Thursday evening March 31

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
In your resurrection, O Christ,
let heaven and earth rejoice. Alleluia.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign Lord,
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to you be glory and praise forever.
From the deep waters of death
you brought your people to new birth
by raising your Son to life in triumph.
Through him dark death has been destroyed
and radiant life is everywhere restored.
As you call us out of darkness into his marvelous light
may our lives reflect his glory
and our lips repeat the endless song.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


O That Thou Wouldst the Heavens Rend

Charles Wesley
O, that thou wouldst the heavens rend,
In majesty come down,
Stretch out thine arm omnipotent,
And seize me for thine own.

Descend, and let thy lightnings burn
The stubble of thy foe;
My sins overturn, overturn, overturn,
And make the mountains flow.

Thou my impetuous spirit guide,
And curb my headstrong will;
Thou only canst drive back the tide,
And bid the sun stand still.

What though I can not break my chain,
Or ever throw off my load;
The things impossible to men,
Are possible to God.

Is there a thing too hard for thee,
Almighty Lord of all;
Whose threatening looks dry up the sea,
And make the mountains fall?

Sworn to destroy, let earth assail;
Nearer to save thou art;
Stronger than all the powers of hell,
And greater than my heart.

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 106

The Lord remembered his covenant.

Praise the Lord!
    Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
    because his faithful love endures forever.
Who could possibly repeat all of the Lord’s mighty acts
    or publicly recount all his praise?

The people who uphold justice,
    who always do what is right, are truly happy!
Remember me, Lord, with the favor you show your people.
    Visit me with your saving help
        so I can experience the good things your chosen ones experience,
        so I can rejoice in the joy of your nation,
        so I can praise along with your possession.

We have sinned—right along with our ancestors.
    We’ve done what is wrong.
    We’ve acted wickedly.
Our ancestors in Egypt didn’t understand your wondrous works.
    They didn’t remember how much faithful love you have.
    So they rebelled by the sea—at the Reed Sea.
But God saved them for the sake of his good name,
    to make known his mighty power.
God scolded the Reed Sea, and it dried right up;
    he led them through the deeps like they were a dry desert.
God saved them from hostile powers;
    he redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
But the waters covered over their foes—
    not one of them survived!
So our ancestors trusted God’s words;
    they sang God’s praise.

But how quickly they forgot what he had done!
    They wouldn’t wait for his advice.
They were overcome with craving in the desert;
    they tested God in the wastelands.
God gave them what they asked for;
    he sent food to satisfy their appetites.

But then they were jealous of Moses in the camp,
    jealous too of Aaron, the Lord’s holy one.
So the earth opened up, swallowing Dathan,
    and covering over Abiram’s crowd.
Fire blazed throughout that whole group;
    flames burned up the wicked.

They made a calf at Horeb,
    bowing down to a metal idol.
They traded their glorious God
    for an image of a bull that eats grass.
They forgot the God who saved them—
    the one who had done great things in Egypt,
    wondrous works in the land of Ham,
    awesome deeds at the Reed Sea.
So God determined that he would destroy them—
    except for the fact that Moses, his chosen one,
    stood in the way, right in front of him,
    and turned God’s destructive anger away.

But then they rejected the land that was so desirable.
    They didn’t trust God’s promise.
They muttered in their tents
    and wouldn’t listen to the Lord’s voice.
So God raised his hand against them,
    making them fall in the desert,
    scattering their offspring among the nations,
    casting them across many lands.

They joined themselves to Baal-peor
    and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
They made God angry by what they did,
    so a plague broke out against them.
Then Phinehas stood up and prayed,
    and the plague was contained.
That’s why Phinehas is considered righteous,
    generation after generation, forever.

But they angered God at Meribah’s waters,
    and things went badly for Moses because of them,
    because they made him bitter
    so that he spoke rashly with his lips.

