Born in 1875, Evelyn Underhill was in her thirties before she began to explore religion. At first, she wrote on the mystics, most notably in her book Mysticism, published in 1911. Her spiritual journey brought her in 1921 back to the Church of England, in which she had been baptised and confirmed. From the mid-1920s, she became highly-regarded as a retreat conductor and an influential spiritual director. Of her many books, Worship, published in 1936, embodied her approach to what she saw as the mystery of faith. She died on this day in 1941.EH
Ant. Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice; *
seek the Lord and be strengthened;
seek his face for evermore.
Ps. Give thanks to the Lord; proclaim his name. *
Make known his deeds among the peoples. Psalm 105
Come! Spirit of Love! Penetrate and transform us by the action of your purifying life. May your constant, brooding love bring forth in us more love and all the graces and works of love. Give us grace to remain still under its action, and may that humbles stillness be our prayer. Amen. Evelyn Underhill
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
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.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!
HYMN: Benjamin Schmolck; trans. Catherine Winkworth
Tune: Morning Hymn https://tinyurl.com/y9sqpuse
1 Open now thy gates of beauty,
Zion, let me enter there,
where my soul in joyful duty
waits for him who answers prayer.
Oh, how blessed is this place,
filled with solace, light, and grace!
2 Lord, my God, I come before thee,
come thou also unto me;
where we find thee and adore thee,
there a heav’n on earth must be.
To my heart, O enter thou,
let it be thy temple now!
3 Here thy praise is gladly chanted,
here thy seed is duly sown;
let my soul, where it is planted,
bring forth precious sheaves alone,
so that all I hear may be
fruitful unto life in me.
4 Thou my faith increase and quicken,
let me keep thy gift divine,
howsoe’er temptations thicken;
may thy Word still o’er me shine
as my guiding star through life,
as my comfort in all strife.
5 Speak, O God, and I will hear thee,
let thy will be done indeed;
may I undisturbed draw near thee
while thou dost thy people feed.
Here of life the fountain flows,
here is balm for all our woes.
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk
Psalm 78 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/uq2kpk3)
1 Hear my law, O my people *
incline your ears unto the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable *
I will declare hard sentences of old;
3 Which we have heard and known *
and such as our fathers have told us;
4 That we should not hide them
from the children of the generations to come *
but to shew the honour of the Lord,
his mighty and wonderful works that he hath done.
5 He made a covenant with Jacob, and gave Israel a law *
which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children;
6 That their posterity might know it *
and the children which were yet unborn;
7 To the intent that when they came up *
they might shew their children the same;
8 That they might put their trust in God *
and not to forget the works of God, but to keep his commandments;
9 And not to be as their forefathers, a faithless and stubborn generation *
a generation that set not their heart aright,
and whose spirit cleaveth not stedfastly unto God;
10 Like as the children of Ephraim *
who being harnessed, and carrying bows,
turned themselves back in the day of battle.
11 They kept not the covenant of God *
and would not walk in his law;
12 But forgat what he had done *
and the wonderful works that he had shewed for them.
13 Marvellous things did he in the sight of our forefathers, in the land of Egypt *
even in the field of Zoan.
14 He divided the sea, and let them go through *
he made the waters to stand on an heap.
15 In the day-time also he led them with a cloud *
and all the night through with a light of fire.
16 He clave the hard rocks in the wilderness *
and gave them drink thereof, as it had been out of the great depth.
17 He brought waters out of the stony rock *
so that it gushed out like the rivers.
18 Yet for all this they sinned more against him *
and provoked the most Highest in the wilderness.
19 They tempted God in their hearts *
and required meat for their lust.
20 They spake against God also, saying *
Shall God prepare a table in the wilderness?
21 He smote the stony rock indeed,
that the water gushed out, and the streams flowed withal *
but can he give bread also, or provide flesh for his people?
