Evening Prayer 3.8.17, George F. Bragg, Jr., Priest & Historian, 1940

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.

Ara Parseghian has died, one of the great coaches of American college football, especially at the University of Notre Dame, a celebrated club that had fallen on hard times until he brought them back spectacularly with national championships in 1966 and 1973. He was a “players’ coach” who supported and encouraged his team and didn’t have to yell to correct his players; a look was enough. He brought hidden talents ouf of his men; in 1964 he picked a no-name senior to be his quarterback and guided him to a 9-1 record and the Heisman Trophy as the sport’s best player. (Joe Raymond/Associated Press)

Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:15-16

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 74

1 O God, why have you utterly cast us off? *
why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, *
the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,
and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3 Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; *
the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries roared in your holy place; *
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5 Like those who come with axes to a grove of trees; *
they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
6 They set fire to your holy place; *
they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name
and razed it to the ground.
7 They said to themselves, “Let us destroy them altogether.” *
They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8 There are no signs for us to see;
there is no prophet left; *
there is not one among us who knows how long.
9 How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? *
will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10 Why do you draw back your hand? *
why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11 Yet God is my Sovereign from ancient times, *
victorious in the midst of the earth.
12 You divided the sea by your might *
and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13 You crushed the heads of Leviathan *
and gave it to the people of the desert for food.
14 You split open spring and torrent; *
you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15 Yours is the day, yours also the night; *
you established the moon and the sun.
16 You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; *
you made both summer and winter.
17 Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, *
how a foolish people despised your Name.
18 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; *
never forget the lives of your poor.
19 Look upon your covenant; *
the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20 Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; *
let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21 Arise, O God, maintain your cause; *
remember how fools revile you all day long.
22 Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, *
the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.

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 LESSON
Mark 7:1-23 (NRSV)

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

“You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God)—then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”

Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

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, God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of 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.

George F. Bragg and sons: they were priests too. The early history of African Americans and The Episcopal Church would be nearly impossible to know without the scholarship and historiographical work of George Freeman Bragg. He authored “First Negro Priest on Southern Soil,” “Men of Maryland,” “History of the Afro-American Group of the Episcopal Church” and “Richard Allen and Absalom Jones.” And he co-founded a forerunner of the Union of Black Episcopalians, which carries on the work of the founders today.

Collect of the Day: George Freeman Bragg, Jr., Priest, 1940

O God, whose mighty hand freed your servant George Freeman Bragg from bondage and blessed him with perseverance and courage: Deliver your church from its ignorance and injustice, that, through his example and prayers, all the baptized may share in the work of ministry and, at the last, attain to the perfect freedom of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; 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 Port Sudan

Thursday Evening Prayer List

For Sobriety & Recovery
Blake
Talmadge

For Mental Health & Family Peace
Peter
Owen
Amy, anxiety and depression
Julie, depression and anxiety
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.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. 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: Move On Up a Little Higher (W. Herbert Brewster) – Mahalia Jackson, 1947

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