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Meditative and Healing Vespers for September 9, 2020

 

Opening Song: Arise, Shine

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.

 

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 42

1.As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *
so longs my soul for you, O God.

2.My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

3.My tears have been my food day and night, *
while all day long they say to me,
Where now is your God?”

4.I pour out my soul when I think on these things; *
how I went with the multitude and led them into the
house of God,

5.With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *
among those who keep holy-day.

6.Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?

7.Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to him,
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

8.My soul is heavy within me; *
therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,
and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.

9.One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts; *
all your rapids and floods have gone over me.

10.The LORD grants his loving-kindness in the daytime; *
in the night season his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.

11.I will say to the God of my strength, “Why have you forgotten me? *
and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?”

12.While my bones are being broken, *
my enemies mock me to my face;

13.All day long they mock me *
and say to me, “Where now is your God?”

14.Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
and why are you so disquieted within me?

15.Put your trust in God; *
for I will yet give thanks to him,
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

 

Song: Evening Lamps Are Lit

Evening lamps are lit, word is all around. Let my spirit rest, let my joy be found.


Grace,
by Judith Wright

Living is dailiness, a simple bread
that’s worth the eating. But I have known a wine,
a drunkenness that can’t be spoken or sung
without betraying it. Far past Yours or Mine,
even past Ours, it has nothing at all to say;
it slants a sudden laser through common day.

It seems to have nothing to do with things at all,
requires another element or dimension.
Not contemplation brings it; it merely happens,
past expectation and beyond intention;
takes over the depth of flesh, the inward eye,
is there, then vanishes. Does not live or die,

because it occurs beyond the here and now,
positives, negatives, what we hope and are.
Not even being in love, or making love,
brings it. It plunges a sword from a dark star.

Maybe there was once a word for it. Call it grace.
I have seen it, once or twice, through a human face.

 

Song: Let the Broken Ones Be Healed

Let the broken ones be healed; let the lost be found and fed. Let the grace of God roll on;
let the river rise and spread. Step into the stream with me; let God’s gracious purpose be.

 

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 raise before God the names of 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 Petition

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.

 
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.

 

Closing Song: The Lord’s Prayer

 

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. So we gather as best we can for prayers that sustain us and help us bear witness in faith and by grace.

Hymns, scripture readings and prayers come from The Holy Bible, The Book of Common Prayer, Hymnal 1982, Music by Heart, and from Enriching Our Worship 1, 2, and 5. You will find links to these free resources below.

 

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.

 

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