OREMUS: 14 July 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Jul 13 17:16:09 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, July 14, 2006 
The Assize Sermon, John Keble, 1833

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
in your boundless compassion,
you gave us your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
so that the human race created in your love,
yet fallen through its own pride,
might be restored to your glory
through his suffering and death upon the cross.
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 102

Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come before you;*
 hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me;*
 when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke,*
 and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered,*
 so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning*
 I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,*
 like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan;*
 I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
My enemies revile me all day long,*
 and those who scoff at me
   have taken an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes for bread*
 and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of your indignation and wrath*
 you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days pass away like a shadow,*
 and I wither like the grass.
But you, O Lord, endure for ever,*
 and your name from age to age.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to have mercy upon her;*
 indeed, the appointed time has come.
For your servants love her very rubble,*
 and are moved to pity even for her dust.
The nations shall fear your name, O Lord,*
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion,*
 and his glory will appear.
He will look with favour on the prayer of the homeless;*
 he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,*
 so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.
For the Lord looked down from his holy place on high;*
 from the heavens he beheld the earth;
That he might hear the groan of the captive*
 and set free those condemned to die;
That they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,*
 and his praise in Jerusalem;
When the peoples are gathered together,*
 and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
He has brought down my strength before my time;*
 he has shortened the number of my days;
And I said, 'O my God,
   do not take me away in the midst of my days;*
 your years endure throughout all generations.
'In the beginning, O Lord,
   you laid the foundations of the earth,*
 and the heavens are the work of your hands;
'They shall perish, but you will endure;
   they all shall wear out like a garment;*
 as clothing you will change them,
   and they shall be changed;
'But you are always the same,*
 and your years will never end.
'The children of your servants shall continue,*
 and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.'

A Song of the Justified (Romans 4.24,25; 5.1-5,8,9,11)

God reckons as righteous those who believe,
who believe in him who raised Jesus from the dead;

For Christ was handed over to death for our sins,
and raised to life for our justification.

Since we are justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through Christ we have gained access
to the grace in which we stand,
and rejoice in our hope of the glory of God.

We even exult in our sufferings,
for suffering produces endurance,

And endurance brings hope,
and our hope is not in vain,

Because God's love has been poured into our hearts,
through the Holy Spirit, given to us.

God proves his love for us:
while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

Since we have been justified by his death,
how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath.

Therefore, we exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom we have now received our reconciliation.

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 [Jeremiah 24]:

The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed before the
temple of the Lord. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of
Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem King Jeconiah
son of Jehoiakim of Judah, together with the officials of
Judah, the artisans, and the smiths, and had brought them
to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, like
first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs,
so bad that they could not be eaten. And the Lord said to
me, 'What do you see, Jeremiah?' I said, 'Figs, the good
figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that
they cannot be eaten.'
Then the word of the Lord came to me: Thus says the Lord,
the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard
as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from
this place to the land of the Chaldeans. I will set my
eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back to
this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down;
I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give
them a heart to know that I am the Lord; and they shall
be my people and I will be their God, for they shall
return to me with their whole heart.
But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad
they cannot be eaten, so will I treat King Zedekiah of
Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain
in this land, and those who live in the land of Egypt. I
will make them a horror, an evil thing, to all the
kingdoms of the earth a disgrace, a byword, a taunt, and
a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. And I
will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until
they are utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to
them and their ancestors. 

For another Biblical reading,
John 15:12-17

Words: Latin, seventh century; trans. John Mason Neale, 1851
Tune: Westminster Abbey   
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Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord, and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion's help for ever,
and her confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
dearly loved of God on high,
in exultant jubilation
pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
in glad hymns eternally.

To this temple, where we call thee,
come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
with thy wonted loving-kindness
hear thy servants as they pray,
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee of gain;
what they gain from thee, for ever
with the blessŠd to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign.

Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run.

