December 23

   (c) 2010, Linda Witte Henke ( All rights reserved. Posted here with permission of the artist.

 *Ecce virgo concipiet, et pariet filium;

et vocabitur nomen eius Emmanuel.

We light four Candles on the Advent Wreath. Signing our lips with the Cross we say or sing:

O Holy ONE + open my lips,

~And my mouth will proclaim your praise.


Blest is the One who comes in the NAME of our God

~Hosanna in the highest!



All may sing or alternate the verses of an Advent Morning Hymn—such as

Watchman, tell us of the night, What its signs of promise are.

Traveler, o’er yon mountain’s height, See that glory-beaming star.

Watchman, does its beauteous ray Aught of joy or hope foretell?

Traveler, yes! it brings the day, Promised day for Israel.


Watchman, tell us of  the night, Higher yet that star ascends,

Traveler, blessedness and light, Peace and truth its course portends,

Watchman, will its beams alone Gild the spot that gave them birth?

Traveler, ages are its own, See it bursts o’er all the  Earth.


Watchman, tell us of the night, for the morning seems  to dawn.

Traveler, darkness takes its flight, Doubt and terror are withdrawn.

Watchman, let thy wand’rings cease; Hasten to thy quiet home.

Traveler, lo, the Prince of  Peace, Lo, the  Son of God is come.




On that promised day, all the peaks will drip with newest wine

and the hills will flow with milk and honey, alleluia!

 Psalm 114/115

I love Adonai who has heard

the cry of my appeal;

and turns an ear to me

whenever I call!


Death had me in its grip,

the grave’s trap was set;

grief and anguish held me fast.

I called on the Holy Name:

“Adonai, my God,

rescue me and set me free!”


Kind and gracious is Adonai;

gentle and full of compassion:

God shelters those who are needy,

and raises me from the dust.


Rest once more, my heart

For you know how Adonai loves.

God rescued me from death,

wiped my tears and steadied my feet.


I will walk with Adonai, my God,

in the land of the living.


Glory to the ONE and to the WORD

And to the BREATH of Love;

as always before,

so now and evermore. Amen. 

On that promised day, all the peaks will drip with newest wine

and the hills will flow with milk and honey, alleluia!


READING   Jeremiah 29: 11, 13

I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says Adonai, plans for your welfare, not for doom!  plans to give you a future full of hope.  When you look for me, you will find me, yes, when you seek me with all your heart.



R. Waiting in the night I saw in a vision one like the Son of Man coming from afar.* And like a great cloud, his glory covered the Earth. R. Run out to meet him and say: Are you the one to come, the promised one? And like a great cloud, his glory covered the Earth.



Canticle of Zachary                                                                        Luke 1:68-79

Gospel Antiphon:

 Those who believe without seeing have no fear:

in a few days, our Lord will be coming.

 It  is customary to make the sign of the cross at the beginning of the Gospel Canticle.

Blessed + be Adonai, the God of Israel,

Who visits this people to set us free

Raising for us a sign of salvation

In the house and family of David.


God promised throughout past ages

In words of holy prophets

To save us from our enemies,

And from the control of our oppressors.


Adonai favored our ancestors

And remembered the sacred covenant.

The pledge to Abraham and Sarah

Is now renewed for us;


That freed from the grip of our foes

We might worship without fear

And be both just and holy

For the rest of our days.


And you, child, called “prophet of the Most High,”

Will go ahead to prepare the way,

By teaching this people of salvation

Through forgiveness of their sins.


For the loving compassion of the Holy One

As the Rising Sun will shine on us

To illumine the darkness and dispel death’s shadow

To guide our feet on the way of peace.


Glory to the ONE and to the WORD

And to the BREATH of Love!

As always before,

so now and evermore.  Amen

Those who believe without seeing have no fear:

in a few days, our Lord will be coming.


Intercessory Prayer

Let us call out to  the One who longs to be with us: ~Come Lord Jesus

To those in darkness who are waiting for the return of light, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those left out in the cold who are waiting for heat and warmth, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those strangers and immigrants, who  are waiting for hospitality and welcome, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those sick or injured who are waiting for  care, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those in prisons or nursing homes who are waiting for visitors, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those trafficked or enslaved who are waiting for freedom,  ~Come Lord Jesus

To those marginalized and oppressed who are waiting for justice, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those caught up in consumerism who are waiting for simplicity, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those surrounded by noise who are waiting for silence, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those saddened by loss or death who are waiting for joy, ~Come Lord Jesus

To those nearing the end who are waiting for death, ~Come Lord Jesus

For all of these, we pray the words that you gave us:

Our Father …


Closing Prayer & Blessing

Creator and Redeemer of all creation, your prophets insisted that a young woman’s  new born child would be called “Emmanuel”–for God is with us!  As we make final preparations for celebrating the birth of  our Emmanuel, deepen our desire for his appearance and make us ready to welcome him in the persons you send us to love.  With all people and all creation, we cry out:  “Come to save us all, O Lord, our God!”  Amen.


May the justice and love of the + Holy ONE

prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus-Emmanuel. Amen.


Let us bless the world with peace.   ~And give thanks to God.


*The chant at the beginning is the Communion Antiphon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  The text from Isaiah is well known: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and his name will be called: Emmanuel.