Saturday evening December 5

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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.


Into a World of Ruffians Sent

Charles Wesley
Into a world of ruffians sent,
I walk on hostile ground,
Wild human bears on slaughter bent,
And ravening wolves, surround.

The lion seeks my soul to slay,
In some unguarded hour,
And waits to tear his sleeping prey,
And watches to devour.

But worse than all my foes I find
The enemy within,
The evil heart, the carnal mind,
My own insidious sin.

My nature every moment waits
To render me secure,
And all my paths with ease besets,
To make my ruin sure.

But thou hast given a loud alarm;
And thou shalt still prepare
My soul for all assaults, and arm
With never-ceasing prayer.

O do not suffer me to sleep,
Who on thy love depend;
But still thy faithful servant keep,
And save me to the end!

Confession of sin

When we cry out to the Lord in our distress,
he will save us from our desperate circumstances.

God will bring us out of darkness
and out of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

May the Father forgive us
by the death of his Son
and strengthen us
to live in the power of the Spirit
all our days.

Let us thank the Lord for his faithful love,
and his wondrous works for all people.

Let us offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and declare what God has done in songs of joy.

cf Psalm 107

The Word of God

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
        Should I fear anyone?
    The Lord is a fortress protecting my life.
        Should I be frightened of anything?
When evildoers come at me trying to eat me up—
    it’s they, my foes and my enemies,
    who stumble and fall!
If an army camps against me,
        my heart won’t be afraid.
    If war comes up against me,
        I will continue to trust in this:
    I have asked one thing from the Lord—
    it’s all I seek:
        to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life,
        seeing the Lord’s beauty
        and constantly adoring his temple.
Because he will shelter me in his own dwelling
    during troubling times;
    he will hide me in a secret place in his own tent;
        he will set me up high, safe on a rock.
Now my head is higher than the enemies surrounding me,
    and I will offer sacrifices in God’s tent—
        sacrifices with shouts of joy!
    I will sing and praise the Lord.
Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out—
    have mercy on me and answer me!
Come, my heart says, seek God’s face.
    Lord, I do seek your face!
Please don’t hide it from me!
    Don’t push your servant aside angrily—
        you have been my help!
    God who saves me,
        don’t neglect me!
        Don’t leave me all alone!
Even if my father and mother left me all alone,
    the Lord would take me in.
Lord, teach me your way;
    because of my opponents, lead me on a good path.
Don’t give me over to the desires of my enemies,
    because false witnesses and violent accusers
    have taken their stand against me.
But I have sure faith
    that I will experience the Lord’s goodness
    in the land of the living!
Hope in the Lord!
    Be strong! Let your heart take courage!
        Hope in the Lord!

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.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Psalm prayer

God, our light and our salvation,
illuminate our lives,
that we may see your goodness in the land of the living,
and, looking on your beauty,
may be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 28

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

I cry out to you, Lord.
    You are my rock; don’t refuse to hear me.
    If you won’t talk to me,
        I’ll be just like those going down to the pit.
Listen to my request for mercy when I cry out to you,
    when I lift up my hands to your holy inner sanctuary.
Don’t drag me off with the wicked and those who do evil;
    the type who talk nice to their friends
    while evil thoughts are in their hearts!
Pay them back for what they’ve done!
    Pay them back for their evil deeds!
    Pay them back for their handiwork!
    Give back to them exactly what they deserve!
Because they have no regard for what the Lord has done,
    no regard for his handiwork,
    God will tear them down and never rebuild!
Bless the Lord
    because he has listened to my request for mercy!
The Lord is my strength and my shield.
    My heart trusts him.
        I was helped, my heart rejoiced,
            and I thank him with my song.
The Lord is his people’s strength;
    he is a fortress of protection for his anointed one.
Save your people, God!
    Bless your possession!
    Shepherd them and carry them for all time!

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.

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

Psalm prayer

Hear us, Shepherd of your people,
forgive us our sins
and, in a world of pretenses,
make us true in heart and mind;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 44:24-45:13

The Lord your redeemer
    who formed you in the womb says:
I am the Lord, the maker of all,
    who alone stretched out the heavens,
    who spread out the earth by myself,
    who frustrates the omens of diviners
        and makes a mockery of magicians,
    who turns back the wise
        and turns their knowledge into folly.
    But who confirms the word of my servant,
        and fulfills the predictions of my messengers;
    who says about Jerusalem, “It will be resettled”;
        and who says about the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt,
        and I will restore their ruins”;
        who says to the ocean depths,
    “Dry up; I will dry your streams”;
    who says about Cyrus, “My shepherd—
        he will do all that I want”;
    who says about Jerusalem,
        “She will be rebuilt”;
    and who says about the temple,
        “You will be founded once again.”

The Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whom I have grasped by the strong hand,
    to conquer nations before him,
    disarming kings,
    and opening doors before him,
    so no gates will be shut:
I myself will go before you,
    and I will level mountains.
I will shatter bronze doors;
    I will cut through iron bars.
I will give you hidden treasures of secret riches,
    so you will know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who calls you by name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob and Israel my chosen,
    I called you by name.
I gave you an honored title,
    though you didn’t know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    besides me there is no God.
I strengthen you—
    though you don’t know me—
so all will know, from the rising of the sun to its setting,
    that there is nothing apart from me.
I am the Lord; there’s no other.
    I form light and create darkness,
    make prosperity and create doom;
    I am the Lord, who does all these things.
Pour down, you heavens above,
    and let the clouds flow with righteousness.
Let the earth open for salvation to bear fruit;
    let righteousness sprout as well.
    I, the Lord, have created these things.

Doom to the one who argues with the potter,
    as if he were just another clay pot!
Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?”
    or “Your work has no handles”?
Doom to one who says to a father,
    “What have you fathered?”
    and to a woman,
    “With what are you in labor?”
The Lord, the holy one of Israel and its maker, says:
Are you questioning me about my own children?
    Are you telling me what to do with the work of my hands?
I myself made the earth,
    and created humans upon it.
    My own hands stretched out the heavens.
    I commanded all their forces.
I have a right to awaken Cyrus;
    I will smooth all his paths.
He will build my city
    and set my exiles free,
    not for a price and not for a bribe,
    says the Lord of heavenly forces.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Revelation 22:6-21

Then he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.

“Look! I’m coming soon. Favored is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy contained in this scroll.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I’m a servant just like you and your brothers and sisters, the prophets, and those who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!” Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy contained in this scroll, because the time is near. Let those who do wrong keep doing what is wrong. Let the filthy still be filthy. Let those who are righteous keep doing what is right. Let those who are holy still be holy.

“Look! I’m coming soon. My reward is with me, to repay all people as their actions deserve. I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Favored are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right of access to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the drug users and spell-casters, those who commit sexual immorality, the murderers, the idolaters, and all who love and practice deception.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to bear witness to all of you about these things for the churches. I’m the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star. The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come! Let the one who wishes receive life-giving water as a gift.”

Now I bear witness to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this scroll: If anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues that are written in this scroll. If anyone takes away from the words of this scroll of prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and the holy city, which are described in this scroll.

The one who bears witness to these things says, “Yes, I’m coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.

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


In faith we pray
We pray to you, our God.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succor us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory, 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.