Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Evening Prayer, November 17, 2021, 7 p.m.

 The livestream may be found here.


for the commemoration of  Elizabeth of Thuringia, Princess of Hungary (1231)

(Lutheran Book of Worship, page 142)

Elizabeth, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary, was born in the summer of 1207 at Saros Patak, Hungary. In order to seal a political alliance, she was betrothed at the age of one to Ludwig, the young son of the Landgrave of Thuringia, and when she was four she was taken to the castle of the Wartburg near Eisenach to be raised with her future husband. Elizabeth was a serious child, generous to those who had less than she had, and a devout Christian. Some of the people at the Thuringian court disapproved of her as the future duchess, but Ludwig was very fond of her.

In 1216 Ludwig succeeded his father as Landgrave, and in 1221 when he was twenty-one and Elizabeth was fourteen, the marriage took place. In the course of the next few years they had three children, a boy and two girls, and the marriage was a happy one. Elizabeth in her new position was even more generous to the poor. On one occasion in 1225, when there was a severe local famine, she gave away most of her own fortune and supply of grain to the poor of the area. She was criticized for doing this, but her husband upon his return gave his approval to her action,

Elizabeth founded two hospitals during this period, one at the foot of the steep rock on which the Wartburg was located. She regularly tended the patients in these hospitals herself and gave money for the care of children, especially or phans. In helping the poor, she and her husband also tried to find suitable jobs for those who had no way of earning a living. In 1221, when the Franciscans entered Thuringia, Elizabeth put herself under the spiritual direction of Brother Rodeger, who guided her in the spirit of Francis of Assisi. Her kindness extended to all kinds of unfortunate people, and there is a well-known story of her lodging a leper in the house. The Landgrave was startled and repelled to find him in their bed, but he almost immediately realized that in helping the leper, his wife was serving the crucified Lord.

On September 11, 1227, Ludwig died of the plague while on a journey to join a crusade. During that winter, Elizabeth left the castle-some accounts say that her brother-in-law expelled her-and she went to live in Eisenach. She was rejected by the townspeople and suffered great hardship until she received the protection of her uncle the Bishop of Bamberg. On Good Friday 1228, she formally renounced her worldly cares, adopted coarse garments for clothing, and devoted herself as a follower of St. Francis. After the care of her children was assured, she built a small house near Marburg and with it a hospice for the sick, the aged, and the poor, and devoted her life to their care.

In her last years St. Elizabeth lived a life of unnatural austerity and isolation from her friends, partly out of obedience to her confessor, Conrad of Marburg, who seems to have been almost sadistic in his treatment of her. Her health broke, and on November 17, 1231, she died, at the age of twenty-four. Four years later the Church began annual commemoration of her… She is known as both St. Elizabeth of Thuringia and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Since her time countless hospitals have been named for her in Europe, America, and other parts of the world.

Philip Pfatteicher, New Festivals and Commemorations 

Jesus Christ is the light of the world,

  the light no darkness can overcome.

Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening,

  and the day is almost over.

Let your light scatter the darkness,

  and illumine your church.


Joyous light of glory:

of the immortal Father;

                                heavenly, holy, blessed Jesus Christ.

                We have come to the setting of the sun,

                                and we look to the evening light.

                We sing to God, the Father, Son,

                                and Holy Spirit:

                You are worthy of being praised

                                with pure voices forever.

                O Son of God, O Giver of life:

                                The universe proclaims your glory.


The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.


Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who led your people Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Enlighten our darkness by the light of your Christ; may his Word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, for you are merciful, and you love your whole creation; and we, your creatures, glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



The psalmody begins with this prayer for forgiveness and protection:


Let my prayer rise before you as incense;

                the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

O Lord, I call to you; come to me quickly;

                hear my voice when I cry to you.

Let my prayer rise before you as incense;

                the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord,

                and guard the door of my lips.

Let not my heart incline to any evil thing;

                let me not be occupied in wickedness with evildoers.

