OREMUS: 11 August 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Aug 10 19:37:50 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Thursday, August 11, 2005 
Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253

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

Blessed are you, O God,
on whom our faith rests secure
and whose kingdom we await.
You sustain us by Word and Sacrament
and keep us alert for the coming of the Son of Man,
that we may welcome him without delay.
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 8

O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children*
 your majesty is praised above the heavens.
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries,*
 to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,*
 the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What are mortals, that you should be mindful of them?*
 mere human beings, that you should seek them out?
You have made them little lower than the angels;*
 you adorn them with glory and honour.
You give them mastery over the works of your hands;*
 and put all things under their feet,
All sheep and oxen,*
 even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,*
 and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!

Psalm 16

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;*
 I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord,
   my good above all other.'
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,*
 upon those who are noble among the people.
But those who run after other gods*
 shall have their troubles multiplied.
Their libations of blood I will not offer,*
 nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;*
 it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;*
 indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;*
 my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;*
 because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad and my spirit rejoices;*
 my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,*
 nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;*
 in your presence there is fullness of joy,
   and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

A Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2.1-2,3b-5,7-8)

My soul exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.

My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

There is no Holy One like you, O Lord,
nor any Rock like you, our God.

For you are a God of knowledge
and by you our actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.

Those who were full now hire themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are well fed.

The barren woman has borne sevenfold,
but she who has many children is forlorn.

Both the poor and the rich are of your making;
you bring low and you also exalt.

You raise up the poor from the dust,
and lift the needy from the ash heap.

You make them sit with the rulers
and inherit a place of honour.

For the pillars of the earth are yours
and on them you have set the world.

Psalm 148

   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.

READING [Genesis 43]:

Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had
eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt,
their father said to them, 'Go again, buy us a little
more food.' But Judah said to him, 'The man solemnly
warned us, saying, "You shall not see my face unless your
brother is with you." If you will send our brother with
us, we will go down and buy you food; but if you will not
send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us,
"You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with
you." ' Israel said, 'Why did you treat me so badly as to
tell the man that you had another brother?' They replied,
'The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our
kindred, saying, "Is your father still alive? Have you
another brother?" What we told him was in answer to these
questions. Could we in any way know that he would say,
"Bring your brother down"?' Then Judah said to his father
Israel, 'Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way,
so that we may live and not die you and we and also our
little ones. I myself will be surety for him; you can
hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back
to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame
for ever. If we had not delayed, we would now have
returned twice.'
Then their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be so,
then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land
in your bags, and carry them down as a present to the
man a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin,
pistachio nuts, and almonds. Take double the money with
you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in
the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. Take
your brother also, and be on your way again to the man;
may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, so that
he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for
me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.' So
the men took the present, and they took double the money
with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their
way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the
steward of his house, 'Bring the men into the house, and
slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to
dine with me at noon.' The man did as Joseph said, and
brought the men to Joseph's house. Now the men were
afraid because they were brought to Joseph's house, and
they said, 'It is because of the money, replaced in our
sacks the first time, that we have been brought in, so
that he may have an opportunity to fall upon us, to make
slaves of us and take our donkeys.' So they went up to
the steward of Joseph's house and spoke with him at the
entrance to the house. They said, 'Oh, my lord, we came
down the first time to buy food; and when we came to the
lodging-place we opened our sacks, and there was each
one's money in the top of his sack, our money in full
weight. So we have brought it back with us. Moreover, we
have brought down with us additional money to buy food.
We do not know who put our money in our sacks.' He
replied, 'Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and
the God of your father must have put treasure in your
sacks for you; I received your money.' Then he brought
Simeon out to them. When the steward had brought the men
into Joseph's house, and given them water, and they had
washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys
fodder, they made the present ready for Joseph's coming
at noon, for they had heard that they would dine
When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that
they had carried into the house, and bowed to the ground
before him. He inquired about their welfare, and said,
'Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is
he still alive?' They said, 'Your servant our father is
well; he is still alive.' And they bowed their heads and
did obeisance. Then he looked up and saw his brother
Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, 'Is this your
youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be
gracious to you, my son!' With that, Joseph hurried out,
because he was overcome with affection for his brother,
and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room
and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out; and
controlling himself he said, 'Serve the meal.' They
served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the
Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the
Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an
abomination to the Egyptians. When they were seated
before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and
the youngest according to his youth, the men looked at
one another in amazement. Portions were taken to them
from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five
times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were
merry with him. 

