7 Epiphany, Wednesday Evening

Prayers before the Office
Open, O Lord, my mouth to bless thy holy Name; cleanse also my heart from all vain, evil, and wandering thoughts; enlighten my understanding and kindle my affections; that I may worthily, attentively, and devoutly say this Office, and so be meet to be heard before the presence of thy divine Majesty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, in union with that divine intention wherewith thou, whilst here on earth, didst render praises unto God, I desire to offer this my Office of prayer unto thee.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

V. O God, make speed to save me.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
All: Alleluia

The Psalter

Day 1 : Day 2 : Day 3 : Day 4 : Day 5 : Day 6 : Day 7 : Day 8 : Day 9 : Day 10 : Day 11 : Day 12 : Day 13 : Day 14 : Day 15 : Day 16 : Day 17 : Day 18 : Day 19 : Day 20 : Day 21 : Day 22 : Day 23 : Day 24 : Day 25 : Day 26 : Day 27 : Day 28 : Day 29 : Day 30

¶ After each Psalm or portion of Psalm shall be said.

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.

First Lesson: Deuteronomy 15:7-15
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.


O God, whose hand hath spread the sky
And all its shining hosts on high,
And, painting it with fiery light,
Made it so beauteous and so bright.

Thou, when the Fourth Day was begun,
Didst frame the circle of the sun,
And set the moon for order’d change,
And planets for their wider range.

To night and day, by certain line,
Their varying bounds thou didst assign:
And gav’st a signal, known and meet,
For months begun and months complete.

Enlighten thou the hearts of men,
Polluted souls make pure again:
Unloose the bands of guilt within,
Remove the burden of our sin.

Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Jesus Christ our Lord most high,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

V. Lord, let my prayer be set forth.
R. In thy sight as the incense.

Magnificat. St. Luke 1:46-55

Antiphon: The Lord hath regarded my lowliness, and he that is mighty hath magnified me.

  1. My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
  2. For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden.
  3. For behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
  4. For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * and holy is his Name.
  5. And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
  6. He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
  7. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek;.
  8. He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
  9. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be.

Antiphon: The Lord hath regarded my lowliness, and he that is mighty hath magnified me.

Second Lesson: Matthew 27:45-56
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.

Nunc dimittis. St. Luke 2:29-32

Antiphon: Save us, O Lord, while waking and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

  1. LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, * according to thy word.
  2. For mine eyes have seen * thy salvation,
  3. Which thou hast prepared * before the face of all people;
  4. To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, * and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be.

Antiphon: Save us, O Lord, while waking and guard us while sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.
A reading from the works of St Augustine
The reading that I have undertaken to explain, with the help of God’s mercy, is this obscure and troublesome passage of the Apostle’s letter, which is, however, very helpful and wholesome to those who understand it rightly.

For when we were in the flesh, he says, the passions of sins which came through the Law were working in our members, to bear fruit for death. Here it seems that the Apostle is blaming and finding fault with the Law of God. The Manichees say that the Law of God which was given through Moses was not in fact given by God and is contrary to the Gospel. But read on, go a little further, listen to the whole passage with patience; What therefore are we to say, he continues, that the Law is sin? Perish the thought. At a stroke he has acquitted the Law and condemned its accuser. Perish the thought that the Law may be sin. But I would never have known about sin, he goes on, except through the Law. For I would not know about lust, unless the Law said: You shall not lust. Is the Law bad that says, You shall not lust? Not even the most shameless of lechers will give me that answer. After all, even the most dissolute rakes blush when they are rebuked for their behaviour; and when they are in the company of clean-living people, they don’t dare to indulge in loose behaviour. So if you say that the Law is bad which says, You shall not lust, it means you want to lust with impunity.

But seizing its opportunity, sin through the commandment worked in me every kind of lust. There was less lust when you were sinning before hearing the Law; but now that the Law’s barricades have been set in place against you, the stream of lust has been checked a little as by a dam, but not dried up. When there were no barriers it used to carry you along; now its pressure builds up, it bursts the barriers and overwhelms you. But what are you to do, O man? The reason you haven’t been victorious is that you have been presumptuously self-reliant. Your lust has conquered you because it found you in a bad place; it found you in the flesh. Emigrate from there. Don’t panic, I haven’t told you to die – or rather I have the nerve to say, yes, I have told you to die. If you have died with Christ, seek the things that are above. While living in the flesh, don’t go on being in the flesh; start being in the Spirit instead.

