OREMUS: 3 December 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Dec 2 22:31:54 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for December 3
John of Damascus, Monk, Teacher of the Faith, c.749

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

Blessed are you, Lord!
You have come to your people and set them free.
Salvation is your gift
through the gift of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
by whom you will make all things new
when he returns in glory to judge the world.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

Psalm 18
I love you, O Lord my strength,*
 O Lord my stronghold, my crag and my haven. 
My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,*
 my shield, the horn of my salvation and my refuge;
   you are worthy of praise. 
I will call upon the Lord,*
 and so shall I be saved from my enemies. 
The breakers of death rolled over me,*
 and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid. 
The cords of hell entangled me,*
 and the snares of death were set for me. 
I called upon the Lord in my distress*
 and cried out to my God for help. 
He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling;*
 my cry of anguish came to his ears. 
The earth reeled and rocked;*
 the roots of the mountains shook;
   they reeled because of his anger. 
Smoke rose from his nostrils
   and a consuming fire out of his mouth;*
 hot burning coals blazed forth from him. 
He parted the heavens and came down*
 with a storm cloud under his feet. 
He mounted on cherubim and flew;*
 he swooped on the wings of the wind. 
He wrapped darkness about him;*
 he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion. 
>From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds,*
 burst hailstones and coals of fire. 
The Lord thundered out of heaven;*
 the Most High uttered his voice. 
He loosed his arrows and scattered them;*
 he hurled thunderbolts and routed them. 
The beds of the seas were uncovered,
   and the foundations of the world laid bare,*
 at your battle cry, O Lord,
   at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 
He reached down from on high and grasped me;*
 he drew me out of great waters. 
He delivered me from my strong enemies
   and from those who hated me;*
 for they were too mighty for me. 
They confronted me in the day of my disaster;*
 but the Lord was my support. 
He brought me out into an open place;*
 he rescued me because he delighted in me. 

The Lord rewarded me because of my righteous dealing;*
 because my hands were clean he rewarded me; 
For I have kept the ways of the Lord*
 and have not offended against my God; 
For all his judgements are before my eyes,*
 and his decrees I have not put away from me; 
For I have been blameless with him*
 and have kept myself from iniquity; 
Therefore the Lord rewarded me
   according to my righteous dealing,*
 because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight. 
With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God;*
 with the forthright you show yourself forthright. 
With the pure you show yourself pure,*
 but with the crooked you are wily. 
You will save a lowly people,*
 but you will humble the haughty eyes. 
You, O Lord, are my lamp;*
 my God, you make my darkness bright. 
With you I will break down an enclosure;*
 with the help of my God I will scale any wall. 
As for God, his ways are perfect;
   the words of the Lord are tried in the fire;*
 he is a shield to all who trust in him. 
For who is God, but the Lord?*
 who is the rock, except our God? 
It is God who girds me about with strength*
 and makes my way secure. 
He makes me sure-footed like a deer*
 and lets me stand firm on the heights. 
He trains my hands for battle*
 and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze. 
You have given me your shield of victory;*
 your right hand also sustains me;
   your loving care makes me great. 
You lengthen my stride beneath me,*
 and my ankles do not give way. 
I pursue my enemies and overtake them;*
 I will not turn back till I have destroyed them. 
I strike them down and they cannot rise;*
 they fall defeated at my feet. 
You have girded me with strength for the battle;*
 you have cast down my adversaries beneath me;
   you have put my enemies to flight. 
I destroy those who hate me;
   they cry out, but there is none to help them;*
 they cry to the Lord, but he does not answer. 
I beat them small like dust before the wind;*
 I trample them like mud in the streets. 
You deliver me from the strife of the peoples;*
 you put me at the head of the nations. 
A people I have not known shall serve me;
   no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me;*
 strangers will cringe before me. 
The foreign peoples will lose heart;*
 they shall come trembling out of their strongholds. 
The Lord lives! Blessèd is my rock!*
 Exalted is the God of my salvation! 
He is the God who gave me victory*
 and cast down the peoples beneath me. 
You rescued me from the fury of my enemies;
   you exalted me above those who rose against me;*
 you saved me from my deadly foe; 
Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O Lord,*
 and sing praises to your name. 
He multiplies the victories of his king;*
 he shows loving-kindness to his anointed,
   to David and his descendants for ever. 
 

