OREMUS: 15 December 2011
steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Dec 14 17:00:00 GMT 2011
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OREMUS for December 15
Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are you, O God of mercy and might,
you come into our midst
with tender comfort and transforming power.
You make ready a way in the wilderness,
clear a straight path in our hearts,
and form us into a repentant people,
that the advent of your Son
may find us watchful and eager for the glory he reveals.
For these and all your mercies, Lord,
we praise you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!
An opening canticle may be sung.
Hear my teaching, O my people;*
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;*
I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
That which we have heard and known,
and what our forebears have told us,*
we will not hide from their children.
We will recount to generations to come
the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the Lord,*
and the wonderful works he has done.
He gave his decrees to Jacob
and established a law for Israel,*
which he commanded them to teach their children;
That the generations to come might know,
and the children yet unborn;*
that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
So that they might put their trust in God,*
and not forget the deeds of God,
but keep his commandments;
And not be like their forebears,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,*
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow,*
turned back in the day of battle;
They did not keep the covenant of God,*
and refused to walk in his law;
They forgot what he had done,*
and the wonders he had shown them.
He worked marvels in the sight of their forebears,*
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
He split open the sea and let them pass through;*
he made the waters stand up like walls.
He led them with a cloud by day,*
and all the night through with a glow of fire.
He split the hard rocks in the wilderness*
and gave them drink as from the great deep.
He brought streams out of the cliff,*
and the waters gushed out like rivers.
But they went on sinning against him,*
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
They tested God in their hearts,*
demanding food for their craving.
They railed against God and said,*
'Can God set a table in the wilderness?
'True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out,
and the gullies overflowed;*
but is he able to give bread
or to provide meat for his people?'
When the Lord heard this, he was full of wrath;*
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and his anger mounted against Israel;
For they had no faith in God,*
nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
So he commanded the clouds above*
and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down manna upon them to eat*
and gave them grain from heaven.
So mortals ate the bread of angels;*
he provided for them food enough.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens*
and led out the south wind by his might.
He rained down flesh upon them like dust*
and winged birds like the sand of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp*
and round about their dwellings.
So they ate and were well filled,*
for he gave them what they craved.
But they did not stop their craving,*
though the food was still in their mouths.
So God's anger mounted against them;*
he slew their strongest men
and laid low the youth of Israel.
In spite of all this, they went on sinning*
and had no faith in his wonderful works.
So he brought their days to an end like a breath*
and their years in sudden terror.
Whenever he slew them, they would seek him,*
and repent and diligently search for God.
They would remember that God was their rock,*
and the Most High God their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouths*
and lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast towards him,*
and they were not faithful to his covenant.
But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins
and did not destroy them;*
many times he held back his anger
and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
For he remembered that they were but flesh,*
a breath that goes forth and does not return.
How often the people disobeyed God in the wilderness*
and offended him in the desert!
Again and again they tempted God*
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his power*
in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
How he wrought his signs in Egypt*
and his omens in the field of Zoan.
He turned their rivers into blood,*
so that they could not drink of their streams.
He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up,*
and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar,*
the fruit of their toil to the locust.
He killed their vines with hail*
and their sycamores with frost.
He delivered their cattle to hailstones*
and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
He poured out upon them his blazing anger:*
fury, indignation and distress,
a troop of destroying angels.
He gave full rein to his anger;
he did not spare their souls from death;*
but delivered their lives to the plague.
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,*
the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
He led out his people like sheep*
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them to safety and they were not afraid;*
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
He brought them to his holy land,*
the mountain his right hand had won.
He drove out the Canaanites before them
and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot;*
he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
But they tested the Most High God and defied him,*
and did not keep his commandments.
They turned away and were disloyal like their forebears;*
they were undependable like a warped bow.
They grieved him with their hillaltars*
and provoked his displeasure with their idols.
When God heard this, he was angry*
and utterly rejected Israel.
He forsook the shrine at Shiloh,*
the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
He delivered the ark into captivity,*
his glory into the adversary's hand.
He gave his people to the sword*
and was angered against his inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men;*
there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
Their priests fell by the sword,*
and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord woke as though from sleep,*
like a warrior refreshed with wine.
He struck his enemies from behind*
and put them to perpetual shame.
He rejected the tent of Joseph*
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
He chose instead the tribe of Judah*
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven,*
like the earth which he founded for ever.
He chose David his servant,*
and took him away from the sheepfolds.
He brought him from following the ewes,*
to be a shepherd over Jacob his people
and over Israel his inheritance.
So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart*
and guided them with the skilfulness of his hands.
FIRST READING [Isaiah 51.916]:
Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago!
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
who pierced the dragon?
Was it not you who dried up the sea,
the waters of the great deep;
who made the depths of the sea a way
for the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
I, I am he who comforts you;
why then are you afraid of a mere mortal who must die,
a human being who fades like grass?
You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth.
You fear continually all day long
because of the fury of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction.
But where is the fury of the oppressor?
The oppressed shall speedily be released;
they shall not die and go down to the Pit,
nor shall they lack bread.
For I am the Lord your God,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar
the Lord of hosts is his name.
I have put my words in your mouth,
and hidden you in the shadow of my hand,
stretching out the heavens
and laying the foundations of the earth,
and saying to Zion, 'You are my people.'
Words: Alan Gaunt (born 1935) © 1991 Stainer & Bell Ltd Used with permission
Metre: 10 10 10 10
'Comfort my people, comfort,' says your God,
'Speak to the heart of those who cannot feel
The measure of my tenderness for them,
Or understand my eagerness to heal.'
Into your arms subsiding, loving God,
We found our darkness losing all its fears,
As death became a womb of waking life
And joy was watered by our bitter tears.
Against your gentle breast we laid our heads;
Your arms were tightly round us, so secure,
Until the hurt that brought us running home
Became a blessing, making faith more sure.
Too immature in love to live in peace,
Too weak to struggle on alone, we curled
As wounded children in your lap, until
You set us on our feet to face the world.
You ask us now to voice your tenderness;
To touch hard hearts that spare no love at all;
To show the weak how strong love makes them be.
We hear, and we must heed, your yearning call.
SECOND READING [1 Thessalonians 4.13end]:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangels call and with the sound of Gods trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
Let us turn our eyes to the Lord of glory
and enthrone him on our praises, saying:
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, servant of God,
you bring justice to the peoples:
Lord, have mercy.
You love your people
with a faithful love:
Lord, have mercy.
You were lifted up on the cross
that you might draw all people to yourself:
Lord, have mercy.
You bring hope and joy
to those who walk in the valley and shadow of death:
Lord, have mercy.
You have liberated us
so that we might be free for ever:
Lord, have mercy.
You, O Christ, are our justice,
our peace and our redemption:
Lord, have mercy.
God our deliverer,
you led our forebears through the wilderness
and established them as your people:
renew your covenant with us
that we may rejoice in the signs of your deliverance
and be brought into the kingdom of your beloved Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:
- The Lord's Prayer
Set us on fire with your Spirit
that when Christ comes again
we may shine like lights before his face. Amen.
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 in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999. The closing prayer is from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright (c) The Archbishops( Council, 2002.
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