OREMUS: 14 February 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Feb 13 21:48:56 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Monday, February 14, 2005
Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 and 885

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
for in these forty days
you lead us into the desert of repentance
that through a pilgrimage of prayer and discipline
we may grow in grace
and learn to be your people once again,
redeemed by your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 14

The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'*
 All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
   there is none who does any good.
The Lord looks down from heaven upon us all,*
 to see if there is any who is wise,
   if there is one who seeks after God.
Everyone has proved faithless;
   all alike have turned bad;*
 there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, all those evildoers*
 who eat up my people like bread
   and do not call upon the Lord?
See how they tremble with fear,*
 because God is in the company of the righteous.
Their aim is to confound the plans of the afflicted,*
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion!*
 when the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

Psalm 37

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;*
 do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,*
 and like the green grass fade away.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good;*
 dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord,*
 and he shall give you your heart's desire.
Commit your way to the Lord
   and put your trust in him,*
 and he will bring it to pass.
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light*
 and your just dealing as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord*
 and wait patiently for him.
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,*
 the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;*
 do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off,*
 but those who wait upon the Lord
   shall possess the land.
In a little while the wicked shall be no more;*
 you shall search out their place,
   but they will not be there.
But the lowly shall possess the land;*
 they will delight in abundance of peace.
The wicked plot against the righteous*
 and gnash at them with their teeth.
The Lord laughs at the wicked,*
 because he sees that their day will come.
The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
   to strike down the poor and needy,*
 to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
Their sword shall go through their own heart,*
 and their bow shall be broken.
The little that the righteous have*
 is better than great riches of the wicked.
For the power of the wicked shall be broken,*
 but the Lord upholds the righteous.
The Lord cares for the lives of the godly,*
 and their inheritance shall last for ever.
They shall not be ashamed in bad times,*
 and in days of famine they shall have enough.
As for the wicked, they shall perish,*
 and the enemies of the Lord,
   like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish;
   they shall vanish like smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay,*
 but the righteous are generous in giving.
Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land,*
 but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
Our steps are directed by the Lord;*
 he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong,*
 for the Lord holds them by the hand.
I have been young and now I am old,*
 but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
   or their children begging bread.
The righteous are always generous in their lending,*
 and their children shall be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,*
 and dwell in the land for ever.
For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.
They shall be kept safe for ever,*
 but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
The righteous shall possess the land*
 and dwell in it for ever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,*
 and their tongue speaks what is right.
The law of their God is in their heart,*
 and their footsteps shall not falter.
The wicked spy on the righteous*
 and seek occasion to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their hand,*
 nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;*
 he will raise you up to possess the land,
   and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen the wicked in their arrogance,*
 flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
I went by and, behold, they were not there;*
 I searched for them, but they could not be found.
Mark those who are honest; observe the upright;*
 for there is a future for the peaceable.
Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;*
 the future of the wicked is cut off.
But the deliverance of the righteous
   comes from the Lord;*
 he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them;*
 he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
   because they seek refuge in him.

A Song of Humility (Hosea 6:1-6)

Come, let us return to the Lord
who has torn us and will heal us.

God has stricken us
and will bind up our wounds.

After two days, he will revive us,
and on the third day will raise us up,
that we may live in his presence.

Let us strive to know the Lord;
his appearing is as sure as the sunrise.

He will come to us like the showers,
like the spring rains that water the earth.

'O Ephraim, how shall I deal with you?
How shall I deal with you, O Judah?

'Your love for me is like the morning mist,
like the dew that goes early away.

'Therefore, I have hewn them by the prophets,
and my judgement goes forth as the light.

'For loyalty is my desire and not sacrifice,
and the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.'

Psalm 150

Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

READING [Job 1:13-22]:

One day when Job's sons and daughters were eating and
drinking wine in the eldest brother's house, a messenger
came to him and said, 'The oxen were ploughing and the
donkeys were feeding beside them, and the Sabeans fell on
them and carried them off, and killed the servants with
the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.'
While he was still speaking, another came and said, 'The
fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and
the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to
tell you.' While he was still speaking, another came and
said, 'The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on
the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants
with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell
you.' While he was still speaking, another came and said,
'Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in
their eldest brother's house, and suddenly a great wind
came across the desert, struck the four corners of the
house, and it fell on the young people, and they are
dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.'

Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell
on the ground and worshipped. He said, 'Naked I came from
my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there; the
LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the
name of the LORD.'

In all this Job did not sin or charge God with

For another Biblical reading,
Luke 13:1-9

Words: Edward Cooper, 1805
Tune: Rivaulx, St. Cross
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Father of heaven, whose love profound
a ransom for our souls hath found,
before thy throne we sinners bend;
to us thy pardoning love extend.

Almighty Son, Incarnate Word,
our Prophet, Priest, Redeemer, Lord,
before thy throne we sinners bend;
to us thy saving grace extend.

