Wednesday morning December 30

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Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.
You laid the foundation of the earth
and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, sovereign God,
creator of heaven and earth,
to you be praise and glory forever.
As your living Word, eternal in heaven,
assumed the frailty of our mortal flesh,
may the light of your love be born in us
to fill our hearts with joy as we sing:
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Glory Be to God on High

Charles Wesley
Glory be to God on high,
And peace on earth descend;
Now God comes down, he bows the sky,
And shows himself our friend!
God the invisible appears,
God the blest, the great I Am,
He sojourns in this vale of tears,
And Jesus is his name.

Him by the angels all adored,
Their maker and their king;
Lo, tidings of their humbled Lord
They now to mortals bring;
Emptied of his majesty,
Of his dazzling glories shorn,
Our being’s Source begins to be,
And God himself is born!

See the eternal Son of God
A mortal Son of Man,
Now dwelling in an earthly clod
Whom heaven cannot contain!
Stand amazed, ye heavens, look at this!
See the Lord of earth and skies
Low humbled to the dust he is,
And in a manger lies!

So do the sons of men rejoice
The Prince of Peace proclaim,
With heaven’s host lift up our voice,
And shout Immanuel’s name;
Our knees and hearts to him we bow;
Of our flesh, and of our bone,
See—Jesus is our brother now,
And God is all our own!

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 111

The Lord is full of mercy and compassion.

Praise the Lord!
    I thank the Lord with all my heart
    in the company of those who do right, in the congregation.
The works of the Lord are magnificent;
    they are treasured by all who desire them.
God’s deeds are majestic and glorious.
    God’s righteousness stands forever.
God is famous for his wondrous works.
    The Lord is full of mercy and compassion.
God gives food to those who honor him.
    God remembers his covenant forever.
God proclaimed his powerful deeds to his people
    and gave them what had belonged to other nations.
God’s handiwork is honesty and justice;
    all God’s rules are trustworthy—
        they are established always and forever:
        they are fulfilled with truth and right doing.
God sent redemption for his people;
    God commanded that his covenant last forever.
        Holy and awesome is God’s name!
Fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins;
    sure knowledge is for all who keep God’s laws.
        God’s praise lasts forever!

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 full of mercy and compassion.

Psalm prayer

Gracious God, you are full of compassion;
may we who long for your kingdom to come
rejoice to do your will
and acknowledge your power alone to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 112

The righteous will be remembered forever!

Praise the Lord!
    Those who honor the Lord,
    who adore God’s commandments, are truly happy!
Their descendants will be strong throughout the land.
    The offspring of those who do right will be blessed;
    wealth and riches will be in their houses.
    Their righteousness stands forever.
They shine in the dark for others who do right.
    They are merciful, compassionate, and righteous.
Those who lend generously are good people—
    as are those who conduct their affairs with justice.
Yes, these sorts of people will never be shaken;
    the righteous will be remembered forever!
They won’t be frightened at bad news.
    Their hearts are steady, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are firm; they aren’t afraid.
    In the end, they will witness their enemies’ defeat.
They give freely to those in need.
    Their righteousness stands forever.
    Their strength increases gloriously.
The wicked see all this and fume;
        they grind their teeth, but disappear to nothing.
    What the wicked want to see happen comes to nothing!

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 righteous will be remembered forever!

Psalm prayer

Generous God,
save us from the meanness
that calculates its interest and hoards its earthly gain;
as we have freely received,
so may we freely give;
in the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 113

From sunrise to sunset, let the Lord’s name be praised!

Praise the Lord!
    You who serve the Lord—praise!
    Praise the Lord’s name!
Let the Lord’s name be blessed
    from now until forever from now!
From sunrise to sunset,
    let the Lord’s name be praised!
The Lord is high over all the nations;
    God’s glory is higher than the skies!
Who could possibly compare to the Lord our God?
    God rules from on high;
    he has to come down to even see heaven and earth!
God lifts up the poor from the dirt
    and raises up the needy from the garbage pile
        to seat them with leaders—
        with the leaders of his own people!
    God nests the once barren woman at home—
        now a joyful mother with children!
Praise the Lord!

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.

From sunrise to sunset, let the Lord’s name be praised!

Psalm prayer

From the rising of the sun to its setting
we praise your name, O Lord;
may your promise to raise the poor from the dust
and turn the fortunes of the needy upside down
be fulfilled in our time also,
as it was in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Jonah 2

Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish:

“I called out to the Lord in my distress, and he answered me.
        From the belly of the underworld I cried out for help;
        you have heard my voice.
You had cast me into the depths in the heart of the seas,
        and the flood surrounds me.
        All your strong waves and rushing water passed over me.
So I said, ‘I have been driven away from your sight.
        Will I ever again look on your holy temple?
Waters have grasped me to the point of death;
        the deep surrounds me.
Seaweed is wrapped around my head
        at the base of the undersea mountains.
I have sunk down to the underworld;
        its bars held me with no end in sight.
        But you brought me out of the pit.’
When my endurance was weakening,
        I remembered the Lord,
        and my prayer came to you,
            to your holy temple.
Those deceived by worthless things lose their chance for mercy.
But me, I will offer a sacrifice to you with a voice of thanks.
        That which I have promised, I will pay.
            Deliverance belongs to the Lord!”
Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto the dry land.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Colossians 1:15-23

The Son is the image of the invisible God,
        the one who is first over all creation,
Because all things were created by him:
        both in the heavens and on the earth,
        the things that are visible and the things that are invisible.
            Whether they are thrones or powers,
            or rulers or authorities,
        all things were created through him and for him.
He existed before all things,
        and all things are held together in him.
He is the head of the body, the church,
who is the beginning,
        the one who is firstborn from among the dead
        so that he might occupy the first place in everything.
Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him,
        and he reconciled all things to himself through him—
        whether things on earth or in the heavens.
            He brought peace through the blood of his cross.
Once you were alienated from God and you were enemies with him in your minds, which was shown by your evil actions. But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death, to present you before God as a people who are holy, faultless, and without blame. But you need to remain well established and rooted in faith and not shift away from the hope given in the good news that you heard. This message has been preached throughout all creation under heaven. And I, Paul, became a servant of this good news.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

To us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and all the heavenly hosts now sing,
Glory to God in the highest.

Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted that we would be rescued
from the power of our enemies
so that we could serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes,
for as long as we live.
You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
You will tell his people how to be saved
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s deep compassion,
the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
to give light to those who are sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79

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.

To us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and all the heavenly hosts now sing,
Glory to God in the highest.

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.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


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

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
who wonderfully created us in your own image
and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share in our humanity,
so we may share the life of his divinity;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
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 God, who has called us out of darkness
into his marvelous light,
bless us and fill us with peace.