Healing Prayer (Evening) for Use in Times of Quarantine 4

Thursday, April 23, 2020

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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, sickness turned to health, 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 114               In exitu Israel

1         Hallelujah! When Israel came out of Egypt, *

the house of Jacob from a people of strange speech,

2         Judah became God’s sanctuary *

and Israel his dominion.

3         The sea beheld it and fled; *

Jordan turned and flowed upstream.

4         The mountains skipped like rams, *

and the hills like young sheep.

5         What ailed you, O sea, that you fled? *

O Jordan, that you reversed your ways?

6         You mountains, that you skipped like rams? *

you hills like young sheep?

7         Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, *

at the presence of the God of Jacob,

8         Who turned the rock into a pool of water *

and flint-stone into a flowing spring.

 

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: Isaiah 26:4-11a

4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is a rock for all ages,

5 Who has thrown down those living on high, and will level the lofty town, leveling it down to the earth; the Lord will bring it down to dust.

6 The feet trample it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.

7 The way of the righteous is level; you clear a path for the righteous.

8 In the path of your justice, Lord, we wait for you; with all our being, we long for your name and your praise.

9 At night I long for you with my whole being; my spirit watches for you. When your judgments are at work in the earth, those living upon it learn to be righteous.

10 When the wicked are favored, they do not learn to be righteous; even when among those who do right they do wrong, and they fail to see the Lord’s majesty.

11 Lord, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see.

Hear ends the lesson; thanks be to God.

 

The Second Lesson: Luke 14:1-6, 12-14

1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to share a meal in the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees, they were watching him closely. 2 A man suffering from an abnormal swelling of the body was there. 3 Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Does the Law allow healing on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they said nothing. Jesus took hold of the sick man, cured him, and then let him go. 5 He said to them, “Suppose your child or ox fell into a ditch on the Sabbath day. Wouldn’t you immediately work to set it free?” 6 But they made him no reply.

12 Jesus said to the person who had invited him, “When you host a lunch or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers and sisters, your relatives, or rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return and that will be your reward. 13 Instead, when you give a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind, 14 and you will be blessed because they can’t repay you. Instead, you will be repaid when the just are resurrected.”

Hear ends the lesson; thanks be to God.

 

A Song of the Wilderness  Isaiah 35:1-7,10[2]

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, * the desert shall rejoice and blossom;

It shall bloom like the rose, * and rejoice with joy and singing.

They shall see the glory of the Lord, * the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weary hands, * and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to the anxious, “Be strong, do not fear! * Here is your God, come to save you.”

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, * and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. Then shall the lame leap like a deer, * and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness * and streams in the desert;

The parched ground shall become a pool * and the thirsty land, springs of water.

The ransomed shall return with singing, * with everlasting joy upon their heads.

Joy and gladness shall be theirs, * and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

A Song of Christ’s Goodness  Anselm of Canterbury

Jesus, as a mother you gather your people; * you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

You weep for our sins and pride, * you tenderly draw us from hatred and judgment.

You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds, * you nurse us in sickness and with pure milk you feed us.

Jesus, by your dying, we are born to new life; * by your anguish and labor we come forth in joy.

Despair turns to hope in your goodness; * in your gentleness, we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead, * your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy, heal us; * in your love and tenderness, remake us.

In your compassion, bring grace and forgiveness, * for the beauty of heaven, may your love prepare us.

 

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 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 Blessing

Almighty God, giver of life and health: Send your blessing on all who suffer from illness, want, or fear, and upon those who minister to them, that all weakness may be vanquished by the triumph of the risen Christ; who lives and reigns for ever and 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.

[2] Sung, as set by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, by the Guildford Cathedral Boys Choir, dir. Barry Rose (2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhEZCm75FI8

Hymn version, “The Desert Shall Rejoice”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsyBR7Ehv48