Wednesday evening December 7

Thursday evening
Tuesday evening


Opening response

Favor us, Lord, and deliver us.
Lord, come quickly and 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.

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise
now and forever.


O Wondrous Power of Faithful Prayer

Charles Wesley
O wondrous power of faithful prayer!
What tongue can tell the almighty grace?
God’s hands or bound or open are,
As Moses or Elijah prays;
Let Moses in the Spirit groan,
And God cries out, “Let me alone!”

“Let me alone, that all my wrath
May rise the wicked to consume;
While justice hears the praying faith,
It cannot seal the sinner’s doom:
My Son is in my servant’s prayer,
And Jesus forces me to spare.”

Father, we ask in Jesus’ name,
In Jesus’ power and spirit pray;
Divert thy vengeful thunder’s aim,
O turn thy threatening wrath away!
Our guilt and punishment remove,
And magnify thy pardoning love.

Father regard thy pleading Son!
Accept his all-availing prayer,
And send a peaceful answer down,
In honor of our Spokesman there,
Whose blood proclaims our sins forgiven,
And speaks thy rebels up to heaven.

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 10

Lord, you have not abandoned any who seek you.

Why do you stand so far away, Lord,
    hiding yourself in troubling times?
Meanwhile, the wicked are proudly
    in hot pursuit of those who suffer.
Let them get caught
    in the very same schemes they’ve thought up!
The wicked brag about their body’s cravings;
    the greedy reject the Lord, cursing.
At the peak of their wrath,
    the wicked don’t seek God:
    There’s no God—
    that’s what they are always thinking.
Their ways are always twisted.
        Your rules are too lofty for them.
    They snort at all their foes.
    They think to themselves,
        We’ll never stumble.
        We’ll never encounter any resistance.
Their mouths are filled
        with curses, dishonesty, violence.
    Under their tongues lie
        troublemaking and wrongdoing.
They wait in a place perfect for ambush;
    from their hiding places
    they kill innocent people;
    their eyes spot those who are helpless.
They lie in ambush
    in secret places,
    like a lion in its lair.
They lie in ambush
    so they can seize those who suffer!
They seize the poor, all right,
    dragging them off in their nets.
Their helpless victims are crushed;
    they collapse, falling prey to the strength of the wicked.
The wicked think to themselves:
    God has forgotten.
    God has hidden his face.
    God never sees anything!
Get up, Lord!
    Get your fist ready, God!
    Don’t forget the ones who suffer!
Why do the wicked reject God?
    Why do they think to themselves
        that you won’t find out?
But you do see!
    You do see troublemaking and grief,
    and you do something about it!
The helpless leave it all to you.
    You are the orphan’s helper.
Break the arms of those
    who are wicked and evil.
Seek out their wickedness
    until there’s no more to find.
The Lord rules forever and always!
    The nations will vanish from his land.
Lord, you listen to the desires of those who suffer.
    You steady their hearts;
you listen closely to them,
    to establish justice
        for the orphan and the oppressed,
    so that people of the land
        will never again be terrified.

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, you have not abandoned any who seek you.

Psalm prayer

When wickedness triumphs
and the poor are betrayed,
come to your kingdom, strong and holy God,
destroy the masks of evil
and reign in our broken hearts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 14

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Fools say in their hearts, There is no God.
    They are corrupt and do evil things;
    not one of them does anything good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humans
    to see if anyone is wise,
    to see if anyone seeks God,
        but all of them have turned bad.
        Everyone is corrupt.
        No one does good—
        not even one person!
Are they dumb, all these evildoers,
    devouring my people
    like they are eating bread
        but never calling on the Lord?
Count on it: they will be in utter panic
    because God is with the righteous generation.
You evildoers may humiliate
    the plans of those who suffer,
        but the Lord is their refuge.
Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!
        When the Lord changes
        his people’s circumstances for the better,
        Jacob will rejoice;
        Israel will celebrate!

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 beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Psalm prayer

God of heaven,
look with mercy on all who are consumed
by ignorance and greed,
and let the children of earth know
that you are God forever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 31

Doom to those going down to Egypt for help!
    They rely on horses,
    trust in chariots because they are many,
    and on riders because they are very strong.
But they don’t look to the holy one of Israel;
    they don’t seek the Lord.
But God also knows how to bring disaster;
    he has not taken back his words.
God will rise up against the house of evildoers
    and against the help of those who do wrong.
Egypt is human and not divine;
    their horses are flesh and not spirit.
The Lord will extend his hand;
    the helper will stumble,
    those helped will fall,
    and they will all die together.

The Lord has said to me:
When the lion growls,
    the young lion, over its prey,
    though a band of shepherds is summoned against it,
    isn’t scared off by their noise
    or frightened by their roar.
So the Lord of heavenly forces will go down
    to fight on Mount Zion and on her hill.
Like birds flying aloft,
    so the Lord of heavenly forces will shield Jerusalem:
    shielding and saving, sparing and rescuing.

People of Israel, return to the one whom you have deeply betrayed! On that day, you will each reject the idols of silver and the idols of gold, which you have sinfully made for yourselves.

Assyria will fall, but not by a human sword—
    a sword not made by humans will devour them.
    They will flee before the sword;
    their young men will become forced laborers.
In horror they will flee from their stronghold;
    their officers will be terrified at the signal,
        says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion
        and whose oven is in Jerusalem.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 15:1-20

Then Pharisees and legal experts came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why are your disciples breaking the elders’ rules handed down to us? They don’t ritually purify their hands by washing before they eat.”

Jesus replied, “Why do you break the command of God by keeping the rules handed down to you? For God said, Honor your father and your mother, and The person who speaks against father or mother will certainly be put to death. But you say, ‘If you tell your father or mother, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you I’m giving to God as a gift,” then you don’t have to honor your father.’ So you do away with God’s Law for the sake of the rules that have been handed down to you. Hypocrites! Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you, This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. Their worship of me is empty since they teach instructions that are human rules.”

Jesus called the crowd near and said to them, “Listen and understand. It’s not what goes into the mouth that contaminates a person in God’s sight. It’s what comes out of the mouth that contaminates the person.”

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended by what you just said?”

Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be pulled up. Leave the Pharisees alone. They are blind people who are guides to blind people. But if a blind person leads another blind person, they will both fall into a ditch.”

Then Peter spoke up, “Explain this riddle to us.”

Jesus said, “Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you know that everything that goes into the mouth enters the stomach and goes out into the sewer? But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight. Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies, and insults. These contaminate a person in God’s sight. But eating without washing hands doesn’t contaminate in God’s sight.”

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

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


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

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.