Sunday evening December 9

Monday evening
Saturday 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.



He Wills That I Should Holy Be

Charles Wesley

He wills that I should holy be;

That holiness I long to feel;

That full divine conformity,

To all my Savior’s righteous will.

See, Lord, the travail of thy soul,

Accomplished in the change of mine,

And plunge me, every whit made whole,

In all the depths of love divine.

On thee, O God, my soul is stayed,

And waits to prove thine utmost will;

The promise, by thy mercy made,

Thou canst, thou wilt in me fulfill.

Thy loving Spirit, Christ, alone

Can lead me forth and make free;

Burst every bond through which I groan

And set my heart at liberty.

No more I stagger at thy power,

Or doubt thy truth, which cannot move:

Hasten the long expected hour,

And bless me with thy perfect love.

Confession of sin

Let us admit to God the sin which always confronts us.

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

Almighty God,

patient and of great goodness:

I confess to you,

I confess with my whole heart

my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments,

my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking;

the hurts I have done to others,

and the good I have left undone.

O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you;

and raise me to newness of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


May the God of love and power

forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,

and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.


The Word of God

Psalm 75


It is God who is the judge.

We give thanks to you, God. Yes, we give thanks!

Your name is near. Your marvelous deeds are declared.

God says, “When I decide the time is right,

I will establish justice just so.

The earth and all its inhabitants will melt,

but I will keep its pillars steady.”

I said to the arrogant,

“Don’t be arrogant!”

To the wicked I said,

“Don’t exalt your strength!

Don’t exalt your strength so highly.

Don’t speak so arrogantly against the rock.”

Because what exalts someone

doesn’t come from the east or west;

it’s not from the south either.

Rather it is God who is the judge.

He brings this person down,

but that person he lifts up.

Indeed, there’s a cup in the Lord’s hand

full of foaming wine, mixed with spice.

He will pour it out,

and all of the earth’s wicked people

must drink it;

they must drink every last drop!

But I will rejoice always;

I will sing praises to Jacob’s God!

God says:

“I will demolish every bit of the wicked’s power,

but the strength of the righteous will be lifted up.”

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.


It is God who is the judge.

Psalm prayer

Judge of all the earth,

restrain the ambition of the proud

and establish among us the reign of the Messiah,

who drained for us the cup of judgment

and is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, forever and ever.

Psalm 76


The Lord has made fast his throne for judgment.

God is known in Judah;

his name is great in Israel.

His dwelling place became Salem;

his habitation was Zion.

It was there that he broke the fiery shafts of the bow,

the shield, the sword—even the battle itself!

You are ablaze with light,

mightier than the mountains that give food.

The bravehearted lie plundered.

They sank into deep lethargy.

All the strong troops

couldn’t even lift their hands!

At your rebuke, Jacob’s God,

both chariot and horse were stopped dead-still.

You! You are awesome!

Who can stand before you when you are angry?

You have announced judgment from heaven.

The earth grew afraid and fell silent

when God rose up to establish justice,

when God rose up to save all of the earth’s poor.

Even human rage will turn to your praise

when you dress yourself

with whatever remains of your wrath.

Make promises to the Lord your God and keep them!

Let all around him bring gifts to the awesome one.

He breaks the spirit of princes.

He is terrifying to all the kings of the earth.

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 fast his throne for judgment.

Psalm prayer

Majestic and gracious God,

more awesome than the agents of war,

more powerful than the wrath of nations,

restrain the violence of the peoples

and draw the despised of the earth

into the joyful life of your kingdom,

where you live and reign forever and ever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, comfort my people!

says your God.

Speak compassionately to Jerusalem,

and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended,

that her penalty has been paid,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins!

A voice is crying out:

“Clear the Lord’s way in the desert!

Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!

Every valley will be raised up,

and every mountain and hill will be flattened.

Uneven ground will become level,

and rough terrain a valley plain.

The Lord’s glory will appear,

and all humanity will see it together;

the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”

A voice was saying:

“Call out!”

And another said,

“What should I call out?”

All flesh is grass;

all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field.

The grass dries up

and the flower withers

when the Lord’s breath blows on it.

Surely the people are grass.

The grass dries up;

the flower withers,

but our God’s word will exist forever.

Go up on a high mountain,

messenger Zion!

Raise your voice and shout,

messenger Jerusalem!

Raise it; don’t be afraid;

say to the cities of Judah,

“Here is your God!”

Here is the Lord God,

coming with strength,

with a triumphant arm,

bringing his reward with him

and his payment before him.

Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock;

he will gather lambs in his arms

and lift them onto his lap.

He will gently guide the nursing ewes.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Luke 1:1-25

Many people have already applied themselves to the task of compiling an account of the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used what the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed down to us. Now, after having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, I have also decided to write a carefully ordered account for you, most honorable Theophilus. I want you to have confidence in the soundness of the instruction you have received.

During the rule of King Herod of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah. His wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous before God, blameless in their observance of all the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to become pregnant and they both were very old. One day Zechariah was serving as a priest before God because his priestly division was on duty. Following the customs of priestly service, he was chosen by lottery to go into the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense. All the people who gathered to worship were praying outside during this hour of incense offering. An angel from the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw the angel, he was startled and overcome with fear.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to your son and you must name him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many people will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the Lord’s eyes. He must not drink wine and liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. He will bring many Israelites back to the Lord their God. He will go forth before the Lord, equipped with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will turn the hearts of fathers back to their children, and he will turn the disobedient to righteous patterns of thinking. He will make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? My wife and I are very old.”

The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in God’s presence. I was sent to speak to you and to bring this good news to you. Know this: What I have spoken will come true at the proper time. But because you didn’t believe, you will remain silent, unable to speak until the day when these things happen.”

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they wondered why he was in the sanctuary for such a long time. When he came out, he was unable to speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he gestured to them and couldn’t speak. When he completed the days of his priestly service, he returned home. Afterward, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant. She kept to herself for five months, saying, “This is the Lord’s doing. He has shown his favor to me by removing my disgrace among other people.”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)


You show mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors you as God.

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.


You show mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors you as 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.


Thanksgiving and intercession

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered

for peace

for individuals and their needs

Prayers may include the following concerns:

The church, that she may be ready for the coming of Christ

The leaders of the church

The nations, that they may be subject to the rule of God

Those who are working for justice in the world

The broken, that they may find God’s healing

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


Loving God, we look to you.

Receive our prayer.

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.