OREMUS: 12 January 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jan 11 23:50:08 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167

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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
you spoke your word
and revealed your Good News in Jesus, the Christ.
You fill all creation with that Word,
so that by proclaiming your joyful promises to all nations
and singing of your glorious hope to all peoples,
we may become one living body in Christ.
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 18:1-32

I love you, O Lord my strength,*
 O Lord my stronghold, my crag and my haven.
My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,*
 my shield, the horn of my salvation and my refuge;
   you are worthy of praise.
I will call upon the Lord,*
 and so shall I be saved from my enemies.
The breakers of death rolled over me,*
 and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.
The cords of hell entangled me,*
 and the snares of death were set for me.
I called upon the Lord in my distress*
 and cried out to my God for help.
He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling;*
 my cry of anguish came to his ears.
The earth reeled and rocked;*
 the roots of the mountains shook;
   they reeled because of his anger.
Smoke rose from his nostrils
   and a consuming fire out of his mouth;*
 hot burning coals blazed forth from him.
He parted the heavens and came down*
 with a storm cloud under his feet.
He mounted on cherubim and flew;*
 he swooped on the wings of the wind.
He wrapped darkness about him;*
 he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.
>From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds,*
 burst hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered out of heaven;*
 the Most High uttered his voice.
He loosed his arrows and scattered them;*
 he hurled thunderbolts and routed them.
The beds of the seas were uncovered,
   and the foundations of the world laid bare,*
 at your battle cry, O Lord,
   at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and grasped me;*
 he drew me out of great waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemies
   and from those who hated me;*
 for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster;*
 but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into an open place;*
 he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The Lord rewarded me because of my righteous dealing;*
 because my hands were clean he rewarded me;
For I have kept the ways of the Lord*
 and have not offended against my God;
For all his judgements are before my eyes,*
 and his decrees I have not put away from me;
For I have been blameless with him*
 and have kept myself from iniquity;
Therefore the Lord rewarded me
   according to my righteous dealing,*
 because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God;*
 with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
With the pure you show yourself pure,*
 but with the crooked you are wily.
You will save a lowly people,*
 but you will humble the haughty eyes.
You, O Lord, are my lamp;*
 my God, you make my darkness bright.
With you I will break down an enclosure;*
 with the help of my God I will scale any wall.
As for God, his ways are perfect;
   the words of the Lord are tried in the fire;*
 he is a shield to all who trust in him.
For who is God, but the Lord?*
 who is the rock, except our God?

A Song of the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;

Let the wicked abandon their ways,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;

Return to the Lord,
who will have mercy;
to our God, who will richly pardon.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways', says the Lord.

'For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

'As the rain and the snow come down from above,
and return not again but water the earth,

'Bringing forth life and giving growth,
seed for sowing and bread to eat,

'So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;
it will not return to me fruitless,

'But it will accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the task I gave it.'

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

READING [Hebrews 2:1-4]:

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have
heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the
message declared through angels was valid, and every
transgression or disobedience received a just penalty,
how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It
was declared at first through the Lord, and it was
attested to us by those who heard him, while God added
his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles,
and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to
his will.

For another Biblical reading,
Joshua 6:1-14

Words: John Fawcett, 1782
Tune: Dennis, Boylston, Bellwoods
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Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like that to that above.

Before our Father's throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
our comforts and our cares.

We share each other's woes,
our mutual burdens bear;
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
our courage by the way;
while each in expectation lives,
and longs to see the day.

>From sorrow, toil and pain,
and sin, we shall be free,
and perfect love and friendship reign
through all eternity.

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

Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life,
author of salvation, and giver of all grace:
look with favor upon the world you have made and redeemed,
and especially upon those who live together in love.

Give them wisdom and devotion in their common life,
that they may be to the other a strength in need,
a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow,
and a companion in joy.

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will,
and their spirits in your Spirit,
that they may grow in love and peace
with you and one another, all the days of their life.

Give them the grace, when they hurt each other,
to recognize and confess their fault,
and to seek each other's forgiveness and yours.

Make their life together a sign of Christ's love
to this sinful and broken world,
that unity may overcome estrangement,
forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.

Given them such fulfillment of their mutual love
that they may reach out in concern for others.

Enrich with your grace all of us,
that, loving and supporting one another,
we may serve those in need as a sign of your reign.

Grant that the bonds by which all your children
are united to one another
may be so transformed by your Spirit
that your peace and justice may fill the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Faithful God,
you have established with us
your covenant of love:
remember your promise,
fulfilled in your anointed Son Jesus Christ,
and count us worthy to stand in his strength alone;
who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Pour into our hearts, O God, 
the Holy Spirit's gift of love, 
that we. clasping each the other's hand, 
may share the joy of friendship, 
human and divine, 
and with your servant Aelred 
draw many to your community of love; 
through Jesus Christ the Righteous,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

Gracious God,
we thank you for the delicate weaving
of the lives of friends,
shared moments spun of fragile energy.
We rejoice in the bold colors of strength,
the whispered encouragements, the honesty of tears.
Bless our friendships as a tapestry to last beyond time,
beyond miles, defying the bounds of separation.
Grant that we and our friends will continue
to call out the best in one another,
to empower each other for service.
Give us strength to walk, together or apart,
as children of God. 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 intercessions and the closing words are adapted from _Chalice
Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

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

Aelred was born in 1109 at Durham, and was sent to the Scottish court for an
education that would ensure his future as a noble and courtier. He succeeded,
to the extent of being made Master of the Household of the King of Scotland.
Nevertheless, he found success at the court of an earthly king unsatisfying, and
at the age of 24 he entered the Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx in Yorkshire.
Bernard of Clairvaux encouraged him to write his first work, The Mirror of
Charity, which deals with seeking to follow the example of Christ in all things.
In 1147 he became abbot of Rievaulx, a post which he held until his death of
kidney disease twenty years later at the age of 57.
His most famous work is called Spiritual Friendship. When Jesus was told that
his family was waiting to see him, he replied, "All who do the will of my Father
are my family." From this, some Christians have drawn the conclusion that the
only kind of love permissible to a Christian is Charity -- that is: (a) the
universal benevolence that wills the good of all persons, and (b) the bond that
unites the Christian with Christ and through Christ with all other Christians.
Note that Universal Belevolence is extended equally to all persons (we are to
love Jones because God made him), and that the bond of Christian Unity unites
us equally with all our fellow Christians who are in a state of grace (we are to
love Jones because Christ dwells in him). Neither leaves any room for
particular friendships, for liking Jones more than Smith because Jones shares
our interest in hockey, or because Jones and we like the same sort of jokes, or
come from the same part of the country and have similar childhood memories,
or because Jones is an easy-going type and it is easy to relax and feel
comfortable around him, or because Jones and we have a special bond of
friendship, loyalty, and trust. Particular friendships are OUT!
Some who do not think that every Christian must renounce particular
friendships believe that every monastic must do so. In many religious houses,
where the monks or nuns walk two by two into chapel or the dining hall or
while pacing about during the daily hour of recreation, the superior will make a
point of constantly shifting partners, lest anyone form a liking for one partner
more than another. (This does not apply just to friends. It is sometimes held
that no monk ought to allow himself any preferences in food or drink.) Against
this view, Aelred wrote that it is compatible with the highest degree of
Christian perfection to take special pleasure in the company of particular
friends. He point out that we are told that Jesus loved John, and Mary, and
Martha, and Lazarus, and that this probably means that he found their company

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