OREMUS: 11 November 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Nov 10 17:00:01 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Friday, November 11, 2005 
Martin, Bishop of Tours, c.397

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

Blessed are you, ever-living God,
you inscribe our names in your book of life
so that we may share the firstfruits of salvation.
You protect the widows and strangers,
the oppressed and forgotten,
and feed the hungry with good things.
You stand among us in Christ, offering life to all.
You call us to respond with open hearts and minds to the world,
caring for those for whom you care. 
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 142

I cry to the Lord with my voice;*
 to the Lord I make loud supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him*
 and tell him all my trouble.
When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path;*
 in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me;*
 I have no place to flee to and no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, O Lord;*
 I say, 'You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.'
Listen to my cry for help,
   for I have been brought very low;*
 save me from those who pursue me,
   for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison,
   that I may give thanks to your name;*
 when you have dealt bountifully with me,
   the righteous will gather around me.

Psalm 143

Lord, hear my prayer,
   and in your faithfulness heed my supplications;*
 answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement with your servant,*
 for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
For my enemy has sought my life
   and has crushed me to the ground;*
 making me live in dark places
   like those who are long dead.
My spirit faints within me;*
 my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past;
   I muse upon all your deeds;*
 I consider the works of your hands.
I spread out my hands to you;*
 my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.
O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me;*
 do not hide your face from me
   or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning,
   for I put my trust in you;*
 show me the road that I must walk,
   for I lift up my soul to you.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord,*
 for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;*
 let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Revive me, O Lord, for your name's sake;*
 for your righteousness' sake, bring me out of trouble.

A Song of the Righteous (Wisdom 3:1,2a,3b-8)

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God
 and no torment will ever touch them.

In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died;
 but they are at peace.

For though, in the sight of others, they were punished,
 their hope is of immortality.

Having been disciplined a little,
 they will receive great good,
 because God tested them and found them worthy.

Like gold in the furnace, God tried them
 and, like a sacrificial burnt offering, accepted them.

In the time of their visitation, they will shine forth
 and will run like sparks through the stubble.

They will govern nations and rule over peoples
 and God will reign over them for ever.

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

READING [Ezekiel 7:1-8]:

The word of the LORD came to me: You, O mortal, thus says
the Lord GOD to the land of Israel:
An end! The end has come
   upon the four corners of the land.
Now the end is upon you,
   I will let loose my anger upon you;
I will judge you according to your ways,
   I will punish you for all your abominations.
My eye will not spare you, I will have no pity.
   I will punish you for your ways,
   while your abominations are among you.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD.

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Disaster after disaster! See, it comes.
    An end has come, the end has come.
It has awakened against you; see, it comes!
Your doom has come to you,
   O inhabitant of the land.
The time has come, the day is near 
   of tumult, not of revelling on the mountains.
Soon now I will pour out my wrath upon you;
   I will spend my anger against you.
I will judge you according to your ways,
   and punish you for all your abominations. 

For another Biblical reading,
1 Peter 2:18-25

Words: Henry Burton, 1904
Tune: Christchurch   
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Break, day of God, O break!
The night has lingered long;
our hearts with sighing wake,
we weep for sin and wrong:
O bright and Morning Star, draw near;
O Sun of Righteousness, appear.

Break, day of God, O break!
The earth with strife is worn;
the hills with thunder shake,
hearts of the people mourn:
break, day of God, sweet day of peace,
and bid the shout of warriors cease.

Break, day of God, O break!
Like to the days above!
Let purity awake,
and faith, and hope, and love;
but lo! we see the brightening sky;
the golden morn is drawing nigh.

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

Let us pray for the peace of the world:

For statesmen and rulers, that they may have wisdom 
to know and courage to do what is right ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For all who work to improve international relationships,
that they may find the true way to reconciliation...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For all the peoples of the earth, 
that they may have justice and freedom, 
and live in security and peace ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of war,
for the injured and the disabled,
for the mentally distressed,
and for those whose faith in God and man has been
weakened or destroyed ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For the homeless and refugees,
for those who are hungry,
and for all who have lost their livelihood and security ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

For those who mourn their dead,
those who have lost husband or wife,
children or parents,
and especially for those who have no hope in Christ
to sustain them in their grief ...
God of peace
hear our prayer.

