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December 17, 2023: Advent 3 (Blue, purple – or rose, if you can)


Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 (God has anointed me with his Spirit; clothed me with joy of his salvation)

Psalm 126 (God restored fortunes of Jerusalem; those who go out weeping come back rejoicing)

                (ELW: this, or Luke 1:46b-55, the Magnificat)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (Rejoice; don’t quench Spirit; be holy)

John 1:6-8, 19-28 (John says who he isn’t, there’s one greater than he)

Opening hymn: Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers: LBW #25, ELW #244, LSB #515

Hymn of the Day: Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding: LBW #37, ELW #246, LSB #345.  (The tune used in ELW and LSB is much superior to the LBW tune. Since the tune “Merton” isn’t in LBW, use “Omni Dei,” used for For the Bread Which You Have Broken)

Communion Hymn #1: Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness: LBW #224, LSB #636

Communion Hymn #2: Hail to the Lord’s Anointed: LBW #87, LSB #398

(Can also sing this hymn to tune of LBW #369, “The Church’s One Foundation. In fact, if you use it during communion, or have a congregation unfamiliar with the hymn, I’d recommend it.)

Closing Hymn: People, Look East: WOV #626, ELW #248

OR There’s a Voice in the Wilderness: ELW #255

OR, Hark, the Glad Sound!: LBW #35, LSB #349, ELW #239




Let us come before the throne of grace with our prayers and petitions.

A brief silence


O Lord, we long for your salvation; make haste and help us. Come quickly with blessing and comfort for your people, O strong Deliverer of Israel and the Redeemer of the world.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Clothe your Church with the joy of your salvation. Cover it with the righteousness of Christ. Adorn it with the jewels of your Word and Sacraments. Through it, let the poor hear the Good News, the sorrowful find comfort, and captives to sin and death experience your salvation.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Restore the fortunes of Christians who are persecuted for confessing Jesus as Lord. Turn their weeping into rejoicing. Cause those who hate them to repent and believe in the Good News.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Give this congregation faithful hearts; ears attentive to your Word; eyes which see the needs of others; hands skilled in building up the body of Christ; and lips swift to pray, forgive, and encourage.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Guide and strengthen our seminarians and all considering your call to serve the Church. Make them faithful, true, and bold. Let them find joy in your service.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Fill our earthly rulers with your Spirit. Make them love justice and hate evil. Use them to repair lives and cities ruined by violence. Direct their words and their deeds in your truth. Establish your peace among the nations. Make each of us into trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, bearing fruit to your glory, and for the building up of your people.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Until  the coming of your great and acceptable day, please direct and protect the good people who risk their lives for the sake of justice, liberty, and safety. Help them do your will even in dire circumstances. Heal and raise them when they falter. Reunite them with loved ones when their task is done.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Grant your healing to the brokenhearted and to all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, including {LIST}. Give them beauty instead of ashes; the oil of joy instead of mourning; and the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. Strengthen all who care for them. Give them, and us, your everlasting love.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Most holy Father, we entrust to your care our beloved dead. Thank you for their lives. Thank you for making them, and us, into a royal priesthood and holy nation, your children, and the portion whom you have blessed. Bring us into holy Zion, where with all the redeemed, we shall be adorned as a bride for our Bridegroom, your Lamb who takes away the sins of the whole world, Jesus our Lord.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Graciously answer our prayers for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.