Sunday Evening

20 September 2020 6pm

The Greeting

The light and peace of Jesus Christ be with you
and also with you.

The glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
Let us rejoice and sing God’s praise for ever.

Opening Prayer

Faithful one, whose word is life:
come with saving power
to free our praise,
inspire our prayer
and shape our lives
for the kingdom of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord

Psalm 119 (verses 121-128)

I have done what is just and right;
O give me not over to my oppressors.

Stand surety for your servant’s good;
let not the proud oppress me.

My eyes fail with watching for your salvation
and for your righteous promise.

O deal with your servant according to your faithful love
and teach me your statutes.

I am your servant; O grant me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies.

It is time for you to act, O Lord,
for they frustrate your law.

Therefore I love your commandments
above gold, even much fine gold.

Therefore I direct my steps by all your precepts,
and all false ways I utterly abhor.

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You have permission to speak for yourself.’ Then Paul stretched out his hand and began to defend himself:

‘Indeed, I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; with authority received from the chief priests, I not only locked up many of the saints in prison, but I also cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death. By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was so furiously enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.

‘With this in mind, I was travelling to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, when at midday along the road, your Excellency, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.” I asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

‘After that, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout the countryside of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do deeds consistent with repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had help from God, and so I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place: that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.’

While he was making this defence, Festus exclaimed, ‘You are out of your mind, Paul! Too much learning is driving you insane!’ But Paul said, ‘I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth.

A Reflection from the Mystics

Confession and Forgiveness

Christ the light of the world has come to dispel
the darkness of our hearts.
In his light let us examine ourselves and confess our sins.

Silence may be kept.

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

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The minister declares God’s forgiveness.


Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.
To you be glory and praise for ever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.
To you be glory and praise for ever.
When the time had fully come
you sent the Sun of Righteousness.
In him the fullness of your glory dwells.
To you be glory and praise for ever.

Prayers of Thanks and Intercession

We pray to the Lord:
in faith we pray.
We pray to you our God.

That the rest of this day may be holy,
peaceful and full of your presence;
in faith we pray.
We pray to you our God.

That the work we have done and the people we have met today
may bring us closer to you;
in faith we pray.
We pray to you our God.

That we may hear and respond to your call to peace and justice;
in faith we pray.
We pray to you our God.

That you will sustain the faith and hope of those who are lonely,
oppressed and anxious;
in faith we pray.
We pray to you our God.

That you will strengthen us in your service,
and fill our hearts with longing for your kingdom;
in faith we pray.
We pray to you our God.

God of mercy,
you know us and love us
and hear our prayer:
keep us in the eternal fellowship of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

The Collect

The prayer of the day is said.

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
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 for ever.

Collect on the Eve of Matthew

O Almighty God,
whose blessed Son called Matthew the tax collector
to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain
and the possessive love of riches
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Lord’s Prayer

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 for ever.


Final Prayer

In darkness and in light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father,
to trust your love,
to serve your purpose,
and to praise your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sending Out

Jesus Christ is the light of the world:
a light no darkness can quench.
Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening:
and the day is almost over.
The darkness is not dark to you:
the night is as bright as the day.
Let your light scatter the darkness:
and fill your church with your glory. Amen.

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) (including the Psalter as published with Common Worship)

The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches in the USA. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved.