PENTECOST EVENING PRAYER 

The Holy Ghost 

I recently participated in an on-line liturgy that used the King James English version of the Apostles’ Creed. That version refers to the “Holy Ghost”, rather than the more modern “Holy Spirit”. “Ghost” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “gast”, which developed into the word “ghost”. “Gast” had in it the meaning of the Old Norse word, “gustr”, which became the English “gust”, “the sudden movement of the wind which sends the earth behind the plough into a whirligig, lifts the hat, and blows the leaves around.” H.W. Baker expresses it in the hymn “O Holy Ghost, Thy People Bless”, when he writes...”True wind of heaven, from south to north, for joy or chastening blow”. We miss much of the significance of Pentecost when we only think of the gentle Holy Spirit, our comforter, and overlook the “mighty rushing wind” that blew through the room where the disciples were praying on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is the GUST that swings us around to look upon God and to redirect our ways. REB 

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Verses: Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. THE LIGHT NO DARKENESS CAN OVERCOME. Stay with us Lord for it is evening, AND THE DAY IS ALMOST OVER. Let your light scatter the darkness AND ILLUMINE YOUR CHURCH. Send forth your Holy Spirit, AND RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH. Come, Creator Spirit, INFLAME OUR WAITING HEARTS. 

A candle may be lighted. 

Prayer for Light Blessed are you, O Lord, Redeemer God. You destroyed the bonds of death and from the darkness of the tomb drew forth the Light of the World. Led through the waters of death, we become the children of light singing our “Alleluia” and dancing to the music of new life. Pour out your Spirit upon us that dreams and visions bring us ever closer to the kingdom of Jesus Christ, our risen Savior. Through him and in the Holy Spirit all glory and honor are yours, almighty Father, this night and forever. AMEN. 

Reading Choose one of the readings for the week. Acts 2:1-21 Numbers 11:24-30 Genesis 11:1-9 I Corinthians 12:3b-13 John 20:19-23 John 7:37-39 

Verses: The gift of the Holy Spirit is wisdom and understanding, resourcefulness and spiritual strength, knowledge, true godliness and holy reverence. GRANT US YOUR SEVEN-FOLD GIFT, O HOLY SPIRIT. 

Reflection: 

Among the mysteries of our Christian faith, the Holy Spirit has certainly inspired a sizable amount of devotional poetry. The hymn text that follows is a portion of a poem written in Italian by Bianco da Siena, a Tuscan who died in Venice in 1434, and about whom virtually nothing is known, save these exquisite lines: 

Come down, O Love divine, 

Seek Thou this soul of mine, And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing. O Comforter draw near, withn my soul appear, And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing. 

The first stanza introduces an image that is found throughout the hymn: the Holy Spirit as fire. On the day of Pentecost, “tongues of fire” were seen above the heads of the apostles. Human experience of fire is ambivalent: it warms and cheers, and it also burns and consumes. In this verse, the poet invites the “Comforter” (one of the Biblical euphemisms for the Holy Spirit) to “draw near” and “kindle” our hearts with a “holy flame”. 

O let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn Dust and ashes in its heat consuming. And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight, And clothe me round, the while my path illuming. 

Now that the fire has been kindled it is invited to “freely burn”, which is always a risky proposition. Burns cause pain. But what is it that we are asking to be destroyed by the Spirit’s “heat consuming’? “Earthly passions”; sinful desires that, in the language of the baptismal liturgy, “draw us from the love of God”. These “earthly passions”- greed, lust, covetousness, anger, pride – need to be destroyed in us if we are to live in Christ and Christ in us. 

Then one of the benign properties of fire is invoked – that of providing light; light that is at the same time “glorious” and a practical source of illumination, providing light to the path on which we walk. Indeed, guidance is one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit. 

Let holy charity Mine outward vesture be, And lowliness become my inner clothing True lowliness of heart, Which takes the humbler part, And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing. 

And so the yearning strong, With which the soul will long, Shall far outpass the power of human telling; For none can guess its grace Till Love create a space wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling. 

All this fire and light is eventually bound to make some changes in the soul which has invited and welcomed it. To be clothed with holy charity and to wear humility as our “inner clothing” is a sign of the Spirit’s indwelling. Likewise, to be truly sorry for our sins so that we weep over them and loathe them (A little more than just repeating the Prayer of Confession is called for here.) is sign of a renewing of our spirit by the Holy Spirit. 

The Spirit’s ministry produces a “yearning strong” for more of the same, a yearning that cannot be adequately articulated in human language, and can be known only by others who have been possessed by the same yearning to have the Spirit come and take up residence within us.. 

Danial Hayden Martins This is also a favorite hymn of Pastor Butcher. 

 

Prayers 

Prayer for the church, for your family and community, for all in sorrow, need or distress, sickness or trouble. Pray especially for a cure for the covid 19 virus, for all medical workers, and the recovery of all infected by the virus. 

