Friday morning December 15

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.


Arm of the Lord, awake, awake!

Charles Wesley
Arm of the Lord, awake, awake!
thine own immortal strength put on;
with terror clothed, hell's kingdom shake
and cast thy foes with fury down.

As in the ancient days appear;
the sacred annals speak thy fame:
be now omnipotently near,
to endless ages still the same.

Thine arm, Lord, is not shortened now;
it lacks not now the power to save;
still present with thy people, thou
bearest them through life's disparted wave.

By death and hell pursued in vain,
to thee the ransomed seed shall come,
shouting, their heavenly Zion gain,
and pass through death triumphant home.

Where pure essential joy is found,
the Lord's redeemed their heads shall raise,
with everlasting gladness crowned,
and filled with love, and lost in praise.

Confession of sin

O King enthroned on high,
filling the earth with your glory:
holy is your name,
Lord God almighty.

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

In our sinfulness we cry to you
to take our guilt away,
and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


May the God of all healing and forgiveness
draw us to himself,
and cleanse us from all our sins
that we may behold the glory of his Son,
the Word made flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Word of God

Psalm 85

Show us your faithful love, Lord!

Lord, you’ve been kind to your land;
    you’ve changed Jacob’s circumstances for the better.
You’ve forgiven your people’s wrongdoing;
    you’ve covered all their sins.
You’ve stopped being furious;
    you’ve turned away from your burning anger.
You, the God who can save us, restore us!
    Stop being angry with us!
Will you be mad at us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger from one generation to the next?
Won’t you bring us back to life again
    so that your people can rejoice in you?
Show us your faithful love, Lord!
    Give us your salvation!
Let me hear what the Lord God says,
    because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones.
    Don’t let them return to foolish ways.
God’s salvation is very close to those who honor him
    so that his glory can live in our land.
Faithful love and truth have met;
    righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth springs up from the ground;
    righteousness gazes down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord gives what is good,
    and our land yields its produce.
Righteousness walks before God,
    making a road for his steps.

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.

Show us your faithful love, Lord!

Psalm prayer

Most holy God,
when we come to you fearing that
truth condemns us,
show us that truth is one with love
in your Word made flesh,
our Savior Jesus Christ.

Psalm 86

All the nations that you’ve made will come and bow down before you, Lord.

Lord, listen closely to me and answer me,
    because I am poor and in need.
Guard my life because I am faithful.
    Save your servant who trusts in you—you! My God!
Have mercy on me, Lord,
    because I cry out to you all day long.
Make your servant’s life happy again
    because, my Lord, I offer my life to you,
    because, my Lord, you are good and forgiving,
    full of faithful love for all those who cry out to you.
Listen closely to my prayer, Lord;
    pay close attention to the sound of my requests for mercy.
Whenever I am in trouble, I cry out to you,
    because you will answer me.
My Lord! There is no one like you among the gods!
    There is nothing that can compare to your works!
All the nations that you’ve made will come
        and bow down before you, Lord;
    they will glorify your name,
    because you are awesome
    and a wonder-worker.
        You are God. Just you.
Teach me your way, Lord,
        so that I can walk in your truth.
    Make my heart focused
        only on honoring your name.
I give thanks to you, my Lord, my God,
    with all my heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever,
    because your faithful love toward me is awesome
    and because you’ve rescued my life
        from the lowest part of hell.
The arrogant rise up against me, God.
    A gang of violent people want me dead.
    They don’t give a thought for you.
But you, my Lord,
    are a God of compassion and mercy;
    you are very patient and full of faithful love.
Come back to me! Have mercy on me!
    Give your servant your strength;
    save this child of your servant!
Show me a sign of your goodness
    so that those who hate me will see it and be put to shame—
        show a sign that you, Lord,
        have helped me and comforted me.

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.

All the nations that you’ve made will come and bow down before you, Lord.