22 When the Lord heard this, he was wroth *
so the fire was kindled in Jacob,
and there came up heavy displeasure against Israel;
23 Because they believed not in God *
and put not their trust in his help.
24 So he commanded the clouds above *
and opened the doors of heaven.
25 He rained down manna also upon them for to eat *
and gave them food from heaven.
26 So man did eat angels’ food *
for he sent them meat enough.
27 He caused the east-wind to blow under heaven *
and through his power he brought in the south-west-wind.
28 He rained flesh upon them as thick as dust *
and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea.
29 He let it fall among their tents *
even round about their habitation.
30 So they did eat, and were well filled; for he gave them their own desire *
they were not disappointed of their lust.
31 But while the meat was yet in their mouths,
the heavy wrath of God came upon them, and slew the wealthiest of them *
yea, and smote down the chosen men that were in Israel.
32 But for all this they sinned yet more *
and believed not his wondrous works.
33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity *
and their years in trouble.
34 When he slew them, they sought him *
and turned them early, and enquired after God.
35 And they remembered that God was their strength *
and that the high God was their redeemer.
36 Nevertheless, they did but flatter him with their mouth *
and dissembled with him in their tongue.
37 For their heart was not whole with him *
neither continued they stedfast in his covenant.
38 But he was so merciful, that he forgave their misdeeds *
and destroyed them not.
39 Yea, many a time turned he his wrath away *
and would not suffer his whole displeasure to arise.
40 For he considered that they were but flesh *
and that they were even a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
41 Many a time did they provoke him in the wilderness *
and grieved him in the desert.
42 They turned back, and tempted God *
and moved the Holy One in Israel.
43 They thought not of his hand *
and of the day when he delivered them from the hand of the enemy;
44 How he had wrought his miracles in Egypt *
and his wonders in the field of Zoan.
45 He turned their waters into blood *
so that they might not drink of the rivers.
46 He sent lice among them, and devoured them up *
and frogs to destroy them.
47 He gave their fruit unto the caterpillar *
and their labour unto the grasshopper.
48 He destroyed their vines with hail-stones *
and their mulberry-trees with the frost.
49 He smote their cattle also with hail-stones *
and their flocks with hot thunderbolts.
50 He cast upon them the furiousness of his wrath,
anger, displeasure, and trouble *
and sent evil angels among them.
51 He made a way to his indignation, and spared not their soul from death *
but gave their life over to the pestilence;
52 And smote all the first-born in Egypt *
the most principal and mightiest in the dwellings of Ham.
53 But as for his own people, he led them forth like sheep *
and carried them in the wilderness like a flock.
54 He brought them out safely, that they should not fear *
and overwhelmed their enemies with the sea.
55 And brought them within the borders of his sanctuary *
even to his mountain which he purchased with his right hand.
56 He cast out the heathen also before them *
caused their land to be divided among them for an heritage,
and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
57 So they tempted, and displeased the most high God *
and kept not his testimonies;
58 But turned their backs, and fell away like their forefathers *
starting aside like a broken bow.
59 For they grieved him with their hill altars *
and provoked him to displeasure with their images.
60 When God heard this, he was wroth *
and took sore displeasure at Israel.
61 So that he forsook the tabernacle in Silo *
even the tent that he had pitched among men.
62 He delivered their power into captivity *
and their beauty into the enemy’s hand.
63 He gave his people over also unto the sword *
and was wroth with his inheritance.
64 The fire consumed their young men *
and their maidens were not given to marriage.
65 Their priests were slain with the sword *
and there were no widows to make lamentation.
66 So the Lord awaked as one out of sleep *
and like a giant refreshed with wine.
67 He smote his enemies in the hinder parts *
and put them to a perpetual shame.
68 He refused the tabernacle of Joseph *
and chose not the tribe of Ephraim;
69 But chose the tribe of Judah *
even the hill of Sion which he loved.
70 And there he built his temple on high *
and laid the foundation of it like the ground which he hath made continually.
