Oremus for Sunday, January 1, 2023

The Circumcision of Christ, Giovanni Francesco da Rimini, 1440s

The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus
The celebration of this scriptural festival marks three events: firstly, the naming of the infant; secondly, the sign of the covenant between God and Abraham ‘and his children for ever’, thus Christ’s keeping of the Law; and thirdly, traditionally the first shedding of the Christ’s blood. The most significant of these in the gospels is the name itself, which means ‘Yahweh saves’ and so is linked to the question asked by Moses of God: “What is your name?” “I am who I am,” was the reply, thus the significance of Jesus’s words: “Before Abraham was, I am.” This feast has been observed in the church since at least the sixth century. EH

Antiphon1

Ant. Unto us a child is born, *
unto us a son is given.
Dominion is on his shoulder
and his name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel.
V. O sing a new song to the Lord, *
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm *
have brought salvation. Isaiah 9; Psalm 98

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: Slovak; trans. Jaroslav J Vajda ©
Tune: Sixth Night 

1 Now greet the swiftly changing year
with joy and penitence sincere;
rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace
another year of grace.

2 For Jesus came to wage sin’s war;
this name of names for us he bore;
rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace
another year of grace.

3 His love abundant far exceeds
the volume of a whole year’s needs;
rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace
another year of grace.

4 With such a Lord to lead our way
in want and in prosperity,
what need we fear in earth or space
in this new year of grace?

5 “All glory be to God on high
and peace on earth,” the angels cry;
rejoice, rejoice, with thanks embrace
another year of grace.

PSALMS

Psalm 1 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yaev8zrk)
1  Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stood in the way of sinners *
 and hath not sat in the seat of the scornful.
2  But his delight is in the law of the Lord *
 and in his law will he exercise himself day and night.
3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the water-side *
 that will bring forth his fruit in due season.
4  His leaf also shall not wither *
 and look, whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper.
5  As for the ungodly, it is not so with them *
 but they are like the chaff, which the wind
scattereth away from the face of the earth.
6  Therefore the ungodly shall not be able to stand in the judgement *
 neither the sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
7  But the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous *
 and the way of the ungodly shall perish.
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 2 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ya85zg8v)
1  Why do the heathen so furiously rage together *
 and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
2  The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together *
 against the Lord, and against his Anointed.
3  Let us break their bonds asunder *
 and cast away their cords from us.
4  He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn *
 the Lord shall have them in derision.
5  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath *
 and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6  Yet have I set my King *
 upon my holy hill of Sion.
7  I will preach the law, whereof the Lord hath said unto me *
 Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
8  Desire of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance *
 and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9  Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron *
 and break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings *
 be learned, ye that are judges of the earth.
11  Serve the Lord in fear *
 and rejoice unto him with reverence.
12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and so ye perish from the right way *
 if his wrath be kindled, (yea, but a little,)
blessed are all they that 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 3 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yabg6jbn)
1  Lord, how are they increased that trouble me *
 many are they that rise against me.
2  Many one there be that say of my soul *
 There is no help for him in his God.
3  But thou, O Lord, art my defender *
 thou art my worship, and the lifter up of my head.
4  I did call upon the Lord with my voice *
 and he heard me out of his holy hill.
5  I laid me down and slept, and rose up again *
 for the Lord sustained me.
6  I will not be afraid for ten thousands of the people *
 that have set themselves against me round about.
7  Up, Lord, and help me, O my God *
 for thou smitest all mine enemies upon the cheek-bone;
thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8  Salvation belongeth unto the Lord *
 and thy blessing is upon thy people.
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 4 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y7jpb9m3)
1  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness *
 thou hast set me at liberty when I was in trouble;
have mercy upon me, and hearken unto my prayer.
2  O ye sons of men, how long will ye blaspheme mine honour *
 and have such pleasure in vanity, and seek after leasing?
3  Know this also, that the Lord hath chosen to himself
the man that is godly *
 when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.
4  Stand in awe, and sin not *
 commune with your own heart, and in your chamber, and be still.
5  Offer the sacrifice of righteousness *
 and put your trust in the Lord.
6  There be many that say *
 Who will shew us any good?
7  Lord, lift thou up *
 the light of thy countenance upon us.
8  Thou hast put gladness in my heart *
 since the time that their corn, and wine, and oil, increased.
9  I will lay me down in peace, and take my rest *
 for it is thou, Lord, only, that makest me dwell in safety.
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 5 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yd4gge8p)
1  Ponder my words, O Lord *
 consider my meditation.
2  O hearken thou unto the voice of my calling, my King, and my God *
 for unto thee will I make my prayer.
3  My voice shalt thou hear betimes, O Lord *
 early in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4  For thou art the God that hast no pleasure in wickedness *
 neither shall any evil dwell with thee.
5  Such as be foolish shall not stand in thy sight *
 for thou hatest all them that work vanity.
6  Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing *
 the Lord will abhor both the blood-thirsty and deceitful man.
7  But as for me, I will come into thine house,
even upon the multitude of thy mercy *
 and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8  Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness, because of mine enemies *
 make thy way plain before my face.
9  For there is no faithfulness in his mouth *
 their inward parts are very wickedness.
10  Their throat is an open sepulchre *
 they flatter with their tongue.
11  Destroy thou them, O God;
let them perish through their own imaginations *
 cast them out in the multitude of their ungodliness;
for they have rebelled against thee.
12  And let all them that put their trust in thee rejoice *
 they shall ever be giving of thanks, because thou defendest them;
they that love thy Name shall be joyful in thee;
13  For thou, Lord, wilt give thy blessing unto the righteous *
 and with thy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield.
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 1 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-1.mp3)
1 Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of  the wicked, *
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
2 Their delight is in the law of the LORD, *
and they meditate on his law day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; *
everything they do shall prosper.
4 It is not so with the wicked; *
 they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when
  judgment comes, *
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, *
but the way of the wicked is doomed.

