Thursday evening November 12

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
All your faithful ones bless you
They speak of the glory of your kingdom.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise forever.
Now, as darkness is falling,
wash away our transgressions,
cleanse us by your refining fire
and make us temples of your Holy Spirit.
By the light of Christ,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
and make us ready to enter your kingdom,
where songs of praise forever sound.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Help, Gracious Lord, My Deep Distress

Charles Wesley
Help, gracious Lord, my deep distress
To thee with anguish I reveal,
Who every sickness, and disease
Dost still among thy people heal.

O wouldst thou undertake for me,
Exert thy healing art divine!
My complicated malady
Mocks every other help but thine.

A secret, slow, internal fire
Consumes my soul with lingering pains,
The restless fever of desire
Throughout my fallen nature reigns.

Jesus, this eagerness of praise,
This raging thirst of creature-good,
Allay with thy refreshing grace,
Extinguish with thy balmy blood.

See the poor patient at thy feet,
And now the gracious wonder show:
I long thy healing touch to meet,
I gasp thy pardoning love to know.

Now, Savior, now the fever chide,
The virtue of thy name exert,
The fierceness of desire and pride
Rebuke, and bid my sin depart.

Soon as thy hand the balm applies,
My dying soul from sin set free
With instantaneous health shall rise,
And gladly serve thy saints and thee;

The servant of thy church below,
With all who know their sins forgiven,
Pardoned I in thy peace shall go,
And walk, and run, and fly to heaven.

Confession of sin

Come, Holy Spirit of God,
and search our hearts with the light of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 
and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, 
with all your being, with all your mind, 
and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.
All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

After a period of reflection

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgment;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Hosea 6

May almighty God,
who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,
bring us his pardon and peace, now and forever.

The Word of God

Psalm 42

My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.

Just like a deer that craves streams of water,
    my whole being craves you, God.
My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When will I come and see God’s face?
My tears have been my food both day and night,
    as people constantly questioned me,
    “Where’s your God now?”
But I remember these things as I bare my soul:
    how I made my way to the mighty one’s abode,
    to God’s own house,
        with joyous shouts and thanksgiving songs—
        a huge crowd celebrating the festival!
Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed?
    Why are you so upset inside?
Hope in God!
    Because I will again give him thanks,
        my saving presence and my God.
My whole being is depressed.
    That’s why I remember you
    from the land of Jordan and Hermon,
        from Mount Mizar.
Deep called to deep at the noise of your waterfalls;
    all your massive waves surged over me.
By day the Lord commands his faithful love;
    by night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God, my solid rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
        Why do I have to walk around,
        sad, oppressed by enemies?”
With my bones crushed, my foes make fun of me,
    constantly questioning me: “Where’s your God now?”
Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed?
    Why are you so upset inside?
        Hope in God!
        Because I will again give him thanks,
        my saving presence and my God.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.

Psalm prayer

Come, creator Spirit, source of life;
sustain us when our hearts are heavy
and our wells have run dry,
for you are the Father’s gift,
with him who is our living water, 
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 43

Let me come to God’s altar— let me come to God.

Establish justice for me, God!
    Argue my case against ungodly people!
    Rescue me from the dishonest and unjust!
Because you are my God, my protective fortress!
    Why have you rejected me?
    Why do I have to walk around,
        sad, oppressed by enemies?
Send your light and truth—those will guide me!
    Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
        to your dwelling place.
Let me come to God’s altar—
let me come to God, my joy, my delight—
    then I will give you thanks with the lyre,
    God, my God!
Why, I ask myself, are you so depressed?
    Why are you so upset inside?
    Hope in God!
        Because I will again give him thanks,
        my saving presence and my God.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Let me come to God’s altar— let me come to God.

Psalm prayer

Come, creator Spirit, light and truth;
bring us to the altar of life
and renew our joy and gladness
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Daniel 6

Darius decided to appoint one hundred twenty chief administrators throughout the kingdom, and to set over them three main officers to whom they would report so that the king wouldn’t have to be bothered with too much. One of these main officers was Daniel. Because of his extraordinary spirit, Daniel soon surpassed the other officers and the chief administrators — so much so that the king had plans to set him over the entire kingdom. As a result, the other officers and the chief administrators tried to find some problem with Daniel’s work for the kingdom. But they couldn’t find any problem or corruption at all because Daniel was trustworthy. He wasn’t guilty of any negligence or corruption.

