Year V: Holy Week

Holy Saturday: Compline (Vigil)

ABOUT COMPLINE

VIGIL: Holy Saturday: This being the evening before Resurrection Sunday, it is common for Christians to hold vigil on this night, meditating on the crucifixion narrative and seeking God in prayer well into the night. If you wish to hold vigil, simply enlarge the Hebrews reading to include a mediation that covers the same scriptures that we have been reading in Morning Prayer throughout Holy Week. Slowly read a section, imagining in your hearts the events taking place with you in the midst. Take time to pause between each section and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart regarding the passage you have just read.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Hebrews 4:1-13

Now, since God has left us the promise that we may enter his rest, let us be very careful so none of you will fail to enter. The Good News was preached to us just as it was to them. But the teaching they heard did not help them, because they heard it but did not accept it with faith. We who have believed are able to enter and have God’s rest. As God has said,

“I was angry and made a promise,
    ‘They will never enter my rest.’”

But God’s work was finished from the time he made the world. In the Scriptures he talked about the seventh day of the week: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the Scripture God said, “They will never enter my rest.”

It is still true that some people will enter God’s rest, but those who first heard the way to be saved did not enter, because they did not obey. So God planned another day, called “today.” He spoke about that day through David a long time later in the same Scripture used before:

“Today listen to what he says.
    Do not be stubborn.”

We know that Joshua did not lead the people into that rest, because God spoke later about another day. This shows that the rest for God’s people is still coming. Anyone who enters God’s rest will rest from his work as God did. Let us try as hard as we can to enter God’s rest so that no one will fail by following the example of those who refused to obey.

God’s word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. Everything is clear and lies open before him, and to him we must explain the way we have lived.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Holy Week

Holy Saturday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

VIGIL: Holy Saturday: Today we remember Jesus as he was buried in the tomb and left for dead. Little did the disciples know that while they wept in despair, the Lord Jesus was plundering hell and preparing to rise triumphantly on Resurrection morning. The Old Testament readings continue to build towards the Exodus and the Crossing of the Sea, which is itself a type of the death and resurrection of Christ. It is common for Christians to hold vigil on this night, meditating on the crucifixion narrative and seeking God in prayer well into the night.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 16

A psalm of David.

Keep me safe, O God,
    for I have come to you for refuge.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Master!
    Every good thing I have comes from you.”
The godly people in the land
    are my true heroes!
    I take pleasure in them!
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods.
    I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood
    or even speak the names of their gods.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
    You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land.
    What a wonderful inheritance!

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
    My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Exodus 14:15-31

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Command the Israelites to start moving. Raise your walking stick and hold it over the sea so that the sea will split and the people can cross it on dry land. I will make the Egyptians stubborn so they will chase the Israelites, but I will be honored when I defeat the king and all of his chariot drivers and chariots. When I defeat the king, his chariot drivers, and chariots, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”

Now the angel of God that usually traveled in front of Israel’s army moved behind them. Also, the pillar of cloud moved from in front of the people and stood behind them. So the cloud came between the Egyptians and the Israelites. This made it dark for the Egyptians but gave light to the Israelites. So the cloud kept the two armies apart all night.

Then Moses held his hand over the sea. All that night the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind, making the sea become dry ground. The water was split, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry land, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

Then all the king’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers followed them into the sea. When morning came, the Lord looked down from the pillar of cloud and fire at the Egyptian army and made them panic. He kept the wheels of the chariots from turning, making it hard to drive the chariots. The Egyptians shouted, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them and against Egypt.”

Then the Lord told Moses, “Hold your hand over the sea so that the water will come back over the Egyptians, their chariots, and chariot drivers.” So Moses raised his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its place. The Egyptians tried to run from it, but the Lord swept them away into the sea. The water returned, covering the chariots, chariot drivers, and all the king’s army that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

But the Israelites crossed the sea on dry land, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. So that day the Lord saved the Israelites from the Egyptians, and the Israelites saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore. When the Israelites saw the great power the Lord had used against the Egyptians, they feared the Lord, and they trusted him and his servant Moses.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus we thank you for the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach towards the prize. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Holy Week

