi in toto corde meo

145   I call with my whole heart; *

answer me, O LORD, that I may keep your statutes.

146   I call to you; oh, that you would save me! *

I will keep your decrees.

147   Early in the morning I cry out to you, *

for in your word is my trust.

148   My eyes are open in the night watches, *

that I may meditate upon your promise.

149   Hear my voice, O LORD, according to your loving-kindness; *

according to your judgments, give me life.

150   They draw near who in malice persecute me; *

they are very far from your law.

151   You, O LORD, are near at hand, *

and all your commandments are true.

152   Long have I known from your decrees *

that you have established them for ever.

Psalm 119: Resh Vide humilitatem

153   Behold my affliction and deliver me, *

for I do not forget your law.

154   Plead my cause and redeem me; *

according to your promise, give me life.

155   Deliverance is far from the wicked, *

for they do not study your statutes.

156   Great is your compassion, O LORD; *

preserve my life, according to your judgments.

157   There are many who persecute and oppress me, *

yet I have not swerved from your decrees.

158   I look with loathing at the faithless, *

for they have not kept your word.

159   See how I love your commandments! *

O LORD, in your mercy, preserve me.

160   The heart of your word is truth; *

all your righteous judgments endure for evermore.

Psalm 119: Shin Principes persecuti sunt

161   Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, *

but my heart stands in awe of your word.

162   I am as glad because of your promise *

as one who finds great spoils.

163   As for lies, I hate and abhor them, *

but your law is my love.

164   Seven times a day do I praise you, *

because of your righteous judgments.

165   Great peace have they who love your law; *

for them there is no stumbling block.

166   I have hoped for your salvation, O LORD, *

and have fulfilled your commandments.

167   I have kept your decrees *

and I have loved them deeply.

168   I have kept your commandments and decrees, *

for all my ways are before you.

Psalm 119: Taw Appropinquet deprecatio

169   Let my cry come before you, O LORD; *

give me understanding, according to your word.

170   Let my supplication come before you; *

deliver me, according to your promise.

171   My lips shall pour forth your praise, *

when you teach me your statutes.

172   My tongue shall sing of your promise, *

for all your commandments are righteous.

173   Let your hand be ready to help me, *

for I have chosen your commandments.

174   I long for your salvation, O LORD, *

and your law is my delight.

175   Let me live, and I will praise you, *

and let your judgments help me.

176   I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; *

search for your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

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 Lessons

A reading from First Corinthians (12:12-26)

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Song of Mary Magnificat

Luke 1:46-55

My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me, * and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations. He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, * and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel, * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed 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 forever. Amen.

A Reading from [[an excerpt from "non-biblical Christian literature" to be determined (BCP, p. 142)]]

The Song of Simeon Nunc Dimittis

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, *

according to thy word;

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, *

which thou hast prepared before the face of all people,

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, *

And to be the glory of thy 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

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Prayers

V: The Lord be with you. R: And with thy spirit. Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Suffrages B

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful, We entreat thee, O Lord.

That thy holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill, We entreat thee, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses, We entreat thee, O Lord.

That there may be peace to thy Church and to the whole world, We entreat thee, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in thy faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ, We entreat thee, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by thy Holy Spirit in the communion of [ ___________ and] all thy saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ, We entreat thee, O Lord.

Collect of the Day: Fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which giveth life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Thursday in the Fourth Week in Lent

Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness of body, mind, and spirit; that, being restored to wholeness, we may with free hearts become what thou dost intend us to be and accomplish what thou willest us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Richard Allen, First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1831 (March 26)

Loving God, who hast made us all thy children by adoption in Jesus Christ: May we, following the example of thy servant Richard Allen, proclaim liberty to all who are enslaved and captive in this world; through Jesus Christ, Savior of all, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Harriett Monsell, Monastic, 1883 (March 26)

Gracious God, who didst lead thy servant Harriet Monsell through grief to a new vocation; grant that we, inspired by her example, may grow in the life of prayer and the work of service, so that in all our sorrows and in all our joys, thy presence may evermore increase among us, and that our lives may be so ordered as to reveal the mind of Christ, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know thee as thou art revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of thy love.Amen.

