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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for September 8, 2020

Tuesday in the Week of Proper 18

Evening Prayer

September 8, 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]

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ

[Philippians 1:2; 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 47

[BCP, p. 650]

  Clap your hands, all you peoples; *

shout to God with a cry of joy.

  For the LORD Most High is to be feared; *

he is the great King over all the earth.

  He subdues the peoples under us, *

and the nations under our feet.

  He chooses our inheritance for us, *

the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

  God has gone up with a shout, *

the LORD with the sound of the ram's-horn.

  Sing praises to God, sing praises; *

sing praises to our King, sing praises.

  For God is King of all the earth; *

sing praises with all your skill.

  God reigns over the nations; *

God sits upon his holy throne.

  The nobles of the peoples have gathered together *

with the people of the God of Abraham.

10   The rulers of the earth belong to God, *

and he is highly exalted.

Psalm 48

  Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised; *

in the city of our God is his holy hill.

  Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, *

the very center of the world and the city of the great King.

  God is in her citadels; *

he is known to be her sure refuge.

  Behold, the kings of the earth assembled *

and marched forward together.

  They looked and were astounded; *

they retreated and fled in terror.

  Trembling seized them there; *

they writhed like a woman in childbirth, like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.

  As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; *

God has established her for ever.

  We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, O God, *

in the midst of your temple.

  Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world's end; *

your right hand is full of justice.

10   Let Mount Zion be glad and the cities of Judah rejoice, *

because of your judgments.

11   Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her; *

count the number of her towers.

12   Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds; *

that you may tell those who come after.

13   This God is our God for ever and ever; *

he shall be our guide for evermore.

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 John (10:31-42)

The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God." Jesus answered, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, you are gods'? If those to whom the word of God came were called 'gods'-- and the scripture cannot be annulled-- can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, 'I am God's Son'? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, "John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true." And many believed in him there.

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 Nikolai and Blessed Søren, 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 18

[BCP, p. 233]

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect of the Day: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1st Century BCE)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 394 (pre-publication)]

Father in heaven, by your grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; 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: Nikolai Grundtvig, Bishop and Hymnwriter (d. 1872)

[A Great Cloud of Witnesses, 2015, p. 436]

Almighty God, you built your Church upon a rock: Help us remember, with your hymn writer Nikolai Grundtvig, that though steeples may fall and buildings made by hands may crumble, Jesus makes our bodies his temple through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Help us to recognize Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, that we may join our voices to the eternal alleluia; through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Collect of the Day: Søren Kierkegaard, Teacher and Philosopher (d. 1855)

[A Great Cloud of Witnesses, 2015, p. 438]

Heavenly Father, whose beloved Son Jesus Christ felt sorrow and dread in the Garden of Gethsemane: Help us to remember that though we walk through the valley of the shadow, you are always with us, that, with your philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, we may believe what we have not seen and trust where we cannot test, and so come at length to the eternal joy which you have prepared for those who love you; through the same Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

[BCP, p. 123]

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only 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)

September 8: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1st Century BCE)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 393 (pre-publication)]

The gospels tell us little about the family and home of our Lord’s mother. She is thought to have been of Davidic descent and to have been brought up in a devout Jewish family that cherished the hope of Israel for the coming kingdom of God, in remembrance of the promise to Abraham and the forefathers.

In the second century, a devout Christian sought to supply a fuller account of Mary’s birth and family, to satisfy the interest and curiosity of believers. An apocryphal gospel, known as the Protevangelium of James or The Nativity of Mary, appeared. It included legendary stories of Mary’s parents Joachim and Anne. These stories were built out of Old Testament narratives of the births of Isaac and of Samuel (whose mother’s name, Hannah, is the original form of Anne), and from traditions of the birth of John the Baptist. In these stories, Joachim and Anne—the childless, elderly couple who grieved that they would have no posterity—were rewarded with the birth of a girl, whom they dedicated in infancy to the service of God under the tutelage of the temple priests.

