OREMUS: 2 February 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Feb 1 17:00:00 GMT 2010

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OREMUS for Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for your Son Jesus Christ, 
the light to lighten the nations,
who is one with you from all eternity.
He searches the hearts of all your people
and brings to light the image of your splendor.
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 12

Help me, Lord, for there is no godly one left;*
 the faithful have vanished from among us.
Everyone speaks falsely with their neighbour;*
 with a smooth tongue they speak from a double heart.
O that the Lord would cut off all smooth tongues,*
 and close the lips that utter proud boasts!
Those who say, 'With our tongue will we prevail;*
 our lips are our own; who is lord over us?'
'Because the needy are oppressed,
   and the poor cry out in misery,*
 I will rise up', says the Lord,
   'and give them the help they long for.'
The words of the Lord are pure words,*
 like silver refined from ore
   and purified seven times in the fire.
O Lord, watch over us*
 and save us from this generation for ever.
The wicked prowl on every side,*
 and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord;
   will you forget me for ever?*
 how long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
   and grief in my heart, day after day?*
 how long shall my enemy triumph over me?
Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God;*
 give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
Lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him',*
 and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
But I put my trust in your mercy;*
 my heart is joyful because of your saving help.
I will sing to the Lord,
   for he has dealt with me richly;*
 I will praise the name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 14

The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'*
 All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
   there is none who does any good.
The Lord looks down from heaven upon us all,*
 to see if there is any who is wise,
   if there is one who seeks after God.
Everyone has proved faithless;
   all alike have turned bad;*
 there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, all those evildoers*
 who eat up my people like bread
   and do not call upon the Lord?
See how they tremble with fear,*
 because God is in the company of the righteous.
Their aim is to confound the plans of the afflicted,*
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion!*
 when the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

FIRST READING [1 Samuel 1:21-end]:

The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, ‘As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there for ever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.’ Her husband Elkanah said to her, ‘Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.’ So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, ‘Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.’

She left him there for the Lord. 

Words: (c) Timothy Dudley-Smith
Tune: Pastor pastorum

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Faithful vigil ended,
watching, waiting cease;
Master, grant your servant
his discharge in peace.

All the Spirit promised,
all the Father willed,
now these eyes behold it
perfectly fulfilled.

This your great deliverance
sets your people free;
Christ their light uplifted
all the nations see.

Christ, your people's glory!
Watching, doubting cease:
grant to us your servants
our discharge in peace.

SECOND READING [Luke 2:22-40]:

When the time came for their purification according to
the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to
present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of
the Lord, 'Every firstborn male shall be designated as
holy to the Lord'), and they offered a sacrifice
according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, 'a
pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.'
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;
this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the
consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he
would not see death before he had seen the Lord's
Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the
temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus,
to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon
took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
'Master, now you are dismissing your servant in
   according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you have prepared in the presence of all
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
   and for glory to your people Israel.'

And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was
being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said
to his mother Mary, 'This child is destined for the
falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a
sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of
many will be revealed and a sword will pierce your own
soul too.'
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel,
of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having
lived with her husband for seven years after her
marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She
never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting
and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and
began to praise God and to speak about the child to all
who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had finished everything required by the law of
the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of
Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with
wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

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

Let us pray to the Father through Christ our light and life.

Almighty Father, 
your Christ is acclaimed as the glory of Israel
look in mercy on your Church, sharing its light ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ in the temple brings judgement on the world
look in mercy on the nations who long for his justice ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ who was rich for our sake became poor
look in mercy on all who are in need 
and those who suffer with him ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ is the one in whom 
faithful servants find their peace
look in mercy on the whole Church 
which glories in your salvation ...
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Your Christ is the one destined for rejection
look in mercy on us as we turn towards his passion.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Almighty Father, 
you kept faith with Simeon and Anna,
and showed them the infant King.
Give us grace to trust your promises and patience 
to wait for their fulfilment;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, 
for you have sent us your salvation. 
Inspire us by your Holy Spirit 
to see with our own eyes him who is the glory of Israel, 
and the light for all nations, 
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Open our imaginations to new dimensions of your love,
and heal us of all that severs us from you and one another;
through Jesus 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts.

Hymn (c) 1984 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this text in all territories except the UK, Europe &
Africa, contact: Hope Publishing Company, 
For UK, Europe & Africa: contact: Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith, 
9 Ashlands, Ford, Salisbury, Wiltshire  SP4 6DY  England

The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted by Stephen Benner using
phrases from a preface in _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 intercession is from material copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

Counting forward from December 25 as Day One, we find that Day Forty is
February 2. A Jewish woman is in semi-seclusion for 40 days after giving birth
to a son, and accordingly it is on February 2 that we celebrate the coming of
Mary and Joseph with the infant Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem to offer
sacrifice, both on behalf of Mary and on behalf of Jesus as a first-born male. As
they did so, they were greeted by the aged Simeon. In a Sunday-School
pageant, I once saw, the narrator said, "And now Simeon bursts into a
spontaneous song of praise, assisted by the Temple Choir." His song, called the
NUNC DIMITTIS, has always had a prominent role in Christian worship.
Because an old reading for this festival contains the line (Zephaniah 1:12), "I
will search Jerusalem with candles," the day is also known as Candlemas, and
sometimes observed with a candle-lit procession. On the other hand,
Groundhog Day ("If the groundhog (or woodchuck, a kind of marmot, which
burrows and hibernates) sees his shadow on 2 February, there will be six more
weeks of winter.") is strictly a secular holiday, confined, as far as I know, to
the United States. [James Kiefer, abridged]

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