For another Biblical reading,
Acts 15:1-11

Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith (c)
Tune: Regent Square  
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Fill your hearts with joy and gladness,
sing and praise your God and mine!
Great the Lord in love and wisdom,
might and majesty divine!
He who framed the starry heavens
knows and names them as they shine.

Praise the Lord, his people, praise him!
wounded souls his comfort know;
those who fear him find his mercies,
peace for pain and joy for woe;
humble hearts are high exalted,
human pride and power laid low.

Praise the Lord for times and seasons,
cloud and sunshine, wind and rain;
spring to melt the snows of winter
till the waters flow again;
grass upon the mountain pastures,
golden valleys thick with grain.

Fill your hearts with joy and gladness,
peace and plenty crown your days;
love his laws, declare his judgments,
walk in all his words and ways;
he the Lord and we his children--
praise the Lord, all people, praise!

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

We pray for the family of the church, for loving relationships,
and for the life of families around us, saying
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, born in poverty and soon a refugee,
be with families today who are poor 
and live in hunger and want. . .
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who grew in wisdom and in favor with God and the people
in the family of Joseph the carpenter,
bring wisdom and the presence of God
into the work and growth of families today. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who blessed marriage in the wedding at Cana,
be with those preparing for marriage
and with those who come to the end of their resources. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who healed Peter's mother in law,
bring healing to hurt relationships and families today. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who on the cross said,
'Mother, behold your son',
provide today for those who lose their families,
the bereaved and childless, orphans and widows. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who on the seashore provided food for the disciples,
bring the whole Church on earth and in heaven
 into your risen presence to eat at the eternal banquet.
We pray especially for the Diocese of Rayalaseema, India,
The Rt Revd Chowtipalle Bellam Moses Frederick, Bishop.
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Blessed are you, Creator of heaven and earth,
amid the immensity of the universe,
you are mindful of us and seek us out.
Blessed are you for the gift of your Son,
who humbled himself to share our life
that we might be raised with him to glory and splendor.
Blessed be your holy Name:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.

God of peace, 
who in the poverty of the blessed Clare 
gave us a clear light to shine 
in the darkness of this world: 
give us grace so to follow in her footsteps 
that we may, at the last, 
rejoice with her in your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Draw us nearer to Jesus,
that, following his way of sacrificial love,
we may come to the banquet of eternal life.  Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer 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 prayer use sentences from 
prayers in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Hymn (c) by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn in all territories 
except the UK, Europe & Africa,
contact: Hope Publishing Company, www.hopepublishing.com
For UK, Europe & Africa: contact: Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith, 
9 Ashlands, Ford, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 6DY England

The intercession is from _Patterns for Worship_, material from
which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops'
Council, 1995.

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Clare Offreduccio, born in 1194, was the daughter of a wealthy family in Assisi
(43:04 N 12:37 E). When she was eighteen years old, she heard a sermon by
Francis of Assisi, and was moved by it to follow the example of the Franciscan
brothers and vow herself to a life of poverty. Her family was horrified, and
brought her back home by force; but one night, in a gesture both tactical and
symbolic, she slipped out of her house through "the door of the dead" (a small
side door that was traditionally opened only to carry out a corpse) and
returned to the house of the Franciscans. Francis cut off her hair, and placed
her in a nearby convent. Later a house was found for her, and she was
eventually joined by two of her sisters, her widowed mother, and several
members of the wealthy Ubaldini family of Florence. Clare's best friend,
Pacifica, could not resist, and joined them, too.
The sisters of her order came to be known informally as Minoresses
(Franciscan brothers are Friars Minor = "lesser brothers") or as Poor Clares.
When the order was formed, Francis suggested Clare for the Superior. But she
refused the position until she turned twenty-one. They devoted themselves to
prayer, nursing the sick, and works of mercy for the poor and neglected.
They adopted a rule of life of extreme austerity (more so than of any other
order of women up to that time) and of absolute poverty, both individually and
collectively. They had no beds. They slept on twigs with patched hemp for
blankets. Wind and rain seeped through cracks in the ceilings. They ate very
little, with no meat at all. Whatever they ate was food they begged for. Clare
made sure she fasted more than anyone else. Despite this way of life, or
perhaps because of it, the followers of Clare were the most beautiful young
girls from the best families of Assisi.
The community of Poor Clares continues to this day, both in the Roman and in
the Anglican communions.

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