Friday morning December 16

Saturday morning
Thursday morning


Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.

Reveal among us the light of your presence
that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and forever.


To Thee, Great God of Love, I Bow

Charles Wesley
To thee, great God of love, I bow,
And prostrate in thy sight adore;
By faith I see thee passing now;
I have, but still I ask for more,
A glimpse of love cannot suffice,
My soul for all thy presence cries.

I cannot see thy face and live,
Then let me see thy face and die!
Now, Lord, my gasping spirit receive,
Give me on eagles' wings to fly,
With eagles' eyes on thee to gaze,
And plunge into the glorious blaze.

The fullness of my vast reward
A blest eternity shall be;
But hast thou not on earth prepared
Some better thing than this for me?
What, but one drop! One transient sight!
I want a sun, a sea of light.

Moses thy backward parts might view,
But not a perfect sight obtain;
The gospel doth thy fullness show
To us, by the commandment slain;
The dead to sin shall find the grace,
The pure in heart shall see thy face.

More favored than the saints of old,
Who now by faith approach to thee
Shall all with open face behold
In Christ the glorious Deity;
Shall see, and put the Godhead on,
The nature of thy sinless Son.

This, this is our high calling's prize!
Thine image in thy Son I claim;
And still to higher glories rise,
Till all transformed I know thy name,
And glide to all my heaven above,
My highest heaven in Jesus’ love.

Confession of sin

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins
through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all
goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in
eternal life.

The Word of God

Psalm 77

You are the God who works wonders; you have demonstrated your strength among all peoples.

I cry out loud to God—
    out loud to God so that he can hear me!
During the day when I’m in trouble I look for my Lord.
    At night my hands are still outstretched and don’t grow numb;
        my whole being refuses to be comforted.
I remember God and I moan.
    I complain, and my spirit grows tired.
You’ve kept my eyelids from closing.
    I’m so upset I can’t even speak.
I think about days long past;
    I remember years that seem an eternity in the past.
I meditate with my heart at night;
    I complain, and my spirit keeps searching:
“Will my Lord reject me forever?
    Will he never be pleased again?
Has his faithful love come to a complete end?
    Is his promise over for future generations?
Has God forgotten how to be gracious?
    Has he angrily stopped up his compassion?”
It’s my misfortune, I thought,
    that the strong hand of the Most High is different now.
But I will remember the Lord’s deeds;
    yes, I will remember your wondrous acts from times long past.
I will meditate on all your works;
    I will ponder your deeds.
God, your way is holiness!
    Who is as great a god as you, God?
You are the God who works wonders;
    you have demonstrated your strength among all peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people;
    redeemed the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw you, God—
    the waters saw you and reeled!
        Even the deep depths shook!
The clouds poured water,
    the skies cracked thunder;
        your arrows were flying all around!
The crash of your thunder was in the swirling storm;
    lightning lit up the whole world;
        the earth shook and quaked.
Your way went straight through the sea;
    your pathways went right through the mighty waters.
        But your footprints left no trace!
You led your people like sheep
    under the care of Moses and Aaron.

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.

You are the God who works wonders; you have demonstrated your strength among all peoples.

Psalm prayer

God our shepherd,
you led us and saved us in times of old;
do not forget your people in their troubles,
but raise up your power
to sustain the poor and helpless;
for the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 98

The Lord has made his salvation widely known.

Sing to the Lord a new song
    because he has done wonderful things!
His own strong hand and his own holy arm
    have won the victory!
The Lord has made his salvation widely known;
    he has revealed his righteousness
    in the eyes of all the nations.
God has remembered his loyal love
    and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
    every corner of the earth has seen our God’s salvation.
Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
    Be happy!
    Rejoice out loud!
    Sing your praises!
Sing your praises to the Lord with the lyre—
    with the lyre and the sound of music.
With trumpets and a horn blast,
    shout triumphantly before the Lord, the king!
Let the sea and everything in it roar;
    the world and all its inhabitants too.
Let all the rivers clap their hands;
    let the mountains rejoice out loud altogether before the Lord
    because he is coming to establish justice on the earth!
He will establish justice in the world rightly;
    he will establish justice among all people fairly.

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 made his salvation widely known.

Psalm prayer

Lord God, just and true,
you make your salvation known in the sight of the nations;
tune the song of our hearts to the music of creation
as you come among us to judge the earth;
through our Savior Jesus Christ.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 51:17-23

Wake yourself, wake yourself!
    Rise up, Jerusalem,
    who drank the cup of wrath from the Lord’s hand.
    You drank; you drained the goblet of reeling.
    There’s no one to guide her among all the children she bore;
    there’s no one to take her by the hand among all the children she raised.
These two things have happened to you—
    Who will be sorry for you?—
        destruction and devastation,
        famine and sword—
    who will comfort you?
Your children passed out;
    they lay at the head of every street like antelope in a net,
    filled with the Lord’s wrath,
    with the rebuke of your God.

Therefore, hear this, suffering one,
    who is drunk, but not from wine.
The Lord, your Lord and your God,
    who contends for his people, says:
    Look, I have taken the cup of reeling,
    the goblet of my wrath, from your hand.
    You will no longer drink from it.
I will put it in the hand of your tormentors,
    who said to you,
    “Lie down so that we can walk on you.
    Make your back like the ground,
    like a street for those walking on it.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
2 Thessalonians 3

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us so that the Lord’s message will spread quickly and be honored, just like it happened with you. Pray too that we will be rescued from inappropriate and evil people since everyone that we meet won’t respond with faith. But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and protect you from the evil one. We are confident about you in the Lord—that you are doing and will keep doing what we tell you to do. May the Lord lead your hearts to express God’s love and Christ’s endurance.

Brothers and sisters, we command you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to stay away from every brother or sister who lives an undisciplined life that is not in line with the traditions that you received from us. You yourselves know how you need to imitate us because we were not undisciplined when we were with you. We didn’t eat anyone’s food without paying for it. Instead, we worked night and day with effort and hard work so that we would not impose on you. We did this to give you an example to imitate, not because we didn’t have a right to insist on financial support. Even when we were with you we were giving you this command: “If anyone doesn’t want to work, they shouldn’t eat.” We hear that some of you are living an undisciplined life. They aren’t working, but they are meddling in other people’s business. By the Lord Jesus Christ, we command and encourage such people to work quietly and put their own food on the table. Brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged in doing what is right. Take note of anyone who doesn’t obey what we have said in this letter. Don’t associate with them so they will be ashamed of themselves. Don’t treat them like enemies, but warn them like you would do for a brother or sister.

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you. I, Paul, am writing this greeting with my own hand. This verifies that the letter is from me, as in every letter of mine. This is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

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.

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.  

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 may be offered for:

the day and its tasks
the world and its needs
the church and her life

Other intercessions and supplications may be offered as the Holy Spirit leads.


Lord of life
In your mercy, hear us.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
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.