OREMUS: 25 December 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Dec 24 17:00:01 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Sunday, December 25, 2005
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
(Christmas Day)

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

Today Christ is born:

Today the Savior comes:

Today the angels sing on earth:
Alleluia. Glory to God in the highest

This hymn may be sung.  


Sing, O sing, this blessed morn,
unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given,
God himself comes down from heaven.
Sing, O sing, this blessed morn,
Jesus Christ today is born.

God of God and Light of Light,
comes with mercies infinite,
joining in a wondrous plan
heaven to earth and God to man. Refrain

God with us, Emmanuel,
deigns for ever now to dwell;
he on Adam's fallen race
sheds the fullness of his grace. Refrain

God comes down that man may rise,
lifted by him to the skies;
Christ is Son of Man that we
sons of God in him may be. Refrain

O renew us, Lord, we pray,
with thy Spirit day by day,
that we ever one may be
with the Father and with thee. Refrain 

Blessed are you, loving and merciful God,
for the joy and gladness given us by your grace
in the birth of Jesus in the manger of Bethlehem:
Word made flesh, 
God with us--Emmanuel,
Wonderful Counselor,
Prince of Peace.
You call us to be born anew in him
that we may reflect his light
and live as your faithful people
in the radiance of your love.
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. 



The heavens declare the glory of God,*
 and the firmament shows his handiwork. One day tells its
tale to
 and one night imparts knowledge to another. Although they
no words or language,*
 and their voices are not heard, Their sound has gone out
into all
 and their message to the ends of the world. In the deep has
he set a
pavilion for the sun;*
 it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;    it rejoices
like a
champion to run its course. It goes forth from the uttermost edge
of the
   and runs about to the end of it again;*  nothing is hidden from its
burning heat. The law of the Lord is perfect
   and revives the soul;*
 the testimony of the Lord is sure
   and gives wisdom to the innocent. The
statutes of
the Lord are just
   and rejoice the heart;*
 the commandment of the Lord is clear
   and gives light to the eyes. The fear of the
Lord is
   and endures for ever;*
 the judgements of the Lord are true
   and righteous altogether. More to be
desired are
they than gold,
   more than much fine gold,*
 sweeter far than honey,
   than honey in the comb. By them also is
servant enlightened,*
 and in keeping them there is great reward. Who can tell
how often
he offends?*
 Cleanse me from my secret faults. Above all, keep your
from presumptuous sins;
   let them not get dominion over me;*
 then shall I be whole and sound,
   and innocent of a great offence. Let the
words of
my mouth and the meditation of my heart    be acceptable in your
 O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Psalm 97

The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;*
 let the multitude of the isles be glad. Clouds and darkness
round about him,*
 righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of his throne. A fire goes
 and burns up his enemies on every side. His lightnings light
up the
 the earth sees it and is afraid. The mountains melt like
   at the presence of the Lord,*
 at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens
his righteousness,*
 and all the peoples see his glory. Confounded be all who
carved images
   and delight in false gods!*
 Bow down before him, all you gods. Zion hears and is glad
and the
cities of Judah rejoice,*  because of your judgements, O Lord.<td
For you are the Lord: most high over all the earth;*
 you are exalted far above all gods. The Lord loves those
who hate
 he preserves the lives of his saints
   and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.<td
Light has sprung up for the righteous,*
 and joyful gladness for those who are true-hearted.
Rejoice in the
Lord, you righteous,*
 and give thanks to his holy name.

Gloria in Excelsis
Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

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 [Philippians 2:5-11]:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard
equality with God as something to be exploited, but
emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born
in human likeness. And being found in human form, he
humbled himself and became obedient to the point of
death  even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly
exalted him and gave him the name that is above every
name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should
bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father.

For another Biblical reading,
Micah 4:1-8

Words: Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413);
trans. John Mason Neale, 1854 and Henry Williams Baker, 1861 Tune: Divinum mysterium
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Of the Father's love begotten,
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!

At his word the words were framŠd;
he commanded; it was done:
heaven and earth and depths of ocean
in their threefold order one;
all that grows beneath the shining
of the moon and burning sun,
evermore and evermore!

O that birth for ever blessŠd,
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bare the Savior of our race;
and the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

This is he whom seers in old time
chanted of with one accord;
whom the voices of the prophets
promised in their faithful word;
now he shines, the long expected,
let creation praise its Lord,
evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven, adore him;
angel-hosts, his praises sing;
powers, dominions, bow before him,
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
every voice in concert ring,
evermore and evermore!

Thee let old men, thee let young men,
thee let boys in chorus sing;
matrons, virgins, little maidens,
with glad voices answering:
let their guileless songs re-echo,
and the heart its music bring,
evermore and evermore!

Christ, to thee with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving,
and unwearied praises be;
honor, glory and dominion,
and eternal victory,
evermore and evermore!

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

There is a single moment in birth
between not yet
and now

and we are standing in it

a single moment between grey
and colour

between no life
and new life

a cautious moment
a sacred moment
a holy moment

where a word is foolish
a gesture, senseless
an explanation, wasted

a moment to pause
to leave alone
untouched by narrative

There is a single moment in birth
between not yet
and now

where life takes everything into it's own hands
and with a struggle
made all of heaven
offers itself
to the world

and in a flash of God's eyes
incarnation becomes real
as heaven's own "Gloria's"
break free
and swells the universe

the stars bow
the darkness shatters
the angels proclaim
the light explodes
and God weeps
in joy and pain

a child is born
for everyone.

Gracious Creator of heaven and earth,
your Word has come among us
as the true Sun of Righteousness,
and the Good News of his birth
has gone out to the ends of the world:
Open our eyes to the light of your law,
that we may be freed from sin
and serve you without reproach
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Light and our Life. Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

Fill us with wonder on this holy day,
that we may treasure in our hearts
what we have been told,
that our lives may proclaim
your great and gentle mercy. 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 act of praise ("Today") and the intercession is adapted by Stephen
Benner from a prayer in _New Patterns for Worship_, material from
which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council,

The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from a prayer reprinted from
_THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of Daily Prayer after the Use
of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order of Saint Luke.
Used by permission.

The long prayer is by Roddy Hamilton, rghamilton at ntlworld.com 

The collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

The closing sentence uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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