Year V: Christmas Triduum

Boxing Day: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

 

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Revelation 19:11-21

The Rider on the White Horse

Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and True, and he is right when he judges and makes war. His eyes are like burning fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. Out of the rider’s mouth comes a sharp sword that he will use to defeat the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will crush out the wine in the winepress of the terrible anger of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his upper leg was written this name: king of kings and lord of lords.

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he called with a loud voice to all the birds flying in the sky: “Come and gather together for the great feast of God so that you can eat the bodies of kings, generals, mighty people, horses and their riders, and the bodies of all people—free, slave, small, and great.”

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth. Their armies were gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who did the miracles for the beast. The false prophet had used these miracles to trick those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his idol. The false prophet and the beast were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And their armies were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds ate the bodies until they were full.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May the peace of this season rest in our hearts, now and forever. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Christmas Triduum

Boxing Day: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Today is the second day of the traditional “12 Days of Christmas” during which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. We refer to this day as ‘Boxing Day’ because on this day, gifts were placed into festive boxes and distributed to the poor and those in need. On this Boxing Day afternoon, our readings continue with the great Messianic prophecies of Isaiah as we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 110

A psalm of David.

The Lord said to my Lord,
    “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies,
    making them a footstool under your feet.”

The Lord will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem;
    you will rule over your enemies.
When you go to war,
    your people will serve you willingly.
You are arrayed in holy garments,
    and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.

The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
    “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you.
    He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts.
He will punish the nations
    and fill their lands with corpses;
    he will shatter heads over the whole earth.
But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.
    He will be victorious.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Isaiah 61:1-11

The Lord’s Message of Freedom

The Lord God has put his Spirit in me,
    because the Lord has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken,
to tell the captives they are free,
    and to tell the prisoners they are released.
He has sent me to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness
    and the time when our God will punish evil people.
He has sent me to comfort all those who are sad
and to help the sorrowing people of Jerusalem.
I will give them a crown to replace their ashes,
    and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow,
    and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness.
Then they will be called Trees of Goodness,
    trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.

They will rebuild the old ruins
    and restore the places destroyed long ago.
They will repair the ruined cities
    that were destroyed for so long.

My people, foreigners will come to tend your sheep.
    People from other countries will tend your fields and vineyards.
You will be called priests of the Lord;
    you will be named the servants of our God.
You will have riches from all the nations on earth,
    and you will take pride in them.
Instead of being ashamed, my people will receive twice as much wealth.
    Instead of being disgraced, they will be happy because of what they receive.
They will receive a double share of the land,
    so their happiness will continue forever.
“I, the Lord, love justice.
    I hate stealing and everything that is wrong.
I will be fair and give my people what they should have,
    and I will make an agreement with them that will continue forever.
Everyone in all nations will know the children of my people,
    and their children will be known among the nations.
Anyone who sees them will know
    that they are people the Lord has blessed.”

The Lord makes me very happy;
    all that I am rejoices in my God.
He has covered me with clothes of salvation
    and wrapped me with a coat of goodness,
like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding,
    like a bride dressed in jewels.
The earth causes plants to grow,
    and a garden causes the seeds planted in it to grow.
In the same way the Lord God will make goodness and praise
    come from all the nations.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus we continue to praise you for your goodness to us,
For coming to save us, just as you declared,
And keeping our souls safe, just as you promised. Amen

 

GRACE (Optional)

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.

May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.

May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.

Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Christmas Triduum

Boxing Day: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: St. Stephen, Martyr (Boxing Day): Today is the second day of the traditional “12 Days of Christmas” during which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. We refer to this day as ‘Boxing Day’ because on this day, gifts were placed into festive boxes and distributed to the poor and those in need. It is also the day we remember the first martyr of the early church, St. Stephen, who was a Deacon of the early church in Jerusalem and was stoned to death for his faith by an angry mob.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 24 (Domini est terra)

All:

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 103

A psalm of David.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
    of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Thank you for the blessings of this season and your goodness to us yesterday. Grant us rest in our spirits and joy in our hearts as we continue to celebrate your birth in Bethlehem. Let the Christmas story be ever on our lips…
    – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For gifts and those who gave them we give you thanks, but most of all we thank you for your Son, the greatest gift and worship you eternally…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For safe travel and a peaceful spirit as we go our way today. May we be ever changed by what we have experienced of your goodness…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you cared for family upon earth, provided for your mother upon the cross and have supplied your people through the ages. As your brothers and sisters, we stand in awe of your love…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • May we be ministers of truth and love to our family and loved ones. May we have ears to listen and words to speak…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • May our families be strengthened and the bonds of love increased. May our homes reflect the Kingdom and the Kingdom be manifest in our homes…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.