Many provinces of the Anglican Communion celebrate September 8th rather than August 15th as their primary Marian feast.

Although we do not know the truth of Mary’s parentage or birth, we nevertheless rejoice for those who brought her into this world, and who raised her in such a way that even as a young woman she was able to give a courageous “yes” in response to her call from God.

September 8: Nikolai Grundtvig, Bishop and Hymnwriter (d. 1872)

[A Great Cloud of Witnesses, 2015, p. 435]

Nikolai Grundtvig was among the most influential Danes of the nineteenth century in theological and philosophical circles and in civic life.

Born in 1783, the son of a Lutheran pastor, Grundtvig inherited from his father a lifelong appreciation for classical Lutheran orthodoxy rooted in sacramental practice, a stark contrast from the dry rationalism common to Danish Lutheranism at the time. From his mother, Grundtvig received a fascination with the literature, legends, and poetry of the Norse.

Grundtvig was a student all his life. His academic passions were largely in history and theology, but education, he believed, opened one’s heart and mind to a vigorous love of life. Grundtvig also believed in the power of poetry. He thought that poetry had the capacity to speak to the souls of human beings more deeply than prose, particularly in matters of the heart and the life of faith. During his lifetime, he composed more than a thousand hymns, a number of which are still sung today: “Built on a rock the Church doth stand,” “O day full of grace,” and “God’s word is our great heritage.”

Grundtvig’s father was pastor of a large congregation and, as he aged, he needed assistance. Grundtvig preached a trial sermon at his father’s church during which he launched a scathing attack on Danish rationalism. The sermon met with a severe response and he was widely denounced. Nonetheless, he survived the resulting spiritual crisis and was ordained in 1811. He served as his father’s curate until his father’s death in 1813. After a long season with no work, Grundtvig served several short-term pastorates that usually came to an end because of his commitment to a Lutheran orthodoxy rooted in sacraments and liturgy. He believed that the dry, rational, almost gloomy approach favored at the time did not penetrate the depths of the human soul.

Toward the end of his life, Grundtvig’s vision was taking hold, and his influence upon both church and nation continued to increase. He was made a bishop in 1861. He died in 1872.

September 8: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1st Century BCE)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 393 (pre-publication)]

One of the most influential philosophers of the nineteenth century, Søren Kierkegaard, the son of a devout Lutheran, born in 1813, spent most of his life in Copenhagen. As a young man, he studied Latin, history, and theology, though he was particularly drawn to philosophy and literature, and his works are remarkable in part for his deft blending and treatment of theological, literary, and philosophical themes.

In 1841, he proposed to Regine Olsen, but self-doubt about his suitability for marriage led him to break off the engagement. The event was greatly influential on his life and his works. From 1843 until his death in 1855, Kierkegaard was a prolific writer. Sometimes referred to as the “Father of Existentialism,” Kierkegaard is known for his concept of “the leap of faith,” his understanding of how a person’s beliefs and actions are based not on evidence, of which there can never be enough, but on the willingness to take the leap despite that lack of evidence. He explored this theme in works such as Fear and Trembling, Repetition, and Stages on Life’s Way.

For most of his life, Kierkegaard was critical of established religion, which he felt substituted human desire for God’s law. In 1854, he published several articles which attacked what he saw as the selfishness of many leaders of the institutional church. His criticism of the Church as an institution, however, should not be confused with the absence of faith or the lack of trust in the ethical teachings of the Christian gospel.

His religious and theological works, such as Christian Discourses and Practice in Christianity, though sometimes overlooked, show his profound understanding of the significance of the teaching and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and of the human call to live in imitation of the selfless, sacrificial life of Jesus. His work was influential on philosophers such as Martin Heidegger and on theologians such as Karl Barth. His challenges to the Church remain powerful reminders of the institution’s call to pattern its common life according to the teaching of Jesus Christ.

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