Saturday evening December 8

Sunday evening
Friday 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.



Open, Lord, My Inward Ear

Charles Wesley

Open, Lord, my inward ear,

and bid my heart rejoice;

Bid my quiet spirit hear

The comfort of thy voice;

Never in the whirlwind found,

or where earthquake rocks the place,

Still and silent is the sound,

The whisper of thy grace.

Show me, as my soul can bear,

the depth of inbred sin;

All my unbelief declare

the pride that lurks within:

Take me, whom Thyself hast bought,

and bring into captivity

Every high aspiring thought

that would not stoop to Thee.

Lord, my time is in thy hand,

my soul to thee convert;

Thou canst make me understand,

though I am slow of heart;

Thine in whom I live and move,

Thine, Lord, the work, the praise is thine!

Thou art wisdom, power and love,

and all thou art is mine.

From the world of sin and noise

And hurry I withdraw;

For the small and inward voice

I wait with humble awe:

Silent am I now and still,

Dare not in thy presence move;

To my waiting soul reveal

The secret of thy love.

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 27


The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Should I fear anyone?

The Lord is a fortress protecting my life.

Should I be frightened of anything?

When evildoers come at me trying to eat me up—

it’s they, my foes and my enemies,

who stumble and fall!

If an army camps against me,

my heart won’t be afraid.

If war comes up against me,

I will continue to trust in this:

I have asked one thing from the Lord—

it’s all I seek:

to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life,

seeing the Lord’s beauty

and constantly adoring his temple.

Because he will shelter me in his own dwelling

during troubling times;

he will hide me in a secret place in his own tent;

he will set me up high, safe on a rock.

Now my head is higher than the enemies surrounding me,

and I will offer sacrifices in God’s tent—

sacrifices with shouts of joy!

I will sing and praise the Lord.

Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out—

have mercy on me and answer me!

Come, my heart says, seek God’s face.

Lord, I do seek your face!

Please don’t hide it from me!

Don’t push your servant aside angrily—

you have been my help!

God who saves me,

don’t neglect me!

Don’t leave me all alone!

Even if my father and mother left me all alone,

the Lord would take me in.

Lord, teach me your way;

because of my opponents, lead me on a good path.

Don’t give me over to the desires of my enemies,

because false witnesses and violent accusers

have taken their stand against me.

But I have sure faith

that I will experience the Lord’s goodness

in the land of the living!

Hope in the Lord!

Be strong! Let your heart take courage!

Hope in the Lord!

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.


The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Psalm prayer

God, our light and our salvation,

illuminate our lives,

that we may see your goodness in the land of the living,

and, looking on your beauty,

may be changed into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 28


The Lord is my strength and my shield.

I cry out to you, Lord.

You are my rock; don’t refuse to hear me.

If you won’t talk to me,

I’ll be just like those going down to the pit.

Listen to my request for mercy when I cry out to you,

when I lift up my hands to your holy inner sanctuary.

Don’t drag me off with the wicked and those who do evil;

the type who talk nice to their friends

while evil thoughts are in their hearts!

Pay them back for what they’ve done!

Pay them back for their evil deeds!

Pay them back for their handiwork!

Give back to them exactly what they deserve!

Because they have no regard for what the Lord has done,

no regard for his handiwork,

God will tear them down and never rebuild!

Bless the Lord

because he has listened to my request for mercy!

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

My heart trusts him.

I was helped, my heart rejoiced,

and I thank him with my song.

The Lord is his people’s strength;

he is a fortress of protection for his anointed one.

Save your people, God!

Bless your possession!

Shepherd them and carry them for all time!

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.


The Lord is my strength and my shield.

Psalm prayer

Hear us, Shepherd of your people,

forgive us our sins

and, in a world of pretenses,

make us true in heart and mind;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 29:15-24

Doom to those who hide their plan deep, away from the Lord,

whose deeds are in the dark,

who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”

You have everything backward!

Should the potter be thought of as clay?

Should what is made say of its maker,

“He didn’t make me”?

Should what is shaped say of the one who shaped it,

“He doesn’t understand”?

In just a little while won’t Lebanon become farmland once again,

and the farmland be considered a forest?

On that day: The deaf will hear the words of a scroll and, freed from dimness and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

The poor will again find joy in the Lord,

and the neediest of people will rejoice in the holy one of Israel.

The tyrant will be no more,

the mocker will perish,

and all who plot evil will be eliminated:

all who incriminate others wrongly,

who entrap the judge in the gate,

and pointlessly postpone justice for the innocent.

Therefore, proclaims the Lord,

the God of the house of Jacob,

who redeemed Abraham:

Jacob won’t be ashamed now,

and his face won’t grow pale now.

When he sees his children among them,

the work of my hands,

proclaiming my name holy,

they will make holy the holy one of Jacob,

and stand in awe of Israel’s God.

Those who wander in spirit will have understanding,

and those who grumble will gain insight.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Matthew 13:44-58

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that somebody hid in a field, which someone else found and covered up. Full of joy, the finder sold everything and bought that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one very precious pearl, he went and sold all that he owned and bought it.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that people threw into the lake and gathered all kinds of fish. When it was full, they pulled it to the shore, where they sat down and put the good fish together into containers. But the bad fish they threw away. That’s the way it will be at the end of the present age. The angels will go out and separate the evil people from the righteous people, and will throw the evil ones into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.

“Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

They said to him, “Yes.”

Then he said to them, “Therefore, every legal expert who has been trained as a disciple for the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings old and new things out of their treasure chest.”

When Jesus finished these parables, he departed. When he came to his hometown, he taught the people in their synagogue. They were surprised and said, “Where did he get this wisdom? Where did he get the power to work miracles? Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother named Mary? Aren’t James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? And his sisters, aren’t they here with us? Where did this man get all this?” They were repulsed by him and fell into sin.

But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns and in their own households.” He was unable to do many miracles there because of their disbelief.

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, hear your people

and answer our prayers.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

O Lord, raise up, we pray, your power

and come among us,

and with great might succor us;

that whereas, through our sins and wickedness

we are grievously hindered

in running the race that is set before us,

your bountiful grace and mercy

may speedily help and deliver us;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit,

be honor and glory, 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.