OREMUS: 30 November 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Nov 29 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Sunday, November 30, 2008
The First Sunday of Advent

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

Blessed are you, loving God,
ever faithful to your promises
and ever close to your church.
The earth rejoices in hope of the Savior's coming
and looks forward with longing
to his return at the end of time.
You call us to prepare our hearts
and remove that which hinders us
from the joy and hope his presence will bestow.
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 50

The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken;*
 he has called the earth
   from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty,*
 God reveals himself in glory.
Our God will come and will not keep silence;*
 before him there is a consuming flame,
   and round about him a raging storm.
He calls the heavens and the earth from above*
 to witness the judgement of his people.
'Gather before me my loyal followers,*
 those who have made a covenant with me
   and sealed it with sacrifice.'
Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause;*
 for God himself is judge.
Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
   'O Israel, I will bear witness against you;*
 for I am God, your God.
'I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices;*
 your offerings are always before me.
'I will take no bull-calf from your stalls,*
 nor he-goats out of your pens;
'For the beasts of the forest are mine,*
 the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
'I know every bird in the sky,*
 and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
'If I were hungry, I would not tell you,*
 for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
'Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls,*
 or drink the blood of goats?
'Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and make good your vows to the Most High.
'Call upon me in the day of trouble;*
 I will deliver you and you shall honour me.'
But to the wicked God says:*
 'Why do you recite my statutes,
   and take my covenant upon your lips;
'Since you refuse discipline,*
 and toss my words behind your back?
'When you see a thief, you make him your friend,*
 and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
'You have loosed your lips for evil,*
 and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
'You are always speaking evil of your brother*
 and slandering your own mother's son.
'These things you have done and I kept still,*
 and you thought that I am like you.
'I have made my accusation;*
 I have put my case in order before your eyes.
'Consider this well, you who forget God,*
 lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
'Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving
   honours me;*
 but to those who keep in my way
   will I show the salvation of God.'

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 [Malachi 3:1-6; 4:4-6]:

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom
you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom
you delight indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day
of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of
silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver,
until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah
and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the
sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who
oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those
who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.

Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I
commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord
comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to
their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.

Words: W.C. Smith (1824-1908)
Tune: Picardy

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Earth was waiting, spent and restless,
with a mingled hope and fear,
faithful men and women praying,
"Surely, Lord, the day is near:
the Desire of all the nations--
it is time he should appear!"

Then the Spirit of the Highest
to a Virgin meek came down,
and he burdened her with blessing,
and he pained her with renown;
for she bore the Lord's Anointed
for his cross and for his crown.

Earth has groaned and labored for him
since the ages first began,
for in him was hid the secret
which through all the ages ran--
Son of Mary, Son of David,
Son of God, and Son of Man.

SECOND READING [Luke 1:5-25]:

Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs
up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. See to it that no one
becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single
meal. You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for
he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and
gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the
hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. (For they could not endure the
order that was given, 'If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to
death.' Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.') But
you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly
Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the
firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of
the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the
sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when
they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we
reject the one who warns from heaven! At that time his voice shook the earth; but now
he has promised, 'Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.'
This phrase 'Yet once more' indicates the removal of what is shaken that is, created
things so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving
a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an
acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire. 

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

My brothers and sisters, as we prepare to celebrate Christ's coming, and wait in hope
for his coming again, let us bring our prayers to the Lord.

We pray for the people of India, especially those in Mumbai who are suffering in the
wake of the recent terrorist attacks in that city; for those who have been killed, that
they may rest in peace; for those who have been injured or bereaved, that they may be
comforted and supported in their pain. Maranatha, come, Lord

We pray for the people of Zimbabwe facing hunger and disease: that they may be
given the aid they need, and that their country may know peace, justice and freedom.
Maranatha, come, Lord Jesus!

We pray for the people of Thailand, amid the political unrest there: that a just and
peaceful way forward may be found. Maranatha, come, Lord Jesus!

We pray for all those who are facing unemployment as a result of the current
economic situation: may they be helped to find new work and new hope. Maranatha,
come, Lord Jesus!

We pray for all those living with HIV and AIDS: that they may be freed from prejudice
and discrimination, and be given the help and support they need; and we pray for all
those working to overcome the disease. Maranatha, come, Lord

We pray for migrants and refugees, and all those who live far from home: that they
may be accepted and made welcome in their new communities. Maranatha,
come, Lord Jesus!

Heavenly Father, you sent your Son into the world not to condemn but to save it. We
ask you to hear our prayers that we offer through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Faithful God, 
your promises stand unshaken through all generations: 
Renew us in hope, that we may be awake and alert 
watching for the glorious return of Jesus Christ, 
our judge and savior, 
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

O Son of God, our Savior,
today we await your coming,
and tomorrow we shall see your glory.
Reveal the good news to all of us
who long for your arrival.
Come, Love incarnate, do not delay.
Come, Lord Jesus! 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
_Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with

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
_Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

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