Oremus for Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Saint Ambrose, mosaic in church St. Ambrogio, Milan

Ambrose
Born in Trier in 339, Ambrose was of an aristocratic family and in the year 374 was governor of northern Italy, with his headquarters in Milan. Whilst trying to bring peace to the Christian community, with Arianism and orthodoxy each trying to gain the election of its man as bishop, Ambrose, known and respected by all, though not yet baptised, found himself being urged to accept the rôle of bishop, the gathered Christian populace taking up the cry, “Ambrose for bishop”. He finally accepted and was baptised and consecrated. Ambrose proved his worth, becoming a teacher and preacher of great renown, promoting the essential divinity of Christ as being at the centre of Christian faith. He wrote hymns which gave a clear and comprehendable understanding of orthodox teaching, ensuring that what the people prayed was what they believed, and vice versa. He came up against the imperial powers and, with the support of the whole community, stood firm against the interference of the state in church and faith matters. Ambrose died on this day in the year 397. EH

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/v5396rwc

God is in his holy place,
God who unites those who dwell in his house;
he himself gives might and strength to his people. Psalm 68

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: Ambrose of Milan; trans. Martin Luther; trans. composite
Tune: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland 

1 Savior of the nations, come;
Show the glory of the Son!
Ev’ry people, stand in awe;
Praise the perfect Son of God.

2 Not of human seed or worth,
But from God’s own mystic breath,
Fruit in Mary’s womb begun
When God breathed the Word, his Son.

3 Wondrous birth! Oh, wondrous child
Of the virgin undefiled!
Mighty God and man in one,
Eager now his race to run!

4 God the Father is his source,
Back to God he runs his course;
Down to death and hell descends,
God’s high throne he reascends.

5 He leaves heaven to return;
Trav’ling where dull hellfires burn;
Riding out, returning home
As the Savior who has come.

6 God the Father’s precious Son
Girds himself in flesh to run
For the trophies of our souls,
Longer than this round earth rolls.

7 Shining stable in the night,
Breathing vict’ry with your light;
Darkness cannot hide your flame,
Shining bright as Jesus’ name.

PSALMS

Psalm 37 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tujglrg)
1  Fret not thyself because of the ungodly *
 neither be thou envious against the evil doers.
2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass *
 and be withered even as the green herb.
3  Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good *
 dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4  Delight thou in the Lord *
 and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.
5  Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him *
 and he shall bring it to pass.
6  He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light *
 and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
7  Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him *
 but grieve not thyself at him, whose way doth prosper,
against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
8  Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure *
 fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.
9  Wicked doers shall be rooted out *
 and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.
10  Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone *
 thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.
11  But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth *
 and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.
12  The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just *
 and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13  The Lord shall laugh him to scorn *
 for he hath seen that his day is coming.
14  The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow *
 to cast down the poor and needy,
and to slay such as are of a right conversation.
15  Their sword shall go through their own heart *
 and their bow shall be broken.
16  A small thing that the righteous hath *
 is better than great riches of the ungodly.
17  For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken *
 and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
18  The Lord knoweth the days of the godly *
 and their inheritance shall endure for ever.
19  They shall not be confounded in the perilous time *
 and in the days of dearth they shall have enough.
20  As for the ungodly, they shall perish;
and the enemies of the Lord shall consume as the fat of lambs *
 yea, even as the smoke, shall they consume away.
21  The ungodly borroweth, and payeth not again *
 but the righteous is merciful, and liberal.
22  Such as are blessed of God shall possess the land *
 and they that are cursed of him shall be rooted out.
23  The Lord ordereth a good man’s going *
 and maketh his way acceptable to himself.
24  Though he fall, he shall not be cast away *
 for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
25  I have been young, and now am old *
 and yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.
26  The righteous is ever merciful, and lendeth *
 and his seed is blessed.
27  Flee from evil, and do the thing that is good *
 and dwell for evermore.
28  For the Lord loveth the thing that is right *
 he forsaketh not his that be godly, but they are preserved for ever.
29  The unrighteous shall be punished *
 as for the seed of the ungodly, it shall be rooted out.
30  The righteous shall inherit the land *
 and dwell therein for ever.
31  The mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom *
 and his tongue will be talking of judgement.
32  The law of his God is in his heart *
 and his goings shall not slide.
33  The ungodly seeth the righteous *
 and seeketh occasion to slay him.
34  The Lord will not leave him in his hand *
 nor condemn him when he is judged.
35  Hope thou in the Lord, and keep his way,
and he shall promote thee, that thou shalt possess the land *
 when the ungodly shall perish, thou shalt see it.
36  I myself have seen the ungodly in great power *
 and flourishing like a green bay tree.
37  I went by, and lo, he was gone *
 I sought him, but his place could no where be found.
38  Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right *
 for that shall bring a man peace at the last.
39  As for the transgressors, they shall perish together *
 and the end of the ungodly is, they shall be rooted out at the last.
40  But the salvation of the righteous cometh of the Lord *
 who is also their strength in the time of trouble.
41  And the Lord shall stand by them, and save them *
 he shall deliver them from the ungodly,
and shall save them, because they put their trust in him.
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 37 (The Psalms Project: https://tinyurl.com/3pdyn7su)
Don’t worry about evildoers
Don’t be envious of those who do wrong
For they will soon fade like the grass
And they will wither like a flower without rain
Trust in the LORD and do good
Dwell in the land and feast on the truth
Delight yourself in Yahweh
And He will give you the desires of your heart