So these men said, “We won’t find any fault in Daniel, unless we can find something to use against him from his religious practice.”

So these officers and chief administrators ganged together and went to the king. They said to him, “Long live King Darius! All the officers of the kingdom, the ministers, the chief administrators, the royal associates, and the governors advise the king to issue an edict and enforce a law, that for thirty days anyone who says prayers to any god or human being except you, Your Majesty, will be thrown into a pit of lions. Now, Your Majesty, issue the law and sign the document so that it cannot be changed, as per the law of Media and Persia, which cannot be annulled.” Because of this, King Darius signed the document containing the law.

When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went to his house. Now his upper room had open windows that faced Jerusalem. Daniel knelt down, prayed, and praised his God three times that day, just like he always did. Just then these men, all ganged together, came upon Daniel praying and seeking mercy from his God. They then went and talked to the king about the law: “Your Majesty! Didn’t you sign a law, that for thirty days any person who prays to any god or human being besides you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into a pit of lions?”

The king replied, “The decision is absolutely firm in accordance with the law of Media and Persia, which cannot be annulled.”

So they said to the king, “One of the Judean exiles, Daniel, has ignored you, Your Majesty, as well as the law you signed. He says his prayers three times a day!”

When the king heard this report, he was very unhappy. He decided to rescue Daniel and did everything he could do to save Daniel before the sun went down. But these men, all ganged together, came and said to the king, “You must realize, Your Majesty, that the law of Media and Persia, including every law and edict the king has issued, cannot be changed.”

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and hurled him into the pit of lions.

The king said to Daniel: “Your God—the one you serve so consistently—will rescue you.”

A single stone was brought and placed over the entrance to the pit. The king sealed it with his own ring and with those of his princes so that Daniel’s situation couldn’t be changed. The king then went home to his palace and fasted through the night. No pleasures were brought to him, and he couldn’t sleep. At dawn, at the first sign of light, the king rose and rushed to the lions’ pit.

As he approached it, he called out to Daniel, worried: “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God—the one you serve so consistently—able to rescue you from the lions?”

Then Daniel answered the king: “Long live the king! My God sent his messenger, who shut the lions’ mouths. They haven’t touched me because I was judged innocent before my God. I haven’t done anything wrong to you either, Your Majesty.”

The king was thrilled. He commanded that Daniel be brought up out of the pit, and Daniel was lifted out. Not a scratch was found on him, because he trusted in his God. The king then ordered that the men who had accused Daniel be brought and thrown into the lions’ pit—including their wives and children. They hadn’t even reached the bottom of the pit before the lions overpowered them, crushing all their bones.

Then King Darius wrote the following decree:

To all the peoples, nations, and languages inhabiting the entire earth: I wish you much peace. I now issue this command: In every region of my kingdom, all people must fear and revere Daniel’s God because:

He is the living God.
    God stands firm forever.
His kingship is indestructible.
    God’s rule will last until the end of time.
He is rescuer and savior;
    God performs signs and miracles in heaven and on earth.
Here’s the proof:
    He rescued Daniel from the lions’ power.

And so Daniel was made prosperous during the rule of Darius and during the rule of Cyrus the Persian.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Revelation 8

Then, when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, and he held a gold bowl for burning incense. He was given a large amount of incense, in order to offer it on behalf of the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense offered for the prayers of the saints rose up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the incense container and filled it with fire from the altar. He threw it down to the earth, and there were thunder, voices, lightning, and an earthquake.

Then the seven angels who held the seven trumpets got ready to blow them. The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire mixed with blood appeared, and was thrown down to the earth. A third of the earth was burned up. A third of the trees were burned up. All the green grass was burned up. Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain burning with fire was thrown down into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the creatures living in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star, burning like a torch, fell from heaven. It fell on a third of the rivers and springs of water. The star’s name is Wormwood, and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it became so bitter. Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars so that a third of them became dark. The day lost a third of its light, and the night lost a third of its light too.

Then I looked and I heard an eagle flying high overhead. It said with a loud voice, “Horror, horror, oh! The horror for those who live on earth because of the blasts of the remaining trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

The righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom.

With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy, 
just as he promised to our ancestors, 
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.

Luke 1:46-55

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

The righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom.

The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe 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, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Thanksgiving and intercession

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.
Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs


Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
as our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


May Christ, who has opened the kingdom of heaven,
bring us to reign with him in glory.