Oremus for Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Wise Women Also Came, Cover art for Jan’s Richardson book Sacred Journeys: A Woman’s Book of Daily Prayer

The Epiphany
The subtitle in the Book of Common Prayer of this, one of the principal feasts of the Church, is ‘The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles’. This emphasises that, from the moment of the Incarnation, the good news of Jesus Christ is for all: Jew and Gentile, the wise and the simple, male and female. Nothing in the Greek text of the gospels indicates that the Magi were all male and even the number three and making them Kings is a much later, non-scriptural tradition. EH

Antiphon1

Ant. We have seen his star in the East,
and we have come with our gifts, to worship the Lord.
V. O God, give your judgment to the king, *
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice, *
an d your poor in right judgment. Matthew 2; Psalm 72

Lord God of the nations,
we have seen the star of your glory
rising in splendor.
The radiance of your incarnate Word
pierces the night that covers the earth
and signals the dawn of justice and peace.
May his brightness illumine our lives
and beckon all nations to walk as one in your light.
We ask this through Jesus Christ your Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
in the splendor of eternal light,
God forever and ever. 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: Reginald Heber, alt.
Tune (without refrain): Morning Star https://tinyurl.com/y8eh9xzu
Tune: Star in the East

1. Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;
star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Refrain:
Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;
star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

2. Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining,
low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Savior of all. (Refrain)

3. Shall we then yield him, in costly devotion
odors of Edom, and offerings divine,
gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,
myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine? (Refrain)

4. Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
vainly with gifts would his favor secure;
richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
dearer to God are the prayers of the poor. (Refrain)

5. Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid. (Refrain)

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

Psalm 30 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yce59yvo)

1  I will magnify thee, O Lord, for thou hast set me up *
 and not made my foes to triumph over me.
2  O Lord my God, I cried unto thee *
 and thou hast healed me.
3  Thou, Lord, hast brought my soul out of hell *
 thou hast kept my life from them that go down to the pit.
4  Sing praises unto the Lord, O ye saints of his *
 and give thanks unto him for a remembrance of his holiness.
5  For his wrath endureth but the twinkling of an eye,
and in his pleasure is life *
 heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
6  And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be removed *
 thou, Lord, of thy goodness hast made my hill so strong.
7  Thou didst turn thy face from me *
 and I was troubled.
8  Then cried I unto thee, O Lord *
 and gat me to my Lord right humbly.
9  What profit is there in my blood *
 when I go down to the pit?
10  Shall the dust give thanks unto thee *
 or shall it declare thy truth?
11  Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me *
 Lord, be thou my helper.
12  Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy *
 thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.
13  Therefore shall every good man sing of thy praise without ceasing *
 O my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
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 31 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y869qwtz)

