Evening Prayer


    In the first century the early church took over the synagogue service-form and adopted it for use in Christian worship. The main synagogue service was an instruction-service. The service consisted of Psalm-singing, prayer and the study of God's word, the Bible. The early church adopted this form, using it as a separate service of instruction and also adding it to the Lord's Supper as a preparatory ministry of the Word. By the fifth century the instruction-service form had become the daily services of prayer and the hearing of God's Word used mainly by the clergy at special hours during the day.
    The medieval daily services were reformed by Archbishop Cranmer in the 1549 and 1552 English Prayer Books. The purpose of the new Morning and Evening Prayer services was "that the people might continually profit more and more in the knowledge of God." The services were designed as instruction-services for the edification of the faithful. Cranmer designed them to reflect the Reformation doctrine of justification by grace through faith, and so there is a stress on confession and the declaration of forgiveness. The movement of the service is from confession, absolution, praise, prayer and the study of God's Word. In fact, his design is to have prayer follow the reading of God's Word. The "prayer of faith" requires a Word from God be "according to His will." The revised daily services for Morning and Evening Prayer in the Australian Prayer Book maintain the form of instruction-service. To cater for modern life they provide flexibility and give variety. We often forget that life in the sixteenth century allowed space for contemplation. The elements of the service are as follows:

The liturgy
    Introduction. This is a useful innovation for the purpose of establishing the service within the Church Year theme for the particular Sunday.
    The Lord's Prayer. In recognition of our right standing in the sight of God as a gift of God's grace appropriated through repentance and faith, the prayer is said with an emphesis on approach and confession. It is assumed that confession and absolution was covered in the morning service.
    Versicles and Responses. An act of commitment and self-dedication to our crucified Lord.
    Canticle. The service seems to flow better if the Song of Mary is used here and the Psalm between the readings.
    Bible Readings. Two readings with the Psalm between.
    Canticle. The Song of Simeon. A song of praise.
    The Apostles Creed. Our affirmation of faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This could be dropped if the congregation attended the morning service.
    The Greeting.
    Call to Prayer.
    Kyrie Elesion (reminding us that all prayer rests on God's mercy).
    Lord's Prayer (Christ's family prayer. It is not necessary to repeat the prayer).
    Responsory (general supplications).
    The Collects. The Collect of the Day. This is followed by a Collect for peace and the Collect of the evening.
    Supplication and Intercession. The minister leads in a time of general prayer. This may be followed by the congregation joining in saying the General Thanksgiving. In this prayer we give thanks to God for all his blessings to us. In particular we remember our salvation.
    Prayer of Saint Chrysostom. In this prayer we ask that God might give us those things which are according to his will. We conclude with the Grace, which is a general request that God's gracious mercy might be experienced by all present.
    The Sermon
    Offertory hymn follows.
    A Blessing concludes the service.

Evening Prayer

The Gathering of the People
CALL TO WORSHIP     A call to worship God
  The Lord be with you.
    And also with you.
    A responsive sentence and prayer. AAPB Collects and Readings
  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.
  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.

  Open our lips, O Lord;
    And we shall declare your praise.
  O God make speed to save us.
    O Lord, make haste to help us.
  Come, let us sing to the Lord,
    shout to the rock of our salvation.
  Serve the Lord with gladness,
    come before his face with songs of joy.*
  Glory to God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
    as in the beginning, so now, and for ever. Amen.
  Let us praise the Lord.
    The Lord's name be praised.     1John 2:1,2.
  Come bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
    you that stand by night in the house of the Lord.
  Lift up your hands towards the holy place
    and bless the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
CANTICLE.     The Song of Mary
[Canticle setting for the Magnificat]
  My soul proclaims the | greatness of the | Lord:
  my spirit re|joices in | God my | Saviour;
  for he has looked with favour on his | lowly | servant:
  from this day all gener|ations will | call me | blessed;
  The Almighty has done | great things | for me:
  and | holy | is his | name.
  He has mercy on | those who | fear him:
  in | every | gener|ation.
  He has shown the | strength of his | arm:
  he has scattered the | proud in | their con|ceit.
  He has cast down the mighty | from their | thrones:
  and has | lifted | up the | lowly.
  He has filled the hungry with | good | things:
  and the rich he has | sent a|way | empty.
  He has come to the help of his | servant | Israel:
  for he has re|membered his | promise of | mercy,
  the promise he | made to our | fathers:
  to Abraham | and his | children for | ever.
  Glo|ry to | God: Father | Son and | Holy | Spirit;
  As in the be|ginning so | now: and for | ever | A|men.

Ministry of the Word
  This is the word of the Lord.
    Thanks be to God.
EVENING PSALM     Said antiphonally with the sentence in red said before and after
  This is the word of the Lord.
    Thanks be to God.
CANTICLE.     The Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis, Luke 2:29-32)
[Canticle setting for the Nunc.]
  Now, Lord, you let your servant | go in | peace:
  your | word has | been ful|filled.
  My own eyes have | seen the sal-|-vation:
  which you have prepared in the | sight of | ev'ry | people
  A light to re|veal you to the | nations:
  and the | glory of your | people | Israel.
  Glo|ry to | God: Father | Son and | Holy | Spirit:
  As in the be|ginning so | now: and for | ever | A-|-men.

