Oremus for Thursday, December 24, 2020

Journey to Bethlehem, Chora Church, Istanbul, ca. 1320

Antiphon1

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see the salvation which comes from our God.
V. The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world, and those who dwell in it.
It is he who set it on the seas; *
on the rivers he made it firm. Isaiah 40, Psalm 24

Purify our conscience, Almighty God,
by your daily visitation,
that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming,
may find in us a mansion prepared for himself;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP79

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: trans. John Mason Neale
Tune: Veni Emmanuel https://tinyurl.com/y7waen7r

1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

[Refrain:]
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!

2 O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go. (Refrain)

3 O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times didst give the law,
in cloud and majesty and awe. (Refrain)

4 O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s tree,
free them from Satan’s tyranny
that trust thy mighty power to save,
and give them victory o’er the grave. (Refrain)

5 O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery. (Refrain)

6 O come, thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadow put to flight. (Refrain)

7 O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace. (Refrain)

8 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear. (Refrain)

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

Psalm 119:1-32 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y9wwyccr)

1  Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way *
 and walk in the law of the Lord.
2  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies *
 and seek him with their whole heart.
3  For they who do no wickedness *
 walk in his ways.
4  Thou hast charged *
 that we shall diligently keep thy commandments.
5  O that my ways were made so direct *
 that I might keep thy statutes!
6  So shall I not be confounded *
 while I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7  I will thank thee with an unfeigned heart *
 when I shall have learned the judgements of thy righteousness.
8  I will keep thy ceremonies *
 O forsake me not utterly.
9  Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way *
 even by ruling himself after thy word.
10  With my whole heart have I sought thee *
 O let me not go wrong out of thy commandments.
11  Thy words have I hid within my heart *
 that I should not sin against thee.
12  Blessed art thou, O Lord *
 O teach me thy statutes.
13  With my lips have I been telling *
 of all the judgements of thy mouth.
14  I have had as great delight in the way of thy testimonies *
 as in all manner of riches.
15  I will talk of thy commandments *
 and have respect unto thy ways.
16  My delight shall be in thy statutes *
 and I will not forget thy word.
17  O do well unto thy servant *
 that I may live, and keep thy word.
18  Open thou mine eyes *
 that I may see the wondrous things of thy law.
19  I am a stranger upon earth *
 O hide not thy commandments from me.
20  My soul breaketh out for the very fervent desire *
 that it hath alway unto thy judgements.
21  Thou hast rebuked the proud *
 and cursed are they that do err from thy commandments.
22  O turn from me shame and rebuke *
 for I have kept thy testimonies.
23  Princes also did sit and speak against me *
 but thy servant is occupied in thy statutes.
24  For thy testimonies are my delight *
 and my counsellors.
25  My soul cleaveth to the dust *
 O quicken thou me, according to thy word.
26  I have acknowledged my ways, and thou heardest me *
 O teach me thy statutes.
27  Make me to understand the way of thy commandments *
 and so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
28  My soul melteth away for very heaviness *
 comfort thou me according unto thy word.
29  Take from me the way of lying *
 and cause thou me to make much of thy law.
30  I have chosen the way of truth *
 and thy judgements have I laid before me.
31  I have stuck unto thy testimonies *
 O Lord, confound me not.
32  I will run the way of thy commandments *
 when thou hast set my heart at liberty.
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

Holy God,
you are just in all your ways
and your commandments are the greatest of treasures.
Give us understanding of your law
and direct us according to your will
that we may be faithful in serving you
for the sake of Jesus our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Baruch 4:36-5:9

Look towards the east, O Jerusalem,
   and see the joy that is coming to you from God.
Look, your children are coming, whom you sent away;
   they are coming, gathered from east and west,
at the word of the Holy One,
   rejoicing in the glory of God.

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
   and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God.
Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God;
   put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting;
for God will show your splendour everywhere under heaven.
For God will give you evermore the name,
   ‘Righteous Peace, Godly Glory’.

Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height;
   look towards the east,
and see your children gathered from west and east
   at the word of the Holy One,
   rejoicing that God has remembered them.
For they went out from you on foot,
   led away by their enemies;
but God will bring them back to you,
   carried in glory, as on a royal throne.
For God has ordered that every high mountain and the everlasting hills be made low
   and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,
   so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
The woods and every fragrant tree
   have shaded Israel at God’s command.
For God will lead Israel with joy,
   in the light of his glory,
   with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.

HYMN: Martin Leckebusch ©
Tune: Besançon https://tinyurl.com/y8o3ljj2

1 People, look east to see at last
hopes fulfilled from ages past:
now in the promise of the morning,
see, a brighter day is dawning,
rich with the visions long foretold,
prophets’ dreams from days of old.

2 God reaffirms the gracious call:
words of welcome meant for all;
comfort enough for all our sorrows;
justice shaping new tomorrows.
Mercy bears fruit in lives restored,
freed to praise and serve the Lord.

3 Now, with the coming of the light,
darkest fears are put to flight;
see how the clouds of gloom are clearing,
blown aside by hope’s appearing.
Jesus, the Light of all our days,
comes and sets our hearts ablaze.

4 Born of our race, a child so small —
hail the promised Lord of all!
Nailed to a cross for our salvation,
he shall rule God’s new creation.
Lift up your eyes, and look again:
see, he comes in power to reign!

Reading: Philippians 2:5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.

HYMN: Naida Hearn ©
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/ychunsuc

Jesus, name above all names,
beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us,
blessed Redeemer, Living Word.

Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

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 WS2, alt.

O Immanuel,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Lord of might,
O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
O Key of David,
O Bright and Morning Star,
O King of nations,
We rejoice and are glad
this eve of your Nativity,
for truly you have already come,
full of grace and truth.
Even now, come into our hearts again.
Show us the path of knowledge.
Comfort us in our mourning.
Save us from our sin.
Open wide our way to heaven.
Turn our darkness into light.
End our sad divisions
and be our King of peace,
so that every creature in heaven and on earth
will join in a chorus of praise,
and shout with joy to you, our Lord. Amen.

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 Lord, our God,
as we prepare to celebrate the festival of Christmas,
we ask you to make us humble and loving like Jesus,
who did not come to be served but to serve,
and who said that it is better to give than to receive,
so that in his name
we may devote ourselves to the care
and service of all who are in need.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. WS2, alt.

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.

BCP79 The Book of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church

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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