Sunday morning December 17

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.


Being of Beings, God of Love

Charles Wesley
Being of beings, God of love,
To thee our hearts we raise;
Thy all-sustaining power we prove,
And gladly sing thy praise.

Thine, wholly thine, we pant to be;
Our sacrifice receive!
Made, and preserved, and saved by thee,
To thee ourselves we give.

Heavenward our every wish aspires
For all thy mercy’s store,
The sole return thy love requires,
Is that we ask for more.

For more we ask; we open then
Our hearts to embrace thy will,
Turn and revive us, Lord again,
With all thy fullness fill.

Come, Holy Ghost, the Savior’s love
Shed in our hearts abroad:
So shall we ever live and move,
And be with Christ in God.

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 50:1-6

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

From the rising of the sun to where it sets,
    God, the Lord God, speaks,
        calling out to the earth.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
    God shines brightly.
Our God is coming;
    he won’t keep quiet.
A devouring fire is before him;
    a storm rages all around him.
God calls out to the skies above
    and to the earth in order to judge his people:
“Bring my faithful to me,
    those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
The skies proclaim his righteousness
    because God himself is the judge.

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.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Psalm prayer

Mighty God,
dwelling in unapproachable light,
forgive our vain attempts to appease you,
and show us your full salvation
in Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

Psalm 62

I must find rest in God only, because my hope comes from him!

Only in God do I find rest;
    my salvation comes from him.
Only God is my rock and my salvation—
    my stronghold!—I won’t be shaken anymore.
How long will all of you attack others;
    how long will you tear them down
    as if they were leaning walls or broken-down fences?
The only desire of this people
    is to bring others down low;
    they delight in deception.
With their mouths they bless,
    but inside they are cursing. 
Oh, I must find rest in God only,
    because my hope comes from him!
Only God is my rock and my salvation—
    my stronghold!—I will not be shaken.
My deliverance and glory depend on God.
    God is my strong rock.
    My refuge is in God.
All you people: Trust in him at all times!
    Pour out your hearts before him!
    God is our refuge! 
Human beings are nothing but a breath.
    Human beings are nothing but lies.
    They don’t even register on a scale;
    taken all together they are lighter than a breath!
Don’t trust in violence;
    don’t set false hopes in robbery.
When wealth bears fruit,
    don’t set your heart on it.
God has spoken one thing—
    make it two things—
    that I myself have heard:
    that strength belongs to God,
    and faithful love comes from you, my Lord—
    and that you will repay
    everyone according to their deeds.

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.

I must find rest in God only, because my hope comes from him!

Psalm prayer

O God, teach us to seek security,
not in money or theft,
not in human ambition or malice,
not in our own ability or power,
but in you, the only God,
our rock and our salvation.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 12

You will say on that day:
“I thank you, Lord.
Though you were angry with me,
    your anger turned away and you comforted me.
God is indeed my salvation;
    I will trust and won’t be afraid.
Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield;
    he has become my salvation.”

You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation.
And you will say on that day:
“Thank the Lord; call on God’s name;
    proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples;
    declare that God’s name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things;
    proclaim this throughout all the earth.”
Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion,
    because the holy one of Israel is great among you.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Luke 1:57-66

When the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, she gave birth to a boy. Her neighbors and relatives celebrated with her because they had heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy. On the eighth day, it came time to circumcise the child. They wanted to name him Zechariah because that was his father’s name. But his mother replied, “No, his name will be John.”

They said to her, “None of your relatives have that name.” Then they began gesturing to his father to see what he wanted to call him.

After asking for a tablet, he surprised everyone by writing, “His name is John.” At that moment, Zechariah was able to speak again, and he began praising God.

All their neighbors were filled with awe, and everyone throughout the Judean highlands talked about what had happened. All who heard about this considered it carefully. They said, “What then will this child be?” Indeed, the Lord’s power was with him.

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.


Lord of life
In your mercy, hear us.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father
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.