OREMUS: 16 March 2005

Steve Benner oremus at insight.rr.com
Wed Mar 16 01:16:58 GMT 2005

OREMUS for Wednesday, March 16, 2005

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

Blessed are you, holy Father,
almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For as the time of his passion and resurrection draws near
the whole world is called to acknowledge his hidden majesty.
The power of the life-giving cross
reveals the judgement that has come upon the world
and the triumph of Christ crucified.
He is the victim who dies no more,
the Lamb once slain, who lives for ever,
our advocate in heaven to plead our cause.
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 55
Hear my prayer, O God;*
  do not hide yourself from my petition.
Listen to me and answer me;*
  I have no peace, because of my cares.
I am shaken by the noise of the enemy*
  and by the pressure of the wicked;
For they have cast an evil spell upon me*
  and are set against me in fury.
My heart quakes within me,*
  and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling have come over me,*
  and horror overwhelms me.
And I said, ‘O that I had wings like a dove!*
  I would fly away and be at rest.
‘I would flee to a far-off place*
  and make my lodging in the wilderness.
‘I would hasten to escape*
  from the stormy wind and tempest.œ
Swallow them up, O Lord; confound their speech;*
  for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
Day and night the watch make their rounds upon her walls,*
  but trouble and misery are in the midst of her.
There is corruption at her heart;*
  her streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
    then I could have borne it;*
  or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,
    then I could have hidden from him.
But it was you, one after my own heart,*
  my companion, my own familiar friend.
We took sweet counsel together,*
  and walked with the throng in the house of God.
But I will call upon God,*
  and the Lord will deliver me.
In the evening, in the morning and at noonday
    I will complain and lament,*
  and he will hear my voice.
He will bring me safely back from the battle
    waged against me;*
  for there are many who fight me.
God, who is enthroned of old,
    will hear me and bring them down;*
  they never change; they do not fear God.
My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade;*
  he has broken his covenant.
His speech is softer than butter,*
  but war is in his heart.
His words are smoother than oil,*
  but they are drawn swords.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you;*
  he will never let the righteous stumble.
For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful*
  down to the pit of destruction, O God.
They shall not live out half their days,*
  but I will put my trust in you.

READING [Exodus 8:16-32]:

Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron, "Stretch out
your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may
become gnats throughout the whole land of Egypt." ' And
they did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and
struck the dust of the earth, and gnats came on humans
and animals alike; all the dust of the earth turned into gnats
throughout the whole land of Egypt. The magicians tried to
produce gnats by their secret arts, but they could not. There
were gnats on both humans and animals. And the magicians
said to Pharaoh, 'This is the finger of God!' But Pharaoh's heart
was hardened, and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Rise early in the morning and
present yourself before Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water,
and say to him, "Thus says the LORD: Let my people go,
so that they may worship me. For if you will not let my
people go, I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials,
and your people, and into your houses; and the houses of the
Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies; so also the land
where they live. But on that day I will set apart the land of
Goshen, where my people live, so that no swarms of flies
shall be there, that you may know that I the LORD am in this
land. Thus I will make a distinction between my people and
your people. This sign shall appear tomorrow." ' The LORD did
so, and great swarms of flies came into the house of Pharaoh
and into his officials' houses; in all of Egypt the land was ruined
because of the flies.

Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron, and said, 'Go,
sacrifice to your God within the land.' But Moses said, 'It would
not be right to do so; for the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD
our God are offensive to the Egyptians. If we offer in the sight of the
Egyptians sacrifices that are offensive to them, will they not stone
us? We must go a three days' journey into the wilderness and
sacrifice to the LORD our God as he commands us.' So Pharaoh
said, 'I will let you go to sacrifice to the LORD your God in the
wilderness, provided you do not go very far away. Pray for me.' Then
Moses said, 'As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD that
the swarms of flies may depart tomorrow from Pharaoh, from his
officials, and from his people; only do not let Pharaoh again deal
falsely by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.'

So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. And
the LORD did as Moses asked: he removed the swarms of flies
from Pharaoh, from his officials, and from his people; not one
remained. But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and
would not let the people go.

For another Biblical reading, 2 Corinthians 3:7-18

Words: John Bowring, 1825
Tune: Rathbun, Cross of Jesus

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In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o'er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o'ertake me,
hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
never shall the cross forsake me:
lo, it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
light and love upon my way,
from the cross the radiance streaming
adds new luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
by the cross are sanctified;
peace is there that knows no measure,
joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o'er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

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

With faith and love and in union with Christ,
let us offer our prayer before the throne of grace.

Have mercy on your people,
for whom your Son laid down his life.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations,
and have pity on those torn apart by division.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name’s sake,
and deliver them from evil.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Look in mercy upon all who suffer,
and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Bring comfort to the dying,
and gladden their hearts with the power of your glory.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Give rest to the departed and bring them, with your saints,
to glory everlasting.
Lord, graciously hear us.

As we rejoice in the triumph of the cross,
we pray that the whole of creation may find fulfilment
in the eternal kingdom of God:

To you we come, O Lord,
from the noise of rebellion,
from the violence of the city,
from deceit and treachery,
to hear your voice
and to seek your sustaining care
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Standing at the foot of the cross, BR> let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Christ crucified draw us to himself,
to find in him a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven. Amen.

The psalms and the collect are from Celebrating Common Prayer (Mowbray), © 
The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer (adapted) are from 
Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition, copyright © The 
Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized 
Edition), copyright © 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 in Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of 
England, material from which is included in this service is copyright © The 
Archbishops' Council, 2000.

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