OREMUS: 12 November 2004

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Nov 11 20:53:59 GMT 2004

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OREMUS for Friday, November 12, 2004
Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago, Ecumenist, 1996

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. 


Psalm 142

I cry to the Lord with my voice;*
 to the Lord I make loud supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him*
 and tell him all my trouble.
When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path;*
 in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me;*
 I have no place to flee to and no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, O Lord;*
 I say, 'You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.'
Listen to my cry for help,
   for I have been brought very low;*
 save me from those who pursue me,
   for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison,
   that I may give thanks to your name;*
 when you have dealt bountifully with me,
   the righteous will gather around me.

Psalm 113

   Give praise, you servants of the Lord;*
 praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be blessed,*
 from this time forth for evermore.
>From the rising of the sun to its going down*
 let the name of the Lord be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,*
 and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
   who sits enthroned on high,*
 but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
He takes up the weak out of the dust*
 and lifts up the poor from the ashes.
He sets them with the princes,*
 with the princes of his people.
He makes the woman of a childless house*
 to be a joyful mother of children.

A Song of the Righteous (Wisdom 3:1,2a,3b-8)

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God
 and no torment will ever touch them.

In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died;
 but they are at peace.

For though, in the sight of others, they were punished,
 their hope is of immortality.

Having been disciplined a little,
 they will receive great good,
 because God tested them and found them worthy.

Like gold in the furnace, God tried them
 and, like a sacrificial burnt offering, accepted them.

In the time of their visitation, they will shine forth
 and will run like sparks through the stubble.

They will govern nations and rule over peoples
 and God will reign over them for ever.

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

READING [Zechariah 3:8-13]:

Now listen, Joshua, high priest, you and your colleagues
who sit before you! For they are an omen of things to
come: I am going to bring my servant the Branch. For on
the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single
stone with seven facets, I will engrave its inscription,
says the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the guilt of
this land in a single day. On that day, says the LORD of
hosts, you shall invite each other to come under your
vine and fig tree.

For another Biblical reading,
Matthew 12:38-42

Words: Charles Wesley, 1749
Tune: Vienna, Tunbridge, Savannah
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Jesus, Lord, we look to thee;
let us in thy Name agree;
show thyself the Prince of Peace,
bid our strife forever cease.

By thy reconciling love
every stumbling block remove;
each to each unite, endear;
come, and spread thy banner here.

Make us of one heart and mind,
gentle, courteous, and kind,
lowly, meek, in thought and word,
altogether like our Lord.

Let us for each other care,
each the other's burdens bear;
to thy church the pattern give,
show how true believers live.

Free from anger and from pride;
let us thus in God abide;
all the depths of love express,
all the heights of holiness.

Let us then with joy remove
to the family above;
on the wings of angels fly,
show how true believers die.

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

To the poor and exploited;
to lives overshadowed by conflict,
come with your message of justice and peace
Come, reveal yourself within our world, Lord.

To the lonely and unloved;
to lives overshadowed by suffering,
come with your friendship and concern
Come, reveal yourself in our community, Lord.

We pray for the Diocese of Kanyakumari, South India,
The Rt Revd G Davakadasham, Bishop.
To both young and old on the journey of faith;
to lives overshadowed by doubt,
come with the gift of your Holy Spirit
Come, reveal yourself to the church, Lord.

To the sinner and the seeker;
to lives overshadowed by emptiness,
come with the offering of salvation
Come, reveal yourself in human lives, Lord.

To the sick and anxious;
to lives overshadowed by sorrow,
come with all-sufficient love
Come, that we may know you with us in our need, Lord.

God of compassion,
you regard the forsaken
and give hope to the crushed in spirit:
hear those who cry to you in distress,
that they may be joined to the company
of those who raise a song of thanksgiving
to your glory, O Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Loving and merciful God,
you set us in this world to discover the fullness of our humanity:
Give us the strength and courage 
displayed in your servant Joseph Bernardin
to become living signs of Christ's loving presence 
that all who are lonely or hurt, 
abused or abandoned, 
vulnerable or alienated 
might experience the love of him
who lives 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

Grant that as we serve yo now on earth,
so we may one day rejoice with all the saints
in your kingdom of light and peace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The psalms and the first 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

The intercession is adapted from "Companion to the RCL", by Christine Odell

The second collect is by Stephen Benner and uses words by Joseph Bernardin.

