Saturday morning December 17

Sunday morning
Friday 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.


Being of Beings, God of Love

Charles Wesley
Being of beings, God of love,
To thee our hearts we raise;
Thy all-sustaining power we prove,
And gladly sing thy praise.

Thine, wholly thine, we pant to be;
Our sacrifice receive!
Made, and preserved, and saved by thee,
To thee ourselves we give.

Heavenward our every wish aspires
For all thy mercy’s store,
The sole return thy love requires,
Is that we ask for more.

For more we ask; we open then
Our hearts to embrace thy will,
Turn and revive us, Lord again,
With all thy fullness fill.

Come, Holy Ghost, the Savior’s love
Shed in our hearts abroad:
So shall we ever live and move,
And be with Christ in God.

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 71

Don’t be far from me, God.

I’ve taken refuge in you, Lord.
    Don’t let me ever be put to shame!
Deliver me and rescue me by your righteousness!
    Bend your ear toward me and save me!
Be my rock of refuge
    where I can always escape.
You commanded that my life be saved
    because you are my rock and my fortress.
My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked;
    rescue me from the grip of the wrongdoer and the oppressor
    because you are my hope, Lord.
    You, Lord, are the one I’ve trusted since childhood.
I’ve depended on you from birth—
    you cut the cord when I came from my mother’s womb.
    My praise is always about you.
I’ve become an example to many people
    because you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    glorifying you all day long.
Don’t cast me off in old age.
    Don’t abandon me when my strength is used up!
Yes, my enemies have been talking about me;
    those who stalk me plot together:
    “God has abandoned him!
    Pursue him!
    Grab him because no one will deliver him!”
Don’t be far from me, God!
    My God, hurry to help me!
Let my accusers be put to shame,
    completely finished off!
    Let those who seek my downfall
    be dressed in insults and disgrace!
But me? I will hope. Always.
    I will add to all your praise.
My mouth will repeat your righteous acts
    and your saving deeds all day long.
    I don’t even know how many of those there are!
I will dwell on your mighty acts, my Lord.
    Lord, I will help others remember nothing but your righteous deeds.
You’ve taught me since my youth, God,
    and I’m still proclaiming your wondrous deeds!
So, even in my old age with gray hair,
    don’t abandon me, God!
    Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm,
        tell all who are yet to come about your strength,
        and about your ultimate righteousness, God,
    because you’ve done awesome things!
Who can compare to you, God?
You, who have shown me many troubles and calamities,
    will revive me once more.
    From the depths of the earth,
    you will raise me up one more time.
Please increase my honor
    and comfort me all around.
Then I’ll give you thanks with a harp—
    I will thank you for your faithfulness, my God.
        I will make music for you with the lyre, holy one of Israel.
My lips will rejoice aloud when I make music for you;
    my whole being, which you saved, will do the same.
My tongue, also, will tell of your righteousness all day long,
    because those who seek my downfall
    have been put to shame and disgraced.

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.

Don’t be far from me, God.

Psalm prayer

Faithful Lord, living Savior,
in youth and old age,
from the womb to the grave,
may we know your protection
and proclaim your great salvation
to the glory of God the Father.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 52:1-12

Awake, awake,
    put on your strength, Zion!
    Put on your splendid clothing,
    Jerusalem, you holy city;
        for the uncircumcised and unclean
        will no longer come into you.
Shake the dust off yourself;
    rise up; sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Loose the bonds from your neck,
    captive Daughter Zion!
The Lord proclaims:
You were sold for nothing,
    and you will be redeemed without money.
The Lord God proclaims:
Long ago my people went down
    to reside in Egypt.
    Moreover, Assyria has oppressed them without cause.
And now what have I here? says the Lord.
    My people are taken away for nothing.
Their rulers wail, says the Lord,
    and continually all day long my name is despised.
Therefore, my people will know my name on that day;
    I’m the one who promises it; I’m here.

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of a messenger
    who proclaims peace,
    who brings good news,
    who proclaims salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God rules!”
Listen! Your lookouts lift their voice;
    they sing out together!
    Right before their eyes they see the Lord returning to Zion.
Break into song together, you ruins of Jerusalem!
The Lord has comforted his people and has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm in view of all the nations;
    all the ends of the earth have seen our God’s victory.
Depart! Depart! Go out from there!
    Unclean! Don’t touch!
    Get out of that place; purify yourselves,
    carriers of the Lord’s equipment!
You won’t go out in a rush,
    nor will you run away,
    because the one going before you is the Lord;
    your rear guard is the God of Israel.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading

Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James.

To those who are called, loved by God the Father and kept safe by Jesus Christ.

May you have more and more mercy, peace, and love.

Dear friends, I wanted very much to write to you concerning the salvation we share. Instead, I must write to urge you to fight for the faith delivered once and for all to God’s holy people. 4 Godless people have slipped in among you. They turn the grace of our God into unrestrained immorality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Judgment was passed against them a long time ago.

I want to remind you of something you already know very well. The Lord, who once saved a people out of Egypt, later destroyed those who didn’t maintain their faith. I remind you too of the angels who didn’t keep their position of authority but deserted their own home. The Lord has kept them in eternal chains in the underworld until the judgment of the great day. In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and neighboring towns practiced immoral sexual relations and pursued other sexual urges. By undergoing the punishment of eternal fire, they serve as a warning.

Yet, even knowing this, these dreamers in the same way pollute themselves, reject authority, and slander the angels. The archangel Michael, when he argued with the devil about Moses’ body, did not dare charge him with slander. Instead, he said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these people slander whatever they don’t understand. They are destroyed by what they know instinctively, as though they were irrational animals.

They are damned, for they follow in the footsteps of Cain. For profit they give themselves over to Balaam’s error. They are destroyed in the uprising of Korah. These people are like jagged rocks just below the surface of the water waiting to snag you when they join your love feasts. They feast with you without reverence. They care only for themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; fruitless autumn trees, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom the darkness of the underworld is reserved forever.

Enoch, who lived seven generations after Adam, prophesied about these people when he said, “See, the Lord comes with his countless holy ones, to execute judgment on everyone and to convict everyone about every ungodly deed they have committed in their ungodliness as well as all the harsh things that sinful ungodly people have said against him.” These are faultfinding grumblers, living according to their own desires. They speak arrogant words and they show partiality to people when they want a favor in return.

But you, dear friends, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the end time scoffers will come living according to their own ungodly desires.” These people create divisions. Since they don’t have the Spirit, they are worldly.

But you, dear friends: build each other up on the foundation of your most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep each other in the love of God, wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will give you eternal life. Have mercy on those who doubt. Save some by snatching them from the fire. Fearing God, have mercy on some, hating even the clothing contaminated by their sinful urges.

To the one who is able to protect you from falling,
        and to present you blameless and rejoicing before his glorious presence,
to the only God our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
        belong glory, majesty, power, and authority,
            before all time, now and forever. Amen.

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.


Lord of life
In your mercy, hear us.

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.