Evening Prayer for the Feast of St. Mark

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Opening Verses

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”

Gathering Prayer

Almighty God, who gave to some of your followers the grace to be apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, perfect us and all your saints for the work of ministry and the edifying of the body of Christ, till we come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Blessed feasts of blessed martyrs Latin, tr. Neale Hymnal 1982 #238

1. Blessed feasts of blessed martyrs, holy women, holy men, with affection’s recollections greet we your return again. Worthy deeds they wrought, and wonders, worthy of the Name they bore; we, with meetest praise and sweetest, honor them for evermore.

2. Faith prevailing, hope unfailing, loving Christ with single heart, thus they, glorious and victorious, bravely bore the martyr’s part, by contempt of every anguish, by unyielding battle done; victors at the last, they triumph, with the host of angels one.

3. Therefore, ye that reign in glory, fellow heirs with Christ on high, join to ours your supplication when before him we draw nigh, praying that, this life completed, all its fleeting moments past, by his grace may we be worthy of eternal bliss at last.

Psalm 2: 7-12 Quare fremuerunt gentes?

7 Let me announce the decree of the LORD: * he said to me, “You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.

8 Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance * and the ends of the earth for your possession.

9 You shall crush them with an iron rod * and shatter them like a pot of clay.”

10 And now, you kings, be wise; * be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Submit to the LORD with fear, * and with trembling bow before him;

12 Lest he be angry and you perish; * for his wrath is quickly kindled.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen

The Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 52:7-10

7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, with their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye when the Lord brings back Zion.

9 Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.

10 The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Hymn: By all your saints still striving Horatio Nelson Hymnal 1982 #231

1. By all your saints still striving, for all your saints at rest, your holy Name, O Jesus, for evermore be blessed. You rose, our King victorious that they might wear the crown and ever shine in splendor reflected from your throne.

2. For Mark, O Lord, we praise you, the weak by grace made strong: his witness in his Gospel becomes victorious song. May we, in all our weakness, receive your power divine, and all, as faithful branches, grow strong in you, the Vine.

3. Then let us praise the Father and worship God the Son and sing to God the Spirit, eternal Three in One. till all the ransomed number who stand before the throne ascribe all power and glory and praise to God alone.

The New Testament Lesson: Mark 1:1-15

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2 As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’”

4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the good news.”

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Homily: Let Me Get Right to the Point

A Statement of Faith, A Song of God’s Love (1 John 4:7-11)

Beloved, let us love one another, *

for love is of God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, *

for God is Love.

In this the love of God was revealed among us, *

that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us *

and sent his Son that sins might be forgiven.

Beloved, since God loved us so much, *

we ought also to love one another.

For if we love one another, God abides in us, *

and God’s love will be perfected in us.

The Collects

A Collect for St. Mark

Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, or ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Zeal and Service

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country and our world a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Prayer for Mission

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

A Litany of Healing

Let us name before God those for whom we offer our prayers, either silently or aloud.

God the Father, you will that all people be healed and made whole;

We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

God the Son, you came that we might have life, and have it to the full;

We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

God the Holy Spirit, you make our bodies the temple of your presence;

We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Lord, grant your healing grace to all who are sick, injured, or disabled;

Hear us, O Lord of life.

Grant to all who seek guidance, and to all who are lonely, anxious, broken, or despairing, a knowledge of your will and of your presence;

Hear us, O Lord of life.

Mend our broken relations, and restore us to soundness of mind and serenity of spirit;

Hear us, O Lord of life.

Bless physicians, nurses, and all who tend the suffering and seek to cure, granting them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience;

Hear us, O Lord of life.

Grant to the dying peace and a holy death, and uphold by the grace and consolation of your Holy Spirit those who mourn them;

Hear us, O Lord of life.

You are the Lord who does wonders:

You declare your power among the peoples.

With you, O Lord, is the well of life,

and in your light we see light.

Hear us, O Lord of life:

Heal us and make us whole.

Go forth now in the power of the risen Lord, proclaiming the good news to all. May the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, be with you to the cleansing of the world.

About Episcopal Worship and this Service

The church typically observes the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist – the patron saint of this parish – on April 25th. However, celebrations of feasts may on occasion be moved, as circumstances require and allow.

St. Mark’s is the oldest of the four gospels that are in the New Testament, and among the oldest texts in Christianity. Presenting the core of Jesus’s teachings as well as the story of his ministry, life, and death, it gets right to the heart of the matter from its opening lines: this is the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the one of whom Isaiah spoke when he spoke of sending a messenger to prepare the way for him.

Yet his way was not what people expected. Once baptized, Jesus took the path of a teacher, a healer, one who challenged corrupt and ineffective power, and one who eventually died a martyr for all that is good in humanity, setting us free from all that is wrong. The gospel’s original ending stops at the empty tomb, as those who came to it are told “He has been raised; he is not here” (Mark 16:6).

We celebrate the Feast of St. Mark this year with a modified Healing Vespers (Evening Prayer) service.

The Healing Vespers you hear in the church’s recorded services may from time to time differ from what is printed above. This leaflet is designed for you to use on your own, in addition to being a guide to worship online. Feel free to adapt it as best suits your and your family’s needs.

The readings for this service, and the prayers you see, come from The Book of Common Prayer and from Enriching Our Worship 1 and 2. You will find links to these free resources below.

Resources (available for free online)

Book of Common Prayer, www.bcponline.org

Enriching Our Worship 1, https://www.churchpublishing.org/siteassets/pdf/enriching-our-worship-1/enrichingourworship1.pdf

Enriching Our Worship 2, https://www.churchpublishing.org/siteassets/pdf/enriching-our-worship-2/enrichingourworship2.pdf

These three resources contain the prayers and worship services used in The Episcopal Church and by Episcopalians in their daily devotions.

The Revised Common Lectionary and Daily Office, https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/

This source shows the readings assigned for use in Sunday worship and for daily office use for each day of the year, with links to online Bibles. The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org The Episcopal Diocese of Washington: www.edow.org St. Mark’s, Fairland: www.stmarks-silverspring.org

A Prayer in Times of Sickness and Contagion

Heavenly Father, giver of life and health, source of all wisdom and peace: Comfort and relieve your servants who suffer from sickness or fear, give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs, and let your grace be with all those who work to protect us from contagion and disease. May we be strengthened against any weakness, sickness, fear, and doubt, and place our confidence in your loving care through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen