Oremus for Thursday, December 17, 2020

O Sapientia
The Western Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

Antiphon
Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ycfhbq7w

O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom,
your words uttered in the beginning
generated a world of beauty and goodness,
giving purpose and value to each creature;
instruct us in the way of prudence,
that we may nurture the world with justice and joy.
Help us to resist evil and to obey you,
so that we may walk in your ways and
that the beauty of your creation may flourish—
through the one whom we know as the Wisdom of the ages,
Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. WS2

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: William Walsham How
Tune: Munich https://tinyurl.com/yy4u9b2f

1 O Word of God incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O Light of our dark sky,
we praise thee for the radiance
that from the hallowed page,
a lantern to our footsteps,
shines on from age to age.

2 The church from her dear Master
received the gift divine,
and still that light she lifteth
o’er all the earth to shine.
It is the golden casket,
where gems of truth are stored;
it is the heav’n drawn picture
Of Christ, the living Word.

3 It floateth like a banner
before God’s host unfurled;
it shineth like a beacon
above the darkling world.
It is the chart and compass
that o’er life’s surging sea,
‘mid mists and rocks and quicksands,
still guides, O Christ, to thee.

4 O make thy church, dear Savior,
a lamp of purest gold,
to bear before the nations
thy true light, as of old.
O teach thy wand’ring pilgrims
by this their path to trace,
’til, clouds and darkness ended,
they see thee face to face.

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

Psalm 89 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ydygwbyj)

1  My song shall be alway of the loving kindness of the Lord *
 with my mouth will I ever be shewing thy truth from one generation to another.
2  For I have said, Mercy shall be set up for ever *
 thy truth shalt thou stablish in the heavens.
3  I have made a covenant with my chosen *
 I have sworn unto David my servant;
4  Thy seed will I stablish for ever *
 and set up thy throne from one generation to another.
5  O Lord, the very heavens shall praise thy wondrous works *
 and thy truth in the congregation of the saints.
6  For who is he among the clouds *
 that shall be compared unto the Lord?
7  And what is he among the gods *
 that shall be like unto the Lord?
8  God is very greatly to be feared in the council of the saints *
 and to be had in reverence of all them that are round about him.
9  O Lord God of hosts, who is like unto thee *
 thy truth, most mighty Lord, is on every side.
10  Thou rulest the raging of the sea *
 thou stillest the waves thereof when they arise.
11  Thou hast subdued Egypt, and destroyed it *
 thou hast scattered thine enemies abroad with thy mighty arm.
12  The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine *
 thou hast laid the foundation of the round world, and all that therein is.
13  Thou hast made the north and the south *
 Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy Name.
14  Thou hast a mighty arm *
 strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
15  Righteousness and equity are the habitation of thy seat *
 mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
16  Blessed is the people, O Lord, that can rejoice in thee *
 they shall walk in the light of thy countenance.
17  Their delight shall be daily in thy Name *
 and in thy righteousness shall they make their boast.
18  For thou art the glory of their strength *
 and in thy loving-kindness thou shalt lift up our horns.
19  For the Lord is our defence *
 the Holy One of Israel is our King.
20  Thou spakest sometime in visions unto thy saints, and saidst *
 I have laid help upon one that is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
21  I have found David my servant *
 with my holy oil have I anointed him.
22  My hand shall hold him fast *
 and my arm shall strengthen him.
23  The enemy shall not be able to do him violence *
 the son of wickedness shall not hurt him.
24  I will smite down his foes before his face *
 and plague them that hate him.
25  My truth also and my mercy shall be with him *
 and in my Name shall his horn be exalted.
26  I will set his dominion also in the sea *
 and his right hand in the floods.
27  He shall call me, Thou art my Father *
 my God, and my strong salvation.
28  And I will make him my first-born *
 higher than the kings of the earth.
29  My mercy will I keep for him for evermore *
 and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
30  His seed also will I make to endure for ever *
 and his throne as the days of heaven.
31  But if his children forsake my law *
 and walk not in my judgements;
32  If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments *
 I will visit their offences with the rod, and their sin with scourges.
33  Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him *
 nor suffer my truth to fail.
34  My covenant will I not break,
nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips *
 I have sworn once by my holiness, that I will not fail David.
35  His seed shall endure for ever *
 and his seat is like as the sun before me.
36  He shall stand fast for evermore as the moon *
 and as the faithful witness in heaven.
37  But thou hast abhorred and forsaken thine Anointed *
 and art displeased at him.
38  Thou hast broken the covenant of thy servant *
 and cast his crown to the ground.
39  Thou hast overthrown all his hedges *
 and broken down his strong holds.
40  All they that go by spoil him *
 and he is become a reproach to his neighbours.
41  Thou hast set up the right hand of his enemies *
 and made all his adversaries to rejoice.
42  Thou hast taken away the edge of his sword *
 and givest him not victory in the battle.
43  Thou hast put out his glory *
 and cast his throne down to the ground.
44  The days of his youth hast thou shortened *
 and covered him with dishonour.
45  Lord, how long wilt thou hide thyself, for ever *
 and shall thy wrath burn like fire?
46  O remember how short my time is *
 wherefore hast thou made all men for nought?
47  What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death *
 and shall he deliver his soul from the hand of hell?
48  Lord, where are thy old loving-kindnesses *
 which thou swarest unto David in thy truth?
49  Remember, Lord, the rebuke that thy servants have *
 and how I do bear in my bosom the rebukes of many people;
50  Wherewith thine enemies have blasphemed thee, and slandered the footsteps of thine Anointed *
 Praised be the Lord for evermore. Amen, and Amen.
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

