Evening Prayer (Evensong) in Contemporary Language

Please note: Daily Prayer provided by the official Church of England web site, © The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2002-2004.

Evening Prayer
from All Saints’ Day until
the day before the First Sunday of Advent
Sunday, 19 November 2017
The Second Sunday before Advent

Preparation

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

Your faithful servants bless you.
AllThey make known the glory of your kingdom. 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.
Now, as darkness is falling,
wash away our transgressions,
cleanse us by your refining fire
and make us temples of your Holy Spirit.
By the light of Christ,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
and make us ready to enter your kingdom,
where songs of praise for ever sound.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

A Song of Tobit (page 596), the following or another suitable hymn

Give me the wings of faith to rise
within the veil, and see
the saints above, how great their joys,
how bright their glories be.

Once they were mourning here below,
and wet their couch with tears;
they wrestled hard, as we do now,
with sins and doubts and fears.

I ask them whence their victory came:
they, with united breath,
ascribe their conquest to the Lamb,
their triumph to his death.

They marked the footsteps that he trod,
his zeal inspired their breast,
and, following their incarnate God,
possess the promised rest.

Our glorious Leader claims our praise
for his own pattern given;
while the long cloud of witnesses
show the same path to heaven.

Isaac Watts
(Tune: CM)

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 89.19-37*

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

19 You spoke once in a vision and said to your faithful people: 
‘I have set a youth above the mighty;
I have raised a young man over the people.

20 ‘I have found David my servant; 
with my holy oil have I anointed him.

21 ‘My hand shall hold him fast 
and my arm shall strengthen him.

22 ‘No enemy shall deceive him, 
nor any wicked person afflict him.

23 ‘I will strike down his foes before his face 
and beat down those that hate him.

24 ‘My truth also and my steadfast love shall be with him, 
and in my name shall his head be exalted.

25 ‘I will set his dominion upon the sea 
and his right hand upon the rivers.

26 ‘He shall call to me, “You are my Father, 
my God, and the rock of my salvation;”

27 ‘And I will make him my firstborn: 
the most high above the kings of the earth.

28 ‘The love I have pledged to him will I keep for ever, 
and my covenant will stand fast with him.

29 ‘His seed also will I make to endure for ever 
and his throne as the days of heaven. R

30 ‘But if his children forsake my law 
and cease to walk in my judgements,

31 ‘If they break my statutes 
and do not keep my commandments,

32 ‘I will punish their offences with a rod 
and their sin with scourges.

33 ‘But I will not take from him my steadfast love 
nor suffer my truth to fail.

34 ‘My covenant will I not break 
nor alter what has gone out of my lips.

35 ‘Once for all have I sworn by my holiness 
that I will not prove false to David.

36 ‘His seed shall endure for ever 
and his throne as the sun before me;

37 ‘It shall stand fast for ever as the moon, 
the enduring witness in the heavens.’

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

Faithful God,
remember your promise
fulfilled in your anointed Son Jesus Christ,
in whose strength alone we stand,
now and for ever.

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.

1 Kings 1.15-40

So Bathsheba went to the king in his room. The king was very old; Abishag the Shunammite was attending the king. Bathsheba bowed and did obeisance to the king, and the king said, ‘What do you wish?’ She said to him, ‘My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying: Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne. But now suddenly Adonijah has become king, though you, my lord the king, do not know it. He has sacrificed oxen, fatted cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the children of the king, the priest Abiathar, and Joab the commander of the army; but your servant Solomon he has not invited. But you, my lord the king—the eyes of all Israel are on you to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his ancestors, that my son Solomon and I will be counted offenders.’

While she was still speaking with the king, the prophet Nathan came in. The king was told, ‘Here is the prophet Nathan.’ When he came in before the king, he did obeisance to the king, with his face to the ground. Nathan said, ‘My lord the king, have you said, “Adonijah shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne”? For today he has gone down and has sacrificed oxen, fatted cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s children, Joab the commander of the army, and the priest Abiathar, who are now eating and drinking before him, and saying, “Long live King Adonijah!” But he did not invite me, your servant, and the priest Zadok, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon. Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not let your servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?’

King David answered, ‘Summon Bathsheba to me.’ So she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. The king swore, saying, ‘As the Lord lives, who has saved my life from every adversity, as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, “Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit on my throne in my place”, so will I do this day.’ Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and did obeisance to the king, and said, ‘May my lord King David live for ever!’

King David said, ‘Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.’ When they came before the king, the king said to them, ‘Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. There let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him king over Israel; then blow the trumpet, and say, “Long live King Solomon!” You shall go up following him. Let him enter and sit on my throne; he shall be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.’ Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, ‘Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so ordain. As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.’

So the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and led him to Gihon. There the priest Zadok took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ And all the people went up following him, playing on pipes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth quaked at their noise.

Canticle

A Song of God’s Assembled, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 70 (page 628) or number 73 (page 631), may be said

Refrain:

AllWe have come before the throne of God
to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Alleluia.

1We have come before God’s holy mountain,
to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.

2We have come before countless angels making festival,
before the assembly of the firstborn citizens of heaven.

3We have come before God, who is judge of all,
before the spirits of the just made perfect.

4We have come before Jesus,
the mediator of the new covenant.

5We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken:
so let us give thanks and offer to God acceptable worship,

6Full of reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12.22-24a, 28, 29

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.

AllWe have come before the throne of God
to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 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 1.4-18

John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds;
   every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
   and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be. Amen.

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.’

Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

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

Lord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.
AllLord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.
For I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
AllAnd afterwards receive me with glory.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllLord, you will guide me with your counsel
and afterwards receive me with glory.

from Psalm 73

Gospel Canticle

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

Refrain:

AllThe righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.

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:

AllThe righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.

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 saints on earth, that they may live as citizens of heaven
All people, that they may hear and believe the word of God
All who fear the winter months
All sovereigns and political leaders, that they may imitate the righteous rule of Christ
All who grieve or wait with the dying

A form of prayer found on page 384 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

Heavenly Father,
whose blessed Son was revealed
      to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory
we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he 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

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
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)

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
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 Christ, who has opened the kingdom of heaven,
bring us to reign with him in glory.
AllAmen.

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