Thursday morning December 20

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.



Blest Be Our Everlasting Lord

Charles Wesley

Blest be our everlasting Lord,

Our Father, God, and King!

Thy sovereign goodness we record,

Thy glorious power we sing.

By thee the victory is given:

The majesty divine,

Wisdom and might, and earth and heaven,

And all therein are thine.

The kingdom, Lord, is thine alone,

Who dost thy right maintain,

And high on thine eternal throne,

Over men and angels reign.

Riches, as seemeth good to thee,

Thou dost, and honor give;

And kings their power and dignity

Out of thy hand receive.

Thou hast on us the grace bestowed,

Thy greatness to proclaim;

And therefore now thank we our God,

And praise thy glorious name.

Thy glorious name, thy nature’s powers,

Thou hast to man made known;

And all the Deity is ours,

Through thy incarnate Son.

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 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.

Psalm 95


Come, let’s worship and bow down!

Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord!

Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!

Let’s come before him with thanks!

Let’s shout songs of joy to him!

The Lord is a great God,

the great king over all other gods.

The earth’s depths are in his hands;

the mountain heights belong to him;

the sea, which he made, is his

along with the dry ground,

which his own hands formed.

Come, let’s worship and bow down!

Let’s kneel before the Lord, our maker!

He is our God,

and we are the people of his pasture,

the sheep in his hands.

If only you would listen to his voice right now!

“Don’t harden your hearts

like you did at Meribah,

like you did when you were at Massah,

in the wilderness,

when your ancestors tested me

and scrutinized me,

even though they had already seen my acts.

For forty years I despised that generation;

I said, ‘These people have twisted hearts.

They don’t know my ways.’

So in anger I swore:

‘They will never enter my place of rest!’”

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.


Come, let’s worship and bow down!

Psalm prayer

Lord God, the maker of all,

as we bow down in praise this day,

make us attentive to your voice

and do not test us beyond our enduring;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 51:9-16

Awake, awake, put on strength,

arm of the Lord.

Awake as in times past,

generations long ago.

Aren’t you the one who crushed Rahab,

who pierced the dragon?

Didn’t you dry up the sea,

the waters of the great deep?

And didn’t you make the redeemed a road to cross

through the depths of the sea,

a road for the redeemed to pass?

Then let those ransomed by the Lord return

and come to Zion with singing

and with everlasting joy upon their heads.

Let happiness and joy overwhelm them;

let grief and groaning flee.

I, I am the one who comforts you.

Why should you fear humans who will die,

mortals who are treated like grass?

You forgot the Lord your maker,

the one who stretched out the heavens

and founded the earth.

You were continually afraid, all day long,

on account of the oppressor’s wrath—

a fear by which they intend to destroy you.

Where now is the oppressor’s wrath?

The imprisoned ones will soon be released;

they won’t die in the pit

or even lack bread.

I am the Lord your God,

who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—

the Lord of heavenly forces is his name.

I put my words in your mouth

and hid you in the shadow of my hand,

stretching out the heavens, founding the earth,

and saying to Zion, “You are my people.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
2 Thessalonians 2

Brothers and sisters, we have a request for you concerning our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming and when we are gathered together to be with him. We don’t want you to be easily confused in your mind or upset if you hear that the day of the Lord is already here, whether you hear it through some spirit, a message, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. That day won’t come unless the rebellion comes first and the person who is lawless is revealed, who is headed for destruction. He is the opponent of every so-called god or object of worship and promotes himself over them. So he sits in God’s temple, displaying himself to show that he is God. You remember that I used to tell you these things while I was with you, don’t you? Now you know what holds him back so that he can be revealed when his time comes. The hidden plan to live without any law is at work now, but it will be secret only until the one who is holding it back is out of the way. Then the person who is lawless will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath from his mouth. When the Lord comes, his appearance will put an end to him. When the person who is lawless comes, it will happen through Satan’s effort, with all kinds of fake power, signs, and wonders. It will happen with every sort of wicked deception of those who are heading toward destruction because they have refused to love the truth that would allow them to be saved. This is why God will send them an influence that will mislead them so that they will believe the lie. The result will be that everyone will be judged who is not convinced by the truth but is happy with injustice.

But we always must thank God for you, brothers and sisters who are loved by God. This is because he chose you from the beginning to be the first crop of the harvest. This brought salvation, through your dedication to God by the Spirit and through your belief in the truth. God called all of you through our good news so you could possess the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions we taught you, whether we taught you in person or through our letter. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and a good hope. May he encourage your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do or say.

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 Jesus Christ,

who at your first coming sent your messenger

to prepare your way before you:

grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries

may likewise so prepare and make ready your way

by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,

that at your second coming to judge the world

we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;

for you are alive and reign with the Father

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.