Friday evening December 4

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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.


I Long to Behold Him Arrayed

Charles Wesley
I long to behold him arrayed
With glory and light from above,
The King in his beauty displayed,
His beauty of holiest love:

I languish and sigh to be there,
Where Jesus hath fixed his abode;
O when shall we meet in the air,
And fly to the mountain of God!

With him I on Zion shall stand,
(For Jesus hath spoken the word)
The breadth of Immanuel's land
Survey by the light of my Lord;

But when, on thy bosom reclined,
Thy face I am strengthened to see,
My fullness of rapture I find,
My heaven of heavens, in thee.

How happy the people that dwell
Secure in the city above!
No pain the inhabitants feel,
No sickness or sorrow shall prove!

Physician of souls, unto me
Forgiveness and holiness give;
And then from the body set free,
And then to the city receive.

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 16

You, Lord, are my portion, my cup;
you control my destiny.

Protect me, God, because I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord.
    Apart from you, I have nothing good.”
Now as for the “holy ones” in the land,
    the “magnificent ones” that I was so happy about;
    let their suffering increase because
        they hurried after a different god.
I won’t participate in their blood offerings;
    I won’t let their names cross my lips.
You, Lord, are my portion, my cup;
    you control my destiny.
The property lines have fallen beautifully for me;
    yes, I have a lovely home.
I will bless the Lord who advises me;
    even at night I am instructed
    in the depths of my mind.
I always put the Lord in front of me;
    I will not stumble because he is on my right side.
That’s why my heart celebrates and my mood is joyous;
    yes, my whole body will rest in safety
     because you won’t abandon my life to the grave;
    you won’t let your faithful follower see the pit.
You teach me the way of life.
    In your presence is total celebration.
Beautiful things are always in your right hand.

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, Lord, are my portion, my cup;
you control my destiny.

Psalm prayer

Give to us, Lord Christ,
the fullness of grace,
your presence and your very self,
for you are our portion and our delight,
now and forever.

Psalm 17

Lord, you are the one who saves those who take refuge in you.

Listen to what’s right, Lord;
    pay attention to my cry!
Listen closely to my prayer;
    it’s spoken by lips that don’t lie!
My justice comes from you;
    let your eyes see what is right!
You have examined my heart,
    testing me at night.
You’ve looked me over closely,
    but haven’t found anything wrong.
    My mouth doesn’t sin.
But these other people’s deeds?
    I have avoided such violent ways
    by the command from your lips.
My steps are set firmly on your paths;
    my feet haven’t slipped.
I cry out to you because you answer me.
    So tilt your ears toward me now—
    listen to what I’m saying!
Manifest your faithful love in amazing ways
    because you are the one
    who saves those who take refuge in you,
    saving them from their attackers
    by your strong hand.
Watch me with the very pupil of your eye!
    Hide me in the protection of your wings,
        away from the wicked
            who are out to get me,
        away from my deadly enemies
            who are all around me!
They have no pity;
    their mouths speak arrogantly.
They track me down—
    suddenly, they surround me!
    They make their plans to put me in the dirt.
They are like a lion eager to rip its prey;
    they are like a strong young lion lying in wait.
Get up, Lord!
    Confront them!
    Bring them down!
Rescue my life from the wicked—
    use your sword!
Rescue me from these people—
    use your own hands, Lord!
Rescue me from these people
    whose only possession is their fleeting life.
But fill the stomachs of your cherished ones;
    let their children be filled full
    so that they have leftovers enough for their babies.
But me? I will see your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I will be filled full by seeing your image.

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 are the one who saves those who take refuge in you.

Psalm prayer

Generous Lord,
deliver us from all envious thoughts,
and when we are tempted by the desire for wealth,
let us see your face;
for your abundance is enough to clothe our lack;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 44:9-23

Idol-makers are all as nothing;
    their playthings do no good.
Their promoters neither see nor know anything,
    so they ought to be ashamed.
Who would form a god or cast an idol
    that does no good?
All its worshippers will be ashamed,
    and its artisans, who are only human.
They will all gather and stand,
    tremble and be ashamed together.
A blacksmith with his tools
    works it over coals,
    and shapes it with hammers,
    and works it with his strong arm.
He even becomes hungry and weak.
    If he didn’t drink water, he’d pass out.
A carpenter stretches out a string,
    marks it out with a stylus,
    fashions it with carving tools,
    and marks it with a compass.
He makes it into a human form,
    like a splendid human,
    to live in a temple.
He cuts down cedars for himself,
    or chooses a cypress or oak,
    selecting from all the trees of the forest.
    He plants a pine, and the rain makes it grow.
    It becomes suitable to burn for humans,
        so he takes some of the wood and warms himself.
    He kindles fire and bakes bread.
He fashions a god and worships it;
    he makes an idol and bows down to it.
Half of it he burns in the fire;
    on that half he roasts and eats meat, and he is satisfied.
He warms himself and says,
    “Ah, I’m warm, watching the fire!”
And the rest of it he makes into a god,
    into his idol,
    and he bows down, worships, and prays to it, saying, “Save me, for you are my god!”
They don’t know or comprehend,
    for their eyes can’t see
    and their minds can’t comprehend.
He doesn’t think,
    and has no knowledge or understanding to think:
Half of it I burned in the fire,
    and I baked bread on its coals,
    and roasted meat and ate.
Should I make the rest into something detestable?
    Should I bow down to a block of wood?
He’s feeding on ashes;
    his deluded mind has led him astray.
He can’t save himself and say,
    “Isn’t this thing in my hand a lie?”
Promises to Jacob and Jerusalem
Remember these things, Jacob;
    Israel, for you are my servant.
I formed you; you are my servant!
    I won’t forget you, Israel.
I swept away your rebellions like a cloud,
    and your sins like fog.
Return to me,
    because I have redeemed you.
Sing, heavens, for the Lord has acted;
    shout, depths of the earth!
Burst out with a ringing cry,
you mountains, forest, and every tree in it.
The Lord has redeemed Jacob,
    and will glorify himself through Israel.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Revelation 21:22-22:5

I didn’t see a temple in the city, because its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. The city doesn’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day, and there will be no night there. They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is vile and deceitful, but only those who are registered in the Lamb’s scroll of life.

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life, which produces twelve crops of fruit, bearing its fruit each month. The tree’s leaves are for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more. They won’t need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine on them, and they will rule forever and always.

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

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armor of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
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.