OREMUS: 12 December 2004

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Dec 11 22:12:00 GMT 2004

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OREMUS for Sunday, December 12, 2004
The Third Sunday of Advent

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

Blessed are you, God of mercy and might!
You offer to your Church these holy days of Advent
to revive and sustain us in hope,
that we may walk as children of light, ever watchful,
and come at last to your eternal kingdom
where your Son, Jesus Christ reigns in peace.
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. 


Psalm 79

O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance;
   they have profaned your holy temple;*
 they have made Jerusalem a heap of rubble.
They have given the bodies of your servants
   as food for the birds of the air,*
 and the flesh of your faithful ones
   to the beasts of the field.
They have shed their blood like water
   on every side of Jerusalem,*
 and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a reproach to our neighbours,*
 an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
How long will you be angry, O Lord?*
 will your fury blaze like fire for ever?
Pour out your wrath upon the heathen
   who have not known you*
 and upon the kingdoms
   that have not called upon your name.
For they have devoured Jacob*
 and made his dwelling a ruin.
Remember not our past sins;
   let your compassion be swift to meet us;*
 for we have been brought very low.
Help us, O God our Saviour, for the glory of your name;*
 deliver us and forgive us our sins, for your name's sake.
We are your people and the sheep of your pasture;*
 we will give you thanks for ever
   and show forth your praise from age to age.

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,*
 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'
Now our feet are standing*
 within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city*
 that is at unity with itself.
To which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,*
 the assembly of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
For there are the thrones of judgement,*
 the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:*
 'May they prosper who love you.
'Peace be within your walls*
 and quietness within your towers.
'For my family and companions' sake,*
 I pray for your prosperity.
'Because of the house of the Lord our God,*
 I will seek to do you good.'

A Song of the Wilderness (Isaiah 35.1,2b-4a,4c-6,10)

The wilderness and the dry land shall rejoice,
the desert shall blossom and burst into song.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weary hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to the anxious, 'Be strong, fear not,
your God is coming with judgement,
coming with judgement to save you.'

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

Then shall the lame leap like a hart,
and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;

The ransomed of the Lord shall return with singing,
with everlasting joy upon their heads.

Joy and gladness shall be theirs,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations;*
 laud him, all you peoples.
For his loving-kindness towards us is great,*
 and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.

READING [Matthew 11:11-24]:

Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has
arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in
the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days
of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has
suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For
all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came;
and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is
to come. Let anyone with ears listen!
'But to what will I compare this generation? It is like
children sitting in the market-places and calling to one
"We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
   we wailed, and you did not mourn."
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say,
"He has a demon"; the Son of Man came eating and
drinking, and they say, "Look, a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!" Yet wisdom is
vindicated by her deeds.'
Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his
deeds of power had been done, because they did not
repent. 'Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For
if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre
and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth
and ashes. But I tell you, on the day of judgement it
will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
And you, Capernaum,
will you be exalted to heaven?
   No, you will be brought down to Hades.
For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in
Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell
you that on the day of judgement it will be more
tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.' 

For another Biblical reading,
1 Kings 17:1-7

Words: Sydney Carter &Copy;
Tune: Lord of the Dance
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I danced in the morning
when the world was begun,
and I danced in the moon
and the stars and the sun,
and I came down from heaven
and I danced on the earth,
at Bethlehem
I had my birth.
Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
and I'll lead you all, wherever you may be,
and I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe
and the pharisee,
but they would not dance
and they wouldn't follow me.
I danced for the fishermen,
for James and John -
they came with me
and the dance went on. Refrain

I danced on the Sabbath
and I cured the lame;
the holy people
said it was a shame.
they whipped and they stripped
and they hung me on high,
and they left me there
on a Cross to die. Refrain

I danced on a Friday
when the sky turned black;
it's hard to dance
with the devil on your back.
They buried my body
and they thought I'd gone,
but I am the Dance,
and I still go on. Refrain

They cut me down
and I leapt up high;
I am the life
that'll never, never die;
I'll live in you
if you'll live in me -
I am the Lord
of the Dance, said he. Refrain

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

As we wait with joy for the glory of the Lord,
let us offer prayers to God.

For all who are called to wait, 
parents and children, artists and poets, 
refugees and exiles, and for all who yearn for God: 
that the Spirit may strengthen us 
through bringing light and hope to our waiting.
Risen Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

For freedom from judgment and prejudice: 
that we may recognize the goodness in others 
even when their actions try our patience.
Risen Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

For all who struggle with doubt: 
that our eyes and hearts may be opened to the marvelous things 
which God does within us and around us.
Risen Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

For an end to war and healing for the nations: 
that violence and bloodshed may end, 
the innocent may be sheltered, terrorism ended, 
and peace be established in the hearts of all.
Risen Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

For all who are gathered here
and for those who are absent: 
that we may rejoice God's presence in our lives 
and witness faithfully to the God who does wonders.
Risen Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

For all who are facing their limits and brokenness, 
for those who are weak, fearful, or mourning: 
that they may experience the healing and renewing presence of God.
Risen Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

Sustain us, O God, with the power of your love 
on our journey to meet the One who is coming: 
strengthen our weak hands, make firm our feeble knees, 
and open blind eyes to the dawning of your kingdom, 
so that our hearts may rejoice as we behold your majesty. 
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

Kindle in us the fire of your Spirit
that when your Christ comes again
we may shine as lights before him. Amen.

The psalms 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 is adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

Hymn (c) 1963 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. 
(admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188).
 All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada:  Hope Publishing Company, 
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 

The intercession is adapted from a prayer from Saint Louis University.

The collect is from _Uniting in Worship_, The Uniting Church in

The closing prayer is adapted from a prayer from _Common Worship:
Services and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from which is
included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

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