OREMUS: 11 November 2004

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Nov 10 18:50:22 GMT 2004


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OREMUS for Thursday, November 11, 2004
Martin, Bishop of Tours, c.397

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, ever-living God,
you inscribe our names in your book of life
so that we may share the firstfruits of salvation.
You protect the widows and strangers,
the oppressed and forgotten,
and feed the hungry with good things.
You stand among us in Christ, offering life to all.
You call us to respond with open hearts and minds to the world,
caring for those for whom you care. 
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

http://www.oremus.org/ocan.html

Psalm 34

I will bless the Lord at all times;*
 his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
I will glory in the Lord;*
 let the humble hear and rejoice.
Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord;*
 let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord and he answered me*
 and delivered me out of all my terror.
Look upon him and be radiant,*
 and let not your faces be ashamed.
I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me*
 and saved me from all my troubles.
The angel of the Lord
   encompasses those who fear him,*
 and he will deliver them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;*
 happy are they who trust in him!
Fear the Lord, you that are his saints,*
 for those who fear him lack nothing.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger,*
 but those who seek the Lord
   lack nothing that is good.
Come, children, and listen to me;*
 I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who among you loves life*
 and desires long life to enjoy prosperity?
Keep your tongue from evil-speaking*
 and your lips from lying words.
Turn from evil and do good;*
 seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,*
 and his ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,*
 to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry and the Lord hears them*
 and delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted*
 and will save those whose spirits are crushed.
Many are the troubles of the righteous,*
 but the Lord will deliver him out of them all.
He will keep safe all his bones;*
 not one of them shall be broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,*
 and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
The Lord ransoms the life of his servants,*
 and none will be punished who trust in him.

A Song of the Holy City (Revelation 21:1-5a)

I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away
and the sea was no more.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice from the throne saying,
'Behold, my dwelling is with my people.

'I will dwell with them and they shall be mine,
and I myself will be with them.

'I will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more.

'Neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain any more,
for the former things have passed away.'

And the One who sat upon the throne said,
'Behold, I make all things new.'

Psalm 148

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
   Alleluia!

READING [Zechariah 3:1-7]:

Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before
the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right
hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, 'The LORD
rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem
rebuke you! Is not this man a brand plucked from the
fire?' Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he
stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were
standing before him, 'Take off his filthy clothes.' And
to him he said, 'See, I have taken your guilt away from
you, and I will clothe you in festal apparel.' And I
said, 'Let them put a clean turban on his head.' So they
put a clean turban on his head and clothed him in the
apparel; and the angel of the LORD was standing by.
Then the angel of the LORD assured Joshua, saying 'Thus
says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and
keep my requirements, then you shall rule my house and
have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right
of access among those who are standing here. 

For another Biblical reading,
Matthew 12:22-32

HYMN 
Words: Carl P. Daw, Jr. (c)
Tune: Jerusalem
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/o/o101.html
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O day of peace that dimly shines
through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,
guide us to justice, truth, and love,
delivered from our selfish schemes.
May the swords of hate fall from our hands,
our hearts from envy find release,
till by God's grace our warring world
shall see Christ's promised reign of peace.

Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb,
nor shall the fierce devour the small;
as beasts and cattle calmly graze,
a little child shall lead them all.
Then enemies shall learn to love,
all creatures find their true accord;
the hope of peace shall be fulfilled,
for all the earth shall know the Lord.

The Benedictus (Morning), the 
Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
Let us pray for the peace of the world:

For statesmen and rulers, that they may have wisdom 
to know and courage to do what is right ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For all who work to improve international relationships,
that they may find the true way to reconciliation...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For all the peoples of the earth, 
that they may have justice and freedom, 
and live in security and peace ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of war,
for the injured and the disabled,
for the mentally distressed,
and for those whose faith in God and man has been
weakened or destroyed ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For the homeless and refugees,
for those who are hungry,
and for all who have lost their livelihood and security ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For those who mourn their dead,
those who have lost husband or wife,
children or parents,
and especially for those who have no hope in Christ
to sustain them in their grief ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

Let us remember before God,
and commend to his sure keeping
those who have died for their country in war;
those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure;
and all who have lived and died
in the service of mankind.
God of peace
hear our prayer.

