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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for October 7, 2020

Wednesday in the Week of Proper 22

Evening Prayer

October 7, 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]

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 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 128

[BCP, p. 783]

  Happy are they all who fear the LORD, *

and who follow in his ways!

  You shall eat the fruit of your labor; *

happiness and prosperity shall be yours.

  Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, *

your children like olive shoots round about your table.

  The man who fears the LORD *

shall thus indeed be blessed.

  The LORD bless you from Zion, *

and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

  May you live to see your children's children; *

may peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 129

  Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth, *

let Israel now say;

  Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth", *

but they have not prevailed against me."

  The plowmen plowed upon my back *

and made their furrows long.

  The LORD, the Righteous One, *

has cut the cords of the wicked.

  Let them be put to shame and thrown back, *

all those who are enemies of Zion.

  Let them be like grass upon the housetops, *

which withers before it can be plucked;

  Which does not fill the hand of the reaper, *

nor the bosom of him who binds the sheaves;

  So that those who go by say not so much as, "The LORD prosper you. *

We wish you well in the Name of the LORD."

Psalm 130

  Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice; *

let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

  If you, LORD, were to note what is done amiss, *

O LORD, who could stand?

  For there is forgiveness with you; *

therefore you shall be feared.

  I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him; *

in his word is my hope.

  My soul waits for the LORD, more than watchmen for the morning, *

more than watchmen for the morning.

  O Israel, wait for the LORD, *

for with the LORD there is mercy;

  With him there is plenteous redemption, *

and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

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 Luke (7:18-35)

The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" When the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?'" Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." When John's messengers had gone, 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 put on fine clothing and live in luxury 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.' I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (And all the people who heard this, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John's baptism. But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves.) "To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.' For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, 'He has a demon' the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children."

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 Birgitta and Blessed Henry, 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 22

[BCP, p. 234]

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Birgitta of Sweden, Mystic (d. 1373)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 448 (pre-publication)]

O God, who beholds all things and whose judgment is always mercy; by the example of your servant Birgitta of Sweden, give to us in this life the vision of your kingdom, where Jesus Christ is all and in all, that we may pattern our earthly lives on things heavenly, where our lives are hidden with Christ in you; who with him and the Holy Spirit live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Lutheran Pastor in North America (d. 1787)

[A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2015), p. 496]

Loving God, shepherd of your people, we thank you for the ministry of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who left his native land to minister where called; make us mindful of our own vocation to serve where you call us; in the Name of 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)

October 7: Birgitta of Sweden, Mystic (d. 1373)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 447 (pre-publication)]

Birgitta Birgersdotter came from a noble Swedish family and was born in 1303. Early in her life she discerned a religious vocation, but was married against her will at the age of 13 to a member of the Swedish nobility. The couple had eight children. Birgitta sought to live a holy, religious life. When her husband was absent, she openly practiced a strict asceticism, and when he was home, she did so secretly. Both she and her husband became members of the Franciscan Third Order, which admitted laypeople.

From childhood, Birgitta had experienced visions. Christ, Mary, and the saints spoke with her often in Swedish and shared with her warnings intended for others, which Birgitta would write down or dictate to her confessor. Eventually these messages became increasingly political, which caused her great discomfort. Although Birgitta enjoyed a good relationship with the royal family, she sharply criticized the king, becoming a symbolic leader for the aristocratic Swedish opposition.

Birgitta advised popes and rulers throughout Europe, and criticized the extravagant lifestyles of the clergy, monastic orders, and laity, challenging four popes to return to Rome from Avignon. She also tried to persuade the rulers of England and France to negotiate peace and end the war that would later be called the Hundred Years’ War. Because of her struggles, she was recognized throughout Europe as an uncomfortable counselor and a visionary.

After the death of her husband in 1344, Birgitta devoted herself entirely to the religious life. The Order she founded, the Brigittines, was based on the revelations she had received earlier in her life. Her monastery would always have a women’s and men’s cloister next to one another, joined by a shared church, in which the monks, nuns, and laity would pray together. The abbess would be in charge of both the men’s and women’s cloister. To get papal approval for her order’s founding, Birgitta traveled to Rome. In 1370, Urban V recognized the new order and allowed its foundation at Vadstena, Sweden. Birgitta was, in fact, not the first abbess there, but rather her daughter Catherine.

Except for several pilgrimages, Birgitta remained in Rome for the rest of her life. She ministered to both rich and poor, sheltered the homeless, and worked untiringly for the return of the pope from Avignon to Rome. In 1372, she was spurred by a vision to visit the Holy Land. On the return trip from Jerusalem Birgitta fell ill and entered eternal life on July 23rd, 1373. In Sweden she is celebrated on October 7th, which is the anniversary of her canonization.

October 7: Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Lutheran Pastor in North America (d. 1787)

[A Great Cloud of Witnesses (2015), p. 495]

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg is regarded as the patriarch of Lutheranism in North America.

Muhlenberg, born near Hannover, Germany, in 1711, received his education in Göttingen and Halle before immigrating to the American colonies in 1742. Lutherans came to the colonies from a variety of regional and ethnic backgrounds and tended to build churches wherever they settled, sometimes with Lutherans of different origins settling in closer proximity to each other. There was little organization among these disparate groups until the arrival of Muhlenberg.

Upon his arrival, Muhlenberg visited Lutherans in coastal Carolina and Georgia before making his way to Philadelphia. With enormous energy and unflagging patience, Muhlenberg began to call together the Lutherans, first the Germans, then the Swedes, until the formation of the first Lutheran synod in America in 1748, the Ministerium of Pennsylvania. At the inaugural synod, Muhlenberg offered a common liturgy for use among Lutherans. The liturgy was adopted and became the essential element in unifying the Lutherans in America for several generations. Muhlenberg’s axiom, “one book, one church,” has been a benchmark for liturgical revision among North American Lutherans to the present day.

Muhlenberg also recognized the pastoral challenges of organizing a new church in the New World. In the old countries, the church was closely allied with the state. Taxes to support the churches were collected by the state, and Christian education was part of the curriculum in every school. In the New World, the churches were to be voluntary, self-supporting associations, and education in matters of Christian faith was to be the concern of church and home.

Muhlenberg’s family played prominent roles in the birth of the new nation. One of his sons served as a brigadier general in the Revolution, while another was a member of the Continental Congress and later the first speaker of the House of Representatives. His great-grandson, William Augustus Muhlenberg, was a priest who shaped The Episcopal Church in the mid-nineteenth century (see April 8).

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg died on October 7, 1787.

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