Oremus for Friday, December 10, 2021

Thomas Merton, photographed by Sibylle Akers

Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton was born in France in 1915. His early life was unset-tled and it was not until he was at Columbia University in New York that he began to explore Christian faith and the religious life. He was baptised in 1938 and entered the Trappist order at Gethsemani, Kentucky, in 1941. The publication of his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, in 1948 brought him recognition as an outstanding spiritual figure of the twentieth century. Many other books on spirituality and issues of social justice followed until his death by accidental electrocution while in Bangkok on 10 December 1968. FATS

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/2p892t8n

Your merciful love, O God,
we have received in the midst of your temple.
Your praise, O God, like your name,
reaches the ends of the earth;
your right hand is filled with saving justice. Psalm 48

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: Clara H Scott
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/27s4wa3d

1 Open my eyes that I may see
glimpses of truth thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

2 Open my ears that I may hear
voices of truth thou sendest clear,
and while the wave notes fall on my ear,
ev’rything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

3 Open my mouth and let me bear
gladly the warm truth ev’rywhere.
Open my heart and let me prepare
love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee,
ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my mouth, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

PSALMS

Psalm 53 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y6wzcn8t)
1  The foolish body hath said in his heart *
 There is no God.
2  Corrupt are they, and become abominable in their wickedness *
 there is none that doeth good.
3  God 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 also none that doeth good, no not one.
5  Are not they without understanding that work wickedness *
 eating up my people as if they would eat bread?
they have not called upon God.
6  They were afraid where no fear was *
 for God hath broken the bones of him that besieged thee;
thou hast put them to confusion, because God hath despised them.
7  O that the salvation were given unto Israel out of Sion *
 O that the Lord would deliver his people out of captivity!
8  Then should Jacob rejoice *
 and Israel should be right 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 53 (Jason Silver: https://tinyurl.com/5du7btts)
Fools say in their heart, ”˜There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and they do terrible deeds;
There is no one who does good.
God looks down from heaven on humankind
To see if there are any on earth who are wise,
Any who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
There is none who do good,
No, not one.
Have they no knowledge, these evil ones,
Who consume my people like
Like they eat bread,
And do not call upon the Lord?
Fools say in their heart, ”˜There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and they do terrible deeds;
There is no one who does good.
God looks down from heaven on humankind
To see if there are any on earth who are wise,
Any who seek after God.
There they shall be in great fear, as has not been seen before.
God will scatter their bones, put them to shame,
God has rejected them. They pray that deliverance comes
It comes for Israel, it comes from Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

Psalm 54 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y73kppwg)
1  Save me, O God, for thy Name’s sake *
 and avenge me in thy strength.
2  Hear my prayer, O God *
 and hearken unto the words of my mouth.
3  For strangers are risen up against me *
 and tyrants, which have not God before their eyes, seek after my soul.
4  Behold, God is my helper *
 the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
5  He shall reward evil unto mine enemies *
 destroy thou them in thy truth.
6  An offering of a free heart will I give thee,
and praise thy Name, O Lord *
 because it is so comfortable.
7  For he hath delivered me out of all my trouble *
 and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.
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 54 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-54-1.mp3)
1 Save me, O God, by your Name; *
in your might, defend my cause.
2 Hear my prayer, O God; *
give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For the arrogant have risen up against me,
and the ruthless have sought my life, *
those who have no regard for God.
4 Behold, God is my helper; *
it is the Lord who sustains my life.
5 Render evil to those who spy on me; *
in your faithfulness, destroy them.
6 I will offer you a freewill sacrifice *
and praise your Name, O LORD, for it is good.
7 For you have rescued me from every trouble, *
and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes.
| Glory to the Father and to the Son  and to the Holy Spirit;
| as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 55 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yb9gqlve)
1  Hear my prayer, O God *
 and hide not thyself from my petition.
2  Take heed unto me, and hear me *
 how I mourn in my prayer, and am vexed.
3  The enemy crieth so, and the ungodly cometh on so fast *
 for they are minded to do me some mischief;
so maliciously are they set against me.
4  My heart is disquieted within me *
 and the fear of death is fallen upon me.
5  Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me *
 and an horrible dread hath overwhelmed me.
6  And I said, O that I had wings like a dove *
 for then would I flee away, and be at rest.
7  Lo, then would I get me away far off *
 and remain in the wilderness.
8  I would make haste to escape *
 because of the stormy wind and tempest.
9  Destroy their tongues, O Lord, and divide them *
 for I have spied unrighteousness and strife in the city.
10  Day and night they go about within the walls thereof *
 mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.
11  Wickedness is therein *
 deceit and guile go not out of their streets.
12  For it is not an open enemy, that hath done me this dishonour *
 for then I could have borne it.
13  Neither was it mine adversary, that did magnify himself against me *
 for then peradventure I would have hid myself from him.
14  But it was even thou, my companion *
 my guide, and mine own familiar friend.
15  We took sweet counsel together *
 and walked in the house of God as friends.
16  Let death come hastily upon them,
and let them go down quick into hell *
 for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.
17  As for me, I will call upon God *
 and the Lord shall save me.
18  In the evening, and morning, and at noon-day
will I pray, and that instantly *
 and he shall hear my voice.
19  It is he that hath delivered my soul in peace
from the battle that was against me *
 for there were many with me.
20  Yea, even God, that endureth for ever,
shall hear me, and bring them down *
 for they will not turn, nor fear God.
21  He laid his hands upon such as be at peace with him *
 and he brake his covenant.
22  The words of his mouth were softer than butter,
having war in his heart *
 his words were smoother than oil, and yet be they very swords.
23  O cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall nourish thee *
 and shall not suffer the righteous to fall for ever.
24  And as for them *
 thou, O God, shalt bring them into the pit of destruction.
25  The blood-thirsty and deceitful men
shall not live out half their days *
 nevertheless, my trust shall be in thee, O 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.

