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Versicle

God said: “Let there be light”; and there was light,
And God saw that the light was good.
This very day the Lord has acted.
May God’s Name be praised. 

Venite [Psalm 95]

Come, let us raise a joyful song,
a shout of triumph to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into Your presence with thanksgiving,
singing songs of triumph.
For You are a great God, a great king over all gods.
The depths of the earth are in Your hands; mountains belong to You.
The sea is Yours, for You made it;
and the dry land Your hands fashioned.
Let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the One who made us.
For You are our God, and we are the flock that You shepherd.
We will know Your power and presence this day,
if we will but listen for Your voice.

Collect of the Season [A Collect for Advent]

You sent your messengers, the prophets,
to preach repentance and to prepare the way for our salvation:
Give us grace to heed their warnings, and to forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of our Redeemer...

Collect of the Office [A Collect for Morning Prayer]

Drive far from us all wrong desires,
and incline our hearts to keep Your ways:
Grant that having cheerfully done Your will this day,
we may, when night comes, rejoice and give You thanks;
through the One Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen

Canticle: Benedictus [Zechariah's Song]

Blessed be God, who has turned to His people and saved us and set us free.
You have raised up for us a strong deliverer, and so You promised:
Age after age You proclaimed by the lips of Your holy prophets,
that You would deliver us, calling to mind Your solemn covenant.
This was the promise that You made: To rescue us and free us from fear,
so that we might worship You with a holy worship,
in Your holy presence our whole life long.
In Your tender compassion, the morning sun has risen upon us –
to shine on us in our darkness, to guide our feet into the paths of peace.

Canticle of the Day [A Litany of Penitence]

Most holy and merciful God:

We confess to You and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault.
We have been deaf to Your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ, and have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

We confess to you all our past unfaithfulness:
Our pride, hypocrisy, and the impatience of our lives;
We confess to you, O Lord.
Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of others;
We confess to you, O Lord.
Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy at those more fortunate;
We confess to you, O Lord.
Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts,
and our dishonesty in daily life and work;
We confess to you, O Lord.
Our negligence in prayer and worship,
and our failure to commend the faith that is in us;
We confess to you, O Lord.

Accept our repentance for the wrongs we have done:
For our blindness to human need and suffering,
and our indifference to injustice and cruelty;
Accept our repentance, O Lord.
For all false judgements, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors,
and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us;
Accept our repentance, O Lord.
For our waste and pollution of your creation,
and our lack of concern for those who come after us;
Accept our repentance, O Lord.

Almighty God, have mercy on us:
Forgive us our sins through Jesus Christ, and strengthen us in all goodness,
and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life.
Hear us, O Lord.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us:
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.
Accomplish in us Your salvation, that we may show forth Your glory.
And by the cross and the passion of Your Son,
bring us with all Your saints to the joy of His Resurrection.
Amen.

Psalter

144. Blessed be Your Name! Blessed be our rock.

You are our help and our fortress; our deliverer and shield in whom we trust.
What are we that You should care for us, or even think of us?
Our lives are like a puff of wind; our days are but a passing shadow.
Stretch out Your hand from on high, rescue and deliver us.
We will sing to You a new song, for You alone have rescued us. [A]

May our children be well nurtured and beautiful;
May our homes and our labor be blessed.
May we not be overcome by war;
May there be no sorrow in our streets.
Happy are the people of whom this is so;
And happy are they whose God is the Almighty. [A]


145. We will exalt You, O God, and bless Your Name forever.

Great You are, and greatly to be praised; there is no end to Your greatness.
Each generation shall praise Your works to the next, declaring Your power.
We will ponder the splendor of Your majesty, and all of Your marvelous works.
We shall speak of Your mighty acts, and tell of all Your greatness.
We shall publish the remembrance of Your goodness, and of Your righteousness. [A]

