OREMUS: 2 February 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Feb 1 20:54:26 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Friday, February 2, 2007
The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for your Son Jesus Christ, 
the light to lighten the nations,
who is one with you from all eternity.
He searches the hearts of all your people
and brings to light the image of your splendor.
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. 


Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,*
 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'
Now our feet are standing*
 within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city*
 that is at unity with itself.
To which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,*
 the assembly of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
For there are the thrones of judgement,*
 the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:*
 'May they prosper who love you.
'Peace be within your walls*
 and quietness within your towers.
'For my family and companions' sake,*
 I pray for your prosperity.
'Because of the house of the Lord our God,*
 I will seek to do you good.'

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 New Jerusalem (Isaiah 60.1-3,11a,18,19,14b

Arise, shine out, for your light has come,  
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you.

Though night still covers the earth,
and darkness the peoples;

Above you the Holy One arises,
and above you God's glory appears.

The nations will come to your light,
and kings to your dawning brightness.

Your gates will lie open continually,
shut neither by day nor by night.

The sound of violence shall be heard no longer in your land,
or ruin and devastation within your borders.

You will call your walls, Salvation,
and your gates, Praise.

No more will the sun give you daylight,
nor moonlight shine upon you;

But the Lord will be your everlasting light,
your God will be your splendour.

For you shall be called the city of God,
the dwelling of the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 147:1-12

   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.

FIRST READING [Malachi 3:1-5]:

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.
Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers,
against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired
workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and
do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. 

For another Biblical reading,

Words: (c) Timothy Dudley-Smith
Tune: Pastor pastorum
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Faithful vigil ended,
watching, waiting cease;
Master, grant your servant
his discharge in peace.

All the Spirit promised,
all the Father willed,
now these eyes behold it
perfectly fulfilled.

This your great deliverance
sets your people free;
Christ their light uplifted
all the nations see.

Christ, your people's glory!
Watching, doubting cease:
grant to us your servants
our discharge in peace.

SECOND READING [Luke 2:22-40]:

When the time came for their purification according to
the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to
present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of
the Lord, 'Every firstborn male shall be designated as
holy to the Lord'), and they offered a sacrifice
according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, 'a
pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.'
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;
this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the
consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he
would not see death before he had seen the Lord's
Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the
temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus,
to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon
took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
'Master, now you are dismissing your servant in
   according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you have prepared in the presence of all
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to your people Israel.'

And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was
being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said
to his mother Mary, 'This child is destined for the
falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a
sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of
many will be revealed and a sword will pierce your own
soul too.'
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel,
of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having
lived with her husband for seven years after her
marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She
never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting
and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and
began to praise God and to speak about the child to all
who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had finished everything required by the law of
the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of
Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with
wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

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

Let us pray to the Father through Christ our light and life.

Almighty Father, 
your Christ is acclaimed as the glory of Israel
look in mercy on your Church, sharing its light ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ in the temple brings judgement on the world
look in mercy on the nations who long for his justice ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ who was rich for our sake became poor
look in mercy on all who are in need 
and those who suffer with him ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ is the one in whom 
faithful servants find their peace
look in mercy on the whole Church 
which glories in your salvation ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ is the one destined for rejection
look in mercy on us as we turn towards his passion.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Almighty Father, 
you kept faith with Simeon and Anna,
and showed them the infant King.
Give us grace to trust your promises and patience 
to wait for their fulfilment;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, 
for you have sent us your salvation. 
Inspire us by your Holy Spirit 
to see with our own eyes him who is the glory of Israel, 
and the light for all nations, 
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

The Candlemas Procession

Candles may be lit.
A procession may be to the font, the door of the church, or through the house.

Lord God, the springing source of everlasting light,
pour into the hearts of your faithful people
the brilliance of your eternal splendor,
that we, who by these kindling flames
light up this temple to your glory,
may have the darkness of our souls dispelled,
and so be counted worthy to stand before you
in that eternal temple where you live and reign,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The procession begins while the Nunc dimittis is said or sung.

A light to lighten the nations 
and the glory of your people Israel.

Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace
your word has been fulfilled.

A light to lighten the nations 
and the glory of your people Israel.

My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people.

A light to lighten the nations 
and the glory of your people Israel.

A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

A light to lighten the nations 
and the glory of your people Israel.


Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace
according to thy word.

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

At the end of the procession:

Father, here we bring to an end our celebration
of the Savior's birth.
Help us, in whom he has been born,
to live his life that has no end.

Here we have rejoiced with faithful Simeon and Anna.
Help us, who have found the Lord in his temple,
to trust in your eternal promises.

Here we have greeted the Light of the world.
Help us, who now extinguish these candles,
never to forsake the light of Christ.

Here we turn from Christ's birth to his passion.
Help us, for whom Lent is near,
to enter deeply into the Easter mystery.

Here we bless one another in your name.
Help us, who now go in peace,
to shine with your light in the world.
Thanks be to God!  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.

Hymn (c) 1984 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this text in all territories except the UK, Europe &
Africa, contact: Hope Publishing Company, 
For UK, Europe & Africa: contact: Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith, 
9 Ashlands, Ford, Salisbury, Wiltshire  SP4 6DY  England

The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted by Stephen Benner using
phrases from a preface in _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.

The intercession and the Candlemas procession are from material copyright
(c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

Counting forward from December 25 as Day One, we find that Day Forty is
February 2. A Jewish woman is in semi-seclusion for 40 days after giving birth
to a son, and accordingly it is on February 2 that we celebrate the coming of
Mary and Joseph with the infant Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem to offer
sacrifice, both on behalf of Mary and on behalf of Jesus as a first-born male. As
they did so, they were greeted by the aged Simeon. In a Sunday-School
pageant, I once saw, the narrator said, "And now Simeon bursts into a
spontaneous song of praise, assisted by the Temple Choir." His song, called the
NUNC DIMITTIS, has always had a prominent role in Christian worship.
Because an old reading for this festival contains the line (Zephaniah 1:12), "I
will search Jerusalem with candles," the day is also known as Candlemas, and
sometimes observed with a candle-lit procession. On the other hand,
Groundhog Day ("If the groundhog (or woodchuck, a kind of marmot, which
burrows and hibernates) sees his shadow on 2 February, there will be six more
weeks of winter.") is strictly a secular holiday, confined, as far as I know, to
the United States. [James Kiefer, abridged]

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