After hearing of God’s promise to bring the Messiah into the world through her, and his forerunner through her cousin, Mary, the mother of our Lord hurried to see Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Zechariah lived in the hill country, in a town in Judah, and Mary visited, entered the house of Zechariah, and greeted Elizabeth. On hearing Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and exclaimed in a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”Elizabeth’s words reveal a deep and precious humility, a recognition of Mary’s exalted status as the mother of the Messiah, and the privilege she had in giving birth to his forerunner. Her words reveal her deferring spirit: even a visit from Mary is occasion for recognition of special privilege. Even the baby in her womb rejoices in the presence of the mother of our Lord. She speaks blessings upon Mary: because she believed the word of the Lord – that the thing that was promised would receive its own fulfillment. Elizabeth’s hidden character is one of profound humility and genuine deference to Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Savior of the world.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Father, Elizabeth acknowledged that Mary was the most blessed among all women, and the most honored woman of all time. Elizabeth referred to her as “the mother of my Lord,” showing her knowledge of your call on her life, and she humbled herself before her. Forgive us for the times we have sought to exalt ourselves; reproduce in us her humble and deferring spirit, for Christ’s sake, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
--Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Affirmation from the Psalms
O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!  You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah  For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.  He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.  His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.  For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.  For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
~ Psalm 21.1-7
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus, help us to recognize your great and good working in others, and to rejoice in it, from the heart.