Psalm 2 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-2.mp3)
1 Why are the nations in an uproar? *
Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?
2 Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt,
and the princes plot together, *
against the LORD and against his Anointed?
3 “Let us break their yoke,” they say; *
“let us cast off their bonds from us.”
4 He whose throne is in heaven is laughing; *
the Lord has them in derision.
5 Then he speaks to them in his wrath, *
and his rage fills them with terror.
6 “I myself have set my king *
   upon my holy hill of Zion.”
7 Let me announce the decree of the LORD: *
he said to me, “You are my Son;
this day have I begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for  your inheritance *
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
9 You shall crush them with an iron rod *
   and shatter them like a piece of pottery.”
10 And now, you kings, be wise; *
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Submit to the LORD with fear, *
and with trembling bow before him;
12 Lest he be angry and you perish; *
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
13 Happy are they all *
who take refuge in him!

Psalm 3 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-3.mp3)
1 LORD, how many adversaries I have! *
how many there are who rise up against me!
2 How many there are who say of me, *
 “There is no help for him in his God.”
3 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me; *
you are my glory, the one who lifts up my head.
4 I call aloud upon the LORD, *
and he answers me from his holy hill;
5 I lie down and go to sleep; *
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I do not fear the multitudes of people *
who set themselves against me all around.
7 Rise up, O LORD; set me free, O my God; *
surely, you will strike all my enemies across the face,
you will break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Deliverance belongs to the LORD. *
Your blessing be upon your people!

Psalm 4 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-4.mp3)
1 Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 “You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols
and run after false gods?”
3 Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.
4 Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
5 Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the LORD.
6 Many are saying,
“Oh, that we might see better times!” *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.
7 You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
8 I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 5 (LSB Tone A: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-5-LSB.mp3)
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD;*
 consider my groaning.
2 Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God,*
 for to you do I pray.
3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;*
 in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;*
 evil may not dwell with you.
5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;*
 you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;*
the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house.*
 I will bow down  toward your holy temple in the fear of you.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies;*
 make your way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is destruction;*
 their throat is an open grave;
 they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;*
 because of the abundance of their transgressions
 cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,*
 and spread your protection over them,
 that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD;*
 you cover him with favor as with a shield.
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

You alone, O God, are holy and righteous,
and we praise you for protecting us in times of trial.
Keep us safe from all evil
and lead us in paths of justice
that we may know the joy of trusting Jesus Christ
our shield and defender. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Numbers 6:22-27

The Lord spoke to Moses: Tell Aaron and his sons: You will bless the Israelites as follows. Say to them:

The Lord bless you and protect you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.

They will place my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

HYMN: William Walsham How
Tune: Gott sei Dank https://tinyurl.com/ycktus9u

1 Jesus! Name of wondrous love,
name all other names above,
unto which must ev’ry knee
bow in deep humility.

2 Jesus! Name decreed of old,
to the maiden mother told,
kneeling in her lowly cell,
by the angel Gabriel.

3 Jesus! Name of priceless worth
to the fallen here on earth
for the promise that it gave,
“Jesus shall his people save.”

4 Jesus! Name of mercy mild,
given to the Holy Child
when the cup of human woe
first he tasted here below.

5 Jesus! Only name that’s giv’n
under all the mighty heav’n
whereby those to sin enslaved
burst their fetters and are saved.

