OREMUS: 29 January 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Jan 28 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for January 29
The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

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

Blessed are the poor in spirit;
the kingdom of heaven is their.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, faithful God,
for your Holy One, Jesus of Nazareth,
who spoke the truth with authority,
and whose teaching you confirmed
by wondrous deeds.
Through his healing presence,
you drive far from us all that is unholy,
so that by word and deed
we may proclaim him Messiah and Lord
and bear witness
to your power to heal and save.
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 139

Lord, you have searched me out
and known me;*
 you know my sitting down
 and my rising up;
 you discern my thoughts from afar. 
You trace my journeys
and my resting-places*
 and are acquainted with all my ways. 
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,*
 but you, O Lord, know it altogether. 
You press upon me behind and before*
 and lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;*
 it is so high that I cannot attain to it. 
Where can I go then from your Spirit?*
 where can I flee from your presence? 
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;*
 if I make the grave my bed,
 you are there also. 
If I take the wings of the morning*
 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
Even there your hand will lead me*
 and your right hand hold me fast. 
If I say, 'Surely the darkness will cover me,*
 and the light around me turn to night', 
Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day;*
 darkness and light to you are both alike. 
For you yourself created my inmost parts;*
 you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
I will thank you
because I am marvellously made;*
 your works are wonderful
 and I know it well. 
My body was not hidden from you,*
 while I was being made in secret
 and woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes beheld my limbs,
yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book;*
 they were fashioned day by day,
 when as yet there was none of them. 
How deep I find your thoughts, O God!*
 how great is the sum of them! 
If I were to count them,
they would be more
in number than the sand;*
 to count them all,
 my life span would need to be like yours. 
O that you would slay the wicked, O God!*
 You that thirst for blood, depart from me. 
They speak despitefully against you;*
 your enemies take your name in vain. 
Do I not hate those, O Lord, who hate you?*
 and do I not loathe those
 who rise up against you? 
I hate them with a perfect hatred;*
 they have become my own enemies.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;*
 try me and know my restless thoughts. 
Look well whether there be
any wickedness in me*
 and lead me in the way that is everlasting. 

Psalm 140

Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers;*
 protect me from the violent, 
Who devise evil in their hearts*
 and stir up strife all day long. 
They have sharpened their tongues
like a serpent;*
 adder's poison is under their lips. 
Keep me, O Lord,
from the hands of the wicked;*
 protect me from the violent,
 who are determined to trip me up. 
The proud have hidden a snare for me
and stretched out a net of cords;*
 they have set traps for me along the path. 
I have said to the Lord, 'You are my God;*
 listen, O Lord, to my supplication. 
'O Lord God, the strength of my salvation,*
 you have covered my head
 in the day of battle. 
'Do not grant the desires
of the wicked, O Lord,*
 nor let their evil plans prosper. 
'Let not those who surround me
lift up their heads;*
 let the evil of their lips overwhelm them. 
'Let hot burning coals fall upon them;*
 let them be cast into the mire,
 never to rise up again.' 
A slanderer shall not be established
on the earth,*
 and evil shall hunt down the lawless.
I know that the Lord
will maintain the cause of the poor*
 and render justice to the needy. 
Surely, the righteous will give thanks
to your name,*
 and the upright shall continue in your sight. 

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. 

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 1:4-10]:

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.' Then I said, 'Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.' But the Lord said to me, 'Do not say, “I am only a boy”; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, 
says the Lord.'  Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,
'Now I have put my words in your mouth.  See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.' 

Words: Alan Gaunt (born 1935) © 1991 Stainer & Bell Ltd
Tune: Sunset (98.98)

Come, living God, when least expected,
When minds are dull and hearts are cold,
Through sharpening word and warm affection
Revealing truths as yet untold.

Break from the tomb in which we hide you
To speak again in startling ways;
Break through the words in which we bind you
To resurrect our lifeless praise.

Come now, as once you came to Moses
Within the bush alive with flame,
Or to Elijah on the mountain,
By silence pressing home your claim.

So, let our minds be sharp to read you
In sight or sound or printed page,
And let us greet you in our neighbours,
In ardent youth or mellow age.

Then, through our gloom, your Son will meet us
As vivid truth and living Lord,
Exploding doubt and disillusion
To scatter hope and joy abroad.

Then we will share his radiant brightness
And, blazing through the dread of night,
Illuminate by love and reason,
For those in darkness, faith's delight.

SECOND READING [Mark 1:40-45]:

A leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling he said to him, 'If you choose, you can make me clean.' Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I do choose. Be made clean!' Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, 'See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.' But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter. 

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

God cares for all who are in need and calls us to do the same. We now place before the Lord the needs of our Church and our world.

We pray for our brothers and sisters around the world whose countries are torn apart by warfare and hatred, especially Syria and Libya; and for those suffering from the difficult situation in Iran: that the leaders may find peaceful and lasting solutions; and that those who work for peace and reconciliation may be granted new strength, fresh resolve and an outpouring of the Spirit.

We pray for those killed and suffering in sectarian attacks in Nigeria; and that members of the world’s great religions may have a better understanding and acceptance of one another.

We pray for those in poverty, distress and hardship. We pray especially at this time for those who are unemployed, for young people looking for work, and for those who have lost employment through redundancy, ill-health or accident. May they all be blessed with hope and granted dignity and new opportunities.

We pray for those whose task is to be responsible for the financial welfare of nations around the world. We pray, too, for countries crippled by debt: that true economic justice may prevail between the nations.

We pray for those looking after elderly people in care homes and hospitals, and for the elderly people themselves : that these vulnerable people may experience love, care and compassion and be treated always with dignity and respect.

We pray for those who have been recently bereaved. We remember especially the families who have lost loved ones in the Costa Concordia disaster. Amid their sorrow, may they glimpse the hope of the resurrection.

Living God,
in Christ you make all things new.
Transform the poverty of our nature
by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
show forth your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.	

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Teach us, Lord God,
to worship you with undivided hearts
and to cherish all people
 with true and faithful love. 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 opening sentence is Matthew 5:3. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999. The closing sentence is from the 1998 edition of the Sacramentary. The collect is from [BCO]     _Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland_, (c) 1994, Panel on Worship of the Church of Scotland. The petitions are gathered by Redemptorist Publications and are published each Friday on their website: http://www.rpbooks.co.uk/page.php?page=prayers

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