O God, whose will it is that all your children should be one in Christ: we pray for the unity of your Church. Pardon all our pride and our lack of faith, of understanding and of charity, which are the cause of our divisions. Deliver us from our narrow-mindedness, from our bitterness. Save us from considering as normal that which is a scandal to the world and an offence to your love. Teach us to recognise the gifts of your grace among all those who call upon you and confess the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord. Liturgy, Reformed Church of France.
  I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
  maker of heaven and earth;
  and in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord,
  who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
  born of the virgin Mary,
  suffered under Pontius Pilate,
  was crucified, dead, and buried.
  He descended into hell.
  The third day he rose again from the dead.
  He ascended into heaven,
  and is seated at the right hand
  of God the Father almighty;
  from there he shall come 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.

      This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith.
Ministry of Prayer
  The Lord be with you.
    And also with you.
  Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy on us.     Kyrie Elesion
    Christ, have mercy on us.
  Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus said: "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever - the Spirit of truth...." John.14:16-18.
  Lord, show us your mercy,
    and grant us your salvation.
  Keep our nation under your care [Lord, save the Queen],
    and mercifully hear our prayers.
  Clothe your ministers with righteousness,
    and make your chosen people joyful.
  Lord save your people,
    and bless your inheritance.
  Give peace in our time, O Lord,
    for you are our help and strength.
  Create in us clean hearts, O God.
    and renew us by your Holy Spirit.
(Modern form)
  Be exalted, Lord, above the heavens,
    let your glory cover the earth.
  Keep our nation under your care,
    and guide us in justice and truth.
  Let your way be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
  Send out your light and your truth,
    that we may tell of your saving works.
  Have mercy on the poor and oppressed.
    Hear the cry of those in need.
  Hear our prayers, O Lord,
    for we put our trust in you.*
THE COLLECT OF THE DAY     The Collects and Readings AAPB
  Eternal God, from whom all holy desires, all good purposes, and all just works proceed: give to your servants that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts my be set to obey your commandments, and that free from the fear of our enemies we may pass ours time in trust and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
  Be present, merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night: that we, who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may rest on your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SUPPLICATION and INTERCESSION     Appropriate prayers for ourselves and others.
  The church in other countries, in Australia, this diocese and parish. Other denominations, especially our brothers and sisters in the local churches
  The peoples of the world: their leaders; Australia, and those who make and administer our laws; all who have responsibility; all in their daily work
  Our local community; family; friends close and far away; for those special to us
  Those who suffer; the sick; distressed; lonely; persecuted; and those who care
  Ourselves; our daily walk in the coming week; faithfulness and wisdom. May we walk in the steps of the Master.*
A PRAYER FOR ALL PEOPLE     This prayer may be used.
  O God, creator and preserver of all mankind: we humbly pray for all sorts and conditions of men, that you would be pleased to make your way known to them, your saving power among all nations.
  Especially we pray for the welfare of your catholic church, that it may be guided and governed by your good Spirit, so that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.
  We commend to your fatherly goodness all who are in any way afflicted or distressed, that it may please you to comfort and relieve them according to their needs, giving them patience in their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. All this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our prayers do not change God's mind, elicit his pity, or reverse a sentence.... they allow God to put into operation (in me and through me) something he willed all along. Hubert van Zeller.
THANKSGIVING     This thanksgiving may be used.
  Most merciful Father, we humbly thank you
  for all your gifts so freely bestowed on us.
  For life and health and safety,
  for power to work and leisure to rest,
  and for all that is beautiful in creation and in humanity
  we praise and glorify your holy name.
  But, above all, we thank you
  for your spiritual mercies in Christ Jesus our Lord,
  for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
  Fill our hearts with all joy and peace in believing;
  through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  Lord Christ, eternal Word and Light of the Father's glory: send your light and your truth that we may both know and proclaim your word of life, to the glory of God the Father; for you now live and reign, God for all eternity.* Amen.
An alternate prayer for Eastertide
  Lord of all life, you bring us from darkness to light, from death to life, and from bondage to freedom, by the resurrection of your only begotten Son: enlighten us likewise by the splendour of your Holy Spirit, and sanctify us wholly; through the same Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.* Amen.
  Almighty God, you have given us grace to bring before you with one accord our common supplications, and you promise that when two or three are gathered together in your name you will grant them their requests; fulfil now, Lord, the desires and petitions of your servants, as may be most expedient for them, granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.
THE GRACE     2Cor.13:14
  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.
Teaching Ministry
  Lord Jesus Christ,
    send us out with confidence in your word to tell the world of your saving acts, and bring glory to your name. Amen.
  May the Lord bless you and keep you;
  May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
  May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.*
  May the Lord bless and keep you May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.
  * APBA
  Jesus said: "Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you." John.20:22
  O Jesus Christ, my brother and my Lord; you lived in a home at Nazareth; you obeyed your parents, worked with your Father, and enjoyed the company of your friends and relations. Think on my home now and bless it. Strengthen the love that we have for one another; give all that we need for our welfare and happiness. In a word, make my home like your home; for your sake. Christopher Campling.
  Most merciful Father, you have called us to be members of a caring Church, reflecting in our lives your infinite care for us your children. Help us to fulfil our calling and to care for one another in an unselfish fellowship of love. Help us to care for the world around us by sharing with it the good news of your love and by serving those who suffer from poverty, hunger and disease. Ramsy

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