Psalm prayer

God of mercy,
who in your great love
drew your Son from the depths of the Pit,
bring your people from death to life,
that we may rejoice in your compassion
and praise you now and forever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 33:1-22

Doom to the destroyer left undestroyed,
    you traitor whom none have betrayed:
when you have finished destroying, you will be destroyed;
    and when you have stopped betraying, they will betray you.

Lord, show us favor;
    we hope in you.
Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in times of distress.
At the noise, peoples fled;
    on account of your roar, nations scattered.
They gathered spoil like insects;
    they rushed upon it like a swarm of locusts.
The Lord is exalted; he lives on high,
    filling Zion with justice and righteousness.
He will provide security during a lifetime:
    a source of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge—
    fear of the Lord will be Zion’s treasure.

But then those in Ariel cried out in the streets;
    messengers of peace wept bitterly.
The highways were deserted;
    travelers left the road.
The covenant was broken;
    solemn pledges were rejected;
    no one cared for humanity.
The land mourned; it wasted away;
    Lebanon was ashamed; it withered.
Sharon became like the desert,
    and Bashan and Carmel were dropping their leaves.

Now I will arise, says the Lord.
    Now I will exalt myself; now I will stand tall.
You conceive straw, give birth to stubble;
    your breath is a fire that devours you.
Peoples will be burned to lime,
    thorns cut up and set ablaze.
You who are far away, hear what I have done;
    and you who are near, know my strength!

Sinners became terrified in Zion;
    trembling seized the godless:
        “Who among us can live with the devouring fire?
        Who among us can live with the everlasting blaze?”
The one who walks righteously and speaks truthfully,
    who rejects profit from extortion,
    who waves away a bribe instead of grabbing it,
    who won’t listen to bloody plots,
    and who won’t contemplate doing something evil.
He will live on the heights;
    fortresses in the cliffs will be his refuge.
His food will be provided,
    his water guaranteed.
When you gaze upon a king in his glamour
    and look at the surrounding land,
    in dismay you will think:
    Where is the one who counts?
    Where is the one who weighs?
    Where is the one who counts towers?
You will no longer see the defiant people,
    the people of speech too obscure to understand,
    who stammer in an incomprehensible language.
Gaze upon Zion, our festival town.
    Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
    a carefree dwelling,
    a tent that is not packed up,
    whose stakes are never pulled up,
    whose ropes won’t snap.
The Lord’s majesty will be there for us:
    as a place of rivers, broad streams
    where no boat will go,
    no majestic ship will cross.
The Lord is our judge;
    the Lord is our leader;
    the Lord is our king—
    he will deliver us.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 15:29-39

Jesus moved on from there along the shore of the Galilee Sea. He went up a mountain and sat down. Large crowds came to him, including those who were paralyzed, blind, injured, and unable to speak, and many others. They laid them at his feet, and he healed them. So the crowd was amazed when they saw those who had been unable to speak talking, and the paralyzed cured, and the injured walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Now Jesus called his disciples and said, “I feel sorry for the crowd because they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry for fear they won’t have enough strength to travel.”

His disciples replied, “Where are we going to get enough food in this wilderness to satisfy such a big crowd?”

Jesus said, “How much bread do you have?”

They responded, “Seven loaves and a few fish.”

He told the crowd to sit on the ground. He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish. After he gave thanks, he broke them into pieces and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate until they were full. The disciples collected seven baskets full of leftovers. Four thousand men ate, plus women and children. After dismissing the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.

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

Prayers may include the following concerns:

The church, that she may be ready for the coming of Christ
The leaders of the church
The nations, that they may be subject to the rule of God
Those who are working for justice in the world
The broken, that they may find God’s healing

Other intercessions and supplications may be offered as the Holy Spirit leads.


Father, by your Spirit
Bring in your kingdom.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power
and come among us,
and with great might succor us;
that whereas, through our sins and wickedness
we are grievously hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory, 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.