OREMUS: 27 December 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Dec 26 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for December 27
Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist

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

Blessed are you, Father of life,
whose word enfleshed the truth of grace;
we praise you for the witness of John
to the end of death's rule
and the gift of abundant life.
You call us to bear testimony to truth spoken,<BR
love embodied and Spirit breathed upon a yearning earth.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God forever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,*
 then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,*
 and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,*
 'The Lord has done great things for them.'
The Lord has done great things for us,*
 and we are glad indeed.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,*
 like the watercourses of the Negev.
Those who sowed with tears*
 will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,*
 will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house,*
 their labour is in vain who build it.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,*
 in vain the guard keeps vigil.
It is in vain that you rise so early
   and go to bed so late;*
 vain, too, to eat the bread of toil,
   for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,*
 and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior*
 are the children of one's youth.
Happy are they who have their quiver full of them!*
 they shall not be put to shame
   when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128

Happy are they all who fear the Lord,*
 and who follow in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of your labour;*
 happiness and prosperity shall be yours.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
   within your house,*
 your children like olive shoots round about your table.
Whoever fears the Lord*
 shall thus indeed be blessed.
The Lord bless you from Zion,*
 and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
   all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children's children;*
 may peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 129

'Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth',*
 let Israel now say;
'Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth,*
 but they have not prevailed against me.'
Those who plow ploughed upon my back*
 and made their furrows long.
The Lord, the Righteous One,*
 has cut the cords of the wicked.
Let them be put to shame and thrown back,*
 all those who are enemies of Zion.
Let them be like grass upon the housetops,*
 which withers before it can be plucked;
Which does not fill the hand of the reaper,*
 nor the bosom of him who binds the sheaves;
So that those who go by say not so much as,
   'The Lord prosper you.*
 We wish you well in the name of the Lord.'

Psalm 130

Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
   Lord, hear my voice;*
 let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss,*
 O Lord, who could stand?
For there is forgiveness with you;*
 therefore you shall be feared.
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;*
 in his word is my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord,
   more than the nightwatch for the morning,*
 more than the nightwatch for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the Lord,*
 for with the Lord there is mercy;
With him there is plenteous redemption,*
 and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

Psalm 131

O Lord, I am not proud;*
 I have no haughty looks.
I do not occupy myself with great matters,*
 or with things that are too hard for me.
But I still my soul and make it quiet,
   like a child upon its mother's breast;*
 my soul is quieted within me.
O Israel, wait upon the Lord,*
 from this time forth for evermore.

FIRST READING [Baruch 4:1-4]:

Wisdom is the book of the commandments of God,
   the law that endures for ever.
All who hold her fast will live,
   and those who forsake her will die. 
Turn, O Jacob, and take her;
   walk towards the shining of her light. 
Do not give your glory to another,
   or your advantages to an alien people. 
Happy are we, O Israel,
   for we know what is pleasing to God. 

HYMN 
Words: John Keble, 1857
Tune: Grafton, St. Thomas (Webbe)

Word supreme, before creation
born of God eternally,
who didst will for our salvation
to be born on earth, and die;
well thy saints have kept their station,
watching till thine hour is nigh.

Now 'tis come and faith espies thee;
like an eaglet in the morn,
one in steadfast worship eyes thee;
thy beloved, thy latest born;
in thy glory he descries thee
reigning from the tree of scorn.

He first hoping and believing
did beside the grave adore;
latest he, the warfare leaving,
landed on the eternal shore;
and his witness we receiving
own thee Lord forevermore.

Much he asked in loving wonder,
on thy bosom leaning, Lord!
in that secret place of thunder,
answer kind didst thou accord,
wisdom for thy church to ponder
till the day of dread award.

Lo! heaven's doors lift up, revealing
how thy judgments earthward move;
scrolls unfolded, trumpets pealing,
wine-cups from the wrath above,
yet o'er all a soft voice stealing
"Little children, trust and love!"

Thee, the Almighty King eternal,
Father of the eternal word;
thee, the Father's Word supernal,
thee, of both, the Breath adored;
heaven, and earth, and realms infernal
own, one glorious God and Lord.

SECOND READING [John 1.1–18]:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, 'This was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me." ') From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. 

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

Prayer:
Rejoicing in the love and life of God made visible among us,
let us pray to Jesus, the only-begotten Son.

Bread of life, 
your beloved disciple John has brought us your living word, 
inspire all evangelists and teachers to build up your Church …
Lord of light, shed your light on the world..

Light of the world, 
illuminate the dark places of this world, 
where sin, violence and death cast their shadow over human lives …
Lord of light, shed your light on the world..

Door of the sheepfold, 
protect all who are in trouble or danger, 
and give grace to our loved ones, families and friends …
Lord of light, shed your light on the world..

Way, truth and life, 
minister to all who are lost, misguided or without faith; 
bind up the broken, and give rest to the weary …
Lord of light, shed your light on the world..

Resurrection and the life, 
raise us up at the last day
with all who have gone before us in faith, 
with those whom we love but see no longer, 
with John and all your saints, 
that in your Father’s house we may come to the place
you have prepared for us. 
Lord of light, shed your light on the world..

Incarnate Lord, accept these our prayers
for the sake of your most holy name. Amen.

Merciful Lord,
cast your bright beams of light upon the Church: 
that, being enlightened by the teaching
of your blessed apostle and evangelist Saint John, 
we may so walk in the light of your truth
that we may at last attain to the light of everlasting life; 
through Jesus Christ your incarnate Son our Lord, 
who is alive and reigns with you, 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

The Word has become flesh and dwelt among us.
May Christ's light shine in the darkest corners of our lives
and his love shine in the darkest corners of our world.
God is with us. Alleluia. 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 a prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is from _Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice
Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

The intercessions and collect are from _Common Worship: Festivals_, material from which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops( Council.

Whether or not John the Apostle and John the Evangelist are one and the same, the Church honours on this day the one who proclaims Jesus as the Word made flesh and who is 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. John was one of the sons of Zebedee, along with James and Peter, who followed Jesus. John was there at the Transfiguration of Jesus on the holy mountain; he was there with Jesus at the last supper; he was there with Jesus in his agony in the garden; he was there with Jesus and his mother, standing at the foot of the cross; he was there with Jesus as a witness of his resurrection and 'he saw and believed'. John was a witness to the Word, he proclaimed the Word and he lived and died witnessing to the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who loved him and whom he loved. [Exciting Holiness]



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