Friday evening December 7

Saturday evening
Thursday 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.



Gracious Redeemer, Shake This Slumber

Charles Wesley

Gracious Redeemer, shake

This slumber from my soul!

Say to me now, "Awake, awake!

And Christ shall make thee whole."

Lay to thy mighty hand!

Alarm me in this hour,

And make me fully understand

The thunder of thy power.

Give me on thee to call,

Always to watch and pray,

Lest I into temptation fall,

And cast my shield away;

For each assault prepared

And ready may I be,

Forever standing on my guard,

And looking up to thee.

O do thou always warn

My soul of evil near!

When to the right or left I turn,

Thy voice still let me hear;

"Come back! this is the way,

Come back, and walk herein!"

O may I hearken and obey,

And shun the paths of sin!

Confession of sin

Come, Holy Spirit of God,

and search our hearts with the light of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this:

‘Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord,

and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your being, with all your mind,

and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’

No other commandment is greater than these.

All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

After a period of reflection

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

Lord our God,

in our sin we have avoided your call.

Our love for you is like a morning cloud,

like the dew that goes away early.

Have mercy on us;

deliver us from judgment;

bind up our wounds and revive us;

in Jesus Christ our Lord.


cf Hosea 6

May almighty God,

who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,

bring us his pardon and peace, now and forever.


The Word of God

Psalm 16


You, Lord, are my portion, my cup; you control my destiny.

Protect me, God, because I take refuge in you.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord.

Apart from you, I have nothing good.”

Now as for the “holy ones” in the land,

the “magnificent ones” that I was so happy about;

let their suffering increase because

they hurried after a different god.

I won’t participate in their blood offerings;

I won’t let their names cross my lips.

You, Lord, are my portion, my cup;

you control my destiny.

The property lines have fallen beautifully for me;

yes, I have a lovely home.

I will bless the Lord who advises me;

even at night I am instructed

in the depths of my mind.

I always put the Lord in front of me;

I will not stumble because he is on my right side.

That’s why my heart celebrates and my mood is joyous;

yes, my whole body will rest in safety

because you won’t abandon my life to the grave;

you won’t let your faithful follower see the pit.

You teach me the way of life.

In your presence is total celebration.

Beautiful things are always in your right hand.

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, Lord, are my portion, my cup; you control my destiny.

Psalm prayer

Give to us, Lord Christ,

the fullness of grace,

your presence and your very self,

for you are our portion and our delight,

now and forever.

Psalm 17


Lord, you are the one who saves those who take refuge in you.

Listen to what’s right, Lord;

pay attention to my cry!

Listen closely to my prayer;

it’s spoken by lips that don’t lie!

My justice comes from you;

let your eyes see what is right!

You have examined my heart,

testing me at night.

You’ve looked me over closely,

but haven’t found anything wrong.

My mouth doesn’t sin.

But these other people’s deeds?

I have avoided such violent ways

by the command from your lips.

My steps are set firmly on your paths;

my feet haven’t slipped.

I cry out to you because you answer me.

So tilt your ears toward me now—

listen to what I’m saying!

Manifest your faithful love in amazing ways

because you are the one

who saves those who take refuge in you,

saving them from their attackers

by your strong hand.

Watch me with the very pupil of your eye!

Hide me in the protection of your wings,

away from the wicked

who are out to get me,

away from my deadly enemies

who are all around me!

They have no pity;

their mouths speak arrogantly.

They track me down—

suddenly, they surround me!

They make their plans to put me in the dirt.

They are like a lion eager to rip its prey;

they are like a strong young lion lying in wait.

Get up, Lord!

Confront them!

Bring them down!

Rescue my life from the wicked—

use your sword!

Rescue me from these people—

use your own hands, Lord!

Rescue me from these people

whose only possession is their fleeting life.

But fill the stomachs of your cherished ones;

let their children be filled full

so that they have leftovers enough for their babies.

But me? I will see your face in righteousness;

when I awake, I will be filled full by seeing your image.

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, you are the one who saves those who take refuge in you.

Psalm prayer

Generous Lord,

deliver us from all envious thoughts,

and when we are tempted by the desire for wealth,

let us see your face;

for your abundance is enough to clothe our lack;

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, 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 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.


Lord, in your mercy

hear our prayer.

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.