Order for Evening Prayer

throughout the Year

[St. Andrew's Parish Church, Bemerton, Wiltshire, west view]

[With Poems Added from The Temple 1633.
The poems may be assigned to a narrator, to be called The Poet, who may be the Curate, congregation or private worshipper.
The poems may be read by one person, antiphonally or groups.
(Links within the text may be used or omitted.)]
A little evening music: Thomas Tallis, (c.1505-85), Canon.

[George Herbert at Bemerton]

    The priest shall say.

    OUR Father which art, etc.

    Then likewise he shall say.

    O Lord open thou our lips.

    Answer. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.
    Priest. O God make speed to save us.
    Answer. Lord make haste to help us.
    Priest. 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.
    Praise ye the Lord.

    Then Psalms in order as they be appointed in the table for Psalms, except there be proper Psalms appointed for that day. Then a Lesson of the Old Testament as is appointed likewise in the Calendar, except there be proper Lessons appointed for that day.

The Poet shall sum up the end of the day in this world: Businesse or, for those who have gone beyond the business of this world, The Method.

After that, Magnificat, in English, as followeth.

Magnificat. Luke 1

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 forever.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: etc.
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever, etc.

The Poet looks to the Church-musick for consolation and revitalization.

    Or else this Psalm.

Cantate domino. Ps. 98

O SING unto the Lord a new song: for he hath done marvelous things.
    With his own right hand, and with his holy arm: hath he gotten himself the victory.
    The Lord declared his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.
    He hath remembered his mercy and truth toward the house of Israel: and all the ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God.
    Show yourselves joyful unto the Lord all ye lands: sing, rejoice, and give thanks.
    Praise the Lord upon the harp: sing to the harp with a psalm of thanksgiving.
    With trumpets also and shawms O show yourselves joyful before the Lord the king.
    Let the sea make a noise and all that therein is: the round world, and they that dwell therein.
    Let the floods clap their hands, and let the hills be joyful to gether before the Lord: for he is come to judge the earth.
    With righteousness shall he judge the world: and the people with equity.
    Glory be to the Father, etc.
    As it was in the, etc.

    Then a Lesson of the New Testament.

The Poet summarizes the efforts of the day: Life.

And after that, Nunc dimittis, in English, as followeth.

LORD, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word.
    For mine eyes have seen: thy salvation.
    Which thou hast prepared: before the face of all people.
    To be a light to lighten the Gentiles: and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and, etc.
    As it was in the beginning, and is now, etc. Amen.

    Or else this Psalm.

Deus misereatur. Ps. 67

GOD be merciful unto us, and bless us: and show us the light of his countenance, and be merciful unto us.
    That thy way may be known upon earth: thy saving health among all nations.
    Let the people praise thee O God: yea let all the people praise thee.
    O let the nations rejoice and be glad: for thou shalt judge the folk righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.
    Let the people praise thee O God: let all the people praise thee.
    Then shall the earth bring forth her increase: and God, even our own God, shall give us his blessing.
    God shall bless us: and all the ends of the world shall fear him.
    Glory be to the Father, etc.
As it was in the beginning, etc.

    Then shall follow the Creed, with other prayers, as is before appointed at Morning Prayer, after Benedictus. And with three Collects: first of the day, the second of peace, third for aid against all perils, as hereafter followeth. Which two last Collects shall be daily said at Evening Prayer without alteration.

The Second Collect at Evening Prayer

O GOD, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, an 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 Savior. Amen.

The Third Collect, for Aid against All 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 Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Poet praises God for night and day: Even-song.

    In the feasts of Christmas, the Epiphany, Saint Matthie, Easter, the Ascension, Pentecost, Saint John Baptist, Saint James, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew, Saint Simon and Jude, Saint Andrew, and Trinity Sunday, shall be sung or said, immediately after Benedictus, this confession of our Christian faith.

The Poet explains the importance of the Incarnation and the Trinity to the Faithful: Ungratefulnesse. [Could the poem and the declaration of Christian faith be read together?]

Quicunque vult.

WHOSOEVER will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith.
    Which faith except everyone do keep holy and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
    And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.
    Neither confounding the persons: nor dividing the substance.
    For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son: and another of the Holy Ghost.
    But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
    Such as the Father is, such is the Son: and such is the Holy Ghost.
    The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate: and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
    The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible: and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
    The Father eternal, the Son eternal: and the Holy Ghost eternal.
    And yet they are not three eternals: but one eternal.
    As also there be not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated: but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
    So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty: and the Holy Ghost almighty.
    And yet they are not three almighties: but one almighty.
    So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.
    And yet are they not three gods: but one God.
    So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord: and the Holy Ghost Lord.
    And yet not three lords: but one Lord.
    For like as we be compelled by the Christian verity: to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord;
    So are we forbidden by the catholic religion: to say, there be three gods or three lords.
    The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten.
    The Son is of the Father alone: not made nor created, but begotten.
    The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
    So there is one Father, not three fathers, one Son, not three sons: one Holy Ghost, not three holy ghosts.
    And in this Trinity, none is afore or after other: none is greater, nor less than another.
    But the whole three persons: be coeternal together and co equal.
   So that in all things, as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshiped.
    He therefore that will be saved: must thus think of the Trinity.
    Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation: that he also believe rightly in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesu Christ.
    For the right faith is, that we believe and confess: that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
    God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds: and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world.
    Perfect God, and perfect man of a reasonable soul: and human flesh subsisting.
    Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead: and inferior to the Father, touching his manhood.
    Who although he be God and man: yet he is not two, but one Christ.
    One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the manhood into God.
    One altogether, not by confusion of substance: but by unity of person.
    For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man: so God and man is one Christ.
    Who suffered for our salvation: descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
    He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty: from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies: and shall give account for their own works.
    And they that have done good, shall go into life everlasting: and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.
    This is the catholic faith: which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
    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.

The Poet reflects on the Service of Evening Prayers and God's compassion: Flower.

   Thus endeth the Order of Morning and Evening Prayer, through the whole year.

[George Herbert at Bemerton]

Editor's Note: This Holy Communion for George Herbert edition may take more than an hour to perform. It works as a computer page to show the relationship of some poems to the liturgical expressions and theological ideas of the Elizabethan Age. To actually use this as a service, some liturgy may have to be abbreviated or cut, depending on the purpose of the service and the number of poems used.

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George Herbert Thought for Today

Related Links to Richard Hooker and the Book of Common Prayer.

Book of Common Prayer 1559

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