• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for May 20, 2020

Eve of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ

Evening Prayer

May 20, 2020


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


Note: We are again praying with Rite II (contemporary English) language during the season of Easter. This 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 the scriptures are reprinted from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.




Evening Prayer, Rite II

[BCP, p. 117]



Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1 Corinthians 15:57; 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 68:1-20 Exsurgat Deus

  Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *

let those who hate him flee before him.

  Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *

as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

  But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *

let them also be merry and joyful.

  Sing to God, sing praises to his Name; exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *

YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him!

  Father of orphans, defender of widows, *

God in his holy habitation!

  God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *

but the rebels shall live in dry places.

  O God, when you went forth before your people, *

when you marched through the wilderness,

  The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain, at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *

at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

  You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *

you refreshed the land when it was weary.

10   Your people found their home in it; *

in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.

11   The Lord gave the word; *

great was the company of women who bore the tidings:

12   Kings with their armies are fleeing away; *

the women at home are dividing the spoils.

13   Though you lingered among the sheepfolds, *

you shall be like a dove whose wings are covered with silver, whose feathers are like green gold.

14   When the Almighty scattered kings, *

it was like snow falling in Zalmon.

15   O mighty mountain, O hill of Bashan! *

O rugged mountain, O hill of Bashan!

16   Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountain, at the hill which God chose for his resting place? *

truly, the LORD will dwell there for ever.

17   The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; *

the Lord comes in holiness from Sinai.

18   You have gone up on high and led captivity captive; you have received gifts even from your enemies, *

that the LORD God might dwell among them.

19   Blessed be the Lord day by day, *

the God of our salvation, who bears our burdens.

20   He is our God, the God of our salvation; *

God is the LORD, by whom we escape death.


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 2 Kings (2:1-15)


Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets[a] who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets[b] who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets[c] also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10 He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” 11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

13 He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

15 When the company of prophets[d] who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.


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 Revelation (5:1-14)


Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed[a] with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from[b] every tribe and language and people and nation; 10 you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving[c] our God, and they will reign on earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 singing with full voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,

“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.


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" (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 A

[BCP, p. 121]


V.    Show us your mercy, O Lord;

R.    And grant us your salvation.

V.    Clothe your ministers with righteousness;

R.    Let your people sing with joy.

V.    Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;

R.    For only in you can we live in safety.

V.    Lord, keep this nation under your care;

R.    And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

V.    Let your way be known upon earth;

R.    Your saving health among all nations.

V.    Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;

R.    Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

V.    Create in us clean hearts, O God;

R.    And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.


Collect of the Day: Eve of the Ascension

[BCP, p. 226]


Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Rogation Day III - For Stewardship of Creation

[BCP, p. 225]


O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Collect of the Day: St. Alcuin of York, Deacon and Abbot (d. 804)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 [pre-publication], p. 234]


Almighty God, who raised up your servant Alcuin as a beacon of learning: Shine in our hearts, we pray that we may also show forth your praise in our own generation, for you have called us out of darkness and into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for 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]


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. Alleluia, alleluia! Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia!


Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20)



About Today's Commemoration


May 20: St. Alcuin of York, Deacon and Abbot (d. 804)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 (pre-publication), p. 233]


Alcuin was born about 730 near York, into a noble family related to Willibrord, the first missionary to the Netherlands. He was educated at the cathedral school in York under Archbishop Egbert, a pupil of Bede. He thus inherited the best traditions of learning and zeal of the early English church.


After ordination as a deacon in 770, he became head of the York school. It was not uncommon for theologians and intellectuals in the early and medieval church to be ordained as deacons, teaching and scholarship being understood by the church as a diaconal ministry as well as care for the poor and the needy.


Following a meeting in 781 with the Emperor Charlemagne in Pavia (Italy), Alcuin was persuaded to become the Emperor’s “prime minister,” with special responsibility for the revival of education and learning in the Frankish dominions. He was named Abbot of Tours in 796, where he died on May 19th, 804, and was buried in the church of St. Martin.


Alcuin was a man of vast learning, personal charm, and integrity of character. In his direction of Charlemagne’s Palace School at Aachen, he was chiefly responsible for the preservation of the classical heritage of Western civilization. Schools were revived in cathedrals and monasteries, and manuscripts of both pagan and Christian writings of antiquity were collated and copied.


Under the authority of Charlemagne, the liturgy was reformed, and service books gathered from Rome were edited and adapted. To this work we owe the preservation of many of the collects that have come down to us, including the Collect for Purity at the beginning of the Holy Eucharist.

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