FIRST LESSON                                                                                   Malachi 3:1-4
Lector         A reading from the Book of the Prophet Malachi.
See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight-- indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
SECOND LESSON                                                                 Philippians 1:3-11
Lector     A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians.

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God's grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Let us pray to the Lord for the word of salvation to be made known to all people.

Strengthen your faithful people as messengers and ministers of your word, that all may hear and believe. Confirm our fellowship in the Gospel and keep us constant in truth until the coming of Christ.

Make straight the crooked ways of the world where people stumble without guidance, and make smooth the rough places where life is hard. Come with your power to bring joy to the nations and knowledge of salvation to all people.

Give grace to us, our families and friends, to live together in love and to desire all that is good. Cleanse us from all that holds us back from you.

Have mercy on all who are held fast by sin and feel that they cannot repent. Grant them the true sense of your mercy and the good news of forgiveness. Free those who cannot forgive themselves, and give them confidence in your redeeming love.

We pray for the departed whose fellowship is now complete in you. Grant them salvation in the spirit after the death of the flesh.

     [Here other intercessions may be offered.]

Repenting of our sins and trusting in the mercy of Christ, we make our prayers through him.  Amen.