OREMUS: 29 December 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Dec 28 21:36:02 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for December 29
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1170

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

Blessed are you, Lord,
what you call compassion,
others call weakness.
What you call conviction,
others call dissidence.
What you call love,
others call mixing with sinners.
You teach us to rely on your word,
that in our trials as in our joys
we may be clothed in gentleness and patience
and united in love.
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. 

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

Psalm 141

O Lord, I call to you; come to me quickly;*
 hear my voice when I cry to you.
Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense,*
 the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord,
   and guard the door of my lips;*
 let not my heart incline to any evil thing.
Let me not be occupied in wickedness with evildoers,*
 nor eat of their choice foods.
Let the righteous smite me in friendly rebuke;
   let not the oil of the unrighteous anoint my head;*
 for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.
Let their rulers be overthrown in stony places,*
 that they may know my words are true.
As when a plough turns over the earth in furrows,*
 let their bones be scattered at the mouth of the grave.
But my eyes are turned to you, Lord God;*
 in you I take refuge; do not strip me of my life.
Protect me from the snare which they have laid for me*
 and from the traps of the evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,*
 while I myself escape.

Psalm 142

I cry to the Lord with my voice;*
 to the Lord I make loud supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him*
 and tell him all my trouble.
When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path;*
 in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me;*
 I have no place to flee to and no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, O Lord;*
 I say, 'You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.'
Listen to my cry for help,
   for I have been brought very low;*
 save me from those who pursue me,
   for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison,
   that I may give thanks to your name;*
 when you have dealt bountifully with me,
   the righteous will gather around me.

Psalm 143

Lord, hear my prayer,
   and in your faithfulness heed my supplications;*
 answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement with your servant,*
 for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
For my enemy has sought my life
   and has crushed me to the ground;*
 making me live in dark places
   like those who are long dead.
My spirit faints within me;*
 my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past;
   I muse upon all your deeds;*
 I consider the works of your hands.
I spread out my hands to you;*
 my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.
O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me;*
 do not hide your face from me
   or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your lovingkindness in the morning,
   for I put my trust in you;*
 show me the road that I must walk,
   for I lift up my soul to you.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord,*
 for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;*
 let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Revive me, O Lord, for your name's sake;*
 for your righteousness' sake, bring me out of trouble.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 57.15-18]:

For thus says the high and lofty one
   who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
   and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
   and to revive the heart of the contrite. 
For I will not continually accuse,
   nor will I always be angry;
for then the spirits would grow faint before me,
   even the souls that I have made. 
Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry;
   I struck them, I hid and was angry;
   but they kept turning back to their own ways. 
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
   I will lead them and repay them with comfort,
   creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.

HYMN 
Words: Jean Mauburn, 1494; trans. Elizabeth Charles, 1858
Tune: Mauburn

Dost thou in a manger lie,
who hast all created,
stretching infant hands on high,
Savior, long awaited?
If a monarch, where thy state?
Where thy court on thee to wait?
Royal purple, where?
Here no regal pomp we see,
nought but need and penury:
why thus cradled here?

"Pitying love for fallen man
brought me down thus low;
for a race deep lost in sin
came I into woe.
By this lowly birth of mine,
sinner, riches shall be thine,
matchless gifts and free;
willingly this yoke I take,
and this sacrifice I make,
heaping joys for thee."

Fervent praise would I do to thee
evermore be raising;
for thy wondrous love to me
thee be ever praising.
Glory, glory be for ever
unto that most bounteous Giver,
and that loving Lord!
Better witness to thy worth,
purer praise than ours on earth,
angels' songs afford.

SECOND READING [John 1.19–28]:

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?' He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?' He answered, 'No.' Then they said to him, 'Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?' He said, 'I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord" ', as the prophet Isaiah said. 

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, 'Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.' This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. 

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

Prayer:
For the Church: that we may know how close God is to us, how gifted we are, and how to recognize God-With-Us each day.
Lord of light, hear our prayer.

For all peoples on the earth: for peace and good will; for reconciliation and forgiveness; and for an end to terrorism:
Lord of light, hear our prayer.

For an outpouring of God's favor in our time; for a rekindling of a childlike spirit of wonder and awe; and for openness to life and a renewed excitement about life:
Lord of light, hear our prayer.

For an appreciation of the ordinary: that the coming of Christ as a human may lead us to a deeper appreciation of the gift of our own humanity and ordinariness:
Lord of light, hear our prayer.

For an openness to the Incarnation in our lives: that we may allow the Word to become flesh through our deeds of kindness and compassion, in the truth which we speak, and in our willingness to be present with one another:
Lord of light, hear our prayer.

For a healing of all fear: that the angel’s message, Fear Not, may free us from the bonds of fear and impel us to live boldly:
Lord of light, hear our prayer.

For the leaders of all Christian communities: that the vulnerability of the Christ Child may lead to a breaking down of the walls and misunderstandings that divide the Body of Christ:
Lord of light, hear our prayer.

God our Father, 
your word has come among us 
in the Holy Child of Bethlehem. 
Grant that the light of faith 
may illumine our hearts 
and shine in our words and deeds; 
through him who is Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns 
with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God now and forever. Amen.

Lord God,
who gave grace to your servant Thomas Becket
to put aside all earthly fear
      and be faithful even to death:
grant that we, disregarding worldly esteem,
may fight all wrong,
uphold your rule,
and serve you to our life's end;
through Jesus Christ your 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

Hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God. 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 uses a sentence from a prayer in Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro (c) 2010 The Simple Way and School for Conversion and another sentence from in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999. The closing sentence is Hosea 12:6. The intercession is by the Center for Liturgy, Saint Louis University. The first collect is from _Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland_, (c) 1994, Panel on Worship of the Church of Scotland. The second collect is from _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.

Thomas was born in London in 1118, of a family of merchants. After a good education he served as clerk to another burgess then entered the service of Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury. Thomas proved himself an excellent administrator and skilled diplomat. In 1155 he was appointed chancellor by King Henry II. For several years king and chancellor worked harmoniously together in mutual admiration and personal friendship. As a result, the king nominated Thomas as Archbishop of Canterbury to succeed Theobald in 1161. From the start there was friction, with Thomas insisting on every privilege of the Church. The conflict worsened until 1164 when Thomas fled to France. Encouraged by the Pope he pursued his arguments from exile, sending letters and pronouncing excommunications. Three efforts at mediation failed before an apparent reconciliation brought him back triumphant to Canterbury in 1170. But the nobility still opposed him, and words of anger at court led four knights to journey to Canterbury where they finally chased Thomas into the cathedral, and murdered him on the steps of the altar on this day in 1170. Thomas was undoubtedly a proud and stubborn man, for all his gifts, and his personal austerities as archbishop were probably an attempt at self- discipline after years of ostentatious luxury. His conflict with King Henry stemmed from their equal personal ambitions, exacerbated by the increasingly international claims of the papacy, played out in the inevitable tension between Church and State. [Exciting Holiness]



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