The Church

  • Lord God, let your church rise up with renewed strength! As you came to us two thousand years ago, come again to your temple and inhabit your people. Let the earth resound with praises:
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For opportunities for evangelism and the sharing of your Word we pray. Let your voice be heard in the voice of your people…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For those of the persecuted church, that have kept this Christmas in hiding. Strengthen their spirits and let fresh faith and hope be birthed within them…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.

The World

  • Mighty God, we give you thanks for the beauty of this wide world and the heavens that declare the glory of God. This Christmas, when the twinkle of fairy-lights has faded, let the seed of the gospel remain in hearts…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For governments, world leaders and those in power. May the kingdoms of this earth become the kingdom of our God…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.
  • For your soon return, that in this final hour many will be gathered in before the sounding of the last trumpet…
             – For our eyes have seen your salvation.


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Luke 2:22-39

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

When the time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the law of Moses taught about being made pure, they took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (It is written in the law of the Lord: “Every firstborn male shall be given to the Lord.”) Mary and Joseph also went to offer a sacrifice, as the law of the Lord says: “You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons.”

Simeon Sees Jesus

In Jerusalem lived a man named Simeon who was a good man and godly. He was waiting for the time when God would take away Israel’s sorrow, and the Holy Spirit was in him. Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Christ promised by the Lord. The Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple to do what the law said they must do, Simeon took the baby in his arms and thanked God:

“Now, Lord, you can let me, your servant,
    die in peace as you said.
With my own eyes I have seen your salvation,
which you prepared before all people.
It is a light for the non-Jewish people to see
    and an honor for your people, the Israelites.”

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what Simeon had said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “God has chosen this child to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God that many people will not accept so that the thoughts of many will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart sad, too.”

Anna Sees Jesus

There was a prophetess, Anna, from the family of Phanuel in the tribe of Asher. Anna was very old. She had once been married for seven years. Then her husband died, and she was a widow for eighty-four years. Anna never left the Temple but worshiped God, going without food and praying day and night. Standing there at that time, she thanked God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem.

Joseph and Mary Return Home

When Joseph and Mary had done everything the law of the Lord commanded, they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Community: The Principle of Small Groups.

Mindful that the excitement of celebration must be balanced with the growth that can only happen in a smaller group, I commit myself to being part of a smaller midweek gathering. As a follower of the Way of Community, I dedicate myself to the support and encouragement of this group of like-minded pilgrims.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Small Groups.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And 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, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son,
To take our nature upon him, and to be born of a pure virgin:
Grant that we, who have been born again,
And made your children by adoption and grace,
May daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
To whom with you and the same Spirit,
Be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one all things earthly and heavenly,
Fill you with joy and peace. Amen.


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Christmas Triduum

Christmas Day: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 31:1-5

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
    don’t let me be disgraced.
    Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
    rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
    a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
    For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
    for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
    Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Revelation 19:6-10

Then I heard what sounded like a great many people, like the noise of flooding water, and like the noise of loud thunder. The people were saying:

“Hallelujah!
    Our Lord God, the Almighty, rules.
Let us rejoice and be happy
    and give God glory,
because the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and the Lamb’s bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear.”

(The fine linen means the good things done by God’s holy people.)

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding meal of the Lamb!” And the angel said, “These are the true words of God.”

Then I bowed down at the angel’s feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Do not worship me! I am a servant like you and your brothers and sisters who have the message of Jesus. Worship God, because the message about Jesus is the spirit that gives all prophecy.”

