Prayer for the Evening
Let us speak of the glory of God’s reign
and declare the Lord’s might!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia!
Herald of the joyful tidings,
Stand upon the mountain high.
Lift your voice, O be not frightened,
Bravely raise the Gospel cry:
God himself will come to save us
From our grave iniquities.
Soon our longing eyes will see him:
Jesus, Savior, Prince of peace.
The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,/ their tongues are parched with thirst./ I, the Lord, will answer them;/ I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. (Is 41:17)
John the Baptist is a desert prophet. He speaks of fire and not of rain. Yet in this Advent season, when our longing for God is captured powerfully in the image of the desert lands yearning for the relief of water, the Baptist’s promise of the One to come falls on our hearts like dew on parched land. We know the truth he speaks: we must be prepared by repentance for the transformation that will come.
O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God. Isaiah 51:3
Yes, the Lord shall comfort Zion/ and have pity on all her ruins;/ Her deserts he shall make like Eden,/ her wasteland like the garden of the Lord;/ Joy and gladness shall be found in her,/ thanksgiving and the sound of song.
That all may see and know,/ observe and understand,/
That the hand of the Lord has done this. (Is 41:20)
Canticle of Mary
The dripping clouds restore them all,/ and the scattered dew enriches the parched land. (Sir 43:23)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
[he] has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father…
Christ comes like refreshing dew upon parched earth. As evening falls, let us pray that he will come to the darkened land:
R/You are our help.
O Lord, the world is weary under the burden of sin and pain:
– come to set sufferers free. R/
O Lord, our hearts are parched by the empty clamor of the season:
– come to refresh us with your silent peace. R/
O Lord, the hungry cry out at the specter of greed and waste around them:
– come to feed them with your compassionate love. R/
O Lord, refugees walk in uncertainty and fear along the roads of exile:
– come to take them by the hand and guide them to a place they can call home. R/
May the God in whose ways/ our fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,/ The God who has been our shepherd/ from our birth to this day,/ The Angel who has delivered us from all harm,/ bless us and keep us in peace. Amen. (cf. Gn 48:15-16)
O Mary, ever Virgin, rejoice,
you who were worthy to bear Christ,
the Creator of heaven and earth;
for from your womb
you brought forth the Savior of the world, alleluia.
Alma Redemptoris Mater
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quæ pervia cæli
porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo: tu quæ genuisti,
natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
Loving mother of the Redeemer
Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us, poor sinners.