Commit your way to the LORD
Trust in Him, and He will act
He will bring your vindication like the dawn
And your justice like the noonday
Be still before the LORD and wait with expectation

Chorus:
Delight yourself in the LORD
And He’ll give you the desires of your heart
The desires of your heart (x2)

Don’t worry about those who prosper
Nor the one who carries out evil schemes
Refrain from anger and flee from wrath
And do not worry, for it only leads to sin
The wicked will be cut off
But those who wait for the LORD
Will inherit and receive the land
But in just a little while
The wicked will be no more
Though you look closely at his place, he won’t be there [Chorus]

O, the meek will inherit the land
And delight themselves in abundant peace (x2)
The wicked plots against the just
And gnashes his teeth at him
But the LORD laughs at the wicked
For He sees that his day is near
The wicked draw the sword
And bend their bow to bring down the poor
To slay those whose way is right

But their sword shall enter into their own heart
And their bow shall be broken
Better is the little that the righteous have
Than the riches of many wicked
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken
But the LORD upholds the just
And day by day the LORD watches over His saints
And their inheritance is forever
They will not be ashamed when the dark trials come
In the famine they will be fed (x2)

But the wicked will pass away
The enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the meadows
They’re here, then one day they’re gone
They vanish into nothingness, like smoke, they disappear
And no trace of them are left [Chorus]

The wicked borrow, but do not pay back
But the righteous give and give and give
Those blessed by God will receive the land
But those cursed by Him will be cut off
The steps of man are made sure
By the LORD when He delights in his way
Though he fall, he will not be ruined
For the LORD is the one who holds him up
I have been young, and now and am old
I haven’t seen His saints disowned
Nor seen His children begging for a scrap of bread
Always he is gracious and giving
And his children are a blessing for generations

Turn yourself away from evil and do good
And you will dwell forever
For Yahweh loves justice, He will not forsake His saints
They’re preserved forever
But the seed of the wicked shall not prosper
The righteous will receive the land
And they will dwell upon it forever and ever
Their inheritance is forever
The mouth of the righteous pours out wisdom
His tongue declares justice
The law of his God is in his heart
His steps do not slip
They do not slip, They will not slip
They do not slip, They will not slip

The wicked watch for the righteous
And seek a way to take him down
But the LORD will not abandon him to his power
Nor let him be condemned when he is brought to trial
No, the Lord will deliver him
Wait for the LORD
Keep His way and He will exalt you
To inherit the land and you will look on
When the wicked are cut off

I have seen a wicked, ruthless man
Prospering like a laurel tree
But he passed away, and was no more
When I looked for him, he could not be seen
Mark the blameless and behold the just
There’s a future for the man of peace
But the wicked soon will be destroyed
His future suddenly will cease

The salvation of the saints
Is from the LORD, their stronghold
In the time of trouble, He rescues them
Because they trust in Him alone (x2)

PRAYER

God our strength,
give us the humility to trust in your loving care,
and the patience to be faithful in seeking your kingdom,
that we may come to share in the inheritance of your saints;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Genesis 15

After these events, the Lord’s word came to Abram in a vision, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your protector. Your reward will be very great.”

But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you possibly give me, since I still have no children? The head of my household is Eliezer, a man from Damascus.” He continued, “Since you haven’t given me any children, the head of my household will be my heir.”

The Lord’s word came immediately to him, “This man will not be your heir. Your heir will definitely be your very own biological child.” Then he brought Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them.” He continued, “This is how many children you will have.” Abram trusted the Lord, and the Lord recognized Abram’s high moral character.

He said to Abram, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”

But Abram said, “Lord God, how do I know that I will actually possess it?”

He said, “Bring me a three-year-old female calf, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.” He took all of these animals, split them in half, and laid the halves facing each other, but he didn’t split the birds. When vultures swooped down on the carcasses, Abram waved them off. After the sun set, Abram slept deeply. A terrifying and deep darkness settled over him.

Then the Lord said to Abram, “Have no doubt that your descendants will live as immigrants in a land that isn’t their own, where they will be oppressed slaves for four hundred years. But after I punish the nation they serve, they will leave it with great wealth. As for you, you will join your ancestors in peace and be buried after a good long life. The fourth generation will return here since the Amorites’ wrongdoing won’t have reached its peak until then.”

After the sun had set and darkness had deepened, a smoking vessel with a fiery flame passed between the split-open animals. That day the Lord cut a covenant with Abram: “To your descendants I give this land, from Egypt’s river to the great Euphrates, together with the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

HYMN: Ambrose; trans. John Chandler
Tune: Splendor paternae gloriae

1 O Jesus, Lord, of heavenly grace,
Thou Brightness of Thy Father’s face,
Thou Fountain of eternal light,
Whose beams disperse the shades of night.

