OREMUS: 7 December 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Dec 6 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Sunday, December 7, 2008
The Second Sunday of Advent

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of eternity!
When the voice of the prophet was silent
and the faith of your people low;
when darkness had obscured light
and indifferenced displaced zeal:
you saw that the time was right,
and prepared to send yoiur Son
to set us free from fear and despair
that we may be ready to welcome him
who comes as Savior and Lord. 
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 119:89-104

O Lord, your word is everlasting;*
 it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness remains
   from one generation to another;*
 you established the earth and it abides.
By your decree these continue to this day,*
 for all things are your servants.
If my delight had not been in your law,*
 I should have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your commandments,*
 because by them you give me life.
I am yours; O that you would save me!*
 for I study your commandments.
Though the wicked lie in wait for me to destroy me,*
 I will apply my mind to your decrees.
I see that all things come to an end,*
 but your commandment has no bounds.
O how I love your law!*
 all the day long it is in my mind.
Your commandment has made me wiser
   than my enemies,*
 and it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,*
 for your decrees are my study.
I am wiser than the elders,*
 because I observe your commandments.
I restrain my feet from every evil way,*
 that I may keep your word.
I do not shrink from your judgements,*
 because you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste!*
 they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
Through your commandments I gain understanding;*
 therefore I hate every lying way.

A Song of the Spirit (Revelation 22:12-14,16,17)

'Behold, I am coming soon', says the Lord, 
'and bringing my reward with me, . 
to give to everyone according to their deeds. 
'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, . 
the beginning and the end.' 
Blessed are those who do God's commandments, 
that they may have the right to the tree of life, . 
and may enter into the city through the gates. 
'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you, . 
with this testimony for all the churches. 
'I am the root and the offspring of David, . 
I am the bright morning star.' 
'Come!' say the Spirit and the Bride; . 
'Come!' let each hearer reply. 
Come forward, you who are thirsty, . 
let those who desire take the water of life as a gift. 

Psalm 117

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.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 52:1-10]:

Awake, awake,
   put on your strength, O Zion!
Put on your beautiful garments,
   O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for the uncircumcised and the unclean
   shall enter you no more.
Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
   O captive Jerusalem;
loose the bonds from your neck,
   O captive daughter Zion!

 For thus says the Lord: You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed
without money. For thus says the Lord God: Long ago, my people went down into
Egypt to reside there as aliens; the Assyrian, too, has oppressed them without cause.
Now therefore, what am I doing here, says the Lord, seeing that my people are taken
away without cause? Their rulers howl, says the Lord, and continually, all day long,
my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore on that day
they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.

How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
   before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
   the salvation of our God. 

Words: Johann G. Olearius, 1671; trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Music: Psalm 42 

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Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness,
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load;
speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

For the herald's voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
bidding all men to repentance,
since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain:
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign,
For the glory of the Lord
now o'er the earth is shed abroad,
and all flesh shall see the token
that his word is never broken.

SECOND READING [2 Timothy 3]:

You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people
will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient
to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates,
brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its
power. Avoid them! For among them are those who make their way into households
and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of
desires, who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the
truth. As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people, of corrupt mind and
counterfeit faith, also oppose the truth. But they will not make much progress,
because, as in the case of those two men, their folly will become plain to everyone.

Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my
patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, and my suffering the things that
happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet
the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in
Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to
worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have
learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from
childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for
salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that
everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 

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

My brothers and sisters, as we wait in hope for the coming again of the
Word-made-flesh, let us offer our prayers for the world he came to save.

We pray for peace and reconciliation among the people of India and Pakistan amid the
current tensions in that part of the world; we pray too for all those who have been
killed, injured or bereaved as a result of the recent terrorist violence.

We pray for the people of Zimbabwe in the face of the epidemic of cholera in their
country: that they may be given the aid they need, and that they may know peace,
justice and freedom.

We pray for the people of Somalia and Nigeria, in the continuing violence and unrest;
and for all who seek to bring peace in their land.

We pray for those throughout the world who are persecuted or imprisoned for their
faith: that they may know the strength and comfort of the Holy Spirit.

We pray, in this winter season, for all who struggle to keep warm; for those who are
homeless; for those who cannot afford to heat their homes: may we all be generous in
our concern for our neighbours.

We pray for a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the word of God: that through
reading the scriptures we may be inspired to prepare the way of the Lord in our lives
and our world.

Almighty Father, help us in this Advent season as we seek to prepare our hearts and
our world for the coming of your Son. We make our prayers through your Son, Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

God of our salvation, 
you straighten the winding ways of our hearts 
and smooth the paths made rough by sin: 
Keep our hearts watchful in holiness, 
and bring to perfection the good you have begun in us. 
We ask this through him whose coming is certain, 
whose day draws near; your Son, 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, forever and ever.  Amen.
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Remove those things which hinder love of you, O God,
that when your Son comes
he may find us waiting in awe and wonder.  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.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from
_Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland_, (c) 1994, Panel on
Worship of the Church of Scotland.

The petitions are gathered by Redemptorist Publications and are published each Friday on
their website: http://www.rpbooks.co.uk/page.php?page=prayers. The collect is from
_A Prayer Book for Australia_. (c) 1995, The Anglican Church of
Australia Trust Corporation.

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