Wednesday evening August 23

Thursday evening
Tuesday evening


Opening response

Favor us, Lord, and deliver us.
Lord, come quickly and help us.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord God, creator of day and night:
to you be praise and glory forever.
As darkness falls you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
By the light of Christ, your living Word,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
that we may walk as children of light
and sing your praise throughout the world.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and forever.


Blest Be Our Everlasting Lord

Charles Wesley

Blest be our everlasting Lord,
Our Father, God, and King!
Thy sovereign goodness we record,
Thy glorious power we sing.

By thee the victory is given:
The majesty divine,
Wisdom and might, and earth and heaven,
And all therein are thine.

The kingdom, Lord, is thine alone,
Who dost thy right maintain,
And high on thine eternal throne,
Over men and angels reign.

Riches, as seemeth good to thee,
Thou dost, and honor give;
And kings their power and dignity
Out of thy hand receive.

Thou hast on us the grace bestowed,
Thy greatness to proclaim;
And therefore now thank we our God,
And praise thy glorious name.

Thy glorious name, thy nature’s powers,
Thou hast to man made known;
And all the Deity is ours,
Through thy incarnate Son.

Confession of sin

Let us admit to God the sin which always confronts us.

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

Almighty God,
patient and of great goodness:
I confess to you,
I confess with my whole heart
my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments,
my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking;
the hurts I have done to others,
and the good I have left undone.
O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you;
and raise me to newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

May the God of love and power
forgive us and free us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,
and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 119:81-104

God, your way is holiness! Who is as great a god as you, God?

My whole being yearns for your saving help!
    I wait for your promise.
    My eyes are worn out looking for your word.
“When will you comfort me?” I ask,
    because I’ve become like a bottle dried up by smoke,
    though I haven’t forgotten your statutes.
How much more time does your servant have?
    When will you bring my oppressors to justice?
The arrogant have dug pits for me—
    those people who act against your Instruction.
All your commandments are true,
    but people harass me for no reason.
    Help me!
They’ve almost wiped me off the face of the earth!
    Meanwhile, I haven’t abandoned your precepts!
Make me live again according to your faithful love
    so I can keep the law you’ve given!

Your word, Lord,
    stands firm in heaven forever!
Your faithfulness extends from one generation to the next!
    You set the earth firmly in place, and it is still there.
Your rules endure to this day
    because everything serves you.
If your Instruction hadn’t been my delight,
    I would have died because of my suffering.
I will never forget your precepts
    because through them you gave me life again.
I’m yours—save me
    because I’ve pursued your precepts!
The wicked wait for me,
wanting to kill me, but I’m studying your laws.
I’ve seen that everything,
    no matter how perfect, has a limit,
    but your commandment is boundless.

I love your Instruction!
    I think about it constantly.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies
    because it is always with me.
I have greater insight than all my teachers
    because I contemplate your laws.
I have more understanding than the elders
    because I guard your precepts.
I haven’t set my feet on any evil path
    so I can make sure to keep your word.
I haven’t deviated from any of your rules
    because you are the one who has taught me.
Your word is so pleasing to my taste buds—
    it’s sweeter than honey in my mouth!
I’m studying your precepts—
    that’s why I hate every false path.

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.

God, your way is holiness! Who is as great a god as you, God?

Psalm prayer

Lord Christ,
as we sit at your feet,
teach us your living way;
for you are our Word and Wisdom,
one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and forever.

Old Testament reading
1 Samuel 28:3-25

Now Samuel had died, and all Israel mourned him and buried him in Ramah, his hometown. And Saul had banned all mediums and diviners from the land.

The Philistines gathered their forces and advanced to camp at Shunem. Saul gathered all Israel, and they camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was so afraid that his heart beat wildly. When Saul questioned the Lord, the Lord didn’t answer him—not by dreams, not by the Urim, and not by the prophets. So Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who communicates with ghosts! I’ll then go to her and ask by using her techniques.”

“There is such a medium in En-dor,” his servants replied.

So Saul disguised himself, dressing in different clothes. Then he and two men set out, going to the woman at nighttime.

“Please call up a ghost for me! Bring me the one I specify,” Saul said.

“Listen,” the woman said to him, “you know what Saul has done, how he has banned all mediums and diviners from the land. What are you doing? Trying to get me killed?”

But Saul promised to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you won’t get into trouble for this.”

So the woman said, “Who do you want me to bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed at Saul, “Why have you tricked me? You are Saul!”

“Don’t be afraid!” the king said to her. “What do you see?”

The woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up from the ground.”

“What does he look like?” Saul asked her.

“An old man is coming up,” she said. “He’s wrapped in a robe.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed low out of respect, nose to the ground.

“Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Samuel asked Saul.

“I’m in deep trouble!” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has turned away from me and no longer answers me by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what I should do.”

“Why do you ask me,” Samuel said, “since the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy? The Lord has done to you exactly what he spoke through me: The Lord has ripped the kingdom out of your hands and has given it to your friend David. The Lord has done this very thing to you today because you didn’t listen to the Lord’s voice and didn’t carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites. The Lord will now hand over both you and Israel to the Philistines. And come tomorrow, you and your sons will be with me! The Lord will hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.”

Saul immediately fell full length on the ground, utterly terrified at what Samuel had said. He was weak because he hadn’t eaten anything all day or night. The woman approached Saul, and after seeing how scared he was, she said, “Listen, your servant has obeyed you. I risked my life and did what you told me to do. Now it’s your turn to listen to me, your servant. Let me give you a bit of food. Eat it, then you’ll have the strength to go on your way.”

But Saul refused. “I can’t eat!” he said. But his servants and the woman urged him to do so, and so he did. He got up off the ground and sat on a couch. The woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly butchered it. She took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread. She served this to Saul and his servants, and they ate. They got up and left that very night.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 4:13-31

The council was caught by surprise by the confidence with which Peter and John spoke. After all, they understood that these apostles were uneducated and inexperienced. They also recognized that they had been followers of Jesus. However, since the healed man was standing with Peter and John before their own eyes, they had no rebuttal. After ordering them to wait outside, the council members began to confer with each other. “What should we do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem is aware of the sign performed through them. It’s obvious to everyone and we can’t deny it. To keep it from spreading further among the people, we need to warn them not to speak to anyone in this name.” When they called Peter and John back, they demanded that they stop all speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus.

Peter and John responded, “It’s up to you to determine whether it’s right before God to obey you rather than God. As for us, we can’t stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” They threatened them further, then released them. Because of public support for Peter and John, they couldn’t find a way to punish them. Everyone was praising God for what had happened, because the man who had experienced this sign of healing was over 40 years old.

After their release, Peter and John returned to the brothers and sisters and reported everything the chief priests and elders had said. They listened, then lifted their voices in unison to God, “Master, you are the one who created the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. You are the one who spoke by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant:

Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth took their stand
    and the rulers gathered together as one
    against the Lord and against his Christ.

Indeed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with Gentiles and Israelites, did gather in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and plan had already determined would happen. Now, Lord, take note of their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with complete confidence. Stretch out your hand to bring healing and enable signs and wonders to be performed through the name of Jesus, your holy servant.” After they prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking God’s word with confidence.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

God, you have done great things and holy is your name.

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.

God, you have done great things and holy is your name.

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

Prayers may include the following concerns:

The social services
All who work in the criminal justice system
Victims and perpetrators of crime
The work of aid agencies throughout the world
Those living in poverty or under oppression

Other intercessions and supplications may be offered as the Holy Spirit leads. 


God of grace,
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Let your merciful ears, O Lord, 
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such things as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.  

The Lord’s Prayer

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.


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.