Saturday morning December 24

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.


Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Charles Wesley

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

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 45

Behold our defender, O God, and look upon the face of your anointed.

A marvelous word has stirred my heart
    as I mention my works to the king.
        My tongue is the pen of a skillful scribe.

You are the most handsome of men;
    grace has been poured out on your lips.
        No wonder God has blessed you forever!
Strap on your sword, great warrior,
    with your glory and grandeur.
Go and succeed in your grandeur!
    Ride out on behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness!
    Let your strong hand perform awesome deeds.
Let the peoples fall beneath you.
    May your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies.
Your divine throne is eternal and everlasting.
    Your royal scepter is a scepter of justice.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness.
    No wonder God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of joy more than all your companions!
All your clothes have the pleasing scent of myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
    The music of stringed instruments coming from ivory palaces entertains you.
The royal princess is standing in your precious jewels;
    the queen stands at your right, dressed in the gold of Ophir.

Listen, daughter; pay attention, and listen closely!
    Forget your people and your father’s house.
Let the king desire your beauty.
    Because he is your master, bow down to him now.
The city of Tyre, the wealthiest of all,
    will seek your favor with gifts, with riches of every sort
    for the royal princess, dressed in pearls,
        her robe embroidered with gold.
In robes of many colors, she is led to the king.
    Her attendants, the young women servants following her,
    are presented to you as well.
As they enter the king’s palace,
    they are led in with celebration and joy.

Your sons, great king, will succeed your fathers;
    you will appoint them as princes throughout the land.
I will perpetuate your name from one generation to the next
    so the peoples will praise you forever and always.

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.

Behold our defender, O God, and look upon the face of your anointed.

Psalm prayer

Lord our God,
bring your bride, your holy church,
with joy to the marriage feast of heaven,
and unite us with your anointed Son,
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 sunrise to sunset,
we praise your name, 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
Isaiah 58

Shout loudly; don’t hold back;
    raise your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their crime,
    to the house of Jacob their sins.
They seek me day after day,
    desiring knowledge of my ways
    like a nation that acted righteously,
    that didn’t abandon their God.
They ask me for righteous judgments,
    wanting to be close to God.
“Why do we fast and you don’t see;
    why afflict ourselves and you don’t notice?”
Yet on your fast day you do whatever you want,
    and oppress all your workers.
You quarrel and brawl, and then you fast;
    you hit each other violently with your fists.
You shouldn’t fast as you are doing today
    if you want to make your voice heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I choose,
    a day of self-affliction,
    of bending one’s head like a reed
    and of lying down in mourning clothing and ashes?
    Is this what you call a fast,
        a day acceptable to the Lord?

Isn’t this the fast I choose:
    releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke,
    setting free the mistreated,
    and breaking every yoke?
Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry
    and bringing the homeless poor into your house,
    covering the naked when you see them,
    and not hiding from your own family?
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
    and you will be healed quickly.
Your own righteousness will walk before you,
    and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and God will say, “I’m here.”
If you remove the yoke from among you,
    the finger-pointing, the wicked speech;
    if you open your heart to the hungry,
    and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted,
    your light will shine in the darkness,
    and your gloom will be like the noon.
The Lord will guide you continually
    and provide for you, even in parched places.
    He will rescue your bones.
You will be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water that won’t run dry.
They will rebuild ancient ruins on your account;
    the foundations of generations past you will restore.
You will be called Mender of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Livable Streets.

If you stop trampling the Sabbath,
    stop doing whatever you want on my holy day,
    and consider the Sabbath a delight,
    sacred to the Lord, honored,
    and honor it instead of doing things your way,
    seeking what you want and doing business as usual,
    then you will take delight in the Lord.
    I will let you ride on the heights of the earth;
    I will sustain you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob.
    The mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
3 John

From the elder.

To my dear friend Gaius, whom I truly love.

Dear friend, I’m praying that all is well with you and that you enjoy good health in the same way that you prosper spiritually.

I was overjoyed when the brothers and sisters arrived and spoke highly of your faithfulness to the truth, shown by how you live according to the truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth. Dear friend, you act faithfully in whatever you do for our brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers. They spoke highly of your love in front of the church. You all would do well to provide for their journey in a way that honors God, because they left on their journey for the sake of Jesus Christ without accepting any support from the Gentiles. Therefore, we ought to help people like this so that we can be coworkers with the truth.

I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, doesn’t welcome us. Because of this, if I come, I will bring up what he has done—making unjustified and wicked accusations against us. And as if that were not enough, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers and sisters but stops those who want to do so and even throws them out of the church! Dear friend, don’t imitate what is bad but what is good. Whoever practices what is good belongs to God. Whoever practices what is bad has not seen God.

Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, even the truth itself. We also speak highly of him, and you know that what we say is true.

I have a lot to say to you, but I don’t want to use pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will speak face-to-face.

Peace be with you. Your friends here greet you. Greet our friends there by name.

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

Almighty God,
you make us glad with the yearly remembrance
of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,
so we may with sure confidence behold him
when he shall come to be 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.