Thursday morning December 15

Friday morning
Wednesday morning


Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.

Reveal among us the light of your presence
that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and forever.


Arm of the Lord, awake, awake!

Charles Wesley
Arm of the Lord, awake, awake!
thine own immortal strength put on;
with terror clothed, hell's kingdom shake
and cast thy foes with fury down.

As in the ancient days appear;
the sacred annals speak thy fame:
be now omnipotently near,
to endless ages still the same.

Thine arm, Lord, is not shortened now;
it lacks not now the power to save;
still present with thy people, thou
bearest them through life's disparted wave.

By death and hell pursued in vain,
to thee the ransomed seed shall come,
shouting, their heavenly Zion gain,
and pass through death triumphant home.

Where pure essential joy is found,
the Lord's redeemed their heads shall raise,
with everlasting gladness crowned,
and filled with love, and lost in praise.

Confession of sin

O King enthroned on high,
filling the earth with your glory:
holy is your name,
Lord God almighty.

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

In our sinfulness we cry to you
to take our guilt away,
and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw us to himself,
and cleanse us from all our sins
that we may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

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.

Psalm 97

You, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice!
    Let all the islands celebrate!
Clouds and thick darkness surround God.
    His throne is built on righteousness and justice.
Fire proceeds before him,
    burning up his enemies on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
    the earth sees it and trembles!
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of the whole world!
Heaven has proclaimed God’s righteousness,
    and all nations have seen his glory.
All those who worship images,
    those who are proud of idols,
    are put to shame.
    All gods bow down to the Lord!
Zion has heard and celebrates,
    the towns of Judah rejoice,
    because of your acts of justice, Lord,
    because you, Lord, are the Most High
        over all the earth,
    because you are so superior to all other gods.
Those of you who love the Lord, hate evil!
    God guards the lives of his faithful ones,
    delivering them from the power of the wicked.
Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;
    joy too for those whose heart is right.
Rejoice in the Lord, righteous ones!
    Give thanks to his holy name!

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 the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm prayer

Most high and holy God,
enthroned in fire and light,
burn away the dross of our lives
and kindle in us the fire of your love,
that our lives may reveal the light and life
we find in your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 51:9-16

Awake, awake, put on strength,
    arm of the Lord.
Awake as in times past,
    generations long ago.
Aren’t you the one who crushed Rahab,
    who pierced the dragon?
Didn’t you dry up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep?
    And didn’t you make the redeemed a road to cross
    through the depths of the sea,
    a road for the redeemed to pass?
Then let those ransomed by the Lord return
    and come to Zion with singing
    and with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Let happiness and joy overwhelm them;
    let grief and groaning flee.
I, I am the one who comforts you.
Why should you fear humans who will die,
    mortals who are treated like grass?
You forgot the Lord your maker,
    the one who stretched out the heavens
    and founded the earth.
    You were continually afraid, all day long,
    on account of the oppressor’s wrath—
    a fear by which they intend to destroy you.
    Where now is the oppressor’s wrath?
The imprisoned ones will soon be released;
    they won’t die in the pit
    or even lack bread.
I am the Lord your God,
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
    the Lord of heavenly forces is his name.
I put my words in your mouth
    and hid you in the shadow of my hand,
    stretching out the heavens, founding the earth,
    and saying to Zion, “You are my people.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
2 Thessalonians 2

Brothers and sisters, we have a request for you concerning our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming and when we are gathered together to be with him. We don’t want you to be easily confused in your mind or upset if you hear that the day of the Lord is already here, whether you hear it through some spirit, a message, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. That day won’t come unless the rebellion comes first and the person who is lawless is revealed, who is headed for destruction. He is the opponent of every so-called god or object of worship and promotes himself over them. So he sits in God’s temple, displaying himself to show that he is God. You remember that I used to tell you these things while I was with you, don’t you? Now you know what holds him back so that he can be revealed when his time comes. The hidden plan to live without any law is at work now, but it will be secret only until the one who is holding it back is out of the way. Then the person who is lawless will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath from his mouth. When the Lord comes, his appearance will put an end to him. When the person who is lawless comes, it will happen through Satan’s effort, with all kinds of fake power, signs, and wonders. It will happen with every sort of wicked deception of those who are heading toward destruction because they have refused to love the truth that would allow them to be saved. This is why God will send them an influence that will mislead them so that they will believe the lie. The result will be that everyone will be judged who is not convinced by the truth but is happy with injustice.

But we always must thank God for you, brothers and sisters who are loved by God. This is because he chose you from the beginning to be the first crop of the harvest. This brought salvation, through your dedication to God by the Spirit and through your belief in the truth. God called all of you through our good news so you could possess the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions we taught you, whether we taught you in person or through our letter. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and a good hope. May he encourage your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do or say.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from God.

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.

Jerusalem, look to the east and see the joy that is coming to you from 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.


Intercession and thanksgiving

Prayers may be offered for:

the day and its tasks
the world and its needs
the church and her life

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


Father, by your Spirit
Bring in your kingdom.

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.