Concluding Prayers Come, Holy Spirit! Rain on our dry and dusty lives. Wash away our sin and heal our wounded spirits. Kindle within us the fire of your love and burn away our apathy. With your warmth bend our rigidity, and guide our wandering feet. AMEN. 

O Heaven King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who is everywhere and fills all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls, O Good One. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. AMEN. 

Unless the eye catch fire, God will not be seen. Unless the ear catch fire, God will not be heard. Unless the tongue catch fire, God will not be named. Unless the mind catch fire, God will not be known. Unless heart catch fire, God will not be loved. 

 

Blessing: To God be honor and glory forever and ever! AMEN. Praise the Lord. THE LORD’S NAME BE PRAISED.

                                               PENTECOST MORNING PRAYER                 

In the celebration of Pentecost the church remembers the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus, which equipped them to “go into all the world” proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. The roots of the Pentecost observance are in the Jewish festival of Shavout – the 50th day – of which the Greek word “Pentecost” is the equivalent. Shavout is the 50th day after the start of Passover and celebrated the first fruits of the harvest. The Christian Pentecost is the 50th day after Easter celebrating the first fruits of the resurrection of Christ. . Pentecost celebrates the empowerment of the church for its mission. It is the reversal of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). At Babel God confused the languages of the people to keep them from doing a sinful work. At Pentecost God made the various languages of the world intelligible to all so that the glorious work of proclaiming the message of Christ could be accomplished no matter what language was used to proclaim it. The Holy Spirit comes to heal all divisions and to create a new unity in Christ. The Spirit moves us beyond the divisions created by language, race, and nationality. Red is color for the day symbolizing the tongues of fire that touched each of the apostles in the upper room on the day of Pentecost; the enthusiasm of the disciples; and the sacrifices of the Christian martyrs who carried the Gospel to the world in spite of personal cost.

O Lord, open my lips.                                                                                                                                                                                                        AND MY MOUTH SHALL PROCLAIM YOUR PRAISE.                                                                                                                                                                You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.                                                            COME, HOLY SPIRT, FILL THE HEARTS OF YOUR FAITHFUL AND KINDLE IN THEM THE FIRE OF YOUR LOVE.

Hymn                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire;                                                                                                                                          Thou the anointing Spirit art, who doth thy seven-fold gifts impart.                                         

Thy blessed unction from above is comfort, life and fire of love,                                                                                                                                      Enable with perpetual light the dullness of our blinded sight.                                                                                                                                                  Teach us to know the Father, Son and Thee, of both, to be but one,                                                                                                                                        That through the ages all along this may be our endless song:                                                                                                                                        Praise to Thine eternal merit, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for the week of Pentecost, May 31 – June 6.                                                                                                                                                            Read one of the readings, followed by the Psalm.                                                                                                                                                            Deuteronomy 16: 9-11     Acts 2:1-21    1Coritnithians 12:3b-13      Numbers 11:24-30     St. John 20:19-23     St. John 7:37-39

Psalm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.                                                                      YONDER IS THE SEA, GREAT AND WIDE, WITH LIVING THINGS TO GREAT TO NUMBER, CREATURES BOTH SMALL AND GREAT.                                                There move the ships, and there is Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it.                                                                                                            ALL OF THEM LOOK TO YOU TO GIVE THEM THEIR FOOD IN DUE SEASON.                                                                                                                            You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.                                                                                              YOU HIDE YOUR FACE, AND THEY ARE TERRIFIED; YOU TAKE AWAY THEIR BREATH, AND THEY DIE AND RETURN TO THEIR DUST.                                          You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.                                                                                                    MAY YOUR GLORY, O LORD, ENDURE FOREVER; MAY YOU REJOICE IN ALL YOUR WORKS.                                                                                                  You look at the earth and it trembles; you touch the mountains and they smoke.                                                                                                                     I WILL SING TO THE LORD AS LONG AS I LIVE; I WILL PRIASE MY GOD WHILE I HAVE MY BEING.                                                                                          May these words of mine please you; I will rejoice in the Lord. BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL. HALLELUJAH!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Psalm 104:24-34,35b

Verses:                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The fruit of the Spirt is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.                                                                        PRODUCE IN US YOUR HARVEST, O HOLY SPIRIT.

Prayers                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eternal god, by your Holy Spirit you have given life to all the earth, and brought new life to Christ’s church. You have blessed your people with wondrous gifts, and we praise you for all you share with us. Especially we thank you for those who proclaim your Word and sacraments… those who lead in your church… those who wait on others in need, especially those caring for those suffering from covid 19… those who teach and share wisdom and truth… those who represent the church in civil matters… those who provide music and art… those who work for the unity of the church… those who do menial tasks… those who care for children… those who visit and care for the lonely and the elderly… those who do research to find cures for disease, especially those seeking a vaccine for covid 19… and for all those who serve others by whatever name their service is called.

