OREMUS: 31 May 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon May 30 17:00:00 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Tuesday, May 31, 2005 
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
through Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord.
Through the prophetic words of Elizabeth,
you revealed to us the greatness 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord,
who had believed the promise of salvation.
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 122

I was glad when they said to me,*
 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'
Now our feet are standing*
 within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city*
 that is at unity with itself.
To which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,*
 the assembly of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
For there are the thrones of judgement,*
 the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:*
 'May they prosper who love you.
'Peace be within your walls*
 and quietness within your towers.
'For my family and companions' sake,*
 I pray for your prosperity.
'Because of the house of the Lord our God,*
 I will seek to do you good.'

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house,*
 their labour is in vain who build it.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,*
 in vain the guard keeps vigil.
It is in vain that you rise so early
   and go to bed so late;*
 vain, too, to eat the bread of toil,
   for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,*
 and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior*
 are the children of one's youth.
Happy are they who have their quiver full of them!*
 they shall not be put to shame
   when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128

Happy are they all who fear the Lord,*
 and who follow in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of your labour;*
 happiness and prosperity shall be yours.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
   within your house,*
 your children like olive shoots round about your table.
Whoever fears the Lord*
 shall thus indeed be blessed.
The Lord bless you from Zion,*
 and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
   all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children's children;*
 may peace be upon Israel.

A Song of the Holy City (Revelation 21:1-5a)

I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away
and the sea was no more.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice from the throne saying,
'Behold, my dwelling is with my people.

'I will dwell with them and they shall be mine,
and I myself will be with them.

'I will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more.

'Neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain any more,
for the former things have passed away.'

And the One who sat upon the throne said,
'Behold, I make all things new.'

Psalm 146

   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

READING [Luke 1:39-56]:

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a
Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the
house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth
heard Mary's greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed
with a loud cry, 'Blessed are you among women, and
blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this
happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the
child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who
believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was
spoken to her by the Lord.'
And Mary said,
'My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
   Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
   and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
   from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
   he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
   and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
   and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
   in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
   to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.'

And Mary remained with her for about three months and
then returned to her home.

For another Biblical reading,
Zephaniah 3:14-18

Words: (c) Marnie Barrell
Tune: Love Unknown

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Hail Mary, full of grace! All generations, bless
our highly-favoured sister in her holiness!
Rejoice with her, who first received
God's Word made human, and believed.

Heaven and earth stand still while Mary, wrapped in thought,
accepts the words of joy and dread the angel brought
to bear the Christ, and hold him dear
in costly love, in pain and fear.

Courage and strength were hers when, virgin and alone,
she freely chose the will of God and made it her own.
She laughed, and sang a woman's song:
God lifts the weak, puts down the strong.

Now may we seek the path that Mary's feet once trod,
sufficient in herself to bear the fullness of God -
for Christ will come where faith and love
receive him still, and make him room.

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

Following the example of Mary's patient love,
we pray for grace to follow God's will.

We pray for the Church.
We pray especially for the Diocese of Chile,
The Rt Revd Hector Zavala, Bishop.
May it follow Mary's example of patience, humility and trust.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for women
who serve as bishops, priests, deacons and ministers in your Church.
Open our ears to their witness and teaching.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the world.
Teach us to honor the wholeness of God's creation
in both male and female.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for mothers.
May the knowledge of your love
ease the burden of those who are live with poverty or anxiety.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for women
suffering from cruelty and indifference.
Give us strength to give them comfort and relief.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We join with the Blessed Virgin Mary
in intercession for the departed.
In the hour of death, save us by the love of Christ
which has raised them to eternal life.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

O God our deliverer, 
you cast down the mighty, 
and lift up those of no account: 
As Elizabeth and Mary embraced with songs of liberation, 
so may we also be pregnant with your Spirit, 
and affirm one another in hope for the world; 
through Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Receiving the Holy Spirit,
bearing the child of God,
pondering the mystery of Christ,
witnessing and following in the Way,
so Mary witnessed to your saving grace.
May we, O God, be as faithful and strong. 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 is 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 from _Common
WorshipServices and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from
which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council,

The hymn is (c) Marnie Barrell, revised in 2001. This hymn is reproduced
here with the kind permission of the author; if you wish to reproduce it further,
please apply for permission by sending her an email.

The intercession is by Stephen T. Benner and is based on a prayer from
_Leading Intercessions_, (c) 2000, Canterbury Press.

The collect is from _A Prayer Book for Australia_. (c) 1995,
The Anglican Church of Australia Trust Corporation.

The closing sentence is adapted from prayers reprinted from _THE
DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order
of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order of Saint Luke. Used by

After the angel Gabriel had announced to Mary that she was to become the
mother of Our Lord, Mary went from Galilee to Judea to visit her kinswoman
Elizabeth, soon to be the mother of John the Baptist. This visit is recorded in
Luke 1:39-56. Elizabeth greeted Mary with the words, "Blessed are you
among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." Mary burst forth with
the song of praise which we call the Magnificat, beginning, "My soul proclaims
the greatness of the Lord." We are told that even John the Baptist, still unborn,
leaped for joy in his mother's womb. Thus we are shown, side by side, the two
women, one seemingly too old to have a child, but destined to bear the last
prophet of the Old Covenant, of the age that was passing away; and the other
woman, seemingly not ready to have a child, but destined to bear the One Who
was Himself the beginning of the New Covenant, the age that would not pass
away. It is this meeting that we celebrate today. [James Kiefer]

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