They didn’t destroy the nations
    as the Lord had ordered them to do.
Instead, they got mixed up with the nations,
    learning what they did
    and serving those false gods,
    which became a trap for them.
They sacrificed their own sons and daughters to demons!
They shed innocent blood,
        the blood of their own sons and daughters—
    the ones they sacrificed to Canaan’s false gods—
        so the land was defiled by the bloodshed.
They made themselves unclean by what they did; they prostituted themselves by their actions.

So the Lord’s anger burned against his people;
    he despised his own possession.
God handed them over to the nations;
    people who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
    and they were humbled under their power.
God delivered them numerous times,
    but they were determined to rebel,
    and so they were brought down by their own sin.
But God saw their distress
    when he heard their loud cries.
God remembered his covenant for their sake,
    and because of how much faithful love he has,
    God changed his mind.
God allowed them to receive compassion
    from all their captors.

Lord our God, save us!
    Gather us back together from among all the nations
        so we can give thanks to your holy name
        and rejoice in your praise!

Bless the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from forever ago to forever from now!
    And let all the people say, “Amen!”

Praise the Lord!

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 Lord remembered his covenant.

Psalm prayer

Holy God,
when our memories blot out your kindness
and we ignore your patient love,
remember us, remake us,
and give to us poor sinners
the rich inheritance of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3

I was sleeping, but my heart was awake.
A sound! My love is knocking:

“Open for me, my sister, my dearest,
        my dove, my perfect one!
        My head is soaked with dew,
        my hair, with the night mists.”

“I have taken off my tunic—
        why should I put it on again?
I have bathed my feet—
        why should I get them dirty?”
My love put his hand in through the latch hole,
        and my body ached for him.
I rose; I went to open for my love,
        and my hands dripped myrrh,
        my fingers, liquid myrrh,
        over the handles of the lock.
I went and opened for my love,
    but my love had turned, gone away.
I nearly died when he turned away.
I looked for him but couldn’t find him.
        I called out to him, but he didn’t answer me.
They found me—the guards
        who make their rounds in the city.
They struck me, bruised me.
They took my shawl away from me,
        those guards of the city walls!
I place you under oath, daughters of Jerusalem:
If you find my love, what should you tell him?
        That I’m weak with love!

How is your lover different from any other lover,
        you who are the most beautiful of women?
How is your lover different from any other lover,
        that you make us swear a solemn pledge?
In praise of him

My lover is radiant and ruddy;
        he stands out among ten thousand!
His head is finest gold;
        his wavy hair, black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves
        by channels of water.
They are bathing in milk,
        sitting by brimming pools.
His cheeks are like fragrant plantings,
        towers of spices.
        His lips are lilies
            dripping liquid myrrh.
His arms are gold cylinders
        studded with jewels.
His belly is smooth ivory
        encrusted with sapphires.
His thighs are pillars of whitest stone
        set on pedestals of gold.
His appearance—like Lebanon,
        stately, like the cedars.
His mouth is everything sweet,
        every bit of him desirable.
This is my love, this my dearest,
        daughters of Jerusalem!

Which way did your lover go,
        you who are the most beautiful of women?
Which way did your lover turn,
        that we may look for him along with you?

My lover has gone down to his garden,
        to the fragrant plantings,
        to graze in the gardens,
        to gather the lilies.
I belong to my lover and my lover belongs to me—
        the one grazing among the lilies.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Luke 7:11-17

A little later Jesus went to a city called Nain. His disciples and a great crowd traveled with him. As he approached the city gate, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When he saw her, the Lord had compassion for her and said, “Don’t cry.” He stepped forward and touched the stretcher on which the dead man was being carried. Those carrying him stood still. Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, get up.” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

Awestruck, everyone praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding region.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone. Alleluia.

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 stone which the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone. Alleluia.

Brief silence

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith:

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

Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honor, glory and might,
now and in all eternity. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in God’s new creation,
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 the risen Christ grant us the joys of eternal life.