Evening Prayer for Advent with Prayers for an End to Global Poverty

A Short Form
November 23, 2005

The following short form of Evening Prayer, may be used by families and other groups throughout Advent. If desired, the devotion may be accompanied by the lighting of an Advent Wreath, a circular arrangement of four candles. One candle is lit during the first week of Advent, two candles in the second week, three in the third week, and four in the week immediately preceding Christmas.



All may gather in silence. After a period of meditation, the appropriate number of candles on an Advent Wreath, or some other candle, may be lit.

Leader: Light and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.



One of the following, or another short passage of Scripture is read:


The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. (Isaiah 61: 1-2a)


Drop down, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring forth, and let it cause justice to sprout up also. (Isaiah 45:8)


Watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. (Mark 13: 35-36)


In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3)


The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. (Isaiah 40:5)


Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height and look toward the east, and see your children gathered from west and east at the word of the Holy One. (Baruch 5:5)


Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths; all nations shall see the salvation of God. (Luke 3: 4-5)



All may say together the Magnificat, the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Canticle speaks to us in Advent about submission to Gods patterns for our lives and reveals how radically different a human society reordered according to Gods design will look from than the world in which we currently live. God has cast down the mighty from their thrones, Mary sings, and lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

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 be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, *

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.



The following prayers -- which are based on the Millennium Development Goals -- are then said responsively:

Leader: As we await the coming of our Savior, let us pray for the world God so loves, particularly for those whose cries are known only to Christ, the Word Made Flesh.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: That God, whose Son Jesus Christ was born not in the palace of a king but in the throes of poverty, may hear the cries of the poor, hungry, and oppressed, and may move human hearts to hear their cries as well.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For those who lack access to basic education, that the light of knowledge may blossom and shine in the lives of all Gods people.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For an end to the divisions and inequalities that scar Gods creation, particularly the barriers to freedom faced by Gods children throughout the world because of gender; that all who have been formed in Gods image might have equality in pursuit of the blessings of creation.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For the health of women, children and families around the world, that all Gods people may be empowered to strengthen their communities and repair the breaches which divide nations and peoples.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For an end to pandemic disease throughout the world, that plagues of death may no longer fuel poverty, destabilize nations, and inhibit reconciliation and restoration throughout the world

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For an end to the waste and desecration of Gods creation, that all communities and nations may find sustenance in the fruits of the earth and the water God has given us.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For all people who already enjoy the abundance of creation and the blessings of prosperity, that their hearts may be lifted up to the needs of the poor and afflicted.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For the departed, particularly those who have died as a result of poverty, hunger, disease, violence, or hardness of the human heart.

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

The Leader then concludes with the Collect appointed in the Prayer Book for the appropriate week of Advent.


Leader: Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

All: Amen.


Leader: Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

All: Amen.


Leader: Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever.

All: Amen.


Leader: Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

All: Amen.



The devotion concludes with the following or another appropriate verse:

Leader: The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore.

All: Amen.

The candles may then be extinguished.