1  In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust *
 let me never be put to confusion, deliver me in thy righteousness.
2  Bow down thine ear to me *
 make haste to deliver me.
3  And be thou my strong rock, and house of defence *
 that thou mayest save me.
4  For thou art my strong rock, and my castle *
 be thou also my guide, and lead me for thy Name’s sake.
5  Draw me out of the net, that they have laid privily for me *
 for thou art my strength.
6  Into thy hands I commend my spirit *
 for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth.
7  I have hated them that hold of superstitious vanities *
 and my trust hath been in the Lord.
8  I will be glad, and rejoice in thy mercy *
 for thou hast considered my trouble,
and hast known my soul in adversities.
9  Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy *
 but hast set my feet in a large room.
10  Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble *
 and mine eye is consumed for very heaviness;
yea, my soul and my body.
11  For my life is waxen old with heaviness *
 and my years with mourning.
12  My strength faileth me, because of mine iniquity *
 and my bones are consumed.
13  I became a reproof among all mine enemies,
but especially among my neighbours *
 and they of mine acquaintance were afraid of me;
and they that did see me without conveyed themselves from me.
14  I am clean forgotten, as a dead man out of mind *
 I am become like a broken vessel.
15  For I have heard the blasphemy of the multitude *
 and fear is on every side, while they conspire together against me,
and take their counsel to take away my life.
16  But my hope hath been in thee, O Lord *
 I have said, Thou art my God.
17  My time is in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies *
 and from them that persecute me.
18  Shew thy servant the light of thy countenance *
 and save me for thy mercy’s sake.
19  Let me not be confounded, O Lord, for I have called upon thee *
 let the ungodly be put to confusion, and be put to silence in the grave.
20  Let the lying lips be put to silence *
 which cruelly, disdainfully, and despitefully, speak against the righteous.
21  O how plentiful is thy goodness,
which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee *
 and that thou hast prepared for them that put their trust in thee,
even before the sons of men!
22  Thou shalt hide them privily by thine own presence
from the provoking of all men *
 thou shalt keep them secretly in thy tabernacle from the strife of tongues.
23  Thanks be to the Lord *
 for he hath shewed me marvellous great kindness in a strong city.
24  And when I made haste, I said *
 I am cast out of the sight of thine eyes.
25  Nevertheless, thou heardest the voice of my prayer *
 when I cried unto thee.
26  O love the Lord, all ye his saints *
 for the Lord preserveth them that are faithful,
and plenteously rewardeth the proud doer.
27  Be strong, and he shall establish your heart *
 all ye that put your trust in the Lord.
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

Loving God,
glorious in giving and restoring life,
do not hide your face from your people overcome with loneliness and fear.
Turn our weeping into dancing,
our despair into joy,
and raise us up with Christ,
that we may rejoice in your presence forever. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
   and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
   and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Lift up your eyes and look around;
   they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
   your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
   the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
   the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
   all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
   and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

HYMN: Ruth Duck ©
Tune: Festal Song https://tinyurl.com/y8bcun39

1 Arise, your light is come! 
The Spirit’s call obey;
show forth the glory of your God, 
which shines on you today.

2 Arise, your light is come! 
Fling wide the prison door;
proclaim the captive’s liberty, 
good tidings to the poor.

3 Arise, your light is come! 
All you in sorrow born,
bind up the brokenhearted ones 
and comfort those who mourn.

4 Arise your light is come! 
The mountains burst in song!
Rise up like eagles on the wing; 
God’s pow’r will make us strong.

Reading: Ephesians 3:1-12

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given to me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

HYMN: Fanny Crosby
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/y6e82ngv

1 Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Wealth that can never be told;
Riches exhaustless or mercy and grace,
Precious, more precious than gold!

Refrain
Precious, more precious,
Wealth that can never be told!
Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Precious, more precious than gold!

2 Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Who shall their greatness declare?
Jewels whose luster our lives may adorn,
Pearls that the poorest may wear! Refrain]

3 Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ! 
Freely, how freely they flow,
Making the souls of the faithful and true
Happy wherever they go! Refrain]

4 Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Who would not gladly endure
Trials, afflictions, and crosses on earth,
Riches like these to secure! [Refrain]

Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
   who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

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 WS2

O Jesus, light of the world,
come into the dark places of this earth.
You bring a light from God that only you can shed.
Light eternal, your light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness does not overcome it.
We bring to you the darkness of our world
in war, starvation, cruelty, and exploitation.
We bring to you the darkness of our earth,
damaged and defaced by pollution.
We bring to you the darkness of our nation,
beset with conflict of race and class, religion and politics.
We bring to you the darkness of our relationships,
people not looking, not speaking, not listening, not forgiving.
We bring to you the darkness of our own souls,
hidden closets we have not visited or cleaned out for years.
O Jesus, light of the world, be a morning star above for us,
a radiance within, the shining all around that lets us live in love.
Only then shall we be reflectors of your brightness
and give glory to God in heaven. Amen.

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.

O God,
by the leading of a star you manifested
your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence,
where we may see your glory face to face,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. WS2

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.

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

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

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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