Friday evening December 25

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
You laid the foundation of the earth
And the heavens are the work of your hands.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise forever.
To dispel the darkness of our night
you sent forth your Son, the firstborn of all creation,
to be the Christ, the light of the world.
Rejoicing in the mystery of the Word made flesh,
we acclaim him Emmanuel, as all creation sings to you:
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Join All Ye Joyful Nations

Charles Wesley
Join all ye joyful nations
The acclaiming hosts of heaven!
This happy morn a child is born
To us a son is given.
The messenger and token
Of God’s eternal favor,
God hath sent down to us his Son,
A universal Savior!

The wonderful Messiah,
The joy of every nation,
Jesus His name, with God the same,
The Lord of all creation.
The counselor of sinners,
Mighty to deliver,
The Prince of Peace, whose love’s increase,
Shall reign in man forever.

Go see the King of glory,
Seek the heavenly stranger,
So poor and mean, his court an inn,
His cradle is a manger.
Who from his Father’s bosom
Now for us descended
Who built the skies, on earth he lies,
By only beasts attended.

Whom all the angels worship,
Hid in human nature;
Incarnate see the deity,
The infinite creator!
See the stupendous blessing
Which God to us hath given!
A child of man, in length a span,
Who fills both earth and heaven.

Gaze on that helpless object,
Endless adoration!
Those infant hands shall burst our bands,
And work out our salvation.
Strangle the crooked serpent,
Burn his works forever,
And open set the heavenly gate
To every true believer.

Till then, thou holy Jesus,
We humbly bow before thee,
Our treasures bring, to serve our king,
And joyfully adore thee.
To thee we gladly render,
What thy grace hath given,
Till thou appear in glory here,
And take us up to heaven.

Confession of sin

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing,
Because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
Holy and strong,
Holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.

Let my whole being bless the Lord.
Let everything inside me bless his holy name.

Let my whole being bless the Lord,
and never forget all his good deeds.

The Word of God

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord, how majestic
    is your name throughout the earth!
    You made your glory higher than heaven!
From the mouths of nursing babies
    you have laid a strong foundation
    because of your foes,
    in order to stop vengeful enemies.
When I look up at your skies,
    at what your fingers made—
    the moon and the stars
    that you set firmly in place—
        what are human beings
            that you think about them;
        what are human beings
            that you pay attention to them?
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
    crowning them with glory and grandeur.
You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
    putting everything under their feet—
        all sheep and all cattle,
        the wild animals too,
        the birds in the sky,
        the fish of the ocean,
        everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!  

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

We bless you, master of the heavens,
for the wonderful order which enfolds this world;
grant that your whole creation
may find fulfillment in the Son of Man, 
Jesus Christ our Savior.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 65:17-25

Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:
    past events won’t be remembered;
    they won’t come to mind.
Be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I’m creating,
    because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy
    and her people as a source of gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad about my people.
    No one will ever hear the sound of weeping or crying in it again.
No more will babies live only a few days,
    or the old fail to live out their days.
The one who dies at a hundred will be like a young person,
    and the one falling short of a hundred will seem cursed.
They will build houses and live in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They won’t build for others to live in,
    nor plant for others to eat.
Like the days of a tree will be the days of my people;
    my chosen will make full use of their handiwork.
They won’t labor in vain,
    nor bear children to a world of horrors,
    because they will be people blessed by the Lord,
    they along with their descendants.
Before they call, I will answer;
    while they are still speaking, I will hear.
Wolf and lamb will graze together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    but the snake—its food will be dust.
They won’t hurt or destroy at any place on my holy mountain,
    says the Lord.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Philippians 2:5-11

Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:

Though he was in the form of God,
        he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.
But he emptied himself
        by taking the form of a slave
        and by becoming like human beings.
When he found himself in the form of a human,
        he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
        even death on a cross.
Therefore, God highly honored him
        and gave him a name above all names,
    so that at the name of Jesus everyone
        in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow
        and every tongue confess that
            Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

When peaceful silence lay over all,
and night was in the midst of her swift course:
from your royal throne, O God, down from the heavens,
leapt your almighty Word.

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.

When peaceful silence lay over all,
and night was in the midst of her swift course:
from your royal throne, O God, down from the heavens,
leapt your almighty Word.

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,
you have given us your only-begotten Son
to take our nature upon him
and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin:
grant that we, who have been born again
and made your children by adoption and grace,
may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever.   

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
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 God, who has called us out of darkness
into his marvelous light,
bless us and fill us with peace.