Saturday evening December 10

Sunday evening
Friday 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.


Oh What a Blessed Hope Is Ours

Charles Wesley
Oh, what a blessed hope is ours!
While here on earth we stay,
We more than taste the heavenly powers,
And antedate that day.

We feel the resurrection near,
Our life in Christ concealed,
And with his glorious presence here,
Our earthen vessels filled.

Oh, would he all of heaven bestow!
Then like our Lord we’ll rise,
Our bodies, fully ransomed, go
To take the glorious prize.

In rapturous awe, on him to gaze,
Who bought the sight for me;
And shout and wonder at his grace,
Through all eternity.

Confession of sin

When we cry out to the Lord in our distress,
he will save us from our desperate circumstances.

God will bring us out of darkness
and out of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

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

May the Father forgive us
by the death of his Son
and strengthen us
to live in the power of the Spirit
all our days.

Let us thank the Lord for his faithful love,
and his wondrous works for all people.

Let us offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and declare what God has done in songs of joy.

cf Psalm 107

The Word of God

Psalm 93

The Lord will rule forever and always.

The Lord rules!
    He is robed in majesty—
    the Lord is robed,
    clothed with strength.
Yes, he set the world firmly in place;
    it won’t be shaken.
Your throne is set firm for a very long time.
    You are eternal!
Lord, the floods have raised up—
    the floods have raised up their voices;
    the floods raise up a roar!
But mightier than the sound of much water,
    mightier than the sea’s waves,
    mighty on high is the Lord!
Your laws are so faithful.
    Holiness decorates your house, Lord, for all time.

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 will rule forever and always.

Psalm prayer

Christ our King,
you put on the apparel of our nature
and raised us to your glory;
reign from your royal throne
above the chaos of this world,
that all may see the victory you have won
and trust in your salvation;
for your glory’s sake.

Psalm 94

The Lord is my fortress; my God is my rock of refuge.

Lord, avenging God—
    avenging God, show yourself!
Rise up, judge of the earth!
    Pay back the arrogant exactly what they deserve!
How long will the wicked—oh, Lord!—
    how long will the wicked win?
They spew arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are bragging.
They crush your own people, Lord!
    They abuse your very own possession.
They kill widows and immigrants;
    they murder orphans,
    saying all the while,
    “The Lord can’t see it;
        Jacob’s God doesn’t know
        what’s going on!”
You ignorant people better learn quickly.
    You fools—when will you get some sense?
The one who made the ear,
    can’t he hear?
The one who formed the eye,
    can’t he see?
The one who disciplines nations,
    can’t he punish?
The one who teaches humans,
    doesn’t he know?
The Lord does indeed know human thoughts,
    knows that they are nothing but a puff of air.
The people you discipline, Lord, are truly happy—
    the ones you teach from your Instruction—
    giving them relief from troubling times
        until a pit is dug for the wicked.
The Lord will not reject his people;
    he will not abandon his very own possession.
No, but justice will once again meet up with righteousness,
    and all whose heart is right will follow after.
Who will stand up for me against the wicked?
    Who will help me against evildoers?
If the Lord hadn’t helped me,
    I would live instantly in total silence.
Whenever I feel my foot slipping,
    your faithful love steadies me, Lord.
When my anxieties multiply,
    your comforting calms me down.
Can a wicked ruler be your ally;
    one who wreaks havoc by means of the law?
The wicked gang up against the lives of the righteous.
    They condemn innocent blood.
But the Lord is my fortress;
    my God is my rock of refuge.
He will repay them for their wickedness,
    completely destroy them because of their evil.
    Yes, the Lord our God will completely destroy them.

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 is my fortress; my God is my rock of refuge.

Psalm prayer

Lord God, judge of all,
before whom no secrets are hidden,
let your justice shine out
and your righteousness sweep wickedness from its throne,
that we may live free from fear and stumbling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 35

The desert and the dry land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus.
They will burst into bloom,
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
They will receive the glory of Lebanon,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the Lord’s glory,
    the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands,
    and support the unsteady knees.
Say to those who are panicking:
    “Be strong! Don’t fear!
    Here’s your God,
        coming with vengeance;
        with divine retribution
    God will come to save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf will be cleared.
Then the lame will leap like the deer,
    and the tongue of the speechless will sing.
Waters will spring up in the desert,
    and streams in the wilderness.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground, fountains of water.
The jackals’ habitat, a pasture;
    grass will become reeds and rushes.
A highway will be there.
    It will be called The Holy Way.
The unclean won’t travel on it,
    but it will be for those walking on that way.
Even fools won’t get lost on it;
    no lion will be there,
    and no predator will go up on it.
None of these will be there;
    only the redeemed will walk on it.
The Lord’s ransomed ones will return and enter Zion with singing,
    with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
    grief and groaning will flee away.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 16:1-12

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus. In order to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

But he replied, “At evening you say, ‘It will be nice weather because the sky is bright red.’ And in the morning you say, ‘There will be bad weather today because the sky is cloudy.’ You know how to make sense of the sky’s appearance. But you are unable to recognize the signs that point to what the time is. An evil and unfaithful generation searches for a sign. But it won’t receive any sign except Jonah’s sign.” Then he left them and went away.

When the disciples arrived on the other side of the lake, they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch out and be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “We didn’t bring any bread.”

Jesus knew what they were discussing and said, “You people of weak faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you don’t have any bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves that fed the five thousand and how many baskets of leftovers you gathered? And the seven loaves that fed the four thousand and how many large baskets of leftovers you gathered? Don’t you know that I wasn’t talking about bread? But be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he wasn’t telling them to be on their guard for yeast used in making bread. No, he was telling them to watch out for the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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.


In faith we pray
We pray to you, our God.

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.