OREMUS: 11 January 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Jan 10 17:00:00 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Sunday, January 11, 2009
The First Sunday after Epiphany

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

Blessed are you, mighty God, Creator of heaven and earth!
When your voice first thundered over the seas
your brooding Spirit brought forth the earth from the void
and breathed life into all your creatures.
You called your people to follow your ways,
and sent your servant, John the Baptist,
to proclaiming a baptism of repentance
for the forgiveness of sins.
He pointed to the one who was to come,
your beloved child, Jesus the Christ.
When he was baptized in the fearful waters of death,
you raised him to life and tore open the heavens
so that all might be baptized with your Holy Spirit
and enter into your presence as your children.
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 72

Give the king your justice, O God,*
 and your righteousness to the king's son;
That he may rule your people righteously*
 and the poor with justice;
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,*
 and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people;*
 he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,*
 from one generation to another.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown field,*
 like showers that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
 there shall be abundance of peace
   till the moon shall be no more.
He shall rule from sea to sea,*
 and from the River to the ends of the earth.
His foes shall bow down before him,*
 and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute,*
 and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.
All kings shall bow down before him,*
 and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,*
 and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
 he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,*
 and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live,
   and may there be given to him gold from Arabia;*
 may prayer be made for him always,
   and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
   growing thick even on the hilltops;*
 may its fruit flourish like Lebanon,
   and its grain like grass upon the earth.
May his name remain for ever
   and be established as long as the sun endures;*
 may all the nations bless themselves in him
   and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*

 who alone does wondrous deeds!
And blessed be his glorious name for ever!*
 and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
   Amen. Amen.

Psalm 97

The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;*
 let the multitude of the isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,*
 righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of his throne.
A fire goes before him*
 and burns up his enemies on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;*
 the earth sees it and is afraid.
The mountains melt like wax
   at the presence of the Lord,*
 at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare his righteousness,*
 and all the peoples see his glory.
Confounded be all who worship carved images
   and delight in false gods!*
 Bow down before him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad and the cities of Judah rejoice,*
 because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you are the Lord: most high over all the earth;*
 you are exalted far above all gods.
The Lord loves those who hate evil;*
 he preserves the lives of his saints
   and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light has sprung up for the righteous,*
 and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,*
 and give thanks to his holy name.

A Song of Christ's Appearing (1 Timothy 3:16; 6:15-16)
Christ Jesus was revealed in the flesh
and vindicated in the spirit.

He was seen by angels
and proclaimed among the nations.

Believed in throughout the world,
he was taken up in glory.

This will be made manifest at the proper time
by the blessed and only Sovereign,

Who alone has immortality,
and dwells in unapproachable light.

To the King of kings and Lord of lords
be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

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 [Proverbs 8:22-35]:

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
ÿÿÿthe first of his acts of long ago. 
Ages ago I was set up,
ÿÿÿat the first, before the beginning of the earth. 
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
ÿÿÿwhen there were no springs abounding with water. 
Before the mountains had been shaped,
ÿÿÿbefore the hills, I was brought forth? 
when he had not yet made earth and fields,
ÿÿÿor the world?s first bits of soil. 
When he established the heavens, I was there,
ÿÿÿwhen he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 
when he made firm the skies above,
ÿÿÿwhen he established the fountains of the deep, 
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
ÿÿÿso that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 
ÿÿÿthen I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
ÿÿÿrejoicing before him always, 
rejoicing in his inhabited world
ÿÿÿand delighting in the humanÿrace. 

?And now, my children, listen to me:
ÿÿÿhappy are those who keep myÿways. 
Hear instruction and be wise,
ÿÿÿand do not neglect it. 
Happy is the one who listens to me,
ÿÿÿwatching daily at my gates,
ÿÿÿwaiting beside my doors. 
For whoever finds me finds life
ÿÿÿand obtains favour from the Lord; 

Words: William Williams, 1745; trans. Peter Williams, 1771
Tune: Cwm Rhondda 
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Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim though this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through;
strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer.
be thou still my Strength and Shield,
be thou still my Strength and Shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
bear me through the swelling current,
land me safe on Canaan's side;
songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee,
I will ever give to thee.

SECOND READING [Colossians 1:9-end]:

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God?s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers?all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 

And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him? provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel. 

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ?s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God?s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me. 

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

Through his baptism by John, the Lord showed his solidarity with the whole human race. Let us offer our prayers for the needs of the world he came to save. 

We pray for peace in the Holy Land: that the peoples of that region may be reconciled and learn to live together in mutual trust and respect.

We pray for all those affected by the violence in Gaza; for those who have been killed, that they may rest in peace; for those who have been injured or bereaved, that they may know healing and comfort.

We pray for those who are suffering as a result of the cold weather; for those who cannot afford to heat their homes, and for those who are homeless: that they may receive the help and support they need.

We pray for those people in Eastern Europe whose gas supplies have been cut off: that there may be a swift and fair resolution to the dispute.

We pray for those facing unemployment: that they may be helped to find new work and new hope.

Heavenly Father, we ask you to hear the prayers that we make in faith, through your Son, the Beloved, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God, 
at the baptism of Jesus 
in the River Jordan 
you proclaimed him your beloved Son 
and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: 
Grant that all who are baptized into his Name 
may keep the covenant they have made, 
and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; 
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

O God, whose voice moves over the waters,
immerse us in your grace,
make us with your image,
and raise us to live our baptismal vows
empowered by the Holy Spirit
and the example of Christ our Lord. 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 altered by Stephen Benner from a prayer (c) 2002, Nathan Nettleton at  http://www.laughingbird.net/.

The closing sentence is from a prayer reprinted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common

The collect is from _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993
Westminster / John Knox Press. 

The petitions are gathered by Redemptorist Publications and are published each Friday on their website: http://www.rpbooks.co.uk/page.php?page=prayers

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