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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 on Thursday
Thursday, 24 September 2020

Preparation

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

One or more of the following is said or sung:
a prayer of thanksgiving (page 110),
a suitable hymn,
or A Song of God’s Chosen One

1There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

3The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

4He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

5But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

7The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

8They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11.1,2,3b-4a,6,9

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.

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 39

Refrain: Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days.

1 I said, ‘I will keep watch over my ways, 
so that I offend not with my tongue.

2 ‘I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, 
while the wicked are in my sight.’

3 So I held my tongue and said nothing; 
I kept silent but to no avail. R

4 My distress increased, my heart grew hot within me; 
while I mused, the fire was kindled
and I spoke out with my tongue:

5 ‘Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days, 
that I may know how short my time is.

6 ‘You have made my days but a handsbreadth,
and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight; 
truly, even those who stand upright are but a breath.

7 ‘We walk about like a shadow
and in vain we are in turmoil; 
we heap up riches and cannot tell who will gather them. R

8 ‘And now, what is my hope? 
Truly my hope is even in you.

9 ‘Deliver me from all my transgressions 
and do not make me the taunt of the fool.’

10 I fell silent and did not open my mouth, 
for surely it was your doing.

11 Take away your plague from me; 
I am consumed by the blows of your hand.

12 With rebukes for sin you punish us;
like a moth you consume our beauty; 
truly, everyone is but a breath. R

13 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; 
hold not your peace at my tears.

14 For I am but a stranger with you, 
a wayfarer, as all my forebears were.

15 Turn your gaze from me, that I may be glad again, 
before I go my way and am no more.

Refrain: Lord, let me know my end and the number of my days.

O Christ, Son of the living God,
help us when we are too cast down to pray,
and grant that we may trust you all our days,
for you are with us in our living and our dying,
Jesus, Lord and God.

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.

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.

Wisdom 8.5-18


If riches are a desirable possession in life,
what is richer than wisdom, the active cause of all things?
And if understanding is effective,
who more than she is fashioner of what exists?
And if anyone loves righteousness,
her labours are virtues;
for she teaches self-control and prudence,
justice and courage;
nothing in life is more profitable for mortals than these.
And if anyone longs for wide experience,
she knows the things of old, and infers the things to come;
she understands turns of speech and the solutions of riddles;
she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders
and of the outcome of seasons and times.
Therefore I determined to take her to live with me,
knowing that she would give me good counsel
and encouragement in cares and grief.
Because of her I shall have glory among the multitudes
and honour in the presence of the elders, though I am young.
I shall be found keen in judgement,
and in the sight of rulers I shall be admired.
When I am silent they will wait for me,
and when I speak they will give heed;
if I speak at greater length,
they will put their hands on their mouths.
Because of her I shall have immortality,
and leave an everlasting remembrance to those who come after me.
I shall govern peoples,
and nations will be subject to me;
dread monarchs will be afraid of me when they hear of me;
among the people I shall show myself capable, and courageous in war.
When I enter my house, I shall find rest with her;
for companionship with her has no bitterness,
and life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy.
When I considered these things inwardly,
and pondered in my heart
that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality,
and in friendship with her, pure delight,
and in the labours of her hands, unfailing wealth,
and in the experience of her company, understanding,
and renown in sharing her words,
I went about seeking how to get her for myself.

or 1 Chronicles 29.10-20

Canticle

Great and Wonderful, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 63 (page 621), may be said

Refrain:

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

1Great and wonderful are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty.

2Just and true are your ways,
O ruler of the nations.

3Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
for you alone are holy.

4All nations shall come and worship in your presence:
for your just dealings have been revealed.

Revelation 15.3, 4

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.

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

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

Mark 12.1-12

Then he began to speak to them in parables. ‘A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watch-tower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But those tenants said to one another, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture:
“The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
   and it is amazing in our eyes”?’

When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.

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

Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned.
AllI have called you by name; you are mine.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

from Isaiah 43

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or A Song of Christ’s Appearing (page 621) may be said

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

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:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

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 362–363

Local government, community leaders
All who provide local services
Those who work with young or elderly people
Schools, colleges and universities
Emergency and rescue organizations

One of the forms of prayer found on pages 362–371 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, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
      upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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

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)

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

All The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.
Amen.

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