An Invitation to Evening Prayer from Fr. John Roop
Lighten our darkness, we beseech you, O Lord; and by your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
So we pray in the service of Evening Prayer, or Evensong, one of the great treasures of the Anglican Church. Morning and Evening Prayer frame the Church’s day:
From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my Name, and a pure offering. For my Name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of Hosts (Malachi 1:11, Midday Prayer).
These prayers are the daily, pure offering of the church to her Lord — a reasonable sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. In Morning and Evening Prayer the church gathers
in his presence to give thanks for the great benefits we have received at his hands, to declare his most worthy praise, to hear his holy Word, and to ask, for ourselves and others, those things necessary for our life and our salvation (Confession of Sin, Evening Prayer).
In Evening Prayer we confess our sins and receive absolution; pray a selection of Psalms; sing or say some of the most beautiful and beloved of all church canticles — the Phos hilaron (O Gladsome Light), the Magnificat (the Song of Mary), the Nunc dimittis (Song of Simeon); hear God’s Word; confess our faith; and offer prayers and thanksgivings — both the church’s and our own — and all in a space of about forty minutes.
While you may offer Morning and Evening Prayer at home (at work, in the car, etc.), by yourself or with your family or friends, these were always intended to be the corporate prayer of the church, offered at the church, by the church, and for the church. Though we always pray with the church even when alone, it is a great gift and joy to gather with the church for prayer. And, it is a gift available at Apostles Anglican Church (AAC) throughout Lent. On Monday through Thursday each week from March 7 through April 16, AAC will offer Evening Prayer starting at 5:30 in the Prayer Room; it will led by clergy and by lay readers. We invite and encourage everyone to attend. The Lenten Guide offers additional opportunities for personal preparation for and reflection on Evening Prayer. Our offering of Evening Prayer also leads us toward the service of Stations of the Cross each Friday evening, where we follow Jesus from Gethsemane to the cross through “pilgrimage”, prayers and readings.
Please join us and experience the truth of Psalm 122:
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Ps 122:1).