Morning Prayer: Sat, 24 Dec – Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29; Luke 1:67-79 ~ rescued to serve God

Saturday in the Fourth Week of Advent

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

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29 (NLT)

Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens. The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him:
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“‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’”

All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord; myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness.
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I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth.
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I will preserve an heir for him; his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven.
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Reading: Luke 1:67-79 (NLT)

Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:

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“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant—the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.

“And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
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Prayer:

Come, Jesus, our Saviour!

+ Give us wisdom and understanding in this confusing and dangerous world
+ Place wise counsel and justice into the hearts of all who govern and rule
+ Humble us with the fear of the Lord and teach us to know the Father as he is
+ Prepare us to see the Father face to face as now we live with you in faith and hope

Come, Lord Jesus, come soon. In this time of your coming, support and console us who trust in your love. You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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“Song of Zechariah” – Diocese of St. Benedict

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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell in me and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Fri, 23 Dec – Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14; Luke 1:57-66 ~ illumine the road for me to follow

Friday in the Fourth Week of Advent

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

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14 (NLT)

"The Road to Bethlehem" Fritz von Under, 1890 Munich, Neue Pinakothek
“The Road to Bethlehem”
Fritz von Under, 1890
Munich, Neue Pinakothek

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you..
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The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
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The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
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Reading: Luke 1:57-66 (NLT)

When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.

When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”

“What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.

Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.
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Prayer:

Lord Jesus, as we await your return, give us patience and increase our faith.

+ May your glorious light illumine the darkness of a world weighed down by unbelief.
+ May your glorious light illumine the richness and complexity of human thought.
+ May your glorious light illumine the theories and philosophies of our world.
+ May your glorious light illumine our path as we journey on the road to Bethlehem.

Almighty God, now that the birthday of your Son as man is drawing near, we pray that your eternal Word made flesh, will show all tribes and nations the greatness of his love and mercy. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Light of the world” – Lauren Daigle

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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell in me and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Thu , 22 Dec – 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8; Luke 1:46-56 ~ He has set the world in order

Thursday in the Fourth Week of Advent

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

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8 (NLT)

Then Hannah prayed:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
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“The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong. Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away. The Lord gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up. The Lord makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the Lord’s, and he has set the world in order.
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Reading: Luke 1:46-56 (NLT)

magnificat-1

Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
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Prayer:

O King of all nations and head of the Church: come and save us, whom you formed from the dust! In a world divided by fear and greed, Lord Jesus, come to us in love.

+ Help us to set our hearts where they will find fulfillment and not betrayal.
+ Keep us on the path to eternal life as we proclaim your saving power to others.
+ Flood our world with the grace of your coming: let us experience the fullness of your joy.
+ Enable us to live our lives to the full in this world, and transfigure it with the hope of future glory.

God and Father, you looked with pity on fallen man and redeemed us by the coming of your Son. Grant that we who profess our firm and humble faith in the incarnation of our Redeemer may have some share in his divine life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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“The Magnificat, Canticle of Mary” – Latin Hymn, Daughters of Mary

Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo, quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae. Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes, quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est, et sanctum nomen eius, et misericordia eius in progenies et progenies timentibus eum. Fecit potentiam in brachio suo, dispersit superbos mente cordis sui; deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles; esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes. Suscepit Israel puerum suum, recordatus misericordiae, sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini eius in saecula.
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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell in me and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Wed, 21 Dec – Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21; Luke 1:39-45 ~ oh what joy!

Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Advent

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

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21 (NLT)

Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
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The Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.
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We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
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Reading: Luke 1:39-45 (NLT)

Visitation, 1528-29 San Michele, Carmignano (Florence)
Visitation, 1528-29
San Michele, Carmignano (Florence)

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
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Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, our glory lies in praising you; come to save us, and we shall bless your name. Through faith you have already led us into light; may our lives be worthy of your call.

Lord Jesus, you entered our world and shared our condition; bring health to the sick and give the dying a share in your glory. Come, Lord, do not delay.

In your goodness, Lord Jesus, listen to your people’s prayer. We rejoice in your coming in flesh and blood like ours, grant that when you come again in glory we may receive the gift of eternal life.

We ask this in your name. Amen
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“What Joy” – Sarah Emerson


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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell in me and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Tue, 20 Dec – Psalm 24:1-6; Luke 1:26-38 ~ ave Maria

Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Advent

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

Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)

+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
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Reading: Psalm 24:1-6 (NLT)

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?

Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.
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Reading: Luke 1:26-38 (NLT)

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

La Anunciación - oil -Francisco Goya (1785)
La Anunciación – oil -Francisco Goya (1785)

Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.”

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
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Prayer:

Lord, may your kingdom come!

+ Wake us from our sleep: the day of our salvation is near.
+ Help us to show our repentance by a new way of living.
+ Prepare us for the coming of your Word by opening our hearts to receive him.
+ Help us to overcome our pride, and raise us from the depths of our weakness.
+ Throw down the walls of hatred between nations, clear the way for those who work for peace.

Lord, at the angel’s message Mary, the virgin, became the temple of God and was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit when she received your divine Word. Grant that, after her example, we may humbly and steadfastly follow your will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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“Ave Maria” – Celtic Woman


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Blessing

Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell in me and be my peace today.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!