But my eyes are turned to you, Lord God;

                in you I take refuge. Strip me not of my life.

Glory 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.

Let my prayer rise before you as incense;

                the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.   Ps. 141:1-7


Silence for meditation.


Let the incense of our repentant prayer ascend before you, O Lord, and let your lovingkindness descend upon us, that with purified minds we may sing your praises with the Church on earth and the whole heavenly host, and may glorify you forever and ever.



Psalm 146:4-9


4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob | for their help,*

                whose hope is in the | Lord their God;

5 who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that | is in them;*

                who keeps his prom- | ise forever;

6 who gives justice to those who | are oppressed,*

                and food to | those who hunger.

7 The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes | of the blind;*

                the Lord lifts up those who | are bowed down;

8 the Lord loves the righteous; the Lord cares | for the stranger;*

                he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way | of the wicked.

9 The Lord shall | reign forever,*

                your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. | Hallelujah!


God of glory and power, happy indeed are those who have put their trust in you. Shine the brightness of your light upon us, that we may love you always with a pure heart and praise you forever; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  


O God of Mercy, God of Light


1      O God of mercy, God of light,

        in love and mercy infinite,

        teach us, as ever in your sight,

        to live our lives in you.


2      You sent your Son to die for all,

        that our lost world might hear your call;

        oh, hear us lest we stray and fall!

        We rest our hope in you.


3      Teach us the lesson Jesus taught:

        to feel for those his blood has bought,

        that ev’ry deed and word and thought

        may work a work for you.


4      For all are kindred, far and wide,

        since Jesus Christ for all has died;

        grant us the will, and grace provide

        to love them all in you.


5      In sickness, sorrow, want, or care,

        each other’s burdens help us share;

        may we, where help is needed, there

        give help as though to you.


6      And may your Holy Spirit move

        all those who live to live in love,

        till you receive in heav’n above

        those who have lived to you.


Text: Godfrey Thring, 1823-1903, alt.




Isaiah 58:6-11

Luke 12:32-34

After each reading:

The Word of the Lord.                                                   

  Thanks be to God.


Silence for reflection.

A reading from Light of Christ by Evelyn Underhill

Silence for reflection.



In many and various ways

God spoke to his people of old by the prophets.

  But now in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.





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 forever.

                Glory 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


L             Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and immortal,


C             have mercy and hear us.


C             Our Father, who art in heaven,

                                hallowed be thy name,

                                thy kingdom come,

                                thy will be done,

                                                on earth as it is in heaven.

                Give us this day our daily bread;

                and forgive us our trespasses,

                                as we forgive those who trespass against us;

                and lead us not into temptation,

                                but deliver us from evil.

                For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

                                forever and ever. Amen


C             I believe in God, the Father almighty,

                                creator of heaven and earth.


                I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

                                He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                                and born of the virgin Mary.

                                He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

                                                was crucified, died, and was buried.

                                He descended into hell.

                                On the third day he rose again.

                                He ascended into heaven,

                                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

                                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


L             Show us your mercy, O Lord,

C             and grant us your salvation.

L             Clothe your ministers with righteousness.

C             Let your people sing with joy.

L             Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;

C             for only in you can we live in safety.

L             Lord, keep this nation under your care,

C             and guide us in the way of justice and truth.

L             Let your way be known upon earth;

C             your saving health among all nations.

L             Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten,

C             nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

L             Create in us clean hearts, O God,

C             and sustain us with your Holy Spirit.


L             The Lord be with you.

C             And also with you.


L             Let us pray. . . .

C             Amen


6.                    The final prayer is that appropriate to the time of day:




L             We give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have this day so graciously protected us. We beg you to forgive us all our sins and the wrong which we have done. By your great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this night. Into your hands we commend our bodies and souls, and all that is ours. Let your holy angels have charge of us, that the wicked one have no power over us.   


L             Let us bless the Lord.

C            Thanks be to God.


L             The Lord bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

C            Amen