Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In the Evening

Two prayers from The Order for Evening Worship in The Book of Common Prayer

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, creator
of the changes of day and night, giving rest to the weary,
renewing the strength of those who are spent, bestowing
upon us occasions of song in the evening. As you have
protected us in the day that is past, so be with us in the
coming night; keep us from every sin, every evil, and every
fear; for you are our light and salvation, and the strength of
our life. To you be glory for endless ages.  Amen.

Almighty, everlasting God, let our prayer in your sight be as
incense, the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice.
Give us grace to behold you, present in your Word and
Sacraments, and to recognize you in the lives of those around
us. Stir up in us the flame of that love which burned in the
heart of your Son as he bore his passion, and let it burn in us
to eternal life and to the ages of ages.  Amen.

These prayers are rarely heard because this form of Evening Prayer is rarely used in our churches (though I think The Order for Evening Worship would probably form the basis of a very successful Vespers service in many parishes). The first prayer is an adaptation of evening prayers from Bishop Lancelot Andrewes' Private Devotions; the second is from the Taize Community. Appending them to Evening Prayer seems a good practice as we end the Office, especially on Sundays.

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