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Healing Prayer (Evening)

for Use in Times of Contagion 6

 

Opening Verses

So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.   Mark 11:24

 

Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down mercy; let the earth open, that salvation may spring forth, and righteousness sprout also. Isaiah 45:8

 

Gathering Prayer

Loving God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: accept our prayers on their behalf, and to those who seek and do the work of healing, grant the power of your grace, that the weak may be strengthened, sickness turned to health, the dying made whole, and sorrow turned to joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

O Gracious Light  Phos hilaron

O gracious light,

pure brightness of the ever-living Father in heaven,

O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,

and our eyes behold the vesper light,

we sing your praises, O God:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,

O Son of God, O Giver of Life,

and to be glorified through all the worlds.

 

O God, you are my God. From the very break of day, I seek you.

 

 

Psalm 141: 1-3, 8ab                Domine, clamavi

1 O LORD, I call to you; come to me quickly; *
hear my voice when I cry to you.
2 Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, *
the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch before my mouth, O LORD,
and guard the door of my lips; *
let not my heart incline to any evil thing.
8 But my eyes are turned to you, Lord God; *
in you I take refuge.

Glory be 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 First Lesson:        Proverbs 3:5-12

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

Honor the Lord with all that you have,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor despise His correction;
12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father a child in whom he delights.

 

A Song of Our True Nature    Julian of Norwich

Christ revealed our frailty and our falling, *

our trespasses and humiliations.

Christ also revealed his blessed power, *

his wisdom and his love.

He protects us tenderly and in great need; *

he raises our spirit and gives us joy without ceasing.

God is the ground and the grounding, the very essence of nature;*

the mother and father and of all that is.

We are bound to God by nature, *

and we are bound to God by grace.

And this grace is grace for all the world, *

because it is our precious mother, Christ.

For this fair nature Christ prepared for the honor of all, *

and for the joy and bliss of salvation.

 

The Second Lesson:     2 Corinthians 4:1-6 

Therefore, since we have this ministry, and as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. We have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in guile nor handling the word of God with deceit, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 

Hymn: Lord of all hopefulness              Hymnal 1982 #482

1 Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy:
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

2 Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe:
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

3 Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace:
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

4 Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm:
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

 

The Gospel Lesson: Matthew 5:3-12 

Blessed are the poor in spirit: * for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: * for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: * for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness: * for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: * for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: * for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: * for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: *
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when they shall revile you, and persecute you, *
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: *
for so persecuted they the prophets before you.

 

The Homily

 

A Statement of Faith, A Song of God’s Love (1 John 4:711)

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 Supplication

O Lord, arise, help us; and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

 

O God, we have heard with our ears, and our forebears have declared unto us,
the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them.

O Lord, arise, help us; and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

  1. From our enemies defend us, O Christ;
  2. Look graciously upon our afflictions.
  3. With pity behold the sorrows of our hearts;
  4. Mercifully forgive the sins of thy people.
  5. Favorably with mercy hear our prayers;
  6. O Son of David, have mercy upon us.
  7. Both now and forever vouchsafe to hear us, O Christ;
  8. Graciously hear us, O Christ; graciously hear us, O Lord Christ.

 

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. 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.

 

A Bidding Prayer

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.

May the blessing of God Almighty: Creator, Healer, Redeemer, and Sanctifier,
be upon you and remain with you, always.  Amen

 

About Episcopal Worship and this Service

Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, along with Holy Baptism, lies at the center of the church’s sacramental life, and has of late become our main form of worship as a community. In times of contagion and quarantine, however, the community may not gather together in person, as such liturgies require. What to do?

Fortunately, we have other worship resources suitable for online worship: the Daily Office. It consists of Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline (an end-of-the-day prayer), as well as Daily Devotions, for use by individuals and families. Each office, as they’re called, offers worship of praise and thanksgiving by means of word and song.

In addition, Healing Prayer, like prayers of supplication and penitence, have for many years helped the church face difficult times. Quarantine and isolation take their toll, increasingly as they go on, but gathering as best we can for prayers of healing can help sustain us and reduce our feelings of isolation and fear. The service often makes use of the beautiful and ancient tradition of understanding Christ as mother.

Vespers (Evening Prayer) is particularly well-suited to Healing Prayer. Evening is a time of reflection, a time to take stock of the day that is ending, be thankful for its blessings, be mindful of the chances and changes of our lives, and remember that even when we are most alone, God is with us, and we with God.

Healing Vespers opens with a call to gather in prayer to recognize our needs and give thanks for those whose are called to be healers. We sing songs and hear readings that remind us of how God has saved people in the past, and that they (we) are always in further need of it. We offer a statement of faith and a song God’s love, the supplication (a plea for help), appropriate collects (prayers), a Litany of Healing, a bidding prayer, and a final blessing.

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.