OREMUS: 6 December 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 5 17:00:00 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Saturday, December 6, 2008
Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c.326

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. 

http://www.oremus.org/ocan.html

Psalm 28

O Lord, I call to you;
   my rock, do not be deaf to my cry;*
 lest, if you do not hear me,
   I become like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you,*
 when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.
Do not snatch me away with the wicked
   or with the evildoers,*
 who speak peaceably with their neighbours,
   while strife is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their deeds,*
 and according to the wickedness of their actions.
According to the work of their hands repay them,*
 and give them their just deserts.
They have no understanding of the Lord's doings,
   nor of the works of his hands;*
 therefore he will break them down
   and not build them up.
Blessed is the Lord!*
 for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;*
 my heart trusts in him and I have been helped;
Therefore my heart dances for joy,*
 and in my song will I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people,*
 a safe refuge for his anointed.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;*
 shepherd them and carry them for ever.

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,*
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name;*
 worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
   the God of glory thunders;*
 the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice;*
 the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendour.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees;*
 the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,*
 and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire;
   the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;*
 the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe*
 and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Lord*
 all are crying, 'Glory!'
The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;*
 the Lord sits enthroned as king for evermore.
The Lord shall give strength to his people;*
 the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

A Song of God's Herald (Isaiah 40. 9-11)

Go up to a high mountain, 
herald of good tidings to Zion;  
lift up your voice with strength, 
herald of good tidings to Jerusalem. 
Lift up your voice, fear not;  
say to the cities of Judah, 'Behold your God!' 
See, the Lord God comes with might,  
and his arm rules for him. 
Behold, his reward is with him,  
and his recompense before him. 
God will feed his flock like a shepherd,  
and gather the lambs in his arms; 
He will carry them in his breast,  
and gently lead those that are with young. 

Psalm 150

Alleluia!
   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 7:1-9]:

In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram
and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not
mount an attack against it. When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself
with Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the
forest shake before the wind.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at
the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field, and say
to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of
these two smouldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and
Aram and the son of Remaliah. Because Aram with Ephraim and the son of
Remaliah has plotted evil against you, saying, Let us go up against Judah and cut off
Jerusalem and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; therefore
thus says the Lord God:
It shall not stand,
   and it shall not come to pass.
For the head of Aram is Damascus,
   and the head of Damascus is Rezin.

(Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.)
The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
   and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in faith,
   you shall not stand at all. 

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 [Mark 2:13-22]:

Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he
taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax
booth, and he said to him, 'Follow me.' And he got up and followed him.

And as he sat at dinner in Levi's house, many tax-collectors and sinners were also
sitting with Jesus and his disciples for there were many who followed him. When the
scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they
said to his disciples, 'Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?' When Jesus
heard this, he said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those
who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.'

Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him,
'Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do
not fast?' Jesus said to them, 'The wedding-guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is
with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will
fast on that day.

'No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls
away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new
wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost,
and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.'

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

Prayer:
O Lord, answer us in the day of trouble,
Send us help from your holy place.

Show us the path of life,
For in your presence is joy.

Give justice to the orphan and oppressed
And break the power of wickedness and evil.

Look upon the hungry and sorrowful
And grant them the help for which they long.

Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
May your glory endure for ever.

Your kingship has dominion over all
And with you is our redemption.

We pray for your Church, especially
Lord, have mercy.

O God the Word and Son of God,
exalted is your name in all creation,
yet you have stooped to become one with us:
as you have ordained humanity the steward of your creation,
so minister through us the mystery of your salvation;
to the glory of your holy Name. 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.

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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