Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A DECADE'S END







Opening Words


God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the nations totter;
God's voice utters, the earth melts.
The Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, is with us;
the God of Jacob and Leah and Rachel is our refuge.


Plain Song Chant

Of Creator's love begotten
ere the worlds began to be,
in the Alpha and Omega,
both the source, the ending be,
of the things that are, that have been,
and that future years shall see
evermore and evermore.

O that birth forever blessed
when the virgin, full of grace,
by the Spirit God conceiving
bore the savour of our race,
and the babe, the world's redeemer,
first revealed the sacred face,
evermore and evermore.

This the One whom seers and sages
sang of old with one accord,
whom the voices of the prophets
promised in their faithful word;
shining now, the long-expected:
let creation praise its God
evermore and evermore.

In the heights of heaven adoring,
angel hosts their praises sing,
all dominions bow to reverance
extol our God the Holy One;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
every voice in concert sing evermore and evermore.

Words: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-c.413)
Translated by: John Mason Neale (1818-1866),
Henry Williams Baker (1827-1877) and others.
Adapted with Inclusive Langauge, Gary Dillensnyder (2019)


Scripture Readings

“And the One who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also said was, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev. 21:5

“The steadfast love of God never ceases, God's mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Is. 43:18-19

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17

“They who wait for God shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Is. 40:31

“Trust in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to the Holy One, and God will make your paths straight.” Prov. 3:5-6


Prayer

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One,
hear us in your merciful compassion.
As you have borne with us through the year that is now soon past,
you bear with us in this time, and forever.
Where there is brokenness, you bring healing.
Where there is suffering, you bring comfort.
Where there is hardship, you bring endurance.
Where there is conflict, you bring compromise.
Where there is violence, you bring stilness.
Where there is chaos, you bring wisdom.
Where these is warfare, you bring peace.
Where these is oppression, you bring liberation.
Where these is bias, you bring truth.
Where there is discrimination, you bring inclusion.
Where there is exclusion, you bring integration.
Where there is hatred, you bring understanding.
Where there is apathy, you bring love.
Where there is death, you bring life.
Where there is bane, you bring blessing.
O God, our God, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
Blessed are You and blessed is your Kin-Dom,
now and forevermore.

Song

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home:


Under the shadow of thy throne,
thy saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.


Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting thou art God,
to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in thy sight
are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
bears all of us away;
we fly, forgotten, as a dream
dies at the opening day.
O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guide while troubles last,
and our eternal home!

Words Of Assurance

God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustaining Presence,
whose years never fail
and whose mercies are new each returning day:
let the radiance of your Spirit renew our lives,
warming our hearts and giving light to our minds;
that we may pass the coming year
in joyful obedience and firm faith;
through your Holy Beloved and Anointed One,
who is the beginning and the end,
your Child, Christ our life,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Closing Words (Nunc Dimittis)

Now, O God, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel. 
The Song of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32 






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