Evening Prayer 22.5.20, Helena, Protector of Holy Places, 330

Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

A new documentary about Norma McKelvey, the woman known as “Jane Roe” who sued for U.S. abortion rights in the 1970s, but later switched sides and claimed to be a born-again Christian, was on the payroll of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group led by Evangelical Methodist minister, Robert L. Schenck, left. Both McKelvey and Schenck admit to the scheme in the film “AKA Jane Roe.” Schenck has since left the anti-abortion movement, saying he got too caught up in politics and tolerated unethical behavior within the organization, which was known for its confrontation tactics and sympathy for clinic bombers. McKelvey says in the film she was a Gay woman who gave up her longtime lover for the money after the pro-choice movement became disenchanted with her; they won the case in the Supreme Court but decided she was a hustler, not the poster child they were looking for. (Cameron Craig/AP)

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

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.

If possible, light a candle here.

Hymn: O Gracious Light

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 91

1 You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, *
abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 You shall say to the LORD,
“You are my refuge and my stronghold, *
my God in whom I put my trust.”
3 God shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter *
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 God’s pinions will cover you,
and you shall find refuge under the wings of the LORD; *
whose faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of any terror by night, *
nor of the arrow that flies by day;
6 Of the plague that stalks in the darkness, *
nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.
7 A thousand shall fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand, *
but it shall not come near you.
8 Your eyes have only to behold *
to see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD your refuge, *
and the Most High your habitation,
10 There shall no evil happen to you, *
neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
11 For God shall give the holy angels charge over you, *
to keep you in all your ways.
12 They shall bear you in their hands, *
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; *
you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet.
14 Because they are bound to me in love,
therefore will I deliver them; *
I will protect them, because they know my Name.
15 They shall call upon me, and I will answer them; *
I am with them in trouble;
I will rescue them and bring them to honor.
16 With long life will I satisfy them, *
and show them my salvation.

Psalm 92

1 It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, *
and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
2 To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning *
and of your faithfulness in the night season;
3 On the psaltery, and on the lyre, *
and to the melody of the harp.
4 For you have made me glad by your acts, O LORD; *
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
5 LORD, how great are your works! *
your thoughts are very deep.
6 The dullard does not know,
nor does the fool understand, *
that though the wicked grow like weeds,
and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
7 They flourish only to be destroyed for ever; *
but you, O LORD, are exalted for evermore.
8 For lo, your enemies, O LORD,
lo, your enemies shall perish, *
and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
9 But my horn you have exalted like the horns of wild bulls; *
I am anointed with fresh oil.
10 My eyes also gloat over my enemies, *
and my ears rejoice to hear the doom of the wicked who rise up against me.
11 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, *
and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
12 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD *
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
13 They shall still bear fruit in old age; *
they shall be green and succulent;
14 That they may show how upright the LORD is, *
my Rock, in whom there is no fault.

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.

A House Built on Rock, a House Built on Sand (Park Street Baptist Church)

THE LESSON
Matthew 7:22-27 (NRSV)

Jesus said, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

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 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.

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

Little is known of St. Helena’s early life, but she was probably born in Asia Minor and may have been a stable-maid before marrying Constantine’s father, the Roman emperor. Eight centuries after her death, Geoffrey of Monmouth promoted a claim that she was born a British princess, leading to the founding of 135 churches dedicated to her, especially in Yorkshire, but his tale is discredited now, while she is widely believed to have discovered the True Cross of Christ during a pilgrimage to Palestine to locate any artifacts from his crucifixion. (Musei Capitolini, Rome)

Collect of the Day: Helena, Protector of the Holy Places, 330

Most merciful God, who blessed your servant Helena with such grace and devotion to you that she venerated the very footsteps of our Savior; may we too, assisted by her prayers and example, be given the same grace to always see your glory in the cross of your Son, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for an Epidemic

O God, our creator and preserver, we cry out to you along with our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are struggling to overcome the coronavirus epidemic, where so many lives have been lost already and millions more are threatened. We pray for your grace and mercy that an end to this disease will come soon; and that life, labor, community and human touch will be restored. Give us courage and strength to amend our ways of living in the face of this great human tragedy, cooperating with medical authorities to preserve our own health and safeguard others. Help us overcome our fears and give us confidence to ask this in the Name of your most blessed Son, who came and gave his life so that we might live fully, Jesus our Lord and Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Fridays

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.

Friday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

For Peace among Christians, Jews & Muslims in the Middle East
Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen

For Church Unity
World Methodism

For the Anglican Communion
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Dioceses of Adelaide, Australia, and Nandyal, South India

Primates of the Anglican Communion
Joel A. Pachao, Philippines
Onesphore Rwaje, Rwanda
David Chillingworth, Scotland
Datuk Bolly anak Lapok, South East Asia
Thomas Oommen, South India

For Ecumenical Partners
Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome
Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America
Robert T. Fuentes, Moderator, The Old Catholic Church USA
The Moravian Church

Our Candidates for Ordination
Deacon Tom, Episcopal Church in Minnesota, and Deacon Maureen, Diocese of Northern Michigan, to the priesthood
Steve, ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod, as a pastor, next fall

Our Seminarians & Their Schools
David, Wendy and Maureen, Nashotah House, Wisconsin
Greg, Christian Leaders Institute

Sewanee-The University of the South, Tennessee
Andhra Christian Theological College, India
Berkeley Divinity School, Connecticut
Bexley-Seabury Federation, Ohio and Illinois
Bishop Hannington Institute, Kenya
Brite Divinity School, Texas

Please add your own prayers and supplications here.

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 Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication 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. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

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: Why be an Episcopal nun? – Order of St. Helena, 2017 (9:33)

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