OREMUS: 6 December 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Dec 5 23:46:21 GMT 2006


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OREMUS for Wednesday, December 6, 2006 
Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326

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 17

Hear my plea of innocence, O Lord;
   give heed to my cry;*
 listen to my prayer,
   which does not come from lying lips.
Let my vindication come forth from your presence;*
 let your eyes be fixed on justice.
Weigh my heart, summon me by night,*
 melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
I give no offence with my mouth as others do;*
 I have heeded the words of your lips.
My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law;*
 in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me;*
 incline your ear to me and hear my words.
Show me your marvellous loving-kindness,*
 O Saviour of those who take refuge at your right hand
   from those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;*
 hide me under the shadow of your wings,
>From the wicked who assault me,*
 from my deadly enemies who surround me.
They have closed their heart to pity,*
 and their mouth speaks proud things.
They press me hard,
   now they surround me,*
 watching how they may cast me to the ground,
Like a lion, greedy for its prey,*
 and like a young lion lurking in secret places.
Arise, O Lord; confront them and bring them down;*
 deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand*
 from those whose portion in life is this world;
Whose bellies you fill with your treasure,*
 who are well supplied with children
   and leave their wealth to their little ones.
But at my vindication I shall see your face;*
 when I awake, I shall be satisfied,
   beholding your likeness.

Psalm 53

The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'*
 All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
   there is none who does any good.
God looks down from heaven upon us all,*
 to see if there is any who is wise,
   if there is one who seeks after God.
Every one has proved faithless;
   all alike have turned bad;*
 there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, those evildoers*
 who eat up my people like bread
   and do not call upon God?
See how greatly they tremble,
   such trembling as never was;*
 for God has scattered the bones of the enemy;
   they are put to shame, because God has rejected them.
O that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion!*
 when God restores the fortunes of his people
   Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

A Song of the Lamb (from Revelation 19)

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
 whose judgements are true and just.

Praise our God, all you his servants,
 all who fear him, both small and great.

The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns:
 let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory.

The marriage of the Lamb has come
 and his bride has made herself ready.

Blessed are those who are invited
 to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.

To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
 be blessing and honour and glory and might,
 for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 147:13-end

Alleluia!
Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 1:24-31]:

Therefore says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts, the
Mighty One of Israel:
Ah, I will pour out my wrath on my enemies,
   and avenge myself on my foes!
I will turn my hand against you;
   I will smelt away your dross as with lye
   and remove all your alloy.
And I will restore your judges as at the first,
   and your counsellors as at the beginning.
Afterwards you shall be called the city of
righteousness,
   the faithful city.

Zion shall be redeemed by justice,
   and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together,
   and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed.
For you shall be ashamed of the oaks
   in which you delighted;
and you shall blush for the gardens
   that you have chosen.
For you shall be like an oak
   whose leaf withers,
   and like a garden without water.
The strong shall become like tinder,
   and their work like a spark;
they and their work shall burn together,
   with no one to quench them. 

HYMN 
Words: William H Savile (1859-1925)
Tune: Saint Nicolas (LM)

Far-shining names from age to age
Enrich the Church's heritage,
The loyal liegemen of the Lord,
Who found in thee their great reward.

One name from that immortal throng
Inspires to-day our festal song:
In loving memory we hold
The bishop and the saint of old,

Who, far away in eastern land,
With gentle heart and open hand
Loved all things living, shared his store
With homeless men who sought his door.

Friend of the poor, no less was he
The guardian saint of those at sea;
O'er wave-swept rock and sheltered bay
God's churches bear his name to-day.

And his the skill, the tender art
That wins the trustful, child-like heart:
His dearest title to the end
'Saint Nicolas, the children's friend.'

To thee, O Lord, the praise be given
For this true citizen of heaven:
A star above the stormy sea
To lead the wanderer home to thee.

SECOND READING [Luke 11:29-32]:

When the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, 'This generation is an evil
generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to
this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgement with the people of
this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to
listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn
it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than
Jonah is here!'

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

Prayer:
>From the rising of the sun to its setting, 
let us pray to the Lord.

That the people of God in all the world
may worship in spirit and in truth,
let us pray to the Lord: 
Lord, have mercy.

That the Church may discover again that unity which is your gift,
let us pray to the Lord: 
Lord, have mercy.

For your Church in every place
Lord, have mercy.

That the nations of the earth
may seek after the ways that make for peace,
let us pray to the Lord:
Lord, have mercy.

That the whole creation, groaning in travail,
may be set free to enjoy the glorious liberty
of the children of God,
let us pray to the Lord:
Lord, have mercy.

That all who with Christ have entered the shadow of death
may find the fulfilment of life and peace,
let us pray to the Lord:
Lord, have mercy.

With all the saints in light,
let us offer eternal praise to the Lord made manifest:

God, our Father,
the One who comes in your name comes again
with grace and power,
with forgiveness and strength,
with truth and imaginatilon,
with gentleness and love.
May the coming One enter the hearts
of those who wait with quiet expectation
for all that is good and holy and just. Amen.

 Almighty Father, lover of souls,
who chose your servant Nicholas
      to be a bishop in the Church,
that he might give freely out of the treasures of your grace:
make us mindful of the needs of others
and, as we have received, so teach us also to give;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
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

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 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 by Robert Oliphant.

Nicholas was a native of the western part of what is now Asiatic Turkey. He
became Bishop of Myra in the fourth century, and there are many stories of his
love for God and for his neighbor.
The best-known story involves a man with three unmarried daughters, and not
enough money to provide them with suitable dowries. This meant that they
could not marry, and were likely to end up as prostitutes. Nicholas walked by
the man's house on three successive nights, and each time threw a bag of gold
in through a window (or, when the story came to be told in colder climates,
down the chimney). Thus, the daughters were saved from a life of shame, and
all got married and lived happily ever after. Because of this and similar stories,
Nicholas became a symbol of anonymous gift-giving. [James Kiefer, abridged]



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