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Meditative and Healing Vespers

Thursday, August 12, 2020

 

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.
 

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, *
a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, *
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;

3 Though its waters rage and foam, *
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.

4 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, *
the holy habitation of the Most High.

6 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be overthrown; *
God shall help her at the break of day.

7 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken; *
God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.

8 The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

9 Come now and look upon the works of the LORD, *
what awesome things he has done on earth.

10 It is he who makes war to cease in all the world; *
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire.

11.”Be still, then, and know that I am God; *
I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”

12.The LORD of hosts is with us; *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

 

Kyrie Pantocrator

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.

All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

 

Psalm 48

1.Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised; *
in the city of our God is his holy hill.

2.Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, *
the very center of the world and the city of the great King.

3.God is in her citadels; *
he is known to be her sure refuge.

4.Behold, the kings of the earth assembled *
and marched forward together.

5.They looked and were astounded; *
they retreated and fled in terror.

6.Trembling seized them there; *
they writhed like a woman in childbirth,
like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.

7.As we have heard, so have we seen,
in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God; *
God has established her for ever.

8.We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, O God, *
in the midst of your temple.

9.Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world’s end; *
your right hand is full of justice.

10.Let Mount Zion be glad and the cities of Judah rejoice, *
because of your judgments.

11.Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her; *
count the number of her towers.

12.Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds; *
that you may tell those who come after.

13.This God is our God for ever and ever; *
he shall be our guide for evermore.

 

Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord, *
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he hath regarded *
the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold from henceforth *
all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me, *
and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him *
throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm; *
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, *
and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel, *
as he promised to our forefathers,
Abraham and his seed 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.

 

Reflection

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.

The Officiant adds a concluding prayer.

 

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. You will find links to these free resources below. As of the date released, any website links given were accurate.

 

Resources (available for free online)

Book of Common Prayer, www.bcponline.org

Enriching Our Worship 1, https://www.churchpublishing.org/siteassets/pdf/enriching-our-worship-1/enrichingourworship1.pdf

Enriching Our Worship 2,

https://www.churchpublishing.org/siteassets/pdf/enriching-our-worship-2/enrichingourworship2.pdf

Enriching Our Worship 5,

https://www.churchpublishing.org/siteassets/pdf/liturgies-and-prayers-related-to-childbearing/enrichingourworship5.pdf

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

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

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 Bibles.

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.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.