Merciful God, by your Holy Spirit you have claimed us to be your people in the world, and you have empowered us to show your love. We pray for those we would serve in Christ’s name. Especially we pray for those who are poor and hungry and homeless… those who live in fear of unemployment and job loss and those who have already experienced it… those who suffer from the covid 19 virus… those family member who wait and watch with those who are sick…nations torn by strife and warfare… refugees and victims of oppression…the imprisoned and confined…the illiterate and ignorant… those abandoned and outcast…those who carry the burden of government… those persecuted for their faith in Christ… all those in need, distress, or pain, by whatever name their suffering may be called.

Silent prayers.                                                                                                                                                                                                              True and only Light, from whom comes every good and perfect gift, send your Spirit into our lives with the power of the wind. Open the horizons of our minds by the flame of your wisdom. Loosen our tongues to show your praise, for only in your Spirit can we proclaim your words of peace and love, and acclaim Jesus as Lord. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Blessing:                                                                                                                                                                                                                      May Almighty God, who enlightened the minds of the disciples by pouring out upon them the Holy Spirit, make you rich with his blessings, that you may abound more and more in the Spirit. AMEN. May God, who sent the Holy Spirit as a flame of fire that rested upon the heads of the disciples, burn out all evil from your hearts, and make them to shine with the pure light of his presence. AMEN. May God, who by the Holy Spirt caused those of many tongues to proclaim Jesus as Lord, strengthen your faith and send you out to bear witness to him in word and deed. AMEN. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you forever. ALLELUIA! AMEN!

PRAYERS FOR ASCENSION DAY MAY 21, 2020 

The Ascension of Christ as described in Acts, chapter one, took place 40 days after the Resurrection. Hence, since early in the fourth century the church has celebrated this pivotal event in salvation history on the 40th day after Easter, always a Thursday. The Ascension of Christ is a critical article of our faith because it shows us the completion of God’s intention to redeem the world. God came to us in Christ to share our human life, to die for our redemption, to rise again to new life so that joined to him in dying to sin, we too might be raised to new life in God, and then to complete God’s intention, return to fellowship with God in our full humanity. We will enter the Kingdom of God as Jesus did: in our flesh and blood. Not the flesh and blood we now know, which is corrupted by our sin, but in the new flesh and blood of the resurrection body. In the Ascension of Jesus we see what God has been about all along; in his ascension to God’s kingdom we behold our own. 

Invocation: Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

AND BLESSED BE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 

Verses: 

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, 

‘TO THE ONE SEATED ON THE THRONE AND TO THE LAMB BE BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND MIGHT FOREVER AND EVER’.” AMEN. Revelation 5:13 

Entrance Psalm 

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy. For the Lord, the most high, is awesome, a great sovereign over all the earth. 

HE SUBDUES PEOPLES UNDER US, AND NATIONS UNDER OUR FEET. HE CHOSE OUR HERITAGE FOR US, THE PRIDE OF JACOB WHOM HE LOVES. 

God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. SING PRAISES TO OUR GOD, SING PRAISES. SING PRAISES TO OUR SOVEREIGN, SING PRAISES. 

For God is king over all the earth; Sing praises with all your skill. 

GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE NATIONS; GOD SITS ON HIS HOLY THRONE. The nobles of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. FOR THE RULERS OF THE EARTH BELONG TO GOD: HE IS HIGHLY EXALTED. 

Psalm 47 Psalm Prayer 

God of power and righteousness, you stand in power over all authorities, and you rule over all governments. Let the peoples of earth rejoice and the leaders of nations follow the way of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in whose name we pray. AMEN. 

Reading: Acts 1: 6-11 

Reflections 

“On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father.” The Apostles’ Creed 

“Christ left us in such a way that his presence might be more useful to us – a presence that had been confined in a humble abode of flesh so long as he sojourned on earth....As his body was raised up above all the heavens, so his power and energy were diffused and spread beyond all the bounds of heaven and earth.” John Calvin,” Institutes of the Christian Religion” 

“Christ received from us the earnest of the flesh, and has carried it with him into heaven as a pledge of that complete entirety which is one day to be restored to it. Be not disquieted, O flesh and blood, with any care; in Christ you have acquired both heaven and the Kingdom of God.” Tertullian, “On the Resurrection of the Flesh” 

Prayer 

Eternal God, by raising Jesus from the dead you proclaimed his victory over sin and death, and by his ascension you declared him Lord of all creation. By your Holy Spirit so unite our lives to his that we may join you in perfect union in the heavenly places, where with the Christ and the Holy Spirit you reign forever and ever. Amen. 

Hymn 

See the conqueror mounts in triumph, 

See the King in royal state, Riding on the clouds his chariot. To his heavenly palace gate. Hark! The choirs of angel voices, Joyful Alleluias sing, And the portals high are lifted, To receive their heavenly King. 

