Oremus for Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Martyrs of El Salvador
The Salvadoran Civil War was a civil war in El Salvador which was fought between the military-led junta government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) (a coalition or “umbrella organization” of left-wing groups) from 15 October 1979 to 16 January 1992. A coup on October 15, 1979, was followed by killings of anti-coup protesters by the government and of anti-disorder protesters by the guerrillas, and is widely seen as the start of civil war. The fully-fledged civil war lasted for more than 12 years and included the deliberate terrorizing and targeting of civilians by US-trained government death squads including prominent clergy from the Catholic Church, the recruitment of child soldiers and other human rights violations, mostly by the military. 3
On Dec. 2, 1980, three nuns (Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, and Dorothy Kazel) and one lay worker (Jean Donovan) were abducted, raped, and murdered upon their return from Comalapa International Airport in El Salvador by members of the U.S. backed National Guard.  President Ronald Reagan’s administration blamed the nuns for their own murder. Foreign-policy advisor Jeane Kirkpatrick told a reporter, “The nuns were not just nuns. The nuns were also political activists” and Secretary of State Alexander Haig said, “perhaps they ran a roadblock.” 1
On 16 November 1989, Salvadoran Army soldiers (backed by the United States) killed six Jesuits and two others, the Caretaker’s wife and daughter, at their residence on the campus of Central American University (known as UCA El Salvador) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Polaroids of the Jesuits’ bullet-riddled bodies were on display in the hallway outside the Chapel. Roses were planted just outside in the garden where the priests were murdered. The Jesuits were advocates of a negotiated settlement between the government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the guerilla organization that had fought the government for a decade. 2
An unknown number of people disappeared while the UN reports that the war killed more than 75,000 people between 1979 and 1992. The war ended with the Chapultepec Peace Accords, but in 2016 the El Salvador Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 amnesty law was unconstitutional and that the El Salvador government could prosecute war criminals.3

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/3mjx3phc

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life. John 8

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. 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: Charles Wesley
Tune: Orientis partibus https://tinyurl.com/28thcwcn

omes to save a fallen race;
Object of our glorious hope,
Jesus comes to lift us up.

2 He hath our salvation wrought,
He our captive souls hath bought;
He hath reconciled to God,
He hath washed us in His blood.

3 We are now His lawful right,
Walk as children of the light;
We shall soon obtain the grace,
Pure in Heart, to see His face.

4 We shall gain our calling’s prize;
After God we all shall rise,
Filled with joy, and love, and peace,
Perfected in holiness.

5 Let us then rejoice in hope,
Steadily to Christ look up,
Trust to be redeemed from sin,
Wait till He appear within.

6 Hasten, Lord, the perfect day
Let Thy every servant say,
I have now obtained the power
Born of God, to sin no more.

PSALMS

Psalm 12 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/sjldexv)
1  Help me, Lord, for there is not one godly man left *
 for the faithful are minished from among the children of men.
2  They talk of vanity every one with his neighbour *
 they do but flatter with their lips, and dissemble in their double heart.
3  The Lord shall root out all deceitful lips *
 and the tongue that speaketh proud things;
4  Which have said, With our tongue will we prevail *
 we are they that ought to speak, who is lord over us?
5  Now for the comfortless troubles’ sake of the needy *
 and because of the deep sighing of the poor,
6  I will up, saith the Lord *
 and will help every one from him that swelleth against him,
and will set him at rest.
7  The words of the Lord are pure words *
 even as the silver, which from the earth is tried,
and purified seven times in the fire.
8  Thou shalt keep them, O Lord *
 thou shalt preserve him from this generation for ever.
9  The ungodly walk on every side *
 when they are exalted, the children of men are put to rebuke.
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 12 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-12-1.mp3)
1 Help me, LORD, for there is no godly one left; *
the faithful have vanished from among us.
2 Everyone speaks falsely with his neighbor; *
with a smooth tongue they speak from a double heart.
3 Oh, that the LORD would cut off all smooth tongues, *
and close the lips that utter proud boasts!
4 Those who say, “With our tongue will we prevail; *
our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”
5 “Because the needy are oppressed,
and the poor cry out in misery, *
I will rise up,” says the LORD,
“and give them the help they long for.”
6 The words of the LORD are pure words, *
like silver refined from ore
and purified seven times in the fire.
7 O LORD, watch over us *
and save us from this generation for ever.
8 The wicked prowl on every side, *
and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.