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

 

RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

May God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Watch over us this night,
And may the hope of Christ’s return,
Be born is us afresh. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Christmas Triduum

Christmas Day: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We hope you’re enjoying this Christmas Day and have found time amidst the gifts and the glitter to keep the Rhythm going! Why not take the afternoon prayers and say them together with whoever you have around your table, or maybe later on once the dishes are done and the you can finally sit down.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 98

A Psalm.

Sing a new song to the Lord,
    for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
    his holy arm has shown his saving power!
The Lord has announced his victory
    and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
    The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
    break out in praise and sing for joy!
Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and melodious song,
with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
    Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the earth and all living things join in.
Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
    Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
    and the nations with fairness.

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful is the person
    who comes over the mountains to bring good news,
who announces peace
    and brings good news,
    who announces salvation
and says to Jerusalem,
    “Your God is King.”
Listen! Your guards are shouting.
    They are all shouting for joy!
They all will see with their own eyes
    when the Lord returns to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, your buildings are destroyed now,
    but shout and rejoice together,
because the Lord has comforted his people.
    He has saved Jerusalem.
The Lord will show his holy power
    to all the nations.
Then everyone on earth
    will see the salvation of our God.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Mighty God, we praise you for this joyful day,
For friends, family and faith,
For your Covenant ever renewed,
And the hope of your soon return. Amen

GRACE (Optional)

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Christmas Triduum

Christmas Day: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Merry Christmas everyone! Today is not only Christmas Day but also the first day of the traditional “12 Days of Christmas” during which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. From everyone at Life Rhythm, we pray for a joy filled day and thank you for joining us in prayer this year. As with all of the most important days in the Christian calendar, today the Apostles Creed is replaced by the rather longer Nicene Creed. In the midst of the festivities, keep the Rhythm and the Rhythm will keep you…


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 24 (Domini est terra)

All:

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 97

The Lord is king!
    Let the earth rejoice!
    Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
Dark clouds surround him.
    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire spreads ahead of him
    and burns up all his foes.
His lightning flashes out across the world.
    The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
    every nation sees his glory.
Those who worship idols are disgraced—
    all who brag about their worthless gods—
    for every god must bow to him.
Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced,
    and all the towns of Judah are glad
    because of your justice, O Lord!
For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.

You who love the Lord, hate evil!
    He protects the lives of his godly people
    and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
Light shines on the godly,
    and joy on those whose hearts are right.
May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord
    and praise his holy name!

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Thank you Father for this Christmas morning! Thank you for sending your Son to save us! As we celebrate this day, may our hearts be filled with the joy of that first Christmas.
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • May we be filled with patience and love for those around us, and empowered to be the bearers of gladness to those we meet.
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • May Christ Jesus find room in our hearts today and may all we do be for your glory and in remembrance of your love.
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, today of all days we thank you for our family and friends. May they know peace in their hearts and happiness in life. Banish the darkness that so often clouds lives and let your light shine!
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For those who are alone today, that they find may find a home in our home and a hope in our hope…
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For the children and little ones of our Church and community, that today may be a day of wonder and awe.
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!

The Church

  • Lord God, bless your church today! May the life of Jesus be ever birthed within her and the atmosphere of heaven surround her. May she boldly proclaim the word of hope on this great day!
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For the Church Triumphant, who have finished their course and celebrate with you forever in glory…
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For the Church Militant, and especially those who suffer persecution…
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For our church and ministry leaders, that they may know rest, refreshment and renewal…
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!

The World

  • Mighty God, as Christmas morning dawns, may the power of your gospel permeate every tribe, land and tongue. May nations come to your light as we pray…
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For peace on earth, and goodwill towards men…
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel!
  • For your Second Coming, when nations will no longer take up sword against nation or train for war any more…
             – Come, O come to us, Immanuel…


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Luke 2:15-21

When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”

So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child. Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them. Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.

When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised and was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Community: The Principle of Celebration.

Recognising the power of corporate witness and worship, I prioritise the Sunday gatherings of my church, committing to being a contributor and not just a consumer. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will find a place to serve within the church and arrive on time, with an expectant heart and a cheerful spirit.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Celebration.


Pause for Reflection…


THE NICENE CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
Of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
Eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
True God from true God,
Begotten, not created,
Of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation,
He came down from heaven:
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
And was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again,
In accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
And his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the world to come. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival,
Of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ:
Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer,
May with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge;
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and forever. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the joy and wonder of this Christmas day,
Remain in your hearts as you serve the one who came to serve. Amen.


