Friday morning December 23

Saturday morning
Thursday 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.


Partners of a glorious hope

Charles Wesley
Partners of a glorious hope,
Lift your hearts and voices up!
Nobly let us bear the strife,
Keep the holiness, of life;

Still forget the things behind,
Follow Christ in heart and mind,
To the mark unwearied press,
Seize the crown of righteousness.

Jesus, fill us with thy love,
Never from our souls remove,
Heart to heart unite and bless,
Keep us in thy perfect peace!

In our lives our faith be known,
Faith by holy actions shown;
Faith that mountains can remove,
Faith that always works by love.

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 128

How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

Everyone who honors the Lord,
        who walks in God’s ways, is truly happy!
You will definitely enjoy what you’ve worked hard for—
    you’ll be happy; and things will go well for you.
In your house, your wife will be like a vine full of fruit.
    All around your table, your children will be like olive trees, freshly planted.
That’s how it goes for anyone who honors the Lord:
    they will be blessed!
May the Lord bless you from Zion.
    May you experience Jerusalem’s goodness your whole life long.
    And may you see your grandchildren.
Peace be on Israel!

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.

How abundant is your goodness, O Lord.

Psalm prayer

O Christ, our true vine,
may we your branches
be ever fruitful in your service
and share your love and peace with all your children,
in the power of the Spirit and to the glory of the Father.

Psalm 129

The Lord ransoms the life of his servants.

From youth, people have constantly attacked me—
    let Israel now repeat!—
    from youth people have constantly attacked me—
    but they haven’t beaten me!
They plowed my back like farmers;
    they made their furrows deep.
But the Lord is righteous—
    God cut me free from the ropes of the wicked!

Let everyone who hates Zion be ashamed, thoroughly frustrated.
    Let them be like grass on a roof
    that dies before it can be pulled up,
    which won’t fill the reaper’s hand
        or fill the harvester’s arms.
Let no one who passes by say to them:
    “May the Lord’s blessing be on you!
        We bless you in the Lord’s 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.

The Lord ransoms the life of his servants.

Psalm prayer

Jesus our redeemer,
you bore the cut of the lash
for us and our salvation;
help us to bear our sufferings
and to share in the affliction
of all who suffer for your holy name.

Psalm 130

My whole being waits for my Lord.

I cry out to you from the depths, Lord—
my Lord, listen to my voice!
    Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy!
If you kept track of sins, Lord—
    my Lord, who would stand a chance?
But forgiveness is with you—
    that’s why you are honored.

I hope, Lord.
My whole being hopes,
    and I wait for God’s promise.
My whole being waits for my Lord—
    more than the night watch waits for morning;
    yes, more than the night watch waits for morning!

Israel, wait for the Lord!
    Because faithful love is with the Lord;
    because great redemption is with our God!
He is the one who will redeem Israel
    from all its sin.

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.

My whole being waits for my Lord.

Psalm prayer

Father, we commend to your faithful love
those who are crying from the depths;
help them to watch and pray
through their time of darkness,
in sure hope of the dawn of your
forgiveness and redemption;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 131

Israel, wait for the Lord.

Lord, my heart isn’t proud;
        my eyes aren’t conceited.
    I don’t get involved with things too great or wonderful for me.
No. But I have calmed and quieted myself
    like a weaned child on its mother;
    I’m like the weaned child that is with me.
Israel, wait for the Lord—
    from now until forever from now!

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.

Israel, wait for the Lord.

Psalm prayer

Eternal God,
calm and quiet our souls;
keep us humble and full of wonder
and trusting as we live in your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 63:1-6

Who is this coming from Edom,
    from Bozrah in bright red garments,
    this splendidly dressed one, striding with great power?
    It is I, proclaiming righteousness, powerful to save!
Why is your clothing red,
    and your garments like those of one who stomps on grapes?
I have pressed out in the vat by myself—from the peoples, no one was with me.
    I stomped on them in my anger,
    trampled them in my wrath.
Their blood splashed on my garments,
    and stained all my clothing,
    because I intended a day of vengeance;
    the year of my deliverance had arrived.
I looked and found no helper;
    I was astonished to find no supporter.
But my arm brought victory for me;
    my wrath helped me.
I trampled down nations in my anger
    and made them drunk on my wrath;
    I spilled their blood on the ground.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
2 John

From the elder.

To the chosen gentlewoman and her children, whom I truly love (and I am not the only one, but also all who know the truth), because of the truth that remains with us and will be with us forever.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, will be ours who live in truth and love.

I was overjoyed to find some of your children living in the truth, just as we had been commanded by the Father. Now, dear friends, I am requesting that we love each other. It’s not as though I’m writing a new command to you, but it’s one we have had from the beginning. This is love: that we live according to his commands. This is the command that you heard from the beginning: live in love.

Many deceivers have gone into the world who do not confess that Jesus Christ came as a human being. This kind of person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves so that you don’t lose what we’ve worked for but instead receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not continue in the teaching about Christ does not have God. Whoever continues in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. Whoever comes to you who does not affirm this teaching should neither be received nor welcomed into your home, because welcoming people like that is the same thing as sharing in their evil actions.

I have a lot to tell you. I don’t want to use paper and ink, but I hope to visit you and talk with you face-to-face, so that our joy can be complete.

Your chosen sister’s children greet you.

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.


Loving God, we look to you.
Receive our prayer.

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.