Psalm 13 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/qpwp7bw)
1  How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, for ever *
 how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
2  How long shall I seek counsel in my soul,
and be so vexed in my heart *
 how long shall mine enemies triumph over me?
3  Consider, and hear me, O Lord my God *
 lighten mine eyes, that I sleep not in death.
4  Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him *
 for if I be cast down, they that trouble me will rejoice at it.
5  But my trust is in thy mercy *
 and my heart is joyful in thy salvation.
6  I will sing of the Lord, because he hath dealt so lovingly with me *
 yea, I will praise the Name of the Lord most Highest.
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 13 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-13.mp3)
1 How long, O LORD?
will you forget me for ever? *
how long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
and grief in my heart, day after day? *
how long shall my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look upon me and answer me, O LORD my God; *
give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” *
and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
5 But I put my trust in your mercy; *
my heart is joyful because of your saving help.
6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has dealt with me richly; *
I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 14 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/sgyfvnc)
1  The fool hath said in his heart *
 There is no God.
2  They are corrupt, and become abominable in their doings *
 there is none that doeth good, no not one.
3  The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men *
 to see if there were any that would understand, and seek after God.
4  But they are all gone out of the way,
they are altogether become abominable *
 there is none that doeth good, no not one.
5  Their throat is an open sepulchre,
with their tongues have they deceived *
 the poison of asps is under their lips.
6  Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness *
 their feet are swift to shed blood.
7  Destruction and unhappiness is in their ways,
and the way of peace have they not known *
 there is no fear of God before their eyes.
8  Have they no knowledge, that they are all such workers of mischief *
 eating up my people as it were bread, and call not upon the Lord?
9  There were they brought in great fear, even where no fear was *
 for God is in the generation of the righteous.
10  As for you, ye have made a mock at the counsel of the poor *
 because he putteth his trust in the Lord.
11  Who shall give salvation unto Israel out of Sion?
When the Lord turneth the captivity of his people *
 then shall Jacob rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
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 14 (Plainsong:
http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-14-version-II-1.mp3)
1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” *
All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
there is none who does any good.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon us all, *
to see if there is any who is wise,
if there is one who seeks after God.
3 Every one has proved faithless;
all alike have turned bad; *
there is none who does good; no, not one.
4 Have they no knowledge, all those evildoers *
who eat up my people like bread
and do not call upon the LORD?
5 See how they tremble with fear, *
because God is in the company of the righteous.
6 Their aim is to confound the plans of the afflicted, *
but the LORD is their refuge.
7 Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come out of Zion! *
when the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

PRAYER

God of justice, in Jesus Christ you championed the weak
and befriended outcasts.
Through the shining light of his goodness
you expose hypocrisy.
Give us courage to follow his example,
that we may be faithful disciples
of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Isaiah 35:5-10

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
   and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
   and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
   and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
   but it shall be for God’s people;
   no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
   but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

HYMN: Philip Doddridge
Tune: Manoah https://tinyurl.com/2p82fxh2

1 Sing, O ye ransomed of the Lord,
Your great Deliverer sing;
Pilgrims, for Zion’s city bound,
Be joyful in your King.

2 A hand divine shall lead you on,
Through all the blissful road,
Till to the sacred mount you rise,
And see your smiling God.

3 There garlands of immortal joy
Shall bloom on every head;
While sorrow, sighing, and distress,
Like shadows, all are fled.

4 March on in your Redeemer’s strength;
Pursue His footsteps still;
And let the prospect cheer your eye,
While laboring up the hill.

Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13

Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we decided to be left alone in Athens; and we sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith, so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. Indeed, you yourselves know that this is what we are destined for. In fact, when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer persecution; so it turned out, as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith; I was afraid that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labour had been in vain.

But Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you. For this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been encouraged about you through your faith. For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

HYMN: Claudia Foltz and Armand Nigro ©
Tune: Grafton https://tinyurl.com/4whmaf8a

1 Christians, let us love one another,
As we share the true living bread.
Jesus is our God and our brother;
With his flesh and blood we are fed.
Ev’ryone who loves is born of God.
Jesus is our life. God is love.

2 We who break this bread are one body,
We who share this cup are all one.
Children of our Father in heaven,
We are heirs with God’s only Son.
Ev’ryone who loves is born of God.
Jesus is our life. God is love.

3 We who eat and drink at this table
Die and rise again with our Lord.
Drawing from our Rock living water
Giv’n to all who thirst for accord.
Ev’ryone who loves is born of God.
Jesus is our life. God is love.

4 On the path of life we may falter,
Earthly food alone leaves us weak;
Always you invite from the altar,
“Hungry souls that food here must seek.”
Everyone who loves is born of God.
Jesus is our life. God is love.

5 Wheat and grape incarnate a myst’ry:
Jesus is the true living bread.
Let us eat with joy and thanksgiving,
Trusting in the word he has said.
Ev’ryone who loves is born of God.
Jesus is our life. God is love.

6 Jesus is the vine, we the branches;
We are grains of wheat, Christ the bread.
Those who eat this bread live forever,
One with Christ, our Lord and our Head.
Ev’ryone who loves is born of God.
Jesus is our life. God is love.

Reading: Luke 19:41-48

As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, ‘It is written,
“My house shall be a house of prayer”;
   but you have made it a den of robbers.’

Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

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 NPfW

In joyful expectation of his coming we pray to Jesus, saying,
Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to your Church as Lord and Judge. We pray for …
Help us to live in the light of your coming and give us a longing for your kingdom.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to your world as King of the nations. We pray for …
Before you rulers will stand in silence.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to your people with a message of victory and peace. We pray for …
Give us the victory over death, temptation and evil.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to us as Saviour and Comforter. We pray for …
Break into our lives, where we struggle with sickness and distress,
and set us free to serve you for ever.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Come to us from heaven, Lord Jesus,
with power and great glory.
Lift us up to meet you,
with [N and] all your saints and angels,
to live with you for ever.
Come, Lord Jesus.

(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 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.

Almighty God, you give voice to the poor we try to keep voiceless and give life to those we kill for seeking freedom and hope: Grant that we, inspired by the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, may without fear or favor witness to your Word who abides, your Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen. HWHM, 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



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

PIC Prayers for An Inclusive Church. Steven Shakespeare © 2008 Canterbury Press.

1 https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/nuns-and-lay-worker-killed-in-el-salvador/

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_murders_of_Jesuits_in_El_Salvador

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvadoran_Civil_War

NPfW New Patterns for Worship, material from which is included here, is copyright © 2002 The Archbishops’ Council and published by Church House Publishing.

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © 2010 The Church Pension Fund.

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 traditional version of the psalms is from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern version of the psalms is from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and are sung by Ryland Angel.

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 © 2021 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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