Remember us, gracious God,
when we cannot see your way and purpose,
and renew in us the joy of your kingdom of light and life.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Ecclesiasticus 24:1-9

Wisdom praises herself,
   and tells of her glory in the midst of her people.
In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth,
   and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory:
‘I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
   and covered the earth like a mist.
I dwelt in the highest heavens,
   and my throne was in a pillar of cloud.
Alone I compassed the vault of heaven
   and traversed the depths of the abyss.
Over waves of the sea, over all the earth,
   and over every people and nation I have held sway.
Among all these I sought a resting-place;
   in whose territory should I abide?

‘Then the Creator of all things gave me a command,
   and my Creator chose the place for my tent.
He said, “Make your dwelling in Jacob,
   and in Israel receive your inheritance.”
Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me,
   and for all the ages I shall not cease to be.

HYMN: Becket Senchur ©
Tune: Ballerma https://tinyurl.com/ybfb4564

1 O God of wisdom, God of truth,
Whose presence fills the earth:
Your gentle love pervades all things
And calls new life to birth.

2 Your all-embracing word of life
Now stirs the silent dawn;
The rising sun will shed its light,
All darkness will be gone.

2 O God of beauty, God revealed
in dreams of mind and heart,
In joyful dance, reflective thought,
In music and all art.

4 Forgive our sins, dispel our fears,
So that our lives may be
A witness to your saving love
And generosity.

Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:20b-30

Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

HYMN: Bernadette Farrell ©
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/y8manlu6

1 Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
Light for the world to see.

Refrain:
Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

2 Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has pow’r to save us.
Make us your living voice. [Refrain]

3 Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
Shared until all are fed. [Refrain]

4 Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
Walls made of living stone. [Refrain]

5 Many the gifts, many the people,
Many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
Making your kingdom come. [Refrain]

Reading: Luke 1:5-25

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.’ The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.’

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, ‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.’

CANTICLE Rory Cooney; based on Luke 1:46-55
(Performed by The Gentle Wolves https://tinyurl.com/ybox4ctg)

1. My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

2. Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn.

3. From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

4. Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
‘Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.

THE PRAYERS OSL

Come, O Wisdom, come!

Word, spoken in eternity by mouth of the Most High,
O Wisdom of the mind and heart of God!
Come, O Wisdom, come!

Eternal Archetype, all creation’s beauty
is fragment of your loveliness!
Come, O Wisdom, come!

Great Logos come to rest in the Virgin’s womb!
O Little Wisdom born to us!
Almighty clothed in tenderness!
Come, O Wisdom, come!

From end to end of time,
the grace of Love Incarnate orders all.
Come, O Wisdom, come!

O Wisdom, let me partake of you and yet still hunger,
and let me drink of you and always thirst.
Come, O Wisdom, come!

O Wisdom that is Love and love’s Delight,
teach me to search him through the darkened streets
for whom our hearts long
Come, O Wisdom, come!

Setting by Eric Wyse:2

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
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.

O Wisdom,
your words uttered in the beginning
generated a world of beauty and goodness,
giving purpose and value to each creature;
Instruct us in the way of prudence,
that we may nurture the world with justice and joy;
through the Name of the One who is Coming,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Promise

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.

$10.00

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

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

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

WS2 The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources

OSL The intercession is adapted from reprinted from THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke, © 1997 by The Order of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

Promise The collect is from The Promise of His Glory (Mowbray), © The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England 1990, 1991, which is used with permission.

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

2 Eric Wyse, Lord’s Prayer, ©; audio from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_a40ME7aVk

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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