Friday morning September 23

Saturday morning
Thursday morning


Opening response

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

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God, creator of all,
to you be glory and praise forever.
You founded the earth in the beginning
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image,
and in these last days you have spoken to us
in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
As we rejoice in the gift of your presence among us
let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
your Spirit ever renew our lives
and your praises ever be on our lips.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Jesus, Thou Sovereign Lord of All

Charles Wesley

Jesus, thou sovereign Lord of all,
The same through one eternal day,
Attend thy feeblest follower’s call,
And O, instruct us how to pray!
Pour out the supplicating grace,
And stir us up to seek thy face.

We cannot think a gracious thought,
We cannot feel a good desire,
Till thou, who callest worlds from nought,
The power into our hearts inspire;
And then we in the Spirit groan,
And then we give thee back thine own.

Jesus, regard the joint complaint
Of all thy tempted followers here,
And now supply the common want,
And send us down the Comforter,
The spirit of ceaseless prayer impart,
And fix thy Agent in our heart.

Come in thy pleading Spirit down
To us who for thy coming stay;
Of all thy gifts we ask but one,
We ask the constant power to pray;
Indulge us, Lord, in this request,
Thou canst not then deny the rest.

Confession of sin

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor. 

Silence may be kept.

Most merciful God, 
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed, 
by what we have done, 
and by what we have left undone. 
We have not loved you with our whole heart; 
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. 
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. 
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, 
have mercy on us and forgive us; 
that we may delight in your will, 
and walk in your ways, 
to the glory of your name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins
through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all
goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in
eternal life. 

The Word of God

Psalm 55

Cast your burden on the Lord — he will support you!

God, listen to my prayer;
    don’t avoid my request!
Pay attention! Answer me!
    I can’t sit still while complaining.
    I’m beside myself
        over the enemy’s noise,
        at the wicked person’s racket,
        because they bring disaster on me
        and harass me furiously.

My heart pounds in my chest
    because death’s terrors have reached me.
Fear and trembling have come upon me;
    I’m shaking all over.
I say to myself,
    I wish I had wings like a dove!
    I’d fly away and rest.
    I’d run so far away!
    I’d live in the desert. 
    I’d hurry to my hideout,
    far from the rushing wind and storm.

Baffle them, my Lord!
    Confuse their language
    because I see violence and conflict in the city.
Day and night they make their rounds on its walls,
    and evil and misery live inside it.
Disaster lives inside it;
    oppression and fraud never leave the town square.

It’s not an enemy that is insulting me—
    I could handle that.
It’s not someone who hates me
    who is exalted over me—
    I could hide from them.
No. It’s you, my equal,
    my close companion, my good friend!
It was so pleasant when
    together we entered God’s house with the crowd.

Let death devastate my enemies;
    let them go to the grave alive
        because evil lives with them—
        even inside them!
But I call out to God,
    and the Lord will rescue me.
At evening, morning, and midday
    I complain and moan
    so that God will hear my voice.
He saves me, unharmed, from my struggle,
    though there are many who are out to get me.
God, who is enthroned from ancient days,
    will hear and humble them
        because they don’t change
        and they don’t worship God.

My friend attacked his allies,
    breaking his covenant.
Though his talk is smoother than butter,
        war is in his heart;
    though his words are more silky than oil,
        they are really drawn swords:
“Cast your burden on the Lord—
    he will support you!
    God will never let the righteous be shaken!”

But you, God, bring the wicked
    down to the deepest pit.
    Let bloodthirsty and treacherous people
    not live out even half their days.
        But me? I trust in you!

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.

Cast your burden on the Lord — he will support you!

Psalm prayer

Lord, in all times of fear and dread,
grant that we may so cast our burdens upon you,
that you may bear us on the holy wings of the Spirit
to the stronghold of your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
2 Kings 2:1-18

Now the Lord was going to take Elijah up to heaven in a windstorm, and Elijah and Elisha were leaving Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, because the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”

But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you live, I won’t leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

The group of prophets from Bethel came out to Elisha. These prophets said to Elisha, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master away from you today?”

Elisha said, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it!”

Elijah said, “Elisha, stay here, because the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”

But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you live, I won’t leave you.” So they went to Jericho.

The group of prophets from Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master away from you today?”

He said, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it!”

Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, because the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you live, I won’t leave you.” So both of them went on together. Fifty members from the group of prophets also went along, but they stood at a distance. Both Elijah and Elisha stood beside the Jordan River. Elijah then took his coat, rolled it up, and hit the water. Then the water was divided in two! Both of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to do for you before I’m taken away from you?”

Elisha said, “Let me have twice your spirit.”

Elijah said, “You’ve made a difficult request. If you can see me when I’m taken from you, then it will be yours. If you don’t see me, it won’t happen.”

They were walking along, talking, when suddenly a fiery chariot and fiery horses appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went to heaven in a windstorm.

Elisha was watching, and he cried out, “Oh, my father, my father! Israel’s chariots and its riders!” When he could no longer see him, Elisha took hold of his clothes and ripped them in two.

Then Elisha picked up the coat that had fallen from Elijah. He went back and stood beside the banks of the Jordan River. He took the coat that had fallen from Elijah and hit the water. He said, “Where is the Lord, Elijah’s God?” And when he hit the water, it divided in two! Then Elisha crossed over.

The group of prophets from Jericho saw him from a distance. They said, “Elijah’s spirit has settled on Elisha!” So they came out to meet him, bowing down before him. “Look,” they told him, “there are fifty strong men among us, your servants. Please let them go and search for your master. Perhaps the Lord’s spirit has picked him up and put him down on some mountain or in some valley.”

Elisha said, “Don’t send them.” They insisted until he became embarrassed and said, “Okay, send them.” So they sent fifty men who searched for three days. But they couldn’t find Elijah. When these men returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Acts 24:24-25:12

After several days, Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and summoned Paul. He listened to him talk about faith in Christ Jesus. When he spoke about upright behavior, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became fearful and said, “Go away for now! When I have time, I’ll send for you.” At the same time, he was hoping that Paul would offer him some money, so he often sent for him and talked with him.

When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Since Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.

Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. The chief priests and Jewish leaders presented their case against Paul. Appealing to him, they asked as a favor from Festus that he summon Paul to Jerusalem. They were planning to ambush and kill him along the way. But Festus responded by keeping Paul in Caesarea, since he was to return there very soon himself. “Some of your leaders can come down with me,” he said. “If he’s done anything wrong, they can bring charges against him.”

He stayed with them for no more than eight or ten days, then went down to Caesarea. The following day he took his seat in the court and ordered that Paul be brought in. When he arrived, many Jews who had come down from Jerusalem surrounded him. They brought serious charges against him, but they couldn’t prove them. In his own defense, Paul said, “I’ve done nothing wrong against the Jewish Law, against the temple, or against Caesar.”

Festus, wanting to put the Jews in his debt, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem to stand trial before me concerning these things?”

Paul replied, “I’m standing before Caesar’s court. I ought to be tried here. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, as you well know. If I’m guilty and have done something that deserves death, then I won’t try to avoid death. But if there is nothing to their accusations against me, no one has the authority to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”

After Festus conferred with his advisors, he responded, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go.”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Lord, you have shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered your holy covenant.

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.

Lord, you have shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered your holy covenant.

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 are offered
for the day and its tasks
for the world and its needs
for the Church and her life


Lord of life
In your mercy, hear us.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
pour your love into our hearts and draw us to yourself,
and so bring us at last to your heavenly city
where we shall see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.      

The Lord’s Prayer

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.


The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life.