Oremus for Monday, December 14, 2020

Christ of Saint John of the Cross, Salvador Dalí, 1951

John of the Cross
Born to an impoverished noble family near Avila in Spain in 1542, Juan de Yepes was brought up by his widowed mother and went to a charity school. He worked as a nurse and received further education from the Jesuits before entering the Carmelite order when he was twenty-one. Having distinguished himself at Salamanca university, he was ordained in 1567 and met Teresa of Avila soon afterwards. Small of stature, he made a great impression on her and she persuaded him to help with her reform of the Carmelite order. His labours brought him into conflict with the religious authorities, and he was even imprisoned for a period, yet these experiences prompted some of his finest poetry and mystical writing. In particular, he described the ‘dark night’ of the soul as it is purified in its approach towards God. After ten years as superior to several different houses, he again fell out of favour and was banished to Andalusia in southern Spain, where he died after a severe illness on this day in 1591. EH

Antiphon1

Ant. You will turn toward us, O God, *
and restore our life again, and your people will rejoice in you.
Show us, Lord, your mercy and grant us your salvation.
V. O Lord, you have favored your land, *
and brought back the captives of Jacob.
You forgave the guilt of your people, *
and covered all their sins.
You averted all your rage; *
you turned back the heat of your anger. Psalm 85

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: Daniel Charles Damon, alt. ©
Tune: Culross https://tinyurl.com/y6hz8en2

1 By grace we grasp a thread of hope
and walk the shifting sand,
until the thread becomes a rope
held fast by Jesus’ hand.

2 In every changing state of mind
ecstasy to despair,
the Spirit beckons till we find
strength to pray, will to care.

3 In barren places we will sing
our dusty voices clear,
and by our daily choices, bring
God’s healing presence near.

4 Yes, God is with us where we are,
and knows our deepest fear;
though seeming distant as a star,
our God, in Christ, is here.

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

Psalm 73 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/vztsodf)

1  Truly God is loving unto Israel *
 even unto such as are of a clean heart.
2  Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone *
 my treadings had well-nigh slipt.
3  And why? I was grieved at the wicked *
 I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
4  For they are in no peril of death *
 but are lusty and strong.
5  They come in no misfortune like other folk *
 neither are they plagued like other men.
6  And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride *
 and overwhelmed with cruelty.
7  Their eyes swell with fatness *
 and they do even what they lust.
8  They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy *
 their talking is against the most High.
9  For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven *
 and their tongue goeth through the world.
10  Therefore fall the people unto them *
 and thereout suck they no small advantage.
11  Tush, say they, how should God perceive it *
 is there knowledge in the most High?
12  Lo, these are the ungodly, these prosper in the world,
and these have riches in possession *
 and I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain,
and washed mine hands in innocency.
13  All the day long have I been punished *
 and chastened every morning.
14  Yea, and I had almost said even as they *
 but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.
15  Then thought I to understand this *
 but it was too hard for me,
16  Until I went into the sanctuary of God *
 then understood I the end of these men;
17  Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places *
 and castest them down, and destroyest them.
18  O how suddenly do they consume *
 perish, and come to a fearful end!
19  Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh *
 so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
20  Thus my heart was grieved *
 and it went even through my reins.
21  So foolish was I, and ignorant *
 even as it were a beast before thee.
22  Nevertheless, I am alway by thee *
 for thou hast holden me by my right hand.
23  Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel *
 and after that receive me with glory.
24  Whom have I in heaven but thee *
 and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.
25  My flesh and my heart faileth *
 but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
26  For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish *
 thou hast destroyed all them that commit fornication against thee.
27  But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God *
 and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
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 74 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/r9v5c9y)

1  O God, wherefore art thou absent from us so long *
 why is thy wrath so hot against the sheep of thy pasture?
2  O think upon thy congregation *
 whom thou hast purchased, and redeemed of old.
3  Think upon the tribe of thine inheritance *
 and mount Sion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
4  Lift up thy feet, that thou mayest utterly destroy every enemy *
 which hath done evil in thy sanctuary.
5  Thine adversaries roar in the midst of thy congregations *
 and set up their banners for tokens.
6  He that hewed timber afore out of the thick trees *
 was known to bring it to an excellent work.
7  But now they break down all the carved work thereof *
 with axes and hammers.
8  They have set fire upon thy holy places *
 and have defiled the dwelling-place of thy Name, even unto the ground.
9  Yea, they said in their hearts, Let us make havock of them altogether *
 thus have they burnt up all the houses of God in the land.
10  We see not our tokens, there is not one prophet more *
 no, not one is there among us, that understandeth any more.
11  O God, how long shall the adversary do this dishonour *
 how long shall the enemy blaspheme thy Name, for ever?
12  Why withdrawest thou thy hand *
 why pluckest thou not thy right hand out of thy bosom
to consume the enemy?
13  For God is my King of old *
 the help that is done upon earth he doeth it himself.
14  Thou didst divide the sea through thy power *
 thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
15  Thou smotest the heads of Leviathan in pieces *
 and gavest him to be meat for the people in the wilderness.
16  Thou broughtest out fountains and waters out of the hard rocks *
 thou driedst up mighty waters.
17  The day is thine, and the night is thine *
 thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
18  Thou hast set all the borders of the earth *
 thou hast made summer and winter.
19  Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy hath rebuked *
 and how the foolish people hath blasphemed thy Name.
20  O deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the multitude of the enemies *
 and forget not the congregation of the poor for ever.
21  Look upon the covenant *
 for all the earth is full of darkness, and cruel habitations.
22  O let not the simple go away ashamed *
 but let the poor and needy give praise unto thy Name.
23  Arise, O God, maintain thine own cause *
 remember how the foolish man blasphemeth thee daily.
24  Forget not the voice of thine enemies *
 the presumption of them that hate thee increaseth ever more and more.
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

