Sunday night 7:00pm service
Every Sunday night, we turn the lights down low and have a short service in the church by candlelight. We put out our icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus to help guide our thoughts and focus our vision, and we have areas set up on either end of the altar rail where you can light a candle and pray. The first part of the service is shaped a little bit like the liturgy for Evening Prayer, beginning with the Confession and singing the hymn “O Gracious Light”. Then the priest reads the Gospel, followed by 8-10 minutes of meditation; there is no sermon, and instead, our silent thoughts and reflections preach to us. Every two minutes during the meditation time, in order to keep our minds from wandering, the officiant repeats a short phrase from the Gospel lesson or from the Book of Common Prayer, and rings the gong. Then we have prayers, including a litany for healing and for those who so desire, the laying on of hands. The first part of the service concludes with the congregation praying the Nunc Dimittis (“Lord, you now have set your servant free…”) and the Peace. Then we have Eucharist, followed by the General Thanksgiving, a fine old prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. We end the service by praying the liturgy for Evening Prayer, “Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.”
It’s a wonderful, restful way to end the weekend and prepare to start the week ahead. Sometimes there are five or six of us, sometimes there are fifteen; we invite you to join us, especially if you were not able to come to church that morning. If you have been out of town, or at a child’s athletic event, or simply wanted to sleep in that Sunday, the evening service is a great way to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy.