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Epiphany Vespers Office – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Jan 062009
 

We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

Refrain

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

Refrain

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshipping God on high.

Refrain

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

Refrain

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.

Refrain

Words & Music: John H. Hop­kins, Jr., 1857. Hop­kins wrote this car­ol for a Christ­mas pa­geant at the Gen­er­al The­o­lo­gic­al Sem­in­ary in New York Ci­ty.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light Phos hilaron

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Psalm 96

O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous works among all the peoples.
4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6Honour and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9Worship the Lord in holy splendour;
tremble before him, all the earth.

10Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!
The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
He will judge the peoples with equity.’
11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13   before the Lord; for he is coming,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with his truth.

Glory to the Father[-Mother], and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

A reading from Matthew 2:1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men* from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,* and have come to pay him homage.’ 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah* was to be born. 5They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6″And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd* my people Israel.” ’

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men* and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ 9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising,* until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped,* they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Thanks be to God.

Magnificat Antiphon: Seeing the star, the Magi said: “This is the sign of a great king. Let us search for him and lay our treasures at his feet: gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Alleluia.

The Song of Mary    Magnificat

Luke 1:46-55

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

Glory to the Father[-Mother], and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Magnificat Antiphon: Seeing the star, the Magi said: “This is the sign of a great king. Let us search for him and lay our treasures at his feet: gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Alleluia.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father[-Mother] 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.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

Lord, hear our prayer.
And let our cry come to you.
Let us pray.

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today in the World Cycle of prayer we pray for the people of the Chad.
Today in the Anglican Cycle of prayer we pray for the diocese of Central Zambia (Central Africa).
Today in the Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer we pray for our sisters and brothers, the Church in Wales.

Lord Jesus, though born a child, you reign as king. You have revealed in the flesh the marvelous love and power of our God. Accept our gifts as we pray: Lord Jesus, grant us your salvation.

King of the nations, you called the Magi as the first of the Gentiles to kneel before you; help us to honor you with praise and thanksgiving.
Lord Jesus, grant us your salvation.

King of glory, you judge the peoples with justice; free the oppressed and break the power of the wicked.
Lord Jesus, grant us your salvation.

Prince of Peace, you shatter the weapons of war; give us peace til the moon fails.
Lord Jesus, grant us your salvation.

King of Justice, you long to save the poor and the helpless; have pity on the lowly and sunder the chains of human slavery.
Lord Jesus, grant us your salvation.

Eternal King, you are faithful from age to age; forever send your word into our hearts like snow on winter stubble.
Lord Jesus, grant us your salvation.

Lord, your name is blessed forever and endures like the sun; fulfill for the dead the glorious promise of your salvation.
Lord Jesus, grant us your salvation.

With a star’s radiance, O God, you guided the nations to the Light; in a prophet’s words you revealed the mystery of the Messiah’s coming; through the Magi’s gifts you unfolded the richness of the Savior’s mission. Scatter again the darkness that covers the earth and divides peoples. Make our hearts thrill anew to see the multitudes carried as sons and daughters in your arms. In Christ and through Christ’s Gospel draw the ends of the earth into your family, that disparate cultures and warring nations may be gathered together as one. We ask this through Jesus, the Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Magnificat Antiphon, Litany, and Concluding Prayer were taken from Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary. The rest of the office is from The Book of Common Prayer.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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