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Healing Prayer (Evening) for Use in Times of Quarantine 5

 

 

Opening Verses

The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and will save those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

 

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you, says the Lord.  Isaiah 66:13a

 

Gathering Prayer

Loving God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: accept our prayers on behalf of your people in peril, and to those who seek and do the work of healing them, in this time of contagion. Grant us the comfort of your grace, that the weak may be strengthened, the sick made well, the deceitful stilled, the dying made whole, and sorrow turned to joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

O Gracious Light  Phos hilaron                        Hymnal 1982 #25[1]

O gracious light, Lord Jesus Christ, in you the Father’s glory shone.

Immortal, holy, blessed is he, and blessed are you his holy Son.

Now sunset comes, but light shines forth, the lamps are lit to pierce the night.

Praise Father, Son, and Spirit: God who dwells in the eternal light.

Worthy are you of endless praise, O Son of God, Life-giving Lord;

Wherefore you are through all the earth and in the highest heaven adored.

 

Invitatory

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

 

Psalm 102               Domine, exaudi
1 LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you; *
hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
2 Incline your ear to me; *
when I call, make haste to answer me,
3 For my days drift away like smoke, *
and my bones are hot as burning coals.
4 My heart is smitten like grass and withered, *
so that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the voice of my groaning *
I am but skin and bones.
6 I have become like a vulture in the wilderness, *
like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake and groan; *
I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
8 My enemies revile me all day long, *
and those who scoff at me have taken an oath against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes for bread *
and mingled my drink with weeping.
10 Because of your indignation and wrath *
you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
11 My days pass away like a shadow, *
and I wither like the grass.
12 But you, O LORD, endure for ever, *
and your Name from age to age.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to have mercy upon her; * indeed, the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants love her very rubble, *
and are moved to pity even for her dust.
15 The nations shall fear your Name, O LORD, *
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For the LORD will build up Zion, *
and his glory will appear.
17 He will look with favor on the prayer of the homeless; *
he will not despise their plea.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit *

            As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen

 

 

The First Lesson: Proverbs 3:13-18

 

13 Happy is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gains understanding;

14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies, and all that you desire cannot compare with her.

16 The length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand wealth and honor.

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her, and happy are all who retain her.

 

Here ends the lesson; thanks be to God.

 

 

A Song of Pilgrimage  Priusquam errarem  Ecclesiasticus 51:13-16,20b-22

Before I ventured forth, even while I was young, * I sought wisdom in my prayer.

In the forecourts of the temple I asked for her, * and I will seek her to the end.

From first blossom to early fruit, * she has been the delight of my heart.

My foot has kept firmly to her path, * diligently from my youth have I followed her.

I inclined my ear and received her; * I found much wisdom and became adept in her.

To the one who gives me wisdom will I give glory, * for I have resolved to live according to her way.

From the beginning I gained courage from her, * therefore I will not be forsaken.

In my inmost being I stir to seek her, * therefore have I gained all manner of good.

As my reward the Almighty has given me the gift to speak with words,*
and with them will I offer praise to God.

 

The Second Lesson: John 8:31-38                              Truth Sets Us Free

31 Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They responded, “We are Abraham’s children; we’ve never been anyone’s slaves. How can you say that we will be set free?”

34 Jesus answered, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 A slave isn’t a permanent member of the household, but a son is. 36 Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you really will be free. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s children, yet you want to kill me because you don’t welcome my teaching. 38 I’m telling you what I’ve seen when I am with the Father, but you are doing what you’ve heard from your father.”

 

Here ends the lesson; thanks be to God.

 

Homily: The Truth Will Set You Free

 

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 Collects

A Collect for Healing

God our healer, whose mercy is like a refining fire: by the lovingkindness of Jesus, heal us and those for whom we pray; that being renewed by you, we may witness your wholeness to our broken world; through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Spirit. Amen.

A Collect for Truth

Almighty God, source of all wisdom and truth, whose blessed Son resisted the deceits and blandishments of the Enemy, the father of lies: seal in us a dedication to all that is true, all that is holy, that we may ever choose the path of wisdom and truth, for the healing and benefit of all people, in the spirit of your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. 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.

May God’s love make you whole; may the light of Christ guide your footsteps; and may the presence of the Holy Spirit fill your hearts and remain with you, this night and evermore.

 

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 are we 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. When we or those whom we love suffer or are in times of danger and uncertainty, we might feel alone and unsure. Particularly in times when our health requires us to keep at physical distance, 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 an ancient, and now reviving, 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, appropriate collects (prayers), a Litany of Healing, and a final blessing.

The Healing Vespers you hear in the church’s recorded services may 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, 2, and 5. You will find links to these free resources below. As of the date released, any website links given above were accurate.

 

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

Enriching Our Worship 5,

https://www.churchpublishing.org/siteassets/pdf/liturgies-and-prayers-related-to-childbearing/enrichingourworship5.pdf

These 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.

[1] Hear this hymn, sung by the choirs of St. John’s, Roanoke, VA, and St. Philip’s. Salem, VA, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjt_T38iS7M.