Tuesday evening December 22

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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.


See the Lord, Thy Keeper, Stand

Charles Wesley
See the Lord, thy keeper, stand,
Omnipotently near;
Lo! He holds thee by the hand,
And banishes thy fear;
Shadows with his wings thy head;
Guards from all impending harms;
Round thee and beneath are spread
The everlasting arms.

God shall bless thy going out,
Shall bless thy coming in;
Kindly compass thee about,
And guard from every sin.
Lean upon thy Father’s breast;
He thy quiet spirit keeps;
Rest in Him, securely rest;
Thy Guardian never sleeps.

O, my soul, unceasing pray,
And in thy God confide!
He our faltering steps shall stay,
Nor suffer us to slide:
He is still our sure defense,
We his ceaseless care shall prove,
Kept by watchful providence
And ever-waking love.

Confession of sin

Let us admit to God the sin which always confronts us.

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

Almighty God,
patient and of great goodness:
I confess to you,
I confess with my whole heart
my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments,
my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking;
the hurts I have done to others,
and the good I have left undone.
O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you;
and raise me to newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

May the God of love and power
forgive us and free us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,
and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 24

The Lord of heavenly forces — he is the glorious king! 

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,
    the world and its inhabitants too.
Because God is the one who established it on the seas;
    God set it firmly on the waters.
Who can ascend the Lord’s mountain?
    Who can stand in his holy sanctuary?
Only the one with clean hands and a pure heart;
    the one who hasn’t made false promises,
    the one who hasn’t sworn dishonestly.
That kind of person receives blessings from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God who saves.
And that’s how things are
    with the generation that seeks him—
    that seeks the face of Jacob’s God.
Mighty gates: lift up your heads!
    Ancient doors: rise up high!
        So the glorious king can enter!
Who is this glorious king?
    The Lord—strong and powerful!
    The Lord—powerful in battle!
Mighty gates: lift up your heads!
    Ancient doors: rise up high!
        So the glorious king can enter!
Who is this glorious king?
    The Lord of heavenly forces—
        he is the glorious king! 

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 of heavenly forces — he is the glorious king!

Psalm prayer

O Lord of heavenly forces,
purify our hearts
that the King of glory may come in,
your Son, Jesus our redeemer.

Psalm 48

We dwell on your faithful love, God.

In the city belonging to our God,
    the Lord is great and so worthy of praise!
His holy mountain is a beautiful summit,
    the joy of the whole world.
    Mount Zion, in the far north,
    is the city of the great king.
God is in its fortifications,
    revealing himself as a place of safety.
Look: the kings assembled themselves,
    advancing all together—
    when they saw it, they were stunned;
    they panicked and ran away frightened.
Trembling took hold of them right there—
    like a woman giving birth,
    or like the east wind when it smashes
    the ships of Tarshish.
Just like we had heard,
    now we’ve seen it for ourselves
    in the city of the Lord of heavenly forces,
    in the city of our God.
        May God make it secure forever!
We dwell on your faithful love, God,
    in your temple.
Your praise, God, just like your reputation,
    extends to the far corners of the earth.
        Your strong hand is filled with righteousness.
Let Mount Zion be glad;
    let the towns of Judah rejoice
        because of your acts of justice!
Walk around Zion;
    go all the way around it;
    count its towers.
Examine its defenses closely;
    tour its fortifications
    so that you may tell future generations:
“This is God,
    our God, forever and always!
    He is the one who will lead us
    even to the very end.”

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.

We dwell on your faithful love, God.

Psalm prayer

Father of lights,
raise us with Christ to your eternal city,
that, with kings and nations,
we may wait in the midst of your temple
and see your glory forever and ever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 54

Sing, barren woman who has borne no child;
    break forth into singing and cry out,
        you who were never in labor,
    for the children of the wife who has been deserted will be more numerous than the children of the married, says the Lord.
Enlarge the site of your tent,
    and stretch out the drapes of your dwellings;
    don’t hold back.
    Lengthen your tent ropes and strengthen your stakes.
    To the right and to the left you will burst out,
    and your children will possess the nations’ land
    and settle their desolate cities.

Don’t fear,
    because you won’t be ashamed;
    don’t be dismayed,
    because you won’t be disgraced.
You will forget the shame of your youth;
    you’ll no longer remember the disgrace of your widowhood.
The one marrying you is the one who made you—
    the Lord of heavenly forces is his name.
The one redeeming you is the holy one of Israel,
    the one called the God of all the earth.
As an abandoned and dejected woman the Lord has summoned you;
    as a young wife when she is rejected,
        says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great mercy I will bring you back.
    In an outburst of rage,
    I hid my face from you for a moment,
    but with everlasting love I have consoled you,
    says your redeemer, the Lord.

These are like the days of Noah for me,
    when I promised that Noah’s waters would never again cover the earth.
    Likewise I promise not to rage against you or rebuke you.
The mountains may shift,
    and the hills may be shaken,
    but my faithful love won’t shift from you,
    and my covenant of peace won’t be shaken,
    says the Lord, the one who pities you.

Suffering one, storm-tossed, uncomforted,
    look, I am setting your gemstones
    in silvery metal
    and your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your towers of rubies,
    and your gates of beryl,
    and all your walls of precious jewels.
    All your children will be disciples of the Lord—
    I will make peace abound for your children.
You will be firmly founded in righteousness.
    You will stay far from oppression because you won’t fear,
    far from terror because it won’t come near you.
If anyone attacks you, it’s none of my doing.
    Whoever attacks you will fall because of you.
Look, I myself created the metalworker who blows the fire of coal and who produces a tool for his work.
    And I myself created the looter to destroy.
No weapon fashioned against you will succeed,
    and you may condemn every tongue that disputes with you.
This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants,
    whose righteousness comes from me, says the Lord.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
2 Peter 1:6-2:3

We didn’t repeat crafty myths when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Quite the contrary, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes. He received honor and glory from God the Father when a voice came to him from the magnificent glory, saying, “This is my dearly loved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain. In addition, we have a most reliable prophetic word, and you would do well to pay attention to it, just as you would to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Most important, you must know that no prophecy of scripture represents the prophet’s own understanding of things, because no prophecy ever came by human will. Instead, men and women led by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

But false prophets also arose among the people. In the same way, false teachers will come among you. They will introduce destructive opinions and deny the master who bought them, bringing quick destruction on themselves. Many will follow them in their unrestrained immorality, and because of these false teachers the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will take advantage of you with lies. The judgment pronounced against them long ago hasn’t fallen idle, nor is their destruction sleeping.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

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.

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

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


God of grace,
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

God our redeemer,
who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your Son:
grant that, as she looked for his coming as our savior,
so we may be ready to greet him
when he comes again as our judge;
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.