O sing to the Lord a new song:
sing to the Lord all the earth.
Glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as in the beginning, so now, and for ever. Amen.
A poem: The Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel:
who has come to his people and set them free.
The Lord has raised up for us a mighty Saviour:
born of the house of his servant David.
Through the holy prophets, God promised of old:
to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us,
To show mercy to our forebears:
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear:
holy and righteous before him, all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High:
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation:
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God:
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death:
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
The opening prayer
By night and by day we worship the Lord; let us pray with one heart and mind.
We remember God’s presence and pause in silence.
Father of lights, receive the prayer and praise we offer you as our daily sacrifice; make us a light for all the world, delivered by your goodness from all the works of darkness; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt’, but ‘As the LORD lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.’ Then they shall live in their own land.
Long may he live; unto him may be given gold from Sheba;
may prayer be made for him continually and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth, standing thick upon the hilltops;
may its fruit flourish like Lebanon and its grain grow like the grass of the field.
May his name remain for ever and be established as long as the sun endures;
may all nations be blest in him and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wonderful things.
And blessed be his glorious name for ever.
May all the earth be filled with his glory. Amen. Amen.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,
The Lord’s Prayer
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 forever.
We thank God for what we have and pray for what we need.
Today we pray for ourselves, that God would teach us to love him with everything we have and teach us to love our neighbours as ourselves. In our local church, we ask God to care for the young people in our church. In our world, we pray for people looking for work in our local community. We remember before God those who have asked for our prayers, or who are in need of them.
A prayer for the day
God our Saviour, you sent Jesus into the world of sin, and delivered him up to death for us: kindle in our hearts the same love with which he loved his own to the end; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lord be with us
now and forever.
Let us praise the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Amen.
see Revelation 22.13, 20