Wednesday evening December 21

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.


God Is Gone Up On High

Charles Wesley

God is gone up on high,
With a triumphant noise;
The clarions of the sky
Proclaim the angelic joys!
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.

God in the flesh below,
For us he reigns above:
Let all the nations know
Our Jesus’ conquering love!
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.

All power to our great Lord
Is by the Father given;
By angel hosts adored,
He reigns supreme in heaven:
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.

High on his holy seat
He bears the righteous sway;
His foes beneath his feet
Shall sink and die away:
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.

His foes and ours are one,
Satan, the world, and sin;
But he shall tread them down.
And bring his kingdom in:
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.

Till all the earth, renewed
In righteousness divine,
With all the hosts of God
In one great chorus join,
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.

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 80

Shepherd of Israel, listen!
    You, the one who leads Joseph as if he were a sheep.
    You, who are enthroned upon the winged heavenly creatures.
Show yourself before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!
    Wake up your power!
    Come to save us!
Restore us, God!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!
Lord God of heavenly forces,
    how long will you fume against your people’s prayer?
You’ve fed them bread made of tears;
    you’ve given them tears to drink three times over!
You’ve put us at odds with our neighbors;
    our enemies make fun of us.
Restore us, God of heavenly forces!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!
You brought a vine out of Egypt.
    You drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    then it planted its roots deep, filling the land.
The mountains were covered by its shade;
    the mighty cedars were covered by its branches.
It sent its branches all the way to the sea;
    its shoots went all the way to the Euphrates River.
So why have you now torn down its walls
    so that all who come along can pluck its fruit,
    so that any boar from the forest can tear it up,
    so that the bugs can feed on it?
Please come back, God of heavenly forces!
    Look down from heaven and perceive it!
Attend to this vine,
    this root that you planted with your strong hand,
    this son whom you secured as your very own.
It is burned with fire. It is chopped down.
    They die at the rebuke coming from you.
Let your hand be with the one on your right side—
    with the one whom you secured as your own—
    then we will not turn away from you!
Revive us so that we can call on your name.
    Restore us, Lord God of heavenly forces!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

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.

Psalm prayer

Faithful shepherd of your people,
as we look for the light of your countenance,
restore in us the image of your glory
and graft us into the risen life of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 84

The Lord is a sun and shield; God is favor and glory.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord of heavenly forces!
My very being longs, even yearns,
    for the Lord’s courtyards.
My heart and my body
    will rejoice out loud to the living God!
Yes, the sparrow too has found a home there;
    the swallow has found herself a nest
    where she can lay her young beside your altars,
    Lord of heavenly forces, my king, my God!
Those who live in your house are truly happy;
    they praise you constantly.
Those who put their strength in you are truly happy;
    pilgrimage is in their hearts.
As they pass through the Baca Valley,
    they make it a spring of water.
    Yes, the early rain covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength,
    until they see the supreme God in Zion.

Lord God of heavenly forces,
    hear my prayer;
    listen closely, Jacob’s God!
Look at our shield, God;
    pay close attention to the face of your anointed one!
Better is a single day in your courtyards
    than a thousand days anywhere else!

I would prefer to stand outside the entrance of my God’s house
    than live comfortably in the tents of the wicked!
The Lord is a sun and shield;
    God is favor and glory.
The Lord gives—doesn’t withhold!—good things
    to those who walk with integrity.
Lord of heavenly forces,
    those who trust in you are truly happy!

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 a sun and shield; God is favor and glory.

Psalm prayer

Lord God,
sustain us in this vale of tears
with the vision of your grace and glory,
that, strengthened by the bread of life,
we may come to your eternal dwelling place;
in the power of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Malachi 2:17-3:12

You have made the Lord tired with your words.
You say, “How have we made him tired?”
    When you say:
        “Anyone doing evil is good in the Lord’s eyes,”
        or “He delights in those doing evil,”
        or “Where is the God of justice?”

Look, I am sending my messenger who will clear the path before me;
        suddenly the Lord whom you are seeking will come to his temple.
        The messenger of the covenant in whom you take delight is coming,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
Who can endure the day of his coming?
        Who can withstand his appearance?
He is like the refiner’s fire or the cleaner’s soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver.
        He will purify the Levites
            and refine them like gold and silver.
            They will belong to the Lord,
                presenting a righteous offering.
The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord
        as in ancient days and in former years.
I will draw near to you for judgment.
I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers,
    the adulterers, those swearing falsely,
        against those who cheat the day laborers out of their wages
        as well as oppress the widow and the orphan,
            and against those who brush aside the foreigner and do not revere me,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
I am the Lord, and I do not change;
        and you, children of Jacob, have not perished.

Ever since the time of your ancestors,
        you have deviated from my laws
            and have not kept them.
Return to me and I will return to you,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
But you say,
    “How should we return?”
Should a person deceive God?
        Yet you deceive me.
But you say,
    “How have we deceived you?”
With your tenth-part gifts and offerings.
You are being cursed with a curse,
        and you, the entire nation, are robbing me.
Bring the whole tenth-part to the storage house so there might be food in my house.
        Please test me in this,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
See whether I do not open all the windows of the heavens for you
        and empty out a blessing until there is enough.
I will threaten the one who wants to devour you
        so that it doesn’t spoil the fruit of your fertile land,
            and so that the vine doesn’t abort its fruit in your field,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.
All the nations will consider you fortunate,
        for you will be a desirable land,
says the Lord of heavenly forces.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 19:16-30

A man approached him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus said, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There’s only one who is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments.”

The man said, “Which ones?”

Then Jesus said, “Don’t commit murder. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t steal. Don’t give false testimony. Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

The young man replied, “I’ve kept all these. What am I still missing?”

Jesus said, “If you want to be complete, go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come follow me.”

But when the young man heard this, he went away saddened, because he had many possessions.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”

When his disciples heard this, they were stunned. “Then who can be saved?” they asked.

Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.”

Then Peter replied, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you. What will we have?”

Jesus said to them, “I assure you who have followed me that, when everything is made new, when the Human One sits on his magnificent throne, you also will sit on twelve thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel. And all who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms because of my name will receive one hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.

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

God our redeemer,
who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your Son:
grant that, as she looked for his coming as our savior,
so we may be ready to greet him
when he comes again as our judge;
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.