OREMUS: 22 June 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jun 21 17:00:01 GMT 2005


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OREMUS for Wednesday, June 22, 2005 
Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.250

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 139

Lord, you have searched me out and known me;*
 you know my sitting down and my rising up;
   you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places*
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,*
 but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before*
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;*
 it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit?*
 where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;*
 if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning*
 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me*
 and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, 'Surely the darkness will cover me,*
 and the light around me turn to night',
Darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day;*
 darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;*
 you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made;*
 your works are wonderful and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you,*
 while I was being made in secret
   and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
   all of them were written in your book;*
 they were fashioned day by day,
   when as yet there was none of them.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God!*
 how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them,
   they would be more in number than the sand;*
 to count them all,
   my life span would need to be like yours.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;*
 try me and know my restless thoughts.
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me*
 and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

A Song of Redemption (Colossians 1.13-18a,19,20a)

The Father has delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son;

In whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.

For in him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.

All things were created through him and for him,
he is before all things and in him all things hold together.

He is the head of the body, the Church,
he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.

In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell;
and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things.

Psalm 147:13-end

Alleluia!
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.
   Alleluia!

READING [1 Samuel 19:8-17]:

Again there was war, and David went out to fight the
Philistines. He launched a heavy attack on them, so that
they fled before him. Then an evil spirit from the LORD
came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in
his hand, while David was playing music. Saul sought to
pin David to the wall with the spear; but he eluded Saul,
so that he struck the spear into the wall. David fled and
escaped that night.
Saul sent messengers to David's house to keep watch over
him, planning to kill him in the morning. David's wife
Michal told him, 'If you do not save your life tonight,
tomorrow you will be killed.' So Michal let David down
through the window; he fled away and escaped. Michal took
an idol and laid it on the bed; she put a net of goats'
hair on its head, and covered it with the clothes. When
Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, 'He is
sick.' Then Saul sent the messengers to see David for
themselves. He said, 'Bring him up to me in the bed, that
I may kill him.' When the messengers came in, the idol
was in the bed, with the covering of goats' hair on its
head. Saul said to Michal, 'Why have you deceived me like
this, and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?'
Michal answered Saul, 'He said to me, "Let me go; why
should I kill you?" ' 

For another Biblical reading,
1 Timothy 1:18-2:7

HYMN 
Words: Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier, 1827; trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1858
Tune: Gott sei Dank
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/s/s323.html
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Spread, O spread, thou mighty Word,
spread the kingdom of the Lord,
whersoe'er his breath has given,
life to beings meant for heaven.

Tell them how the Father's will
made the world, and keeps it still,
how he sent his Son to save
all who help and comfort crave.

Tell of our Redeemer's love,
who forever doth remove
by his holy sacrifice
all the guilt that on us lies.

Tell them of the Spirit given
now to guide us up to heaven,
strong and holy, just and true,
working both to will and do.

Word of life, most pure and strong,
lo! for thee the nations long,
spread, till from its dreary night
all the world awakes to light.

Up! the ripening fields ye see,
mighty shall the harvest be;
but the reapers still are few,
great the work they have to do.

Lord of harvest, let there be
joy and strength to work for thee,
till the nations, far and near,
see thy light, and learn thy fear.

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

Prayer:
Earth-shaking, sky-rumbling, all-powerful Trinity:
Behold your Church.

We thank you for claiming for yourself
servants from every nation and time
to be a royal priest dedicated to your service.
Lord of glory,
send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

We thank you for our common vocation
of giving witness to your coming reign.
Lord of glory,
send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

Sift us like wheat,
convert the catechumens,
turn homeward the penitents
and welcome those who are strangers.
Lord of glory,
send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

Clothe your Church with words and deeds that free and heal.
We pray especially for the Diocese of Ohio, USA,
The Rt Revd Mark Hollingsworth, Bishop.
Lord of glory,
come in your might.

Light our lamps with the oil of your Spirit.
Lord of glory,
come in your might.

Make us and all your Church vigilant and alert
for your knocking on doors.
Lord of glory,
come in your might.

Lord,
who created and fashioned us,
who knows us and searches us out,
who abides with us through light and dark:
help us to know your presence in this life
and, in the life to come, still to be with you;
where you are alive and reign,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Eternal Father,
when the Gospel of Christ first came to Britain
you gloriously confirmed the faith of Alban
by making him the first to win a martyr's crown: 
grant that, following his example,
in the fellowship of the saints 
we may worship you, the living God,
and give true witness to 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 adapted from a prayer 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 _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.

There were probably Christians in the British Isles already in the first century.
However, Alban is the first recorded Christian martyr. The traditional date of
his death is 304, during the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian; but
many scholars now date it as around 209, during the persecution under the
Emperor Septimius Severus. Alban was a pagan, and a soldier in the Roman
Army. He gave shelter to a Christian priest who was fleeing from arrest, and in
the next few days the two talked at length, and Alban became a Christian.
When officers came in search of the priest, Alban met them, dressed in the
priest's cloak, and they mistook him for the priest and arrested him. He refused
to renounce his new faith, and was beheaded. He thus became the first
Christian martyr in Britain. The second was the executioner who was to kill
him, but who heard his testimony and was so impressed that he became a
Christian on the spot, and refused to kill Alban. The third was the priest, who
when he learned that Alban had been arrested in his place, hurried to the court
in the hope of saving Alban by turning himself in. The place of their deaths is
near the site of St. Alban's Cathedral today. [James Kiefer]


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