• Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Evening Prayer for September 9, 2020

Wednesday in the Week of Proper 18

Evening Prayer

September 9, 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.

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 49

[BCP, p. 652]


  Hear this, all you peoples; hearken, all you who dwell in the world, *

you of high degree and low, rich and poor together.

  My mouth shall speak of wisdom, *

and my heart shall meditate on understanding.

  I will incline my ear to a proverb *

and set forth my riddle upon the harp.

  Why should I be afraid in evil days, *

when the wickedness of those at my heels surrounds me,

  The wickedness of those who put their trust in their goods, *

and boast of their great riches?

  We can never ransom ourselves, *

or deliver to God the price of our life;

  For the ransom of our life is so great, *

that we should never have enough to pay it,

  In order to live for ever and ever, *

and never see the grave.

  For we see that the wise die also; like the dull and stupid they perish *

and leave their wealth to those who come after them.

10   Their graves shall be their homes for ever, their dwelling places from generation to generation, *

though they call the lands after their own names.

11   Even though honored, they cannot live for ever; *

they are like the beasts that perish.

12   Such is the way of those who foolishly trust in themselves, *

and the end of those who delight in their own words.

13   Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die; Death is their shepherd; *

they go down straightway to the grave.

14   Their form shall waste away, *

and the land of the dead shall be their home.

15   But God will ransom my life; *

he will snatch me from the grasp of death.

16   Do not be envious when some become rich, *

or when the grandeur of their house increases;

17   For they will carry nothing away at their death, *

nor will their grandeur follow them.

18   Though they thought highly of themselves while they lived, *

and were praised for their success,

19   They shall join the company of their forebears, *

who will never see the light again.

20   Those who are honored, but have no understanding, *

are like the beasts that perish.


Psalm 53

[BCP, p. 658]


  The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." *

All are corrupt and commit abominable acts; there is none who does any good.

  God looks down from heaven upon us all, *

to see if there is any who is wise, if there is one who seeks after God.

  Every one has proved faithless; all alike have turned bad; *

there is none who does good; no, not one.

  Have they no knowledge, those evildoers *

who eat up my people like bread and do not call upon God?

  See how greatly they tremble, such trembling as never was; *

for God has scattered the bones of the enemy; they are put to shame, because God has rejected them.

  Oh, that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion! *

when God restores the fortunes of his people Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.


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 (11:1-16)


Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?" Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them." After saying this, he told them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him." The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right." Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with 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 "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, the Blessed Martyrs of Memphis, 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 Martyrs of Memphis: Constance, Thecla, Ruth, Frances, Charles Parsons, and Louis Schuyler (d. 1878)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 396 (pre-publication)]


We give you thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of the Martyrs of Memphis, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death; Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 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]


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 9: The Martyrs of Memphis: Constance, Thecla, Ruth, Frances, Charles Parsons, and Louis Schuyler (d. 1878)

[Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, p. 395 (pre-publication)]


In August 1878, yellow fever invaded the city of Memphis, Tennessee for the third time in ten years. By the month’s end, the disease had become epidemic and a quarantine was ordered. While more than 25,000 citizens had fled in terror, nearly 20,000 more remained to face the pestilence. As cases multiplied, the death toll averaged 200 people per day. When the worst was over, ninety percent of the people who remained had contracted the fever and more than 5,000 people had died.


In that time of panic and flight, many brave men and women, both lay and ordained, remained at their posts of duty or came as volunteers to assist in spite of the terrible risk. Notable among these heroes were four Episcopal sisters from the Community of Saint Mary, and two of their clergy colleagues, all of whom died while tending to the sick. They have ever since been known as “The Martyrs of Memphis,” as have those of other communions who ministered in Christ’s name during this time of desolation.


The Sisters had come to Memphis in 1873, at Bishop Quintard’s request, to found a school for girls adjacent to St. Mary’s Cathedral. When the 1878 epidemic began, George C. Harris, the cathedral dean, and Sister Constance immediately organized relief work among the stricken. Helping were six of Constance’s fellow Sisters of St. Mary, plus Sister Clare from St. Margaret’s House, Boston, Massachusetts; the Reverend Charles C. Parsons, Rector of Grace and St. Lazarus Church, Memphis; and the Reverend Louis S. Schuyler, assistant at Holy Innocents, Hoboken, New Jersey. The cathedral group also included three physicians, two of whom were ordained Episcopal priests, the Sisters’ two matrons, and several volunteer nurses from New York.


The cathedral buildings were located in the most infected region of Memphis. Here, amid sweltering heat and scenes of indescribable horror, these men and women of God gave relief to the sick, comfort to the dying, and homes to the many orphaned children. Only two of the workers escaped the fever. Among those who died were Sisters Constance, Thecla, Ruth, and Frances from the Community of Saint Mary, the Reverend Charles Parsons, and the Reverend Louis Schuyler. All six are buried at Elmwood Cemetery. The monument marking the joint grave of Fathers Parsons and Schuyler bears the inscription: “Greater Love Hath No Man.” The high altar in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Memphis, is a memorial to the four Sisters.

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