Third Thursday in Advent

December 15, 2011 — Leave a comment

OPENING

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

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!  (Zephaniah 3:14)
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.  (Psalm85:10-11)
The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.  (Zephaniah 3:17)

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.

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High, pervading and permeating all creation, mightily ordering all things; Come and teach us the way of prudence.  Amen.

If you are using an advent wreath, light the first, second and third candles now.
Jesus Christ, You are the Light of the world that no darkness can overcome; for You give light to those sitting in darkness.  Keep us from sin and straighten our path, so that we may be prepared for Your coming.  Amen.

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (Revelation 21:5-6)

MEDITATION

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Latin, c. 12th cent,; Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710; tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66, alt.
Stanzas 1 & 2

1
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
2
O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
Who ord’rest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

SCRIPTURE

O Lord, have mercy on us.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke the first chapter.
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.  And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.  But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.  And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.  And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.  And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.  But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.  And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”  And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.  And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”  And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple.  (Luke 1:5-21)

Thanks be to God.

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.

O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High, pervading and permeating all creation, mightily ordering all things; there are none among Your creation that could have imagined that the cross would become the power of God for those who are being saved.  You have turned our wisdom into folly and shown everlasting strength in sacrifice.  Jesus Christ the power and wisdom of God, come and teach us the way of prudence, that we may know what is good and right; the very things that come from You.  Teach us of true love, that same love of Yours that You freely laid down for the lives of all others.  Give us the strength to lay our lives down for others so that after we die our lives may be taken up again by You.  This we pray by the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, Wisdom of Ages.  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.

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

CLOSING

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

The grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.  Amen.

All scripture passages are ESV

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