The Order for Vespers.
¶ The Minister shall begin Vespers by rending one or more of the following Sentences of Scripture; all standing.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised.
Let our prayers be set forth in his sight as incense; and the lifting up of our hands, as an evening sacrifice.
Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
¶ Then the Minister shall say:
O Lord, open thou our lips;
People. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.
Minister. O Lord, make haste to help us.
People. O Lord, make speed to help us.
Minister. O Lord, let thy mercy be shown upon us;
People. As we do put our trust in thee.
Minister. Praise ye the Lord.
People. The Lord’s name be praised.
¶ Then shall be sang the following Psalm:
Bonum Est Confiteri.
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord: and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most Highest;
To tell of thy loving-kindness early in the morning: and of thy truth in the night-season;
Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the lute: upon a loud instrument, and upon the harp.
For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy works: and I will rejoice in giving praise for the operations of thy hands.
To be sung at the close, of this, and every Psalm.
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.
¶ After the Psalm, the Minister shall say:
The Lord be with you;
People. And with thy spirit.
Minister. Let us pray.
[All reverently bowing down.]
We humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon our infirmities; and for the glory of thy name turn from us all those evils that we most righteously have deserved; and grant that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness and pureness of living.
People. Mercifully forgive the sins of the people.
O God, merciful Father, that despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, nor the desire of such as be sorrowful; Mercifully assist our prayers that we make before thee in all our troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress us; and grant that we thy servants may evermore give thanks unto thee in the holy Church of thy Son Jesus Christ.
People. Grant us thy peace, O Lord.
O God, our heavenly Father, we give thee humble and hearty thanks for all the benefits and blessings, both spiritual and temporal, which in the riches of thy great mercy thou hast poured down upon us; but especially for thy spiritual blessings. Lord, let us not live but to praise and magnify thy great goodness. Grant, we beseech thee, that all our thoughts, words, and works may tend to the discharge of our duty, the good of our fellow-men, and the advancement of thy Son’s kingdom on earth. Amen.
O Lord Most High, with thy whole Church throughout the world we especially give thanks to thee for all thy saints departed; and for the hope of future joy in the resurrection of the just. O let the cloud of witnesses, the innumerable company of those who have gone before and entered into rest, be to us an example of godly life: even now may we rejoice in their happiness; and with patience may we so run the race that is set before us, as to have an entrance administered abundantly into thy heavenly presence, to be united with them and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O Thou Father of our spirits, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray; Often in the midst of our daily business may we lift up our hearts to thee; and grant, we humbly beseech thee, that those whom thou dost refresh with thy presence may, by a life well pleasing to thee, show their love and gratitude, as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Amen.
O blessed God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Take us into thy gracious keeping for this night; and make us mindful of that night when the noise of this busy world shall be heard by us no more. O Lord, in whom we trust, help us by thy grace so to live that we may never be afraid to die, and grant that at the last as now our even-song may be: I will lay me down in peace, and sleep, for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. Amen.
¶ Then shall be sung a Vesper Hymn, or Sacred Song (unannounced), giving devout and audible words with a melody that touches the heart.
¶ After that shall be read one of the Selections of Psalms, in verses, alternately, by Minister and People; all standing.
¶ Then shall be read a Lesson from the Sacred Scriptures. At the close of which the Minister shall say, Here endeth the Scripture Lesson; and a Vesper Psalm or Hymn shall be sung.
¶ Here shall follow an Exposition or Address; which is designed to occupy about fifteen minutes. At the close the Minister shall say, Let us pray; and the Lord’s Prayer shall be said or sung.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy 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 thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
¶ Then shall be sang a Parting Hymn of Peace, by Choir and Congregation.
¶ After which this Benediction shall be said; the Choir chanting the Amen. Or, instead of the Amen, the Choir may chant the Nunc Dimittis (St. Luke ii. 29).
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. Amen.
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with us all. Amen.