OREMUS: 3 February 2008
steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Feb 2 17:00:00 GMT 2008
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OREMUS for Sunday, February 3, 2008
The Last Sunday after Epiphany
O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are you, God of majesty,
you brought light out of darkness
and set the sun to brighten the day.
We thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,
whose human body was transfigured on a lonely mountain.
In his face, we have glimpsed your glory.
In his life, we see your love.
You lead us by the light of your truth
into the way of righteousness and peace.
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.
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.
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord,*
and to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning*
and of your faithfulness in the night season;
On the psaltery and on the lyre*
and to the melody of the harp.
For you have made me glad by your acts, O Lord;*
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
Lord, how great are your works!*
your thoughts are very deep.
The dullard does not know,
nor does the fool understand,*
that though the wicked grow like weeds,
and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
They flourish only to be destroyed for ever;*
but you, O Lord, are exalted for evermore.
For lo, your enemies, O Lord,
lo, your enemies shall perish,*
and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
But my horn you have exalted
like the horns of wild bulls;*
I am anointed with fresh oil.
My eyes also gloat over my enemies,*
and my ears rejoice to hear the doom of the wicked
who rise up against me.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,*
and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord*
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
They shall still bear fruit in old age;*
they shall be green and succulent;
That they may show how upright the Lord is,*
my rock, in whom there is no fault.
A Song of the New Jerusalem (Isaiah 60.1-3,11a,18,19,14b)
Arise, shine out, for your light has come,
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you.
Though night still covers the earth,
and darkness the peoples;
Above you the Holy One arises,
and above you God's glory appears.
The nations will come to your light,
and kings to your dawning brightness.
Your gates will lie open continually,
shut neither by day nor by night.
The sound of violence shall be heard no longer in your land,
or ruin and devastation within your borders.
You will call your walls, Salvation,
and your gates, Praise.
No more will the sun give you daylight,
nor moonlight shine upon you;
But the Lord will be your everlasting light,
your God will be your splendour.
For you shall be called the city of God,
the dwelling of the Holy One of Israel.
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 [Ecclesiasticus 48:1-10]:
Then Elijah arose, a prophet like fire,
and his word burned like a torch.
He brought a famine upon them,
and by his zeal he made them few in number.
By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens,
and also three times brought down fire.
How glorious you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You raised a corpse from death
and from Hades, by the word of the Most High.
You sent kings down to destruction,
and famous men, from their sickbeds.
You heard rebuke at Sinai
and judgements of vengeance at Horeb.
You anointed kings to inflict retribution,
and prophets to succeed you.
You were taken up by a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with horses of fire.
At the appointed time, it is written, you are destined
to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury,
to turn the hearts of parents to their children,
and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
Words: Alan Gaunt (c)
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Transfigured Christ, none comprehends
your majesty, whose splendor stuns
all waking souls; whose light transcends
the brightness of a thousand suns!
You stand with Moses on the hill,
you speak of your new exodus.
The way through death you will fulfill
by dying helpless on the cross.
You stand here with Elijah too,
by whom the still small voice was heard;
and you, yourself, will prove God true,
made mute in death, incarnate Word.
If we could bear your brightness here
and stay forever in your light,
then we would conquer grief and fear,
and scorn the terrors of the night.
But, from the heights, you bring us down
to share earth's agonies with you,
where piercing thorns are made your crown
and death, accepted, proves love true.
Majestic Christ, God's well-loved Son,
if we must share your grief and loss,
transfigure us, when all is done,
with glory shining from your cross.
SECOND READING [Matthew 17:1-23]:
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high
mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun,
and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking
with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make
three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking,
suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, 'This is my Son, the
Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!' When the disciples heard this, they fell to the
ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, 'Get up and do not
be afraid.' And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, 'Tell no one about the vision until
after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.' And the disciples asked him, 'Why, then, do
the scribes say that Elijah must come first?' He replied, 'Elijah is indeed coming and will restore
all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did
to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.' Then the
disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.
When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, and said, 'Lord, have mercy
on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into
the water. And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.' Jesus answered,
'You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer
must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.' And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of
him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why
could we not cast it out?' He said to them, 'Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you
have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there",
and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.'
As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be betrayed
into human hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.' And they were
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or
Nunc dimittis (Night) may
our search for light ends as we look into your face.
We thank you for that radiance,
which remains even when we obscure it with temptation and sin.
Where people suffer in the night of poverty, grief or pain,
In the night of greed and cruelty,
where power ignores your justice and truth,
Where your Church lives
in the night of hostility and isolation,
In the place of doubt and neediness,
As you shine on that other shore with all the saints in light,
be with us here, where we are,
Give the whole creation
a foretaste of the coming splendor
of your new heaven and new earth,
O God, glorious and faithful,
to those who seek you with a sincere heart
you reveal the beauty of your face:
Strengthen us in faith to embrace the mystery of the cross,
and open our hearts to its transfiguring power;
that, clinging in love to your will for us,
we may walk the path of discipleship
as followers of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:
- The Lord's Prayer
Transform us into the likeness of Jesus Christ,
that we may live for you, as he lived,
and love others, as he loved them. Amen.
The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with
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
prayers in _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster
/ John Knox Press.
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