18th December Evening Prayer

Holy One, make speed to save us:
O God, come quickly to help us.

Glory to God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.


Fridays: FROM Psalm 80, Qui regis Israel

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *
shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
Restore us, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
O Lord God of hosts, *
how long will you be angered despite the prayers of your people
You have fed them with the bread of tears; *
you have given them bowls of tears to drink.

You have made us the derision of our neighbours, *
and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Restore us, O God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
Turn now, O God of hosts, * look down from heaven;
Let your hand be upon the one at your side in honour, *
the one you have made so strong for yourself.
And so will we never turn away from you; *
give us life, that we may call upon your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; *
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Reflection: Modestus 1 of Jerusalem

He was born in Cappadocian Sebasteia (Asia Minor). His parents died when he was five months old. Brought up a Christian, he was strongly attracted to a strict monastic life and accepted a monastic tonsure. He began an ascetic life at Mount Sinai. Later, he became the abbot of the Monastery of St. Theodosius Coenobiarchus, which is east of Bethlehem, in Palestine.

In 614, Syria and Palestine were invaded by the forces of the Persian king Chosroes II. The invading force killed tens of thousands of Christians and destroyed most of the churches. Many Christians were taken captive, including Patr. Zacharias and the True Cross and taken to Persia. While Patr. Zacharias was captive, Abbot Modestus governed the patriarchate as locum tenens until his return to Jerusalem fourteen years later. During this period Modestus began the job of restoring the devastated Christian city. With the help of Patr. John the Merciful of Alexandria, Modestus set to the job of burying the murdered monks of the Monastery of St. Sabbas the Sanctified, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of the Paralytic, and many others.

In 628, emperor Heraclius defeated Chosroes and compelled him to return the True Cross along with the Christian survivors and Patr. Zacharias. Patr. Zacharias spent the remaining years of his life in peace and reposed in 632. Modestus was chosen to succeed Patr. Zacharias and was patriarch until his death in September 17, 634, at the age of 97. Patr. Modestus was buried in the Church of the Eleona on the Mount of Olives.


1 My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,*
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
2 for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant;*
from this day all generations will call me blessed.
3 The Almighty has done great things for me* and holy is his name.
4 He has mercy on those who fear him* in every generation.
5 He has shown the strength of his arm;*
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
6 He has cast down the mighty from their thrones*
and has lifted up the lowly.
7 He has filled the hungry with good things,*
and the rich he has sent away empty.
8 He has come to the help of his servant Israel,*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
9 the promise he made to our forebears,*
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever.  Amen.

We have been afraid of the fierceness of your love, which sears our hearts as with a laser. Lord, have mercy upon us.
We have refused to believe that you are gentle in judgment, that your hands loosen the knots of our bitterness. Christ, have mercy upon us.
We have failed to see that your eyes are wise in discernment, that your justice restores us and heals. Lord, have mercy upon us.

Lord’s Prayer
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. Do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Stir up our prayers, Lord, and hear us: that they who are sorrowful and suffering may rejoice at the Advent of your only-begotten Son; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

 Lord God almighty, come and dispel the darkness from our hearts, that in the radiance of your brightness we may know you, the only unfading light, glorious in all eternity. Amen.

The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing:
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

A priest and poet in the Scottish Episcopal Church, exploring the workings of the Holy Spirit in Banchory .