As part of the Tuesday Evening Vespers on the 2012 Senior High Mission Trip, prayer partners joined in releasing sky lanterns along the lines of these photos (which were our "trial run" that we did last week here at home). Imagine 25 of these gorgeous sky lanterns ascending all at one time, and you begin to get an idea of what the 2012 WPC mission trip participants experienced.
Here is an Evening Vespers Prayer:
Great and most high God, you alone possess immortality and dwell in unapproachable light. You made all creation with wisdom, dividing light from darkness, establishing the sun to rule the day and the moon and stars to rule the night. You have allowed us to approach your presence with thanksgiving in this present hour and to offer you evening praise. O Lord, Lover of us all, make our prayer ascend to you like incense and accept it as a sweet fragrance. Grant that we may spend the present evening and the coming night in peace; clothe us with the armor of light.
Deliver us from the fears of the night and from everything that lurks about in darkness. Grant that the sleep you have given us to refresh our fatigue may be free from all illusions. Yes, O Master of all, giver of good things, let us feel contrition as we lie on our beds, remembering your name throughout the night. Enlightened by meditation on your commands, may we rise with gladdened soul to give glory to your goodness, offering prayers and supplications to your compassion for us in our sins and those of all your people.
Visit us with mercy through the intercession of your Holy Spirit. For you, O God, are good and love us all, and we glorify you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.