Evening Prayer on Thursday
Thursday, 24 July 2014

Preparation

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

One or more of the following is said or sung:
a prayer of thanksgiving (page 110),
a suitable hymn,
or A Song of God’s Chosen One

1There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

3The spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

4He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear,

5But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.

7The calf, the lion and the fatling together,
with a little child to lead them.

8They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11.1,2,3b-4a,6,9

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Word of God

Psalmody

The appointed psalmody is said.

Psalm 114

Refrain: Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord.

1 When Israel came out of Egypt, 
the house of Jacob from a people of a strange tongue,

2 Judah became his sanctuary, 
Israel his dominion.

3 The sea saw that, and fled; 
Jordan was driven back.

4 The mountains skipped like rams, 
the little hills like young sheep. R

5 What ailed you, O sea, that you fled? 
O Jordan, that you were driven back?

6 You mountains, that you skipped like rams, 
you little hills like young sheep?

7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, 
at the presence of the God of Jacob,

8 Who turns the hard rock into a pool of water, 
the flint-stone into a springing well.

Refrain: Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord.

Strike the rock of our hard hearts, O God,
and let our tears of joy and sorrow
mould us to bear the imprint of your love,
given in Christ our risen Lord.

Psalm 116

Refrain: Gracious is the Lord and righteous.

1 I love the Lord,
for he has heard the voice of my supplication; 
because he inclined his ear to me
on the day I called to him.

2 The snares of death encompassed me;
the pains of hell took hold of me; 
by grief and sorrow was I held.

3 Then I called upon the name of the Lord: 
‘O Lord, I beg you, deliver my soul.’

4 Gracious is the Lord and righteous; 
our God is full of compassion. R

5 The Lord watches over the simple; 
I was brought very low and he saved me.

6 Turn again to your rest, O my soul, 
for the Lord has been gracious to you.

7 For you have delivered my soul from death, 
my eyes from tears and my feet from falling.

8 I will walk before the Lord 
in the land of the living. R

9 I believed that I should perish
for I was sorely troubled; 
and I said in my alarm,
‘Everyone is a liar.’

10 How shall I repay the Lord 
for all the benefits he has given to me?

11 I will lift up the cup of salvation 
and call upon the name of the Lord.

12 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord 
in the presence of all his people. R

13 Precious in the sight of the Lord 
is the death of his faithful servants.

14 O Lord, I am your servant, 
your servant, the child of your handmaid;
you have freed me from my bonds.

15 I will offer to you a sacrifice of thanksgiving 
and call upon the name of the Lord.

16 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord 
in the presence of all his people,

17 In the courts of the house of the Lord, 
in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Alleluia.

Refrain: Gracious is the Lord and righteous.

As we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
may we call upon your name,
raise the cup of salvation,
and so proclaim your death, O Lord,
until you come in glory.

Psalm 117

Refrain: Alleluia.

1 O praise the Lord, all you nations; 
praise him, all you peoples.

2 For great is his steadfast love towards us, 
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
Alleluia.

Refrain: Alleluia.

Gracious God,
we praise you for your faithfulness
and pray that every nation may find your blessing
in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Each psalm or group of psalms may end with

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

If there are two Scripture readings, the first may be read here, or both may be read after the canticle.

Esther 1

This happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the same Ahasuerus who ruled over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. In those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were present, while he displayed the great wealth of his kingdom and the splendour and pomp of his majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.

When these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in the citadel of Susa, both great and small, a banquet lasting for seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace. There were white cotton curtains and blue hangings tied with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and coloured stones. Drinks were served in golden goblets, goblets of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished in accordance with the bounty of the king. Drinking was by flagons, without restraint; for the king had given orders to all the officials of his palace to do as each one desired. Furthermore, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the palace of King Ahasuerus.

On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended him, to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing the royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the officials her beauty; for she was fair to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him.

Then the king consulted the sages who knew the laws (for this was the king’s procedure towards all who were versed in law and custom, and those next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven officials of Persia and Media, who had access to the king, and sat first in the kingdom): ‘According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus conveyed by the eunuchs?’ Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, ‘Not only has Queen Vashti done wrong to the king, but also to all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For this deed of the queen will be made known to all women, causing them to look with contempt on their husbands, since they will say, “King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.” This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behaviour will rebel against the king’s officials, and there will be no end of contempt and wrath! If it pleases the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, vast as it is, all women will give honour to their husbands, high and low alike.’

This advice pleased the king and the officials, and the king did as Memucan proposed; he sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, declaring that every man should be master in his own house.

Canticle

Great and Wonderful, or another suitable canticle, for example, number 63 (page 621), may be said

Refrain:

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

1Great and wonderful are your deeds,
Lord God the Almighty.

2Just and true are your ways,
O ruler of the nations.

3Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord?
for you alone are holy.

4All nations shall come and worship in your presence:
for your just dealings have been revealed.

Revelation 15.3, 4

AllTo the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

AllAll nations shall come and worship you, O Christ,
and share in the feast of your kingdom. Alleluia.

Scripture Reading

One or more readings appointed for the day are read.

The reading(s) may be followed by a time of silence.

2 Corinthians 3

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ towards God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, chiselled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

A suitable song or chant, or a responsory in this or another form, may follow

Fear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned.
AllI have called you by name; you are mine.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
AllFear not, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

from Isaiah 43

Gospel Canticle

The Magnificat (The Song of Mary) is normally said,
or A Song of Christ’s Appearing (page 621) may be said

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

1My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his name.

3He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.

4He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.

6He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.

7He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,

8The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Refrain:

AllYou have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

Prayers

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered
¶ for peace
¶ for individuals and their needs

The cycle on pages 364–365 and the prayer on page 377 may be used.

These responses may be used

Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer

(or)

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Silence may be kept.

The Collect of the day is said

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
      is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AllAmen.

The Lord’s Prayer is said

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

AllOur 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.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

(or)

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

AllOur Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Conclusion

All The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.
Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
AllThanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.