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Meditative and Healing Vespers

October 29, 2020

 

 

Hymn: Arise, Shine

Gathering Prayer

O God, be with us now that evening is at hand, and the day is past. As you have sustained us in our labors, now also give us ease, and grant that we may so use our time that we redeem the times and give glory unto you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

V: O Lord make speed to save us;
R: O Lord, make haste to help us.
V: Keep us, Lord, as the apple of your eye;
R: Hide us under the shadow of your wings.
 

Ecclesiastes 3

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

9 What gain have the workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11 He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13 moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. 14 I know that whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.

16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time for every matter, and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to human beings that God is testing them to show that they are but animals. 19 For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knows whether the human spirit goes upwards and the spirit of animals goes downwards to the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?

 

Hymn: Kyrie Pantokrator

 

Reading: Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19

13 For neither is there any god besides you, whose care is for all people, to whom you should prove that you have not judged unjustly;

16 For your strength is the source of righteousness, and your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all.

17 For you show your strength when people doubt the completeness of your power, and you rebuke any insolence among those who know it.

18 Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us; for you have power to act whenever you choose.

19 Through such works you have taught your people that the righteous must be kind, and you have filled your children with good hope, because you give repentance for sins.

 

Hymn: Humbly I adore thee

 

The Healing Prayers

God the Father, you will that all people be healed and made whole;
     We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

God the Son, you came that we might have life, and have it to the full;
     We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

God the Holy Spirit, you make our bodies temples of your presence;
     We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

 

Let us now name before God those for whom pray.

 The people may add their own petitions.

 

God of all mercies, grant your healing grace to all who are sick, injured, or wounded;
Hear us, O Lord of life.

Guard and guide the lonely, the anxious, and the despairing;
     Hear us, O Lord of life.

Mend our broken relations, and make us sound in body, mind, and soul;
     Hear us, O Lord of life.

Bless those who care for the sick, the suffering, and the needy;
     Hear us, O Lord of life.

Bless all who struggle for justice and seek a world of compassion;
     Hear us, O Lord of life.

 

Let us now lay before God our own needs, burdens, and fears.

The people may add their own petitions.

 

You are the Lord who does wonders:
     Show forth your power and your grace.

With you, O Lord, is the well of life,
     and in your light we see light.

Hear us, O Lord of life:
     Heal us and make us whole.

 

Bidding Prayer and Blessing

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.

May the blessing of God Almighty, our Creator, Redeemer, Healer and Sanctifier, be upon you and within you this night and forever more. Amen.

 

About Episcopal Worship and this Service

Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, along with Holy Baptism, lies at the center of the church’s sacramental life. In times of contagion and quarantine, however, the community may not safely gather together in person, as such liturgies require. What are we to do?

One place we can turn is to the Daily Office (prayer services with an officiant, who may or may not be a priest): Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline, as well as Daily Devotions for use by individuals and families. Each office offers worship of praise and thanksgiving by means of word and song.

Blending these with Healing Prayers, whether or not we can meet in person for an altar call with individual healing prayers, can help us face difficult times. The litany fits well with Daily Office prayers. When we or those whom we love suffer or are in times of danger and uncertainty, we might feel alone and unsure. In addition, at present our health requires us to keep at physical distance, but the lingering injustices of our time require our presence in solidarity and protest. Therefore we gather as best we can for prayers that sustain us and help us bear witness in faith and by grace.

This Meditative Healing Vespers is based on both Evening Prayer and Compline. Since evening is a time of reflection, a time to take stock of the day that is ending, be thankful for its blessings, be mindful of the chances and changes of our lives, and remember that even when we are most alone, God is with us, and we with God.

Scripture readings and the prayers come from The Holy Bible, The Book of Common Prayer and from Enriching Our Worship 1, 2, and 5. Below you will find links to these resources.

 

Resources (available for free online)

These resources contain the prayers and worship services used in The Episcopal Church and by Episcopalians in their daily devotions.

This source shows the readings assigned for use in Sunday worship and for daily office use for each day of the year, with links to online biblical texts.

The Revised Common Lectionary and Daily Office, https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/

Links to church websites – National, Diocesan and our church’s website.

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

Episcopal News Service: www.episcopalnewsservice.org

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington: www.edow.org

St. Mark’s, Fairland: www.stmarks-silverspring.org

 

A Prayer in Times of Sickness and Contagion

Heavenly Father, giver of life and health, source of all wisdom and peace: Comfort and relieve your servants who suffer from sickness or fear, give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs, and let your grace be with all those who work to protect us from contagion and disease. May we be strengthened against any weakness, sickness, fear, and doubt, and place our confidence in your loving care through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

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