Friday evening December 11

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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.


O Come, Thou Radiant Morning Star

Charles Wesley
O come, thou radiant Morning Star,
Again in human darkness shine!
Arise resplendent from afar!
Assert thy royalty divine!
Thy sway over all the earth maintain,
And now begin thy glorious reign.

Thy kingdom, Lord, we long to see:
Thy scepter over the nations shake!
Erect that final monarchy,
Edom for thy possession take;
Take, for thou didst their ransom find
The purchased souls of all mankind.

Now let thy chosen ones appear,
And valiantly the truth maintain!
Proclaim thy gracious kingdom here,
To all the rebel sons of men,
Seize them with faith divinely bold,
And bring the wanderers to thy fold.

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 82

Rescue the lowly and the needy. Deliver them from the power of the wicked!

God takes his stand in the divine council;
    he gives judgment among the gods:
“How long will you judge unjustly
    by granting favor to the wicked? 
Give justice to the lowly and the orphan;
    maintain the right of the poor and the destitute!
Rescue the lowly and the needy.
    Deliver them from the power of the wicked!
They don’t know; they don’t understand;
    they wander around in the dark.
    All the earth’s foundations shake.
    I hereby declare, “You are gods,
    children of the Most High—all of you!
But you will die like mortals;
    you will fall down like any prince.”
Rise up, God! Judge the earth
    because you hold all nations in your possession!

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.

Rescue the lowly and the needy. Deliver them from the power of the wicked!

Psalm prayer

God our deliverer,
when the foundations are shaken
and justice has departed,
defend the poor and needy
and give your people strength to fight all wrong
in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 90

I take refuge in you, Lord, my God.

Lord, you have been our help,
    generation after generation.
Before the mountains were born,
    before you birthed the earth and the inhabited world—
    from forever in the past
    to forever in the future, you are God.
You return people to dust,
    saying, “Go back, humans,”
    because in your perspective a thousand years
    are like yesterday past,
    like a short period during the night watch.
You sweep humans away like a dream,
    like grass that is renewed in the morning.
True, in the morning it thrives, renewed,
    but come evening it withers, all dried up.
Yes, we are wasting away because of your wrath;
    we are paralyzed with fear on account of your rage.
You put our sins right in front of you,
    set our hidden faults in the light from your face.
Yes, all our days slip away because of your fury;
    we finish up our years with a whimper.
We live at best to be seventy years old,
    maybe eighty, if we’re strong.
But their duration brings hard work and trouble
    because they go by so quickly.
    And then we fly off.
Who can comprehend the power of your anger?
    The honor that is due you corresponds to your wrath.
Teach us to number our days
    so we can have a wise heart.
Come back to us, Lord!
    Please, quick!
    Have some compassion for your servants!
Fill us full every morning with your faithful love
    so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long.
Make us happy for the same amount of time that you afflicted us—
    for the same number of years that we saw only trouble.
Let your acts be seen by your servants;
    let your glory be seen by their children.
Let the kindness of the Lord our God be over us.
    Make the work of our hands last.
    Make the work of our hands last!

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.

I take refuge in you, Lord, my God.

Psalm prayer

Almighty God,
our eternal refuge,
teach us to live with the knowledge of our death
and to rejoice in the promise of your glory,
revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 48:12-22

Listen to me, Jacob;
    Israel, whom I called:
        I am the one;
        I am the first and I am the last.
My hand founded the earth;
    my strong hand spread out the heavens.
    When I call to them, they all stand up.
Gather yourselves, all of you, and listen.
    Who among you announced these things?
        “The Lord loves him.
        He will do what God wants with Babylon
        and with the descendants of Chaldea.”
I, I have spoken and told him
    the things that will happen to him;
    I will make him succeed.
Come close to me; listen to this:
    Since the very beginning I haven’t spoken in secret.
    Whenever anything happens, I am there.
    (And now the Lord God has sent me with his spirit.)

The Lord your redeemer,
    the holy one of Israel, proclaims:
    I am the Lord your God
        who teaches you for your own good,
        who leads you in the way you should go.
If you would pay attention to my commands,
    your well-being would be like a river,
    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your offspring would be like the sand,
    and your descendants like its grains.
    Their name would never be eliminated,
        never wiped out from before me.

Go out from Babylon;
    flee from the Chaldeans!
Report this with a loud shout, proclaim it;
    broadcast it out to the end of the earth.
    Say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!”
They weren’t thirsty when he led them through the deserts.
    God made water flow from the rock for them;
    split the rock, and water flowed out.
There is no well-being, says the Lord, for the wicked.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

So then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to keep living the way you already are and even do better in how you live and please God—just as you learned from us. You know the instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. God’s will is that your lives are dedicated to him. This means that you stay away from sexual immorality and learn how to control your own body in a pure and respectable way. Don’t be controlled by your sexual urges like the Gentiles who don’t know God. No one should mistreat or take advantage of their brother or sister in this issue. The Lord punishes people for all these things, as we told you before and sternly warned you. God didn’t call us to be immoral but to be dedicated to him. Therefore, whoever rejects these instructions isn’t rejecting a human authority. They are rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

You don’t need us to write about loving your brothers and sisters because God has already taught you to love each other. In fact, you are doing loving deeds for all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. Now we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do so even more. Aim to live quietly, mind your own business, and earn your own living, just as I told you. That way you’ll behave appropriately toward outsiders, and you won’t be in need.

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, hear your people
and answer our prayers.

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.