OREMUS: 23 December 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 22 17:00:02 GMT 2006


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OREMUS for Saturday, December 23, 2006
O Emmanuel

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

Blessed are you, Emmanuel
gentle Ruler and Giver of Laws,
the nations cry out for you
to rescue them from their exile.
You come and visit us in peace, O Lord,
and we rejoice with renewed hearts.
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 76

In Judah is God known;*
 his name is great in Israel.
At Salem is his tabernacle,*
 and his dwelling is in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,*
 the shield, the sword and the weapons of battle.
How glorious you are!*
 more splendid than the everlasting mountains!
The strong of heart have been despoiled;
   they sink into sleep;*
 none of the warriors can lift a hand.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,*
 both horse and rider lie stunned.
What terror you inspire!*
 who can stand before you when you are angry?
>From heaven you pronounced judgement;*
 the earth was afraid and was still;
When God rose up to judgement*
 and to save all the oppressed of the earth.
Truly, wrathful Edom will give you thanks,*
 and the remnant of Hamath will keep your feasts.
Make a vow to the Lord your God and keep it;*
 let all around him bring gifts
   to him who is worthy to be feared.
He breaks the spirit of princes,*
 and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.

Psalm 131

O Lord, I am not proud;*
 I have no haughty looks.
I do not occupy myself with great matters,*
 or with things that are too hard for me.
But I still my soul and make it quiet,
   like a child upon its mother's breast;*
 my soul is quieted within me.
O Israel, wait upon the Lord,*
 from this time forth for evermore.

A Song of the Covenant (Isaiah 42:5-8a)

Thus says God, who created the heavens,
who fashioned the earth and all that dwells in it;

Who gives breath to the people upon it,
and spirit to those who walk in it,

'I am the Lord and I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;

'I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind.

'To bring out the captives from the dungeon,
from the prison, those who sit in darkness.

'I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other.'

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!

FIRST READING [Micah 4:1-8]:

In days to come
   the mountain of the Lord's house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
   and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it, 
   and many nations shall come and say:
'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
   to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
   and that we may walk in his paths.'
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
   and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 
He shall judge between many peoples,
   and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
   and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
   neither shall they learn war any more; 
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
   and no one shall make them afraid;
   for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. 

For all the peoples walk,
   each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
   for ever and ever. 

On that day, says the Lord,
   I will assemble the lame
and gather those who have been driven away,
   and those whom I have afflicted. 
The lame I will make the remnant,
   and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
   now and for evermore. 

And you, O tower of the flock,
   hill of daughter Zion,
to you it shall come,
   the former dominion shall come,
   the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

HYMN 
Words: Christopher Smart (1722-1771), alt.
Tune: Rustington
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Where is this stupendous stranger?
Prophets, shepherds, kings, advise.
Lead me to my Master's manger,
show me where my Savior lies.
O Most Mighty! O Most Holy!
Far beyond the seraph's thought:
art thou then so weak and lowly
as unheeded prophets taught?

O the magnitude of meekness!
Worth from worth immortal sprung;
O the strength of infant weakness,
if eternal is so young!
God all-bounteous, all-creative,
whom no ills from good dissuade,
is incarnate, and a native
of the very world he made.

SECOND READING [Luke 1:57-66]:

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbours and relatives
heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah
after his father. But his mother said, 'No; he is to be called John.' They said to her, 'None of your
relatives has this name.' Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted
to give him. He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, 'His name is John.' And all of them were
amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising
God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the
entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, 'What then will this
child become?' For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

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

Prayer:
Merciful God, 
if we have spent so much time shopping
that we have had little time to spend
with those for whom we are shopping,
forgive us and give us sensitivity.

If we become so busy practicing for the Christmas programs
that we forget to think about what they mean,
forgive us and give us understanding.

If we decorate our houses
but neglect the inner beauty of our homes,
forgive us and grant us love.

If we are worried about how much Christmas is going to cost us,
but have given little thought to how much Christmas cost God,
forgive us and give us perspective.

If we are so consumed with thinking about Christmas
that we have little consideration
of the meaning of the first Christmas,
forgive us and give us insight.

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, 
that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, 
may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; 
who lives 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

Music may be found here

O come, O come, Emmanuel, 
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!

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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 is adapted by Stephen Benner and is based
on the antiphons O Emmanuel and Veni Domine.

The intercession is from _Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice
Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

The collect is from The Book of Common Prayer According to the Use
of The Episcopal Church_.



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