Sunday morning January 3

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
You laid the foundation of the earth
and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, sovereign God,
creator of heaven and earth,
to you be praise and glory forever.
As your living Word, eternal in heaven,
assumed the frailty of our mortal flesh,
may the light of your love be born in us
to fill our hearts with joy as we sing:
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


O Thou Whom We Adore

Charles Wesley
O thou whom we adore!
To bless our earth again,
Assume thine own almighty power,
And over the nations reign.

The world’s desire and hope,
All power to thee is given;
Now set the last great empire up,
Eternal Lord of heaven!

A gracious Savior, thou,
Wilt all thy creatures bless;
And every knee to thee shall bow,
And every tongue confess.

According to thy word;
Now be thy grace revealed;
And with the knowledge of the Lord,
Let all the earth be filled.

Confession of sin

Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
call him while he is yet near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.

cf Isaiah 55

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

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have committed evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your faithful love.
Wash us completely clean of our guilt; purify us from our sin.
Put a new, faithful spirit deep inside us,
and return the joy of your salvation to us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Psalm 51

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bless the Lord,
because he has listened to our request for mercy.
Therefore our hearts will rejoice
and we will thank him with our song.

cf Psalm 28:7,9

The Word of God

Psalm 87

The Lord has chosen Zion for himself.

God’s foundation is set on the holy mountains.
The Lord loves Zion’s gates
    more than all of Jacob’s houses combined.
Glorious things are said about you,
    the city of God!
I count Rahab and Babel among those who know me;
    also Philistia and Tyre, along with Cush—
    each of these was born there.
And of Zion it is said:
    “Each person was born in it,
    but the one who will establish it is the Most High.”
The Lord makes a record as he registers the peoples:
    “Each one was born there.”
And while they dance, people sing:
    “The source of my life comes from you.”

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 has chosen Zion for himself.

Psalm prayer

Lord, as you call us to your city
founded on the rock of ages,
let the springs of living water
rise within us to eternal life;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 12

You will say on that day:
“I thank you, Lord.
Though you were angry with me,
    your anger turned away and you comforted me.
God is indeed my salvation;
    I will trust and won’t be afraid.
Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield;
    he has become my salvation.”

You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation.
And you will say on that day:
“Thank the Lord; call on God’s name;
    proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples;
    declare that God’s name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things;
    proclaim this throughout all the earth.”
Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion,
    because the holy one of Israel is great among you.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

As you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, our visit with you wasn’t a waste of time. On the contrary, we had the courage through God to speak God’s good news in spite of a lot of opposition, although we had already suffered and were publicly insulted in Philippi, as you know. Our appeal isn’t based on false information, the wrong motives, or deception. Rather, we have been examined and approved by God to be trusted with the good news, and that’s exactly how we speak. We aren’t trying to please people, but we are trying to please God, who continues to examine our hearts. As you know, we never used flattery, and God is our witness that we didn’t have greedy motives. We didn’t ask for special treatment from people—not from you or from others— although we could have thrown our weight around as Christ’s apostles. Instead, we were gentle with you like a nursing mother caring for her own children. We were glad to share not only God’s good news with you but also our very lives because we cared for you so much.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

To us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, and all the heavenly hosts now sing, Glory to God in the highest.

Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued
from the power of our enemies
so that we could serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes,
for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79

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.

To us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, and all the heavenly hosts now sing, Glory to God in the highest.

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.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


Father, hear our prayer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
in the birth of your Son
you have poured on us the new light of your incarnate Word,
and shown us the fullness of your love:
help us to walk in his light and dwell in his love
that we may know the fullness of his joy;
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.