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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 Wednesday
Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Preparation

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

The Blessing of Light (page 110) may replace the Preparation at Evening Prayer on any occasion.

One or more of the following is said or sung:

A prayer of thanksgiving (page 110),

Blessed are you, Lord God, creator of day and night:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As darkness falls you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
By the light of Christ, your living Word,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
that we may walk as children of light
and sing your praise throughout the world.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
AllBlessed be God for ever.

or a suitable hymn,

or A Song of God’s Descending

1I love you, O Lord my strength.
The Lord is my crag, my fortress and my deliverer.

2In my distress I called upon the Lord
and cried out to my God for help.

3He heard my voice in his temple
and my cry came to his ears.

4He parted the heavens and came down
and thick darkness was under his feet.

5He rode upon the cherubim and flew;
he came flying on the wings of the wind.

6He made darkness his covering round about him,
dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.

7From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds
burst hailstones and coals of fire.

8The Lord also thundered out of heaven;
the Most High uttered his voice
with hailstones and coals of fire.

9For you will save a lowly people
and bring down the high looks of the proud.

10You also shall light my candle;
the Lord my God shall make my darkness to be bright.

11As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is tried in the fire;
he is a shield to all who trust in him.

Psalm 18.1, 6, 7 ,10-14, 28, 29, 31

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 11

Refrain: The Lord’s throne is in heaven.

1 In the Lord have I taken refuge; 
how then can you say to me,
‘Flee like a bird to the hills,

2 ‘For see how the wicked bend the bow
and fit their arrows to the string, 
to shoot from the shadows at the true of heart.

3 ‘When the foundations are destroyed, 
what can the righteous do?’ R

4 The Lord is in his holy temple; 
the Lord’s throne is in heaven.

5 His eyes behold, 
his eyelids try every mortal being.

6 The Lord tries the righteous as well as the wicked, 
but those who delight in violence his soul abhors.

7 Upon the wicked he shall rain coals of fire
and burning sulphur; 
scorching wind shall be their portion to drink.

8 For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds, 
and those who are upright shall behold his face.

Refrain: The Lord’s throne is in heaven.

God of heaven,
when the foundations are shaken
and there is no escape,
test us, but not to destruction,
look on the face of your anointed
and heal us in Jesus Christ your Son.

Psalm 12

Refrain: You, O Lord, will watch over us.

1 Help me, Lord, for no one godly is left; 
the faithful have vanished from the whole human race.

2 They all speak falsely with their neighbour; 
they flatter with their lips, but speak from a double heart.

3 O that the Lord would cut off all flattering lips 
and the tongue that speaks proud boasts!

4 Those who say, ‘With our tongue will we prevail; 
our lips we will use; who is lord over us?’ R

5 ‘Because of the oppression of the needy,
and the groaning of the poor, 
I will rise up now,’ says the Lord,
‘and set them in the safety that they long for.’

6 The words of the Lord are pure words, 
like silver refined in the furnace
and purified seven times in the fire.

7 You, O Lord, will watch over us 
and guard us from this generation for ever.

8 The wicked strut on every side, 
when what is vile is exalted by the whole human race.

Refrain: You, O Lord, will watch over us.

Lord, when faith is faint
and speech veils our intentions,
restore us by your word of power and purity,
both now and for ever.

Psalm 13

Refrain: I love the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my supplication.

1 How long will you forget me, O Lord; for ever? 
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long shall I have anguish in my soul
and grief in my heart, day after day? 
How long shall my enemy triumph over me? R

3 Look upon me and answer, O Lord my God; 
lighten my eyes, lest I sleep in death;

4 Lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed against him,’ 
and my foes rejoice that I have fallen. R

5 But I put my trust in your steadfast love; 
my heart will rejoice in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord, 
for he has dealt so bountifully with me.

Refrain: I love the Lord, for he has heard the voice of my supplication.

Jesus Christ, Son of God,
who passed through the dark sleep of death,
remember those who cry to you
in shame and silence and defeat
and raise them to your risen life,
for you are alive and reign 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.

Judith 6.10-7.7

Then Holofernes ordered his slaves, who waited on him in his tent, to seize Achior and take him away to Bethulia and hand him over to the Israelites. So the slaves took him and led him out of the camp into the plain, and from the plain they went up into the hill country and came to the springs below Bethulia. When the men of the town saw them, they seized their weapons and ran out of the town to the top of the hill, and all the slingers kept them from coming up by throwing stones at them. So having taken shelter below the hill, they bound Achior and left him lying at the foot of the hill, and returned to their master.

Then the Israelites came down from their town and found him; they untied him and brought him into Bethulia and placed him before the magistrates of their town, who in those days were Uzziah son of Micah, of the tribe of Simeon, and Chabris son of Gothoniel, and Charmis son of Melchiel. They called together all the elders of the town, and all their young men and women ran to the assembly. They set Achior in the midst of all their people, and Uzziah questioned him about what had happened. He answered and told them what had taken place at the council of Holofernes, and all that he had said in the presence of the Assyrian leaders, and all that Holofernes had boasted he would do against the house of Israel. Then the people fell down and worshipped God, and cried out:

‘O Lord God of heaven, see their arrogance, and have pity on our people in their humiliation, and look kindly today on the faces of those who are consecrated to you.’

Then they reassured Achior, and praised him highly. Uzziah took him from the assembly to his own house and gave a banquet for the elders; and all that night they called on the God of Israel for help.

The next day Holofernes ordered his whole army, and all the allies who had joined him, to break camp and move against Bethulia, and to seize the passes up into the hill country and make war on the Israelites. So all their warriors marched off that day; their fighting forces numbered one hundred and seventy thousand infantry and twelve thousand cavalry, not counting the baggage and the foot-soldiers handling it, a very great multitude. They encamped in the valley near Bethulia, beside the spring, and they spread out in breadth over Dothan as far as Balbaim and in length from Bethulia to Cyamon, which faces Esdraelon.

When the Israelites saw their vast numbers, they were greatly terrified and said to one another, ‘They will now strip clean the whole land; neither the high mountains nor the valleys nor the hills will bear their weight.’ Yet they all seized their weapons, and when they had kindled fires on their towers, they remained on guard all that night.

On the second day Holofernes led out all his cavalry in full view of the Israelites in Bethulia. He reconnoitred the approaches to their town, and visited the springs that supplied their water; he seized them and set guards of soldiers over them, and then returned to his army.

or Leviticus 8

Canticle

A Song of the Blessed, or another suitable canticle,
for example, number 69 (page 627), may be said

Refrain:

AllRejoice and be glad
for you are the light of the world,
and great is your reward in heaven. Alleluia.

1Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

3Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

4Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

5Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

6Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

7Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

8Blessed are those who suffer persecution
for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5.3-10

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.

AllRejoice and be glad
for you are the light of the world,
and great is your reward in heaven. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

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

2 Timothy 1.1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

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 Simeon) (page 613) may be said

AllRemember your promise of mercy,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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.

AllRemember your promise of mercy,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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

The social services
All who work in the criminal justice system
Victims and perpetrators of crime
The work of aid agencies throughout the world
Those living in poverty or under oppression

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

Blessed Lord,
who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them,
to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them
that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word,
we may embrace and for ever hold fast
      the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
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.