Sunday, November 29, 2009

morning bell - with the Benedictus

This week the Church begins a new year and enters the season of Advent. In Advent the Church has traditionally prayed with the Benedictus - the great song of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptiser, from the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This week’s morning bell does the same. I'm going to try to let it carry my prayers this week, and to learn it through repetition. It's well worth checking out the story of Zechariah in Luke 1, and see how the song came into being.

THE SONG OF ZECHARIAH - Benedictus Domine

Bless├Ęd be the Lord, the God of Israel,
for he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,
born of the house of his servant, David.

Through his holy prophets, he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all that hate us;

He promised to show mercy to our forebears,
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father, Abraham,
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight,
all the days of our life.

You, my child,
shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of all their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory 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.

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