If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.
Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2
INVITATORY AND PSALTER
O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.
Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.
Hymn: O Gracious Light
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
“You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols
and run after false gods?”
Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful; *
when I cry out, the LORD will hear me.
Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the LORD.
Many are saying, “Oh, that we might see better times!” *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.
You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; *
save and deliver me from all who pursue me;
Lest like a lion they tear me in pieces *
and snatch me away with none to deliver me.
O LORD my God, if I have done these things: *
if there is any wickedness in my hands,
If I have repaid my friend with evil, *
or plundered anyone who without cause is my enemy;
Then let my enemy pursue and overtake me, *
trample my life into the ground,
and lay my honor in the dust.
Stand up, O LORD, in your wrath; *
rise up against the fury of my enemies.
Awake, O my God, decree justice; *
let the assembly of the peoples gather round you.
Be seated on your lofty throne, O Most High; *
O LORD, judge the nations.
Give judgment for me according to my righteousness, O LORD, *
and according to my innocence, O Most High.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but establish the righteous; *
for you test the mind and heart, O righteous God.
God is my shield and defense; *
he is the savior of the true in heart.
God is a righteous judge; *
God sits in judgment every day.
If they will not repent, God will whet a sword; *
bending a bow and making it ready.
God has prepared hweapons of death; *
making arrows into shafts of fire.
Look at those who are in labor with wickedness, *
who conceive evil, and give birth to a lie.
They dig a pit and make it deep *
and fall into the hole that they have made.
Their malice turns back upon their own head; *
their violence falls on their own scalp.
I will bear witness that the LORD is righteous; *
I will praise the Name of the LORD Most High.
Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Luke 13:1-9 (NRSV)
At that very time there were some present who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Canticle: The Song of Simeon
Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
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.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.
Collect of the Day: Alcuin, Deacon, and Abbot of Tours, 804
Almighty God, in a rude and barbarous age you raised up your deacon Alcuin to rekindle the light of learning: Illumine our minds, we pray, that amid the uncertainties and confusions of our own time we may show forth your eternal truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
For the Unity of the Church
Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one: Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
A Collect for the Presence of Christ
Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.
A Collect for Peace
Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.
A Collect for Mission
O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.++