Watch HereSt. Mark’s Evening Prayer

Opening Verses

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7,8

Seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth: The Lord is his name. Amos 5:8

The Invitatory and Psalter

V. O God, make speed to save us.

R. O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light Phos hilaron

O gracious light,

pure brightness of the everliving 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.

Psalm 42 Quemadmodum

As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *

so longs my soul for you, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *

when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

My tears have been my food day and night, *

while all day long they say to me, “Where now is your God?”

I pour out my soul when I think on these things; *

how I went with the multitude and led them into the house of God,

With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *

among those who keep the day holy.

Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *

and why are you so unquiet within me?

Put your trust in God; for I will yet give thanks to him,*

who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

My soul is heavy within me; *

therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,

and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.

One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts; * all your rapids and floods have gone over me. The Lord grants loving-kindness in the daytime, * in the night season his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

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 Lessons

Canticles

The Song of Mary Magnificat Luke 1:46-55 (following 1st lesson)

My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me, * and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations. He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, * and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel, * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

Canticle S Julian of Norwich (following 2nd lesson)

Christ revealed our frailty and our falling, *

our trespasses and our humiliations.

Christ also revealed his blessed power, *

his blessed wisdom and love.

He protects us tenderly and sweetly in great need; *

he raises our spirit and turns all things joy without ceasing.

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

the true father and mother 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.

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 Lord’s Prayer (said together)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name,

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The Suffrages

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,

We entreat thee, O Lord.

That thy holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,

We entreat thee, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,

We entreat thee, O Lord.

That there may be peace in thy Church and for the whole world,

We entreat thee, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in thy faith and fear, entrusting ourselves unto thee,

We entreat thee, O Lord.

That we may be held by the Holy Spirit in the communion of thy saints,

We entreat thee, O Lord.

The Collects

A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

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 Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. 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 Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to God for the gifts so freely bestowed upon us. For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea. We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ, We thank you, Lord. For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends, We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve, We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play, We thank you, Lord. For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice, We thank you, Lord. For the communion of saints, in all times and places, We thank you, Lord. For the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord; To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Concluding Sentence

May we live without fear, for our Creator has made us holy, protects us, and loves us.

Blessing and Dismissal

Be at peace as night descends, and in the morning rise to follow the good road, and may God’s blessing, wisdom, love, and grace be upon you and remain with you, always.

About Episcopal Worship and this Service

Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the principle worship service in The Episcopal Church. Along with Holy Baptism, it is at the center of the church’s sacramental life, and the chief means by which we worship as a community. In times of quarantine, however, for reasons of public health and safety, the community may not be able to gather for this important memorial of our salvation.

At such times, we may and should turn to another worship resource: the Daily Office. It consists of Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline (late night), 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.

Evening Prayer, or Vespers, is the liturgy by which Christians for centuries have finished their days. It opens with a call to praise God and seek God’s as night descends, then invites us to share in hymns and psalms of bids us be mindful of night’s perils, then has us to raise up psalms of longing and comfort. We read aloud the lesson(s) appointed for the day, each of which is followed by a canticle (song) drawn from a biblical or devotional text, typically from one of the prophets or saints. There is typically no homily.

Next comes a statement of faith and a song God’s love, followed by the evening prayers proper. These include The Lord’s Prayer, which we say together; Suffrages (intercessory prayers), which we read by alternate verses; Collects, which are prayers particular to the time and season; the litany of Thanksgiving,; and a final Blessing.

The vespers you will hear and see each week online may feature different canticles, hymns, psalms, collects, and readings from what is printed above. This leaflet is designed for you to use on your own in addition to being a guide to online worship. Feel free to adapt it as best suits your and your family’s worship needs.

The biblical readings, or lessons, for any day of the church are found in two different versions. One is at the back of the Book of Common Prayer in the section marked “The Lectionary” and “Daily Office Lectionary.” The other is the updated one which we use on Sundays, as do most other Catholic and Protestant churches. It is called the “Revised Common Lectionary,” or RCL. The link below leads to it. The RCL works on a three-year cycle, taking the church through much of the Bible. All of the New Testament, except for the more disturbing parts of the Book of Revelation, is read each year.

If you’ve not done so in a while, or ever, now’s a good time to explore the prayers and devotions available to us in the resources listed below, particularly the Book of Common Prayer and Enriching Our Worship. They are meant to help each of us draw closer to God and to each other – especially when we can’t otherwise do so in person.

Resources (available for free online)

Book of Common Prayer

Enriching Our Worship 1

These two sources 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

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 

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington 

St. Mark’s, Fairland

 

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.