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Christmas Triduum

Christmas Eve: Compline

ABOUT COMPLINE

Compline (which comes from the Latin word for completion) follows a very ancient format that has been largely unchanged for many centuries. It is simple enough to memorise and it’s familiar rhythm helps to wonderfully settle the mind before sleep. It is a time of quietness and reflection and is best done as the very last thing you do before turning off the lights and going to sleep.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


EXAMINATION OF
CONSCIENCE

We are called to have a clear conscience towards God and towards men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask His strength to do better.


Pause for Reflection…

All: (When praying in community, use the words in parenthesis)

I confess to God almighty,
(and to you my brothers and sisters,)
that I have greatly sinned,
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
Through my fault, through my foolishness,
And through my fear.

Almighty God, have mercy upon me.
Forgive me all my sins,
and deliver me from all evil.
Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness,
and bring me to life everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pause for Reflection…

Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.
Reader:
Christ, Have mercy.
All:
Christ, have mercy.
Reader:
Lord, Have mercy.
All:
Lord, have mercy.


EVENING PSALM

Psalm 91

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


NEW TESTAMENT READING

Revelation 19:1-5

People in Heaven Praise God

After this vision and announcement I heard what sounded like a great many people in heaven saying:

“Hallelujah!
Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God,
because his judgments are true and right.
He has punished the prostitute
    who made the earth evil with her sexual sin.
He has paid her back for the death of his servants.”

Again they said:

“Hallelujah!
She is burning, and her smoke will rise forever and ever.”

Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures bowed down and worshiped God, who sits on the throne. They said:

“Amen, Hallelujah!”

Then a voice came from the throne, saying:

“Praise our God, all you who serve him
    and all you who honor him, both small and great!”

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


RESPONSORY

Reader:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Reader:
You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
All:
I commend my spirit.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.


SONG OF SIMEON
(Nunc Dimitis)

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
A light to reveal you to the nations,
and the glory of your people, Israel.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

All:
Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake;
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, may rest in his peace.


PRAYER

(You might like to spend a few moments thanking God for the day or bringing to him any outstanding issues.)


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Be present, O God,
And protect us through the silent hours of this night,
So that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
May rest upon your eternal changelessness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your son our Lord,
Who is alive and reigns with you,
In the unity of the Spirit,
One God, now and forever, Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the joy of Christmas be in our hearts,
And the peace of Christ be in our souls this night. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Year V: Christmas Triduum

Christmas Eve: Afternoon Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

As we prepare for Christmas Day our emphasis becomes one of joyful celebration. In our readings we join the shepherds on the hillside, are reminded of Isaiah’s great prophecy concerning the coming Messiah and find our place alongside the angels and saints around the Throne in the book of Revelation.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
God, come to my assistance.
All:
Lord, make haste to help me.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


AFTERNOON PSALM

Psalm 96

Sing a new song to the Lord!
    Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround him;
    strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
    recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
    Bring your offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
    Let all the earth tremble before him.
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
    The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
    He will judge all peoples fairly.

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
    Let the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he is coming!
    He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
    and the nations with his truth.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP
(Optional)

All:
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


OLD TESTAMENT READING

Isaiah 9:2-7

Before those people lived in darkness,
    but now they have seen a great light.
They lived in a dark land,
    but a light has shined on them.
God, you have caused the nation to grow
    and made the people happy.
And they have shown their happiness to you,
    like the joy during harvest time,
like the joy of people
    taking what they have won in war.
Like the time you defeated Midian,
    you have taken away their heavy load
and the heavy pole from their backs
    and the rod the enemy used to punish them.
Every boot that marched in battle
    and every uniform stained with blood
    has been thrown into the fire.
A child has been born to us;
    God has given a son to us.
    He will be responsible for leading the people.
His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God,
    Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.
Power and peace will be in his kingdom
    and will continue to grow forever.
He will rule as king on David’s throne
    and over David’s kingdom.
He will make it strong
    by ruling with justice and goodness
    from now on and forever.
The Lord All-Powerful will do this
    because of his strong love for his people.

