Evening Prayer 13.9.13: Eve of Holy Cross

In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

After his conversion the Emperor Constantine appointed his mother Helena to build a grand church complex at the place where Christ was buried and rose again; it's now the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Her excavations also revealed Mt. Calvary, where Jesus was crucified; it was visible from the courtyard, and every year people gathered there to venerate the Cross. The complex was dedicated on this day in 335. (icon source unknown)

After his conversion the Emperor Constantine appointed his mother Helena to build a grand church complex at the place where Christ was buried and rose again; it’s now the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Her excavations also revealed Mt. Calvary, where Jesus was crucified; it was visible from the courtyard, and every year the faithful gathered there on Good Friday to venerate a relic of the Cross. The complex was dedicated on this day in 335. (icon source unknown)

Seek the One 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

GENERAL CONFESSION

God of all mercy,
we confess that we have sinned against you,
opposing your will in our lives.
We have denied your goodness in each other,
in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
We repent of the evil that enslaves us,
the evil we have done,
and the evil done on our behalf.
Forgive, restore, and strengthen us
through our Savior Jesus Christ,
that we may abide in your love
and serve only your will. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn: 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 46

God is our refuge and strength, *
a very present help in trouble.  
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, *
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;  
Though its waters rage and foam, *
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.  
The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
 
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, *
the holy habitation of the Most High.  
God is in the midst of the city;
it shall not be overthrown; *
God shall help it at the break of day.  
The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken; *
God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.  
The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
 
Come now and look upon the works of the LORD, *
what awesome things God has done on earth.  
It is the LORD who makes war to cease in all the world; *
who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire.  
“Be still, then, and know that I am God; *
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth.”  
The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain stands the city God has founded; *
the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you, *
O city of our God.
I count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me; *
behold Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia:
in Zion were they born.
Of Zion it shall be said, “Everyone was born in Zion, *
and the Most High shall sustain it.”
Enrolling the people, the LORD will record, *
“These also were born there.”
The singers and the dancers will say, *
“All my fresh springs are in you.”

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSONS
1 Kings 8:22-30 (NRSV)

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart, the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. Therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O LORD my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Magnificat
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ephesians 2:11-22 (NRSV)

So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” – a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands – remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Nunc dimittis
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

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

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit
in the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

Coventry Cathedral, England, was bombed out in World War II. A new building was erected next to the ruins. (source unknown)

Coventry Cathedral, England, was bombed out in World War II. A new building was erected next to the ruins, with this area preserved as an open-air chapel. (source unknown)

Collect of the Day: Holy Cross Day

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

For the Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday Evening Prayer List

For the Church

Polish Episcopal Network
All churches persecuted in Egypt
For Christians in the Middle East: Iraq, Syria, Israel and Palestine

For the Anglican Communion;
for Ecumenical Partners;
for Church Unity

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Francis of Rome
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Moravian Church

For Our Seminarians & Their Schools, Faculty & Staff

Berkeley Divinity School, Connecticut
Bexley-Seabury Federation, Ohio and Illinois
Brite Divinity School, Texas
Church Divinity School of the Pacific, California
Episcopal Divinity School, Massachusetts
General Theological Seminary, New York
Newton Theological College, Papua New Guinea
Perkins School of Theology, Texas
Seminary of the Southwest, Texas
Sewanee-The University of the South, Tennessee
Virginia Theological Seminary, Virginia
for the seminaries where we live

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.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

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