Holy Saturday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

VIGIL: Holy Saturday: Today we remember Jesus as he was buried in the tomb and left for dead. Little did the disciples know that while they wept in despair, the Lord Jesus was plundering hell and preparing to rise triumphantly on Resurrection morning. The Old Testament readings continue to build towards the Exodus and the Crossing of the Sea, which is itself a type of the death and resurrection of Christ. It is common for Christians to hold vigil on this night, meditating on the crucifixion narrative and seeking God in prayer well into the night.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 67 (Deus misereatur)

All:

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 13

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
    Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Lord Jesus, you descended into the grave, taking my sin and shame into the depths of the earth so that I may ascend the heights of heaven. As I keep watch at your grave, let my old life go down into death that I may rise with you in newness of life on resurrection day.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • May your tomb spell the end of sin and self and your sepulchre be the finish of the flesh.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • May your death swallow up my life, that your life may swallow up my death.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you were laid in the tomb of a friend and left to do battle alone. As I keep watch at your grave, may the victory be won in my life and the power of sin be broken. Let self descend into the grave, that Christ’s own life may arise at the sound of your voice.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • May I no longer count my life as my own. Let it be no longer ‘I’ that lives, but Christ that lives in me.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • In this place of surrender I yield my friends and family into your hands. Do with us as you wish, we are yours to command.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, your church was conceived on the cross, incubated in the grave and born at the resurrection. Knit us into your body, and join us to your people. May we know the ending of the old life and the beginning of the new.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • Baptised into his death, your Church stands as testimony to the power of the Cross
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • Baptised into his death, your Church stands as testimony to the incorruptible life of God.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • Baptised into his death, your Church stands as testimony to the resurrection of the dead.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.

The World

  • Mighty God, for a world that rejects you, a nation that ignores you and a people that abuses you, have mercy and forgive. Hold not our sins against us but let the Cross be the solution and the Grave be our salvation.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • For the Church Militant which suffers across the world. Let hope arise and the adversary be defeated!
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • For the Church Triumphant which stands before the Throne. Let glory arise and the Lamb be vindicated!
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.
  • God, you promised to your people in the wilderness that you would be their healer (Exo 15:26) if they would listen to you and follow your commandments! Forgive us as we have gone our own way, help us follow your voice as you bring healing in our lives.
             – If we have died with him, we shall surely rise with him.


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Luke 23:50-56

Joseph Takes Jesus’ Body

There was a good and religious man named Joseph who was a member of the council. But he had not agreed to the other leaders’ plans and actions against Jesus. He was from the town of Arimathea and was waiting for the kingdom of God to come. Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. He took the body down from the cross, wrapped it in cloth, and put it in a tomb that was cut out of a wall of rock. This tomb had never been used before. This was late on Preparation Day, and when the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin.

The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was laid. Then the women left to prepare spices and perfumes.

On the Sabbath day they rested, as the law of Moses commanded.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Blessing Creation.

Understanding that the gospel of great joy is good news to all of creation, and that all of creation is made for the pleasure of God, I seek to live in such a way that maximises the happiness and wholeness of all creation; sentient and non-sentient, spiritual and material. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I refuse to engage in any practice that will bring joy to myself only by diminishing the joy of others.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Blessing Creation.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Creator of heaven and earth:
Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son,
Was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath,
So may we await with him the coming of the third day,
And rise with him to newness of life;
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the Spirit, who strengthens us to suffer with Christ,
That we may share His glory,
Set your minds on life and peace. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Holy Week

Good Friday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Hebrews 9:11-28

The New Agreement

But when Christ came as the high priest of the good things we now have, he entered the greater and more perfect tent. It is not made by humans and does not belong to this world. Christ entered the Most Holy Place only once—and for all time. He did not take with him the blood of goats and calves. His sacrifice was his own blood, and by it he set us free from sin forever. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a cow are sprinkled on the people who are unclean, and this makes their bodies clean again. How much more is done by the blood of Christ. He offered himself through the eternal Spirit as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make our consciences pure from useless acts so we may serve the living God.

For this reason Christ brings a new agreement from God to his people. Those who are called by God can now receive the blessings he has promised, blessings that will last forever. They can have those things because Christ died so that the people who lived under the first agreement could be set free from sin.