6 Jesus! Name of wondrous love,
human name of God above;
pleading only this, we flee
helpless, O our God, to thee.

Reading: 1 John 2:24-27

As for you, what you heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you will also remain in relationship to the Son and in the Father. This is the promise that he himself gave us: eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are attempting to deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains on you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you the truth. But since his anointing teaches you about all things (it’s true and not a lie), remain in relationship to him just as he taught you.

HYMN: W.Y. Fullerton
Tune: Londonderry Air https://tinyurl.com/y3536x92

1 I cannot tell why he, whom angels worship,
should set his love upon the sons of men,
or why, as Shepherd, he should seek the wanderers,
to bring them back, they know not how or when.
But this I know, that he was born of Mary
when Bethl’em’s manger was his only home,
and that he lived at Nazareth and laboured,
and so the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is come.

2 I cannot tell how silently he suffered,
as with his peace he graced this place of tears,
or how his heart upon the cross was broken,
the crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, he heals the broken-hearted
and stays our sin and calms our lurking fear
and lifts the burden from the heavy laden;
for still the Saviour, Saviour of the world is here.

3 I cannot tell how he will win the nations,
how he will claim his earthly heritage,
how satisfy the needs and aspirations
of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
But this I know, all flesh shall see his glory,
and he shall reap the harvest he has sown,
and some glad day his sun will shine in splendour
when he the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is known.

4 I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
when at his bidding every storm is stilled,
or who can say how great the jubilation
when every heart with love and joy is filled.
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
and myriad myriad human voices sing,
and earth to heav’n, and heav’n to earth, will answer,
‘at last the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is King!’

Reading: Luke 2:21-24

When eight days had passed, Jesus’ parents circumcised him and gave him the name Jesus. This was the name given to him by the angel before he was conceived. When the time came for their ritual cleansing, in accordance with the Law from Moses, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (It’s written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord.”) They offered a sacrifice in keeping with what’s stated in the Law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

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

Eternal God,
a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday.
They pass as quickly as one night’s watch.
Whatever the significance of this new year,
yesterday morning was the same as the dawning of every day
since you first created life and light and proclaimed it all “very good.”
We acknowledge your lordship over the world you have made
and over the creatures you have placed in it.

We acknowledge your lordship over us—
feeble creatures who vainly strive to be masters of the universe
you made and over which you still rule.
We are very impressed with our technology—
indeed, it is very impressive—
but our inventions are made with the brains and skills
and the knowledge and zeal that you impart.
As we move further into this new year,
we affirm with confidence your lordship in the future,
based on our conviction that you have been Lord from the beginning.
We are sure of nothing as we face the future,
except that you remain Lord of the world
that you created and that you still love.
You have filled us with the light of your Word,
made flesh in Jesus Christ.

Let the light of faith shine in all we do,
that the one who is from everlasting to everlasting—
yet who was born among us and lived with us—
may continue to inspire the thoughts of our hearts
and the actions of our lives.
As you have led us in days past, so guide us now and always,
that our hearts may learn to choose your will
and our new resolves be strengthened.
Help us to face the future with confidence,
knowing that you have guided and led your people through the eons past,
and knowing also that you are a personal God,
concerned not just with the mighty forces of wind and weather
and of the destiny and fate of nations
but also with the joys and sorrows that characterize our lives.
You have filled us with the light of your Word,
made flesh in Jesus Christ.

Let the light of faith shine in all that we do,
that the one who is from everlasting to everlasting—
yet who was born among us and lived with us—
may continue to inspire the thoughts of our hearts
and the actions of our lives.
Bless especially this day those who are in need:
the people we do not know, whose hope for the future
is not buoyed by the experience of blessing in the past,
who have not known healing, or faith, or prosperity,
and who have no hope.
Bless also those known to us who need
to sense your healing presence today—
especially [name(s)] and others whom we name silently.

You have been our God in ages past,
and we know that you will continue to be our God in years to come.
So wrap us in your arms of love,
as together at the beginning of this new day, this new year,
we join in the church’s ancient prayer: 

(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.

Lord, your name resounds
with the event of love:
as your flesh is marked
with a sign of unbroken covenant,
may we be blessed
by the grace of your body,
utterly human,
mysteriously divine;
through Jesus Christ, the name by which we are saved. Amen. PIC

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.

1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©

WS2 Worship Sourcebook, 2nd edition, © Faith Alive Christian Resources

PIC Prayers for An Inclusive Church. Steven Shakespeare © 2008 Canterbury Press.

The scripture readings are © 2011 Common English Bible.

The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language versions of Psalms 1-4 are from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and are sung by Ryland Angel. Psalm 5 is from Lutheran Service Book and is from the Next to the Word of God YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkVRYL-MRebncw584Ql2xfg.

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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