OREMUS: 24 December 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Dec 23 18:23:08 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Thursday, December 24, 2009
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 119:1-8

Happy are they whose way is blameless,*
 who walk in the law of the Lord!
Happy are they who observe his decrees*
 and seek him with all their hearts!
Who never do any wrong,*
 but always walk in his ways.
You laid down your commandments,*
 that we should fully keep them.
O that my ways were made so direct*
 that I might keep your statutes!
Then I should not be put to shame,*
 when I regard all your commandments.
I will thank you with an unfeigned heart,*
 when I have learned your righteous judgements.
I will keep your statutes;*
 do not utterly forsake me.
How shall the young cleanse their way?*
 By keeping to your words.
With my whole heart I seek you;*
 let me not stray from your commandments.
I treasure your promise in my heart,*
 that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;*
 instruct me in your statutes.
With my lips will I recite*
 all the judgements of your mouth.
I have taken greater delight in the way of your decrees*
 than in all manner of riches.
I will meditate on your commandments*
 and give attention to your ways.
My delight is in your statutes;*
 I will not forget your word.
Deal bountifully with your servant,*
 that I may live and keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see*
 the wonders of your law.
I am a stranger here on earth;*
 do not hide your commandments from me.
My soul is consumed at all times*
 with longing for your judgements.
You have rebuked the insolent;*
 cursed are they who stray from your commandments!
Turn from me shame and rebuke,*
 for I have kept your decrees.
Even though rulers sit and plot against me,*
 I will meditate on your statutes.
For your decrees are my delight,*
 and they are my counsellors.

My soul cleaves to the dust;*
 give me life according to your word.
I have confessed my ways and you answered me;*
 instruct me in your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your commandments,*
 that I may meditate on your marvellous works.
My soul melts away for sorrow;*
 strengthen me according to your word.
Take from me the way of lying;*
 let me find grace through your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;*
 I have set your judgements before me.
I hold fast to your decrees;*
 O Lord, let me not be put to shame.
I will run the way of your commandments,*
 for you have set my heart at liberty.

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 [Matt. 1:18-end]:

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
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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