Let us remember before God,
and commend to his sure keeping
those who have died for their country in war;
those whom we knew, and whose memory we treasure;
and all who have lived and died
in the service of mankind.
God of peace
hear our prayer.

Almighty and eternal God,
from whose love in Christ we cannot be parted,
either by death or life:
hear our prayers and thanksgivings
for all whom we remember this day;
fulfil in them the purpose of your love;
and bring us all, with them, to your eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Most gracious God and Father,
in whose will is our peace:
turn our hearts and the hearts of all to yourself,
that by the power of your Spirit
the peace which is founded on righteousness
may be established throughout the whole world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God all powerful, 
who called Martin from the armies of this world 
to be a faithful soldier of Christ: 
give us grace to follow him 
in his love and compassion for the needy 
and enable your Church to claim for all people 
their inheritance as children of God; 
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
we pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God
and our fellow men and women:
that we may help, encourage, and comfort others,
and support those working for the relief of the needy
and for the peace and welfare of the nations:

Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves
to serve you and all humankind,
in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful
now and always. 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 prayers reprinted from
_Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002
Consultation on Common Texts

The intercession, the first collect and the closing prayers are taken (with slight
adaptation) from the Remembrance Day service, (c) SPCK 1968, 1984

Martin was born around 330 of pagan parents. His father was a soldier, who
enlisted Martin in the army at the age of fifteen. One winter day he saw an
ill-clad beggar at the gate of the city of Amiens. Martin had no money to give,
but he cut his cloak in half and gave half to the beggar. (Paintings of the scene,
such as that by El Greco, show Martin, even without the cloak, more warmly
clad than the beggar, which rather misses the point.) In a dream that night,
Martin saw Christ wearing the half-cloak. He had for some time considered
becoming a Christian, and this ended his wavering. He was promptly baptized.
At the end of his next military campaign, he asked to be released from the
army, saying: "Hitherto I have faithfully served Caesar. Let me now serve
Christ." He was accused of cowardice, and offered to stand unarmed between
the contending armies. He was imprisoned, but released when peace was
He became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers, a chief opponent in the West of the
Arians, who denied the full deity of Christ, and who had the favor of the
emperor Constantius. Returning to his parents' home in Illyricum (Yugoslavia,
approximately), he opposed the Arians with such effectiveness that he was
publicly scourged and exiled. He was subsequently driven from Milan, and
eventually returned to Gaul. There he founded the first monastary in Gaul,
which lasted until the French Revolution.
In 371 he was elected bishop of Tours. His was a mainly pagan diocese, but his
instruction and personal manner of life prevailed. In one instance, the pagan
priests agreed to fell their idol, a large fir tree, if Martin would stand directly in
the path of its fall. He did so, and it missed him very narrowly. When an officer
of the Imperial Guard arrived with a batch of prisoners who were to be
tortured and executed the next day, Martin intervened and secured their
In the year 384, the heretic (Gnostic) Priscillian and six companions had been
condemned to death by the emperor Maximus. The bishops who had found
them guilty in the ecclesiastical court pressed for their execution. Martin
contended that the secular power had no authority to punish heresy, and that
the excommunication by the bishops was an adequate sentence. In this he was
upheld by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. He refused to leave Treves until the
emperor promised to reprieve them. No sooner was his back turned than the
bishops persuaded the emperor to break his promise; Priscillian and his
followers were executed. This was the first time that heresy was punished by
Martin was furious, and excommunicated the bishops responsible. But
afterwards, he took them back into communion in exchange for a pardon from
Maximus for certain men condemned to death, and for the emperor's promise
to end the persecution of the remaining Priscillianists. He never felt easy in his
mind about this concession, and thereafter avoided assmblies of bishops where
he might encounter some of those concerned in this affair. He died on or about
11 November 397 (my sources differ) and his shrine at Tours became a
sanctuary for those seeking justice.
The Feast of Martin, a soldier who fought bravely and faithfully in the service
of an earthly sovereign, and then elisted in the service of Christ, is also the day
of the Armistice which marked the end of the First World War. On it we
remember those who have risked or lost their lives in what they perceived as
the pursuit of justice and peace. [James Kiefer]

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