Thursday evening December 6

Friday evening
Wednesday evening


Opening response

Favor us, Lord, and deliver us.

Lord, come quickly and help us.

Reveal among us the light of your presence

that we may behold your power and glory.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,

creator of light and darkness,

to you be glory and praise forever.

As evening falls, you renew your promise

to reveal among us the light of your presence.

May your word be a lantern to our feet

and a light upon our path

that we may behold your coming among us.

Strengthen us in our stumbling weakness

and free our tongues to sing your praise.

Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Blessed be God forever.

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,

let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,

so may your mercy come down upon us

to cleanse our hearts

and set us free to sing your praise

now and forever.



O Wondrous Power of Faithful Prayer

Charles Wesley

O wondrous power of faithful prayer!

What tongue can tell the almighty grace?

God’s hands or bound or open are,

As Moses or Elijah prays;

Let Moses in the Spirit groan,

And God cries out, “Let me alone!”

“Let me alone, that all my wrath

May rise the wicked to consume;

While justice hears the praying faith,

It cannot seal the sinner’s doom:

My Son is in my servant’s prayer,

And Jesus forces me to spare.”

Father, we ask in Jesus’ name,

In Jesus’ power and spirit pray;

Divert thy vengeful thunder’s aim,

O turn thy threatening wrath away!

Our guilt and punishment remove,

And magnify thy pardoning love.

Father regard thy pleading Son!

Accept his all-availing prayer,

And send a peaceful answer down,

In honor of our Spokesman there,

Whose blood proclaims our sins forgiven,

And speaks thy rebels up to heaven.

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 40


God, you’ve done so many things—

your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—

no one can compare with you!

I put all my hope in the Lord.

He leaned down to me;

he listened to my cry for help.

He lifted me out of the pit of death,

out of the mud and filth,

and set my feet on solid rock.

He steadied my legs.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise for our God.

Many people will learn of this and be amazed;

they will trust the Lord.

Those who put their trust in the Lord,

who pay no attention to the proud

or to those who follow lies,

are truly happy!

You, Lord my God!

You’ve done so many things—

your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—

no one can compare with you!

If I were to proclaim and talk about all of them,

they would be too numerous to count!

You don’t relish sacrifices or offerings;

you don’t require entirely burned offerings or compensation offerings—

but you have given me ears!

So I said, “Here I come!

I’m inscribed in the written scroll.

I want to do your will, my God.

Your Instruction is deep within me.”

I’ve told the good news of your righteousness

in the great assembly.

I didn’t hold anything back—

as you well know, Lord!

I didn’t keep your righteousness only to myself.

I declared your faithfulness and your salvation.

I didn’t hide your loyal love and trustworthiness

from the great assembly.

So now you, Lord—

don’t hold back any of your compassion from me.

Let your loyal love and faithfulness always protect me,

because countless evils surround me.

My wrongdoings have caught up with me—

I can’t see a thing!

There’s more of them than hairs on my head—

my courage leaves me.

Favor me, Lord, and deliver me!

Lord, come quickly and help me!

Let those who seek my life, who want me dead,

be disgraced and put to shame.

Let those who want to do me harm

be thoroughly frustrated and humiliated.

Let those who say to me, “Yes! Oh, yes!”

be destroyed by their shame.

But let all who seek you

celebrate and rejoice in you.

Let those who love your salvation always say,

“The Lord is great!”

But me? I’m weak and needy.

Let my Lord think of me.

You are my help and my rescuer.

My God, don’t wait any longer!

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, you’ve done so many things—

your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—

no one can compare with you!

Psalm prayer

Free us from our sins, O God,

and may our sacrifices be of praise

to the glory of your Son,

our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

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.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 28:14-29

Therefore, hear the Lord’s word,

you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem.

You said, “We’ve cut a deal with death;

with the underworld we made a pact.

When the overflowing flood passes through, it won’t reach us;

for we have made lies our hiding place,

and in falsehood we take shelter.”

Therefore, the Lord God says:

Look! I’m laying in Zion a stone,

a tested stone, a valuable cornerstone,

a sure foundation:

the one who trusts won’t tremble.

I will make justice the measuring line

and righteousness the plumb line.

But hail will sweep away the hiding place of lies,

and water will overflow the shelter.

Your deal with death will be dissolved,

and your pact with the grave won’t stand.

The rushing flood: when it passes through,

you will be annihilated by it.

Every time it passes through it will take you,

for morning by morning it will pass,

by day and by night.

It will be nothing but terror to understand the message.

The bed is too short to stretch out,

and the shroud is too narrow to cover oneself.

Just as on Mount Perazim, the Lord will rise up;

as in the Gibeon Valley he will rage to do his deed—strange is his deed!—

And to work his work—foreign is his work!

So now stop your scoffing,

or your chains will be tightened,

because destruction has been ordered—I have heard it!—

by the Lord God of heavenly forces against the whole land.

Listen and hear my voice;

pay attention and hear my word:

Does the plowman plow without stopping for planting,

opening and harrowing their ground?

When he has smoothed its surface,

doesn’t he scatter fennel, and sow cumin,

and plant wheat and barley in their places,

and spelt as a border?

They are properly ordered;

their God directs them.

Fennel isn’t threshed with a threshing sledge,

nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,

but fennel is beaten with a staff,

and cumin with a rod.

Bread grain is crushed,

but the thresher doesn’t thresh it forever.

He drives the cart wheel over it;

he spreads it out but doesn’t crush it.

This also comes from the Lord of heavenly forces,

who gives wondrous counsel and increases wisdom.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 13.1-23

That day Jesus went out of the house and sat down beside the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he climbed into a boat and sat down. The whole crowd was standing on the shore.

He said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”

Jesus’ disciples came and said to him, “Why do you use parables when you speak to the crowds?”

Jesus replied, “Because they haven’t received the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but you have. For those who have will receive more and they will have more than enough. But as for those who don’t have, even the little they have will be taken away from them. This is why I speak to the crowds in parables: although they see, they don’t really see; and although they hear, they don’t really hear or understand. What Isaiah prophesied has become completely true for them:

You will hear, to be sure, but never understand;

and you will certainly see but never recognize what you are seeing.

For this people’s senses have become calloused,

and they’ve become hard of hearing,

and they’ve shut their eyes

so that they won’t see with their eyes

or hear with their ears

or understand with their minds,

and change their hearts and lives that I may heal them.

“Happy are your eyes because they see. Happy are your ears because they hear. I assure you that many prophets and righteous people wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear, but they didn’t.

“Consider then the parable of the farmer. Whenever people hear the word about the kingdom and don’t understand it, the evil one comes and carries off what was planted in their hearts. This is the seed that was sown on the path. As for the seed that was spread on rocky ground, this refers to people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away. As for the seed that was spread among thorny plants, this refers to those who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the false appeal of wealth choke the word, and it bears no fruit. As for what was planted on good soil, this refers to those who hear and understand, and bear fruit and produce—in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one.”

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)


You show mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors you as God.

With all my heart I glorify the Lord!

In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.

He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.

Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored

because the mighty one has done great things for me.

Holy is his name.

He shows mercy to everyone,

from one generation to the next,

who honors him as God.

He has shown strength with his arm.

He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.

He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones

and lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things

and sent the rich away empty-handed.

He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,

remembering his mercy,

just as he promised to our ancestors,

to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.

Luke 1:46-55

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 show mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors you as 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.


Thanksgiving and intercession

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.

Intercessions are offered

for peace

for individuals and their needs

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.