Oremus for Sunday, December 6, 2020

John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness, Jan Steen, 1653

For another form of worship in the home based on today’s lessons in the Revised Common Lectionary, go to https://blogs.elca.org/worship/3106/

Antiphon1

Ant. Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high; and
be-hold the joy that shall come to you from your God.
V. O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord! *
O Sion, praise your God!
He has strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.
He established peace on your borders; *
he gives you your fill of finest wheat. Baruch 5; Psalm 147

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
and put on the armor of light,
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came
to visit us in great humility;
that in the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge both the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Music: https://tinyurl.com/ycn4djk5

O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!

HYMN: Carl P. Daw, Jr. ©
Tune: Abertystwyth https://tinyurl.com/y7qaogb2

1 Wild and lone the prophet’s voice
echoes through the desert still,
calling us to make a choice,
bidding us to do God’s will:
“Turn from sin and be baptized;
cleanse your heart and mind and soul.
Quitting all the sins you prized,
yield your life to God’s control.

2 “Bear the fruit repentance sows:
lives of justice, truth, and love.
Trust no other claim than those;
set your heart on things above.
Soon the Lord will come in power,
burning clean the threshing floor:
then will flames the chaff devour;
wheat alone shall fill God’s store.”

3 With such preaching, stark and bold,
John proclaimed salvation near,
and his timeless warnings hold
words of hope to all who hear.
So we dare to journey on,
led by faith through ways untrod,
till we come at last like John
to behold the Lamb of God.

PSALMS
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk

Psalm 32 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/twtffy5)

1  Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven *
 and whose sin is covered.
2  Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin *
 and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3  For while I held my tongue *
 my bones consumed away through my daily complaining.
4  For thy hand is heavy upon me day and night *
 and my moisture is like the drought in summer.
5  I will acknowledge my sin unto thee *
 and mine unrighteousness have I not hid.
6  I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord *
 and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.
7  For this shall every one that is godly make his prayer unto thee,
in a time when thou mayest be found *
 but in the great water-floods they shall not come nigh him.
8  Thou art a place to hide me in, thou shalt preserve me from trouble *
 thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.
9  I will inform thee, and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go *
 and I will guide thee with mine eye.
10  Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding *
 whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, lest they fall upon thee.
11  Great plagues remain for the ungodly *
 but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord, mercy embraceth him on every side.
12  Be glad, O ye righteous, and rejoice in the Lord *
 and be joyful, all ye that are true of heart.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

Psalm 33 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/qsa6l3x)

1  Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous *
 for it becometh well the just to be thankful.
2  Praise the Lord with harp *
 sing praises unto him with the lute, and instrument of ten strings.
3  Sing unto the Lord a new song *
 sing praises lustily unto him with a good courage.
4  For the word of the Lord is true *
 and all his works are faithful.
5  He loveth righteousness and judgement *
 the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6  By the word of the Lord were the heavens made *
 and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth.
7  He gathereth the waters of the sea together, as it were upon an heap *
 and layeth up the deep, as in a treasure-house.
8  Let all the earth fear the Lord *
 stand in awe of him, all ye that dwell in the world.
9  For he spake, and it was done *
 he commanded, and it stood fast.
10  The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought *
 and maketh the devices of the people to be of none effect,
and casteth out the counsels of princes.
11  The counsel of the Lord shall endure for ever *
 and the thoughts of his heart from generation to generation.
12  Blessed are the people, whose God is the Lord Jehovah *
 and blessed are the folk, that he hath chosen to him to be his inheritance.
13  The Lord looked down from heaven, and beheld all the children of men *
 from the habitation of his dwelling
he considereth all them that dwell on the earth.
14  He fashioneth all the hearts of them *
 and understandeth all their works.
15  There is no king that can be saved by the multitude of an host *
 neither is any mighty man delivered by much strength.
16  A horse is counted but a vain thing to save a man *
 neither shall he deliver any man by his great strength.
17  Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him *
 and upon them that put their trust in his mercy;
18  To deliver their soul from death *
 and to feed them in the time of dearth.
19  Our soul hath patiently tarried for the Lord *
 for he is our help, and our shield.
20  For our heart shall rejoice in him *
 because we have hoped in his holy Name.
21  Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us *
 like as we do put our trust in thee.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

Psalm 34 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/sorett7)

1  I will alway give thanks unto the Lord *
 his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord *
 the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3  O praise the Lord with me *
 and let us magnify his Name together.
4  I sought the Lord, and he heard me *
 yea, he delivered me out of all my fear.
5  They had an eye unto him, and were lightened *
 and their faces were not ashamed.
6  Lo, the poor crieth, and the Lord heareth him *
 yea, and saveth him out of all his troubles.
7  The angel of the Lord tarrieth round about them that fear him *
 and delivereth them.
8  O taste, and see, how gracious the Lord is *
 blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
9  O fear the Lord, ye that are his saints *
 for they that fear him lack nothing.
10  The lions do lack, and suffer hunger *
 but they who seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good.
11  Come, ye children, and hearken unto me *
 I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12  What man is he that lusteth to live *
 and would fain see good days?
13  Keep thy tongue from evil *
 and thy lips, that they speak no guile.
14  Eschew evil, and do good *
 seek peace, and ensue it.
15  The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous *
 and his ears are open unto their prayers.
16  The countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil *
 to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
17  The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth them *
 and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18  The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart *
 and will save such as be of an humble spirit.
19  Great are the troubles of the righteous *
 but the Lord delivereth him out of all.
20  He keepeth all his bones *
 so that not one of them is broken.
21  But misfortune shall slay the ungodly *
 and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22  The Lord delivereth the souls of his servants *
 and all they that put their trust in him shall not be destitute.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

PRAYER

Graciously hear us, Lord, for you alone we seek.
Quiet us with the peace which passes understanding,
and make us radiant with the knowledge of your goodness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people,
   says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to her
that she has served her term,
   that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
   double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
   make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
   and all people shall see it together,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
   And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
   their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
   when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
   surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
   but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
   O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
   O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
   lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
   ‘Here is your God!’
See, the Lord God comes with might,
   and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
   he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
   and gently lead the mother sheep.