Reader:
The Word of the Lord.
All:
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


PRAYER

(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)

Reader:
Lord Jesus, as we prepare to celebrate your birth,
May we be joyful in remembrance of your Advent,
Mindful of your presence in our midst,
And longing for your soon return to earth.
Amen

GRACE (Optional)

Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Standard
Year V: Christmas Triduum

Christmas Eve: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Vigil: Christmas Eve: On Christmas Day our emphasis becomes one of joyful celebration, but today we find ourselves in deep anticipation for the coming Saviour. In our readings we join the shepherds on the hillside, are reminded of Isaiah’s great prophecy concerning the coming Messiah and find our place alongside the angels and saints around the Throne in the book of Revelation. Tonight we keep vigil for the coming Christmas Day.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All:
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:

Psalm 24 (Domini est terra)

All:

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
    a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
    and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
    His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
    the flock under his care.

If only you would listen to his voice today!
The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah,
    as they did at Massah in the wilderness.
For there your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
    even though they saw everything I did.
For forty years I was angry with them, and I said,
‘They are a people whose hearts turn away from me.
    They refuse to do what I tell them.’
So in my anger I took an oath:
    ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”

All:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen


WORSHIP

All:
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests

  • Mighty God, we thank you for bringing us again to this wonderful season. Open our hearts to your love and our minds to your truth. Banish all fear and the clouds of the past as we proclaim…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • Help us today in our preparations, and keep us mindful of the reason for the season. May thankfulness permeate our entire day as we announce…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • Keep us in fellowship with you, and in oneness with our brothers and sisters. Make us instruments of your peace this Christmas as we acknowledge…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.

Family & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, today we celebrate the eve of your birth. As your family found refuge in the stable when there was no room at the inn, we pray for the safe gathering of our families and friends at this Christmastime, as we join with angels to declare…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • For our children, parents, loved ones and the stranger that may find refuge with us, may they experience your blessing as we pray…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • Give us eyes O God to identify the lonely, the depressed, the discouraged and the hurting. Empower us not only to see them but to make a difference; that we may demonstrate…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.

The Church

  • Lord God, shine on your church today! May she be resplendent in beauty, awesome in holiness and terrible as an army with banners! May you be ever born anew in your Body, the Church, that she can resound the cry…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • For power in her witness and clarity in her message. May the words the shepherds heard be echoed afresh as we exclaim…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • For Christmas services everywhere, watch-night vigils and evangelistic outreach. May they be effective in broadcasting the message…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • For our home-church and community. For refreshing rest, edifying fellowship and sanctified fun. May we ever exhibit…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.

The World

  • Mighty God, as the world often sees only gifts around the tree and food on the table, we remember before you those who have no home, no food and no gifts. Heal our world and bring hope to those who have no hope this Christmas as we pray for…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • For areas of conflict and war and people groups cruelly repressed. Hear their cry and make us the solution to their need as we appeal to you for…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
  • For those of your people who tomorrow will speak to millions. For Pastors, Bishops, Archbishops, Popes and all who open their mouth in your name. May their words bring…
             – Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.


THE LORD’S
PRAYER

Reader:
And so we pray…

All:
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever. Amen.


GOSPEL READING

Luke 2:1-14

The Birth of Jesus

At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order that all people in the countries under Roman rule must list their names in a register. This was the first registration; it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to their own towns to be registered.

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was now pregnant. While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.

Shepherds Hear About Jesus

That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:

“Give glory to God in heaven,
    and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”

Reader:  
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Moderation.

Recognising that my body is a temple, and that a simple life lived at a sustainable speed is deeply beneficial, I choose to be mindful of my habits of diet and exercise, and to dress simply and modestly. As a follower of the Way of Simplicity, I will not overeat, consume excess intoxicating substances, pollute my mind with impure thoughts or neglect my body through lack of adequate exercise.

All:
This is The Way of Simplicity: The Principle of Moderation.


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader:
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And 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, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

O God, you have caused this holy season to shine
With the brightness of the true Light:
Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth,
May also enjoy him perfectly in heaven;
Where with you and the Holy Spirit,
He lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may God the Holy Spirit,
By whose working the Virgin Mary conceived the Christ,
Help us bear the fruits of holiness. Amen.


Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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