OREMUS: 27 December 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 26 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Sunday, December 27, 2008
Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist

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

Blessed are you, O God, the giver of the Word,
which your beloved apostle John
proclaimed to the world
through his words and actions.
Just as John was transformed 
from fisherman to disciple
may be we be transformed 
through the grace of your Word
to proclaim in all that we do and say.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God forever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;*
 I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures*
 and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul*
 and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I shall fear no evil;*
 for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me
   in the presence of those who trouble me;*
 you have anointed my head with oil,
   and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,*
 and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it,*
 the world and all who dwell therein.
For it is he who founded it upon the seas*
 and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
'Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?*
 and who can stand in his holy place?'
'Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,*
 who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
   nor sworn by what is a fraud.
'They shall receive a blessing from the Lord*
 and a just reward from the God of their salvation.'
Such is the generation of those who seek him,*
 of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle.'
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is he, this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord of hosts,
   he is the King of glory.'

A Song of the Word (John 1:1-14)

In the beginning was the Word, 
and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God. 

He was in the beginning with God. 
All things came into being through him, 
and without him not one thing came into being. 

What has come into being in him was life, 
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, 
and the darkness did not overcome it. 

There was a man sent from God, 
whose name was John. 
He came as a witness to testify to the light, 
so that all might believe through him. 
He himself was not the light, 
but he came to testify to the light. 

The true light, which enlightens everyone, 
was coming into the world. 
He was in the world, 
and the world came into being through him; 
yet the world did not know him. 
He came to what was his own, 
and his own people did not accept him. 

But to all who received him, 
who believed in his name, 
he gave power to become children of God, who were born, 
not of blood or of the will of the flesh 
or of the will of man, but of God. 

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, 
and we have seen his glory, 
the glory as of a father's only son, 
full of grace and truth.

Psalm 150

   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.

FIRST READING [Exodus 33:12-end]:

Moses said to the Lord, 'See, you have said to me, "Bring up this people"; but you
have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, "I know you
by name, and you have also found favour in my sight." Now if I have found favour in
your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favour in your sight.
Consider too that this nation is your people.' He said, 'My presence will go with you,
and I will give you rest.' And he said to him, 'If your presence will not go, do not
carry us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favour in your
sight, I and your people, unless you go with us? In this way, we shall be distinct, I and
your people, from every people on the face of the earth.'

The Lord said to Moses, 'I will do the very thing that you have asked; for you have
found favour in my sight, and I know you by name.' Moses said, 'Show me your
glory, I pray.' And he said, 'I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will
proclaim before you the name, "The Lord"; and I will be gracious to whom I will be
gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But', he said, 'you cannot
see my face; for no one shall see me and live.' And the Lord continued, 'See, there is a
place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put
you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by;
then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be

Words: John Keble, 1857
Tune: Grafton, St. Thomas (Webbe)

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Word supreme, before creation
born of God eternally,
who didst will for our salvation
to be born on earth, and die;
well thy saints have kept their station,
watching till thine hour is nigh.

Now 'tis come and faith espies thee;
like an eaglet in the morn,
one in steadfast worship eyes thee;
thy beloved, thy latest born;
in thy glory he descries thee
reigning from the tree of scorn.

He first hoping and believing
did beside the grave adore;
latest he, the warfare leaving,
landed on the eternal shore;
and his witness we receiving
own thee Lord forevermore.

Much he asked in loving wonder,
on thy bosom leaning, Lord!
in that secret place of thunder,
answer kind didst thou accord,
wisdom for thy church to ponder
till the day of dread award.

Lo! heaven's doors lift up, revealing
how thy judgments earthward move;
scrolls unfolded, trumpets pealing,
wine-cups from the wrath above,
yet o'er all a soft voice stealing
"Little children, trust and love!"

Thee, the Almighty King eternal,
Father of the eternal word;
thee, the Father's Word supernal,
thee, of both, the Breath adored;
heaven, and earth, and realms infernal
own, one glorious God and Lord.

SECOND READING [John 13:20-26, 31-35]:

Jesus said, 'Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and
whoever receives me receives him who sent me.'

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, 'Very truly, I tell you, one
of you will betray me.' The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was
speaking. One of his disciples the one whom Jesus loved was reclining next to him;
Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So
while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, 'Lord, who is it?' Jesus answered, 'It is the
one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.' So when he
had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, 'Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God
has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in
himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer.
You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, "Where I am
going, you cannot come." I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know
that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.'

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

All the ends of the earth
have seen the salvation of our God. Alleluia!
Shout to the Lord, all the earth. Alleluia!

O Christ, 
splendor of God's eternal glory,
sustaining the universe by your mighty Word,
renew our lives by your presence.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ,
born into the world in the fullness of time
for the liberation of all creation,
let all, especially those persecuted for their faith,
come to their rightful freedom.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ,
begotten of the Father before all time,
born in the stable at Bethlehem,
may your Church be a sign of hope and joy.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ,
truly God and truly human,
born to a people in fulfillment of their expectations,
fulfill our desires in you.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ,
born of the Virgin Mary,
child of wonder and splendor,
mighty God of all ages,
Prince of peace,
may the whole world live in peace and justice.
Lord, have mercy.

Shed upon your Church, O Lord,
the brightness of your light,
so that we, illumined by the teaching
of John the evangelist,
may walk in the light of your truth,
and be brought to the fullness of eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

The Word has become flesh and dwelt among us.
May Christ's light shine in the darkest corners of our lives
and his love shine in the darkest corners of our world.
God is with us. Alleluia. 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 is &copy 2000, Stephen T. Benner.

The closing sentence is from _Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice
Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

The intercessions are from _Daily Prayer_. (c)1987 The
Westminster Press. 

The collect is from _A Prayer Book for Australia_. (c) 1995,
The Anglican Church of Australia Trust Corporation.

John, son of Zebedee, was one of the twelve apostles of Our Lord. Together
with his brother James and with Simon Peter, he formed a kind of inner circle
of Three among the Twelve, in that those three were privileged to behold the
miracle of the Great Catch of Fish, the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, the
raising of the daughter of Jairus, the Transfiguration, and the Agony in
Gethsemane. He expressed a willingness to undergo martyrdom-- as did the
other apostles-- and is accordingly called a martyr in intention. However, we
have ancient testimony that, although imprisoned and exiled for his testimony
to the Gospel, he was eventually released and died a natural death in Ephesus:
"a martyr in will but not in deed."
John is credited with the authorship of three epistles and one Gospel, although
many scholars believe that the final editing of the Gospel was done by others
shortly after his death. He is also supposed by many to be the author of the
book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse, although this identification is
less certain.

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