Thursday, August 11, 2016

Early Evening Worship, Public & Private

Evening Prayer is for everyone. Whether you practice it in the privacy of your home, or with beloved friends and family in the chapel, it contains some of the most beautiful words ever penned, the
Phos hilaron: (BCP page 64)

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 thy praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thou art 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. 

What could be better to brighten a gloomy evening?

Evening Prayer (available in Rites I and II) is sometimes referred to as Evensong, when a significant amount of the service is sung, both by the clergy and/or by a choir. Individuals may use the long service choosing prayers and readings as desired.

Another service (BCP page 109) An Order of Worship for the Evening, is not a service intended for individual use, but for special occasions, perhaps one reverencing the Consecrated Host during the Season of Lent.

On page 199 of the BCP there is a more brief, yet lovely service, still containing the "O Gracious Light." for Individuals. It works well before or after a meal, taking only a small amount of time, yet serving as a framework for prayer and devotion.

Next Week: The Last beautiful office of the day -- Compline.

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