Thursday, Christmas Eve
Evening Prayer

The Opening

Opening Sentence

If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night," darkness is not dark to you, O Lord; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike. Psalm 139:10, 11

Hymn: This is the truth sent from above

This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love:
Therefore don't turn me from your door,
But hearken all, both rich and poor.

The first thing which I do relate
Is that God did man create,
The next thing which to you I'll tell,
Woman was made with man to dwell.

Thus we were heirs to endless woes,
Till God the Lord did interpose,
And so a promise soon did run,
That he would redeem us by his Son.

And at that season of the year
Our blest Redeemer did appear,
He here did live, and here did preach,
and many thousands he did teach.

Thus he in love to us behaved,
To show us how we must be saved;
And if you want to know the way,
Be pleased to hear what he did say.

St. David's Cathedral Choir, Wales

Confession

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Versicle and Response

O God, make speed to save us.

O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

O Gracious Light Phos hilaron

O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

The Psalm

89 Part I Misericordias Domini or
Coverdale

1 Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing; *
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; *
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3 "I have made a covenant with my chosen one; *
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 'I will establish your line for ever, *
and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O Lord, *
and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? *
who is like the Lord among the gods?
7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, *
great and terrible to all those round about him.
8 Who is like you, Lord God of hosts? *
O mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea *
and still the surging of its waves.
10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; *
you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; *
you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12 You have made the north and the south; *
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13 You have a mighty arm; *
strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; *
love and truth go before your face.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! *
they walk, O Lord, in the light of your presence.
16 They rejoice daily in your Name; *
they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength, *
and by your favor our might is exalted.
18 Truly, the Lord is our ruler; *
The Holy One of Israel is our King.

Gloria Patri

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen. Amen.

The Lesson

The New Testament Lesson

Isaiah 59:15-21

15 Truth is lacking,
and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.


The Lord saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
and was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm brought him victory,
and his righteousness upheld him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on hishead;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in fury as in a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, so will herepay;
wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render requital.
19 So those in the west shall fear the name of the Lord,
and those in the east, his glory;
for he will come like a pent-up stream
that the wind of the Lord driveson.

20 And he will come to Zion as Redeemer,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the Lord.
21And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord: my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children, or out of the mouths of your children’s children, says the Lord, from now on and for ever.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Song of Simeon
Luke 2:29-32
Nunc dimittis

Lord, you now have set your servant free*
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior,*
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations,*
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

The New Testament Lesson

Philippians 2:5-11

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form ofGod,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exaltedhim
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55
Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;*
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:*
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him*
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,*
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,*
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers,*
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

The Creed

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He 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,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He 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.

The Prayers

The Lord's Prayer

or traditional

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.

Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Suffrages

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,

We entreat you, O Lord.

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,

We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,

We entreat you, O Lord.

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,

We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,

We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,

We entreat you, O Lord.

Collect of the Day: The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

For Mission

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

World Cycle of Prayer

We pray for the people of Swaziland.

Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer

We pray for our sisters and brothers members of the Church of the Lord (Aladura).

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymn: To my humble supplication

To my humble supplication
Lord, give ear and acceptation
Save thy servant, that hath none
Help nor hope but Thee alone. Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

Birthdays
Anniversaries
For Recovery from Sickness
For Travelers
For a Person in Trouble or Bereavement
For Those to be Baptized
For the Departed
Full list of prayers

For Those Who Need Continuing Care

Look with mercy, O God our Father, on all persons who have become ill, weak, distressed, or isolated. Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give them understanding helpers, and the willingness to accept help; and increase their faith and their assurance of your love. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Absent

O God, whose fatherly care reaches to the uttermost parts of the earth: We humbly beseech you graciously to behold and bless whom we love, now absent from us. Defend them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to you, may be bound together by your love in the communion of your Holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: Past three o'clock

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Born is a baby gentle as may be,
Son of the eternal Father supernal.

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Seraph choir singeth, angel bell ringeth,
Hark how they rhyme it, time it ,and chime it!

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Mid earth rejoices hearing such voices.
Ne'ertofore so well carolling nowell!

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Hinds o'er the pearly dewy lawn early
Seek the high stranger laid in the manager.

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Cheese from the dairy bring they for Mary,
And, not for money, butter and honey.

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Light out of star-land leadeth from far land
Princes, to meet him, worship, and greet him.

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Myrrh from full coffer, incense they offer;
Nor is the golden nugget withholden.

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Thus then, I pray you, up, sirs, nor stay you
Till ye confess him likewise and bless him.

Past three o'clock on a cold frosty morning,
Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters all.

Choir: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Women's Chorus
Words: George Ratcliff Woodward
Music: Traditional

A Prayer of Self-Dedication

Almighty and eternal God,
so draw our hearts to you,
so guide our minds,
so fill our imaginations,
so control our wills,
that we may be wholly yours,
utterly dedicated unto you;
and then use us, we pray you, as you will,
and always to your glory and the welfare of your people;
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

The General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

The Ending

Benediction

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Hymn: God Be With You

God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide, uphold you;
With his sheep securely fold you.
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet,
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.


Compline

Opening Sentence

The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.

Our help is in the Name of the Lord;

The maker of heaven and earth.

Confession

Let us confess our sins to God.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father:
We have sinned against you,
through our own fault,
in thought, and word, and deed,
and in what we have left undone.
For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
forgive us all our offenses;
and grant that we may serve you
in newness of life,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

May the Almighty God grant us forgiveness of all our sins, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.

O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi

1 In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.

3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.

4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.

5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O LORD, O God of truth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Word

Lord, you are in the midst of us, and we are called by your Name: Do not forsake us, O Lord our God. Jeremiah 14:9,22

Thanks be to God.

Responses

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit;

For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.

Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye;

Hide us under the shadow of your wings.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

The Lord's Prayer

or traditional

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.

Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

Collect

Lord, hear our prayer.

And let our cry come unto you.

Let us pray.

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other's toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Song of Simeon

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;

For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:

A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

Benediction

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.