OREMUS: 25 December 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Dec 24 17:00:00 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Thursday, December 25, 2008
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
(Christmas Day)

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

Blessed are you, loving and merciful Father, 
it is our joy and delight,
our reason for being,
to offer you thanks and praise. 
All your actions show wisdom and love.
Through your Word you spoke creation into existence
and made us in your image and likeness.
When we disobeyed you and drew away from you,
you did not leave us in darkness
but sent your Son, the Word made flesh,
to be the light of the world. 
Emptying himself of all but love,
he was born of Mary,
shared our human nature and died on the cross.
Yet you have raised him from death to eternal life;
and through him you have sent your holy and life-giving Spirit
to make us your people, a people of light,
to reflect your glory in all the earth.
And so with angels and archangels
and all the heavenly choir, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

Psalm 45

My heart is stirring with a noble song;
   let me recite what I have fashioned for the king;*
 my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.
You are the fairest of men;*
 grace flows from your lips,
   because God has blessed you for ever.
Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior,*
 in your pride and in your majesty.
Ride out and conquer in the cause of truth*
 and for the sake of justice.
Your right hand will show you marvellous things;*
 your arrows are very sharp, O mighty warrior.
The peoples are falling at your feet,*
 and the king's enemies are losing heart.
Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever,*
 a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom;
   you love righteousness and hate iniquity;
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you*
 with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia,*
 and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.
Kings' daughters stand among the ladies of the court;*
 on your right hand is the queen,
   adorned with the gold of Ophir.
'Hear, O daughter; consider and listen closely;*
 forget your people and your family's house.
'The king will have pleasure in your beauty;*
 he is your master; therefore do him honour.
'The people of Tyre are here with a gift;*
 the rich among the people seek your favour.'
All glorious is the princess as she enters;*
 her gown is cloth-of-gold.
In embroidered apparel she is brought to the king;*
 after her the bridesmaids follow in procession.
With joy and gladness they are brought,*
 and enter into the palace of the king.
'In place of fathers, O king, you shall have sons;*
 you shall make them princes over all the earth.
'I will make your name to be remembered
   from one generation to another;*
 therefore nations will praise you for ever and ever.'

A Song of God's Chosen One (Isaiah 11.1,2,3b-4a,6,9)

There shall come forth a shoot from the stock of Jesse,  
and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,  
the spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
The spirit of counsel and might,  
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,  
or decide by what his ears hear, 
But with righteousness he shall judge the poor,  
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. 
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,  
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. 
The calf, the lion and the fatling together,  
with a little child to lead them. 
They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,  
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord 
as the waters cover the sea.

Psalm 148

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 9:2-7]:

The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness 
   on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
   you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
   as with joy at the harvest,
   as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
   and the bar across their shoulders,
   the rod of their oppressor,
   you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
   and all the garments rolled in blood
   shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 

HYMN 
Words: Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413);
trans. John Mason Neale, 1854 and Henry Williams Baker, 1861 
Tune: Divinum mysterium

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/o/o739.html
Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus. 

Of the Father's love begotten,
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!

At his word the words were fram d;
he commanded; it was done:
heaven and earth and depths of ocean
in their threefold order one;
all that grows beneath the shining
of the moon and burning sun,
evermore and evermore!

O that birth for ever bless d,
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bare the Savior of our race;
and the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

This is he whom seers in old time
chanted of with one accord;
whom the voices of the prophets
promised in their faithful word;
now he shines, the long expected,
let creation praise its Lord,
evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven, adore him;
angel-hosts, his praises sing;
powers, dominions, bow before him,
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
every voice in concert ring,
evermore and evermore!

Thee let old men, thee let young men,
thee let boys in chorus sing;
matrons, virgins, little maidens,
with glad voices answering:
let their guileless songs re-echo,
and the heart its music bring,
evermore and evermore!

Christ, to thee with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving,
and unwearied praises be;
honor, glory and dominion,
and eternal victory,
evermore and evermore!

SECOND READING [Luke 2:1-20]:

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be
registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor
of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town
of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was
descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to
whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time
came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped
him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in
the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock
by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord
shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be
afraid; for see I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is
born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be
a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.'
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God
and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace among those whom he favours!'

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one
another, 'Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which
the Lord has made known to us.' So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had
been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the
shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her
heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and
seen, as it had been told them. 

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

Prayer:
Let us turn to God, who comes to us this Christmas as a helpless child to bring us back
to the Father.

For people throughout the world, celebrating his holy nativity; that the arrival of the
Christ child will bring hope, direction and meaning to their lives.

For all those who work during the Christmas season, especially in the emergency
services; that the Lord will keep them safe, and that they will enjoy time to relax with
family and friends later this week.

For those who are suffering as a result of the rising tension between Israel and Hamas;
that in this season when we talk so much about peace, they will find a measure of the
same amid the prevailing conflict.

For all people who, for many reasons, do not look forward to Christmas; that they
shall gain comfort from Christ's promise to remain with us always.

For all who will struggle financially this Christmas amid increasing pressure to spend
money; that those who have plenty will be generous with those who have little, and
that we all be assured of the true riches found in God's grace.

All of these prayers, we bring to you, O Loving Father, in the name of your Son, who
changes our lives and begins his work of Salvation at Christmas.
Amen.

Gracious Creator of heaven and earth,
your Word has come among us
as the true Sun of Righteousness,
and the Good News of his birth
has gone out to the ends of the world:
Open our eyes to the light of your law,
that we may be freed from sin
and serve you without reproach
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Light and our Life. Amen.
          
Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

Fill us with wonder on this holy day,
that we may treasure in our hearts
what we have been told,
that our lives may proclaim
your great and gentle mercy. 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 is adapted from  _Uniting in Worship 2_,
(c) 2005 Uniting Church in Australia.

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 _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 
http://www.scottishepiscopal.com

The closing sentence uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.



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