Joseph Louis Bernardin was born April 2, 1928 to Joseph and Maria
Bernardin, recent immigrants from the north of Italy. Having lost his father to
cancer at the age of six, Joseph took responsibility for his younger sister,
Elaine while Mrs. Bernardin worked as a seamstress. 
Joseph Bernardin was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Charleston in 1952.
In 1966, Pope Paul VI appointed Monsignor Bernardin an Auxiliary Bishop of
the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Upon his episcopal consecration on April 26, 1966
at the hands of Bernardin's mentor, Archbishop Paul Hallinan, Bernardin
became the youngest bishop in America.
Bishop Joseph Bernardin continued to serve the Church from 1968 through
1972, as the first General Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic
Bishops/United States Catholic Conference (NCCB/USCC). He was
instrumental in shaping the Catholic Church in the United States according to
the vision of the Second Vatican Council. Bernardin's evenhandedness and
compassion made him well suited to act as a mediator, and he was called to
reconcile diverging parties in the changing Post-Conciliar Church.
On November 21, 1972, Bishop Bernardin was appointed Archbishop of
Cincinnati by Pope Paul VI, and was installed less than a month later in a
ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Chains. While Archbishop of
Cincinnati, worked to improve relations between Catholics and Jews and
strove for better understanding between the Catholic Church and Protestant
In 1982, Bernardin was installed as the Archbishop of Chicago. He served as
head of the NCCB/USCC Ad Hoc Committee on War and Peace, which
drafted the pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our
Response. This book-length pastoral letter challenged the morality of nuclear
deterrence, and sparked a decade's long debate in both the United States and
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin worked diligently for social justice in a changing
world. Beginning in 1983, Cardinal Bernardin called for a "consistent ethic of
life" in an age when modern technologies threatened the sanctity of all human
life at every turn, be it abortion, euthanasia, modern warfare, or capital
punishment. Cardinal Bernardin consistently spoke out against the increasing
violence in Lebanon, Israel, Northern Ireland, and elsewhere. Additionally,
Cardinal Bernardin was the first to offer a Mass for divorced and separated
Catholics at Holy Name Cathedral.
In 1985, Cardinal Bernardin established an AIDS task force to determine how
the Archdiocese might best care for those stricken by the AIDS crisis. In 1989,
the Cardinal dedicated Bonaventure House with the help of the Alexian
Brothers, a residential facility for people suffering with AIDS.
Ardently adhering to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal
Bernardin, first in Cincinnati, then in Chicago, was committed to ecumenical
and interfaith dialogues. While Archbishop of Cincinnati, Bernardin maintained
dialogues with local congregations of Jews, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and
Lutherans. In Chicago, this dedication led to the formation of the Council of
Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago in 1985. Subsequently, under his
leadership, the Archdiocese of Chicago established official covenants with both
the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the Evangelical Lutheran Metropolitan
In June of 1995, following a string of international visits and pilgrimages,
Cardinal Bernardin underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer. Following the
operation, Bernardin began his cancer ministry. Bernardin so touched the lives
of cancer patients, relating to them on such a personal and spiritual level, that
countless sick, dying and survivors of the terror of cancer wrote to him,
expressing their thanks, admiration, love and hope.
In October 1996, the Cardinal withdrew from his active ministry due to his
deteriorating strength. Reflecting on Jesus in the Garden of Gesthemeni,
Bernardin personally faced death in full view of the world: Bernardin was
teaching us how to die. In his last days, Cardinal Bernardin wrote to the United
States Supreme Court against assisted suicide. The Cardinal always defended
the precious gift of human life. On November 14, 1996, Joseph Cardinal
Bernardin died at the age of sixty-eight.
Joseph Louis Bernardin invested the whole of his life showing the way of peace
and conciliation to the world. He worked for justice, he strove for peace, and
he gave all his strength to make life better for whomever he could. Through his
many homilies, addresses, and pastoral letters, Cardinal Bernardin insisted that
action be taken to preserve human life, dignity, and security by showing us that
there is no other moral alternative. Even facing death, Bernardin showed us the
gift and joy of life. [The Archdiocese of Chicago, abridged]

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