Almighty and eternal God,
from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted,
either by death or life:
hear our prayers and thanksgivings
for all whom we remember this day;
fulfil in them the purpose of your love;
and bring us all, with them, to your eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Most gracious God and Father,
in whose will is our peace:
turn our hearts and the hearts of all to yourself,
that by the power of your Spirit
the peace which is founded on righteousness
may be established throughout the whole world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God all powerful, 
who called Martin from the armies of this world 
to be a faithful soldier of Christ: 
give us grace to follow him 
in his love and compassion for the needy 
and enable your Church to claim for all people 
their inheritance as children of God; 
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
we pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God
and our fellow men and women:
that we may help, encourage, and comfort others,
and support those working for the relief of the needy
and for the peace and welfare of the nations:

Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves
to serve you and all humankind,
in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful
now and always. Amen.

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The psalms and the second collect are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is
used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from prayers reprinted from
_Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002
Consultation on Common Texts

Hymn (c) 1982 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.   
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:  Hope Publishing Company,
www.hopepublishing.com

The intercession, the first collect and the closing prayers are taken (with slight
adaptation) from the Remembrance Day service, (c) SPCK 1968, 1984

Martin was born around 330 of pagan parents. His father was a soldier, who
enlisted Martin in the army at the age of fifteen. One winter day he saw an
ill-clad beggar at the gate of the city of Amiens. Martin had no money to give,
but he cut his cloak in half and gave half to the beggar. (Paintings of the scene,
such as that by El Greco, show Martin, even without the cloak, more warmly
clad than the beggar, which rather misses the point.) In a dream that night,
Martin saw Christ wearing the half-cloak. He had for some time considered
becoming a Christian, and this ended his wavering. He was promptly baptized.
At the end of his next military campaign, he asked to be released from the
army, saying: "Hitherto I have faithfully served Caesar. Let me now serve
Christ." He was accused of cowardice, and offered to stand unarmed between
the contending armies. He was imprisoned, but released when peace was
signed.
He became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers, a chief opponent in the West of the
Arians, who denied the full deity of Christ, and who had the favor of the
emperor Constantius. Returning to his parents' home in Illyricum (Yugoslavia,
approximately), he opposed the Arians with such effectiveness that he was
publicly scourged and exiled. He was subsequently driven from Milan, and
eventually returned to Gaul. There he founded the first monastary in Gaul,
which lasted until the French Revolution.
In 371 he was elected bishop of Tours. His was a mainly pagan diocese, but his
instruction and personal manner of life prevailed. In one instance, the pagan
priests agreed to fell their idol, a large fir tree, if Martin would stand directly in
the path of its fall. He did so, and it missed him very narrowly. When an officer
of the Imperial Guard arrived with a batch of prisoners who were to be
tortured and executed the next day, Martin intervened and secured their
release.
In the year 384, the heretic (Gnostic) Priscillian and six companions had been
condemned to death by the emperor Maximus. The bishops who had found
them guilty in the ecclesiastical court pressed for their execution. Martin
contended that the secular power had no authority to punish heresy, and that
the excommunication by the bishops was an adequate sentence. In this he was
upheld by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. He refused to leave Treves until the
emperor promised to reprieve them. No sooner was his back turned than the
bishops persuaded the emperor to break his promise; Priscillian and his
followers were executed. This was the first time that heresy was punished by
death.
Martin was furious, and excommunicated the bishops responsible. But
afterwards, he took them back into communion in exchange for a pardon from
Maximus for certain men condemned to death, and for the emperor's promise
to end the persecution of the remaining Priscillianists. He never felt easy in his
mind about this concession, and thereafter avoided assmblies of bishops where
he might encounter some of those concerned in this affair. He died on or about
11 November 397 (my sources differ) and his shrine at Tours became a
sanctuary for those seeking justice.
The Feast of Martin, a soldier who fought bravely and faithfully in the service
of an earthly sovereign, and then elisted in the service of Christ, is also the day
of the Armistice which marked the end of the First World War. On it we
remember those who have risked or lost their lives in what they perceived as
the pursuit of justice and peace. [James Kiefer]


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