He has raised our human nature, On the clouds to God’s right hand; There we sit in heavenly places, There with him in Glory stand: Jesus reigns, adored by angels, We with God are on the throne! Mighty Lord, in thine Ascension We by faith behold our own. 

Christopher Wordsworth, 1862 

Bless the Lord. 

 

THANKS BE TO GOD.

PRAYERS FOR THE EASTER SEASON 

Readings for the Seventh Week of Easter (May 24- May 30) Acts 6:6-14 Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 1Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11 St. John 17:1-11 

Prayer of the Day 

The Lord be with you. 

AND ALSO WITH YOU. O God, your Son Jesus, prayed for his disciples and sent them into the world to proclaim the coming of your Kingdom. By your Holy Spirit, hold the church in unity, and keep it faithful to your Word, so that, breaking bread together, we may be one with Christ in faith and service, now and forever. AMEN. 

Concluding Prayer 

O God, Holy One, our altar, our cloud: in the resurrection of your Son you have brought us into your temple. Accept our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving and draw us into the fire of your Holy Spirit. AMEN. ALLELUIA! 

AN ORDER FOR PRAYER IN THE MORNING Try to use either the Morning or Evening Prayer liturgies three times a week. New readings and prayers will be sent each week of the seven week Easter season. 

No one has asked why there are no Old Testament readings in the lectionary I have been sending you for the Easter season. But I am going to tell you anyway. In Easter season the Old Testament readings are replaced by readings from the Acts of the Apostles so that we may see what happened as a result of Jesus’ resurrection. Acts tells us how the church of Jesus Christ was formed and what it did. Remember, it’s the ACTS of the Apostles, not the ideas or ponderings of the Apostles. These readings provide direction for the sorts of things that we ought to be doing as a result of our being resurrected with Christ in our baptism. 

Lord, open my lips. 

AND MY MOUTH SHALL PROCLAIM YOUR PRAISE. The Lord is risen! 

INDEED, HE IS RISEN! 

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing: TO THE ONE SEATED ON THE THRONE AND TO THE LAMB BE BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND MIGHT FOREVER AND EVER! 

Hymn

Come, Almighty, to deliver; Let us all Thy life receive; suddenly return and never, Never more Thy temples leave. Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above, Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love. Finish then Thy new creation, Pure and spotless let us be; Let us see Thy great salvation Perfectly restored in Thee! Changed from glory into glory, ‘Til in heaven we take our place, ‘Til we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise. 

Charles Wesley, 18th century Prayer of the Day (see above) 

Reading: (Select one of the readings for the seventh week of Easter.) 

Silence for reflection. 

A Poem

The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do we then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears our smudge and shares our smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshenss deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward springs – Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. 

Gerard Manley Hopkins, 19th. century 

From the Fathers of the Early Church 

What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not yet possess. This is why we keep the first season with fasting and prayer (Lent); but now the fast is over and we devote the present season (Easter) to praise. Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we sing. 

We are praising God now, assembled as we are here in church; but when we go our various ways again, it seems as if we cease to praise God. But provided we do not cease to live a good life, we shall always be praising God. You cease to praise God only when you swerve from justice and from what is pleasing to God. If you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry aloud, and God will perceive your intentions; for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts. 

St. Augustine, 4th. Century 

The Apostle’s Creed is said on Sundays and optionally on other days. 

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others, concluding with prayers for the end of the pandemic. 

The Lord’s Prayer 

The Concluding Prayer (See above) 

The Blessing 

Let us bless the Lord. 

THANKS BE TO GOD. 

A Prayer in Time of Pandemic 

Lord Jesus Christ, in your loving kindness you travelled through towns and villages, curing every disease and healing every illness. Come to us now in the midst of this terrible pandemic, that we may experience your healing love. Stop 

the spread of this disease. Heal all those who are now suffering from it. Protect us from its lethal harm. Strengthen us by your own strength. Take away our fear and anxiety that we may help our neighbors in their need. Help all who have lost jobs and livelihood and restore them to comfortable prosperity. Protect by your grace all doctors and nurses, medical technicians and hospital personnel, EMTs and first responders and all who are caring for the sick. Guide those who are working to find treatments and cures for this disease. Bless their work and let it come to speedy fruition. Protect and keep safe all those who are carrying out essential work that we may have the necessities of life: grocery clerks, mail carriers, police and fire fighters, utility and repair workers, pharmacists, and technicians. Give rest and comfort to the families of those who are afflicted with Covid-19. Defend them from this illness. Help them to put their trust in you and to commit their loved ones to your healing care. Comfort all those who mourn, for you are Lord of life and at the last, by the mighty resurrection of your Son, you will deliver us all from death into everlasting life. We glorify you together with your eternal Father and your holy and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. AMEN. 

