Sunday morning December 18

Monday morning
Saturday 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.


Spirit of Grace and Health and Power

Charles Wesley
Spirit of grace, and health and power,
Fountain of light and love below,
Abroad thy healing influence shower,
On all thy servants let it flow;

Inflame our hearts with perfect love,
In us the work of faith fulfill;
So not heaven’s host shall swifter move
Than we on earth to do thy will.

Father, ’tis thine each day to yield
Thy children’s wants a fresh supply,
Thou clothest the lilies of the field,
And hearest the young ravens cry.

On thee we cast our care; we live
Through thee, who knowest our every need;
O feed us with thy grace, and give
Our souls this day the living bread!

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 144

The people whose God is the Lord are truly happy!

Bless the Lord, my rock,
    who taught my hands how to fight,
    who taught my fingers how to do battle!
God is my loyal one, my fortress,
    my place of safety, my rescuer,
    my shield, in whom I take refuge,
        and the one who subdues people before me.
What are human beings, Lord, that you know them at all?
    What are human beings that you even consider them?
Humans are like a puff of air;
    their days go by like a shadow.
Lord, part your skies and come down!
    Touch the mountains so they smoke!
Flash lightning and scatter the enemy!
    Shoot your arrows and defeat them!
Stretch out your hand from above!
    Rescue me and deliver me from deep water,
    from the power of strangers, whose mouths speak lies,
        and whose strong hand is a strong hand of deception!
I will sing a new song to you, God.
    I will sing praises to you on a ten-stringed harp,
        to you—the one who gives saving help to rulers,
        and who rescues his servant David from the evil sword.
Rescue me and deliver me from the power of strangers,
        whose mouths speak lies,
        and whose strong hand is a strong hand of deception,
    so that our sons can grow up fully, in their youth, like plants;
    so that our daughters can be like pillars carved to decorate a palace;
    so that our barns can be full, providing all kinds of food;
    so that our flocks can be in the thousands—
        even tens of thousands—in our fields;
    so that our cattle can be loaded with calves;
    so that there won’t be any breach in the walls,
    no exile, no outcries in our streets!
The people who have it like this are truly happy!
    The people whose God is the Lord 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 people whose God is the Lord are truly happy!

Psalm prayer

God our deliverer,
stir our weak wills,
revive our weary spirits,
and give us the courage
to strive for the freedom of all your children,
to the praise of your glorious name.

Old Testament reading
Micah 5:2-5a

As for you, Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
    though you are the least significant of Judah’s forces,
        one who is to be a ruler in Israel on my behalf will come out from you.
    His origin is from remote times, from ancient days.
Therefore, he will give them up
        until the time when she who is in labor gives birth.
        The rest of his kin will return to the people of Israel.
He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
        in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
        They will dwell secure,
        because he will surely become great throughout the earth;
        he will become one of peace.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Luke 1:26-38

When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. Nothing is impossible for God.”

Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Like the sun in the morning sky, the Savior of the world will dawn; like rain upon the meadows, the Christ will come down upon us.

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.

Like the sun in the morning sky, the Savior of the world will dawn; like rain upon the meadows, the Christ will come down upon us.  

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, 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.