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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
Epiphany Season
Friday, 24 January 2020
Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622 [Lesser Festival]
Seventh Day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Preparation

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

From the rising of the sun to its setting
Allyour glory is proclaimed in all the world.

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.
You gave your Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the anointing of the Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
As you call us into your marvellous light,
may our lives bear witness to your truth
and our lips never cease to proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
AllBlessed be God for ever.

A Song of God’s Splendour (page 561), the following or another suitable hymn

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name!

Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
high on his heart he will bear it for thee,
comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness
of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine:
truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness,
these are the offerings to lay on his shrine.

These though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
he will accept for the name that is dear;
mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
trust for our trembling and hope for our fear.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name!

J S B Monsell
(Tune: 13 10 13 10)

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 73

Refrain: In the Lord God have I made my refuge.

1 Truly, God is loving to Israel, 
to those who are pure in heart.

2 Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone; 
my steps had well-nigh slipped.

3 For I was envious of the proud; 
I saw the wicked in such prosperity;

4 For they suffer no pains 
and their bodies are sleek and sound;

5 They come to no misfortune like other folk; 
nor are they plagued as others are;

6 Therefore pride is their necklace 
and violence wraps them like a cloak.

7 Their iniquity comes from within; 
the conceits of their hearts overflow. R

8 They scoff, and speak only of evil; 
they talk of oppression from on high.

9 They set their mouth against the heavens, 
and their tongue ranges round the earth;

10 And so the people turn to them 
and find in them no fault.

11 They say, ‘How should God know? 
Is there knowledge in the Most High?’

12 Behold, these are the wicked; 
ever at ease, they increase their wealth.

13 Is it in vain that I cleansed my heart 
and washed my hands in innocence?

14 All day long have I been stricken 
and chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, ‘I will speak as they do,’ 
I should have betrayed the generation of your children. R

16 Then thought I to understand this, 
but it was too hard for me,

17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God 
and understood the end of the wicked:

18 How you set them in slippery places; 
you cast them down to destruction.

19 How suddenly do they come to destruction, 
perish and come to a fearful end!

20 As with a dream when one awakes, 
so, Lord, when you arise you will despise their image.

21 When my heart became embittered 
and I was pierced to the quick,

22 I was but foolish and ignorant; 
I was like a brute beast in your presence. R

23 Yet I am always with you; 
you hold me by my right hand.

24 You will guide me with your counsel 
and afterwards receive me with glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you? 
And there is nothing upon earth that I desire
in comparison with you.

26 Though my flesh and my heart fail me, 
God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

27 Truly, those who forsake you will perish; 
you will put to silence the faithless who betray you.

28 But it is good for me to draw near to God; 
in the Lord God have I made my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.

Refrain: In the Lord God have I made my refuge.

Holy God,
may we find wisdom in your presence
and set our hope not on uncertain riches
but on the love that holds us to the end;
in 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.

Hosea 1.1-2.1

The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri, in the days of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah, and in the days of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel.

When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Go, take for yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.’ So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

And the Lord said to him, ‘Name him Jezreel; for in a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.’

She conceived again and bore a daughter. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have pity on the house of Israel or forgive them. But I will have pity on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God; I will not save them by bow, or by sword, or by war, or by horses, or by horsemen.’

When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said, ‘Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people and I am not your God.’

Yet the number of the people of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which can be neither measured nor numbered; and in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people’, it shall be said to them, ‘Children of the living God.’ The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head; and they shall take possession of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

Say to your brother, Ammi, and to your sister, Ruhamah.

Canticle


A Song of Praise, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 63 (page 621) or number 71 (page 629), may be said

Refrain:

AllYou created all things, O God,
and are worthy of our praise for ever. Alleluia.

1You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power.

2For you have created all things,
and by your will they have their being.

3You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,
and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and nation.

4You have made them to be a kingdom and priests
serving our God,
and they will reign with you on earth.

Revelation 4.11; 5.9b, 10

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.

AllYou created all things, O God,
and are worthy of our praise for ever. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

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

1 Corinthians 8

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘no idol in the world really exists’, and that ‘there is no God but one.’ Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. ‘Food will not bring us close to God.’ We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

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

Arise, shine, for your light has come;
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you.
AllArise, shine, for your light has come;
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you.
God’s salvation has been openly shown to all people.
AllThe glory of the Lord is rising upon you.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllArise, shine, for your light has come;
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you.

from Isaiah 60

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or A Song of Christ’s Appearing (page 621) 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 unity of the Church
The peace of the world
The healing of the sick
The revelation of Christ to those from whom his glory is hidden
All who travel

A form of prayer found on page 379 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

Holy God,
who called your bishop Francis de Sales
to bring many to Christ through his devout life
and to renew your Church with patience and understanding:
grant that we may, by word and example,
reflect your gentleness and love to all we meet;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
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

Believing the promises of God,
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)

Believing the promises of God,
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 sends us to the nations,
give us the power of his Spirit.
AllAmen.

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