First Friday in Advent

December 1, 2011 — Leave a comment

OPENING

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

O LORD, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You are our potter;
we are all the work of Your hand.  (Is. 64:8)
The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The Lord sends forth from Zion
Your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of Your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of Your Youth will be Yours.
The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”  (Psalm 110:1-4)
Be not so terribly angry, O LORD,
and remember not iniquity forever.
Behold, please look, we are all Your people.  (Is. 64:9)

O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth will declare Your praise.  (Psalm 51:15)
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
Make haste to help me, O Lord.  (Psalm 70:1)

Glory be to the Father and to the + Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and will be forever amen.

Lord to You continually rises the call of the faithful.  How long, O Lord, how long shall we wait for our deliverance, for our hearts grow faint.  Your judgment that must come with Your birth is before our eyes and Your pronouncements cut us to the quick.  Let not the anxious tensions of this life or the terror of our sinful ways drown out Your clear absolution, for in You we have peace, forgiveness and new life.  Lord keep us steadfast in Your Word and in Your love.  Amen.

If you are using an advent wreath, light the first candle now.
Jesus Christ, You are the Light of the world that no darkness can overcome; for darkness is as light with You.  Keep us from sin and straighten our path, so that we may be prepared for Your coming.  Amen.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  (Rev. 21:1-2)

MEDITATION

From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee
Martin Luther, 1483-1546, tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-78, alt.
Stanzas 1, 4-5

1
From depths of woe I cry to Thee,
In trial and tribulation;
Bend down Thy gracious ear to me,
Lord, hear my supplication.
If Thou rememb’rest ev’ry sin,
Who then could heaven ever win
Or stand before thy presence?
4
And though it tarry through the night
And till the morning waken,
My heart shall never doubt His might
Nor count itself forsaken.
O Israel, trust in God Your Lord.
Born of the Spirit and the Word,
Now wait for His appearing.
5
Though great our sins,
Yet greater still is God’s abundant favor;
His hand of mercy never will
Abandon us, nor waver.
Our shepherd good and true is He,
Who will at last His Israel free
From all their sin and sorrow.

SCRIPTURE

O Lord, have mercy on us.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the nineteenth chapter.

Thanks be to God.

And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.  When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ”  So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.  And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”  And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”  And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.  And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.  As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”  (Luke 19:28-40)

In many and various ways, God spoke to His people by the prophets.
But now in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son.

PRAYERS

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

O Lord hear my prayer.
And let my cry come to You.

Lord God of Hosts who reigns on high You alone are the only holy and righteous judge of all things.  The consequence and cost of our sins is beyond our reckoning and our salvation beyond our ability.  On our own account we are sinners worthy to suffer the just pronouncements of Your law, which are eternal death and separation from You.  Merciful Father Your love is unfathomable, for You sent Your Son incarnate to bear our doom and have made us accountable to His standard by grace through faith.  Creator of all things, You have created us anew in the likeness of Your Son.  Forgive our continued sinfulness and failings as we are unable at all times to master our old selfish natures.  Give us Your wisdom that we might ponder the value You have placed on each of our heads as we consider that our Lord road triumphant into Jerusalem to willingly lay His life down as a sacrifice and ransom for our own.  We thank and praise You for Your faithfulness, even when we are faithless.  All praise and glory be to God our Heavenly Father through the life and salvific work of the Son, who is rightly worshiped together with the Holy Spirit, ever One God through all eternity.  Amen.

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, the power and the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Holy God, holy and most gracious Father
Have mercy and hear us.  Amen.

CLOSING

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.  Amen.

The Lord Almighty bless us and direct our days and our deeds in peace.  Amen.

All scripture passages are ESV

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