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

O God, Creator of all that is and is to be,
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

O God the Son, restorer of all creation
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

O God the Spirit, ground of all holiness,
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

O Holy, Blessed and Glorious Trinity,
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

Uphold and govern the Churches of the Anglican Communion;
direct them into love and truth;
and grant them that unity which is your will.
In this time of our need, 
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us such a sense of your love,
and such a vision of your purpose for all creation
that we may receive new understanding of your mercy
and, resisting schism, boldly proclaim the gospel.
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

Enlighten your bishops with your special grace;
grant to them wisdom, knowledge and understanding;
empower them with such gifts of reconciliation and love
that, embracing difference and diversity,
our church may joyfully proclaim your word.
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us discerning and receptive minds;
where there is anger, grant reconciliation;
where there is prejudice, grant openness;
where there is fearfulness, give serenity;
where there is ambition, give humility.
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

Endow us with clarity of thought,
generosity of mind, and charity of speech;
grant us gifts of patience and forbearance;
may we delight in the truth
and be surprised by the Spirit.
In this time of our need,
Hear us, good Lord.

Bring into the way of truth all who have erred
and are deceived.
Hear us, good Lord.

Strengthen those who stand; 
comfort and help the faint-hearted;
raise up the fallen;
and finally beat down all the powers of darkness.
Holy God,
Holy and strong,
Holy and immortal,
Have mercy upon us.

Heavenly Father,
you have called us
in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ
to continue his work of reconciliation
and reveal you to humankind.
Forgive us the sins that tear us apart;
give us the courage to overcome our fears
and to seek that unity
which is your gift and your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you so established that wonderful mystery, the Church, 
that all nations might be brought into your fold, 
and your Spirit poured out upon all flesh:
We give thanks for those who call the Church 
to its tasks and renew its life,
such as your servant John Keble.
Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,
whose voices will give strength to your Church 
that the coming of your kingdom might be hastened; 
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

Fill our hearts with zeal for your kingdom
and place on our lips the tidings of your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The psalms 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 by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The closing prayer uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Sunday, July 14th, Mr. Keble preached the Assize Sermon in the University Pulpit. It was published under the
title of 'National Apostasy.' I have ever considered and kept the day, as the start of the religious movement of
1833." So wrote John Henry Newman as the closing words of Part III of Apologia Pro Vita Sua.

The religious movement of which he spoke was the Oxford Movement, a stirring toward reformation by the
high church adherents of the Church of England which began with Keble's sermon on this day, July 14, 1833.
(High Church refers to those elements of ritual and doctrine which hark back to the church's Roman Catholic
roots.) The movement's immediate cause was the attempted suppression by the British government of ten
bishoprics in Ireland, but the reform leaders were also disturbed by a general decay and loss of moral fiber in
the church. At issue also were the words of the creed, "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church,"
which had been sorely lost by the rapid fission of Protestantism into sects.
Keble declared that England had for centuries been acknowledged as a Christian nation. Logically this meant
that the nation was bound by the laws of Christ's church. If public opinion was calling for action in defiance of
those laws, the nation was apostate.

Oxford men of the highest caliber gathered around Keble and tried to form a plan of action. Among these
were two notable scholars, John Henry Newman and Richard Hurrell Froude. In order to bolster its position,
the high church movement sought a basis for authority in the past of the church. They looked to creeds and
apostolic succession as outward manifestations of ancient authority. Some of the intellectuals who joined the
movement also took an interest in reviving the architectural styles and arts which had long been associated
with the faith. Newman and others sought a new level of spiritual life for the church with Newman's preaching
a sermon titled Holiness Necessary for Future Blessedness.

The Oxford Movement began as an effort to reform the Church of England. It reached a crisis in 1841 when
Newman issued Tract 90 in his continuing series. This claimed that the 39 articles of the Church of England
could be interpreted in a Catholic way. In the resultant furor, he was forbidden as a churchman any longer to
publish tracts. He resigned his positions and, like Henry Manning and William Ward, became Roman Catholic.
Keble, Edward Pusey, and Charles Marriott remained in the Church of England and took leadership of the

The overall effect of the movement was to restore a higher level of spirituality among the English clergy. It
also forced a reexamination of the doctrinal and authoritative bases of the church. [chi.gospelcom.net]

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