OREMUS: 3 September 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Sep 2 18:55:48 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Saturday, September 3, 2005 
Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, Teacher of the Faith, 604

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

Blessed are you, O God, our Creator,
for despite our poverty, brokenness and blindness,
you invite us to feast with you forever.
When we abandoned you, your love for us remained constant.
In mercy, you never abandoned us.
Instead you sent us your child, Jesus Christ,
who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
His witness to your all-embracing love
so offended the values of the world
that he was tortured to death.
But you raised him to new life,
and now, through him,
you call us to make our lives a pleasing sacrifice to you.
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 108

My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;*
 I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp;*
 I myself will waken the dawn.
I will confess you among the peoples, O Lord;*
 I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens,*
 and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,*
 and your glory over all the earth.
So that those who are dear to you may be delivered,*
 save with your right hand and answer me.

Psalm 115

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
   but to your name give glory;*
 because of your love and because of your faithfulness.
Why should the heathen say,*
 'Where then is their God?'
Our God is in heaven;*
 whatever he wills to do he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,*
 the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;*
 eyes have they, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;*
 noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
   feet, but they cannot walk;*
 they make no sound with their throat.
Those who make them are like them,*
 and so are all who put their trust in them.
O Israel, trust in the Lord;*
 he is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord;*
 he is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord;*
 he is their help and their shield.
The Lord has been mindful of us and he will bless us;*
 he will bless the house of Israel;
   he will bless the house of Aaron;
He will bless those who fear the Lord,*
 both small and great together.
May the Lord increase you more and more,*
 you and your children after you.
May you be blessed by the Lord,*
 the maker of heaven and earth.
The heaven of heavens is the Lord's,*
 but he entrusted the earth to its peoples.
The dead do not praise the Lord,*
 nor all those who go down into silence;
But we will bless the Lord,*
 from this time forth for evermore.

A Song of God's Love (1 John 4:7-11,12b)
Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is of God;
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God,
for God is love.

In this the love of God was revealed among us,
that God sent his only Son into the world,
so that we might live through him.

In this is love,
not that we loved God but that he loved us,
and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.

Beloved, since God loved us so much,
we ought also to love one another.

For if we love one another, God abides in us,
and God's love will be perfected in us.

Psalm 149

   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.

READING [Acts 19:1-20]:

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the
inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some
disciples. He said to them, 'Did you receive the Holy
Spirit when you became believers?' They replied, 'No, we
have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.' Then he
said, 'Into what then were you baptized?' They answered,
'Into John's baptism.' Paul said, 'John baptized with the
baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in
the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.' On
hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord
Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy
Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and
prophesied  altogether there were about twelve of
He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out
boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.
When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of
the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the
disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall
of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all
the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the
word of the Lord.
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that when
the handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin
were brought to the sick, their diseases left them, and
the evil spirits came out of them. Then some itinerant
Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus
over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I adjure you by
the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.' Seven sons of a Jewish
high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil
spirit said to them in reply, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I
know; but who are you?' Then the man with the evil spirit
leapt on them, mastered them all, and so overpowered them
that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. When
this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews
and Greeks, everyone was awestruck; and the name of the
Lord Jesus was praised. Also many of those who became
believers confessed and disclosed their practices. A
number of those who practised magic collected their books
and burned them publicly; when the value of these books
was calculated, it was found to come to fifty thousand
silver coins. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and

For another Biblical reading,
Ezekiel 12:21-13:16

Words: attributed to Gregory the Great, sixth century;
trans. Percy Dearmer, 1906
Tune: Christe sanctorum, Nocte surgentes
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Father, we praise thee, now the night is over,
active and watchful, stand we all before thee;
singing we offer prayer and meditation:
thus we adore thee.

Monarch of all things, fit us for thy mansions;
banish our weakness, health and wholeness sending;
bring us to heaven, where thy saints united
joy without ending.

All holy Father, Son, and equal Spirit,
Trinity blessed, send us thy salvation;
thine is the glory, gleaming and resounding
through all creation.

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

God of the Covenant,
we are your people through your grace in baptism.

Added one by one to your Church,
you bind us together in repentance and true profession of faith:
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Accustomed to preserving our selfish autonomy,
you call us to a life of mutual oversight and shared mission.
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Teach us to see each other as sisters and brothers
who share a common birth and a family table:
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Show us ways to support one another
that our faith is increased, our hope confirmed
and our love perfected.
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Offer through your Church hospitality
to those seeking Christ and hope.
We pray especially for the Diocese of
Salisbury, England, The Rt Revd David A Stancliffe, Bishop.
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Your loving-kindness is as high as the heavens, O Lord,
and your glory is over all the earth;
come to our aid with the dawning of the day,
that we may tread down the powers of darkness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Merciful Father,
who chose your bishop Gregory
to be a servant of the servants of God:
grant that, like him, we may ever long to serve you
by proclaiming your gospel to the nations,
and may ever rejoice to sing your praises;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of 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

Lift up our hearts to see beyond the narrow limits of our words,
that we may be made ready for the coming of your blessing.Amen.

The psalms, the 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 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 and the closing prayer use sentences from 
prayers in The Book of Common Prayer According to the Use of The
Episcopal Church_.

The intercession is adapted from a prayer 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 permission.

The closing prayer uses a sentence from a prayer by Samuel H. Miller.

Only two popes, Leo I and Gregory I, have been given the popular title of "the
Great." Both served during difficult times of barbarian invasions in Italy; and
during Gregory's term of office, Rome was also faced with famine and
Gregory was born around 540, of a politically influential family, and in 573 he
became Prefect of Rome; but shortly afterwards he resigned his office and
began to live as a monk. In 579 he was made apocrisiarius (representative of
the Pope to the Patriarch of Constantinople). Shortly after his return home, the
Pope died of the plague, and in 590 Gregory was elected Pope.
Like Leo before him, he became practical governor of central Italy, because the
job needed to be done and there was no one else to do it. When the Lombards
invaded, he organized the defense of Rome against them, and the eventual
signing of a treaty with them. When there was a shortage of food, he organized
the importation and distribution of grain from Sicily.
His influence on the forms of public worship throughout Western Europe was
enormous. He founded a school for the training of church musicians, and
Gregorian chant (plainchant) is named for him. The schedule of Scripture
readings for the various Sundays of the year, and the accompanying prayers
(many of them written by him), in use throughout most of Western
Christendom for the next thirteen centuries, is largely due to his passion for
organization. His treatise, On Pastoral Care, while not a work of creative
imagination, shows a dedication to duty, and an understanding of what is
required of a minister in charge of a Christian congregation. His sermons are
still readable today, and it is not without reason that he is accounted (along
with Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine of Hippo) as one of the Four Latin
Doctors (=Teachers) of the ancient Church. (Athanasius, Gregory of
Nazianzen, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom are the Four Greek
English-speaking Christians will remember Gregory for sending a party of
missionaries headed by Augustine of Canterbury (not to be confused with the
more famous Augustine of Hippo) to preach the Gospel to the pagan
Anglo-Saxon tribes that had invaded England and largely conquered or
displaced the Celtic Christians previously living there. Gregory had originally
hoped to go to England as a missionary himself, but was pressed into service
elsewhere, first as apocrisiarius and then as bishop of Rome. He accordingly
sent others, but took an active interest in their work, writing numerous letters
both to Augustine and his monks and to their English converts. [James Kiefer,

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