OREMUS: 10 June 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Jun 9 17:00:01 GMT 2005


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OREMUS for Friday, June 10, 2005 
Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymn Writer, Teacher of the Faith, 373

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
for your Son, our Messiah and Lord,
who did not turn aside from the path of suffering
and did not spare his disciples the prospect of rejection.
You call us through your Spirit
to abandon the security of the easy way
and to follow in Christ's footsteps towards the cross and true life.
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 77

I will cry aloud to God;*
 I will cry aloud and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;*
 my hands were stretched out by night and did not tire;
   I refused to be comforted.
I think of God, I am restless,*
 I ponder and my spirit faints.
You will not let my eyelids close;*
 I am troubled and I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old;*
 I remember the years long past;
I commune with my heart in the night;*
 I ponder and search my mind.
Will the Lord cast me off for ever?*
 will he no more show his favour?
Has his loving-kindness come to an end for ever?*
 has his promise failed for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?*
 has he, in his anger, withheld his compassion?
And I said, 'My grief is this:*
 the right hand of the Most High has lost its power.'
I will remember the works of the Lord,*
 and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your acts*
 and ponder your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy;*
 who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who works wonders*
 and have declared your power among the peoples.
By your strength you have redeemed your people,*
 the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw you, O God;
   the waters saw you and trembled;*
 the very depths were shaken.
The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered;*
 your arrows flashed to and fro;
The sound of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
   your lightnings lit up the world;*
 the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea,
   and your paths in the great waters,*
 yet your footsteps were not seen.
You led your people like a flock*
 by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

A Song of Repentance (1 John 1:5-9)

This is the message we have heard from Christ
and proclaim to you:
that God is light,
in whom there is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with God
while we walk in darkness,
we lie and do not do what is true.

But if we walk in the light
as God is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another.

And the blood of Jesus, the Son of God,
cleanses us from all our sins.

If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins,
the One who is faithful and just will forgive us
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 147:1-12

Alleluia!
   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.
 Alleluia!

READING [Matthew 9:27-33]:

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him,
crying loudly, 'Have mercy on us, Son of David!' When he
entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus
said to them, 'Do you believe that I am able to do this?'
They said to him, 'Yes, Lord.' Then he touched their eyes
and said, 'According to your faith let it be done to
you.' And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly
ordered them, 'See that no one knows of this.' But they
went away and spread the news about him throughout that
district.
After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was
brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the
one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed
and said, 'Never has anything like this been seen in
Israel.' 

For another Biblical reading,
Genesis 19:12-29

HYMN 
Words: Edward Hayes Plumptre, 1864
Tune: St. Matthew    
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/t/t513.html
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Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old
was strong to heal and save;
it triumphed o'er disease and death,
o'er darkness and the grave.
To thee they went, the blind, the dumb,
the palsied, and the lame,
the leper with his tainted life,
the sick with fevered frame.

And lo! thy touch brought life and health,
gave hearing, strength, and sight;
and youth renewed and frenzy calmed
owned thee, the Lord of light:
and now, O Lord, be near to bless,
almighty as of yore,
in crowded street, by restless couch,
as by Gennesaret's shore.

Be thou our great deliverer still,
thou Lord of life and death;
restore and quicken, soothe and bless,
with thine almighty breath:
to hands that work and eyes that see,
give wisdom's heavenly lore,
that whole and sick, and weak and strong,
may praise thee evermore.

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

Prayer:
Beginning and End of all things,
we bless you for the present that is ever yielding
to your new heaven and new earth.

For all the means of grace,
we praise you, O Lord.

For every prompting of your Spirit
we praise you, O Lord.

We yield our cares to your unceasing mercy:
Attend the sick and the suffering,
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Touch the dying:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Claim the newborn:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Shelter the homeless:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Sing in the fearful:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Chasten the arrogant and powerful:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Lift up the lowly:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Center the Church, especially in the Diocese of
Northern Uganda, The Rt Revd Nelson Onono-Onweng, Bishop.
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Grant peace to Jerusalem and every people:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Shape our lives by the mystery 
of Christ crucified, risen and interceding for us:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Majestic God,
you led your people like a flock
and delivered them by your mighty power in times of old:
do not forget your people in their troubles
and raise up your power
to sustain the poor and helpless,
for the honour of your Name. Amen.

Pour out on us, O Lord, that same Spirit 
by which your deacon Ephraim rejoiced 
to proclaim in sacred song the mysteries of faith; 
and so gladden our hearts 
that we, like him, may be devoted to you alone;
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

In your great power,
transform all our fear
into faith and awe in your saving presence; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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The psalms, the first collect 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 are adapted from
prayers in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of
Hours of Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c)
1997 by The Order of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

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

Ephrem (or Ephren or Ephraim or Ephrain) of Edessa was a teacher, poet,
orator, and defender of the Faith. (To English-speakers, the most familiar form
of his name will be "Ephraim." It is the name of the younger son of Joseph, son
of Jacob (see Genesis 41:52), and is thus the name of one of the largest of the
twelve tribes of Israel.) Edessa (now Urfa), a city in modern Turkey about 100
kilometers from Antioch (now Antakya), was a an early center for the spread
of Christian teaching in the East. It is said that in 325 he accompanied his
bishop, James of Nisibis, to the Council of Nicea. Certainly his writings are an
eloquent defense of the Nicene faith in the Deity of Jesus Christ. He countered
the Gnostics' practice of spreading their message through popular songs by
composing Christian songs and hymns of his own, with great effect. He is
known to the Syrian church as "the harp of the Holy Spirit."
Ephrem retired to a cave outside Edessa, where he lived in great simplicity and
devoted himself to writing. He frequently went into the city to preach. During
a famine in 372-3 he worked distributing food to the hungry, and organizing a
sort of ambulance service for the sick. He worked long hours at this, and
became exhausted and sick, and so died.
Of his writings there remain 72 hymns, commentaries on the Old and New
Testaments, and numerous sermons. [James Kiefer abridged]


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