Evening Prayer
Advent
Thursday, 6 December 2018
Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326 [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 40

Refrain: Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; 
he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2 He brought me out of the roaring pit,
out of the mire and clay; 
he set my feet upon a rock and made my footing sure.

3 He has put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God; 
many shall see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, 
who does not turn to the proud that follow a lie.

5 Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.
How great your designs for us! 
There is none that can be compared with you.

6 If I were to proclaim them and tell of them 
they would be more than I am able to express. R

7 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire 
but my ears you have opened;

8 Burnt offering and sacrifice for sin you have not required; 
then said I: ‘Lo, I come.

9 ‘In the scroll of the book it is written of me
that I should do your will, O my God; 
I delight to do it: your law is within my heart.’

10 I have declared your righteousness in the great congregation; 
behold, I did not restrain my lips,
and that, O Lord, you know.

11 Your righteousness I have not hidden in my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; 
I have not concealed your loving-kindness and truth
from the great congregation. R

12 Do not withhold your compassion from me, O Lord; 
let your love and your faithfulness always preserve me,

13 For innumerable troubles have come about me;
my sins have overtaken me so that I cannot look up; 
they are more in number than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails me.

14 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; 
O Lord, make haste to help me.

15 Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed
who seek after my life to destroy it; 
let them be driven back and put to shame
who wish me evil.

16 Let those who heap insults upon me 
be desolate because of their shame. R

17 Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad; 
let those who love your salvation say always,
‘The Lord is great.’

18 Though I am poor and needy, 
the Lord cares for me.

19 You are my helper and my deliverer; 
O my God, make no delay.

Refrain: Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God.

Free us from our sins, O God,
and may our sacrifices be of praise
to the glory of your Son,
our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, 
a very present help in trouble;

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, 
and though the mountains tremble in the heart of the sea;

3 Though the waters rage and swell, 
and though the mountains quake at the towering seas.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
the holy place of the dwelling of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of her;
therefore shall she not be removed; 
God shall help her at the break of day.

6 The nations are in uproar and the kingdoms are shaken, 
but God utters his voice and the earth shall melt away.

7 The Lord of hosts is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

8 Come and behold the works of the Lord, 
what destruction he has wrought upon the earth.

9 He makes wars to cease in all the world; 
he shatters the bow and snaps the spear
and burns the chariots in the fire.

10 ‘Be still, and know that I am God; 
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth.’

11 The Lord of hosts is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

God of Jacob,
when the earth shakes
and the nations are in uproar,
speak, and let the storm be still;
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 28.14-end


Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
   who rule this people in Jerusalem.
Because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death,
   and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
   it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
   and in falsehood we have taken shelter’;
therefore thus says the Lord God,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
   a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
   ‘One who trusts will not panic.’
And I will make justice the line,
   and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
   and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
   and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
   you will be beaten down by it.
As often as it passes through, it will take you;
   for morning by morning it will pass through,
   by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
   and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
   he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon
to do his deed—strange is his deed!—
   and to work his work—alien is his work!
Now therefore do not scoff,
   or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
   from the Lord God of hosts upon the whole land.


Listen, and hear my voice;
   Pay attention, and hear my speech.
Do those who plough for sowing plough continually?
   Do they continually open and harrow their ground?
When they have levelled its surface,
   do they not scatter dill, sow cummin,
and plant wheat in rows
   and barley in its proper place,
   and spelt as the border?
For they are well instructed;
   their God teaches them.


Dill is not threshed with a threshing-sledge,
   nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin;
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
   and cummin with a rod.
Grain is crushed for bread,
   but one does not thresh it for ever;
one drives the cartwheel and horses over it,
   but does not pulverize it.
This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
   he is wonderful in counsel,
   and excellent in wisdom.

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.

Matthew 13.1-23

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’

Then the disciples came and asked him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ He answered, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.” With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
“You will indeed listen, but never understand,
   and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
   and their ears are hard of hearing,
     and they have shut their eyes;
     so that they might not look with their eyes,
   and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
   and I would heal them.”
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.

‘Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’

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 Well done, good and faithful servant:
you have been faithful over a little, I will make you ruler over much. 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 Well done, good and faithful servant:
you have been faithful over a little, I will make you ruler over much. 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 Father, lover of souls,
who chose your servant Nicholas
      to be a bishop in the Church,
that he might give freely out of the treasures of your grace:
make us mindful of the needs of others
and, as we have received, so teach us also to give;
through Jesus Christ your Son 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.