Prayer for Mission

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

Offer your own intercessions and thanksgivings...

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving kindness to us and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable 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 beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication unto thee, and hast promised through thy well beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name thou wilt be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

The Dismissal

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14

About Today's Commemorations

Richard Allen, First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1831 (March 26)

A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2015), p. 149 (pre-publication version)

Richard Allen was born into slavery in 1760 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Allen, his parents, and his siblings were eventually sold to owner Stokely Sturgis, whose plantation was in Delaware. The Methodists were already active in Delaware, and Sturgis allowed Allen to attend church. At the age of 17, Richard underwent a classic conversion experience: “I cried to the Lord both day and night,” Allen said. “All of a sudden my dungeon shook, my chains flew off, and, glory to God, I cried.”

Allen brought members of the Methodist Church into his master’s home, where Sturgis heard a sermon by the great Methodist preacher Freeborn Garrettson. Sturgis was himself converted, and he allowed Allen to hire himself out and purchase his freedom; five years later, Richard Allen was a free man.

In 1786, Allen became a preacher at St. George’s Methodist Church, but he was restricted to preaching at early morning services. Eventually, as black membership increased, the vestry decided to build a segregated section for black worshippers. Allen, along with his friend Absalom Jones, resented the segregation of his fellow black Christians and, in 1787, Allen and Jones led black worshippers out of St. George’s in protest.

While Jones and many of those associated with him joined The Episcopal Church, Allen chose to continue in his Methodist tradition. He had been cooperating with Bishop Francis Asbury to spread Methodism among African Americans, and, in 1794, he founded Bethel Church in Philadelphia. When the newly formed African Methodist Episcopal Church declared its independence, Allen became its first Bishop.

Throughout his life, Richard Allen remained an advocate of freedom for all people, even operating a station on the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves. His ardent belief in the brotherhood of all who belonged to Christ is best expressed in one of the many hymns he wrote: Why do they then appear so mean

And why so much despised?

Because of their rich robes unseen

The world is not appriz’d.

Allen died in 1831.

Harriett Monsell, Monastic, 1883 (March 26)

Lesser Feast and Fasts 2018, p. 153 (pre-publication version)

The revival of monastic life in the Anglican tradition, both in England and in the United States, is a great story of vision and commitment shown in the lives of men and women responding to God’s call despite opposition and misunderstanding. One of the earliest orders, the Community of Saint John Baptist, grew out of a mission in Clewer, one of the neighborhoods of Windsor, which offered safe shelter and rehabilitation to women caught by poverty in a life of destitution and human trafficking. This work caught the imagination of Harriet Monsell, whose husband, a priest of the Church of England, had recently died. Her brother-in-law, also a priest, had settled in the area, and so the connection was made that drew her into the work that would form the basis for a new sisterhood. On Ascension Day, 1851, Harriet made her first commitment to the religious life, and within a year, two others joined her. On St Andrew’s Day, 1852, she made her profession and was installed as superior by Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford.

At this time, there were no permanent vows taken; the Bishop shared a common aversion to what was understood as a restrictive and debilitating structure. The Community had a twofold focus in both the contemplative and active life. Devotion and a full appropriation of the Daily Office was a key part of the community’s worship. They also made one of the first efforts to produce an English language version of the Breviary.

Deeply rooted in earnest prayer, Mother Harriet spoke clearly of the crucial call to active service: “I suppose the Sisters must always be ready to leave God for leave God in devotion to seek God in those for whom [Christ] shed His be ready to use broken prayer for themselves and for them.”

Mother Harriet served as superior of the order until her health made retirement a necessity in 1875. She continued to take an active interest in the work of her sisters and in the affairs of the larger world, however, and all of this was the focus of her prayer and intercession. One of the prayers she wrote for her community begins: “Grant unto us, O great and glorious God, that we may be faithful souls, fervent in prayer, still in God, zealous for souls, ardent seekers after holiness, full of love and tenderness…ever being drawn into the Divine Unity, into the fellowship of the Blessed Trinity, that we may reveal the mind of Christ…”

Mother Harriet died on Easter Day, March 26th, 1883. The community continues its ministry of prayer and service today in both the Episcopal Church and in the Church of England.

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