Oremus for Friday, December 25, 2020

The Birth of Jesus, Giotto di Bondone, 1304-6

Antiphon1

Ant. Unto us a child is born, *
unto us a son is given.
Dominion is on his shoulder
and his name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel.
V. O sing a new song to the Lord, *
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm *
have brought salvation. Isaiah 9; Psalm 98

Almighty God,
you wonderfully created,
and yet more wonderfully restored,
the dignity of human nature.
In your mercy,
let us share the divine life of Jesus Christ
who came to share our humanity,
and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen. BCW

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: Johann von Rist; trans. John Troutbeck ©
Tune: Ermuntre dich https://tinyurl.com/y9xj9zt4

1 Break forth, O beauteous heav’nly light,
and usher in the morning.
O shepherds, shrink not with affright,
but hear the angel’s warning.
This child, now weak in infancy,
our confidence and joy shall be,
the power of Satan breaking,
our peace eternal making.

2 This night of wonder, night of joy,
was born the Christ, our brother.
He comes, not mighty to destroy,
to bid us love each other.
How could he quit his high estate
for such a world of greed and hate?
What deep humiliation
secured the world’s salvation!

3 Come, dearest child, into our hearts,
and leave your crib behind you!
Let this be where the new life starts
for all who seek and find you.
To you be honor, thanks, and praise,
for all your gifts this time of grace.
Come conquer and deliver
this world, and us, forever.

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.

Psalm 110 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/wo7aol8)

1  The Lord said unto my Lord *
 Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2  The Lord shall send the rod of thy power out of Sion *
 be thou ruler, even in the midst among thine enemies.
3  In the day of thy power shall the people offer thee free-will offerings with an holy worship *
 the dew of thy birth is of the womb of the morning.
4  The Lord sware, and will not repent *
 Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech.
5  The Lord upon thy right hand *
 shall wound even kings in the day of his wrath.
6  He shall judge among the heathen; he shall fill the places with the dead bodies *
 and smite in sunder the heads over divers countries.
7  He shall drink of the brook in the way *
 therefore shall he lift up his head.
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 132 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tv4ygfu)

1  Lord, remember David *
 and all his trouble;
2  How he sware unto the Lord *
 and vowed a vow unto the Almighty God of Jacob;
3  I will not come within the tabernacle of mine house *
 nor climb up into my bed;
4  I will not suffer mine eyes to sleep, nor mine eye-lids to slumber *
 neither the temples of my head to take any rest;
5  Until I find out a place for the temple of the Lord *
 an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
6  Lo, we heard of the same at Ephrata *
 and found it in the wood.
7  We will go into his tabernacle *
 and fall low on our knees before his footstool.
8  Arise, O Lord, into thy resting-place *
 thou, and the ark of thy strength.
9  Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness *
 and let thy saints sing with joyfulness.
10  For thy servant David’s sake *
 turn not away the presence of thine Anointed.
11  The Lord hath made a faithful oath unto David *
 and he shall not shrink from it;
12  Of the fruit of thy body *
 shall I set upon thy seat.
13  If thy children will keep my covenant,
and my testimonies that I shall learn them *
 their children also shall sit upon thy seat for evermore.
14  For the Lord hath chosen Sion to be an habitation for himself *
 he hath longed for her.
15  This shall be my rest for ever *
 here will I dwell, for I have a delight therein.
16  I will bless her victuals with increase *
 and will satisfy her poor with bread.
17  I will deck her priests with health *
 and her saints shall rejoice and sing.
18  There shall I make the horn of David to flourish *
 I have ordained a lantern for mine Anointed.
19  As for his enemies, I shall clothe them with shame *
 but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
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

All-powerful and unseen God,
the coming of your light into our world
has brightened weary hearts with peace.
Teach us to proclaim the birth of your Son Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
   before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
   the salvation of our God.

