Evening Prayer
Advent
Friday, 8 December 2017
The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Lesser Festival]

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
AllO Lord, make haste to help us.

Reveal among us the light of your presence
Allthat we may behold your power and glory.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
creator of light and darkness,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
As evening falls, you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
May your word be a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our path
that we may behold your coming among us.
Strengthen us in our stumbling weakness
and free our tongues to sing your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

A Song of Mercy and Truth (page 559), the following or another suitable hymn

Creator of the stars of night,
thy people’s everlasting light,
O Jesu, Saviour of us all,
regard thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving at the bitter cry
of all creation doomed to die,
didst come to save a ruined race
with healing gifts of heavenly grace.

Thou camest, Bridegroom of the bride,
as drew the world to evening-tide,
proceeding from a virgin shrine,
the Son of Man, yet Lord divine.

At thy great name, exalted now,
all knees must bend, all hearts must bow,
and things in heaven and earth shall own
that thou art Lord and King alone.

To thee, O holy One, we pray
our judge in that tremendous day,
preserve us, while we dwell below,
from every onslaught of the foe.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whose advent sets thy people free,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Spirit blest, for evermore.

Latin, tr: J M Neale
(Tune: LM)

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 16

Refrain: The Lord is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

1 Preserve me, O God, for in you have I taken refuge; 
I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord,
all my good depends on you.’

2 All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, 
upon those who are noble in heart.

3 Though the idols are legion that many run after, 
their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
neither make mention of their names upon my lips.

4 The Lord himself is my portion and my cup; 
in your hands alone is my fortune.

5 My share has fallen in a fair land; 
indeed, I have a goodly heritage. R

6 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, 
and in the night watches he instructs my heart.

7 I have set the Lord always before me; 
he is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

8 Wherefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; 
my flesh also shall rest secure.

9 For you will not abandon my soul to Death, 
nor suffer your faithful one to see the Pit.

10 You will show me the path of life;
in your presence is the fullness of joy 
and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Refrain: The Lord is at my right hand; I shall not fall.

Give to us, Lord Christ,
the fullness of grace,
your presence and your very self,
for you are our portion and our delight,
now and for ever.

Psalm 17

Refrain: Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand.

1 Hear my just cause, O Lord; consider my complaint; 
listen to my prayer, which comes not from lying lips.

2 Let my vindication come forth from your presence; 
let your eyes behold what is right.

3 Weigh my heart, examine me by night, 
refine me, and you will find no impurity in me. R

4 My mouth does not trespass for earthly rewards; 
I have heeded the words of your lips.

5 My footsteps hold fast in the ways of your commandments; 
my feet have not stumbled in your paths. R

6 I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; 
incline your ear to me, and listen to my words.

7 Show me your marvellous loving-kindness, 
O Saviour of those who take refuge at your right hand
from those who rise up against them.

8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; 
hide me under the shadow of your wings,

9 From the wicked who assault me, 
from my enemies who surround me to take away my life. R

10 They have closed their heart to pity 
and their mouth speaks proud things.

11 They press me hard, they surround me on every side, 
watching how they may cast me to the ground,

12 Like a lion that is greedy for its prey, 
like a young lion lurking in secret places. R

13 Arise, Lord; confront them and cast them down; 
deliver me from the wicked by your sword.

14 Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand 
from those whose portion in life is unending,

15 Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, 
who are well supplied with children
and leave their wealth to their little ones.

16 As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness; 
when I awake and behold your likeness, I shall be satisfied.

Refrain: Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand.

Generous Lord,
deliver us from all envious thoughts,
and when we are tempted by the desire for wealth,
let us see your face;
for your abundance is enough to clothe our lack;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Isaiah 44.9-23

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know. And so they will be put to shame. Who would fashion a god or cast an image that can do no good? Look, all its devotees shall be put to shame; the artisans too are merely human. Let them all assemble, let them stand up; they shall be terrified, they shall all be put to shame.

The blacksmith fashions it and works it over the coals, shaping it with hammers, and forging it with his strong arm; he becomes hungry and his strength fails, he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line, marks it out with a stylus, fashions it with planes, and marks it with a compass; he makes it in human form, with human beauty, to be set up in a shrine. He cuts down cedars or chooses a holm tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it can be used as fuel. Part of it he takes and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Then he makes a god and worships it, makes it a carved image and bows down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, ‘Ah, I am warm, I can feel the fire!’ The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it, and worships it; he prays to it and says, ‘Save me, for you are my god!’

They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, ‘Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and have eaten. Now shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’ He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray, and he cannot save himself or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?’


Remember these things, O Jacob,
   and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you, you are my servant;
   O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,
   and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.


Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
   shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
   O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
   and will be glorified in Israel.

Canticle

A Song of the Spirit, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 57 (page 614) or number 72 (page 630), may be said

Refrain:

AllSurely I am coming soon.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Alleluia.

1‘Behold, I am coming soon’, says the Lord,
‘and bringing my reward with me,
to give to everyone according to their deeds.

2‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.’

3Blessed are those who do God’s commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter into the city through the gates.

4‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you,
with this testimony for all the churches.

5‘I am the root and the offspring of David,
I am the bright morning star.’

6‘Come!’ say the Spirit and the Bride;
‘Come!’ let each hearer reply.

7Come forward, you who are thirsty,
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

Revelation 22.12-14, 16, 17

AllTo the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

AllSurely I am coming soon.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

Revelation 21.22-22.5

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

My soul is waiting for you, O Lord:
in your word is my hope.
AllMy soul is waiting for you, O Lord:
in your word is my hope.
There is forgiveness with you,
so that you shall be feared.
AllIn your word is my hope.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllMy soul is waiting for you, O Lord:
in your word is my hope.

from Psalm 130

 

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said, or The Song of Christ's Glory (page 619) may be said

Refrain:

All Mary gave birth to the Word of God;
truly she is the ever-blessed Mother of Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

3He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

4He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

6He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

8The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

All Mary gave birth to the Word of God;
truly she is the ever-blessed Mother of Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Prayers

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs

Prayers may include the following concerns from the cycle on pages 364–365

The Church, that she may be ready for the coming of Christ
The leaders of the Church
The nations, that they may be subject to the rule of God
Those who are working for justice in the world
The broken, that they may find God’s healing

A form of prayer found on page 377 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty and everlasting God,
who stooped to raise fallen humanity
through the child-bearing of blessed Mary:
grant that we, who have seen your glory
      revealed in our human nature
and your love made perfect in our weakness,
may daily be renewed in your image
and conformed to the pattern of your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

Awaiting his coming in glory,
as our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur 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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

May the Lord, when he comes,
find us watching and waiting.
AllAmen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.