FIRST READING [Isaiah 43.14–21]:

Thus says the Lord,
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I will send to Babylon
   and break down all the bars,
   and the shouting of the Chaldeans will be turned to lamentation. 
I am the Lord, your Holy One,
   the Creator of Israel, your King. 
Thus says the Lord,
   who makes a way in the sea,
   a path in the mighty waters, 
who brings out chariot and horse,
   army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
   they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: 
Do not remember the former things,
   or consider the things of old. 
I am about to do a new thing;
   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
   and rivers in the desert. 
The wild animals will honour me,
   the jackals and the ostriches;
for I give water in the wilderness,
   rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people, 
   the people whom I formed for myself
so that they might declare my praise. 

HYMN 
Words:  John of Damascus, eighth century;
trans. Athelstan Riley, 1906 
Tune: Christus der ist mein Leben

What sweet of life endureth
unmixed with bitter pain?
'Midst earthly change and chances
what glory doth remain?

All is a feeble shadow,
a dream that will not stay;
death cometh in a moment,
and taketh all away.

O Christ, a light transcendent
shines in thy countenance,
and none can tell the sweetness,
the beauty of thy glance.

In this may thy poor servants
their joy eternal find;
when thou callest, grant us rest,
thou Lover of mankind!

SECOND READING [Revelation 21.9-14]:

 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, 'Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.' And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 
The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
O Lord, answer us in the day of trouble,
Send us help from your holy place.

Show us the path of life,
For in your presence is joy.

Give justice to the orphan and oppressed
And break the power of wickedness and evil.

Look upon the hungry and sorrowful
And grant them the help for which they long.

Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
May your glory endure for ever.

Your kingship has dominion over all
And with you is our redemption.

God of the future,
help us to live with our eyes open,
and remember your faithfulness;
may we entrust our lives
into the hands of Jesus,
whose coming is certain, 
whose day draws near,
and in whose name we pray. Amen.

Confirm our minds, O Lord, 
in the mysteries of the true faith, 
set forth with power by your servant John of Damascus; 
that we, with him, confessing Jesus 
to be truly God and truly Human, 
and singing the praises of the risen Lord, 
may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to eternal joy;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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

Fill our lives with joy
as we go out to welcome your Son at his coming.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 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 based on the Benedictus and a preface in the _Book of Common Prayer 2004_ of the Church of Ireland and the closing sentence is adapted from _New Patterns for Worship_
The first collect is from _Uniting in Worship 2</cite, (c) 2005
Uniting Church in Australia. The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser
Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

John of Damascus was the son of a Christian tax collector for the Mohammedan Caliph of Damascus. At an early age, he succeeded his father in this office. In about 715, he entered the monastery of St. Sabas near Jerusalem. There he devoted himself to an ascetic life and to the study of the Fathers. In 726, the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian published his first edict against the Holy Images, which signaled the formal outbreak of the iconoclastic controversy. The edict forbade the veneration of sacred images, or icons, and ordered their destruction. In 729-730, John wrote three “Apologies against the Iconoclasts and in Defense of the Holy Images.” He argued that such pictures were not idols, for they represented neither false gods nor even the true God in his divine nature; but only saints, or our Lord as man. His summary of the teachings of the Greek Fathers, called De Fide Orthodoxa, and his hymns on the Easter mystery proved an immense influence in the Church in the following centuries, in both east and west. He died on this day in about the year 749. [Holy Women, Holy Men, and Exciting Holiness]


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