OREMUS: 4 December 2004

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 3 17:00:01 GMT 2004


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OREMUS for Saturday, December 4, 2004
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, loving God,
ever faithful to your promises
and ever close to your church.
The earth rejoices in hope of the Savior's coming
and looks forward with longing
to his return at the end of time.
You call us to prepare our hearts
and remove that which hinders us
from the joy and hope his presence will bestow.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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Psalm 11

In the Lord have I taken refuge;*
 how then can you say to me,
   'Fly away like a bird to the hilltop;
'For see how the wicked bend the bow
   and fit their arrows to the string,*
 to shoot from ambush at the true of heart.
'When the foundations are being destroyed,*
 what can the righteous do?'
The Lord is in his holy temple;*
 the Lord's throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold the inhabited world;*
 his piercing eye weighs our worth.
The Lord weighs the righteous as well as the wicked,*
 but those who delight in violence he abhors.
Upon the wicked he shall rain coals of fire
   and burning sulphur;*
 a scorching wind shall be their lot.
For the Lord is righteous;
   he delights in righteous deeds;*
 and the just shall see his face.

Psalm 28

O Lord, I call to you;
   my rock, do not be deaf to my cry;*
 lest, if you do not hear me,
   I become like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you,*
 when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.
Do not snatch me away with the wicked
   or with the evildoers,*
 who speak peaceably with their neighbours,
   while strife is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their deeds,*
 and according to the wickedness of their actions.
According to the work of their hands repay them,*
 and give them their just deserts.
They have no understanding of the Lord's doings,
   nor of the works of his hands;*
 therefore he will break them down
   and not build them up.
Blessed is the Lord!*
 for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;*
 my heart trusts in him and I have been helped;
Therefore my heart dances for joy,*
 and in my song will I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people,*
 a safe refuge for his anointed.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;*
 shepherd them and carry them for ever.

A Song of the Spirit (Revelation 22.12-14,16,17)

Behold, I am coming soon', says the Lord,
and bringing my reward with me,
to give to everyone according to their deeds.

'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.'

Blessed are those who do God's commandments,
that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter into the city through the gates.

'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you,
with this testimony for all the churches.

'I am the root and the offspring of David,
I am the bright morning star.'

'Come!' say the Spirit and the Bride;
'Come!' let each hearer reply!

Come forward, you who are thirsty,
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift.

Psalm 149

Alleluia!
   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.
   Alleluia!

READING [John 1:19-28]:

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent
priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are
you?' He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, 'I
am not the Messiah.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are
you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?'
He answered, 'No.' Then they said to him, 'Who are you?
Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you
say about yourself?' He said,
'I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
"Make straight the way of the Lord" ',
as the prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked
him, 'Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the
Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered
them, 'I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom
you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not
worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.' This took place
in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. 

For another Biblical reading,
Isaiah 16:1-5

HYMN 
Words: Charles Coffin, 1736; trans. John Chandler, 1837
Tune: Winchester New
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/o/o752.html
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On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings.

Then cleansed be every breast from sin;
make straight the way for God within,
prepare we in our hearts a home
where such a mighty Guest may come.

For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward;
without thy grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.

To heal the sick stretch out thine hand,
and bid the fallen sinner stand;
shine forth and let thy light restore
earth's own true loveliness once more.

All praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whose advent doth thy people free;
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

The Benedictus (Morning), the 
Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
Let us praise Christ our King,
by whose cross we have citizenship in heaven,
saying: Lord, have mercy.

Lord, you built your Church
on the foundation of the apostles: 
Lord, have mercy.

You witness to your truth
in the lives of your saints: 
Lord, have mercy.

You made us to be a kingdom and priests
serving our God:
Lord, have mercy.

You have shared our burdens
revealing the holiness of our life and work:
Lord, have mercy.

You stir us to seek
the mysteries of the kingdom: 
Lord, have mercy.

You lead us
to the eternal assembly of the saints:
Lord, have mercy.

For your Church, we pray, especially the Diocese of
Kinkizi, Uganda, The Rt Revd John Ntegyereize, Bishop.
Lord, have mercy.

God our Refuge,
deliver us from violence and evil,
and guide us in the paths of righteousness,
that on the day of judgment
we may rejoice to see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

God of peace, 
make us worthy of your perfect love 
that, with your servant Nicholas Ferrar and his household, 
we may rule ourselves after your Word 
and serve you with our whole heart; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

O Son of God, our Savior,
today we await your coming,
and tomorrow we shall see your glory.
Reveal the good news to all of us
who long for your arrival.
Come, Love incarnate, do not delay.
Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

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The psalms, the second collect and the intercession are from _Celebrating
Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis
1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from
_Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with
permission.

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The
Scottish Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 
http://www.scottishepiscopal.com

Nicholas Ferrar, born in 1592, was the founder of a religious community that
lasted from 1626 to 1646.
After Nicholas had been ordained as a deacon, he and his family and a few
friends retired to Little Gidding, Huntingdonshire, England, to devote
themselves to a life of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (Matthew 6:2,5,16).
They restored the abandoned church building, and became responsible for
regular services there. They taught the neighborhood children, and looked after
the health and well-being of the people of the district. They read the regular
daily offices of the Book of Common Prayer, including the recital every day of
the complete Psalter. (Day and night, there was always at least one member of
the community kneeling in prayer before the altar, that they might keep the
word, "Pray without ceasing.") They wrote books and stories dealing with
various aspects of Christian faith and practice. They fasted with great rigor,
and in other ways embraced voluntary poverty, so that they might have as
much money as possible for the relief of the poor.
The community was founded in 1626 (when Nicholas was 34). He died in 1637
(aged 45), and in 1646 the community was forcibly broken up by the Puritans
of Cromwell's army. The memory of the community survived to inspire and
influence later undertakings in Christian communal living, and one of T.S.
Eliot's Four Quartets is called "Little Gidding."


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