OREMUS: 3 December 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 2 22:16:23 GMT 2005


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OREMUS for Saturday, December 3, 2005 
John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher of the Faith, c

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. 

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

Psalm 40

I waited patiently upon the Lord;*
 he stooped to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the desolate pit,
   out of the mire and clay;*
 he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God;*
 many shall see and stand in awe
   and put their trust in the Lord.
Happy are they who trust in the Lord!*
 they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.
Great things are they that you have done, O Lord my God!
   how great your wonders and your plans for us!*
 there is none who can be compared with you.
O that I could make them known and tell them!*
 but they are more than I can count.
In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure*
 you have given me ears to hear you;
Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required,*
 and so I said, 'Behold, I come.
'In the roll of the book it is written concerning me:*
 "I love to do your will, O my God;
 your law is deep in my heart."'
I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation;*
 behold, I did not restrain my lips;
 and that, O Lord, you know.
Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart;
   I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance;*
 I have not concealed your love and faithfulness
   from the great congregation.
You are the Lord;
   do not withhold your compassion from me;*
 let your love and your faithfulness keep me safe for ever,
For innumerable troubles have crowded upon me;
   my sins have overtaken me and I cannot see;*
 they are more in number than the hairs of my head,
   and my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;*
 O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed
   who seek after my life to destroy it;*
 let them draw back and be disgraced
   who take pleasure in my misfortune.
Let those who say 'Aha!' and gloat over me be confounded,*
 because they are ashamed.
Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad;*
 let those who love your salvation continually say,
   'Great is the Lord!'
Though I am poor and afflicted,*
 the Lord will have regard for me.
You are my helper and my deliverer;*
 do not tarry, O my God.

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 [Romans 15:4-13]:

For whatever was written in former days was written for
our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the
encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May
the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to
live in harmony with one another, in accordance with
Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has
welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that
Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf
of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the
promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the
Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is
written,
'Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
   and sing praises to your name';
and again he says,
'Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people';
and again,
'Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
   and let all the peoples praise him';
and again Isaiah says,
'The root of Jesse shall come,
   the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.'
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of
the Holy Spirit.

For another Biblical reading,
1 Kings 22:1-28

HYMN 
Words: Robert Bridges (1844-1930);
based on the German on Joachim Neander (1650-1680)
Tune: Michael
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/a/a133.html
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All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God's power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God's great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendor, light and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
Evermore
from his store
newborn worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth the almighty Giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.

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 Vanuatu, The Rt Revd Hugh Blessing Boe, Bishop.
Lord, have mercy.

Eternal God, 
through long generations you prepared a way 
for the coming of your Son, 
and by your Spirit you still bring light to illumine our paths: 
Renew us in faith and hope 
that we may welcome Christ 
to rule our thoughts and claim our love, 
as Lord of lords and King of kings, 
to whom be glory always. Amen.

Confirm our minds, O Lord, 
in the mysteries of the true faith, 
set forth with power by your servant John of Damascus; 
that we, with him, confessing Jesus 
to be truly God and truly Human, 
and singing the praises of the risen Lord, 
may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to eternal joy;
through the same 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 and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer 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 second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

John is generally accounted "the last of the Fathers". He was the son of a
Christian official at the court of the moslem khalif Abdul Malek, and succeeded
to his father's office. In his time there was a dispute among Christians between
the Iconoclasts (image-breakers) and the Iconodules (image-venerators or
image-respectors). The Emperor, Leo III, was a vigorous upholder of the
Iconoclast position. John wrote in favor of the Iconodules with great
effectiveness. Ironically, he was able to do this chiefly because he had the
protection of the moslem khalif (ironic because the moslems have a strong
prohibition against the religious use of pictures or images). John is also known
as a hymn-writer. Two of his hymns are sung in English at Easter ("Come ye
faithful, raise the strain" and "The Day of Resurrection! Earth, tell it out
abroad!"). Many more are sung in the Eastern Church. His major writing is
THE FOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE, of which the third part, THE ORTHODOX
FAITH, is a summary of Christian doctrine as expounded by the Greek
Fathers.
The dispute about icons was not a dispute between East and West as such.
Both the Greek and the Latin churches accepted the final decision. The
Iconoclasts maintained that the use of religious images was a violation of the
Second Commandment ("Thou shalt not make a graven image... thou shalt not
bow down to them"). The Iconodules replied that the coming of Christ had
radically changed the situation, and that the commandment must now be
understood in a new way, just as the commandment to "Remember the Sabbath
Day" must be understood in a new way since the Resurrection of Jesus on the
first day of the week. Before the Incarnation, it had indeed been improper to
portray the invisible God in visible form; but God, by taking fleshly form in the
person of Jesus Christ, had blessed the whole realm of matter and made it a fit
instrument for manifesting the Divine Splendor. He had reclaimed everything in
heaven and earth for His service, and had made water and oil, bread and wine,
means of conveying His grace to men. He had made painting and sculpture and
music and the spoken word, and indeed all our daily tasks and pleasures, the
common round of everyday life, a means whereby man might glorify God and
be made aware of Him. [James Kiefer, abridged]


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