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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
Easter Season
Wednesday, 24 April 2024
Mellitus, Bishop of London, first Bishop at St Paul’s, 624 [Commemoration]
The Seven Martyrs of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Solomon Islands, 2003 [Commemoration]

Preparation

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

In your resurrection, O Christ,
Alllet heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign Lord,
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
From the deep waters of death
you brought your people to new birth
by raising your Son to life in triumph.
Through him dark death has been destroyed
and radiant life is everywhere restored.
As you call us out of darkness into his marvellous light
may our lives reflect his glory
and our lips repeat the endless song.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

A Song of David (page 573), the following or another suitable hymn

Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
your sweetest notes employ,
the Paschal victory to hymn
in strains of holy joy.

How Judah’s lion burst his chains
and crushed the serpent’s head;
and brought with him, from death’s domains,
the long-imprisoned dead.

Triumphant in his glory now
his sceptre ruleth all,
earth, heaven, and hell before him bow,
and at his footstool fall.

While joyful thus his praise we sing,
his mercy we implore,
into his palace bright to bring
and keep us evermore.

All glory to the Father be,
all glory to the Son,
all glory, Holy Ghost, to thee,
while endless ages run. Alleluia, Amen.

Fulbert of Chartres, tr: Robert Campbell
(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 47

Refrain: O sing praises to God, sing praises.

1 Clap your hands together, all you peoples; 
O sing to God with shouts of joy.

2 For the Lord Most High is to be feared; 
he is the great King over all the earth.

3 He subdued the peoples under us 
and the nations under our feet.

4 He has chosen our heritage for us, 
the pride of Jacob, whom he loves. R

5 God has gone up with a merry noise, 
the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.

6 O sing praises to God, sing praises; 
sing praises to our King, sing praises.

7 For God is the King of all the earth; 
sing praises with all your skill. R

8 God reigns over the nations; 
God has taken his seat upon his holy throne.

9 The nobles of the peoples are gathered together 
with the people of the God of Abraham.

10 For the powers of the earth belong to God 
and he is very highly exalted.

Refrain: O sing praises to God, sing praises.

As Christ was raised by your glory, O Father,
so may we be raised to new life
and rejoice to be called your children,
both now and for ever.

Psalm 48

Refrain: We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God.

1 Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, 
in the city of our God.

2 His holy mountain is fair and lifted high, 
the joy of all the earth.

3 On Mount Zion, the divine dwelling place, 
stands the city of the great king.

4 In her palaces God has shown himself 
to be a sure refuge. R

5 For behold, the kings of the earth assembled 
and swept forward together.

6 They saw, and were dumbfounded; 
dismayed, they fled in terror.

7 Trembling seized them there;
they writhed like a woman in labour, 
as when the east wind shatters the ships of Tarshish.

8 As we had heard, so have we seen
in the city of the Lord of hosts, the city of our God: 
God has established her for ever. R

9 We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God, 
in the midst of your temple.

10 As with your name, O God,
so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; 
your right hand is full of justice.

11 Let Mount Zion rejoice and the daughters of Judah be glad, 
because of your judgements, O Lord.

12 Walk about Zion and go round about her;
count all her towers; 
consider well her bulwarks; pass through her citadels,

13 That you may tell those who come after
that such is our God for ever and ever. 
It is he that shall be our guide for evermore.

Refrain: We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God.

Father of lights,
raise us with Christ to your eternal city,
that, with kings and nations,
we may wait in the midst of your temple
and see your glory for ever and 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.

Deuteronomy 10.12-end

So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven.

Canticle

A Song of Faith, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 60 (page 618) or number 74 (page 632), may be said

Refrain:

AllGod raised Christ from the dead,
the Lamb without spot or stain. Alleluia.

1Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ!

2By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

3Into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading,
kept in heaven for you,

4Who are being protected by the power of God through faith,
for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

5You were ransomed from the futile ways of your ancestors
not with perishable things like silver or gold

6But with the precious blood of Christ
like that of a lamb without spot or stain.

7Through him you have confidence in God,
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are set on God.

1 Peter 1.3-5, 18, 19, 21

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 raised Christ from the dead,
the Lamb without spot or stain. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

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

Ephesians 5.1-14

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
‘Sleeper, awake!
   Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.’

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

The Lord is my strength and my song:
he has become my salvation.
AllThe Lord is my strength and my song:
he has become my salvation.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the Lord.
AllHe has become my salvation.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
AllThe Lord is my strength and my song:
he has become my salvation.

from Psalm 118

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or Great and Wonderful (page 629) may be said

Refrain:

AllThe stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone. 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:

AllThe stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone. 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 people of God, that they may proclaim the risen Lord
God’s creation, that the peoples of the earth may meet their responsibility to care
Those in despair and darkness, that they may find the hope and light of Christ
Those in fear of death, that they may find faith through the resurrection
Prisoners and captives

A form of prayer found on page 382 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 God,
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
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)

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
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 risen Christ grant us the joys of eternal life.
AllAmen.

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