Sunday, September 18, 2016

My favorite part. . .

We use Evening Prayer from LSB regularly (with incense, usually too much for most folks).  In listening to a new family encounter sung Evening Prayer for the first time, I was struck by what part both husband and wife agreed was their favorite.  It was not the incense (yeah, I knew that was coming).  It was not the chanted Psalms.  It was not the Thanksgiving for Light.  It was not the Magnificat (which is my favorite hymn, thanks to Blessed Mary).  It was not the litany of prayers chanted into the shadows of the night.

We have a tradition of ending Evening Prayer with the traditional Compline antiphon before and after the Nunc Dimittis.
Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleepingthat awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace.
That antiphon fits well with the hymn paraphrase penned by James Quinn, S. J. and set to the wonderful tune Land of Rest in LSB 937.  I usually intone the antiphon (LSB p. 258) and then we sing Lord, Bid Your Servant God in Peace together as the lights are extinguished by the acolyte and the lights slowly come down until in the shadows I repeat the antiphon.
Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleepingthat awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace.
This was and is their favorite part -- for which she wishes we did Evening Prayer every night so that with Word and Prayer we might all devote our day and night to the Lord and then depart to our homes and beds with the antiphon prayer echoing in our ears.  There is something wonderful about ending the day and beginning the night of rest with the Nunc Dimittis but I do admit the antiphon is a marvelous bookend to the words of Simeon.  It is old enough that I have not come across any attestation but that is so often true of the best words -- they endure and no one can recall where they first came from!.

Watch thou, O Lord,
with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight,
and give thine angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend thy sick ones, Lord Christ.
Rest thy weary ones.
Bless thy dying ones.
Soothe thy suffering ones.
Pity thine afflicted ones.
Shield thy joyous ones.
And all, for thy love's sake.

[at about 15:30. . . ]



ErnestO said...

Prayers of St Augustine (354-430)
Saint Augustine of Hippo -Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis
O thou, who art the light of the minds that know thee, the life of the souls that love thee, and the strength of the wills that serve thee; help us so to know thee that we may truly love thee; so to love thee that we may fully serve thee, whom to serve is perfect freedom.

Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and let your angels protect those who sleep. Tend the sick. Refresh the weary. Sustain the dying. Calm the suffering. Pity the distressed. We ask this for the sake of your love.

Lord Jesus, our Saviour, let us come to you.
Our hearts are cold; Lord, warm them with your selfless love.
Our hearts are sinful; cleanse them with your precious blood.
Our hearts are weak; strengthen them with our joyous Spirit.
Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence.
Lord Jesus, our hearts are yours; possess them always and only for yourself.

Chris said...

So, is Evening PRayer compline or some new made-up service?

Chris said...

Also, you've got to get these people over the objection to incense.

Anonymous said...

FWIW - it's not a simply a matter of objecting or not to the use incense. Some of us get physically ill from incense and cannot attend churches that use incense. Even the after-effects of the incense lingering in the church cannot be tolerated. It's not worth it to be sick for several days after exposure to the incense.

Anonymous said...

Is it a made up service to end Evening Prayer with the night hymn the Nunc Dimittis surrounded by Compline's ancient antiphon? Nothing else about the service is changed. I have been there, used it, and like it. Nothing made up at all. From the book except for the way we treat the last hymn (which is not even defined by the book).