God our strength,
you give honor to the pure in heart
and uphold all who trust in you.
Deliver us from chasing after this world’s illusions
that we may follow instead
the imperishable truth of your Word
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Malachi 2:13-17

And this you do as well: You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favour at your hand. You ask, ‘Why does he not?’ Because the Lord was a witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did not one God make her? Both flesh and spirit are his. And what does the one God desire? Godly offspring. So look to yourselves, and do not let anyone be faithless to the wife of his youth. For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.

You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied him?’ By saying, ‘All who do evil are good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.’ Or by asking, ‘Where is the God of justice?’

HYMN: Laurence Tuttiett
Tune: Vater unser (Old 112th) https://tinyurl.com/y232qhcq

1 O quickly come, dread Judge of all;
For, awful though thine advent be,
All shadows from the truth will fall,
And falsehood die, in sight of thee:
O quickly come; for doubt and fear
Like clouds dissolve when thou art near.

2 O quickly come, great King of all;
Reign all around us, and within;
Let sin no more our souls enthral,
Let pain and sorrow die with sin:
O quickly come; for thou alone
Canst make thy scattered people one.

3 O quickly come, true Life of all,
For death is mighty all around;
On every home his shadows fall,
On every heart his mark is found:
O quickly come; for grief and pain
Can never cloud thy glorious reign.

4 O quickly come, sure Light of all,
For gloomy night broods o’er our way,
And weakly souls begin to fall
With weary watching for the day:
O quickly come; for round thy throne
No eye is blind, no night is known.

Reading: 2 Peter 1:1-11

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

HYMN: Jan Struther ©
Tune: Slane https://tinyurl.com/y67emwat

1 Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares can destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

2 Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

3 Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

4 Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Reading: Mark 13:14-20

Jesus continued, ‘But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; someone on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away; someone in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not be in winter. For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days.’

CANTICLE Isaiah 9; Isaiah 40:1-9; 1 John 1
(Dan Schutte: https://tinyurl.com/ybrvb259)

Awake from your slumber! Arise from your sleep!
A new day is dawning for all those who weep
The people in darkness have seen a great light
The Lord of our longing has conquered the night
Refrain:
Let us build the city of God
May our tears be turned into dancing!
For the Lord, our light and our love
Has turned the night into day!

We are sons of the morning; we are daughters of day
The One who has loved us has brightened our way. Refrain

God is light; in him there is no darkness
Let us walk in his light, his children, one and all. Refrain

O comfort my people; make gentle your words
Proclaim to my city the day of her birth. Refrain

PRAYER Sacredise

Where there seems to be no way
to end the conflict and violence in our time,
we pray that you would teach us, O Christ,
to prepare the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

Where we can see no way
to provide for the needs of all people,
we pray that you would show us, O Christ,
how to prepare the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

Where can find no way
to work together for justice,
we pray that you would change us, O Christ,
until we prepare the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

Where we are unable to believe in a way
to live simply, responsibly and mindfully,
we pray that you would inspire us, O Christ,
to faith that prepares the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

In a world where we are tempted
to see so many of our challenges as dead-ends,
we pray for a new vision, a new heart and a new commitment
to prepare the way for your reign,
your grace, your shalom
and for the liberation, justice and peace that you bring. Amen.

(Plainsong Mode 2: https://tinyurl.com/yctqq8cf)DL

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the bread of life;
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Judge eternal, throned in splendor,
you gave Juan de la Cruz
strength of purpose and mystical faith
that sustained him even through the dark night of the soul:
Shed your light on all who love you,
in unity with Jesus Christ our Savior;
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. HWHM

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.

EH Exciting Holiness, Ed. Brother Tristram SSF © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © Church Publishing, Inc.

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

Sacredise https://sacredise.com/preparing-the-way/

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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