OREMUS: 2 February 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Feb 1 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for February 2
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. 
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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 [Zechariah 12:1—13:9]:

The word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the human spirit within: See, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling for all the surrounding peoples; it will be against Judah also in the siege against Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it shall grievously hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth shall come together against it. On that day, says the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But on the house of Judah I will keep a watchful eye, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.' 

On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot on a pile of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem. 

And the Lord will give victory to the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be exalted over that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, at their head. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land shall mourn, each family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves. 

On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. 

On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more; and also I will remove from the land the prophets and the unclean spirit. And if any prophets appear again, their fathers and mothers who bore them will say to them, 'You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the Lord'; and their fathers and their mothers who bore them shall pierce them through when they prophesy. On that day the prophets will be ashamed, every one, of their visions when they prophesy; they will not put on a hairy mantle in order to deceive, but each of them will say, 'I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the soil; for the land has been my possession since my youth.' And if anyone asks them, 'What are these wounds on your chest?' the answer will be 'The wounds I received in the house of my friends.' 

'Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
   against the man who is my associate,' 
says the Lord of hosts.
Strike the shepherd, that the sheep may be scattered;
   I will turn my hand against the little ones. 
In the whole land, says the Lord,
   two-thirds shall be cut off and perish,
   and one-third shall be left alive. 
And I will put this third into the fire,
   refine them as one refines silver,
   and test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name,
   and I will answer them.
I will say, 'They are my people';
   and they will say, 'The Lord is our God.' 

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

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 [Titus 1:1—2:6]:

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began— in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Saviour, 

To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour. 

I left you behind in Crete for this reason, that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. 

There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said,
'Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.' 

That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. 
But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine. Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. 

Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behaviour, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. 

Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 

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

Prayer:
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.

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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 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, 
www.hopepublishing.com
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.

This day marks the completion of forty days since the birth of Jesus, when Mary and Joseph took the child to the Temple in Jerusalem. The requirement in Levitical law was for Mary to be 'cleansed', the completion of her purification following the birth of a male child. Until that day, she could touch no holy thing nor enter the sanctuary. Yet on seeing the holy family, Simeon praised God and acclaimed the infant as 'the light to enlighten the nations' and the prophet Anna gave thanks and proclaimed him her Redeemer. The image of Christ as the Light has led to the celebration of light countering darkness, with candles often taking a central place in the observance. [Exciting Holiness]


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