A Prayer When we cannot come to Holy Communion 

O Lamb of God, in union with the faithful at every Table of your Church, my heart offers you praise and thanksgiving. I love you above all things, and earnestly desire to receive you into my life, body and soul. And although I cannot receive you now in the Holy Sacrament, I invite you into my heart. By your Holy Spirit may my life be fed on the spiritual food that is your life, death, and resurrection until I can once more come to your Table and know you in the breaking of the Bread. Amen. 

A Prayer for our Place of Worship 

O Holy One, may all that makes our particular church sacred space for us – the Table, the Fount, the Cross, the Pulpit, the reredos, the windows, the pews, the Bibles and the hymnals, the candles and our customs, the love and prayers of all who have gone before us – may each of these tend this space for us, hold our prayers and our presence, our sorrows and our tears, our songs and our silence, so that when we gather again in this holy place we may celebrate a new rolling away of the stone and shout our “Alleluias”. AMEN. 

A Psalm for Unity 

Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when the community lives together in unity! IT IS LIKE FINE OIL UPON THE HEAD THAT RUNS DOWN UPON THE BEARD, UPON THE BEARD OF AARON, AND RUNS DOWN UPON THE COLLAR OF HIS ROBE. It is like the dew of Mt. Hermon that falls on the hills of Zion. FOR THERE THE LORD HAS ORDAINED THE BLESSING: LIFE FOREVERMORE. 

Psalm 133 

AN ORDER FOR PRAYER IN THE EVENING

O Lord, come to our assistance; O LORD, HASTEN TO HELP US. Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept. For as by a man came death, by a man has also come the resurrection of the dead. 

FOR AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE. 

Hymn Come away to the skies, my beloved, arise And rejoice in the day thou wast born; On this festival day, come exulting away, And with singing to Zion return. 

For the glory we were first created to share, Both the nature and kingdom divine! Now created again that our lives may remain, Throughout time and eternity Thine. 

We with thanks approve the design of that love Which hath joined us to Jesus’ name; So united in heart, let us nevermore part, ‘Til we meet at the feast of the Lamb 

American Folk Hymn 

Prayer of the Day (see above) 

Reading: (Select one of the readings for the seventh week of Easter.) 

Silence for reflection. 

Reflection: “My soul is athrist for God, athrist for the living God; when shall I come to appear before the presence of God. 

Psalm 42:2 “In God’s home there is an everlasting party. What is celebrated there is not some occasion that passes; the choirs of angels keep eternal festival, for the eternally present face of God is joy never diminished. This is a feast day that does not open at dawn or close at sundown”. 

St. Augustine, comment on Psalm 42:2 Reflection: 

According to a custom that is as old as the human race, a sign carried on the forehead is a sign of belonging. Slaves, especially, often had such a sign branded on their foreheads (or cheeks, or arms); it told others who their owner was. In the sacrament of baptism Jesus who suffered and died and conquered on the cross takes possession of the children whom their parents have brought to him. The children will belong to him not as slaves used to belong to their masters, but they will belong to Christ the way lovers belong to each other. Balthasar Fischer 

Nunc Dimittis Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; 

FOR THESE EYES OF MINE HAVE SEEN THE SAVIOR WHOM YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE; A light to enlighten the nations; 

AND THE GLORY OF YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, NOW AND EVER AND UNTO AGES OF AGES. AMEN. 

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others, concluding with prayers for the end of the pandemic. 

A Prayer of St. Augustine 

Keep watch, O Lord, with those who work or watch or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, O 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. 

A Prayer for the Evening 

Abide with us, O Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent; abide with us and with your whole church. Abide with us in the evening of the day, in the evening of our life, in the evening of the world. Abide with us and with all your faithful ones, O Lord, in time and eternity. AMEN. 

Concluding Prayer (see above) 

Blessing: The Almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. 

AMEN. 

A Psalm for Easter/Ascension 

O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. THE LORD HAS MADE KNOWN HIS VICTORY; HE HAS REVEALED HIS VINDICATION IN THE SIGHT OF THE NATIONS. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE TO THE LORD, ALL THE EARTH; BREAK FORTH INTO JOYOUS SONG AND SING PRAISES. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. LET THE SEA ROAR, AND ALL THAT FILLS IT; THE WORLD AND THOSE WHO LIVE IN IT. LET THE FLOODS CLAP THEIR HANDS! Let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THE PEOPLES WITH EQUITY. 

Psalm 98 An Easter Hymn 

This joyful Easter-tide, away with sin and sorrow! My love the Crucified, has sprung to life this morrow. 

Had Christ, who once was slain, not burst his three day prison, our faith had been in vain. 

But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, arisen. 

My flesh in hope shall rest and for a season slumber Til trump from east to west shall wake the dead in number. Had Christ, who once was slain, not burst his three day prison, our faith had been in vain. 

