Thursday evening December 3

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Reveal among us the light of your presence
that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
creator of light and darkness,
to you be glory and praise forever.
As evening falls, you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
May your word be a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our path
that we may behold your coming among us.
Strengthen us in our stumbling weakness
and free our tongues to sing your praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Father, Son, and Spirit Hear

Charles Wesley
Father, Son, and Spirit, hear
Faith's effectual fervent prayer;
Hear, and our petitions seal,
Let us now the answer feel.

Still our fellowship increase,
Knit us in the bond of peace;
Join our newborn spirits, join
Each to each, and all to thine.

Build us in one body up,
Called in one high calling's hope:
One the Spirit whom we claim,
One the pure baptismal flame.

One the faith, and common Lord,
One the Father lives adored,
Over, through, and in us all,
God incomprehensible.

One with God, the source of bliss,
Ground of our communion this:
Life of all that live below,
Let thine emanations flow!

Rise eternal in our heart:
Thou our long-sought Eden art;
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Be to us what Adam lost!

Confession of sin

Come, Holy Spirit of God,
and search our hearts with the light of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 
and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, 
with all your being, with all your mind, 
and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.
All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

After a period of reflection

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgment;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Hosea 6

May almighty God,
who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,
bring us his pardon and peace, now and forever.

The Word of God

Psalm 40

God, you’ve done so many things—
your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—
no one can compare with you!

I put all my hope in the Lord.
    He leaned down to me;
    he listened to my cry for help.
He lifted me out of the pit of death,
    out of the mud and filth,
    and set my feet on solid rock.
        He steadied my legs.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise for our God.
Many people will learn of this and be amazed;
    they will trust the Lord.
Those who put their trust in the Lord,
    who pay no attention to the proud
    or to those who follow lies,
    are truly happy!
You, Lord my God!
    You’ve done so many things—
    your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—
        no one can compare with you!
    If I were to proclaim and talk about all of them,
        they would be too numerous to count!
You don’t relish sacrifices or offerings;
    you don’t require entirely burned offerings or compensation offerings—
    but you have given me ears!
So I said, “Here I come!
    I’m inscribed in the written scroll.
    I want to do your will, my God.
    Your Instruction is deep within me.”
I’ve told the good news of your righteousness
    in the great assembly.
    I didn’t hold anything back—
        as you well know, Lord!
I didn’t keep your righteousness only to myself.
    I declared your faithfulness and your salvation.
I didn’t hide your loyal love and trustworthiness
    from the great assembly.
So now you, Lord—
    don’t hold back any of your compassion from me.
Let your loyal love and faithfulness always protect me,
    because countless evils surround me.
My wrongdoings have caught up with me—
    I can’t see a thing!
There’s more of them than hairs on my head—
    my courage leaves me.
Favor me, Lord, and deliver me!
    Lord, come quickly and help me!
Let those who seek my life, who want me dead,
    be disgraced and put to shame.
Let those who want to do me harm
    be thoroughly frustrated and humiliated.
Let those who say to me, “Yes! Oh, yes!”
    be destroyed by their shame.
But let all who seek you
    celebrate and rejoice in you.
Let those who love your salvation always say,
    “The Lord is great!”
But me? I’m weak and needy.
    Let my Lord think of me.
You are my help and my rescuer.
    My God, don’t wait any longer!

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.

God, you’ve done so many things—
your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—
no one can compare with you!

Psalm prayer

Free us from our sins, O God,
and may our sacrifices be of praise
to the glory of your Son,
our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a help always near in times of great trouble.
That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart,
    when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea,
    when its waters roar and rage,
    when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.
There is a river whose streams gladden God’s city,
    the holiest dwelling of the Most High.
God is in that city. It will never crumble.
    God will help it when morning dawns.
Nations roar; kingdoms crumble.
    God utters his voice; the earth melts.
The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety.
Come, see the Lord’s deeds,
    what devastation he has imposed on the earth—
    bringing wars to an end in every corner of the world,
    breaking the bow and shattering the spear,
        burning chariots with fire.
“That’s enough! Now know that I am God!
    I am exalted among all nations; I am exalted throughout the world!”
The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety.

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.

Psalm prayer

God of Jacob,
when the earth shakes
and the nations are in uproar,
speak, and let the storm be still;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 44:1-8

But now hear this, Jacob my servant,
    and Israel, whom I have chosen.
The Lord your maker,
    who formed you in the womb and will help you, says:
    Don’t fear, my servant Jacob,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
I will pour out water upon thirsty ground
    and streams upon dry land.
I will pour out my spirit upon your descendants
    and my blessing upon your offspring.
They will spring up from among the reeds
    like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,”
        and that one will be named after Jacob.
    Another will write on his hand, “The Lord’s”
        and will take the name Israel.
The Lord, Israel’s king and redeemer,
    the Lord of heavenly forces, says:
I am the first, and I am the last,
    and besides me there are no gods.
Who is like me?
    Let them speak up, explain it, and lay it out for me.
Who announced long ago what is to be?
    Let them tell us what is to come.
Don’t tremble; have no fear!
    Didn’t I proclaim it?
    Didn’t I inform you long ago?
You are my witnesses!
    Is there a God besides me?
    There is no other rock; I know of none.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Revelation 21:9-21

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues spoke with me. “Come,” he said, “I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” He took me in a Spirit-inspired trance to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. The city had God’s glory. Its brilliance was like a priceless jewel, like jasper that was as clear as crystal. It had a great high wall with twelve gates. By the gates were twelve angels, and on the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel’s sons. There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. The city wall had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the Lamb’s twelve apostles.

The angel who spoke to me had a gold measuring rod with which to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. Now the city was laid out as a square. Its length was the same as its width. He measured the city with the rod, and it was fifteen hundred miles. Its length and width and height were equal. He also measured the thickness of its wall. It was two hundred sixteen feet thick, as a person—or rather, an angel—measures things. The wall was built of jasper, and the city was pure gold, like pure glass. The city wall’s foundations were decorated with every kind of jewel. The first foundation was jasper, the second was sapphire, the third was chalcedony, and the fourth was emerald. The fifth was sardonyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was chrysolite, and the eighth was beryl. The ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was made from a single pearl. And the city’s main street was pure gold, as transparent as glass.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Lord Jesus, you are the one who is to come, the one whom we await with longing hearts.

With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy, 
just as he promised to our ancestors, 
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.

Luke 1:46-55

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.

Lord Jesus, you are the one who is to come, the one whom we await with longing hearts.

Brief silence.

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and 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.


Thanksgiving and intercession

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.
Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs


Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

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

The Lord’s Prayer

Awaiting his coming in glory,
as our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


May the Lord, when he comes,
find us watching and waiting.