Oremus for Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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 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 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 (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: Isaiah 41:14-20

Don’t fear, worm of Jacob,
    people of Israel!
I will help you, says the Lord.
    The holy one of Israel is your redeemer.
Look, I’ve made you
    into a new threshing tool with sharp teeth.
You will thresh mountains and pulverize them;
    you will reduce hills to straw.
When you winnow them,
    the wind will carry them off;
    the tempest will scatter them.
You will rejoice in the Lord
    and take pride in the holy one of Israel.

The poor and the needy seek water, and there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will respond to them;
    I, the God of Israel, won’t abandon them.
I will open streams on treeless hilltops
    and springs in valleys.
I will make the desert into ponds
    and dry land into cascades of water.
I will plant in the desert cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees;
    I will put in the wilderness cypress, elm, and pine as well,
    so that they will see and know
    and observe and comprehend
    that the Lord’s hand has done this,
    and the holy one of Israel has created it.

HYMN: Jeffery Rowthorn ©
Tune: Kedron https://tinyurl.com/355rjb3a

1 Creating God, your fingers trace
The bold designs of farthest space;
Let sun and moon and stars and light
And what lies hidden praise your might.

2 Sustaining God, your hands uphold
Earth’s myst’ries known or yet untold;
Let water’s fragile blend with air,
Enabling life, proclaim your care.

3 Redeeming God, your arms embrace
All now despised for creed or race;
Let peace, descending like a dove,
Make known on earth your healing love.

4 Indwelling God, your gospel claims
One fam’ly with a myriad names;
Let ev’ry life be touched by grace
Until we praise you face to face.

Reading: Revelation 1:9-16

I, John, your brother who shares with you in the hardship, kingdom, and endurance that we have in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and my witness about Jesus. I was in a Spirit-inspired trance on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. It said, “Write down on a scroll whatever you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

I turned to see who was speaking to me, and when I turned, I saw seven oil lamps burning on top of seven gold stands. In the middle of the lampstands I saw someone who looked like the Human One. He wore a robe that stretched down to his feet, and he had a gold sash around his chest. His head and hair were white as white wool—like snow—and his eyes were like a fiery flame. His feet were like fine brass that has been purified in a furnace, and his voice sounded like rushing water. He held seven stars in his right hand, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword. His appearance was like the sun shining with all its power.

HYMN: Edmund R Morgan ©
Tune: Palace Green https://tinyurl.com/56mtcwz3

1 You, living Christ, our eyes behold,
amid your Church appearing,
all girt about your breast with gold
and bright apparel wearing;
your countenance is burning bright,
a sun resplendent in its might:
Lord Christ, we see your glory.

2 Your glorious feet have sought and found
your own of every nation;
with everlasting voice you sound
the call of our salvation;
your eyes of flame still search and know
the whole outspreading realm below:
Lord Christ, we see your glory.

3 O risen Christ, today alive,
amid your Church abiding,
who now your blood and body give,
new life and strength providing,
we join in heavenly company
to sing your praise triumphantly,
for we have seen your glory.

Reading: Matthew 23:25-36

Jesus continued, “How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside they are full of violence and pleasure seeking. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup so that the outside of the cup will be clean too.

“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs. They look beautiful on the outside. But inside they are full of dead bones and all kinds of filth. In the same way you look righteous to people. But inside you are full of pretense and rebellion.

“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. You say, ‘If we had lived in our ancestors’ days, we wouldn’t have joined them in killing the prophets.’ You testify against yourselves that you are children of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, complete what your ancestors did. You snakes! You children of snakes! How will you be able to escape the judgment of hell? Therefore, look, I’m sending you prophets, wise people, and legal experts. Some of them you will kill and crucify. And some you will beat in your synagogues and chase from city to city. Therefore, upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been poured out on the earth, from the blood of that righteous man Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. I assure you that all these things will come upon this generation.”

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


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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 © 2011 Common English Bible.

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 © 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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