OREMUS: 19 May 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed May 18 17:00:00 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Thursday, May 19, 2005
Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Restorer of Monastic Life, 988

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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God, creator of all,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
You founded the earth in the beginning
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image, 
and in these last days you have spoken to us
in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
As we rejoice in the gift of your presence among us
let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
your Spirit ever renew our lives
and your praises ever be on our lips.
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 8

O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children*
 your majesty is praised above the heavens.
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries,*
 to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,*
 the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What are mortals, that you should be mindful of them?*
 mere human beings, that you should seek them out?
You have made them little lower than the angels;*
 you adorn them with glory and honour.
You give them mastery over the works of your hands;*
 and put all things under their feet,
All sheep and oxen,*
 even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,*
 and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!

Psalm 16

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;*
 I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord,
   my good above all other.'
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,*
 upon those who are noble among the people.
But those who run after other gods*
 shall have their troubles multiplied.
Their libations of blood I will not offer,*
 nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;*
 it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;*
 indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;*
 my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;*
 because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad and my spirit rejoices;*
 my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,*
 nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;*
 in your presence there is fullness of joy,
   and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

A Song of the Covenant (Isaiah 42:5-8a)

Thus says God, who created the heavens,
who fashioned the earth and all that dwells in it;

Who gives breath to the people upon it,
and spirit to those who walk in it,

'I am the Lord and I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;

'I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind.

'To bring out the captives from the dungeon,
from the prison, those who sit in darkness.

'I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other.'

Psalm 148

   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.

READING [1 Corinthians 6:1-8]:

When any of you has a grievance against another, do you
dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead
of taking it before the saints? Do you not know that the
saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be
judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
Do you not know that we are to judge angels to say
nothing of ordinary matters? If you have ordinary cases,
then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing
in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that
there is no one among you wise enough to decide between
one believer and another, but a believer goes to court
against a believer and before unbelievers at that?
In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is
already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why
not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and
defraud and believers at that. 

For another Biblical reading,
Leviticus 25:1-17

Words: Henry Scott Holland, 1902, alt.
Tune: St. Leonard, Rhuddlan
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Judge eternal, throned in splendor,
Lord of lords and King of kings,
with thy living fire of judgment
purge this land of bitter things;
solace all its wide dominion
with the healing of thy wings.

Still the weary folk are pining
for the hour that brings release,
and the city's crowded clangor
cries aloud for sin to cease;
and the homesteads and the woodlands
plead in silence for their peace.

Crown, O God, thine own endeavor;
cleave our darkness with thy sword;
feed all those who do not know thee
with the richness of thy word;
cleanse the body of this nation
through the glory of the Lord.

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

Lord of our lives,
we have decided to follow Jesus
and have chosen to be in your Kingdom.
Give us courage, discernment and an unwavering faith.

We pray for your Church throughout the world,
especially the Diocese of The Niger Delta, Nigeria,
The Rt Revd Gabriel H Pepple, Bishop.
Shed forth your spirit of discipleship upon us.

When we are uncertain,
reveal a vision.

When we are passive,
light a fire.

When we are tempted,
send your Spirit.

Enfold us in your love,
wrap us about with assurance
and infuse us with determination,
that we may be true disciples
and all the world may see the love of Jesus Christ in us. Amen.

O God the Word and Son of God,
exalted is your name in all creation,
yet you have stooped to become one with us:
as you have ordained humanity the steward of your creation,
so minister through us the mystery of your salvation;
to the glory of your holy Name. Amen.

O God,
you raised up your servant Dunstan
to renew the Church of the English
in the manifold beauty of holiness.
Teach us to follow his example
that we, finding our order and beauty in you,
may enrich the life of your people
in their loving worship of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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

O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;
that so desiring, we may seek and find you;
and so finding, may love you;
and so loving, may hate those sins
from which you have delivered us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.

The psalms, 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 opening prayer of thanksgiving (slightly adapted) and the canticle 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 intercession is adapted by Stephen Benner from a prayer by Arlene M.
Mark, from _Words for Worship_; used by permission of Herald

The closing sentence is attributed to Saint Anselm and 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., 2002.

The second collect is from _For All the Saints_, (c) General
Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994.

Dunstan was born near Glastonbury in the southwest of England about the
year 909, ten years after the death of King Alfred. During the Viking invasions
of the ninth century, monasteries had been favorite targets of the invaders, and
by Dunstan's time English monasticism had been wiped out. In its restoration in
the tenth century, Dunstan played the leading role. He was born of an
upper-class family, and sent to court, where he did not fit in. At the urging of
his uncle, the Bishop of Westminster, he became a monk and a priest, and
returned to Glastonbury, where he built a hut near the ruins of the old
monastery, and devoted himself to study, music, metal working (particularly
the art of casting church bells, an art which he is said to have advanced
considerably), and painting. A manuscript illuminated by him is in the British
Museum. He returned to court and was again asked to leave; but then King
Edmund had a narrow escape from death while hunting, and in gratitude
recalled Dunstan and in 943 commissioned him to re-establish monastic life at
Glastonbury. (Glastonbury is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and is
associated in legend with King Arthur and his Court, with Joseph of
Arimathea, and with other worthies. It has been said that the Holy Grail, the
chalice of the Last Supper, is hidden somewhere near Glastonbury.) Under
Dunstan's direction, Glastonbury became an important center both of
monasticism and of learning. The next king, Edred, adopted Dunstan's ideas for
various reforms of the clergy (including the control of many cathedrals by
monastic chapters) and for relations with the Danish settlers. These policies
made Dunstan popular in the North of England, but unpopular in the
Edred was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old nephew Edwy, whom Dunstan
openly rebuked for unchastity. The furious Edwy drove Dunstan into exile, but
the North rose in rebellion on his behalf. When the dust settled, Edwy was
dead, his brother Edgar was king, and Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury.
The coronation service which Dunstan compiled for Edgar is the earliest
English coronation service of which the full text survives, and is the basis for
all such services since, down to the present. With the active support of King
Edgar, Dunstan re-established monastic communities at Malmesbury,
Westminster, Bath, Exeter, and many other places. Around 970 he presided at
a conference of bishops, abbots, and abbesses, which drew up a national code
of monastic observance, the Regularis Concordia. It followed Benedictine
lines, but under it the monasteries were actively involved in the life of the
surrounding community. For centuries thereafter the Archbishop of Canterbury
was always a monk.
Dunstan took an active role in politics under Edgar and his successor Edward,
but under the next king, Ethelred, he retired from politics and concentrated on
running the Canterbury cathedral school for boys, where he was apparently
successful in raising the academic standards while reducing the incidence of
corporal punishment. On Ascension Day in 988, he told the congregation that
he was near to death, and died two days later.

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