OREMUS: 27 June 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jun 26 20:35:18 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Monday, June 27, 2005 
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher of the Faith, 444

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
for setting us free in Jesus Christ
with a power greater than all that would keep us captive.
You call us to turn from the ways of the world
and to accept the fullness of joy in the Spirit
and follow the way of the cross,
which frees us to love one another
for the sake of all creation.
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 1

Happy are they who have not walked
   in the counsel of the wicked,*
 nor lingered in the way of sinners,
   nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
Their delight is in the law of the Lord,*
 and they meditate on his law day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
   bearing fruit in due season,
   with leaves that do not wither;*
 everything they do shall prosper.
It is not so with the wicked:*
 they are like chaff which the wind blows away;
Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright
   when judgement comes,*
 nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,*
 but the way of the wicked is doomed.

Psalm 6

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;*
 do not punish me in your wrath.
Have pity on me, Lord, for I am weak;*
 heal me, Lord, for my bones are racked.
My spirit shakes with terror;*
 how long, O Lord, how long?
Turn, O Lord, and deliver me;*
 save me for your mercy's sake.
For in death no one remembers you;*
 and who will give you thanks in the grave?
I grow weary because of my groaning;*
 every night I drench my bed
   and flood my couch with tears.
My eyes are wasted with grief*
 and worn away because of all my enemies.
Depart from me, all evildoers,*
 for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;*
 the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be confounded and quake with fear;*
 they shall turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

A Song of Judith (Judith 16:13-16)

I will sing a new song to my God,
for you are great and glorious,
truly strong and invincible.

May your whole creation serve you,
for you spoke and all things came to be.

You sent forth your Spirit and they were formed,
for no one can resist your voice.

Mountains and seas are stirred to their depths;
at your presence rocks shall melt like wax.

But to those who fear you,
you continue to show mercy.

No sacrifice, however fragrant, can please you,
but whoever fears the Lord
shall stand in your sight for ever.

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 [1 Samuel 20:18-29]:

Jonathan said to him, 'Tomorrow is the new moon; you will
be missed, because your place will be empty. On the day
after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the
place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside
the stone there. I will shoot three arrows to the side of
it, as though I shot at a mark. Then I will send the boy,
saying, "Go, find the arrows." If I say to the boy,
"Look, the arrows are on this side of you, collect them",
then you are to come, for, as the LORD lives, it is safe
for you and there is no danger. But if I say to the young
man, "Look, the arrows are beyond you", then go; for the
LORD has sent you away. As for the matter about which you
and I have spoken, the LORD is witness between you and me
for ever.'
So David hid himself in the field. When the new moon
came, the king sat at the feast to eat. The king sat upon
his seat, as at other times, upon the seat by the wall.
Jonathan stood, while Abner sat by Saul's side; but
David's place was empty.
Saul did not say anything that day; for he thought,
'Something has befallen him; he is not clean, surely he
is not clean.' But on the second day, the day after the
new moon, David's place was empty. And Saul said to his
son Jonathan, 'Why has the son of Jesse not come to the
feast, either yesterday or today?' Jonathan answered
Saul, 'David earnestly asked leave of me to go to
Bethlehem; he said, "Let me go; for our family is holding
a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me
to be there. So now, if I have found favour in your
sight, let me get away, and see my brothers." For this
reason he has not come to the king's table.' 

For another Biblical reading,
Mark 5:1-20

Words: Horatius Bonar, 1880
Tune: Song 46   
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Beloved, let us love:
love is of God;
in God alone hath love
its true abode.

Beloved, let us love:
for they who love,
they only, are his sons,
born from above.

Beloved, let us love:
for love is rest,
and he who loveth not
abides unblest.

Beloved, let us love:
in love is light,
and he who loveth not,
dwelleth in night.

Beloved, let us love:
for only thus
shall we behold that God
who loveth us.

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

High and holy God,
robed in majesty,
Lord of heaven and earth,
we pray that you bring justice, faith
and salvation to all peoples.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

You chose us in Christ to be your people
and to be the temple of your Holy Spirit;
we pray that you will fill your Church with vision and hope.
We pray for the Diocese of Okinawa, Japan,
The Rt Revd David Shoji Tani, Bishop.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Your Spirit enables us to cry, "Abba! Father!",
affirms that we are fellow-heirs with Christ
and pleads for us in our weakness;
we pray for all who are in need or distress.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

In the baptism and birth of Jesus,
you have opened heaven to us
and enabled us to share in your glory:
the joy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
from before the world was made.
May your Church, living and departed,
come to a joyful resurrection in your city of light.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Christ our wisdom,
give us delight in your law,
that we may bear fruits of patience and peace
in the kingdom of the righteous. 
We ask this in your Name. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you gave your blessed Bishop Cyril
grace to maintain that the blessed Virgin Mary
is indeed the Mother of God:
Grant that by this teaching we may know you, 
the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Keep us true to the way of your Son,
that we may leave behind all that hinders us
and, with eyes fixed on him,
walk surely in the path of the kingdom. 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 and the first collect 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 phrases from two prayers reprinted
from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c)
2002 Consultation on Common Texts

The intercession is from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright
(c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The second collect is by Stephen Benner.

The closing prayer are adapted from prayers in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Ten years after the death of Athanasius, the great champion of faith in Christ as
fully God, the bishopric of Alexandria was bestowed on one Theophilus. He
was a man of fiery temperament, and ruthless and violent in the pursuit of what
he conceived to be his duty. Having obtained the consent of the government,
he destroyed pagan temples, and the monastaries of monks whose views
differed from his own. He is on the Egyptian (Coptic) and the Syrian calendars,
but not on most eastern or any western ones. Summary: unpleasant but
orthodox (Right but Repulsive). Upon his death in 412, he was succeeded by
his nephew Cyril.
Cyril began his career as Bishop of Alexandria by showing himself to be an
ill-tempered, quarrelsome, hasty, and violent man. He shut the churches of the
Novatianists (a group of Christians who were indistinguishable in doctrine and
manner of worship from other Christians, but who as descendants of those who
had stood firm in the persecutions 260 years earlier could have nothing to do
with the descendants of those who had not -- nearly a century earlier, the
emperor Constantine had disgustedly told their leader to set up a ladder and
climb to heaven by himself), he drove out the Jews, he quarrelled with the
imperial prefect Orestes, and with Orestes' friend Hypatia, a distinguished
neo-Platonist scholar. (Hypatia was murdered by a mob. There is no evidence
that Cyril was directly guilty, but the murderers were persons who regarded
him as their leader.) In short, he made a bad beginning.
Then there arose a controversy over the relation between Christ's Divinity and
His Humanity. One view, associated with the name of Nestorius, spoke of
Jesus as a sinless man in whom the Spirit of God fully dwelt, suggesting that
the difference between Jesus and any other good man was a matter of degree.
(Jones is an almost sinless man in whom the Spirit of God dwells almost fully.
He is therefore 99% whatever Jesus is 100%.) This may not do justice to the
subtlety of the Nestorian position, but it is the danger that others saw in it, and
the Nestorians were unable to explain what safeguards their position had
against this danger. Cyril wrote learnedly and with great logic and conviction
against the Nestorian position, and was largely instrumental in getting it
condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Afterwards (surprisingly in view
of his earlier record), he worked to reconcile the two parties, and to bring
many of the less extreme Nestorians back into the fellowship of the church.
But it is as a theologian and a scholar, not as a bishop or human-relations man,
that Cyril is honored. [James Kiefer, abridged]

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