VESPERS.TXT from the AXIOS BBS, Copyright 1988, AXIOS THE ORDER FOR EVENING PRAYER DAILY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR When time is come for Evening Prayer the holy gates shall be open. And the priest (vested in cassock, surplice, stole and cope) shall kneel before the altar with the censer, and the deacon (vested in dalmatic and stole) with the taper. Then the priest shall say (thrice): V. O God, make + speed to save us. R. O Lord, make haste to help us. And then the priest standing up and holding the censer aloft shall say: V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. V. Praise ye the Lord. R. The Lord's Name be praised. And the choir shall sing Psalm 103; and the priest, preceded by the deacon bearing a taper, shall cense the holy altar round about, the icons and the whole temple and the people, after which the holy gates are closed. Psalm CIII. Benedic, anima mea. Praise the Lord, O my soul : O Lord my God, thou art become exceeding glorious; thou art clothed with majesty and honor. Thou deckest thyself with light as it were with a garment : and spreadest out the heavens like a curtain. Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters : and maketh the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings of the wind. He maketh his angels spirits : and his ministers a flaming fire. He laid the foundations of the earth : that it never should move at any time. Thou coveredst it with the deep like as with a garment : the waters stand in the hills. At thy rebuke they flee : at the voice of thy thunder they are afraid. They go up as high as the hills, and down to the valleys beneath : even unto the place which thou hast appointed for them. Thou hast set them their bounds which they shall not pass : neither turn again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the rivers : which run among the hills. All beasts of the field drink thereof : and the wild asses quench their thirst. Beside them shall the fowls of the air have their habitation : and sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from above : the earth is filled with the fruit of thy works. He bringeth forth grass for the cattle : and green herb for the service of men; That he may bring food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man : and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen man's heart. The trees of the Lord also are full of sap : even the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted; Wherein the birds make their nests : and their fir trees are a dwelling for the stork. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats : and so are the stony rocks for the conies. He appointed the moon for certain seasons : and the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness that it may be night : wherein all the beasts of the forest do move. The lions roaring after their prey : do seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, and they get them away together : and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth to his work, and to his labor : until the evening. O Lord, how manifold art thy works : in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches. So is the great and wide sea also : wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships, and there is that Leviathan : whom thou hast made to take his pastime therein. These wait all upon thee : that thou mayest give them meat in due season. When thou givest it them they gather it : and when thou openest thy hand they are filled with good. When thou hidest thy face they are troubled : when thou takest away their breath they die, and are turned again to their dust. When thou lettest thy breath go forth they shall be made : and thou shalt renew the face of the earth. The glorious Majesty of the Lord shall endure for ever : the Lord shall rejoice in his works. The earth shall tremble at the look of him : if he do but touch the hills, they shall smoke. I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live : I will praise my God while I have my being. And so shall my words please him : my joy shall be in the Lord. As for sinners, they shall be consumed out of the earth, and the ungodly shall come to an end : praise thou the Lord, O my soul, praise the Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, glory be to thee, O God (thrice). Here shall follow the office hymn with the V. and R. appointed: otherwise V. Let my prayer be set forth. R. In thy sight as the incense. Deacon: Let us pray. Priest: O great and most high God, who alone hast immortality, and dwellest in light unapproachable; who hast made all creation in wisdom; who hast divided the light from the darkness, and hast appointed the sun to rule the day, and the moon and stars also to rule the night; who hast vouchsafed unto us sinners at this present hour also to come before thy presence with confession, and to offer unto thee our evening sacrifice of praise: Do thou thyself, who lovest mankind, direct our prayer as a censer before thee, and accept it for a savor of sweet incense; and grant that we may pass this present evening and the coming night in peace. Endue us with the armor of light. Deliver us from the terror of the night, and from everything that walketh in darkness; and grant that the sleep, which thou hast appointed for the repose of our weakness, may be free from every imagination of the Devil. Yea, O Master, Bestower of all good things, may we, being moved to compunction upon our beds, call to remembrance thy holy Name in the night season: that, enlightened by meditation on thy statutes, we may rise up in joyfulness of soul to glorify thy goodness, offering up prayers and supplications unto thy tender love for our own sins and for those of all thy people: whom do thou visit in mercy, through the intercessions of the holy Theotokos. For thou art a gracious God, and lovest mankind, and unto thee do we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Choir: Amen. Then shall be said the Psalms, as appointed in the Psalter. While the last psalm is being sung, the holy gates are opened, and the priest and deacon pass before the high place, through the north door and stand before the holy gates. Then the deacon, having censed the holy icons, shall say: Let us pray. Priest: Almighty God, we give thee thanks for surrounding us, as daylight fadeth, with the brightness of the vesper light; and we implore thee of thy great goodness that, as thou enfoldest us with the radiance of this light, so thou wouldst shine into our hearts the brightness of thy Holy Ghost; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Advent Collect for the First Sunday of Advent Christmas, Epiphany, and other Feasts of the Incarnation Collect for the First Sunday after Christmas Lent and other times of penitence Almighty and most merciful God, kindle within us the fire of thy love, that by its cleansing flame we may be purged of all our sins and made worthy to worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Paschal Season Eternal God, who of old didst lead thy people forth from the bondage of Egypt by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night: Grant that we, who have been delivered from the bondage of sin and death by the resurrection of thy Son, may ever walk in the light of thy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen. And the choir shall sing the Evening Hymn: O joyous light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed, Jesus Christ: now that we are come to the setting of the sun, and behold the evening light, we praise thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God. It is meet at all times to worship thee with voices of praise, O Son of God and Giver of life: therefore all the world doth glorify thee. The priest and deacon enter the sanctuary and go to the high place. Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you all. Choir: And with thy spirit. Then shall follow the blessing before the Lesson from the Old Testament. Deacon: Let us bless the Lord. Choir: Blessed be the Lord forever and ever. Reader: Bless me, Father. Priest: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, everlasting and Almighty, who hast redeemed thy people by sending thy Son to fulfil the Law. Reader: Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast fulfilled the Law. Then shall be chanted distinctly with an audible voice the Old Testament Lesson, as is appointed in the Calendar, except there be proper Lessons assigned for that day: The reader so standing and turning himself, that he may face the east. And before the Lesson the reader shall say, The Lesson is from such a Chapter, or Verse of such a Chapter, of such a Book: And after the Lesson, the reader shall say, Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast fulfilled the Law. And the priest shall respond, Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, everlasting and Almighty, who hast given us thy Son and thereby planted among us life eternal. And the priest, coming before the holy altar, shall begin the antiphon to the Magnificat. And as the choir sings the Hymn of the Mother of God, he shall reverently cense the altar round about. Antiphon on Sundays. God hath exalted. Antiphon on Ferias. Behold from henceforth. Magnificat. My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations. He hath showed his strength with his arm he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Antiphon on Sundays. God hath exalted the lowliness of his handmaiden. Antiphon on Ferias. Behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Deacon: Let us give heed. The Gradual On Saturday evening (Psalm XCII): Deacon: The Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparel. Choir: The Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparel. Deacon: The Lord hath put on his apparel, and girded himself with strength. Choir: The Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparel. Deacon: He hath made the round world so sure that it cannot be moved. Choir: The Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparel. Deacon: Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever. Choir: The Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparel. Deacon: The Lord is King, Choir: And hath put on glorious apparel. On Sunday evening (Psalm CXXXIII): Behold now, praise the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord. V. Ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord, even in the courts of the house of our God. V. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and praise the Lord. V. The Lord that made heaven and earth give thee blessing out of Sion. V. Behold now, praise the Lord, On Monday evening (Psalm IV): Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness. V. Thou hast set me at liberty when I was in trouble; have mercy upon me, and hearken unto my prayer. V. Know this also, that the Lord hath chosen to himself the man that is godly. V. Offer the sacrifice of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. V. Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. V. I will lay me down in peace, and take my rest; for it is thou, Lord, only, that makest me dwell in safety. V. Hear me when I call, On Tuesday evening (Psalm XXII): The Lord is my shepherd, therefore can I lack nothing. V. He shall feed me in a green pasture, and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort. V. He shall convert my soul, and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, for his Name's sake. V. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. V. For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me. V. Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me. V. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full. V. Thy lovingkindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. V. I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. V. The Lord is my shepherd. On Wednesday evening (Psalm LIII): Save me, O God, for thy Name's sake, and judge me in thy strength. V. Hear my prayer, O God, and hearken unto the words of my mouth. V. For strangers are risen up against me, and tyrants, which have not God before their eyes, seek after my soul. V. Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. V. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: destroy thou them in thy truth. V. An offering of a free heart will I give thee, and praise thy Name, O Lord, because it is so comfortable. V. For he hath delivered me out of all my trouble; and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies. V. Save me, O God, for thy Name's sake. On Thursday evening (Psalm CXX): My help cometh from the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth. V. I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. V. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; and he that keepeth thee will not sleep. V. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. V. The Lord himself is thy keeper; the Lord is thy defense upon thy right hand. V. So that the sun shall not burn thee by day; neither the moon by night. V. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul. V. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, from this time forth for evermore. V. My help cometh from the Lord. On Friday evening (Psalm LVIII): Thou, O God, art my refuge, and my merciful God. V. Deliver me from mine enemies, O God; defend me from them that rise up against me. V. O deliver me from the wicked doers, and save me from the blood-thirsty men. V. Stand up, O Lord God of hosts, thou God of Israel, to visit all the heathen, and be not merciful unto them that offend of malicious wickedness. V. My strength will I ascribe unto thee; for thou art the God of my refuge. V. God showeth me his goodness plenteously; and God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. V. Slay them not, lest my people forget it, but scatter them abroad among the people, and put them down, O Lord, our defense. V. As for me, I will sing of thy power, and will praise thy mercy betimes in the morning; for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. V. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing. V. Thou, O God, art my refuge. Deacon: Bless me, Father. Priest: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, who restest in the Saints, and unto thee do we ascribe glory; to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Choir: Amen. Deacon: Wisdom, O believers. The Lesson is taken from ... Choir: Glory be to thee, O Lord. Then the deacon readeth the Lesson from the New Testament and at the end, if it be a Gospel Lesson, the people respond, Praise be to thee, O Christ. Otherwise, Thanks be to God. And when it is ended the reader reads the Evening Prayer: Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this evening without sin. Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is thy Name for evermore. Amen. O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. Blessed art thou, O Master: make me to understand thy statutes. Blessed art thou, O Holy One: enlighten me with thy statutes. O Lord, thy mercy is for ever: despise not the works of thine hands. Unto thee is due praise, unto thee is due song, unto thee is due glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Antiphon. Save us. Nunc dimittis, or the Song of Simeon. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation. Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people; To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Antiphon: Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping: that when we awake we may watch with Christ, and when we sleep, we may rest in peace. In Eastertide is added: Alleluia. Then shall be said the Nicene Creed by the Minister and the People, standing. I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible: And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen. Priest: The Lord be with you. Choir: And with thy spirit. Deacon: Let us pray. Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us. All: Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one. Amen. V. O Lord, show thy mercy upon us. R. And grant us thy salvation. V. Endue thy Ministers with righteousness. R. And make thy chosen people joyful. V. O Lord, save thy people. R. And bless thine inheritance. V. Give peace in our time, O Lord. R. Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God. V. O God, make clean our hearts within us. R. And take not thy holy Spirit from us. V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit. Deacon: Let us pray. Then shall follow the Collect for the Day A Collect for Peace. O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give: that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. A Collect for Aid against all Perils. Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord: and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night: For the love of thy only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. V. The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit. V. Let us bless the Lord. R. Thanks be to God. V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. R. Amen. Then is sung one of these Anthems that follow, according to the season throughout the year. During Advent, that is, from Evening Prayer before the First Sunday in Advent until after Evening Prayer on February 2. Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti, surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti, natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem, Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere. In Advent. V. The Angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary. R. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost. Let us pray. Collect. We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an Angel, so by his Cross and passion we may be brought unto the glory of his resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen. From Evening Prayer on Christmas Eve and thenceforth. V. Mother and Virgin thou abidest. R. Mother of God, intercede for us. Let us pray. Collect. O God, who by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary hast bestowed upon mankind the gifts of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech thee, that we may perceive that she intercedeth for us, through whom we have been found worthy to obtain the Author of life, thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. R. Amen. After the Purification, that is, from the end of Evening Prayer on February 2 inclusive, until Wednesday in Holy Week inclusive. Ave, Regina caelorum, ave, Domina angelorum, salve, radix, salve, porta, ex qua mundo lux est orta. Gaude, Virgo gloriosa, super omnes speciosa; vale, o valde decora, et pro nobis Christum exora. V. Vouchsafe to receive my praises, O Virgin most holy. R. Give me strength against thine enemies. Let us pray. Collect. Grant, we beseech thee, O merciful God, thy protection to our frailty; that we who commemorate Mary the Virgin and Mother of God, may rise from our iniquities by the help of her intercession. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen. From Evening Prayer on Holy Saturday until Morning Prayer on the Saturday after Whitsunday inclusive. Regina caeli, laetare. Alleluia. V. Rejoice, and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia. R. For the Lord hath risen indeed. Alleluia. Let us pray. Collect. O God, who by thy resurrection of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ hast given joy unto the world: grant, we beseech thee, that through his Mother the Virgin Mary we may obtain the joys of life eternal. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen. From Evening Prayer before the Feast of the Holy Trinity until Morning Prayer on the Saturday before Advent inclusive. Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae; vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve, Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray. Collect. Almighty, everlasting God, who by the co-operation of the Holy Ghost didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin Mother of God Mary to become a dwelling-place meet for thy Son: grant, that as we rejoice in her commemoration, so we may by her fervent intercession be delivered from present evils, and from everlasting death. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen. Then these five prayers following are read: A Prayer for the President of the United States, and all in Civil Authority. O Lord our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favor to commend this nation to thy merciful care, that being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to the President of the United States, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness; and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. A Prayer for the Clergy and People. Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift; Send down upon our Bishop, N., and upon all bishops of thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and, that they may rightly divide the word of thy truth and truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Prosper them, and the Clergy and Congregations committed to their charge, with all happiness; and bring them to thine everlasting kingdom. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our only Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen. A Prayer for all Conditions of Men. O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldst be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of mind and spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are any ways afflicted, or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [especially for N. and N.;] that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them, according to their several necessities; giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. A Prayer of St. Chrysostom. Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise, that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests: Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen. 2 Cor. 13. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ + and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.