Monday morning December 4

Tuesday morning
Sunday 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.


The Universal King

Charles Wesley
The universal King
Let all the world proclaim;
Let every creature sing
His attributes and name!
Him Three in One and One in Three,
Extol to all eternity.

In his great name alone
All excellencies meet,
Who sits upon the throne,
And shall forever sit;
Him Three in One and One in Three,
Extol to all eternity.

Glory to God belongs;
Glory to God be given,
Above the noblest songs
Of all in earth or heaven!
Him Three in One and One in Three,
Extol to all eternity.

Confession of sin

Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
call him while he is yet near.
Let the wicked abandon their ways
and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.

cf Isaiah 55

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

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have committed evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your faithful love.
Wash us completely clean of our guilt; purify us from our sin.
Put a new, faithful spirit deep inside us,
and return the joy of your salvation to us
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Psalm 51

May the Father of all mercies
cleanse us from our sins,
and restore us in his image
to the praise and glory of his name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bless the Lord,
because he has listened to our request for mercy.
Therefore our hearts will rejoice
and we will thank him with our song.

cf Psalm 28:7,9

The Word of God

Psalm 50

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. 
“Listen, my people, I will now speak;
    Israel, I will now testify against you.
    I am God—your God!
I’m not punishing you for your sacrifices
    or for your entirely burned offerings,
    which are always before me.
I won’t accept bulls from your house
    or goats from your corrals
    because every forest animal already belongs to me,
    as do the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every mountain bird;
    even the insects in the fields are mine.
Even if I were hungry, I wouldn’t tell you
    because the whole world and everything in it already belong to me.
Do I eat bulls’ meat?
    Do I drink goats’ blood?
Offer God a sacrifice of thanksgiving!
    Fulfill the promises you made to the Most High!
Cry out to me whenever you are in trouble;
    I will deliver you, then you will honor me.”
But to the wicked God says,
“Why do you talk about my laws?
    Why do you even mention my covenant?
You hate discipline, and
    you toss my words behind your back.
You make friends with thieves whenever you see one;
    you spend your time with adulterers.
You set your mouth free to do evil,
    then harness your tongue to tell lies.
You sit around, talking about your own siblings;
    you find fault with the children of your very own mother.
You’ve done these things and I’ve kept quiet.
    You thought I was just like you!
        But now I’m punishing you;
        I’m laying it all out, right in front of your face.
So consider this carefully, all you who forget God,
    or I’ll rip you to pieces with no one to deliver you:
The one who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving is the one who honors me.
    And it is to the one who charts the correct path that I will show divine salvation.”

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 54

God is my helper; my Lord sustains my life.

God! Save me by your name;
    defend me by your might!
God! Hear my prayer;
    listen to the words of my mouth!
The proud have come up against me;
    violent people want me dead.
    They pay no attention to God.
But look here: God is my helper;
    my Lord sustains my life.
He will bring disaster on my opponents.
    By your faithfulness, God, destroy them!
I will sacrifice to you freely;
    I will give thanks to your name, Lord,
        because it’s so good,
        and because God has delivered me
        from every distress.
    My eyes have seen my enemies’ defeat.

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.

God is my helper; my Lord sustains my life.

Psalm prayer

Living God,
reach through the violence of the proud
and the despair of the weak
to create in Jesus Christ
a people free to praise your holy name,
now and forever.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 25:1-9

Lord, you are my God.
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
    for you have done wonderful things,
        planned long ago, faithful and sure.
You have turned the city into rubble,
    the fortified town into a ruin,
    the fortress of foreigners into a city no more,
    never to be rebuilt.
Therefore, strong people will glorify you;
    the towns of tyrant nations will fear you.
You have been a refuge for the poor,
    a refuge for the needy in distress,
    a hiding place from the storm,
    a shade from the heat.
When the breath of tyrants is like a winter storm
    or like heat in the desert,
    you subdue the roar of foreigners.
Like heat shaded by a cloud,
    the tyrants’ song falls silent.

On this mountain,
    the Lord of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
        a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
        of select foods rich in flavor,
        of choice wines well refined.
He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
    the shroud enshrouding all nations.
He will swallow up death forever.
The Lord God will wipe tears from every face;
    he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
        for the Lord has spoken.
They will say on that day,
“Look! This is our God,
    for whom we have waited—
    and he has saved us!
This is the Lord, for whom we have waited;
    let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 12:1-21

At that time Jesus went through the wheat fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry so they were picking heads of wheat and eating them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are breaking the Sabbath law.”

But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those with him were hungry? He went into God’s house and broke the law by eating the bread of the presence, which only the priests were allowed to eat. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple treat the Sabbath as any other day and are still innocent? But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what this means, I want mercy and not sacrifice, you wouldn’t have condemned the innocent. The Human One is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Jesus left that place and went into their synagogue. A man with a withered hand was there. Wanting to bring charges against Jesus, they asked, “Does the Law allow a person to heal on the Sabbath?”

Jesus replied, “Who among you has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath and will not take hold of it and pull it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! So the Law allows a person to do what is good on the Sabbath.” Then Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he did and it was made healthy, just like the other one. The Pharisees went out and met in order to find a way to destroy Jesus.

Jesus knew what they intended to do, so he went away from there. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all. But he ordered them not to spread the word about him, so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:

Look, my Servant whom I chose,
        the one I love, in whom I find great pleasure.
I’ll put my Spirit upon him,
        and he’ll announce judgment to the Gentiles.
He won’t argue or shout,
        and nobody will hear his voice in the streets.
He won’t break a bent stalk,
        and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick,
            until he makes justice win.
And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name.

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, hear our prayer,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armor of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
      to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him 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.