OREMUS: 24 December 2004

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Dec 23 17:00:01 GMT 2004


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OREMUS for Friday, December 24, 2004
The Vigil of Christmas

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

Blessed are you, almighty God and everlasting Father,
through Jesus Christ your Son.
He is the one foretold by all the prophets,
whom the Virgin Mother bore with love beyond all telling.
John the Baptist was his herald
and made him known when at last he came.
In his love Christ fills us with joy
as we prepare to celebrate his birth,
so that when he comes again he may find us watching in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.
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. 

http://www.oremus.org/advocant.html

Psalm 80

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock;*
 shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh,*
 stir up your strength and come to help us.
Restore us, O God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,*
 how long will you be angered
   despite the prayers of your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears;*
 you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
You have made us the derision of our neighbours,*
 and our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Restore us, O God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.
You have brought a vine out of Egypt;*
 you cast out the nations and planted it.
You prepared the ground for it;*
 it took root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered by its shadow*
 and the towering cedar trees by its boughs.
You stretched out its tendrils to the Sea*
 and its branches to the River.
Why have you broken down its wall,*
 so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it,*
 and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.
Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven;
   behold and tend this vine;*
 preserve what your right hand has planted.
They burn it with fire like rubbish;*
 at the rebuke of your countenance let them perish.
Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand,*
 the son of man you have made so strong for yourself.
And so will we never turn away from you;*
 give us life, that we may call upon your name.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;*
 show the light of your countenance
   and we shall be saved.

Psalm 85

You have been gracious to your land, O Lord,*
 you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people*
 and blotted out all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your fury*
 and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
Restore us then, O God our Saviour;*
 let your anger depart from us.
Will you be displeased with us for ever?*
 will you prolong your anger from age to age?
Will you not give us life again,*
 that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your mercy, O Lord,*
 and grant us your salvation.
I will listen to what the Lord God is saying,*
 for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
   and to those who turn their hearts to him.
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him,*
 that his glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together;*
 righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth,*
 and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,*
 and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before him,*
 and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

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 147:1-12

Alleluia!
   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.
 Alleluia!

READING [Zechariah 2]:

I looked up and saw a man with a measuring line in his
hand. Then I asked, 'Where are you going?' He answered
me, 'To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and
what is its length.' Then the angel who talked with me
came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him,
and said to him, 'Run, say to that young man: Jerusalem
shall be inhabited like villages without walls, because
of the multitude of people and animals in it. For I will
be a wall of fire all round it, says the LORD, and I will
be the glory within it.'
Up, up! Flee from the land of the north, says the LORD;
for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of
heaven, says the LORD. Up! Escape to Zion, you that live
with daughter Babylon. For thus said the LORD of hosts
(after his glory sent me) regarding the nations that
plundered you: Truly, one who touches you touches the
apple of my eye. See now, I am going to raise my hand
against them, and they shall become plunder for their own
slaves. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has
sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I
will come and dwell in your midst, says the LORD. Many
nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst.
And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to
you. The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the
holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
Be silent, all people, before the LORD; for he has roused
himself from his holy dwelling. 

For another Biblical reading,
Romans 16:25-end

HYMN 
Words: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), 1885
Tune: Gartan, Hermitage
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/l/l530.html
Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus.

Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, love divine;
love was born at Christmas:
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
love incarnate, love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith the sacred sign?

Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
love for plea and gift and sign.

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

Prayer:
The time is at hand and your promises are fulfilled.
With joyful hearts we pray:
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming:
come to those who are destitute and alone.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming,
come to the homeless, the addicted, and all held in bondage.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming,
to liberate your creation and set us free.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming,
to those who long to be taken to their eternal home.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming
upon the Church that we may proclaim
the good news of your birth.
Today we shall see your salvation!

Almighty God,
you make us glad with the yearly remembrance
of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,
so we may with sure confidence behold him
when he shall come to be our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of 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

Make our hearts leap with joy
and fill our mouths with songs of praise,
that we may announce glad tidings of peace,
and welcome the Christ in our midst. Amen.

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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 collect is 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.

The closing sentence is from a prayer reprinted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common
Texts



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