Oremus for Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Arrival of the Three Kings, Sadao Watanabe, 1966

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

Almighty God,
you have poured upon us
the new light of your incarnate Word:
Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts,
may shine forth in our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. 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: R Fisher Boyce ©
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/2p88kskc

1 O beautiful star of Bethlehem,
shining afar through shadows dim,
giving a light for those who long have gone,
and guiding the wise men on their way
unto the place where Jesus lay;
O beautiul star of Bethlehem, shine on.

2 Oh, beautiful star, the hope of light,
guiding the pilgrim through the night,
over the mountain till the break of dawn;
and into the light of perfect day
it will give out a lovely ray;
O beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on. [Refrain]

Refrain:
O beautiful star of Bethlehem,
shine upon us until the glory dawn;
oh, give us your light to light the way
into the land of perfect day;
O beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on.

3 Oh, beautiful star, the hope of rest
for the redeemed, the good and blest,
yonder in glory when the crown is won;
for Jesus is now that Star divine;
brighter and brighter he will shine;
beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on. [Refrain]

PSALMS

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 30 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm_30.mp3)
1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
because you have lifted me up *
and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried out to you, *
and you restored me to health.
3 You brought me up, O LORD, from the dead; *
you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
4 Sing to the LORD, you servants of his; *
give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
5 For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, *
his favor for a lifetime.
6 Weeping may spend the night, *
but joy comes in the morning.
7 While I felt secure, I said,
I shall never be disturbed. *
You, LORD, with your favor, made me as strong as
 the mountains.”
8 Then you hid your face, *
and I was filled with fear.
9 I cried to you, O LORD; *
I pleaded with the Lord, saying,
10 “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit? *
will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
11 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me; *
O LORD, be my helper.”
12 You have turned my wailing into dancing; *
you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy.
13 Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; *
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

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.

Psalm 31 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-31-MH.mp3)
2 In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be put to shame. In your justice, set me free,
3 hear me and speedily rescue me.
Be a rock of refuge for me, a mighty stronghold to save me,
4 for you are my rock, my stronghold.
For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
5 Release me from the snares they have hidden
for you are my refuge, Lord.
6 Into your hands I commend my spirit.
It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
7 O God of truth, you detest
those who worship false and empty gods.
8 As for me, I trust in the Lord:
let me be glad and rejoice in your love.
You who have seen my affliction
and taken heed of my soul’s distress,
9 have not handed me over to the enemy,
but set my feet at large.
10 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in distress.
Tears have wasted my eyes, my throat and my heart.
11 For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighs.
Affliction has broken down my strength
and my bones waste away.
12 In the face of all my foes I am a reproach,
an object of scorn to my neighbors
and of fear to my friends.
Those who see me in the street run far away from me.
13 I am like a dead man, forgotten,
like a thing thrown away.
14 I have heard the slander of the crowd,
fear is all around me,
as they plot together against me,
as they plan to take my life.
15 But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;
I say: “You are my God.
16 My life is in your hands, deliver me
from the hands of those who hate me.
17 Let your face shine on your servant.
Save me in your love.
18 Let me not be put to shame for I call you,
let the wicked be shamed!
Let them be silenced in the grave,
19 let lying lips be dumb,
that speak haughtily against the just
with pride and contempt.”
20 How great is the goodness, Lord,
that you keep for those who fear you,
that you show to those who trust you
in the sight of men.
21 You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plotting of men;
you keep them safe within your tent
from disputing tongues.
22 Blessed be the Lord who has shown me
the wonders of his love
in a fortified city.
23 “I am far removed from your sight”
I said in my alarm.
Yet you heard the voice of my plea
when I cried for help.
24 Love the Lord, all you saints.
He guards his faithful
but the Lord will repay to the full
those who act with pride.
25 Be strong, let your heart take courage,
all who hope in the Lord.
Glory be 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

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 60:17-22

Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
   instead of iron I will bring silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
   instead of stones, iron.
I will appoint Peace as your overseer
   and Righteousness as your taskmaster.
Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
   devastation or destruction within your borders;
you shall call your walls Salvation,
   and your gates Praise.

The sun shall no longer be
   your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon
   give light to you by night;
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
   and your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down,
   or your moon withdraw itself;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
   and your days of mourning shall be ended.
Your people shall all be righteous;
   they shall possess the land for ever.
They are the shoot that I planted, the work of my hands,
   so that I might be glorified.
The least of them shall become a clan,
   and the smallest one a mighty nation;
I am the Lord;
   in its time I will accomplish it quickly.

HYMN: William Dix
Tune: Dix https://tinyurl.com/bde3ayer

1 As with gladness men of old
did the guiding star behold,
as with joy they hailed its light,
leading onward, beaming bright;
so, most gracious God, may we
evermore be led to thee.

2 As with joyful steps they sped,
Savior, to thy lowly bed,
there to bend the knee before
thee whom heav’n and earth adore;
so may we with willing feet
ever seek thy mercy seat.

3 As they offered gifts most rare
at thy cradle rude and bare,
so may we with holy joy,
pure and free from sin’s alloy,
all our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to thee, our heav’nly king.

4 Holy Jesus, ev’ry day
keep us in the narrow way,
and, when earthly things are past,
bring our ransomed souls at last
where they need no star to guide,
where no clouds thy glory hide.

Reading: Romans 15:14-21

I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. Nevertheless, on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news of Christ. Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,
‘Those who have never been told of him shall see,
   and those who have never heard of him shall understand.’

HYMN: Christopher and Maria Clymer Kurtz ©
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/yckv3d25

1 Solemn stillness—weary streets
strain to grasp the sound.
In the quiet breathes an anthem
over dark and thorny ground.
Rocks and plains repeat the echo;
splendor floods the starlit morn.
We are wonders, blessed wonders,
singing joy to the world.

2 We are kings, we are drummers,
we are shepherds in the night.
We are mortals, we are bearers,
searching for a perfect light.
Hurry, hurry! Sing the glory!
Bring the gold and bitter myrrh
of our anthems: Hallelujah!
Singing joy to the world.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Joy to the world!
We are wonders, blessed wonders,
singing joy to the world.

3 Crushing fears are met with gladness;
sorrow’s ancient curse is torn.
Hear the music, fling your load down,
and unbend your tired form.
These bright hours circle round us,
gentle wings unfurl.
Swift and sweetly down the roadside,
singing joy to the world.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Joy to the world!
Swift and sweetly down the roadside,
singing joy to the world. (x2) 

These bright hours circle round us,
gentle wings unfurl.
We are wonders, blessed wonders,
singing joy to the world.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Joy to the world!
Swift and sweetly down the roadside,
singing joy to the world.

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 by Eric Wyse:2

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.

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


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/ ©

Eric Wyse, Lord’s Prayer, ©; audio from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_a40ME7aVk

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 reading from John is © 2012 Common English Bible.

The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language version of Psalm 30 is from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel. Psalm 31 is from The Grail Psalter and are from the Manual Hopper YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/manualhopper/featured.

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 © 2022 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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