Oremus for Monday, December 6, 2021

Life of St. Nicholas, late 12th to early 13th century, Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai, Egypt

Nicholas
Very little is known about the life of Nicholas, except that he suffered torture and imprisonment during the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian. It is possible that he was one of the bishops attending the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325. He was honored as a saint in Constantinople in the sixth century by the Emperor Justinian. His veneration became immensely popular in the West after the supposed removal of his body to Bari, Italy, in the late eleventh century. In England almost 400 churches were dedicated to him. Nicholas is famed as the traditional patron of seafarers and sailors, and, more especially, of children. As a bearer of gifts to children, his name was brought to America by the Dutch colonists in New York, from whom he is popularly known as Santa Claus. HWHM

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/554nrdc

See, I have God for my help.
The Lord sustains my soul.
I will sacrifice to you with willing heart,
and praise your name, O Lord, for it is good. Psalm 54

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: Carl P Daw ©
Tune: Der am Kreuz https://tinyurl.com/2p9cjf2p

1
Have we any gift worth giving
to the Giver of all things?
What would please the ever-living,
one true God from whom life springs?
Not dead gold or merchandise,
but a living sacrifice:
worship both profound and freeing,
serving God with all our being.

2
Christ by costly incarnation
dwelt in human time and place
to reveal to all creation
God’s redeeming love and grace;
so are we in flesh and bone
given means of making known
through the web of daily living
God’s own pattern of self-giving.

3
Let us shun the selfish merit
worldly wisdom has defined,
but renewed by God’s own Spirit
be transformed in heart and mind;
by past mercies taught and led,
let us seek the path ahead,
trusting that, like those before us,
God will guide us and restore us.

PSALMS

Psalm 32 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/twtffy5)
1  Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven *
 and whose sin is covered.
2  Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin *
 and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3  For while I held my tongue *
 my bones consumed away through my daily complaining.
4  For thy hand is heavy upon me day and night *
 and my moisture is like the drought in summer.
5  I will acknowledge my sin unto thee *
 and mine unrighteousness have I not hid.
6  I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord *
 and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.
7  For this shall every one that is godly make his prayer unto thee,
in a time when thou mayest be found *
 but in the great water-floods they shall not come nigh him.
8  Thou art a place to hide me in, thou shalt preserve me from trouble *
 thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.
9  I will inform thee, and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go *
 and I will guide thee with mine eye.
10  Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding *
 whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, lest they fall upon thee.
11  Great plagues remain for the ungodly *
 but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord,
mercy embraceth him on every side.
12  Be glad, O ye righteous, and rejoice in the Lord *
 and be joyful, all ye that are true of heart.
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 32 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-32.mp3)
1 Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, *
and whose sin is put away!
2 Happy are they to whom the LORD imputes no guilt, *
and in whose spirit there is no guile!
3 While I held my tongue, my bones withered away, *
because of my groaning all day long.
4 For your hand was heavy upon me day and night; *
my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, *
and did not conceal my guilt.
6 I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” *
Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
7 Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you
in time of trouble; *
when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.
8 You are my hiding-place; you preserve me from trouble; *
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
9 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; *
I will guide you with my eye.
10 Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding; *
who must be fitted with bit and bridle,
or else they will not stay near you.”
11 Great are the tribulations of the wicked; *
but mercy embraces those who trust in the LORD.
12 Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the LORD; *
shout for joy, all who are true of heart.
| 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.

Psalm 33 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/qsa6l3x)
1  Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous *
 for it becometh well the just to be thankful.
2  Praise the Lord with harp *
 sing praises unto him with the lute, and instrument of ten strings.
3  Sing unto the Lord a new song *
 sing praises lustily unto him with a good courage.
4  For the word of the Lord is true *
 and all his works are faithful.
5  He loveth righteousness and judgement *
 the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6  By the word of the Lord were the heavens made *
 and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth.
7  He gathereth the waters of the sea together, as it were upon an heap *
 and layeth up the deep, as in a treasure-house.
8  Let all the earth fear the Lord *
 stand in awe of him, all ye that dwell in the world.
9  For he spake, and it was done *
 he commanded, and it stood fast.
10  The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought *
 and maketh the devices of the people to be of none effect,
and casteth out the counsels of princes.
11  The counsel of the Lord shall endure for ever *
 and the thoughts of his heart from generation to generation.
12  Blessed are the people, whose God is the Lord Jehovah *
 and blessed are the folk, that he hath chosen to him to be his inheritance.
13  The Lord looked down from heaven,
and beheld all the children of men *
 from the habitation of his dwelling
he considereth all them that dwell on the earth.
14  He fashioneth all the hearts of them *
 and understandeth all their works.
15  There is no king that can be saved by the multitude of an host *
 neither is any mighty man delivered by much strength.
16  A horse is counted but a vain thing to save a man *
 neither shall he deliver any man by his great strength.
17  Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him *
 and upon them that put their trust in his mercy;
18  To deliver their soul from death *
 and to feed them in the time of dearth.
19  Our soul hath patiently tarried for the Lord *
 for he is our help, and our shield.
20  For our heart shall rejoice in him *
 because we have hoped in his holy Name.
21  Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us *
 like as we do put our trust in thee.
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 33 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-33.mp3)
1 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; *
it is good for the just to sing praises.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp; *
play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
3 Sing for him a new song; *
sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4 For the word of the LORD is right, *
and all his works are sure.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; *
the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, *
by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7 He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin *
and stores up the depths of the sea.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; *
let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to pass; *
he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; *
he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11 But the LORD’S will stands fast for ever, *
and the designs of his heart from age to age.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! *
happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
13 The LORD looks down from heaven, *
and beholds all the people in the world.
14 From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze *
on all who dwell on the earth.
15 He fashions all the hearts of them *
and understands all their works.
16 There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army; *
a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; *
for all its strength it cannot save.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, *
on those who wait upon his love,
19 To pluck their lives from death, *
and to feed them in time of famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD; *
he is our help and our shield.
21 Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, *
for in his holy Name we put our trust.
22 Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, *
as we have put our trust in you.
| 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.

