Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

“The Lord calls all those he has redeemed to sing a hymn of victory” (St Athanasius).

The Lord is close at hand: come, let us worship him.

The Lord is close at hand: come, let us worship him.

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy.

The Lord is close at hand: come, let us worship him.

Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.

The Lord is close at hand: come, let us worship him.

Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.

The Lord is close at hand: come, let us worship him.

Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age.

The Lord is close at hand: come, let us worship him.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord is close at hand: come, let us worship him.


Hymn

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 you, O Israel!

O come, now Wisdom from on high,
Who orders all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

O come, O come, now Lord of might,
Who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times you gave the law,
In cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!


Psalm 100 (101)
The declaration of a just ruler

“If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).

The Lord will come from his holy place to save his people.

My song is of mercy and justice;
I sing to you, O Lord.
I will walk in the way of perfection.
O when, Lord, will you come?

I will walk with blameless heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
whatever is base.

I will hate the ways of the crooked;
they shall not be my friends.
The false-hearted must keep far away;
the wicked I disown.

The man who slanders his neighbour in secret
I will bring to silence.
The man of proud looks and haughty heart
I will never endure.

I look to the faithful in the land
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of perfection
shall be my friend.

No man who practises deceit
shall live within my house.
No man who utters lies shall stand
before my eyes.

Morning by morning I will silence
all the wicked in the land,
uprooting from the city of the Lord
all who do evil.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

The Lord will come from his holy place to save his people.

Psalm-prayer

So that your people might walk in innocence, you came to us, Lord Jesus, and told us to be holy as your Father is holy. Help your children to love what is truly perfect, so that we may neither speak what is evil nor do what is wrong. Let us stand in your sight and celebrate with you the Father’s love and justice.


Canticle
Daniel 3
Azariah’s prayer in the furnace

“Repent and turn to God, that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19).

Zion is our mighty citadel, our saving Lord its wall and its defense; throw open the gates, for the Lord is here among us, alleluia.

Blessed are you, and praiseworthy,
O Lord, the God of our fathers,
and glorious forever is your name.

For you are just in all you have done;
all your deeds are faultless, all your ways right,
and all your judgments proper.

For we have sinned and transgressed
by departing from you,
and we have done every kind of evil.

For your name’s sake, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.

Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,

To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.

For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.

We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.

But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
as though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
so let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.

And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Zion is our mighty citadel, our saving Lord its wall and its defense; throw open the gates, for the Lord is here among us, alleluia.


Psalm 143 (144):1-10
For victory and peace

“I can do all things with the help of the One who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13).

Lord, make known your will throughout the earth; proclaim your salvation to every nation.

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my arms for battle,
who prepares my hands for war.

He is my love, my fortress;
he is my stronghold, my saviour
my shield, my place of refuge.
He brings peoples under my rule.

Lord, what is man that you care for him,
mortal man, that you keep him in mind;
man, who is merely a breath
whose life fades like a shadow?

Lower your heavens and come down;
touch the mountains; wreathe them in smoke.
Flash your lightnings; rout the foe,
shoot your arrows and put them to flight.

Reach down from heaven and save me;
draw me out from the mighty waters,
from the hands of alien foes
whose mouths are filled with lies,
whose hands are raised in perjury.

To you, O God, will I sing a new song;
I will play on the ten-stringed harp
to you who give kings their victory,
who set David your servant free.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Lord, make known your will throughout the earth; proclaim your salvation to every nation.

Psalm-prayer

Lord, God of strength, you gave your Son victory over death. Direct your Church’s fight against evil in the world. Clothe us with the weapons of light and unite us under the one banner of love, that we may receive our eternal reward after the battle of earthly life.


Short Reading
Isaiah 7:14-15

The maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel. On curds and honey will he feed until he knows how to refuse evil and choose good.


Short Responsory

The glory of the Lord will shine on you, Jerusalem. Like the sun he will rise over you.
– The glory of the Lord will shine on you, Jerusalem. Like the sun he will rise over you.
His glory will appear in your midst.
– The glory of the Lord will shine on you, Jerusalem. Like the sun he will rise over you.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
– The glory of the Lord will shine on you, Jerusalem. Like the sun he will rise over you.


Canticle
Benedictus
The Messiah and the one who was sent before him

There is no need to be afraid; in five days our Lord will come to us.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my 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.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

There is no need to be afraid; in five days our Lord will come to us.


Prayers and intercessions

To Jesus Christ our Lord, who came among us in his mercy, let us constantly cry out with joy:
– Come, Lord Jesus!

You came from the Father to take on our human nature,
now set free what was harmed in us by sin.
– Come, Lord Jesus!

One day you will come again in glory to your chosen people,
come to us today and help us sinners to recognize your mercy and tender love.
– Come, Lord Jesus!

We glory in praising you, Lord Jesus,
come and bring us your salvation.
– Come, Lord Jesus!

Through faith you lead us into light,
may we reveal your justice through our deeds.
– Come, Lord Jesus!


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.


Lord,
hear the prayers of your people.
May we who celebrate the birth of your Son as man
rejoice in the gift of eternal life when he comes in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
Amen.


May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

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