• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for September 24, 2020

Thursday in the Week of Proper 20

Evening Prayer

September 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. 116]



Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

[John 8:12; BCP, p. 116]



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.

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 85

[BCP, p. 708]


  You have been gracious to your land, O LORD, *

you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.

  You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *

and blotted out all their sins.

  You have withdrawn all your fury *

and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.

  Restore us then, O God our Savior; *

let your anger depart from us.

  Will you be displeased with us for ever? *

will you prolong your anger from age to age?

  Will you not give us life again, *

that your people may rejoice in you?

  Show us your mercy, O LORD, *

and grant us your salvation.

  I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, *

for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.

  Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *

that his glory may dwell in our land.

10   Mercy and truth have met together; *

righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11   Truth shall spring up from the earth, *

and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12   The LORD will indeed grant prosperity, *

and our land will yield its increase.

13   Righteousness shall go before him, *

and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.


Psalm 86

  Bow down your ear, O LORD, and answer me, *

for I am poor and in misery.

  Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; *

save your servant who puts his trust in you.

  Be merciful to me, O LORD, for you are my God; *

I call upon you all the day long.

  Gladden the soul of your servant, *

for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

  For you, O LORD, are good and forgiving, *

and great is your love toward all who call upon you.

  Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer, *

and attend to the voice of my supplications.

  In the time of my trouble I will call upon you, *

for you will answer me.

  Among the gods there is none like you, O LORD, *

nor anything like your works.

  All the nations you have made will come and worship you, O LORD, *

and glorify your Name.

10   For you are great; you do wondrous things; *

and you alone are God.

11   Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; *

knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.

12   I will thank you, O LORD my God, with all my heart, *

and glorify your Name for evermore.

13   For great is your love toward me; *

you have delivered me from the nethermost Pit.

14   The arrogant rise up against me, O God, and a band of violent men seeks my life; *

they have not set you before their eyes.

15   But you, O LORD, are gracious and full of compassion, *

slow to anger, and full of kindness and truth.

16   Turn to me and have mercy upon me; *

give your strength to your servant; and save the child of your handmaid.

17   Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed; *

because you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.


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 (4:14-30)


Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?" He said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Doctor, cure yourself!' And you will say, 'Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'" And he said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.


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 Anna Alexander 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 20

[BCP, p. 234]


Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Collect of the Day: Anna Ellison Butler Alexander, Deaconess and Teacher (d. 1947)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 424 (pre-publication)]


Loving God, who called Anna Alexander as a deaconess in your church: Grant us the wisdom to teach the gospel of Christ to whomever we meet, by word and by example, that all may come to the enlightenment that you intend for your people; through Jesus Christ, our Teacher and Savior. Amen.


A Collect for the Presence of Christ

[BCP, p. 124]


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 you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. 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.


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



About Today's Commemoration(s)


September 24: Anna Ellison Butler Alexander, Deaconess and Teacher (d. 1947)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 423 (pre-publication)]


Anna Ellison Butler Alexander was the youngest of 11 children, born to recently emancipated slaves Aleck and Daphne Alexander on Butler Plantation in MacIntosh County, Georgia, in 1865. Her parents were devout Episcopalians, and they also instilled in their children a love of learning. Anna became a teacher, and eventually the only African American to be consecrated as a deaconess in the Episcopal Church.


Anna dedicated herself to working for the education of African American children in poor communities. First she helped to found and to run St. Cyprian’s School at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Darien, and in 1902 she founded a school at Good Shepherd Church in rural Glynn County’s Pennick community, where she taught children to read—by tradition, from the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible—in a one-room schoolhouse. The school was later expanded to two rooms with a loft where Anna lived.


In 1907, she was consecrated as a deaconess by Bishop C.K. Nelson. Deaconess Alexander served in difficult times, however. The Diocese of Georgia segregated its congregations in 1907 and African American congregations were not invited to another diocesan convention until 1947. However, her witness—wearing the distinctive dress of a deaconess, traveling by foot from Brunswick through Darien to Pennick, showing care and love for all whom she met—represents the best in Christian witness.


The poor white residents of Glynn County also trusted Deaconess Alexander. When the Depression hit the rural poor, she became the agent for government and private aid, and Good Shepherd Mission served as the distribution center. Locals remember that no one ever questioned her as she served the needs of both races in a segregated south. Strictly religious, strictly business, Deaconess Alexander commanded respect. White men took off their hats when she passed.


Deaconess Alexander wrote, “I am to see everyone gets what they need…some folk don’t need help now and I know who they are. The old people and the children, they need the most…when I tell some they can’t get help just now…that others come first, they get mad, a little, but I don’t pay no mind and soon they forget to be mad.”


She ministered in Pennick for 53 years, leaving a legacy of love and devotion that is still felt in Glynn County.

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