OREMUS: 23 December 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Dec 22 17:00:01 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Sunday, December 23, 2007
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 89:1-9,11-14,18-21,24-29, 52

Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing;*
 from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever;*
 you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
'I have made a covenant with my chosen one;*
 I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
'"I will establish your line for ever,*
 and preserve your throne for all generations."'
The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O Lord,*
 and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?*
 who is like the Lord among the gods?
God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones,*
 great and terrible to all those round about him.
Who is like you, Lord God of hosts?*
 O mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.
You rule the raging of the sea*
 and still the surging of its waves.
Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours;*
 you laid the foundations of the world
   and all that is in it.
You have made the north and the south;*
 Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
You have a mighty arm;*
 strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
Righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of your throne;*
 love and truth go before your face.
Truly, the Lord is our ruler;*
 the Holy One of Israel is our king.
You spoke once in a vision
   and said to your faithful people:*
 'I have set the crown upon a warrior
   and have exalted one chosen out of the people.<td
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'I have found David my servant;*
 with my holy oil have I anointed him.
'My hand will hold him fast*
 and my arm will make him strong.
'My faithfulness and love shall be with him,*
 and he shall be victorious through my name.
'I shall make his dominion extend*
 from the Great Sea to the River.
'He will say to me, "You are my Father,*
 my God and the rock of my salvation."
'I will make him my first-born*
 and higher than the kings of the earth.
'I will keep my love for him for ever,*
 and my covenant will stand firm for him.
'I will establish his line for ever*
 and his throne as the days of heaven.
Blessed be the Lord for evermore!*
 Amen, I say, Amen.

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 117

Alleluia!
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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Malachi 3.1 4, 4.5 end]:

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will
suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight indeed, he is
coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand
when he appears?
For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and
he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present
offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing
to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will
turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will
not come and strike the land with a curse.

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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