When there is a will, it must be proven that the one who wrote that will is dead. A will means nothing while the person is alive; it can be used only after the person dies. This is why even the first agreement could not begin without blood to show death. First, Moses told all the people every command in the law. Next he took the blood of calves and mixed it with water. Then he used red wool and a branch of the hyssop plant to sprinkle it on the book of the law and on all the people. He said, “This is the blood that begins the Agreement that God commanded you to obey.” In the same way, Moses sprinkled the blood on the Holy Tent and over all the things used in worship. The law says that almost everything must be made clean by blood, and sins cannot be forgiven without blood to show death.

Christ’s Death Takes Away Sins

So the copies of the real things in heaven had to be made clean by animal sacrifices. But the real things in heaven need much better sacrifices. Christ did not go into the Most Holy Place made by humans, which is only a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself and is there now before God to help us. The high priest enters the Most Holy Place once every year with blood that is not his own. But Christ did not offer himself many times. Then he would have had to suffer many times since the world was made. But Christ came only once and for all time at just the right time to take away all sin by sacrificing himself. Just as everyone must die once and then be judged, so Christ was offered as a sacrifice one time to take away the sins of many people. And he will come a second time, not to offer himself for sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Holy Week

Good Friday: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

FAST: Good Friday: Today is a major fast of the Church; a time for self-denial and the great focal point of the Lenten season of repentance. In our readings we remember the arrest and death of Jesus at Calvary and spend time considering the sin that caused him to suffer there. Try to take some extra time today for self-examination, perhaps by missing meals and using the time saved for prayer instead. The name ‘Good Friday’ is probably a corruption of the phrase ‘God Friday’ and has been a major event in the Church’s calendar since ancient times.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

 

AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 143

A psalm of David.

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    listen to my plea!
    Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
Don’t put your servant on trial,
    for no one is innocent before you.
My enemy has chased me.
    He has knocked me to the ground
    and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.
I am losing all hope;
    I am paralyzed with fear.
I remember the days of old.
    I ponder all your great works
    and think about what you have done.
I lift my hands to you in prayer.
    I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude

Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
    for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
    or I will die.
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
    for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
    for I give myself to you.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
    I run to you to hide me.
Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
    on a firm footing.
For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
    Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
    and destroy all my foes,
    for I am your servant.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Exodus 14:1-14

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back to Pi Hahiroth and to camp between Migdol and the Red Sea. Camp across from Baal Zephon, on the shore of the sea. The king will think, ‘The Israelites are lost, trapped by the desert.’ I will make the king stubborn again so he will chase after them, but I will defeat the king and his army. This will bring honor to me, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” The Israelites did just as they were told.

The King Chases the Israelites

When the king of Egypt was told that the Israelites had left, he and his officers changed their minds about them. They said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites leave. We have lost our slaves!” So the king prepared his war chariot and took his army with him. He took six hundred of his best chariots, together with all the other chariots of Egypt, each with an officer in it. The Lord made the king of Egypt stubborn, so he chased the Israelites, who were leaving victoriously. The Egyptians—with all the king’s horses, chariot drivers, and army—chased the Israelites. They caught up with them while they were camped by the Red Sea, near Pi Hahiroth and Baal Zephon.

When the Israelites saw the king and his army coming after them, they were very frightened and cried to the Lord for help. They said to Moses, “What have you done to us? Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the desert? There were plenty of graves for us in Egypt. We told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone; we will stay and serve the Egyptians.’ Now we will die in the desert.”

But Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still and you will see the Lord save you today. You will never see these Egyptians again after today. You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.”

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection……


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Almighty God who delivered your people from Pharaoh,
Through baptism in the Red Sea,
And delivered your Bride from Satan,
Through the Baptism of your Cross,
Let the revelation of Calvary flood our hearts,
The death of Calvary mortify our flesh,
And the power of Calvary fill our lives. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Reader:

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Holy Week

Good Friday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

FAST: Good Friday: Today is a major fast of the Church; a time for self-denial and the great focal point of the Lenten season of repentance. In our readings we remember the arrest and death of Jesus at Calvary and spend time considering the sin that caused him to suffer there. Try to take some extra time today for self-examination, perhaps by missing meals and using the time saved for prayer instead. The name ‘Good Friday’ is probably a corruption of the phrase ‘God Friday’ and has been a major event in the Church’s calendar since ancient times. Because there is a lot of narrative surrounding the events of this day you will find two New Testament readings in the devotions today.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 67 (Deus misereatur)

All:

An Invocation and a Doxology
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 22

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
    Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
    and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
    They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

But I am a worm and not a man.
    I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
    They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
    Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
    let the Lord rescue him!”