To heal sinners, the Saviour came from the virgin; he didn’t come to you the way you came, seeing that he didn’t originate from the sexual appetite of male and female, not from that chain of lust. Because of this he sets you free. Where did he find you? Sold under sin, lying in the death of the first man, having guilt before you could have any free choice. He found you as a baby, but you have got beyond your infant years, you’ve grown up: to the first sin you have added many more, you have received the Law, you have turned out a transgressor. But don’t worry: Where sin abounded, grace has abounded even more.

St Augustine, Sermon 153; WSA (1992) tr. Hill.

¶ Then follows,

The Apostles’ Creed.
I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost: The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints: The Forgiveness of sins: The Resurrection of the body: And the Life everlasting. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you (or O Lord, Hear my prayer.)
R. And with thy spirit. (or And let my cry come unto Thee.)

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. Amen.

V. O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.
R. And grant us thy salvation.
V. O Lord, save our governours.
R. And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
V. Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
R. And make thy chosen people joyful.
V. O Lord, save thy people.
R. And bless thine inheritance.
V. Give peace in our time, O Lord.
R. Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.
V. O God, make clean our hearts within us.
R. And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

O LORD, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour who liveth and reigneth with THee in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.

A Collect for Peace.
O GOD, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

A Collect for Aid against Perils.
LIGHTEN our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Commemoration of the Mother of God and All Saints

¶ Said on Sundays and Ferias throughout the year except Lent and Eastertide, unless otherwise noted.

Antiphon. May the blessed Mother of God, Mary the Virgin, and all the Saints, intercede for us with the same Lord our God.

V. The Lord hath chosen to himself them that are godly.
R. When they call upon the Lord he will hear them.
Let us pray.

Defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all dangers both of body and soul : and at the intercession of the blessed and glorious Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, of blessed Joseph, of thy holy Apostles Peter and Paul, [of blessed N. the patron of this parish or my patron,] and of all thy Saints, grant us thy saving health and peace ; that being defended from all adversities and all false doctrines, thy Church may serve thee in freedom and quietness. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord: who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever one God, world without end. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you (or O Lord, Hear my prayer.)
R. And with thy spirit. (or And let my cry come unto Thee.)
V. Let us bless the Lord (alleluia, alleluia).
R. Thanks be to God (alleluia, alleluia).
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.

¶ When the Litany or Mass is to be said, the following prayers are omitted, save only the Grace and the Final Antiphon.

A General Thanksgiving.
ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men; [particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them.] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end.

A Prayer for The President of the United States, and all in Civil Authority.
Almighty God, whose kingdom is everlasting and power infinite; Have mercy upon this whole land; and so rule the hearts of thy servants THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, The Governor of this State, and all others in authority, that they, knowing whose ministers they are, may above all things seek thy honour and glory; and that we and all the People, duly considering whose authority they bear, may faithfully and obediently honour them, according to thy blessed Word and ordinance; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

A Prayer for the Clergy and People.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who alone workest great marvels: Send down upon our Bishops and other clergy, and all Congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Grace
The grace of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Love of God the Father and the Communion of the Holy Ghost be with us all, evermore.  Amen.

¶ Here shall be added the Final Antiphon of the Virgin Mary according to season.

  • From Vespers of the Saturday before the I Sunday in Advent through II Vespers of the Purification; or if this Feast be transferred, through Vespers on February 2nd: Alma Redemptoris Mater
  • After the Purification, that is, from Compline of February 2nd, whether the Feast of the Purification be transferred or not, through Compline of Wednesday in Holy Week: Ave, Regina cælorum
  • From Compline of Holy Saturday through None of the Saturday within the Octave of Pentecost: Regina cæli lætare
  • From I Vespers of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity through None of the Saturday before the I Sunday of Advent: Salve Regina