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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, 5 August 2020
Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642 [Lesser Festival]

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 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 119.33-56

Refrain: My delight shall be in your commandments.

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes 
and I shall keep it to the end.

34 Give me understanding and I shall keep your law; 
I shall keep it with my whole heart.

35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, 
for therein is my delight.

36 Incline my heart to your testimonies 
and not to unjust gain. R

37 Turn away my eyes lest they gaze on vanities; 
O give me life in your ways.

38 Confirm to your servant your promise, 
which stands for all who fear you.

39 Turn away the reproach which I dread, 
because your judgements are good.

40 Behold, I long for your commandments; 
in your righteousness give me life. R

41 Let your faithful love come unto me, O Lord, 
even your salvation, according to your promise.

42 Then shall I answer those who taunt me, 
for my trust is in your word.

43 O take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, 
for my hope is in your judgements.

44 So shall I always keep your law; 
I shall keep it for ever and ever. R

45 I will walk at liberty, 
because I study your commandments.

46 I will tell of your testimonies, even before kings, 
and will not be ashamed.

47 My delight shall be in your commandments, 
which I have greatly loved.

48 My hands will I lift up to your commandments,
which I love, 
and I will meditate on your statutes. R

49 Remember your word to your servant, 
on which you have built my hope.

50 This is my comfort in my trouble, 
that your promise gives me life.

51 The proud have derided me cruelly, 
but I have not turned aside from your law.

52 I have remembered your everlasting judgements, O Lord, 
and have been comforted. R

53 I am seized with indignation at the wicked, 
for they have forsaken your law.

54 Your statutes have been like songs to me 
in the house of my pilgrimage.

55 I have thought on your name in the night, O Lord, 
and so have I kept your law.

56 These blessings have been mine, 
for I have kept your commandments.

Refrain: My delight shall be in your commandments.

God of loving mercy,
in this place of our pilgrimage
turn your laws into songs,
that we may find your promises
fulfilled 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.

Ezekiel 33.21-end

In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, someone who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, ‘The city has fallen.’ Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; but he had opened my mouth by the time the fugitive came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer unable to speak.

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, the inhabitants of these waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given to us to possess.’ Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: You eat flesh with the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood; shall you then possess the land? You depend on your swords, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbour’s wife; shall you then possess the land? Say this to them, Thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword; and those who are in the open field I will give to the wild animals to be devoured; and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence. I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and its proud might shall come to an end; and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that no one will pass through. Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.

As for you, mortal, your people who talk together about you by the walls, and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to a neighbour, ‘Come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ They come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but they will not obey them. For flattery is on their lips, but their heart is set on their gain. To them you are like a singer of love songs, one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; they hear what you say, but they will not do it. When this comes—and come it will!—then they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

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.

James 3

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

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

Refrain:

All Those who gave up their lives for Christ and followed in the Way
rejoice with God now and for ever. 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 gave up their lives for Christ and followed in the Way
rejoice with God now and for ever. 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 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

Lord God almighty,
who so kindled the faith of King Oswald with your Spirit
that he set up the sign of the cross in his kingdom
and turned his people to the light of Christ:
grant that we, being fired by the same Spirit,
may always bear our cross before the world
and be found faithful servants of the gospel;
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.