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
    and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
    You have been my God from the moment I was born.

Do not stay so far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and no one else can help me.
My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
    fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
Like lions they open their jaws against me,
    roaring and tearing into their prey.
My life is poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
    melting within me.
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
    My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
    You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
    an evil gang closes in on me.
    They have pierced my hands and feet.
I can count all my bones.
    My enemies stare at me and gloat.
They divide my garments among themselves
    and throw dice for my clothing.

O Lord, do not stay far away!
    You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
Save me from the sword;
    spare my precious life from these dogs.
Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
    and from the horns of these wild oxen.

I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
    I will praise you among your assembled people.
Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
    Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
    Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
    He has not turned his back on them,
    but has listened to their cries for help.

I will praise you in the great assembly.
    I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
The poor will eat and be satisfied.
    All who seek the Lord will praise him.
    Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
    All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
For royal power belongs to the Lord.
    He rules all the nations.

Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
    Bow before him, all who are mortal,
    all whose lives will end as dust.
Our children will also serve him.
    Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
    They will hear about everything he has done.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Lord Jesus, we thank you for going all the way to Calvary for your people, not holding our sins against us but lavishing your grace upon us. As we contemplate the cross, we despise the sin that put you there and reckon our sinful nature to be crucified with Christ.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the sins that I have committed and the good that I have failed to do, I cling to you, crucified Saviour.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the blood that paid my ransom and the love that took my place, I cling to you, crucified Lord.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the atonement of the Lamb and the redemption blood that paid my ransom and the love that took my place, I cling to you, crucified God.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you died for your friends even when your friends betrayed and abandoned you, and you hold out your hands to me even when I neglect you. Today I kneel at the foot of the Cross and dedicate my life afresh to live for you for the sake of all.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the friends who would mock and the friends who would listen, hear my prayer and grant forgiveness for they know not what they do.
    – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For those I love who would spurn the Cross and reject the call of Christ. Break into their lives this Easter and soften their hearts.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, you went to Calvary to win a Bride. May the power of your Cross unite your Church and the story of your Passion inspire your people. Keep your sacrifice ever before our eyes and keep our feet ever upon your path.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord
  • For the peace of your people, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the unity of your Bride, in heaven, on earth and yet to be born.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the power of your witness, from pole to pole and shore to shore.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…

The World

  • Lord Jesus, you were the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. Send us as your ambassadors and support us as your witnesses. May the world know again the reality of the crucified Saviour in the lives of the committed Saints.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the tribes still in darkness and the nations still in fear, embracing your Cross I say, “Send me, Lord”
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the war and the pain, for a world running wild, embracing your Cross I say, “Send me, Lord”
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • For the blood and the tears, for the sweat and the nails, embracing the Cross I say, “Send me, Lord”
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…
  • Father, we pray for wisdom for decision makers at this time – leaders, doctors, scientists and politicians. Holy Spirit being wisdom.
             – May I never boast of anything, but the Cross of the Lord…


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


FIRST GOSPEL READING

Luke 22:63-23:12

The People Make Fun of Jesus

The men who were guarding Jesus began making fun of him and beating him.

They blindfolded him and said, “Prove that you are a prophet, and tell us who hit you.” They said many cruel things to Jesus.

Jesus Before the Leaders

When day came, the council of the elders of the people, both the leading priests and the teachers of the law, came together and led Jesus to their highest court. They said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.”

Jesus said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe me. And if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will sit at the right hand of the powerful God.”

They all said, “Then are you the Son of God?”

Jesus said to them, “You say that I am.”

They said, “Why do we need witnesses now? We ourselves heard him say this.”

Pilate Questions Jesus

Then the whole group stood up and led Jesus to Pilate. They began to accuse Jesus, saying, “We caught this man telling things that mislead our people. He says that we should not pay taxes to Caesar, and he calls himself the Christ, a king.”

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus answered, “Those are your words.”

Pilate said to the leading priests and the people, “I find nothing against this man.”

They were insisting, saying, “But Jesus makes trouble with the people, teaching all around Judea. He began in Galilee, and now he is here.”