PRAYER

Graciously hear us, Lord, for you alone we seek.
Quiet us with the peace which passes understanding,
and make us radiant with the knowledge of your goodness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Malachi 3:5-12

Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished. Ever since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’

Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In your tithes and offerings! You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you! Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. I will rebuke the locust for you, so that it will not destroy the produce of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not be barren, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will count you happy, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

HYMN: William Walsham How
Tune: Yattendon 46 https://tinyurl.com/mumxkme2

1 We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be:
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

2 May we Thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as Thou blessest us,
To Thee our first-fruits give.

3 O hearts are bruised and dead,
And home are bare and cold,
And lambs for whom the Shepherd bled,
Are straying from the Fold!

4 To comfort and to bless,
To find a balm for woe,
To tend the lone and fatherless
Is angels’ work below.

5 The captive to release,
To God the lost to bring,
To teach the way of life and peace,
It is a Christ-like thing.

6 And we believe Thy word,
Though dim our faith may be;
Whate’er for Thine we do, O Lord,
We do it unto Thee.

Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, ‘There is peace and security’, then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then, let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

HYMN: Fanny Crosby
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/mr7wxznu

1 When Jesus comes to reward His servants,
Whether it be noon or night,
Faithful to Him will He find us watching,
With our lamps all trimmed and bright?

Refrain:
O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, watching when the Lord shall come?

2 If, at the dawn of the early morning,
He shall call us one by one,
When to the Lord we restore our talents,
Will He answer you, “Well done?” [Refrain]

3 Have we been true to the trust He left us?
Do we seek to do our best?
If in our hearts there is naught condemns us,
We shall have a glorious rest. [Refrain]

4 Blessed are those whom the Lord finds watching,
In His glory they shall share;
If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,
Will He find us watching there? [Refrain]

Reading: Luke 20:20-26

So they watched Jesus and sent spies who pretended to be honest, in order to trap him by what he said, so as to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. So they asked him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are right in what you say and teach, and you show deference to no one, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ But he perceived their craftiness and said to them, ‘Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?’ They said, ‘The emperor’s.’ He said to them, ‘Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were not able in the presence of the people to trap him by what he said; and being amazed by his answer, they became silent.

CANTICLE Isaiah 9; Isaiah 40:1-9; 1 John 1
(Dan Schutte: https://tinyurl.com/ybrvb259)

Awake from your slumber! Arise from your sleep!
A new day is dawning for all those who weep
The people in darkness have seen a great light
The Lord of our longing has conquered the night
Refrain:
Let us build the city of God
May our tears be turned into dancing!
For the Lord, our light and our love
Has turned the night into day!

We are sons of the morning; we are daughters of day
The One who has loved us has brightened our way. Refrain

God is light; in him there is no darkness
Let us walk in his light, his children, one and all. Refrain

O comfort my people; make gentle your words
Proclaim to my city the day of her birth. Refrain

PRAYER Sacredise

Where there seems to be no way
to end the conflict and violence in our time,
we pray that you would teach us, O Christ,
to prepare the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

Where we can see no way
to provide for the needs of all people,
we pray that you would show us, O Christ,
how to prepare the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

Where can find no way
to work together for justice,
we pray that you would change us, O Christ,
until we prepare the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

Where we are unable to believe in a way
to live simply, responsibly and mindfully,
we pray that you would inspire us, O Christ,
to faith that prepares the way;
Come, Lord Jesus!

In a world where we are tempted
to see so many of our challenges as dead-ends,
we pray for a new vision, a new heart and a new commitment
to prepare the way for your reign,
your grace, your shalom
and for the liberation, justice and peace that you bring. Amen.

(Traditional chant: https://tinyurl.com/ydzx5jdp)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

[For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.]

Loving God,
the giver of all good,
we thank you for Nicholas
and for the generosity he has symbolised
from generation to generation;
may we always be mindful of those in need
and generous with what we have received;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. FATS

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.

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

FATS For All the Saints, © The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, 2014

Sacredise https://sacredise.com/preparing-the-way/

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 language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and are chanted 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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