OREMUS: 18 March 2005

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

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OREMUS for Friday, March 18, 2005
Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, Teacher of the Faith, 386

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 69

Save me, O God,*
 for the waters have risen up to my neck.
I am sinking in deep mire,*
 and there is no firm ground for my feet.
I have come into deep waters,*
 and the torrent washes over me.
I have grown weary with my crying;
   my throat is inflamed;*
 my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
Those who hate me without a cause
   are more than the hairs of my head;
   my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty.*
 Must I then give back what I never stole?
O God, you know my foolishness,*
 and my faults are not hidden from you.
Let not those who hope in you
   be put to shame through me, Lord God of hosts;*
 let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me,
   O God of Israel.
Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach,*
 and shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my own kindred,*
 an alien to my mother's children.
Zeal for your house has eaten me up;*
 the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
I humbled myself with fasting,*
 but that was turned to my reproach.
I put on sack-cloth also,*
 and became a byword among them.
Those who sit at the gate murmur against me,*
 and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, this is my prayer to you,*
 at the time you have set, O Lord:
'In your great mercy, O God,*
 answer me with your unfailing help.
'Save me from the mire; do not let me sink;*
 let me be rescued from those who hate me
   and out of the deep waters.
'Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,
   neither let the deep swallow me up;*
 do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
'Answer me, O Lord, for your love is kind;*
 in your great compassion, turn to me.
'Hide not your face from your servant;*
 be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
'Draw near to me and redeem me;*
 because of my enemies deliver me.
'You know my reproach, my shame and my dishonour;*
 my adversaries are all in your sight.'
Reproach has broken my heart and it cannot be healed;*
 I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
   for comforters, but I could find no one.
They gave me gall to eat,*
 and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
As for me, I am afflicted and in pain;*
 your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
I will praise the name of God in song;*
 I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an offering of oxen,*
 more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
The afflicted shall see and be glad;*
 you who seek God, your heart shall live.
For the Lord listens to the needy,*
 and his prisoners he does not despise.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him,*
 the seas and all that moves in them;
For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah;*
 they shall live there and have it in possession.
The children of his servants will inherit it,*
 and those who love his name will dwell therein.

READING [Exodus 10:12-20]:

The LORD said to Moses, 'Stretch out your hand over the
land of Egypt, so that the locusts may come upon it and
eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.'
So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt,
and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that
day and all that night; when morning came, the east wind
had brought the locusts. The locusts came upon all the
land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt,
such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before,
nor ever shall be again. They covered the surface of the
whole land, so that the land was black; and they ate all
the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees
that the hail had left; nothing green was left, no tree,
no plant in the field, in all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh
hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, 'I have
sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. Do
forgive my sin just this once, and pray to the LORD your
God that at the least he remove this deadly thing from
me.' So he went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.
The LORD changed the wind into a very strong west wind,
which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea;
not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt.
But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not
let the Israelites go.

For another Biblical reading,
2 Corinthians 4:13-18

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1848
Tune: Horsley
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There is a green hill far away,
outside a city wall,
where our dear Lord was crucified
who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell,
what pains he had to bear,
but we believe it was for us
he hung and suffered there.

He died that we might be forgiven,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heaven,
saved by his precious blood.

There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin,
he only could unlock the gate
of heaven and let us in.

O dearly, dearly has he loved!
And we must love him too,
and trust in his redeeming blood,
and try his works to do.

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

Jesus, remember us when you come into your kingdom
and hear our prayers.

For your Church around the world,
we ask new life.

For all who carry out ministries in your Church,
we ask grace and wisdom.

For people who have accepted spiritual disciplines,
we ask inspired discipleship.

For Christians of every land,
we ask new unity in your Name.

For Jews and Muslims and people of other faiths,
we ask your divine blessing.

For those who cannot believe,
we ask your faithful love.

For governors and rulers in every land,
we ask your guidance.

For people who suffer and sorrow,
we ask your healing peace.

Thirsting on the cross,
your Son shared the reproach of the oppressed
and carried the sins of all:
in him, O God, may the despairing find you,
the afflicted gain life
and the whole creation know its true king. Amen.

Strengthen, O Lord, 
the bishops of your Church 
in their special calling 
to be teachers and ministers of the Sacraments, 
so that they, like your servant Cyril of Jerusalem, 
may effectively instruct your people 
in Christian faith and practice; 
and that we, taught by them, 
may enter more fully into the celebration 
of the Paschal mystery;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Standing at the foot of the cross, 
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 are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) 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
(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 in  _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.

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

Cyril was born in Jerusalem around 315, and became bishop of that city in
about 349. The years between the Council of Nicea (325) and the Council of
Constantinople (381) were troubled years, in which the Church, having
committed itself at Nicea, over the strenuous protests of the Arians, to the
proposition that the Son is "one in being" (homo-ousios) with the Father,
began to backtrack and consider whether there was some other formula that
would adequately express the Lordship of Christ but not be "divisive."
Experience with other ways of stating what Christians believed about the Son
and his relation to the Father finally led the Church to conclude that the Nicene
formulation was the only way of safeguarding the doctrine that Thomas spoke
truly (John 20:28) when he said to Jesus, "My Lord and My God!" But this
was not obvious from the beginning, and Cyril was among those who looked
for a way of expressing the doctrine that would be acceptable to all parties. As
a result, he was exiled from his bishopric three times, for a total of sixteen
years, once by the Athanasians and twice by the Arians. He eventually came to
the conclusion, as did most other Christians of the time, that there was no
alternative to the Nicene formula, and in 381 he attended the Council of
Constantinople and voted for that position.
Cyril is author of the Catecheses, or Catechetical Lectures on the Christian
Faith. These consist of an introductory lecture, then eighteen lectures on the
Christian Faith to be delivered during Lent to those about to be baptized at
Easter, and then five lectures on the Sacraments to be delivered after Easter to
the newly baptized. These have been translated into English (F L Cross, 1951),
and are the oldest such lectures surviving. (It is thought that they were used
over and over by Cyril and his successors, and that they may have undergone
some revision in the process.) [They can be read at 


Every year, thousands of Christian pilgrims came to Jerusalem, especially for
Holy Week. It is probably Cyril who instituted the liturgical forms for that
week as they were observed in Jerusalem at the pilgrimage sites, were spread
to other churches by returning pilgrims, and have come down to us today, with
the procession with palms on Palm Sunday, and the services for the following
days, culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We
have a detailed account of Holy Week observances in Jerusalem in the fourth
century, thanks to a a Spanish nun named Egeria who made a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem and kept a journal which is a historian's delight. [James Kiefer]

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