Saturday morning December 9

Sunday morning
Friday 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.


Away, My Needless Fears

Charles Wesley
Away, my needless fears
And doubts no longer mine!
A ray of heavenly light appears,
A messenger divine.

Thrice comfortable hope,
That calms my troubled breast;
My Father's hand prepares the cup,
And what he wills is best.

He knows whatever I want;
He sees my helplessness,
And always readier is to grant
Than I to ask his grace.

My fearful heart he reads,
Secures my soul from harms,
And underneath his mercy spreads
Its everlasting arms.

If what I wish is good,
And suits the will divine,
By earth and hell in vain withstood,
I know it shall be mine.

Here is firm footing; here,
My soul, is solid rock,
To break the waves of grief and fear,
And trouble's rudest shock:

This only can sustain
When earth and heaven remove:
O turn thee to thy rest again,
Thy God's eternal love!

Here then I doubt no more,
But in his pleasure rest,
Whose wisdom, love, and truth and power
Engage to make me blest.

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 25

Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love.

I offer my life to you, Lord.
    My God, I trust you.
Please don’t let me be put to shame!
    Don’t let my enemies rejoice over me!
For that matter,
    don’t let anyone who hopes in you
        be put to shame;
    instead, let those who are treacherous without excuse be put to shame.
Make your ways known to me, Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth—teach it to me—
    because you are the God who saves me.
        I put my hope in you all day long.
Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love—
    they are forever!
But don’t remember the sins of my youth or my wrongdoing.
    Remember me only according to your faithful love
        for the sake of your goodness, Lord.
The Lord is good and does the right thing;
    he teaches sinners which way they should go.
God guides the weak to justice,
    teaching them his way.
All the Lord’s paths are loving and faithful
    for those who keep his covenant and laws.
Please, for the sake of your good name, Lord, forgive my sins, which are many! Where are the ones who honor the Lord?
    God will teach them which path to take.
They will live a good life,
    and their descendants will possess the land.
The Lord counsels those who honor him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are always looking to the Lord
    because he will free my feet from the net.
Turn to me, God, and have mercy on me
    because I’m alone and suffering.
My heart’s troubles keep getting bigger—
    set me free from my distress!
Look at my suffering and trouble—
    forgive all my sins!
Look at how many enemies I have
    and how violently they hate me!
Please protect my life! Deliver me!
    Don’t let me be put to shame
    because I take refuge in you.
Let integrity and virtue guard me
    because I hope in you.
Please, God, save Israel from all its troubles!

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, remember your compassion and faithful love.

Psalm prayer

Free us, God of mercy,
from all that keeps us from you;
relieve the misery of the anxious and the ashamed
and fill us with the hope of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 26

Lord, I love the place where your glory resides.

Establish justice for me, Lord,
    because I have walked with integrity.
    I’ve trusted the Lord without wavering.
Examine me, Lord; put me to the test!
    Purify my mind and my heart.
Because your faithful love is right in front of me—
    I walk in your truth!
I don’t spend time with people up to no good;
    I don’t keep company with liars.
I detest the company of evildoers,
    and I don’t sit with wicked people.
I wash my hands—they are innocent!
    I walk all around your altar, Lord,
        proclaiming out loud my thanks,
        declaring all your wonderful deeds!
I love the beauty of your house, Lord;
    I love the place where your glory resides.
Don’t gather me up with the sinners,
    taking my life along with violent people
    in whose hands are evil schemes,
    whose strong hands are full of bribes.
But me? I walk with integrity.
    Save me! Have mercy on me!
My feet now stand on level ground.
    I will bless the Lord in the great congregation.

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, I love the place where your glory resides.

Psalm prayer

Have mercy on us and redeem us, Lord,
for our merits are your mercies
and in your judgment is our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 29:1-14

Oh, Ariel, Ariel,
    town where David encamped!
Year by year, let the festivals come around—
    but I will oppress Ariel.
There will be mourning and lamentation;
    she will be like an Ariel to me.
I will surround you like a wall,
    and I will lay a siege against you with assault towers,
    and I will raise up siegeworks against you.
You will be brought down;
    from the ground you will speak;
    from low in the dust your speech will come.
Your voice will be like a ghost’s from the earth;
    from the dust your words will whisper.
But your many enemies will be like fine dust,
    the terrible horde like passing chaff.
Suddenly, in an instant, 6 the Lord of heavenly forces will come to you with thunder, earthquake, and a mighty voice,
    with whirlwind, tempest, and flames of devouring fire.
The horde of nations fighting against Ariel,
    and all who make war on her and her fortress and besiege her,
    will be like a dream, a vision of the night.
It will be like when a hungry person dreams of eating
    but wakes up and the mouth is empty.
    Or when a thirsty person dreams of drinking
    but wakes up and has a dry throat.
So will it be for all the horde of nations
    who fight against Mount Zion.

Be shocked and stunned;
    blind yourselves; be blind!
Be drunk, but not on wine;
    stagger, but not on account of beer!
The Lord has poured on you a spirit of deep sleep,
    and has shut your eyes, you prophets,
    and covered your heads, you seers.

This entire vision has become for you like the words of a sealed scroll. When they give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” that one will say, “I can’t, because it’s sealed.” And when the scroll is given to one who can’t read, saying, “Read this,” that one will say, “I can’t read.”

The Lord says:
Since these people turn toward me with their mouths,
    and honor me with lip service
        while their heart is distant from me,
    and their fear of me is just a human command that has been memorized,
    I will go on doing amazing things to these people,
        shocking and startling things.
The wisdom of their wise will perish,
    and the discernment of their discerning will be hidden.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 13:24-43

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away. When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.

“The servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then how is it that it has weeds?’

“‘An enemy has done this,’ he answered.

“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’

“But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.” ’”

He told another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in his field. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it’s grown, it’s the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches.”

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through all the dough.”

Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables, and he spoke to them only in parables. This was to fulfill what the prophet spoke:

I’ll speak in parables; 
        I’ll declare what has been hidden since the beginning of the world.
Explanation of the parable of the weeds
Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

Jesus replied, “The one who plants the good seed is the Human One. The field is the world. And the good seeds are the followers of the kingdom. But the weeds are the followers of the evil one. The enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the present age. The harvesters are the angels. Just as people gather weeds and burn them in the fire, so it will be at the end of the present age. The Human One will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that cause people to fall away and all people who sin. He will throw them into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Those who have ears should hear.”

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

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.