HYMN: Johann Olearius; trans. Catherine Winkworth
Tune: Genevan 42nd https://tinyurl.com/y7qaogb2

1 Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness,
mourning ‘neath their sorrow’s load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

2 Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
blotting out each dark misdeed;
all that well deserved his anger
he no more will see or heed.
She hath suffered many a day,
now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
into ever-springing gladness.

3 For the herald’s voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
bidding all men to repentance,
since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.

4 Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain;
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
now o’er earth is shed abroad;
and all flesh shall see the token
that his word is never broken.

Reading: 2 Peter 3:8-15a

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

HYMN: Mary Ann Thomson
Tune: Tidings https://tinyurl.com/yawfdoq8

1 O Zion, haste, your mission high fulfilling,
to tell to all the world that God is light;
that he who made all nations is not willing
one soul should perish, lost in shades of night.

Refrain:
Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace;
tidings of Jesus, redemption, and release.

2 Behold how many thousands still are lying,
bound in the darksome prison-house of sin,
with none to tell them of the Savior’s dying,
or of the life he died for them to win. [Refrain]

3 Proclaim to ev’ry people, tongue, and nation
that God, in whom they live and move, is love:
tell how he stooped to save his lost creation,
and died on earth that we might live above. [Refrain]

4 Give of your own to bear the message glorious;
give of your wealth to speed them on their way;
pour out your soul for them in pray’r victorious;
and all your spending Jesus will repay. [Refrain]

Reading: Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
   “Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

CANTICLE: Luke 1:68-79
(Consiglio: https://tinyurl.com/ya8y3kqs)

Ant. Blest be the Lord God of Israel; *
who has come to his people and set them free.

God has raiséd up a Savior strong and proud,
born of his servant David.
And through holy prophets God has promised from of old,
to save us from all our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. Ant.

God promised to show mercy to our ancestors
to remember the covenant.
This was the oath sworn to father Abraham,
to set us free from our enemies’ hands,
free to worship God without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. Ant.

You, little child, are the prophet of the Lord,
you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give the people knowledge of salvation
by forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high breaks upon us,
to shine on us who dwell in the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet on the way of peace. Ant.

THE PRAYERS Joe Milner

For the Church: that God will comfort, nurture, and care for us, and lead us to a new day

For all members of the Body of Christ: that God will give us the energy to pursue conversion, advocate for justice and peace, and be heralds of God’s presence in our midst

For openness of heart: that God will renew the gift of the Spirit within us and help us to be active and dynamic disciples

For all who are waiting: that God will give us patience, help us to accompany one another through difficult times, and open us to quiet reflection that will help us recognize God’s presence and invitations to service

For all who are alone or in isolation: that God will sustain them, help them be aware of the blessings in their lives, and helps us to reach out and accompany them

For Christians during this Advent season: that we turn from the wastelands of violence, deceit, and greed and dedicate ourselves to promoting faithful, honest, and loving relationships

For healing of our civic community: that God will lead us to honest dialogue, greater respect for one another, and a deeper commitment to the truth

For deeper respect and appreciation for the created world: that we may be good stewards of the earth that God has provided for our well-being and that of future generations

For all who lack freedom or feel entrapped by life, particularly those with addictions, in abusive situations, or lack of employment: that they may experience hope and new freedom through God’s presence and love

For all who are experiencing deep loneliness: that God will help them recognize a purpose for their life through the deepest desires that God has planted in their spirits and give them a vision as to how to live their life more fully

For all who are ill: that God will ease their pain, heal them, and restore them to their communities of family and friends

For all who are fighting the coronavirus: that God will strengthen caregivers, inspire researchers, and guide those who will be distributing the vaccine

For an easing of tensions between and within nations: that God will open new paths for communication and the resolution of disputes so that they may work together to promote peace and justice

For healing in our communities: that God will guide us in ending discrimination and prejudice so that the gifts of everyone may be utilized for the good of one another

For all who have died: that the Good Shepherd will gather them into the peace and joy of God’s presence forever

(Traditional chant: https://tinyurl.com/ydzx5jdp)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

[For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.]

God of timeless grace,
you fill us with joyful expectation.
Make us ready for the message that prepares the way,
that with uprightness of heart and holy joy
we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. RCLP

Music: https://tinyurl.com/y9efvwm5
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14


Donation to Support This Ministry

Since 1993, Oremus has been done on a volunteer basis. If you are able, please consider supporting this work at the PayPal link below. For software reasons, I’ve set the value at $10.00, but feel free to change it. Thank you.

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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.

RCLP Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.

1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©

The intercessions are by Joe Milner http://liturgy.slu.edu

The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662).

Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.

Compilation © 2020 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.

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