71 He chose David also his servant *
and took him away from the sheep-folds.
72 As he was following the ewes great with young ones he took him *
that he might feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
73 So he fed them with a faithful and true heart *
and ruled them prudently with all his power.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
God of pilgrims,
strengthen our faith, we pray.
Guide us through the uncertainties of our journey,
and hold before us the vision of your eternal kingdom,
made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year after year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her, ‘Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?’
After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’
As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.’ But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.’ Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.’ And she said, ‘Let your servant find favour in your sight.’ Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.
They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the Lord.’
HYMN: Benjamin Beddome
Tune: St Flavian https://tinyurl.com/ydcc5mww
1 Prayer is the breath of God in man,
Returning whence it came;
Love is the sacred fire within,
And prayer the rising flame.
2 It gives the burdened spirit ease,
And soothes the troubled breast;
Yields comfort to the mourners here,
And to the weary rest.
3 When God inclines the heart to pray
He hath an ear to hear;
To Him there’s music in a groan,
And beauty in a tear.
Reading: 2 Timothy 4:9-22
Do your best to come to me soon, for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
At my first defence no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained in Corinth; Trophimus I left ill in Miletus. Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
HYMN: William Cowper
Tune: Caithness https://tinyurl.com/ya6p6gv2
1 O for a closer walk with God,
a calm and heavenly frame;
a light to shine upon the road
that leads me to the Lamb!
2 What peaceful hours I once enjoyed,
how sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
the world can never fill.
3 Return, O holy Dove, return,
sweet messenger of rest:
I hate the sins that made thee mourn
and drove thee from my breast.
4 The dearest idol I have known,
whate’er that idol be,
help me to tear it from thy throne
and worship only thee.
5 So shall my walk be close with God,
calm and serene my frame;
so purer light shall mark the road
that leads me to the Lamb.
Reading: Luke 7:36-39
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.’
CANTICLE Isaiah 60
(Uptown Worship Band: https://tinyurl.com/yb6c8bhv)
Arise and shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land;
and deep gloom enshrouds the people.
But over you the Lord will rise,
and his glory will appear upon you.
Nations will stream to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Your gates will always be open;
by day or night they’ll never be closed.
They will call you the City of the Lord,
the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
And violence will be no more,
no need for the sun or the moonlight,
the Lord will be your light,
and your God will be your glory.
Glory to the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
THE PRAYERS BCW
We praise you, God our creator, for your handiwork in shaping and sustaining
your wondrous creation. Especially we thank you for
the miracle of life and the wonder of living . . .
particular blessings coming to us in this day . . .
the resources of the earth . . .
gifts of creative vision and skillful craft . . .
the treasure stored in every human life. . . .
We dare to pray for others, God our Savior, claiming your love in Jesus Christ for
the whole world, committing ourselves to care for those around us in his name.
Especially we pray for
those who work for the benefit of others . . .
those who cannot work today . . .
those who teach and those who learn . . .
people who are poor . . .
the church in Europe. . . .
(Plainsong Mode 2: https://tinyurl.com/yctqq8cf)DL
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the bread of life;
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
O God, Origin, Sustainer, and End of all your creatures: Grant that your Church, taught by your servant Evelyn Underhill, guarded evermore by your power, and guided by your Spirit into the light of truth, may continually offer to you all glory and thanksgiving, and attain with your saints to the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have promised us by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen. LFF
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14
BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
EH Exciting Holiness, Ed. Brother Tristram SSF © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997
LFF Lesser Feasts and Fasts, © Church Publishing, Inc.
RCLP Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.
WS2 Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources
DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.
CW Common Worship © 2000, Central Board of Finance of the Church of England
1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©
2 Eric Wyse, Lord’s Prayer, ©; audio from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_a40ME7aVk
3 Bruce Prewer, ©; from http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocA/40Sun11.htm
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662).
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2020 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.