Baruch 5. 1-9

5Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God. 
2 Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God;
put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting; 
3 for God will show your splendour everywhere under heaven. 
4 For God will give you evermore the name,
‘Righteous Peace, Godly Glory’.


5 Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height;
look towards the east,
and see your children gathered from west and east
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that God has remembered them. 
6 For they went out from you on foot,
led away by their enemies;
but God will bring them back to you,
carried in glory, as on a royal throne. 
7 For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low
and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,
so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God. 
8 The woods and every fragrant tree
have shaded Israel at God’s command. 
9 For God will lead Israel with joy,
in the light of his glory,
with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.

OR

Malachi 3: 1-4

3See, 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. 2But 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; 3he 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.* 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Luke 1:67-79

67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: 
68 ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them. 
69 He has raised up a mighty saviour* for us
in the house of his servant David, 
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 
71   that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. 
72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant, 
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us 74that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days. 
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins. 
78 By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon* us, 
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.’

Philippians 1: 3-11

3 I thank my God every time I remember you, 4constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6I 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. 7It 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 defence and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Luke 3: 1-6

3In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler* of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler* of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler* of Abilene, 2during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight. 
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth; 
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” 

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
The Common Worship psalter is © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2000.
Common Worship texts are available at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/worship/liturgy/commonworship/