When these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7-8
INVITATORY AND PSALTER
O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.
Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.
Hymn: O Gracious Light
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.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart; *
I will tell of all your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in you; *
I will sing to your Name, O Most High.
When my enemies are driven back, *
they will stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have maintained my right and my cause; *
you sit upon your throne judging right.
You have rebuked the ungodly and destroyed the wicked; *
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
As for the enemy, they are finished, in perpetual ruin, *
their cities ploughed under, the memory of them perished;
But the LORD is enthroned for ever; *
he has set up his throne for judgment.
It is he who rules the world with righteousness; *
he judges the peoples with equity.
The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed, *
a refuge in time of trouble.
Those who know your Name will put their trust in you, *
for you never forsake those who seek you, O LORD.
Sing praise to the LORD who dwells in Zion; *
proclaim to the peoples the things he has done.
The Avenger of blood will remember them; *
he will not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Have pity on me, O LORD; *
see the misery I suffer from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gate of death;
So that I may tell of all your praises and rejoice in your salvation *
in the gates of the city of Zion.
The ungodly have fallen into the pit they dug, *
and in the snare they set is their own foot caught.
The LORD is known by his acts of justice; *
the wicked are trapped in the works of their own hands.
The wicked shall be given over to the grave, *
and also all the peoples that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, *
and the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Rise up, O LORD, let not the ungodly have the upper hand; *
let them be judged before you.
Put fear upon them, O LORD; *
let the ungodly know they are but mortal.
LORD, who may dwell in your tabernacle? *
who may abide upon your holy hill?
Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right, *
who speaks the truth from his heart.
There is no guile upon his tongue;
he does no evil to his friend; *
he does not heap contempt upon his neighbor.
In his sight the wicked is rejected, *
but he honors those who fear the LORD.
He has sworn to do no wrong *
and does not take back his word.
He does not give his money in hope of gain, *
nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things *
shall never be overthrown.
Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God: *
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
Luke 21:20-28 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfillment of all that is written. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Canticle: A Song of God’s Love
1 John 4:7-11
Beloved, let us love one another, *
for love is of God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, *
for God is Love.
In this the love of God was revealed among us, *
that God sent his only Son into the world,
so that we might live through Jesus Christ.
In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us *
and sent his Son that sins might be forgiven.
Beloved, since God loved us so much, *
we ought also to love one another.
For if we love one another, God abides in us, *
and God’s love will be perfected in us.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and 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.
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.
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.
Collect of the Day: Thomas Merton, Contemplative and Writer, 1968
Gracious God, you called your monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
[A Homemade Prayer for Monday of Advent 2
by Josh Thomas
Sometimes, God, I have to stop what I’m doing, when I realize it’s not right for me. My head gets overloaded; I’m learning about one thing and thinking about another, starting a new task and missing an old friend. I’m pulling myself in twenty directions but centered on none of them. I need to simplify, breathe, just be a body and take care of me. Soon it will be time for a long winter’s nap; thank you for keeping the world spinning without me. 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 Peace
Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, 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 Mission
O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.++