17 December 2012

Commemoration of Daniel, the Prophet, and the Three Children

Today we commemorate the Prophet Daniel and his companions Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael. From theTreasury and our Synod's website:

Daniel the prophet and the Three Young Men—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—were among the leaders of the people of Judah who were taken into captivity in Babylon. Even in that foreign land they remained faithful to the one true God in their piety, prayer, and life. On account of such steadfast faithfulness in the face of pagan idolatry, the Three Young Men were thrown into a fiery furnace, from which they were saved by the Lord and emerged unharmed (Daniel 3). Similarly, Daniel was thrown into a pit of lions, from which he also was saved (Daniel 6). Blessed in all their endeavors by the Lord—and in spite of the hostility of some—Daniel and the Three Young Men were promoted to positions of leadership among the Babylonians (Dan 2:48–49; 3:30; 6:28). To Daniel in particular the Lord revealed the interpretation of dreams and signs that were given to King Nebuchadnezzar and King Belshazzar (Daniel 2, 4, 5). To Daniel himself the Lord gave visions of the end times.

According to the Apocryphal addition to Daniel's prophesy, from the flames the young men sang the hymn we know as Benedicite Omnia Opera, which we sing always at the close of the Service of Readings at the great Vigil of Easter:

All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord - praise Him and magnify Him forever!
You angels, bless the Lord, You heavens, bless the Lord; all you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord; 
All you powers of the Lord, bless the Lord - praise Him and magnify Him forever!
You sun and moon, bless the Lord; you stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
All you showers and dew, bless the Lord - praise Him and magnify Him forever!
All you winds of God, bless the Lord, You fire and heat, bless the Lord;
You winter and summer, bless the Lord - praise Him and magnify Him forever!
You spirits and souls of the righteous, bless the Lord; You pure and humble of heart bless the Lord;
let us bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, praise Him and magnify Him forever! (LSB 931)

We pray:  Lord God, heavenly Father, You rescued Daniel from the lion's den and the three young men from the fiery furnace through the miraculous intervention of an angel. Save us now through the presence of Jesus, the Lion of Judah, who has conquered all our enemies through His blood and taken away all our sins as the Lamb of God, who reigns from His heavenly throne with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Treasury of Daily Prayer

No comments: