OREMUS: 23 March 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Mar 22 17:00:01 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Wednesday in Holy Week

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
for the days in which we commemorate
his life-giving death and glorious resurrection
are close at hand,
when the pride of the ancient enemy is trampled down
and the mystery of our redemption is fulfilled.
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 102

Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come before you;*
 hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me;*
 when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke,*
 and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered,*
 so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning*
 I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,*
 like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan;*
 I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
My enemies revile me all day long,*
 and those who scoff at me
   have taken an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes for bread*
 and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of your indignation and wrath*
 you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days pass away like a shadow,*
 and I wither like the grass.
But you, O Lord, endure for ever,*
 and your name from age to age.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to have mercy upon her;*
 indeed, the appointed time has come.
For your servants love her very rubble,*
 and are moved to pity even for her dust.
The nations shall fear your name, O Lord,*
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion,*
 and his glory will appear.
He will look with favour on the prayer of the homeless;*
 he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,*
 so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.
For the Lord looked down from his holy place on high;*
 from the heavens he beheld the earth;
That he might hear the groan of the captive*
 and set free those condemned to die;
That they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,*
 and his praise in Jerusalem;
When the peoples are gathered together,*
 and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
He has brought down my strength before my time;*
 he has shortened the number of my days;
And I said, 'O my God,
   do not take me away in the midst of my days;*
 your years endure throughout all generations.
'In the beginning, O Lord,
   you laid the foundations of the earth,*
 and the heavens are the work of your hands;
'They shall perish, but you will endure;
   they all shall wear out like a garment;*
 as clothing you will change them,
   and they shall be changed;
'But you are always the same,*
 and your years will never end.
'The children of your servants shall continue,*
 and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.'

READING [John 16]:

Jesus said, 'I have said these things to you to keep you
from stumbling. They will put you out of the synagogues.
Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will
think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.
And they will do this because they have not known the
Father or me. But I have said these things to you so that
when their hour comes you may remember that I told you
about them.
'I did not say these things to you from the beginning,
because I was with you. But now I am going to him who
sent me; yet none of you asks me, "Where are you going?"
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has
filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth:
it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not
go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go,
I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove
the world wrong about sin and righteousness and
judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me;
about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and
you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the
ruler of this world has been condemned.
'I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot
bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will
guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on
his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will
declare to you the things that are to come. He will
glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare
it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this
reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare
it to you.
'A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again
a little while, and you will see me.' Then some of his
disciples said to one another, 'What does he mean by
saying to us, "A little while, and you will no longer see
me, and again a little while, and you will see me"; and
"Because I am going to the Father"?' They said, 'What
does he mean by this "a little while"? We do not know
what he is talking about.' Jesus knew that they wanted to
ask him, so he said to them, 'Are you discussing among
yourselves what I meant when I said, "A little while, and
you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and
you will see me"? Very truly, I tell you, you will weep
and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have
pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is
in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But
when her child is born, she no longer remembers the
anguish because of the joy of having brought a human
being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will
see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one
will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask
nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask
anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to
you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my
name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be
'I have said these things to you in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in
figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that
day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I
will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father
himself loves you, because you have loved me and have
believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and
have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world
and am going to the Father.'
His disciples said, 'Yes, now you are speaking plainly,
not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know
all things, and do not need to have anyone question you;
by this we believe that you came from God.' Jesus
answered them, 'Do you now believe? The hour is coming,
indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one
to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not
alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to
you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you
face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the

For another Biblical reading,
Jeremiah 11:18-20

Words: Thomas Kelly, 1815
Tune: Bow Brickhill, Breslau, Ach bleib bei uns
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We sing the praise of him who died,
of him who died upon the cross;
the sinner's hope let men deride;
for this we count the world but loss.

Inscribed upon the cross we see
in shining letters, God is love:
he bears our sins upon the tree:
he brings us mercy from above.

The cross: it takes our guilt away,
it holds the fainting spirit up;
it cheers with hope the gloomy day,
and sweetens every bitter cup.

It makes the coward spirit brave,
and nerves the feeble arm for fight;
it takes its terror from the grave,
and gilds the bed of death with light.

The balm of life, the cure of woe,
the measure and the pledge of love,
the sinner's refuge here below,
the angel's theme in heaven above.

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.
the Diocese of Michigan, USA,
The Rt Revd Wendell Nathaniel Gibbs, Bishop;
the Diocese of Western Michigan, USA, 
The Rt Revd Robert Ronald Gepert, Bishop;
and the Diocese of Milwaukee, USA, The Rt Revd Steven A Miller, Bishop.
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 fulfillment
in the eternal kingdom of God:

Almighty God,
as we stand at the foot of the cross of your Son,
help us to see and know your love for us,
so that in humility, love and joy
we may place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Standing at the foot of the cross,
we pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Lead us, O God, in the way of Christ
and give us courage to take up our cross
and, in full reliance upon your grace, to follow him. 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 is adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is adapted from two sentences in a prayer from
_Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John
Knox Press.

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