Evening Prayer
Christmas Season
Sunday, 27 December 2020
The First Sunday of Christmas

Preparation

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

You laid the foundation of the earth
Alland the heavens are the work of your hands. Alleluia.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
To dispel the darkness of our night
you sent forth your Son, the firstborn of all creation,
to be the Christ, the light of the world.
Rejoicing in the mystery of the Word made flesh,
we acclaim him Emmanuel, as all creation sings to you:
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

A Song of God’s Descending (page 552), the following or another suitable hymn

Of the Father’s heart begotten,
ere the world from chaos rose,
he is Alpha: from that fountain
all that is and has been flows;
he is Omega, of all things
yet to come the mystic close,
evermore and evermore.

O how blest that wondrous birthday,
when the Maid the curse retrieved,
brought to birth mankind’s salvation,
by the Holy Ghost conceived;
and the Babe, the world’s redeemer,
in her loving arms received,
evermore and evermore.

Sing, ye heights of heaven, his praises;
angels and archangels, sing!
Wheresoe’er ye be, ye faithful,
let your joyous anthems ring,
every tongue his name confessing,
countless voices answering,
evermore and evermore.

Prudentius, tr: R F Davis
(Tune: 87 87 87 7)

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 132

Refrain: Arise, O Lord, into your resting place.

1 Lord, remember for David 
all the hardships he endured;

2 How he swore an oath to the Lord 
and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:

3 ‘I will not come within the shelter of my house, 
nor climb up into my bed;

4 ‘I will not allow my eyes to sleep, 
nor let my eyelids slumber,

5 ‘Until I find a place for the Lord, 
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.’ R

6 Now, we heard of the ark in Ephrathah 
and found it in the fields of Ja-ar.

7 Let us enter his dwelling place 
and fall low before his footstool.

8 Arise, O Lord, into your resting place, 
you and the ark of your strength.

9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness 
and your faithful ones sing with joy.

10 For your servant David’s sake, 
turn not away the face of your anointed. R

11 The Lord has sworn an oath to David, 
a promise from which he will not shrink:

12 ‘Of the fruit of your body 
shall I set upon your throne.

13 ‘If your children keep my covenant
and my testimonies that I shall teach them, 
their children also shall sit upon your throne for evermore.’

14 For the Lord has chosen Zion for himself; 
he has desired her for his habitation: R

15 ‘This shall be my resting place for ever; 
here will I dwell, for I have longed for her.

16 ‘I will abundantly bless her provision; 
her poor will I satisfy with bread.

17 ‘I will clothe her priests with salvation, 
and her faithful ones shall rejoice and sing.

18 ‘There will I make a horn to spring up for David; 
I will keep a lantern burning for my anointed.

19 ‘As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame; 
but on him shall his crown be bright.’

Refrain: Arise, O Lord, into your resting place.

Jesus, Son of David,
make us a priestly people;
clothe us in righteousness,
make us fruitful,
and give us hearts to shout for joy in your salvation;
we pray in the power of the Spirit.

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 35

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
   the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
   and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
   the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
   the majesty of our God.


Strengthen the weak hands,
   and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
   ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
   He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
   He will come and save you.’


Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
   and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
   and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
   and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.


A highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
   but it shall be for God’s people;
   no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
   but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Canticle

A Song of Redemption, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 68 (page 626) or number 73 (page 631), may be said.

Refrain:

AllChrist is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation. Alleluia.

1The Father has delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son;

2In whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.

3He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.

4For in him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.

5All things were created through him and for him,
he is before all things and in him all things hold together.

6He is the head of the body, the Church,
he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.

7In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell;
and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things.

Colossians 1.13-18a, 19, 20a

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.

AllChrist is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

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

Colossians 1.9-20

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

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

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.
AllThe Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.
And we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father’s only son,
Allfull of grace and truth.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllThe Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.

from John 1

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said, or the Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) (page 613) may be said

Refrain:

AllWhen peaceful silence lay over all,
and night was in the midst of her swift course:
from your royal throne, O God, down from the heavens,
leapt your almighty Word.

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:

AllWhen peaceful silence lay over all,
and night was in the midst of her swift course:
from your royal throne, O God, down from the heavens,
leapt your almighty Word.

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, especially in places of conflict
The Holy Land, for peace with justice, and reconciliation
Refugees and asylum seekers
Homeless people
Families with young children

A form of prayer found on page 378 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 God,
who wonderfully created us in your own image
and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share in our humanity,
so we may share the life of his divinity;
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

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
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)

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
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 God, who has called us out of darkness
into his marvellous light,
bless us and fill us with peace.
AllAmen.

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