Evening Prayer
Advent
Thursday, 7 December 2017
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Teacher of the Faith, 397
[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 44.1-8

But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
   Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the Lord who made you,
   who formed you in the womb and will help you:
Do not fear, O Jacob my servant,
   Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
   and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
   and my blessing on your offspring.
They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
   like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’,
   another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, ‘The Lord’s’,
   and adopt the name of Israel.


Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
   and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
   besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
   let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
   Let them tell us what is yet to be.
Do not fear, or be afraid;
   have I not told you from of old and declared it?
   You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
   There is no other rock; I know not one.

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 21.9-21

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth cornelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.

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 Those who keep and teach the commandments
will be considered great in heaven. 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 Those who keep and teach the commandments
will be considered great in heaven. 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

God of hosts,
who called Ambrose from the governor's throne
to be a bishop in your Church
and an intrepid champion of your faithful people:
mercifully grant that, as he did not fear to rebuke rulers,
so we, with like courage,
      may contend for the faith we have received;
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.