Saturday, December 24, 2011

Evening Prayer Guide - Christmas Eve

Parts in Italics are not spoken aloudParts in bold are spoken by all.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."    John 8:12

O God, you have caused this holy night 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.

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.

Silence may be kept.

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 you 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.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

O Gracious Light (Phos hilaron) (May be said or sung)

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 Lessons – One or two of the following lessons are read, the Reader first saying

A Reading (Lesson) from ________________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

After each Lesson the Reader may say


The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Or the Reader may say    Here ends the Lesson (Reading).

The readings are Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Titus 2:11-14, and Luke 2:1-14:

The Lesson from the Old Testament: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness
    Have seen a great light;
    Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
    Upon them a light has shined.
    You have multiplied the nation
    And increased its joy;
    They rejoice before You
    According to the joy of harvest,
    As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
    For You have broken the yoke of his burden
    And the staff of his shoulder,
    The rod of his oppressor,
    As in the day of Midian.
    For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,
    And garments rolled in blood,
    Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
    For unto us a Child is born,
    Unto us a Son is given;
    And the government will be upon His shoulder.
    And His name will be called
    Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    Of the increase of His government and peace
    There will be no end,
    Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
    To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
    From that time forward, even forever.
    The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

The response from the Psalter: Psalm 96

1    Sing to the LORD a new song; *
   sing to the LORD, all the whole earth.

2    Sing to the LORD and bless his Name; *
   proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.

3    Declare his glory among the nations *
   and his wonders among all peoples.

4    For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *
   he is more to be feared than all gods.

5    As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; *
   but it is the LORD who made the heavens.

6    Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence! *
   Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!

7    Ascribe to the LORD, you families of the peoples; *
   ascribe to the LORD honor and power.

8    Ascribe to the LORD the honor due his Name; *
   bring offerings and come into his courts.

9    Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness; *
    let the whole earth tremble before him.

10    Tell it out among the nations: "The LORD is King! *
    he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity."

11    Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it; *
    let the field be joyful and all that is therein.

12    Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the LORD when he comes, *
    when he comes to judge the earth.

13    He will judge the world with righteousness *
    and the peoples with his 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 Lesson from the Epistle: Titus 2:11-14

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

The Lesson from the Gospel: Luke 2:1-14


And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

    “Glory to God in the highest,
    And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

After the readings, a sermon or homily may be preached. The service then continues:

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy 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 thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies' sake. Amen.

The leader says one or more of the following prayers:

A Collect for Peace

Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgements, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

A Collect for Aid against Perils

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

A Collect 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.

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.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The leader may then conclude with the following

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.    Romans 15:13

Merry Christmas!

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