Confessions At Sunset (Evensong)
As the sun sets on this day, I think it would be stupendous to host an Evensong. Evensong is a church service traditionally held as the sun goes down for those unaware. This service marks the passing of another day of faith — a day in which we have successfully remained in Christ. The roots of this service are believed to come from the tradition of medieval monasteries and the practices kept to engage the spirit in worship. The service is generally led by a liturgist and attended by a choir, chief musicians, and a congregation. Most modern Evensong services follow a pattern dictated by The Book of Common Prayer from which the community participates as they follow the service order.
The following online Evensong should take about 45 mins and finds its support via the readings provided and this Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2qOTU6l36Ti1IQy2pT47Ip?si=45459e54ed904118.
Join me; light a candle, grab your bible and your favorite drink, and let’s reflect on his grace, mercy, and love as we end this day.
As we begin this service, let’s follow the traditional format but focus on confession, mercy, love, and Christ. When we offer God our confession, we join the beautiful work of reconciliation, which begins with our reconciling with God. Trusting in our partner in grace, let us make our confession, first in silent prayer.
Pause for silent prayer
Song #1: God of Mercy and Compassion.
Read with me the word of the Lord from Psalm 51:1–7:
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. I was born a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
God of tender mercies, we admit that sometimes we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We anger at the slightest insult and imagine great vengeance upon those who wronged us. We laze about in the good news of our faith and do not consider the deep commitment of faith. We care for ourselves but not for others. Forgive us, we pray. Forgive us, help us to repent, and make us whole. Amen.
Song #2: Lord Jesus, Think on Me.
Let’s continue reading the word of the Lord from Psalm 51:8–14:
Give me back my joy again; you have broken me — now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Gracious and loving God, open our hearts so that we can admit to you the fullness of our lives — that which is beautiful and good and that which is hurtful and hateful. We confess that we do not follow Jesus in all that we do. We love with condition. We judge and condemn. We cast the first stone and keep the logs in our own eyes. We do not turn to You as the source of our healing. Forgive us, we pray. Forgive our sin, and empower us to be imitators of Christ in love and service. Amen.
Song #3: Create In Me A Clean Heart.
A continuation of Psalm 51:14–17
Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart…
Friends, the act of confessing our sin is not simply a recitation of our faults and wrongs but also an opportunity to receive God’s mercy and share in that abundant grace. Confident of God’s love for us, let us offer our prayers one more time in silence.
Pause for silent prayer
Song #4: Prayer.
Song #5: The Lord’s Prayer.
Everyone who is reading this, know this: the mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting, and I remind you of this surpassing grace — in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Alleluia! Amen.
Song #6: Amen, Alleluia!
God’s mercy is deeper than the depths of the sea, and God’s grace is wider than the whole of the earth. Trusting in that mercy and that grace, let us rest in his peace this evening.
Song #7: Lauds