OREMUS: 24 December 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Dec 23 17:00:01 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The Vigil of Christmas

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

Blessed are you, almighty God and everlasting Father,
through Jesus Christ your Son.
He is the one foretold by all the prophets,
whom the Virgin Mother bore with love beyond all telling.
John the Baptist was his herald
and made him known when at last he came.
In his love Christ fills us with joy
as we prepare to celebrate his birth,
so that when he comes again he may find us watching in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.
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 85

You have been gracious to your land, O Lord,*
 you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people*
 and blotted out all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your fury*
 and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
Restore us then, O God our Saviour;*
 let your anger depart from us.
Will you be displeased with us for ever?*
 will you prolong your anger from age to age?
Will you not give us life again,*
 that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your mercy, O Lord,*
 and grant us your salvation.
I will listen to what the Lord God is saying,*
 for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
   and to those who turn their hearts to him.
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him,*
 that his glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together;*
 righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth,*
 and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,*
 and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before him,*
 and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

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 147:13-end

Alleluia!
Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Baruch 4:36-5:9]:

Look towards the east, O Jerusalem,
   and see the joy that is coming to you from God.
Look, your children are coming, whom you sent away;
   they are coming, gathered from east and west,
at the word of the Holy One,
   rejoicing in the glory of God.

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
   and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God.
Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God;
   put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting;
for God will show your splendour everywhere under heaven.
For God will give you evermore the name,
   'Righteous Peace, Godly Glory'.

Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height;
   look towards the east,
and see your children gathered from west and east
   at the word of the Holy One,
   rejoicing that God has remembered them.
For they went out from you on foot,
   led away by their enemies;
but God will bring them back to you,
   carried in glory, as on a royal throne.
For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low
   and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,
   so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
The woods and every fragrant tree
   have shaded Israel at God's command.
For God will lead Israel with joy,
   in the light of his glory,
   with the mercy and righteousness that come from him. 

HYMN 
Words: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), 1885
Tune: Gartan, Hermitage

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/l/l530.html
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Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, love divine;
love was born at Christmas:
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
love incarnate, love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith the sacred sign?

Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
love for plea and gift and sign.

SECOND READING [Luke 1:67-end]:

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this
prophecy:
'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
   for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty saviour for us
   in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
   that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
   and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
   to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
   before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
   for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
   by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
   the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
   to guide our feet into the way of peace.'

The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day
he appeared publicly to Israel. 

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

Prayer:
The time is at hand and your promises are fulfilled.
With joyful hearts we pray:
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming:
come to those who are destitute and alone.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming,
come to the homeless, the addicted, and all held in bondage.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming,
to liberate your creation and set us free.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming,
to those who long to be taken to their eternal home.
Today we shall see your salvation!

We eagerly await your coming
upon the Church that we may proclaim
the good news of your birth.
Today we shall see your salvation!

Almighty God,
you make us glad with the yearly remembrance
of the birth of your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as we joyfully receive him as our redeemer,
so we may with sure confidence behold him
when he shall come to be our judge;
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

Make our hearts leap with joy
and fill our mouths with songs of praise,
that we may announce glad tidings of peace,
and welcome the Christ in our midst. 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 collect is from _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 closing sentence is from a prayer reprinted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common
Texts



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