Evening Prayer 5.1.17, Eve of the Epiphany: Twelfth Night

They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD.

The wise men brought gold, representing wealth, power and royalty; frankincense, representing prayer and worship; and myrrh, representing both the oil of anointing and of embalming. (artist unknown)

The three kings or wise men brought gold, representing wealth, power and royalty; frankincense, representing prayer and worship; and myrrh, representing both the oil of anointing and of embalming. (artist unknown)

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

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

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 29

1  Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, *
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due the holy Name; *
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3  The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; *
the LORD is upon the mighty waters.
4  The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.
5  The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; *
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6  The LORD makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7  The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; *
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
8  The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe *
and strips the forests bare.
9  And in the temple of the LORD *
all are crying, “Glory!”
10  The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; *
the LORD sits enthroned as Sovereign for evermore.
11  The LORD shall give strength to the chosen people; *
the LORD shall give the people the blessing of peace.

Psalm 98

1  Sing unto the LORD a new song, *
for the LORD has done marvelous things.
2  The right hand and the holy arm of the LORD *
have secured the victory.
3  The LORD has made known this victory; *
and has openly shown righteousness in the sight of the nations.
4  The LORD remembers mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
5  Shout with joy to the LORD, all you lands; *
lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.
6  Sing to the LORD with the harp, *
with the harp and the voice of song.
7  With trumpets and the sound of the horn *
shout with joy before the Sovereign, the LORD.
8  Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *
the lands and those who dwell therein.
9  Let the rivers clap their hands, *
and let the hills ring out with joy before the LORD,
who is coming to judge the earth.
10  In righteousness shall the LORD judge the world *
and the peoples with equity.

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.

We have no source on this Epiphany icon, but it looks Ethiopian to us, with the prominent eyes and rich colors; as an icon it strips away the distracting externals to focus on the essentials: the showing of Jesus to non-Jews within days of his birth. Without this event, most of today's 2 billion Christians would be excluded from what would likely be a small Jewish sect. What this icon depicts, in other words, is your salvation.

We have no source on this Epiphany icon, but it looks Ethiopian to us, with the sideways eyes and rich colors; it strips away distracting externals to focus on the essential fact: the showing of Jesus to non-Jews within days of his birth. Without this event, most of today’s 2 billion Christians would be excluded from what would likely be a small Jewish sect. What this icon depicts, in other words, is the extension of God’s kingdom to you.

THE LESSONS
Isaiah 66:18-23 (NRSV)

For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the LORD.

For as the new heavens and the new earth,
which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the LORD;
so shall your descendants and your name remain.
From new moon to new moon,
and from sabbath to sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the LORD.

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.

Italian immigrants to Louisiana brought with them a tradition that Christmas should culminate in communitywide revelry, including music, dancing, feasting, masquerades and theatricals. These evolved over the years to include elaborate "king cakes" with a small object (a bean, a pea) representing baby Jesus hidden inside. Today it's a small plastic doll, and the 12th Night Party has been extended from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday with parades, drinking, music and carousing. Bakeries in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and throughout the area compete hard to sell the best king cakes, with friendly arguments among loyal customers. (Folk Life in Louisiana)

French and other European immigrants to Louisiana brought with them traditions that the 12 days of Christmas should culminate in communitywide revelry, including music, dancing, feasting, masquerades and theatricals. These evolved over the years to include elaborate “king cakes” with a small object (originally a bean) representing baby Jesus hidden inside; the person who found it became the king of the party, with various rights and obligations. Yesterday’s bean is today’s little plastic doll, and the 12th Night Party has been extended from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday with parades, drinking, music and carousing. Bakeries from Texas to Florida compete to sell the best king cakes, and loyalists argue about who makes the best. (Folk Life in Louisiana)

Romans 15:7-13 (NRSV)

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
and sing praises to your name”;

and again he says,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;

and again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him”;

and again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse shall come,
the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Canticle: The Song of Simeon
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.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

Raphael: Epiphany

Raphael: Epiphany

Collect of the Day: The Epiphany

O God, who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 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.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Kootenay, British Columbia, Canada

Thursday Evening Prayer List

For Sobriety & Recovery
Talmadge
Mark
Tyler

For Mental Health & Family Peace
Adam
Scotty

For Those with Addictions

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion on all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

For Those with Mental Illness
alt. Dinah Danby

O heavenly Father, we beseech you to have mercy upon all your children who are living with mental illness. Give them loving and supportive families and friends, and bless their caregivers with wisdom and compassion. Restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, and give them health and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Mission of the Church

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself: We praise and bless you for those whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the Gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants call upon your Name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours for ever. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21++

VIDEO: What star is this, with beams so bright (#124, Puer nobis, Trier MS, 15th C., adapt. Michael Praetorius; Charles Coffin, tr. John Chandler et al.) – St. David’s, Austin, Texas, 2015

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