You are gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great kindness.
You show Your love to us all; Your compassion is seen in all Your works.
All Your works praise You; and all Your faithful servants praise You.
They speak of Your power, and make known the glory of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is everlasting, Your dominion endures for the ages.
You uphold all those who falter, and lift up all those who are bowed down. [A]

The eyes of all are upon You, and You give them food in due season.
You open wide Your hand, and satisfy the needs of every living thing.
You are righteous in all Your ways, and loving in all Your works.
You are near to those who call upon You, and You come to help them.
You preserve all those who love You; our mouths shall speak Your praise.
Let all flesh bless Your Holy Name, forever and forever. [A]


146. We shall praise You as long as we live.

Happy are they whose help and hope is in the Almighty God:
For You made heaven and earth, and You keep faith forever.
You give food to the hungry and justice to the oppressed.
You set prisoners free, open eyes that are blind,
And You lift up those who are bowed down.
You love the righteous, care for the stranger, and sustain the lonely.
And You shall reign forever – Alleluia. [A]

Gospel

Go and let your light shine.

The kingdom must be proclaimed.
It is what I was sent to do.
While there is light,
we must carry on the work of the One Who sent us.

As I have been sent, now I am sending you.
Go on your way while there is light,
so that the darkness does not overtake you.
Trust the light while it is with you,
that you may become children.

You are being sent as lambs to the wolves.
Be as shrewd as snakes, and as innocent as doves.
Remember that prophets are without honor in their own country,
and that doctors are often ignored in their own homes.
Remember that we always live in the shadow of the cross.

Be as passersby, unseen and unnoticed.
Take no protection for the journey,
no shoes for your feet, no pack for your back.
Take the same clothes for winter and summer,
for day and for night.
Travel in peace, without useless chatter.
Let your Yes mean yes and your No mean no.
Do not tell lies
and do not do what you hate,
for all things are plain in the sight of heaven.

Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar,
give God what belongs to God.
Remember that the Father’s house is a house of prayer,
And do not make it into a den of thieves.

This is the way of the kingdom–
The sower goes out to spread the seed,
and some of the seed falls upon the path
where the birds can see it and it is gone.
Some of the seed falls on rocky soil
and it withers for lack of water.
Some of the seed falls in among the weeds and the weeds choke it out.
But some of the seed falls on good soil
and it grows to yield a rich harvest.

You are the beloved
and you will be the cause of life in many;
rejoice and be glad of it.

Enter any place that welcomes you,
tend to their sick, share their meal,
and there is where you will find the kingdom.
When they ask you where you have come from,
say to them that you have come from the Light,
and that you are its children.

Tell them the things that you have seen and heard:
That the blind can see and the lame can walk;
that the deaf can hear and the lepers are cleansed;
that the poor have heard the good news;
that the dead have come back to life.

Now go.
Go in peace.
Go and let your Light shine.

Prayers of the People

We give You thanks, Almighty God: For all Your gifts
so freely bestowed upon us and all whom You have made:
We bless You for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of life;
above all, for the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the hope of glory and for the means of grace.

We thank You, O Lord.

Grant us such an awareness of Your mercies, we pray,
that with truly thankful hearts, we may give You praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving ourselves to Your service,
and by walking before You in holiness and righteousness all our days.

Hear us, O Lord.

We offer prayers for all those with whom we share the Journey:
For our loved ones, those who have been given to us,
and to whom we have been given: [n].

Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.

For those whom we have loved who are now absent from us: [n].

Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.

And for those we know who face particular trials and tests this day: [n].

Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.

We entrust all who are dear to us to Your never-failing love and care,
for this life and the life to come;
knowing that You will do for them
far more than we can desire or pray for.

Amen.

Now with all your people on earth, we pray the prayer
that Jesus taught those He called brothers and sisters and friends:

   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, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Blessing

Thanks be to God – Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of Life.
We go in peace to serve the Lord,
and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ go with us all.

Amen.


[Taken from Venite: A Book of Daily Prayer. Please send any typos to Phil Owen.]