OREMUS: 25 December 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 24 17:00:00 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for December 25
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
(Christmas Day)

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

Blessed are you, loving and merciful Father, 
it is our joy and delight,
our reason for being,
to offer you thanks and praise. 
All your actions show wisdom and love.
Through your Word you spoke creation into existence
and made us in your image and likeness.
When we disobeyed you and drew away from you,
you did not leave us in darkness
but sent your Son, the Word made flesh,
to be the light of the world. 
Emptying himself of all but love,
he was born of Mary,
shared our human nature and died on the cross.
Yet you have raised him from death to eternal life;
and through him you have sent your holy and life-giving Spirit
to make us your people, a people of light,
to reflect your glory in all the earth.
And so with angels and archangels
and all the heavenly choir, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

http://www.oremus.org/chrocant.html

Psalm 45

My heart is stirring with a noble song;
   let me recite what I have fashioned for the king;*
 my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.
You are the fairest of men;*
 grace flows from your lips,
   because God has blessed you for ever.
Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior,*
 in your pride and in your majesty.
Ride out and conquer in the cause of truth*
 and for the sake of justice.
Your right hand will show you marvellous things;*
 your arrows are very sharp, O mighty warrior.
The peoples are falling at your feet,*
 and the king's enemies are losing heart.
Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever,*
 a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of your kingdom;
   you love righteousness and hate iniquity;
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you*
 with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia,*
 and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.
Kings' daughters stand among the ladies of the court;*
 on your right hand is the queen,
   adorned with the gold of Ophir.
'Hear, O daughter; consider and listen closely;*
 forget your people and your family's house.
'The king will have pleasure in your beauty;*
 he is your master; therefore do him honour.
'The people of Tyre are here with a gift;*
 the rich among the people seek your favour.'
All glorious is the princess as she enters;*
 her gown is cloth-of-gold.
In embroidered apparel she is brought to the king;*
 after her the bridesmaids follow in procession.
With joy and gladness they are brought,*
 and enter into the palace of the king.
'In place of fathers, O king, you shall have sons;*
 you shall make them princes over all the earth.
'I will make your name to be remembered
   from one generation to another;*
 therefore nations will praise you for ever and ever.'

Psalm 148

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 49:1–18]:

Listen to me, O coastlands,
   pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
   while I was in my mother's womb he named me. 
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
   in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
   in his quiver he hid me away. 
And he said to me, 'You are my servant,
   Israel, in whom I will be glorified.' 
But I said, 'I have laboured in vain,
   I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
   and my reward with my God.' 

And now the Lord says,
   who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
   and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord,
   and my God has become my strength— 
he says,
'It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
   to raise up the tribes of Jacob
   and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
   that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.' 

Thus says the Lord,
   the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
   the slave of rulers,
'Kings shall see and stand up,
   princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.' 

Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favour I have answered you,
   on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given you
   as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
   to apportion the desolate heritages; 
saying to the prisoners, 'Come out',
   to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.'
They shall feed along the ways,
   on all the bare heights shall be their pasture; 
they shall not hunger or thirst,
   neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
   and by springs of water will guide them. 
And I will turn all my mountains into a road,
   and my highways shall be raised up. 
Lo, these shall come from far away,
   and lo, these from the north and from the west,
   and these from the land of Syene. 

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
   break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
   and will have compassion on his suffering ones. 

But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me,
   my Lord has forgotten me.' 
Can a woman forget her nursing-child,
   or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
   yet I will not forget you. 
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
   your walls are continually before me. 
Your builders outdo your destroyers,
   and those who laid you waste go away from you. 
Lift up your eyes all around and see;
   they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
   you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
   and like a bride you shall bind them on. 

HYMN 
Words: Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413);
trans. John Mason Neale, 1854 and Henry Williams Baker, 1861 
Tune: Divinum mysterium

Of the Father's love begotten,
ere the worlds began to be,
he is Alpha and Omega,
he the source, the ending he,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see,
evermore and evermore!

At his word the words were fram d;
he commanded; it was done:
heaven and earth and depths of ocean
in their threefold order one;
all that grows beneath the shining
of the moon and burning sun,
evermore and evermore!

O that birth for ever bless d,
when the Virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bare the Savior of our race;
and the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

This is he whom seers in old time
chanted of with one accord;
whom the voices of the prophets
promised in their faithful word;
now he shines, the long expected,
let creation praise its Lord,
evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven, adore him;
angel-hosts, his praises sing;
powers, dominions, bow before him,
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
every voice in concert ring,
evermore and evermore!

Thee let old men, thee let young men,
thee let boys in chorus sing;
matrons, virgins, little maidens,
with glad voices answering:
let their guileless songs re-echo,
and the heart its music bring,
evermore and evermore!

Christ, to thee with God the Father,
and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving,
and unwearied praises be;
honor, glory and dominion,
and eternal victory,
evermore and evermore!

SECOND READING [Matthew 1:1–17]:

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. 

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations. 

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

Prayer:
Let us turn to God, who comes to us this Christmas as a helpless child to bring us back
to the Father.

For people throughout the world, celebrating his holy nativity; that the arrival of the
Christ child will bring hope, direction and meaning to their lives.

For all those who work during the Christmas season, especially in the emergency
services; that the Lord will keep them safe, and that they will enjoy time to relax with
family and friends later this week.

For those who are suffering as a result of the rising tension between Israel and Hamas;
that in this season when we talk so much about peace, they will find a measure of the
same amid the prevailing conflict.

For all people who, for many reasons, do not look forward to Christmas; that they
shall gain comfort from Christ's promise to remain with us always.

For all who will struggle financially this Christmas amid increasing pressure to spend
money; that those who have plenty will be generous with those who have little, and
that we all be assured of the true riches found in God's grace.

All of these prayers, we bring to you, O Loving Father, in the name of your Son, who
changes our lives and begins his work of Salvation at Christmas.
Amen.

Gracious Creator of heaven and earth,
your Word has come among us
as the true Sun of Righteousness,
and the Good News of his birth
has gone out to the ends of the world:
Open our eyes to the light of your law,
that we may be freed from sin
and serve you without reproach
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Light and our Life. Amen.
          
Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

Fill us with wonder on this holy day,
that we may treasure in our hearts
what we have been told,
that our lives may proclaim
your great and gentle mercy. 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 opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from  _Uniting in Worship 2_,
(c) 2005 Uniting Church in Australia.

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 _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 
http://www.scottishepiscopal.com

The closing sentence uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.



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