Eternal Spirit, by whose breath
the soul is raised from sin and death,
Before thy throne we sinners bend;
to us thy quickening power extend.

Jehovah - Father, Spirit, Son -
mysterious Godhead, Three in One,
before thy throne we sinners bend;
grace, pardon, life to us extend.

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

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance,
Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day, we bless you;
We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin;
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

We long for your salvation, O Lord:
grant us understanding, that we may live.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
For we put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
Let us not be confounded at the last

For your Church, O Lord, we pray, especially
the Diocese of Maine, USA, The Rt Revd Chilton Abbie Richardson Knudsen, Bishop.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O God, in the fear of whom is found true wisdom:
preserve us uncorrupted through the course of this world
and help us to find our joy in seeking your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, 
by the power of the Holy Spirit you moved 
your servant Cyril and his brother Methodius 
to bring the light of the Gospel to a hostile and divided people: 
Overcome all bitterness and strife among us 
by the love of Christ, 
and make us one united family 
under the banner of the Prince of Peace;
Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Nourish our faith, 
increase our hope,
and strengthen our love,
that we may live by your Word;
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 and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are 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 uses a sentence from a preface and the
closing sentence uses phrases from a prayer in _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.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

Cyril (originally Constantine) and Methodius were brothers, from a noble
family in Thessalonika, a district in northeastern Greece. Constantine was the
younger, born in about 827, and his brother Methodius in about 825. They
both entered the priesthood. Constantine undertook a mission to the Arabs,
and then became a professor of philosophy at the imperial school in
Constantinople and librarian at the cathedral of Santa Sophia. Methodius
became governor of a district that had been settled by Slavs. Both brothers
then retired to monastic life. In about 861, the Emperor Michel III sent them to
work with the Khazars northeast of the Black Sea in the Dnieper-Volga region
of what was later Russia. They learned the Khazar language and made many
converts, and discovered what were believed to be relics of Clement, an early
Bishop of Rome.
In about 863, Prince Rotislav, the ruler of Great Moravia (in today's Czech
Republic), asked the emperor for missionaries, specifying that he wanted
someone who would teach his people in their own language (he had western
missionaries, but they used only Latin). The emperor and the Patriarch Photius
sent Methodius and his brother Constantine, who translated the Liturgy and
much of the Scriptures into Slavonic.
Since Slavonic had no written form, they invented an alphabet for it, the
Glagolitic alphabet, which gave rise to the Cyrillic alphabet (named for Cyril),
which is used to write Russian and (with modifications) several related
languages today. Thus the brothers were the first to produce written material in
the Slavic languages, and are regarded as the founders of Slavic literature.
The brothers encountered missionaries from Germany, representing the
western or Latin branch of the Church, and more particularly representing the
Holy Roman Empire as founded by Charlemagne, and committed to linguistic,
and cultural uniformity. They insisted on the use of the Latin liturgy, and they
regarded Moravia and the Slavic peoples as their rightful mission field. When
friction developed, the brothers, unwilling to be a cause of dissension among
Christians, went south toward Venice, and then from Venice to Rome to see
the Pope, hoping to reach an agreement that would avoid quarreling between
missionaries in the field. They brought with them the above-mentioned relics of
Clement, third bishop of Rome after the Apostles (see 23 November). They
arrived in Rome in 868 and were received with honor. Constantine entered a
monastery there, taking the name Cyril, by which he is now remembered.
However, he died only a few weeks thereafter. He is buried in Rome in the
Church of San Clemente.
The Pope (Adrian II) gave Methodius the title of Archbishop of Sirmium (now
Sremska Mitrovica in Yugoslavia) and sent him back in 869, with jurisdiction
over all of Moravia and Pannonia, and authorization to use the Slavonic
Liturgy. Soon, however, Prince Rotislav, who had originally invited the
brothers to Moravia, died, and his successor did not support Methodius. In 870
the Frankish king Louis and his bishops deposed Methodius at a synod at
Ratisbon, and imprisoned him for a little over two years. The pope (John VIII)
secured his release, but told him not to use the Slavonic Liturgy any more. In
878 he was summoned to Rome on charges of heresy and using Slavonic. This
time Pope John was convinced by his arguments and sent him back cleared of
all charges, and with permission to use Slavonic. He died 6 April 885 in
Velehrad, the old capitol of Moravia. The Carolingian bishop who succeeded
him, Wiching, suppressed the Slavonic Liturgy and forced the followers of
Methodius into exile. Many found refuge with King Boris of Bulgaria
(852-889), under whom they reorganized a Slavic-speaking Church.
Meanwhile, Pope John's successors adopted a Latin-only policy which lasted
for centuries.
Today Cyril and Methodius are honored by Eastern and Western Christians
alike, and the importance of their work in preaching and worshiping in the
language of the people is recognized on all sides. [James Kiefer, abridged]

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