Psalm 55 (Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/jdshas8c)
2 O God, listen to my prayer,
do not hide from my pleading,
3 attend to me and reply;
with my cares, I cannot rest.
4 I tremble at the shouts of the foe,
at the cries of the wicked;
for they bring down evil upon me.
They assail me with fury.
5 My heart is stricken within me,
death’s terror is on me,
6 trembling and fear fall upon me
and horror overwhelms me.
7 O that I had wings like a dove
to fly away and be at rest.
8 So I would escape far away
and take refuge in the desert.
9 I would hasten to find a shelter
from the raging wind,
from the destructive storm, O Lord,
10 and from their plotting tongues.
For I can see nothing
but violence and strife in the city.
11 Night and day they patrol
high on the city walls.
It is full of wickedness and evil;
12 it is full of sin.
Its streets are never free
from tyranny and deceit.
13 If this had been done by an enemy
I could bear his taunts.
If a rival had risen against me,
I could hide from him.
14 But it is you, my own companion,
my intimate friend!
15 (How close was the friendship between us.)
We talked together in harmony
in the house of God.
16 May death fall suddenly upon them!
Let them go to the grave;
for wickedness dwells in their homes
and deep in their hearts.
17 As for me, I will cry to God
and the Lord will save me.
18 Evening, morning and at noon
I will cry and lament.
19 He will deliver my soul in peace
in the attack against me;
for those who fight me are many,
18c but he hears my voice.
20 God will hear and will humble them,
the eternal judge;
for they will not amend their ways.
They have no fear of God.
21 The traitor has turned against his friends;
he has broken his word.
22 His speech is softer than butter,
but war is in his heart,
His words are smoother than oil,
but they are naked swords.
23 Entrust your cares to the Lord
and he will support you.
He will never allow
the just man to stumble.
24 But you, O God, will bring them down
to the pit of death.
Deceitful and bloodthirsty men
shall not live half their days.
O Lord, I will trust in you.
Glory to the Father and to the Son  and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

PRAYER

God our helper, hear our prayer
and uphold your church in times of testing.
Deliver us from evil,
so that from the rising of the sun to its setting
we may offer you our sacrifice of praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people,
   says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to her
that she has served her term,
   that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
   double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
   make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
   and all people shall see it together,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
   And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
   their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
   when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
   surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
   but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
   O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
   O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
   lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
   ‘Here is your God!’
See, the Lord God comes with might,
   and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
   he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
   and gently lead the mother sheep.

HYMN: Michael Joncas
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/539mz7p4

1 Console my people, the ones dear to me;
speak to the heart of Jerusalem:
the time of your mourning is ended now,
the Lord of life will come.

Refrain:
A voice cries out in the wilderness:
“Prepare a way for the Lord!”
A voice cries out in the wilderness:
“Make straight a highway for God!”

2 Ev’ry valley is made a plain,
ev’ry mountain is leveled;
the glory of God shall then be revealed,
and the nations will sing in praise. [Refrain]

3 A voice shouts: “Cry!” O what shall I cry?
All flesh is like grass and its flowers:
the grass may wither, the flowers may fade,
but the Word of the Lord is forever. [Refrain]

Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:13—3:5

But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified everywhere, just as it is among you, and that we may be rescued from wicked and evil people; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will go on doing the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

HYMN: John S B Monsell
Tune: Was lebet, was schwebet https://tinyurl.com/bhhymft9

1 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him: the Lord is his name.

2 Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness:
high on his heart he will bear it for thee,
comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

3 Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness
of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine:
truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness,
these are the offerings to lay on his shrine.

4 These, though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
he will accept for the name that is dear;
mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
trust for our trembling and hope for our fear.

5 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him: the Lord is his name.

Reading: Luke 21:1-4

Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.’

CANTICLE Philippians 2:6-11
(Chant by John Michael Talbot: https://tinyurl.com/y8ljx8y7)

Though he was in the form of God,
Jesus did not deem equality with God
something to be grasped at.
Rather, he emptied himself
and took the form of a slave,
being born in the likeness of men.
He was known to be of human estate
and it was thus that he humbled himself,
obediently accepting even death,
death on a cross!
Because of this,
God highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
above every other name,  
So that at Jesus’ name
every knee must bend
in the heavens, on the earth,
and under the earth,
and every tongue proclaim
to the glory of God the Father:  
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE PRAYERS CGP

We are an anxious people, a waiting people, God.
We long for a new and powerful encounter with you.
We wait in bondage through no fault of our own,
entangled by distant forces of evil,
by anger and greed we did not create;
saddened by the waste and foolishness of our time.
We come to drink of your power, to be set free!
And we wait in bondage because of our own sin.
Lead us beyond advertisements
which entice us to have much,
that we might be open to receive much:
to have time for personal relationships,
to give thanks for creation,
to allow your coming into our lives anew.
And so we wait and wait,
remembering your promise, O Promise-Fulfilling God.
And we rejoice that you are more faithful than are we:
that you tug us again into hoping,
and nudge us into life in your Spirit.
We wait, then, as generations have waited,
for the Christ who came among us, is among us,
and will come among us. Amen.

(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.

Blessed are you, God, in Thomas,
who learned in silence to hear you
and feel your thirst for justice;
give us encouragement by his example
to be still that we may know you
and empowered to serve you. 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.

DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.

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

CGP Celebrating God’s Presence, United Church of Canada

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 version of Psalms 54 is from the The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel. Psalm 53 is a contemporary version by Jason Silver. Psalm 55 is from the Grail Psalter and is from the Manual Hopper YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMQKvgC9Wjw

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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