HYMN: Chris Shelton ©
Tune: Lasst uns erfreuen https://tinyurl.com/y9gg93nc

1 In the beginning was the Word,
no other sound in heaven heard.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
There at the dawning of all things,
one wondrous word creation sings:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 One Word, that gave all others birth,
dwelled with the God of all the earth.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
One Word, one Wisdom so divine,
one holy wholeness God’s design.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 Thus, all that is began to be,
born of this perfect unity.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
All that has life and breath was stirred,
sung into being by the Word.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

4 Among us came this Word to dwell,
the Word made flesh, Emmanuel!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Though in our sin we failed to see,
still by this Word we are set free.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

5 Still shining in the deepest night,
no shadow can put out the light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let all that is within us praise
God’s Word of grace and truth always!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Reading: Titus 3:4-7

But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

HYMN: Christopher Smart
Tune: Halton Holgate https://tinyurl.com/y9jkqmtr

1 Where is this stupendous Stranger?
Prophets, shepherds, kings, advise!
Lead me to my Master’s manger,
show me where my Savior lies.

2 O most Mighty, O most Holy,
far beyond the seraph’s thought,
are you then so mean and lowly
as unheeded prophets thought?

3 Oh, the magnitude of meekness!
worth from worth immortal sprung!
Oh, the strength of infant weakness,
if eternal is so young!

4 God all bounteous, all creative,
whom our sins could not dissuade,
you have come to be a native
of the very world you made.

Reading: Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

CANTICLE Te Deum
(Setting: https://tinyurl.com/y86fwpph)

You are God we praise you,
You are Lord we thank you,
All creation worships you,
Father, ancient of days.
To You all the angels,
All the powers of heaven;
Cherubim and Seraphim,
Sing in endless praise:

You are holy, holy, powerful and mighty!
Your glory fills the heavens,
Your splendor fills the earth.

You are holy, holy, powerful and mighty!
Your glory fills the heavens,
Your splendor fills the earth.

Your servants the apostles
Honor you and praise you.
The fellowship of prophets
Your greatness glorifies.
The army of the martyrs
Robed in white adores you.
Throughout the world
Your holy church
Proclaims you to the skies!

Father, glorious, infinite in majesty.
Son, victorious
Spirit, comfort and guide.
You are holy, holy, powerful and mighty!
Your glory fills the heavens,
Your splendor fills the earth.

Christ, Son of the Father,
King of endless glory
You came among us lowly,
Birth of Mary ‘s womb.
You robbed death of its power,
You opened heaven’s treasure
Now you sit at God’s right hand,
Soon to be our judge

Come Lord Jesus,
Come to help Your people.
Those for whom You shed Your blood
To whom you gave new birth,
You are holy, holy, powerful and mighty!
Your glory fills the heavens,
Your splendor fills the earth.
You are holy, holy, powerful and mighty!
Your glory fills the heavens,
Your splendor fills the earth.
Your glory fills the heavens,
Your splendor fills the earth.

THE PRAYERS BCW

O Christ, splendor of God’s eternal glory,
the mighty Word, sustaining the universe:
Renew our lives by your presence.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ, born into the world in the fullness of time
for the liberation of all creation:
Release all into your promised freedom.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ, begotten of the Father before all time,
born in a stable at Bethlehem:
May your church be a sign of hope and joy.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ, truly God and truly human,
born to a people in fulfillment of their expectations:
Fulfill our desires in you.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ, born of the Virgin Mary,
child of wonder and splendor,
mighty God of all ages, Prince of Peace:
May the whole world live in peace and justice.
Lord, have mercy.

Setting: Sanford Dole https://tinyurl.com/y7ldq7h5

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as 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.

God Most High,
your only Son embraced the weakness of flesh,
to give us power to become your children;
your eternal Word chose a dwelling among us,
that we might live in your presence.
Grant us a spirit of wisdom
to know how rich is the glory you have made our own,
and how great the hope to which we are called
in Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendor of eternal light,
God forever and ever. Amen. BCW

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.

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

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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