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Healing Vespers, October 21, 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.
 

Psalm 62

1.For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
from him comes my salvation.

2.He alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.

3.How long will you assail me to crush me,
all of you together, *
as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?

4.They seek only to bring me down from my place of honor; *
lies are their chief delight.

5.They bless with their lips, *
but in their hearts they curse.

6.For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
truly, my hope is in him.

7.He alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.

8.In God is my safety and my honor; *
God is my strong rock and my refuge.

9.Put your trust in him always, O people, *
pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.

10.Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, *
even those of low estate cannot be trusted.

11.On the scales they are lighter than a breath, *
all of them together.

12.Put no trust in extortion;
in robbery take no empty pride; *
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.

13.God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, *
that power belongs to God.

14.Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, *
for you repay everyone according to his deeds.

 Hymn: Father, we thank thee

 Reading: Isaiah 55:10-13

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
       and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
       giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
      it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
      and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12 For you shall go out in joy,
      and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
      shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
      instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
      for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

 

Hymn: Evening lamps are lit.

 

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)

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.