OREMUS: 23 January 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jan 22 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for January 23
Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, 1893

Brooks has been called "the greatest American preacher of the 19th Century." He attended the Boston Latin School, Harvard University (where Phillips Brooks House was named after him) and Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. He became an Episcopal priest in 1860, and became Rector of the Church of the Advent, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was known for his support of freeing the slaves and allowing former slaves to vote. In 1869, he became Rector of Trinity Church in Boston. In 1872, he helped design the Trinity Church building, which today stands in Boston’s Back Bay. In 1891, he became Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts. 

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

Christ Jesus came into the world
to save sinners
of whom I am the foremost. 
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, God of salvation,
the splendour of your glory
dispels the darkness of earth,
for in Christ we behold
the nearness of yoru kingdom.
You call us to follow quickly
where he beckons,
eager to embrace the tasks of the gospel.
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. 


Psalm 110

The Lord said to my lord,
'Sit at my right hand,*
 until I make your enemies your footstool.' 
The Lord will send the sceptre
of your power out of Zion,*
 saying, 'Rule over your enemies
 round about you. 
'Princely state has been yours
from the day of your birth,*
 in the beauty of holiness
 have I begotten you,
 like dew from the womb of the morning.' 
The Lord has sworn and he will not recant:*
 'You are a priest for ever
 after the order of Melchizedek.' 
The Lord who is at your right hand
will smite kings in the day of his wrath;*
 he will rule over the nations. 
He will heap high the corpses;*
 he will smash heads over the wide earth. 
He will drink from the brook
beside the road;*
 therefore he will lift high his head. 

Psalm 111

I will give thanks to the Lord
with my whole heart,*
 in the assembly of the upright, 
 in the congregation. 
Great are the deeds of the Lord!*
 they are studied by all who delight in them. 
His work is full of majesty and splendour,*
 and his righteousness endures for ever. 
He makes his marvellous works
to be remembered;*
 the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 
He gives food to those who fear him;*
 he is ever mindful of his covenant. 
He has shown his people
the power of his works*
 in giving them the lands of the nations. 
The works of his hands
are faithfulness and justice;*
 all his commandments are sure. 
They stand fast for ever and ever,*
 because they are done in truth and equity. 
He sent redemption to his people;
   he commanded his covenant for ever;*
 holy and awesome is his name. 
The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of wisdom;*
 those who act accordingly
 have a good understanding;
 his praise endures for ever. 

Psalm 112

Happy are they who fear the Lord*
 and have great delight
 in his commandments! 
Their descendants will be mighty
in the land;*
 the generation of the upright
 will be blessed. 
Wealth and riches will be in their house,*
 and their righteousness will last for ever. 
Light shines in the darkness for the upright;*
 the righteous are merciful
 and full of compassion. 
It is good for them
to be generous in lending*
 and to manage their affairs with justice. 
For they will never be shaken;*
 the righteous will be kept
 in everlasting remembrance. 
They will not be afraid
of any evil rumours;*
 their heart is right;
 they put their trust in the Lord. 
Their heart is established
and will not shrink,*
 until they see their desire
 upon their enemies. 
They have given freely to the poor,*
 and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
 they will hold up their head with honour. 
The wicked will see it and be angry;
they will gnash their teeth and pine away;*
 the desires of the wicked will perish. 

Psalm 113

Give praise, you servants of the Lord;*
 praise the name of the Lord. 
Let the name of the Lord be blessed,*
 from this time forth for evermore. 
>From the rising of the sun
to its going down*
 let the name of the Lord be praised. 
The Lord is high above all nations,*
 and his glory above the heavens. 
Who is like the Lord our God,
who sits enthroned on high,*
 but stoops to behold the heavens
 and the earth? 
He takes up the weak out of the dust*
 and lifts up the poor from the ashes. 
He sets them with the princes,*
 with the princes of his people. 
He makes the woman of a childless house*
 to be a joyful mother of children.

FIRST READING [Genesis 7:1-10,17-23]:

Then the Lord said to Noah, 'Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.' And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. 

Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth. And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth. 

The flood continued for forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. 

Words: Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)
Tune: Kingsfold

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee to-night.

O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth;
for Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given!
so God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in.

Where children pure and happy
pray to the blessed Child,
where misery cries out to thee,
son of the mother mild;
where charity stands watching
and faith holds wide the door,
the dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
and Christmas comes once more.

O holy child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin, and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell:
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.

SECOND READING [Hebrews 10:11-18]:

And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, 'he sat down at the right hand of God', and since then has been waiting 'until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.' For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds', he also adds, 'I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.' Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. 

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

Loving God, in Jesus Christ you teach us to pray:

Guide us by your Holy Spirit
that our prayers for others may serve your will
and show your steadfast love for all.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
you have called together a people
to be the Church of Jesus Christ,
founded on the apostles.
May your people be one in faith and discipleship,
breaking bread together and telling good news.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

May the world come to believe that you are love,
turn to your ways and live in the light of your truth.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

You made all things and called them good.
May your planet earth be held in reverence by all people,
that its resources may be used wisely 
and its fragile balance between life and death respected.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers for those who rule the nations,
that they may learn wisdom and truth,
establish justice and mercy
and seek the ways of peace.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

O Lord, by your dealings with us, whether of joy or pain, of light or darkness, let us be brought to you. Let us value no treatment of your grace simply because it makes us happy or because it makes us sad, because it gives us or denies us what we want; but may all that you send us bring us to you; that knowing your perfectness, we may be sure in every disappointment you are still loving us, in every darkness you are still enlightening us, and in every enforced idleness you are giving us life, as in his death you gave life to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Loving God,
we give you thanks
that with your servant Phillips Brooks
you call us to feed on your Word, the Christ,
and know that it is that Christ in us
who lives our life,
who helps the poor,
who tells the truth,
who fights the battle,
and who wins the crown.
Grant, we pray, that all
whom you call to preach the Gospel 
may steep themselves in your Word, 
and conform their lives to your will;
through 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

Be such a person and live such a life that if everyone were such as you, and every life a life such as yours, this earth would be God's paradise. 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 biography is from cyberhymnal.org. The opening scripture is 1 Timothy 1:15.  opening prayer of thanksgiving is in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999. The first collect and closing sentence are by Phillips Brooks. The second collect is by Stephen Benner and has a prayer by Brooks embedded in it and also includes a sentence from a prayer in _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

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