A myHT Fortress

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let My Prayer Rise Before You As Incense

Evening Prayer is such a peaceful, refreshing way to end the day! Pastor Chris Esget remarked about it on Facebook tonight, and I heartily agree.

This service is based on the ancient Office of Vespers, with psalms, hymns, and Scripture readings. Our Lord nourishes us with His Word, and we give our response of humble thanks and praise. We thank Him for the blessings of the day now past, and ask for His protection as we sleep through the night.

Evening Prayer concluded tonight with singing "The Day Thou Gavest." This hymn was introduced to us in Lutheran Service Book, and speaks of the ongoing nature of the Church's prayer. While we have prayed through the day here, the other side of the world slept. Now, as we sleep, the Church in lands west of us is awake and interceding. It is a beautiful, non-stop cycle!

What peaceful joy to have had your prayer rise before Him as incense, and now spend the night resting in peace!


revalkorn said...

I've always preferred Compline, but we all have our own preferences.

Rev. Richard A. Heinz said...

I LOVE Compline too! Perhaps some time I'll write about it.

Since our service is at 7 PM, it is unlikely that anyone is going home to bed, and I've questioned if I should use it.

What do you think? And dear Brother Weedon, what do YOU think? (What would Piepkorn do?) :-)

Christopher Esget said...

The thing about Compline is it's not a preaching office. I love Compline, and will pray it with my congregation a few times a year, but it's not really intended to have longer readings and a sermon. That's why I find it unsuitable for congregational worship if you're going to remain faithful to the spirit of the office.

Rev. Richard A. Heinz said...

Excellent point, Pastor Esget! It's fascinating, if I understand correctly, that the monasteries always used the same psalms for compline, every day. The monks would be able to receive comfort in the Word they were singing and hearing, known by heart.

But you are correct. There was no preaching to this office, so it is not the best choice for our use.

Christopher Esget said...

Yes, that's my understanding, too. The words of the prayers are beautiful and important, and the music we have in our setting is compelling and memorable.

The main reason why I will use it a few times a year is to encourage people to use it in their homes.