But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, arisen. 

Death’s flood has lost its chill Since Jesus crossed the river. Lover of souls, from ill my passing soul deliver. Had Christ, who once was slain, not burst his three day prison, our faith had been in vain. 

But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, arisen. 

An Ancient Prayer for the Unity of the Church Lord God, well-spring of all love, fathomless sea of kindness and grace, make us co-heirs of your peace, and kindle in us the bright flames of your love. Make us one in reverence for your name, and strengthen us in the confession of your truth. Unite us to yourself and to one another in firm and unbreakable bonds of peace, that we, one in heart and soul on earth, may be one in the eternal feast of your joy. There we shall glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in your everlasting Kingdom. AMEN. 

 

A Prayer for the Seventh Sunday of Easter Almighty God, your blessed Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things. Mercifully give us faith to trust that, as he promised, he abides with us on earth to the end to time; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.

                                                                 PRAYERS FOR THE EASTER SEASON

Readings for the Sixth Week of Easter (May 17- May 23)

Acts 17:22-31 Psalm 66:8-20 1Peter 3:13-22 Revelation 21:1-4, 22-25;

22:3-5 St. John 14:15-21

 

Prayer of the Day

The Lord be with you.

AND ALSO WITH YOU.

O God, you have prepared for those who love you joys beyond understanding.

Pour into our hearts such love for you, that, loving you above all else, we may

obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ

our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever

and ever. AMEN. 

 

Concluding Prayer

O God, our sovereign, our banquet, our crown: in the resurrection of your Son

you have brought us into your palace. Train us to be heirs of your throne, that we

may shield the needy through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

 

                        AN ORDER FOR PRAYER IN THE MORNING

Try to use either the Morning or Evening Prayer liturgies three times a week.

New readings and prayers will be sent each week of the seven week Easter season.

 

No one has asked why there are no prayers confessing our sin in the liturgies I

have been sending to you. But I am going to tell you anyway. In 325 AD the

ecumenical (world-wide church) Council of Nicaea met to resolve the issue of the

human-divine nature of Christ. Among the canons (rules) they promulgated was

one that said that there were to be no “kneeling prayers” (confessions of sin)

during the 50 days of the Easter season. Their reasons were that Easter was a

season of such profound joy at the new life Christians receive by the resurrection

of Christ that there should be no grief or sadness over our sins because in Christ

all things are made new. We are forgiven! We should rejoice in that redemption

as the first and most important aspect of the Christian life. Besides, we have just

come through the 40 days of Lenten penitence. Now we need to celebrate the 50

days of redemption in the risen Christ!

 

Lord, open my lips.

AND MY MOUTH SHALL PROCLAIM YOUR PRAISE.

The Lord is risen!

INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

THIS IS THE LORD’S DOING AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES!

 

Hymn

Jerusalem the golden, With milk and honey blest, Beneath thy contemplation Sink

heart and voice oppressed.

I know not, O I know not, What joys await us there, What radiancy of glory, What

bliss beyond compare.

 

They stand, those halls of Zion, All jubilant with song, And bright with many an

angel, And all the martyr throng.

The Prince is ever in them, The daylight is serene; The pastures of the blest Are

decked in glorious sheen.

 

There is the throne of David; And there from care released, The song of them that

triumph, The shout of them that feast;

And they who with their Leader Have conquered in the fight; Forever and forever

are clad in robes of white.

 

O sweet and blessed country, The home of God’s elect! O sweet and blessed

country That eager hearts expect!

Jesus in mercy bring us To that dear land of rest; Who art, with God the Father

And Holy Spirit, ever blest.

 

St. Bernard of Cluny, 12th century

Prayer of the Day (see above)

 

Reading: (Select one of the readings for the sixth week of Easter.)

Silence for reflection.

 

Words from the Fathers of the Early Church

“But if you have some fondness for this body, and you are sorry to be unyoked

from what you love, do not be in despair about this. For although this bodily

covering is dissolved by death, you will see it woven again from the same

elements, not indeed with its present course and heavy texture, but with thread

re-spun into something subtler and lighter, so that the beloved body may be with

you and be restored to you again in better and even more lovable beauty.” “On

the Soul and the Resurrection”, chapter 10, St. Gregory of Nyssa

 

“God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God

of Jacob.’ God ‘is not the God of the dead’, of those who will never be again.

Rather, he is the God of the living, whose souls live in his hand and whose bodies

will, by the resurrection, live again. And David, the ancestor of God, says to God,

‘You shall take away their breath, and they shall fail and return to their dust’. See

how it is a question of their bodies. Then he adds, ‘You shall send forth your

Spirit, and they shall be created; and you shall renew the face of the earth’”. St.

John of Damascus on Psalm 104:27-30.

 

A Reflection

Ultimately, heaven is not about finding earthly pleasures such as we might find

in a theme park or fine restaurant, but about finding our true selves. We need to

be changed inside, to become our true selves, so that heaven will actually be

“heavenly” to us. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, ‘Heaven offers nothing that a

mercenary soul can desire. It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see

God, for only the pure in heart want to’. If Christ has not begun to change and

purify our hearts so that we love God more than we love human pleasure, heaven

will contain nothing that could please us. If we have begun to change inside so

that we leave behind our false selves and love God, then heaven will be all that

we could desire. For those who can say, “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians

1:21), heaven will be a weight of glory beyond all comparison, for heaven will be

full of Christ. “ Rev. Fr. Lawrence Farley

 

The Apostle’s Creed is said on Sundays and optionally on other days.

 

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others, concluding with prayers for the

end of the pandemic.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Concluding Prayer (See above)

 

The Blessing

 Let us bless the Lord.

  THANKS BE TO GOD.

 

A Prayer in Time of Pandemic

Lord Jesus Christ, in your loving kindness you travelled through towns and

villages, curing every disease and healing every illness. Come to us now in the

midst of this terrible pandemic, that we may experience your healing love. Stop

the spread of this disease. Heal all those who are now suffering from it. Protect

us from its lethal harm. Strengthen us by your own strength. Take away our fear

and anxiety that we may help our neighbors in their need. Help all who have lost

jobs and livelihood and restore them to comfortable prosperity. Protect by your

grace all doctors and nurses, medical technicians and hospital personnel, EMTs

and first responders and all who are caring for the sick. Guide those who are

working to find treatments and cures for this disease. Bless their work and let it

come to speedy fruition. Protect and keep safe all those who are carrying out

essential work that we may have the necessities of life: grocery clerks, mail

carriers, police and fire fighters, utility and repair workers, pharmacists, and

technicians. Give rest and comfort to the families of those who are afflicted with

Covid-19. Defend them from this illness. Help them to put their trust in you and

to commit their loved ones to your healing care. Comfort all those who mourn,

for you are Lord of life and at the last, by the mighty resurrection of your Son, you

will deliver us all from death into everlasting life. We glorify you together with

your eternal Father and your holy and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto

ages of ages. AMEN.

 

A Prayer When we cannot come to Holy Communion

O Lamb of God, in union with the faithful at every Table of your Church, my

heart offers you praise and thanksgiving. I love you above all things, and

earnestly desire to receive you into my life, body and soul. And although I cannot

receive you now in the Holy Sacrament, I invite you into my heart. By your Holy

Spirit may my life be fed on the spiritual food that is your life, death, and

resurrection until I can once more come to your Table and know you in the

breaking of the Bread. Amen.

 

A Prayer for our Place of Worship

O Holy One, may all that makes our particular church sacred space for us – the

Table, the Fount, the Cross, the Pulpit, the reredos, the windows, the pews, the

Bibles and the hymnals, the candles and our customs, the love and prayers of all

who have gone before us – may each of these tend this space for us, hold our

prayers and our presence, our sorrows and our tears, our song and our silence, so

that when we gather again in this holy place we may celebrate a new rolling away

of the stone and shout our “Alleluias”. AMEN.

 

A Responsive Prayer for Eastertide

Open, O doors and bolts of my heart, that Christ the King of Glory may enter!

ENTER, O MY LIGHT, AND ILLUMINE MY DARKENSS.

Enter, O my Life, and quicken my deadness;

ENTER, O MY PHYSICIAN, AND HEAL MY WOUNDS.

Enter, O Divine Fire, and burn up the thorns of my sins;

IGNITE MY HEART AND SPIRIT WITH THE FLAME OF YOUR LOVE.

Enter, O my King, and destroy in me the dominion of sin and death;

MAKE MY HEART YOUR THRONE AND RIGN IN ME FOREVER, O MY KING AND

LORD. AMEN.

 

St. Dimitri of Rostov

 

AN ORDER FOR PRAYER IN THE EVENING

O Lord, come to our assistance;

O LORD, HASTEN TO HELP US.

Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept.

For as by a man came death, by a man has also come the resurrection of the

dead.

FOR AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE.

 

Hymn

Come away to the skies, my beloved, arise

And rejoice in the day thou wast born;

On this festival day, come exulting away,

And with singing to Zion return.

 

For the glory we were first created to share,

Both the nature and kingdom divine!

Now created again that our lives may remain,

Throughout time and eternity Thine.

 

We with thanks do approve the design of that love

Which hath joined us to Jesus’ name;

So united in heart, let us nevermore part,

‘Til we meet at the feast of the Lamb

                                               American Folk Hymn

 

Prayer of the Day (see above)

 

Reading: (Select one of the readings for the sixth week of Easter.)

Silence for reflection.

 

“Set me as seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as

death, passion as fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for

love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned”.

 

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing

from the throne of God and the Lamb, through the middle of the street of the

city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit,

producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of

the nations. Nothing accursed shall be found there anymore. But the throne of

God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see

his face, and his name will be on their forehead. Revelation 22:1-5

 

Reflection:

According to a custom that is as old as the human race, a sign carried on the

forehead is a sign of belonging. Slaves, especially, often had such a sign branded

on their foreheads (or cheeks, or arms); it told others who their owner was. In

the sacrament of baptism Jesus who suffered and died and conquered on the

 

cross takes possession of the children whom their parents have brought to him.

The children will belong to him not as slaves used to belong to their masters, but

they will belong to Christ the way lovers belong to each other. Balthasar Fischer

 

Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised;

FOR THESE EYES OF MINE HAVE SEEN THE SAVIOR WHOM YOU HAVE PREPARED

FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE;

A light to enlighten the nations;

AND THE GLORY OF YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL.

 

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others, concluding with prayers for the

end of the pandemic.

 

A Prayer of St. Augustine

Keep watch, O Lord, with those who work or watch or weep this night, and give

your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, O 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.

 

A Prayer for the Evening

Abide with us, O Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent; abide

with us and with your whole church. Abide with us in the evening of the day, in

the evening of our life, in the evening of the world. Abide with us and with all

your faithful ones, O Lord, in time and eternity. AMEN.

 

Concluding Prayer (see above)

 

Blessing:

The Almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us.

AMEN.

 

A Psalm in Times of Trouble

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, abide under the shadow of the

Almighty. You shall say to the Lord, “You are my refuge and my stronghold, my

God in whom I trust.

GOD SHALL DELIVER YOU FROM THE SNARE OF THE HUNTER AND FROM THE

DEADLY PESTILENCE. GOD’S PINIONS WILL COVER YOU, AND YOU SHALL FIND

REFUGE UNDER THE WINGS OF THE LORD, WHOSE FAITHFULNESS SHALL BE A

SHIELD AND BUCKLER.

You shall not be afraid of any terror by night or the arrow that flies by day; of the

plague that stalks in the darkness nor the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.

A THOUSAND SHALL FALL AT YOUR SIDE AND TEN THOUSAND AT YOUR RIGHT

HAND, BUT IT SHALL NOT COME NEAR YOU. YOUR EYES HAVE ONLY TO BEHOLD

TO SEE THE REWARD OF THE WICKED.

Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your

habitation, there shall no evil happen to you, neither shall any plague come near

your dwelling.

FOR THE LORD SHALL GIVE HIS HOLY ANGELS CHARGE OVER YOU, TO KEEP YOU IN

ALL YOUR WAYS. THEY SHALL BEAR YOU UP IN THEIR HANDS, LEST YOU DASH

YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.

You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; you shall trample the young lion

under your feet. Because they are bound to me in love, therefore I will deliver

them; I will protect them because they know my name.

THEY SHALL CALL UPON ME, AND I WILL ANSWER THEM; I AM WITH THEM IN

TROUBLE; I WILL RESCUE THEM AND BRING THEM HONOR. WITH LONG LIFE I

WILL SATISFY THEM, AND SHOW THEM MY SALVATION.

 

Psalm 91

An Easter Hymn

  Now glad of heart be ev’ry one!

  The fight is fought, the day is won,

  The Christ is set upon the throne.

 

  Who on the rood was crucified,

  Who rose again, as at this tide,

  In glory to the Father’s side.

 

  Who baffled death and harrowed hell

  And led the souls that love him well

  All in the light of lights to dwell.

 

  To Him we lift our heart and voice

  And in His paradise rejoice

  With harp and pipe and happy voice.

 

  Then rise, all Christian folk, with me

  And carol forth the One-in-Three

  That was and is and is to be.

                                            Carol, 14th century

 

An Ancient Prayer for the Unity of the Church

Lord God, well-spring of all love, fathomless sea of kindness and grace, make us

co-heirs of your peace, and kindle in us the bright flames of your love. Make us

one in reverence for your name, and strengthen us in the confession of your

truth. Unite us to yourself and to one another in firm and unbreakable bonds of

peace, that we, one in heart and soul on earth, may be one in the eternal feast of

your joy. There we shall glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in your

everlasting Kingdom. AMEN.

 

A Poem

“Unto Me?” I do not know you –

Where may be your house?

 

“I am Jesus – Late of Judea –

Now – of Paradise”-

 

Wagons – have you – to convey me?

This is far from Thence –

“Arms of Mine – sufficient Phaeton –

Trust Omnipotence”-

 

I am spotted – “I am Pardon”-

I am small – “The Least

Is esteemed in Heaven the Chiefest –

Occupy my House”-                                         Emily Dickenson, 19th century

 

 

Emily Dickinson, 19th century

Bible Verse of the Day

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