OREMUS: 24 April 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Apr 23 21:47:38 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Monday, April 24, 2006 
Martyrs of the Twentieth Century

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, eternal God;
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom we receive the legacy of a living hope,
born again not only from his death
but also from his resurrection.
Day by day you refine our faith,
that we who have not seen the Christ
may truly confess him as our Lord and God,
and share the blessedness of those who believe.
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 21

The king rejoices in your strength, O Lord;*
 how greatly he exults in your victory!
You have given him his heart's desire;*
 you have not denied him the request of his lips.
For you meet him with blessings of prosperity,*
 and set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked you for life and you gave it to him;*
 length of days, for ever and ever.
His honour is great, because of your victory;*
 splendour and majesty have you bestowed upon him.
For you will give him everlasting felicity*
 and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king puts his trust in the Lord;*
 because of the loving-kindness of the Most High,
   he will not fall.
Your hand will lay hold upon all your enemies;*
 your right hand will seize all those who hate you.
You will make them like a fiery furnace*
 at the time of your appearing, O Lord;
You will swallow them up in your wrath,*
 and fire shall consume them.
You will destroy their offspring from the land*
 and their descendants
   from among the peoples of the earth.
Though they intend evil against you
   and devise wicked schemes,*
 yet they shall not prevail.
For you will put them to flight*
 and aim your arrows at them.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your might;*
 we will sing and praise your power.

Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the people tremble;*
 he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake.
The Lord is great in Zion;*
 he is high above all peoples.
Let them confess his name, which is great and awesome;*
 he is the Holy One.
'O mighty King, lover of justice,
   you have established equity;*
 you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.'
Proclaim the greatness of the Lord our God
   and fall down before his footstool;*
 he is the Holy One.
Moses and Aaron among his priests,
   and Samuel among those who call upon his name,*
 they called upon the Lord and he answered them.
He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud;*
 they kept his testimonies
   and the decree that he gave them.
'O Lord our God, you answered them indeed;*
 you were a God who forgave them,
   yet punished them for their evil deeds.'
Proclaim the greatness of the Lord our God
   and worship him upon his holy hill;*
 for the Lord our God is the Holy One.

A Song of the Heavenly City (Revelation 21.22-26;22.1,2b,2d,3b-4)

I saw no temple in the city,
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty
and the Lamb.

And the city has no need of sun or moon
to shine upon it,
for the glory of God is its light,
and its lamp is the Lamb.

By its light the nations shall walk,
and the rulers of the earth
shall bring their glory into it.

Its gates shall never be shut by day,
nor shall there be any night;
they shall bring into it
the glory and honour of the nations.

I saw the river of the water of life,
bright as crystal,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

And either side of the river stood the tree of life,
yielding its fruit each month,
and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations.

The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be there,
and his servants shall worship him;
and they shall see his face
and his name shall be on their foreheads.

To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

READING [Judges 2:11-19]:

The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord
and worshipped the Baals; and they abandoned the Lord,
the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of
the land of Egypt; they followed other gods, from among
the gods of the peoples who were all around them, and
bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger.
They abandoned the Lord, and worshipped Baal and the
Astartes. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against
Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers who plundered
them, and he sold them into the power of their enemies
all around, so that they could no longer withstand their
enemies. Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord
was against them to bring misfortune, as the Lord had
warned them and sworn to them; and they were in great
Then the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of
the power of those who plundered them. Yet they did not
listen even to their judges; for they lusted after other
gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from
the way in which their ancestors had walked, who had
obeyed the commandments of the Lord; they did not follow
their example. Whenever the Lord raised up judges for
them, the Lord was with the judge, and he delivered them
from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge;
for the Lord would be moved to pity by their groaning
because of those who persecuted and oppressed them. But
whenever the judge died, they would relapse and behave
worse than their ancestors, following other gods,
worshipping them and bowing down to them. They would not
drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. 

For another Biblical reading,
Luke 7:18-35

Words: James Russell Lowell, 1849
Tune: Ton-y-botel    
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Once to every man and nation,
comes the moment to decide,
in the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
and the choice goes by forever,
'twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble,
when we share her wretched crust,
ere her cause bring fame and profit,
and 'tis prosperous to be just;
then it is the brave man chooses
while the coward stands aside,
till the multitude make virtue
of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, thy bleeding feet we track,
toiling up new Calvaries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
new occasions teach new duties,
ancient values test our youth;
they must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
yet the truth alone is strong;
though her portion be the scaffold,
and upon the throne be wrong;
yet that scaffold sways the future,
and behind the dim unknown,
standeth God within the shadow,
keeping watch above his own.

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

O Sun of righteousness, 
you came forth from the dark night of death.  
May you rise also in our hearts,
and enable us to contemplate the glories 
of this sacred mystery, 
that we may praise and glorify you for ever.  
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

O Prince of Life, 
you take away the old leaven of malice and evil 
that we may always walk with you and serve you:
Abide continually with us, 
that in everything we do we may not forget the joy of your resurrection.
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

O Paschal Lamb, offered for all, 
you have taken away the sin of the world 
and by rising again you have restored to us everlasting life.
Send laborers into the harvest
to proclaim the life you offer to those who believe. 
We pray especially for 
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

O Conqueror of death and captain of our salvation, 
you overcame the darkness of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven for all believers.  
We thank you for those saints whom you have already led
through death to life in the glory of heaven.
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

We pray for your Church throughout the world, especially
the Diocese of Central Melanesia, The Most Revd Sir Ellison Leslie Pogo, Bishop.
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

O Lord our king, exalted on high,
yet stooping to the measure of our lowliness,
you have called us to be holy for you are holy:
as in our worship we confess your glory,
so may our lives be directed in righteousness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Merciful God,
break the bonds of our complacency
and strengthen our hearts and hands,
that, in remembrance of all those
who have died for their faith,
we may advance your justice
and show forth your power,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God, who through the resurrection
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
has given us the victory,
give us joy and peace in our faith. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle, the opening thanksgiving and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer
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 uses one sentence from _Revised
Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on
Common Texts and another sentence from _Opening Prayers: Collects in
Contemporary Language_.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

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

This day is a day of remembrance of the millions killed for their faith during the
twentienth century. The day is chosen to coincide with Yom Hashoah which
occurred earlier this week and today's remembrance of the murder of
Armenians on this day in 1915.
Armenia is located at the east end of modern Turkey, with some of its
traditional territory now in Turkey and some across the border in the former
Soviet Union. The Armenians were converted to Christianity around 280 or
290, and are accounted the first country to become predominantly Christian.
Their country is located at a spot where empires have clashed for centuries,
and they have often been caught in the middle. For centuries they have been
dominated by their moslem neighbors, most recently the Turks of the Ottoman
The Turks were concerned about the possibility of an Armenian revolt. In 1895
and 1896 the Turkish Army killed about 100,000 Armenian civilians. Then in
1915, early in World War I, with Turkey fighting on the side of Germany and
Austria-Hungary, and Russia fighting in alliance with the British and French on
the other side, the Turkish government accused the Armenians of plotting with
the Russians to assist a Russian invasion of Turkey. That spring, around
600,000 Armenians were killed by the Turkish Army, in an attempt to
exterminate the Armenians completely. Much of the slaughter took place on 24
April 1915. The survivors were driven eastward and escaped into Russia. On
29 November 1920, most of Armenia was annexed by the Soviet Union.
It is sometimes said that the issues here were national, political, and ethnic
rather than religious, and that the victims therefore do not qualify as martyrs.
However, many of the Armenians, when about to be killed, were given the
option of saving their lives by converting to Islam. Few did. [James Kiefer]

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