Thursday morning February 16

Friday morning
Wednesday morning


Opening response

Lord, open our lips
and our mouth will proclaim your praise.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, creator of all,
to you be praise and glory forever.
As your dawn renews the face of the earth
bringing light and life to all creation,
may we rejoice in this day you have made;
as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,
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.


Come, O thou greater than our heart

Charles Wesley
Come, O thou greater than our heart,
And make thy faithful mercies known;
The mind which was in thee impart,
Thy constant mind in us be shown.

O let us by thy cross abide,
Thee, only thee, resolved to know,
The Lamb for sinners crucified,
A world to save from endless woe.

Take us into thy people’s rest,
And we from our own works shall cease;
With thy meek Spirit arm our breast,
And keep our minds in perfect peace.

Jesus, for this we calmly wait;
O let our eyes behold thee near!
Hasten to make our heaven complete:
Appear, our glorious God, appear!

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 56

I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.

God, have mercy on me because I’m being trampled.
    All day long the enemy oppresses me.
My attackers trample me all day long
    because I have so many enemies.
Exalted one, whenever I’m afraid,
    I put my trust in you—
        in God, whose word I praise.
        I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.
    What can mere flesh do to me?
All day long they frustrate my pursuits;
    all their thoughts are evil against me.
They get together and set an ambush—
    they are watching my steps,
    hoping for my death.
Don’t rescue them for any reason!
    In wrath bring down the people, God!
You yourself have kept track of my misery.
    Put my tears into your bottle—
    aren’t they on your scroll already?
Then my enemies will retreat when I cry out.
    I know this because God is mine.
    God: whose word I praise.
        The Lord: whose word I praise.
I trust in God; I won’t be afraid.
    What can anyone do to me?
I will fulfill my promises to you, God.
    I will present thanksgiving offerings to you
    because you have saved my life from death,
    saved my feet from stumbling
        so that I can walk before God in the light of life.

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 trust in God; I won’t be afraid.

Psalm prayer

Faithful God,
your deliverance is nearer than we know;
free us from fear
and help us to find courage in your Word,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 57

Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Have mercy on me, God;
    have mercy on me
    because I have taken refuge in you.
    I take refuge
    in the shadow of your wings
        until destruction passes by.
I call out to God Most High—
    to God, who comes through for me.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me,
    rebukes the one who tramples me.
        God sends his loyal love and faithfulness.
My life is in the middle of a pack of lions.
    I lie down among those who devour humans.
        Their teeth are spears and arrows;
        their tongues are sharpened swords.
Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!
They laid a net for my feet to bring me down;
    they dug a pit for me,
    but they fell into it instead!
My heart is unwavering, God—
    my heart is unwavering.
I will sing and make music.
    Wake up, my glory!
    Wake up, harp and lyre!
    I will wake the dawn itself!
I will give thanks to you,
my Lord,
    among all the peoples;
I will make music to you among the nations
    because your faithful love
        is as high as heaven;
    your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!

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.

Exalt yourself, God, higher than heaven! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm prayer

Tender God,
gentle protector in time of trouble,
pierce the gloom of despair
and give us, with all your people,
the song of freedom and the shout of praise;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 63

My whole being thirsts for God.

God! My God! It’s you—
    I search for you!
    My whole being thirsts for you!
    My body desires you
        in a dry and tired land,
        no water anywhere.
Yes, I’ve seen you in the sanctuary;
    I’ve seen your power and glory.
My lips praise you
    because your faithful love
    is better than life itself!
So I will bless you as long as I’m alive;
    I will lift up my hands in your name.
I’m fully satisfied—
    as with a rich dinner.
My mouth speaks praise with joy on my lips—
    whenever I ponder you on my bed,
    whenever I meditate on you
        in the middle of the night—
    because you’ve been a help to me and I shout for joy in the protection of your wings.
My whole being clings to you;
    your strong hand upholds me.
But what about those people who want to destroy me?
    Let them go into the bowels of the earth!
    Let their blood flow by the sword!
    Let them be food for wild jackals!
But the king should rejoice in God;
    everyone who swears by God should give praise
        when the mouths of liars are shut for good.

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.

My whole being thirsts for God.

Psalm prayer

To you we come, radiant Lord,
the goal of all our desiring,
beyond all earthly beauty;
gentle protector, strong deliverer,
in the night you are our confidence;
from first light be our joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16

I saw something else under the sun: in the place of justice, there was wickedness; and in the place of what was right, there was wickedness again! I thought to myself, God will judge both righteous and wicked people, because there’s a time for every matter and every deed. I also thought, Where human beings are concerned, God tests them to show them that they are but animals because human beings and animals share the same fate. One dies just like the other—both have the same life-breath. Humans are no better off than animals because everything is pointless.

All go to the same place:
    all are from the dust;
    all return to the dust.

Who knows if a human being’s life-breath rises upward while an animal’s life-breath descends into the earth? So I perceived that there was nothing better for human beings but to enjoy what they do because that’s what they’re allotted in life. Who, really, is able to see what will happen in the future?

When I next observed all the oppressions that take place under the sun, I saw the tears of the oppressed—and they have no one to comfort them. Their oppressors wield power—but they have no one to comfort them. So I declare that the dead, who have already died, are more fortunate than the living, who are still alive. But happier than both are those who have never existed, who haven’t witnessed the terrible things that happen under the sun.

I also observed that people work hard and become good at what they do only out of mutual envy. This too is pointless, just wind chasing.

Fools fold their hands and eat their own flesh.
    But better is resting with one handful
        than working hard for two fistfuls and chasing after wind.

Next, I saw under the sun something else that was pointless: There are people who are utterly alone, with no companions, not even a child or a sibling. Yet they work hard without end, never satisfied with their wealth. So for whom am I working so hard and depriving myself of enjoyment? This too is pointless and a terrible obsession.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work. If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up! Also, if two lie down together, they can stay warm. But how can anyone stay warm alone? Also, one can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap.

A poor but wise youth is better than an old and foolish king, who no longer listens to advice. He emerged from prison to become king, even though during his rule a poor child is born. I saw all who live and walk under the sun following the next youth who would rise to take his place. There was no counting the number of people he ruled, but those who came later aren’t happy with him. This too is pointless and a chasing after wind.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
John 18:1-11

After he said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples and crossed over to the other side of the Kidron Valley. He and his disciples entered a garden there. Judas, his betrayer, also knew the place because Jesus often gathered there with his disciples. Judas brought a company of soldiers and some guards from the chief priests and Pharisees. They came there carrying lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus knew everything that was to happen to him, so he went out and asked, “Who are you looking for?”

They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

He said to them, “I Am.” (Judas, his betrayer, was standing with them.) When he said, “I Am,” they shrank back and fell to the ground. He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

They said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

Jesus answered, “I told you, ‘I Am.’ If you are looking for me, then let these people go.” This was so that the word he had spoken might be fulfilled: “I didn’t lose anyone of those whom you gave me.”

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

You have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

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.

You have raised up a mighty savior for us in your servant David’s house.

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:

Local government, community leaders
All who provide local services
Those who work with young or elderly people
Schools, colleges and universities
Emergency and rescue organizations

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

Almighty God,
who alone can bring order
to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity:
give your people grace
so to love what you command
and to desire what you promise,
that, among the many changes of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

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.


The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life.