Thursday morning December 13

Friday morning
Wednesday 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.



Angels, Wherever We Go, Attend

Charles Wesley

Angels, wherever we go, attend

Our steps, whatever betide,

With watchful care their charge defend,

And evil turn aside.

Myriads of bright cherubic bands,

Sent by the King of kings,

Rejoice to bear us in their hands,

And shade us with their wings.

Jehovah's charioteers surround;

The ministerial choir

Encamp wherever his heirs are found,

And form our wall of fire.

Ten thousand offices unseen

For us they gladly do,

Deliver in the furnace keen,

And safe escort us through.

But thronging round, with busiest love

They guard the dying breast,

The lurking fiend far off remove,

And sing our souls to rest.

And when our spirits we resign,

On outstretched wings they bear,

And lodge us in the arms of divine,

And leave us ever there.

Confession of sin

When we cry out to the Lord in our distress,

he will save us from our desperate circumstances.

God will bring us out of darkness

and out of the shadow of death.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

A time of silence and self-examination may be kept.

May the Father forgive us

by the death of his Son

and strengthen us

to live in the power of the Spirit

all our days.


Let us thank the Lord for his faithful love,

and his wondrous works for all people.

Let us offer thanksgiving sacrifices

and declare what God has done in songs of joy.

cf Psalm 107

The Word of God

Psalm 53


The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Fools say in their hearts, There’s no God.

They are corrupt and do horrible deeds;

not one of them does anything good.

God looks down from heaven on humans

to see if anyone is wise,

to see if anyone seeks God.

But all have turned away.

Everyone is corrupt.

No one does good—

not even one person!

Are they dumb—these evildoers—

devouring my people like they are eating bread

but never calling on God?

There, where there was nothing to fear,

they will be in utter panic

because God will scatter the bones

of those who attacked you.

You will put them to shame

because God has rejected them.

Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!

When God changes

his people’s circumstances for the better,

Jacob will rejoice;

Israel will celebrate!

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 beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of the holy one is understanding.

Psalm prayer

Without you, God, nothing is real,

all things are open to corruption

and we are deadened by deceit;

do not abandon us to our folly,

but give us hearts that seek you

and, at the last, joy in your heavenly city;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 54


God is my helper; my Lord sustains my life.

God! Save me by your name;

defend me by your might!

God! Hear my prayer;

listen to the words of my mouth!

The proud have come up against me;

violent people want me dead.

They pay no attention to God.

But look here: God is my helper;

my Lord sustains my life.

He will bring disaster on my opponents.

By your faithfulness, God, destroy them!

I will sacrifice to you freely;

I will give thanks to your name, Lord,

because it’s so good,

and because God has delivered me

from every distress.

My eyes have seen my enemies’ defeat.

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 is my helper; my Lord sustains my life.

Psalm prayer

Living God,

reach through the violence of the proud

and the despair of the weak

to create in Jesus Christ

a people free to praise your holy name,

now and forever.

Psalm 60


Restore us again, O God our Savior.

God, you have rejected us—

shattered us.

You’ve been so angry.

Now restore us!

You’ve made the ground quake,

splitting it open.

Now repair its cracks

because it’s shaking apart!

You’ve made your people suffer hardship;

you’ve given us wine and we stagger.

Give a flag to those who honor you,

so they can rally around it,

safe from attack.

Save us by your power and answer us

so that the people you love might be rescued.

God has spoken in his sanctuary:

“I will celebrate as I divide up Shechem

and portion out the Succoth Valley.

Gilead is mine;

Manasseh is mine;

Ephraim is my helmet;

Judah is my scepter.

But Moab is my washbowl;

I’ll throw my shoe at Edom.

I shout in triumph over Philistia!

I wish someone would bring me to a fortified city!

I wish someone would lead me to Edom!”

But you have rejected us, God, haven’t you?

God, you no longer accompany our armies.

Give us help against the enemy;

human help is worthless.

With God we will triumph;

he’s the one who will trample our adversaries.

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.


Restore us again, O God our Savior.

Psalm prayer

Risen Christ,

you claim your own among the nations;

mend what is broken in us, loving Savior;

do not forsake us when we fail,

but in your service grant us daring and love;

for your name’s sake.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 48:1-11

Listen to this, house of Jacob,

who are known by the name of Israel,

descendants of Judah,

who swear by the Lord’s name

and invoke Israel’s God dishonestly and unrighteously.

They are known as residents of the holy city,

those who depend upon the God of Israel—

the Lord of heavenly forces is his name.

Past things I announced long ago;

from my mouth I proclaimed them.

I acted suddenly, and they came about.

Because I know that you are stubborn,

your neck is made of iron,

and your forehead is bronze.

I informed you long ago;

before they came about I proclaimed them to you

so you wouldn’t say, “My idol did them;

my wood statue and metal god commanded them.”

You’ve heard and seen all this—

won’t you admit it?

From now on I’ll tell you new things,

guarded secrets that you don’t know.

They are created now, not long ago;

before today you hadn’t heard of them,

so you won’t say, “I already knew them.”

You haven’t heard, nor have you known;

as in ages past your ears are closed,

because I knew what a traitor you were;

you were known as a rebel from birth.

For the sake of my reputation I control my anger;

for your sake I restrain my powerful radiance

so as to not destroy you.

See, I have refined you, but not like silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of misery.

For the sake of my reputation, for my own sake, I will act,

for why will my name be made impure?

I won’t give my glory to another.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
1 Thessalonians 3

So when we couldn’t stand it any longer, we thought it was a good idea to stay on in Athens by ourselves, and we sent you Timothy, who is our brother and God’s coworker in the good news about Christ. We sent him to strengthen and encourage you in your faithfulness. We didn’t want any of you to be shaken by these problems. You know very well that we were meant to go through this. In fact, when we were with you, we kept on predicting that we were going to face problems exactly like what happened, as you know. That’s why I sent Timothy to find out about your faithfulness when I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was worried that the tempter might have tempted you so that our work would have been a waste of time.

Now Timothy has returned to us from you and has given us good news about your faithfulness and love! He says that you always have good memories about us and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you. Because of this, brothers and sisters, we were encouraged in all our distress and trouble through your faithfulness. For now we are alive if you are standing your ground in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you, given all the joy we have because of you before our God? Night and day, we pray more than ever to see all of you in person and to complete whatever you still need for your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus guide us on our way back to you. May the Lord cause you to increase and enrich your love for each other and for everyone in the same way as we also love you. May the love cause your hearts to be strengthened, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his people. Amen.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)


You have shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered your holy covenant.

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 shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered your holy covenant.

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.


In faith we pray

We pray to you, our God.

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.