Prayer at Sunset

Approach

Preparation

Find a quiet place where you can be alone without distraction. Weather permitting, I like to be outside.

Light candles or a small fire, if you like.

Take a few moments to center yourself, either in silence or play music, something like Damh the Bard’s Song of Awen.

+In the name of God, who redeems, sustains, and transforms us; one, holy, and undivided Trinity. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Greeting the Four Directions

For the following, if you like, stand and face each direction, or walk to that position. Pause after each line to visualize peace spreading to that direction.

May there be Peace in the North.
May there be Peace in the South.
May there be Peace in the West.
May there be Peace in the East.
Facing east,
Through the strength of heaven,
Light of the sun,
Splendor of Fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the earth -
May there be Peace in the Land, in the Sea, and in the Sky.
May there be Peace throughout the world.

Chant some AWENS.

The Evening Lights

Light a candle in the center. Say the following or play the video.

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.

Meditation and Prayer

Readings

I like to use the Psalms and scripture readings from the Daily Office of the Episcopal Church. There are lots of Web sites and books with different versions of daily prayers. The Mission of St. Clare and the Northumbria Community are among my favorites.

Evening Canticle – The Song of Mary (Magnificat)
My soul proclaims the greatness of God,*
My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For you, O God, have looked with favor on your lowly servant.*
From this day all generations shall call me blessed:
You, the all loving, have done great things for me*
And holy is your name.
You have mercy on those who revere you,*
From generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm*
And scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones*
And lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things*
And sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the aid of your servant, Israel,*
To remember the promise of mercy.
The promise made to our ancestors,*
To Abraham, Sarah, and their children for ever. 

 -- Luke 1: 46-55, from A Way of Living: A Worship, Prayer and Liturgy Resource for the Lindisfarne Community, Jane Hall-Fitzgibbon and Andrew     Fitz-Gibbon, Copyright © 2006 Jane Hall-Fitzgibbon and Andrew Fitzgibbon, The Lindisfarne Community.
Intercessions
That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,


That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
For those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions ...
For those who are sick or suffering ...
For those who are mourning loss ...
For those who have died ...
Other prayers of intercession ...
The Prayer of Jesus
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.
Amen.
-- The Lord’s Prayer, The New Zealand Book of Prayer | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa
The Druid Prayer
Grant, O God, Thy Protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of God: 
Creator, Redeemer, and Life-Giver,
Mary our mother, all the angels and saints,
All of creation that sustains and nourishes us,
and all goodness.
--Adapted from Iolo Morganwg (attributed)

Leave-Taking

The Oath of Peace
We swear by peace and love to stand
Heart to heart, and hand in hand.
Mark! O Spirit, and hear us now.
Confirming this, our sacred vow.

Chant some AWENS.

Closing
As I extinguish these lights, let them be relit in my heart.
May I hold onto what the eye and heart have gained.
Though this ceremony is ending,
may its inspiration continue within my being.
So may it be.

+In the name of God, who redeems, sustains, and transforms us;
one, holy, and undivided Trinity.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Extinguish candles/fire, take a few moments to ground, and leave the space.