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
Sunday, 18 March 2018
The Fifth Sunday of Lent
(Passiontide begins)


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

Let your ways be known upon earth
Allyour saving power among the nations.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
As we behold your Son, enthroned on the cross,
stir up in us the fire of your love,
that we may be cleansed from all our sins,
and walk with you in newness of life
singing the praise of him who died
for us and our salvation.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

Saviour of the World (page 644), the following or another suitable hymn

The royal banners forward go,
the cross shines forth in mystic glow;
where he in flesh, our flesh who made,
our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

There whilst he hung, his sacred side
by soldier’s spear was opened wide,
to cleanse us in the precious flood
of water mingled with his blood.

Fulfilled is now what David told
in true prophetic song of old,
how God the nations’ King should be;
for God is reigning from the tree.

O tree of glory, tree most fair,
ordained those holy limbs to bear,
how bright in purple robe it stood,
the purple of a Saviour’s blood!

Upon its arms, like balance true,
he weighed the price for sinners due,
the price which none but he could pay,
and spoiled the spoiler of his prey.

To thee, eternal Three in One,
let homage meet by all be done:
as by the cross thou dost restore,
so rule and guide us evermore.

Venantius Fortunatus, tr: J M Neale (alt.)
(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.

The Word of God


The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 34*

Refrain: O taste and see that the Lord is gracious.

1 I will bless the Lord at all times; 
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

2 My soul shall glory in the Lord; 
let the humble hear and be glad.

3 O magnify the Lord with me; 
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the Lord and he answered me 
and delivered me from all my fears.

5 Look upon him and be radiant 
and your faces shall not be ashamed. R

6 This poor soul cried, and the Lord heard me 
and saved me from all my troubles.

7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him 
and delivers them.

8 O taste and see that the Lord is gracious; 
blessed is the one who trusts in him.

9 Fear the Lord, all you his holy ones, 
for those who fear him lack nothing.

10 Lions may lack and suffer hunger, 
but those who seek the Lord
lack nothing that is good. R

11 Come, my children, and listen to me; 
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12 Who is there who delights in life 
and longs for days to enjoy good things?

13 Keep your tongue from evil 
and your lips from lying words.

14 Turn from evil and do good; 
seek peace and pursue it. R

15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous 
and his ears are open to their cry.

16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, 
to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry and the Lord hears them 
and delivers them out of all their troubles.

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted 
and will save those who are crushed in spirit. R

19 Many are the troubles of the righteous; 
from them all will the Lord deliver them.

20 He keeps all their bones, 
so that not one of them is broken.

21 But evil shall slay the wicked 
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22 The Lord ransoms the life of his servants 
and will condemn none who seek refuge in him.

Refrain: O taste and see that the Lord is gracious.

Send your holy angels
to watch over us, O God,
that on our lips will be found your truth
and in our hearts your love;
so we may ever taste your goodness
in the land of the living;
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.

Exodus 7.8-24

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘When Pharaoh says to you, “Perform a wonder”, then you shall say to Aaron, “Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, and it will become a snake.” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did as the Lord had commanded; Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same by their secret arts. Each one threw down his staff, and they became snakes; but Aaron’s staff swallowed up theirs. Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water; stand by at the river bank to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was turned into a snake. Say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness.’ But until now you have not listened. Thus says the Lord, ‘By this you shall know that I am the Lord.’ See, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall be turned to blood. The fish in the river shall die, the river itself shall stink, and the Egyptians shall be unable to drink water from the Nile.” The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over its rivers, its canals, and its ponds, and all its pools of water—so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.”

Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and of his officials he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the river, and all the water in the river was turned into blood, and the fish in the river died. The river stank so that the Egyptians could not drink its water, and there was blood throughout the whole land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts; so Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. And all the Egyptians had to dig along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the river.


The Song of Christ’s Glory, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 66 (page 624) or number 87 (page 644), may be said


AllAt the name of Jesus
every knee shall bow. Alleluia.

1Christ Jesus was in the form of God,
but he did not cling to equality with God.

2He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
and was born in our human likeness.

3Being found in human form he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

4Therefore God has highly exalted him,
and bestowed on him the name above every name,

5That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth;

6And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2.5-11

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.

AllAt the name of Jesus
every knee shall bow. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

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

Romans 5.12-21

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Allby your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.
Christ committed no sin, no guile was found on his lips.
AllWe adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
AllBy your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.
By his wounds you have been healed.
AllWe adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

cf 1 Peter 2

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or A Song of Praise (page 627) may be said


AllGod’s love for us is revealed
in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.

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.


AllGod’s love for us is revealed
in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.


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 persecuted Church
The oppressed peoples of the world
All who are lonely
All who are near to death
All who are facing loss

A form of prayer found on page 381 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer


Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
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.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

Standing at the foot of the cross,
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.


Standing at the foot of the cross,
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.

The Conclusion

May Christ, who bore our sins on the cross,
set us free to serve him with joy.

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