OREMUS: 15 December 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Dec 14 17:00:00 GMT 2006


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OREMUS for Friday, December 15, 2006 

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

Blessed are you, God of mercy and might,
with tender comfort and transforming power
you come into our midst.
You remember your ancient promise
and make straight the paths that lead to you
and smooth out the rough ways,
that in our day
we might bring forth your compassion
for all humanity.
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 108

My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;*
 I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp;*
 I myself will waken the dawn.
I will confess you among the peoples, O Lord;*
 I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens,*
 and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,*
 and your glory over all the earth.
So that those who are dear to you may be delivered,*
 save with your right hand and answer me.

Psalm 132

Lord, remember David*
 and all the hardships he endured;
How he swore an oath to the Lord*
 and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
'I will not come under the roof of my house,*
 nor climb up into my bed;
'I will not allow my eyes to sleep,*
 nor let my eyelids slumber;
'Until I find a place for the Lord,*
 a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.'
'The Ark! We heard it was in Ephrathah;*
 we found it in the fields of Jearim.
'Let us go to God's dwelling place;*
 let us fall upon our knees before his footstool.'
Arise, O Lord, into your resting-place,*
 you and the ark of your strength.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness;*
 let your faithful people sing with joy.
For your servant David's sake,*
 do not turn away the face of your anointed.
The Lord has sworn an oath to David;*
 in truth, he will not break it:
'A son, the fruit of your body*
 will I set upon your throne.
'If your children keep my covenant
   and my testimonies that I shall teach them,*
 their children will sit upon your throne for evermore.'
For the Lord has chosen Zion,*
 he has desired her for his habitation:
'This shall be my resting-place for ever;*
 here will I dwell, for I delight in her.
'I will surely bless her provisions,*
 and satisfy her poor with bread.
'I will clothe her priests with salvation,*
 and her faithful people will rejoice and sing.
'There will I make the horn of David flourish;*
 I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
'As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame;*
 but as for him, his crown will shine.'

A Song of the Bride (Isaiah 61.10,11; 62.1-3)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall exult in my God;

Who has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
and has covered me with the cloak of integrity,

As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth puts forth her blossom,
and as seeds in the garden spring up,

So shall God make righteousness and praise
blossom before all the nations.

For Zion's sake, I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest,

Until her deliverance shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation as a burning torch.

The nations shall see your deliverance,
and all rulers shall see your glory;

Then you shall be called by a new name
which the mouth of God will give.

You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

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!

FIRST READING [Amos 8:4-12]:

Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
   and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, 'When will the new moon be over
   so that we may sell grain;
and the sabbath,
   so that we may offer wheat for sale?
We will make the ephah small and the shekel great,
   and practise deceit with false balances,
buying the poor for silver
   and the needy for a pair of sandals,
   and selling the sweepings of the wheat.'

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
Shall not the land tremble on this account,
   and everyone mourn who lives in it,
and all of it rise like the Nile,
   and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of
Egypt?
On that day, says the Lord God,
   I will make the sun go down at noon,
   and darken the earth in broad daylight.
I will turn your feasts into mourning,
   and all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on all loins,
   and baldness on every head;
I will make it like the mourning for an only son,
   and the end of it like a bitter day.

The time is surely coming, says the Lord God,
   when I will send a famine on the land;
not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water,
   but of hearing the words of the Lord.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
   and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
   but they shall not find it. 

HYMN 
Words: Greek, eighth century; trans. Robert Maude Moorsom, 1901
Tune: Geronimo

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"Behold, the Bridegroom draweth nigh!"
Hear ye the oft-repeated cry?
Go forth into the midnight dim;
for blest are they whom he shall find
with ready heart and watchful mind;
go forth, my soul, to him.

"Behold, the Bridegroom cometh by!"
The call is echoed from the sky:
Go forth, ye servants, watch and wait;
the slothful cannot join his train;
no careless one may entrance gain:
awake, my soul, 'tis late.

O Holy, Holy, Holy Lord,
we cry to thee with one accord;
to us thy pitying mercy show,
that none may reach the door too late,
when thou shalt enter at the gate
and to thy kingdom go.

"Behold, the Bridegroom draweth near!"
The warning falls on every ear:
the night of dread shall come to all:
Then, O my soul, renew thy light,
and trim thy lamp that it burn bright;
soon shall I hear the call.

SECOND READING [2 Corinthians 9:1-15]:

Now it is not necessary for me to write to you about the ministry to the saints, for I
know your eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting about you to the people of
Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred
up most of them. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you
may not prove to have been empty in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you
would be; otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not
ready, we would be humiliated to say nothing of you in this undertaking. So I
thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in
advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a
voluntary gift and not as an extortion.
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who
sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made
up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always
having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is
written,
'He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
   his righteousness endures for ever.'
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your
seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched
in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God
through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints
but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing of this
ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ
and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long
for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 

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

Prayer:
To the poor and exploited;
to lives overshadowed by conflict,
come with your message of justice and peace
Come, reveal yourself within our world, Lord.

To the lonely and unloved;
to lives overshadowed by suffering,
come with your friendship and concern
Come, reveal yourself in our community, Lord.

To both young and old on the journey of faith;
to lives overshadowed by doubt,
come with the gift of your Holy Spirit
Come, reveal yourself to the church, Lord.

To the sinner and the seeker;
to lives overshadowed by emptiness,
come with the offering of salvation
Come, reveal yourself in human lives, Lord.

To the sick and anxious;
to lives overshadowed by sorrow,
come with all-sufficient love
Come, that we may know you with us in our need, Lord.

O God,
whose steadfast love never ceases
and whose compassion never fails:
come with the dawning of the new day
and reveal your power in our lives,
that your glory may be exalted in all the earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
       
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Give us grace so to imitate your Son
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that, when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him
with joyful love and firm faith. 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 uses a sentence from a prayer reprinted
from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c)
2002 Consultation on Common Texts; and another sentence from
_Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_,
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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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