2 Come, holy Sun of heav’nly love,
Send down Thy radiance from above;
And to our inward hearts convey
The Holy Spirit’s cloudless ray.

3 And we the Father’s help will claim,
And sing the Father’s glorious name;
His pow’rful help we now implore,
That we may stand, to fall no more.

4 May He our actions deign to bless,
And loose the bonds of wickedness;
From sudden falls our feet defend,
And bring us to a prosperous end.

5 May faith, deep rooted in the soul,
The flesh subdue, our minds control;
May guile depart, and discord cease,
And all within be joy and peace.

6 O hallowed thus be ev’ry day!
Let meekness be our morning ray,
And faithful love our noonday light,
And hope our sunset, calm and bright.

7 O Christ, with each returning morn,
Thine image to our hearts is borne;
O may we ever clearly see
Our Saviour and our God in Thee.

Reading: Revelation 1:17-2:7

When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. But he put his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, but look! Now I’m alive forever and always. I have the keys of Death and the Grave. So write down what you have seen, both the scene now before you and the things that are about to unfold after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands, here is what they mean: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

“Write this to the angel of the church in Ephesus:

These are the words of the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven gold lampstands: I know your works, your labor, and your endurance. I also know that you don’t put up with those who are evil. You have tested those who say they are apostles but are not, and you have found them to be liars. You have shown endurance and put up with a lot for my name’s sake, and you haven’t gotten tired. But I have this against you: you have let go of the love you had at first. So remember the high point from which you have fallen. Change your hearts and lives and do the things you did at first. If you don’t, I’m coming to you. I will move your lampstand from its place if you don’t change your hearts and lives. But you have this in your favor: you hate what the Nicolaitans are doing, which I also hate. If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. I will allow those who emerge victorious to eat from the tree of life, which is in God’s paradise.

HYMN: Charles Wesley 
Tune: Gopsal https://tinyurl.com/yc5dw227

1 Rejoice! The Lord is King,
your Lord and King adore;
mortals, give thanks and sing,
and triumph evermore:
Refrain:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

2 Jesus the Saviour reigns,
the God of truth and love;
when he had purged our stains,
he took his seat above: [Refrain]

3 His kingdom cannot fail;
he rules o’er earth and heaven;
the keys of death and hell
are to our Jesus given: [Refrain]

4 He sits at God’s right hand
till all his foes submit,
and bow to his command,
and fall beneath his feet: [Refrain]

5 Rejoice in glorious hope;
Jesus the judge shall come,
and take his servants up
to their eternal home: [Refrain]
Refrain:
We soon shall hear the archangel’s voice;
the trump of God shall sound: rejoice!

Reading: Matthew 23:37-24:2

Jesus continued, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that. Look, your house is left to you deserted. I tell you, you won’t see me until you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name.”

Now Jesus left the temple and was going away. His disciples came to point out to him the temple buildings. He responded, “Do you see all these things? I assure that no stone will be left on another. Everything will be demolished.”

CANTICLE Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)
(Andrew Rottner: https://tinyurl.com/ybqv7yxk)

He who is mighty, has shown great strength to me
And his mercy is for those who fear his holy name
And he has shown strength with his arm and his law
And he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He who is mighty has brought the wicked shame
And his anger is for those who curse his holy name
And he has shown rage with the mighty in their thrones
And he has lifted the low into his glorious home

O my soul magnifies the Lord,
Yes my soul magnifies the Lord.

He who is mighty has not forgotten me
And his helping is for those to serve his holy name
He has shown remembrance with his servant Israel
And he spoke the promise from which all my doubts dispel

O my soul magnifies the Lord,
Yes my soul magnifies the Lord.
O my soul magnifies the Lord,
Yes my soul magnifies the Lord.

THE PRAYERS CCP

Watchful at all times,
let us pray for strength to stand with confidence
before our Maker and Redeemer.

That God may bring in his kingdom with judgement and mercy,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That God may establish among the nations
his sceptre of righteousness, let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That the Church may seek him in the scriptures
and recognise him in the breaking of the bread,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That God may bind up the broken‑hearted,
restore the sick and raise up all who have fallen,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That the light of God’s coming may dawn
on all who live in darkness and in the shadow of death,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

That with all the saints in light,
we may shine forth as lights of the world,
let us pray to the Lord:
Come in your might, Lord Jesus.

(Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/ahnrtv59)ELW

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.

God of mercy and justice,
in a time of danger and confusion
you called your servant Ambrose
to bring stability to your church;
give us discipline and wisdom in our trials,
that we may affirm with courage
the faith that we believe;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour. 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.

PWC PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Morning and Evening Prayer for the Seasons of the Church Year Prepared by The Rev’d Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett on behalf of The Liturgy Task Force of the Anglican Church of Canada, May 2016.

EH Exciting Holiness, Ed. Brother Tristram SSF © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997

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

CCP Celebrating Common Prayer © 1993 Society of St Francis

ELW The Lord’s Prayer is from Setting Five in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

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 psalm is in a version by Shane Heilman of The Psalms Project https://www.thepsalmsproject.com/

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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