Shared Prayers

Advent Vespers - St. Nicholas

Nicholas of Myra, Bishop, 6 December c.342
according to the Book of Common Prayer (p. 109)

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The church is dark, or partially so, when the service is to begin.
All stand, and the Officiant greets the people with these words

BCP 109

Officiant:

Light and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

People:
Thanks be to God.

Officiant:

Let us pray.

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The candles at the Altar are now lighted, as are other candles and lamps as may be convenient. During the candle-lighting silence is kept.
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The following hymn is then given voice.

BCP 119

O Gracious LightPhos hilaron

Officiant and People:

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

The People are seated.
The Psalms are sung or said in a suitable manner (e.g., responsively by verse, in unison, or read by the lector).

Psalm 145:8-13

Exaltabo te, Deus

8 The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, *
slow to anger and of great kindness.
9 The LORD is loving to everyone *
and his compassion is over all his works.

10 All your works praise you, O LORD, *
and your faithful servants bless you.
11 They make known the glory of your kingdom *
and speak of your power;

12 That the peoples may know of your power *
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; *
your dominion endures throughout all ages.

At the end of the Psalms is sung or said

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.

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The Lessons

The First Lesson: 1 John 4:7-14

Lector:

A reading from the first epistle of John.

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world.

Lector:

The word of the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

Silence may be kept.
The people stand as able.

BCP 119

Canticle 15: The Song of MaryMagnificat (Luke 1:46-55)

All:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children 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.

The people are seated.

The Second Lesson: Mark 10:13-16

Lector:

A reading from Mark’s Gospel.

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Lector:

The word of the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

Silence may be kept.
A brief homily, spiritual conversation, or moment of silence may be placed here.
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BCP 120

The Apostles’ Creed

Officiant and People together, all standing

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The people stand or kneel
Officiant:

The Lord be with you.

People:

And also with you.

Officiant:

Let us pray.

Officiant and People:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

BCP 122

Suffrages B

Officiant:

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,

People:

We entreat you, O Lord.

Officiant:

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,

People:

We entreat you, O Lord.

Officiant:

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,

People:

We entreat you, O Lord.

Officiant:

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,

People:

We entreat you, O Lord.

Officiant:

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,

People:

We entreat you, O Lord.

Officiant:

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, blessed Thomas, blessed Nicholas, and all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,

People:

We entreat you, O Lord.

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Collects may be said by the Officiant or by the people together, or they may be said in turn.

The Collect of the Day
Grant, Almighty God, that your church may be so inspired by the example of your servant Nicholas of Myra, that it may never cease to work for the welfare of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

modeled after BCP 260

20. For the Sick
Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servants, and give your power of healing to those who minister to their needs, that those suffering from Covid-19 and its secondary harms may be strengthened in their weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

People:

Amen.

BCP 124

A Collect for Protection
O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.

People:

Amen.

BCP 125

A Prayer for Mission
O God, you manifest in your servants the signs of your presence: Send forth upon us the Spirit of love, that in companionship with one another your abounding grace may increase among us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

People:

Amen.

Intercessions and thanksgivings may follow.

BCP 125

The General Thanksgiving

Officiant and People:

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Officiant:

Let us bless the Lord.

People:

Thanks be to God.

The Officiant then concludes with the following sentence of scripture:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

All:

Amen.


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