Evening Prayer 24.2.21, St. Matthias the Apostle; Ember Day

Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.

The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protesstant denomination, removed four churches at its executive board meeting yesterday; two for employing registered sex offenders and two for allowing LGBT people to come to church. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

Rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Joel 2:13

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.

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 33

1 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; *
it is good for the just to sing praises.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp; *
play upon the psaltery and lyre.
3 Sing for the LORD a new song; *
sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4 For your word, O LORD, is right, *
and all your works are sure.
5 You love righteousness and justice; *
your loving-kindness, O LORD, fills the whole earth.
6 By the word, O LORD, were the heavens made, *
by the breath of your mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7 You gather up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin *
and store up the depths of the sea.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; *
let all who dwell in the world stand in reverence.
9 For the LORD spoke, and it came to pass; *
the LORD commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; *
and thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11 But the LORD’s will stands fast for ever, *
and the designs of the LORD’s heart from age to age.

12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! *
happy the people you have chosen to be your own!
13 O LORD, you look down from heaven, *
and behold all the people in the world.
14 From where you sit enthroned you turn your gaze *
on all who dwell on the earth.
15 You fashion all the hearts of them *
and understand all their works.
16 There is no ruler that can be saved by a mighty army; *
a warrior is not delivered by great strength.
17 The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; *
for all its strength it cannot save.
18 Behold, your eye, O LORD, is upon those who fear you, *
on those who wait upon your love,
19 To pluck their lives from death, *
and to feed them in time of famine.
20 Our soul waits for you, O LORD; *
you are our help and our shield.
21 Indeed, our heart rejoices in you, *
for in your holy Name we put our trust.
22 Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, *
as we have put our trust in 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.

Samuel was the last of Israel's judges, a prophet who anointed the first two kings: Saul, an unjust failure, and David, a flawed but righteous success. (iconographer unknown)

Samuel was the last of Israel’s judges, a prophet who anointed the first two kings. (iconographer unknown)

THE LESSONS
1 Samuel 12:1-5 (NRSV)

Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to you in all that you have said to me, and have set a king over you. See, it is the king who leads you now; I am old and gray, but my sons are with you. I have led you from my youth until this day. Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you.” They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from the hand of anyone.” He said to them, “The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

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.

Eustache Le Sueur: St. Paul’s Fareewell at Ephesus

Acts 20:17-35 (NRSV)

From Miletus Paul sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. When they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.

“And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

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. That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.
V. 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,
R. We entreat you, O Lord.

And the lot fell upon Matthias. (Order of Centurions)

Collect of the Day: St. Matthias the Apostle

Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; 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.

Collect of Ember Day: For All Christians in their vocation

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Cahabón River, Guatemala. (James Barringr/The New York Times)

For the Beauty of the Earth

We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Argyll & The Isles, Scotland

Wednesday Evening Prayer List

For Disaster & Terror Victims
111.9 million coronavirus cases worldwide; 2.47 million deaths, 501,000 in USA
People confined to hospitals, nursing homes, dormitories, group homes and retirement homes, jails, religious communities and onboard ships
Millions forced into poverty and food insecurity by damaged economies

Hundreds of thousands in squalid refugee camps, including those on Lesbos and Rohingyas in Bangladesh

For Prisoners
Alexei Navalny; Hong Kong political prisoners
Canadian hostages
David
Cleave Thomas, last years of a 20-year sentence
Matthew
Children and families of prisoners
Prison chaplains and ministries, especially Kairos
Sr. Helen Prejean and all prison reformers
All who are condemned to die

Please offer your own prayers here.

Prayer for Mission

O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

VIDEO: Even Unto Death – Audrey Assad, 2016

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