Evening Prayer 18.6.16, Bernard Mizeki, Lay Minister & Martyr, 1896

It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

Bernard Mizeki Day prayer vigil for Zimbabwe at Southwark Cathedral, London, 2003. (source unknown)

Bernard Mizeki Day prayer vigil for Zimbabwe at Southwark Cathedral, London, 2003. (source unknown)

If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night,” darkness is not dark to you, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike. Psalm 139:10-11

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

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

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. Alleluia.

Hymn: Light of the World
Phos hilaron

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 136

1  Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
2  Give thanks to the God of gods, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
3  Give thanks to the Lord of lords, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
4  Who only does great wonders, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
5  Who by wisdom made the heavens, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
6  Who spread out the earth upon the waters, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
7  Who created great lights, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
8  The sun to rule the day, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
9  The moon and the stars to govern the night, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
10  Who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
11  And brought out Israel from among them, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
12  With a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
13  Who divided the Red Sea in two, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
14  And made Israel to pass through the midst of it, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
15  But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
16  Who led the chosen people through the wilderness, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
17  Who struck down great rulers, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
18  And slew mighty kings, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
19  Sihon, king of the Amorites, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
20  And Og, the king of Bashan, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
21  And gave away their lands for an inheritance, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
22  An inheritance for Israel, the chosen servant, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
23  Who remembered us in our low estate, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
24  And delivered us from our enemies, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever;
25  Who gives food to all creatures, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.
26  Give thanks to the God of heaven, *
for the mercy of God endures for ever.

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 LESSONS
Matthew 19:1-12 (NRSV)

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.

Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.”

His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
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.

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, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He 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,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
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.

Marandellas Women's Institute: Martyrdom of Bernard Mizeki. The borders help tell the story; the central panel depicts Bernard teaching converts about Jesus. The upper border shows the scene of his martyrdom, while the lower border depicts pilgrims coming to the shrine later erected on the site of his hut. The motif to the left depicts the triumph of the Cross over the witch doctor’s bones. (forallsaints.wordpress.com)

Marandellas Women’s Institute: Martyrdom of Bernard Mizeki. The borders help tell the story; the central panel depicts Bernard teaching converts about Jesus. The upper border shows the scene of his martyrdom, while the lower border depicts pilgrims coming to the shrine later erected on the site of his hut. The motif to the left depicts the triumph of the Cross over the witch doctor’s bones. (forallsaints.wordpress.com)

Collect of the Day: Bernard Mizeki, Catechist and Martyr in Mashonaland, 1896

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love in the heart of your holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Peace

Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquillity your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship on the morrow give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

For Our Mission Partners
Cuttington University School of Nursing, Liberia
The American Friends of Cuttington, New York
Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, New York
Diocese of Brasilia Afterschool Program, Brazil
Episcopal Relief and Development, New York
Rosebud Episcopal Mission, South Dakota
St. André’s School, Mithon, Haiti

For Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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++

VIDEO: Father, we thank thee who hast planted (#302, Rendez à Dieu, attr. Louis Bourgeois; Greek, c. 110, tr. F. Bland Tucker) – Andrew Remillard, piano, 2015

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