OREMUS: 6 January 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Jan 5 17:00:00 GMT 2012


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OREMUS for January 6
The Epiphany 

The subtitle in the Book of Common Prayer of this, one of the principal feasts of the Church, is 'The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles'. This emphasises that, from the moment of the Incarnation, the good news of Jesus Christ is for all: Jew and Gentile, the wise and the simple, male and female. 

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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
You have made yourself known
in a most amazing way,
coming in weakness,
covering your glory and hiding your majesty,
born to a simple life
to humble working parents,
and yet announced in the stars of heaven
and visited by kings.
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 30

I will exalt you, O Lord,
   because you have lifted me up*
 and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to you,*
 and you restored me to health.
You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead;*
 you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
Sing to the Lord, you servants of his;*
 give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye,*
 his favour for a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night,*
 but joy comes in the morning.
While I felt secure, I said,
   'I shall never be disturbed.*
 You, Lord, with your favour,
   made me as strong as the mountains.'
Then you hid your face,*
 and I was filled with fear.
I cried to you, O Lord;*
 I pleaded with the Lord, saying,
'What profit is there in my blood,
   if I go down to the Pit?*
 will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
'Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me;*
 O Lord, be my helper.'
You have turned my wailing into dancing;*
 you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy;
Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;*
 O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

Psalm 31

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
   let me never be put to shame;*
 deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;*
 make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
   for you are my crag and my stronghold;*
 for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net
   that they have secretly set for me,*
 for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,*
 for you have redeemed me,
   O Lord, O God of truth.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols,*
 and I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy;*
 for you have seen my affliction;
   you know my distress.
You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy;*
 you have set my feet in an open place.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;*
 my eye is consumed with sorrow,
   and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief,
   and my years with sighing;*
 my strength fails me because of affliction,
   and my bones are consumed.
I have become a reproach to all my enemies
   and even to my neighbours,
   a dismay to those of my acquaintance;*
 when they see me in the street they avoid me.
I am forgotten like the dead, out of mind;*
 I am as useless as a broken pot.
For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
   fear is all around;*
 they put their heads together against me;
   they plot to take my life.
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.*
 I have said, 'You are my God.
'My times are in your hand;*
 rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
   and from those who persecute me.
'Make your face to shine upon your servant,*
 and in your lovingkindness save me.'
Lord, let me not be ashamed
   for having called upon you;*
 rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
   let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be silenced
   which speak against the righteous,*
 haughtily, disdainfully and with contempt.
How great is your goodness, O Lord,
   which you have laid up for those who fear you;*
 which you have done in the sight of all
   for those who put their trust in you.
You hide them in the covert of your presence
   from those who slander them;*
 you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord!*
 for he has shown me the wonders of his love
   in a besieged city.
Yet I said in my alarm,
   'I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.'*
 Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
   when I cried out to you.
Love the Lord, all you who worship him;*
 the Lord protects the faithful,
   but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,*
 all you who wait for the Lord.

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 31:7-14]:

For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
   and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
   ‘Save, O Lord, your people,
   the remnant of Israel.’ 
See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
   and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
   those with child and those in labour, together;
   a great company, they shall return here. 
With weeping they shall come,
   and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
   in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
   and Ephraim is my firstborn. 

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
   and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
   and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.’ 
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
   and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. 
They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
   and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
   and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
   and they shall never languish again. 
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
   and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
   I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 
I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
   and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, 
says the Lord. 

HYMN 
Words: Christopher Smart (1722-1771)
Tune:  Rustington, Kit Smart, Ottery St. Mary, Castiglione

Where is this stupendous stranger?
Prophets, shepherds, kings, advise.
Lead me to my Master's manger,
show me where my Savior lies.
O Most Mighty! O Most Holy!
Far beyond the seraph's thought:
art thou then so weak and lowly
as unheeded prophets taught?

O the magnitude of meekness!
Worth from worth immortal sprung;
O the strength of infant weakness,
if eternal is so young!
God all-bounteous, all-creative,
whom no ills from good dissuade,
is incarnate, and a native
of the very world he made.

SECOND READING [John 1:29-34]:

The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John testified, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.'

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

Prayer:
God of glory,
you want the light of your presence
to pervade our lives.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer..

You fill our lives with the fruit of your light.
We pray for ourselves and those dear to us.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer..

Your steadfast love never ceases.
We pray for our community and for our neighbors.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer..

You take notice of your people.
We pray for the church in all places,
that we may bear witness
to your reign of justice, peace, and joy.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer..

Your glory will appear over the nations.
We pray for the world,
for all who are ensnared
in greed, violence, and oppression.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer..

God of light,
your rising reveals all things
in their true proportion.
Illumine our lives,
that we may see rightly,
love deeply, and act justly.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Everlasting God,
the radiance of faithful souls,
who brought the nations to your light
and kings to the brightness of your rising:
Fill the world with your glory,
and show yourself to all the nations;
through him who is the true light and the bright morning star,
Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

May Christ, the Son of God, be manifest to us
that our lives may be a light to the world. 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 incorporates phrases from a prayer in reprinted by permission from _The Worship Sourcebook_, (c) 2004 CRC Publications.
The intercession is from Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer Book, Volume 2.  The collect is from _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. The closing sentence is from _Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission. The description of the feast is from Exciting Holiness © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997.



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