Pilate Sends Jesus to Herod

Pilate heard this and asked if Jesus was from Galilee. Since Jesus was under Herod’s authority, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, because he had heard about Jesus and had wanted to meet him for a long time. He was hoping to see Jesus work a miracle. Herod asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus said nothing. The leading priests and teachers of the law were standing there, strongly accusing Jesus. After Herod and his soldiers had made fun of Jesus, they dressed him in a kingly robe and sent him back to Pilate. In the past, Pilate and Herod had always been enemies, but on that day they became friends.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Sowing Seeds of Joy.

Recognising that all people seek happiness, I seek to be a minister of joy to all people, seeking to ease their human suffering and sow seeds of happiness into their lives. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I will learn to share their burdens in order that they may share my joy.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Sowing Seeds of Joy.


Pause for Reflection…

 

SECOND GOSPEL READING

Luke 23:13-49

Jesus Must Die

Pilate called the people together with the leading priests and the rulers. He said to them, “You brought this man to me, saying he makes trouble among the people. But I have questioned him before you all, and I have not found him guilty of what you say. Also, Herod found nothing wrong with him; he sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing for which he should die. So, after I punish him, I will let him go free.” [Every year at the Passover Feast, Pilate had to release one prisoner to the people.]

But the people shouted together, “Take this man away! Let Barabbas go free!” (Barabbas was a man who was in prison for his part in a riot in the city and for murder.)

Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free and told this to the crowd. But they shouted again, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

A third time Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done? I can find no reason to kill him. So I will have him punished and set him free.”

But they continued to shout, demanding that Jesus be crucified. Their yelling became so loud that Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. He set free the man who was in jail for rioting and murder, and he handed Jesus over to them to do with him as they wished.

Jesus Is Crucified

As they led Jesus away, Simon, a man from Cyrene, was coming in from the fields. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross and to walk behind him.

A large crowd of people was following Jesus, including some women who were sad and crying for him. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the women who cannot have children and who have no babies to nurse.’ Then people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ And they will say to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ If they act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come?”

There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be put to death. When they came to a place called the Skull, the soldiers crucified Jesus and the criminals—one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.”

The soldiers threw lots to decide who would get his clothes. The people stood there watching. And the leaders made fun of Jesus, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is God’s Chosen One, the Christ.”

The soldiers also made fun of him, coming to Jesus and offering him some vinegar. They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” At the top of the cross these words were written: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals on a cross began to shout insults at Jesus: “Aren’t you the Christ? Then save yourself and us.”

But the other criminal stopped him and said, “You should fear God! You are getting the same punishment he is. We are punished justly, getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus Dies

It was about noon, and the whole land became dark until three o’clock in the afternoon, because the sun did not shine. The curtain in the Temple was torn in two. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, I give you my life.” After Jesus said this, he died.

When the army officer there saw what happened, he praised God, saying, “Surely this was a good man!”

When all the people who had gathered there to watch saw what happened, they returned home, beating their chests because they were so sad. But those who were close friends of Jesus, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance and watched.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the living God,
May your passion, cross and death be ever set,
Between the judgment of the Law and the brokenness of our souls.
Grant mercy and grace to the living,
Rest to the departed,
Peace and unity to your Church
Forgiveness to sinners.
And everlasting life and glory to your people. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may Christ, who accepted the cup of sacrifice,
In obedience to the Father’s will,
Keep you steadfast as you walk with Him the way of His cross. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Holy Week

Maundy Thursday: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 130

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.

I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10

Jesus Is Our High Priest

Since we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God, who has gone into heaven, let us hold on to the faith we have. For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.

Every high priest is chosen from among other people. He is given the work of going before God for them to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. Since he himself is weak, he is able to be gentle with those who do not understand and who are doing wrong things. Because he is weak, the high priest must offer sacrifices for his own sins and also for the sins of the people.

To be a high priest is an honor, but no one chooses himself for this work. He must be called by God as Aaron was. So also Christ did not choose himself to have the honor of being a high priest, but God chose him. God said to him,

“You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.”

And in another Scripture God says,

“You are a priest forever,
    a priest like Melchizedek.”

While Jesus lived on earth, he prayed to God and asked God for help. He prayed with loud cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and his prayer was heard because he trusted God. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, he learned obedience by what he suffered. And because his obedience was perfect, he was able to give eternal salvation to all who obey him. In this way God made Jesus a high priest, a priest like Melchizedek.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful end. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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