Friday morning December 21

Saturday morning
Thursday 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.



O That Thou Wouldst the Heavens Rend

Charles Wesley

O, that thou wouldst the heavens rend,

In majesty come down,

Stretch out thine arm omnipotent,

And seize me for thine own.

Descend, and let thy lightnings burn

The stubble of thy foe;

My sins overturn, overturn, overturn,

And make the mountains flow.

Thou my impetuous spirit guide,

And curb my headstrong will;

Thou only canst drive back the tide,

And bid the sun stand still.

What though I can not break my chain,

Or ever throw off my load;

The things impossible to men,

Are possible to God.

Is there a thing too hard for thee,

Almighty Lord of all;

Whose threatening looks dry up the sea,

And make the mountains fall?

Sworn to destroy, let earth assail;

Nearer to save thou art;

Stronger than all the powers of hell,

And greater than my heart.

Confession of sin

O King enthroned on high,

filling the earth with your glory:

holy is your name,

Lord God almighty.

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

In our sinfulness we cry to you

to take our guilt away,

and to cleanse our lips to speak your word,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


May the God of all healing and forgiveness

draw us to himself,

and cleanse us from all our sins

that we may behold the glory of his Son,

the Word made flesh,

Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Word of God

Psalm 121


The Lord will protect you from all evil.

I raise my eyes toward the mountains.

Where will my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the maker of heaven and earth.

God won’t let your foot slip.

Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job.

No! Israel’s protector

never sleeps or rests!

The Lord is your protector;

the Lord is your shade right beside you.

The sun won’t strike you during the day;

neither will the moon at night.

The Lord will protect you from all evil;

God will protect your very life.

The Lord will protect you on your journeys—

whether going or coming—

from now until forever from now.

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 will protect you from all evil.

Psalm prayer

Lord, ever watchful and faithful,

we look to you to be our defense

and we lift our hearts to know your help;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 122


How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of heavenly forces!

I rejoiced with those who said to me,

“Let’s go to the Lord’s house!”

Now our feet are standing

in your gates, Jerusalem!

Jerusalem is built like a city

joined together in unity.

That is where the tribes go up—

the Lord’s tribes!

It is the law for Israel

to give thanks there to the Lord’s name,

because the thrones of justice are there—

the thrones of the house of David!

Pray that Jerusalem has peace:

“Let those who love you have rest.

Let there be peace on your walls;

let there be rest on your fortifications.”

For the sake of my family and friends,

I say, “Peace be with you, Jerusalem.”

For the sake of the Lord our God’s house

I will pray for your good.

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.


How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of heavenly forces!

Psalm prayer

God of our pilgrimage,

bring us with joy to the eternal city

founded on the rock,

and give to our earthly cities

the peace that comes from above;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Psalm 123


Our eyes attend to the Lord our God.

I raise my eyes to you—

you who rule heaven.

Just as the eyes of servants attend to their masters’ hand,

just as the eyes of a female servant attends to her mistress’ hand—

that’s how our eyes attend to the Lord our God

until he has mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, Lord! Have mercy

because we’ve had more than enough shame.

We’ve had more than enough mockery from the self-confident,

more than enough shame from the proud.

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.


Our eyes attend to the Lord our God.

Psalm prayer

Sovereign God, enthroned in the heavens,

look upon us with your eyes of mercy,

as we look on you with humility and love,

and fill our souls with your peace

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Old Testament reading
Isaiah 51:17-23

Wake yourself, wake yourself!

Rise up, Jerusalem,

who drank the cup of wrath from the Lord’s hand.

You drank; you drained the goblet of reeling.

There’s no one to guide her among all the children she bore;

there’s no one to take her by the hand among all the children she raised.

These two things have happened to you—

Who will be sorry for you?—

destruction and devastation,

famine and sword—

who will comfort you?

Your children passed out;

they lay at the head of every street like antelope in a net,

filled with the Lord’s wrath,

with the rebuke of your God.

Therefore, hear this, suffering one,

who is drunk, but not from wine.

The Lord, your Lord and your God,

who contends for his people, says:

Look, I have taken the cup of reeling,

the goblet of my wrath, from your hand.

You will no longer drink from it.

I will put it in the hand of your tormentors,

who said to you,

“Lie down so that we can walk on you.

Make your back like the ground,

like a street for those walking on it.”

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
2 Thessalonians 3

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us so that the Lord’s message will spread quickly and be honored, just like it happened with you. Pray too that we will be rescued from inappropriate and evil people since everyone that we meet won’t respond with faith. But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and protect you from the evil one. We are confident about you in the Lord—that you are doing and will keep doing what we tell you to do. May the Lord lead your hearts to express God’s love and Christ’s endurance.

Brothers and sisters, we command you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to stay away from every brother or sister who lives an undisciplined life that is not in line with the traditions that you received from us. You yourselves know how you need to imitate us because we were not undisciplined when we were with you. We didn’t eat anyone’s food without paying for it. Instead, we worked night and day with effort and hard work so that we would not impose on you. We did this to give you an example to imitate, not because we didn’t have a right to insist on financial support. Even when we were with you we were giving you this command: “If anyone doesn’t want to work, they shouldn’t eat.” We hear that some of you are living an undisciplined life. They aren’t working, but they are meddling in other people’s business. By the Lord Jesus Christ, we command and encourage such people to work quietly and put their own food on the table. Brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged in doing what is right. Take note of anyone who doesn’t obey what we have said in this letter. Don’t associate with them so they will be ashamed of themselves. Don’t treat them like enemies, but warn them like you would do for a brother or sister.

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you. I, Paul, am writing this greeting with my own hand. This verifies that the letter is from me, as in every letter of mine. This is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

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.


Father, by your Spirit

Bring in your kingdom.

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.