Wednesday morning December 20

Thursday morning
Tuesday 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.


With Glorious Clouds Encompassed Round

Charles Wesley
With glorious clouds encompassed round,
Whom angels dimly see,
Will the Unsearchable be found,
Or God appear to me?

Will he forsake his throne above,
Himself to worms impart?
Answer, thou Man of grief and love,
And speak it to my heart.

Didst thou not in our flesh appear,
And live and die below,
That I may now perceive thee near,
And my redeemer know?

Come, then, and to my soul reveal
The heights and depths of grace,
Those wounds which all my sorrows heal,
Which all my sins efface.

Then shall I see in his own light,
Whom angels dimly see:
And gaze, transported at the sight,
To all eternity.

Confession of sin

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
He doesn’t deal with us according to our sin
or repay us according to our wrongdoing.
Because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
Holy and strong,
Holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.

Let my whole being bless the Lord.
Let everything inside me bless his holy name.

Let my whole being bless the Lord,
and never forget all his good deeds.

The Word of God

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a help always near in times of great trouble.
That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart,
    when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea,
    when its waters roar and rage,
    when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.
There is a river whose streams gladden God’s city,
    the holiest dwelling of the Most High.
God is in that city. It will never crumble.
    God will help it when morning dawns.
Nations roar; kingdoms crumble.
    God utters his voice; the earth melts.
The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety.
Come, see the Lord’s deeds,
    what devastation he has imposed on the earth—
    bringing wars to an end in every corner of the world,
    breaking the bow and shattering the spear,
        burning chariots with fire.
“That’s enough! Now know that I am God!
    I am exalted among all nations; I am exalted throughout the world!”
The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety.

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.

Psalm prayer

God of Jacob,
when the earth shakes
and the nations are in uproar,
speak, and let the storm be still;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 95

Come, let’s worship and bow down!

Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord!
    Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!
Let’s come before him with thanks!
    Let’s shout songs of joy to him!
The Lord is a great God,
    the great king over all other gods.
The earth’s depths are in his hands;
    the mountain heights belong to him;
    the sea, which he made, is his
        along with the dry ground,
        which his own hands formed.
Come, let’s worship and bow down!
    Let’s kneel before the Lord, our maker!
He is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the sheep in his hands.
If only you would listen to his voice right now!
    “Don’t harden your hearts
    like you did at Meribah,
    like you did when you were at Massah,
        in the wilderness,
    when your ancestors tested me
        and scrutinized me,
    even though they had already seen my acts.
For forty years I despised that generation;
    I said, ‘These people have twisted hearts.
    They don’t know my ways.’
So in anger I swore:
    ‘They will never enter my place of rest!’”

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.

Come, let’s worship and bow down!

Psalm prayer

Lord God, the maker of all,
as we bow down in praise this day,
make us attentive to your voice
and do not test us beyond our enduring;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 39

At that time, Babylon’s King Merodach-baladan, Baladan’s son, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been ill and had recovered. Hezekiah was pleased, and he showed them his treasury—the silver and the gold, the spices and fine oil—and everything in his armory, all that was found in his storerooms. There wasn’t a thing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah didn’t show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say? Where did they come from?”

Hezekiah replied, “They came to me from a distant land, from Babylon.”

So Isaiah said, “What did they see in your house?”

Hezekiah said, “They saw everything in my house. There was nothing in my storerooms that I didn’t show them.”

Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of heavenly forces: Days are coming when all that is in your house, which your ancestors have stored up until this day, will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. Some of your sons, your own descendants whom you fathered, will be taken to become eunuchs in the king of Babylon’s palace.”

Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s word that you delivered is good,” since he thought, That means there will be peace and security in my lifetime.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 17:14-21

When they came to the crowd, a man met Jesus. He knelt before him, saying, “Lord, show mercy to my son. He is epileptic and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire or the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”

Jesus answered, “You faithless and crooked generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Then Jesus spoke harshly to the demon. And it came out of the child, who was healed from that time on.

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and said, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”

“Because you have little faith,” he said. “I assure you that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Go from here to there,’ and it will go. There will be nothing that you can’t do.”

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, hear your people
and answer our prayers.

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.