OREMUS: 17 July 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jul 16 17:00:00 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Monday, July 17, 2006 
William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
so abundant is your compassion
that you healed the wounds of our sins
and lifted out of death into new life
through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 
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 25

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
   my God, I put my trust in you;*
 let me not be humiliated,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame;*
 let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
Show me your ways, O Lord,*
 and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,*
 for you are the God of my salvation;
   in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,*
 for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth
   and my transgressions;*
 remember me according to your love
   and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
Gracious and upright is the Lord;*
 therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
He guides the humble in doing right*
 and teaches his way to the lowly.
All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness*
 to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your name's sake, O Lord,*
 forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who are they who fear the Lord?*
 he will teach them the way that they should choose.
They shall dwell in prosperity,*
 and their offspring shall inherit the land.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him*
 and will show them his covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the Lord,*
 for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and have pity on me,*
 for I am left alone and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart have increased;*
 bring me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery*
 and forgive me all my sin.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,*
 and they bear a violent hatred against me.
Protect my life and deliver me;*
 let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,*
 for my hope has been in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,*
 out of all his troubles.

A Song of Deliverance (Isaiah 12:2-6)

'Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust and will not be afraid;

'For the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and has become my salvation.'

With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.

On that day you will say,
'Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name;

'Make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

'Sing God's praises, who has triumphed gloriously;
let this be known in all the world.

'Shout and sing for joy, you that dwell in Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.'

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 [Jeremiah 25:1-11]:

The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people
of Judah, in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of
Josiah of Judah (that was the first year of King
Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon), which the prophet Jeremiah
spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants
of Jerusalem: For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth
year of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah to this day, the
word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken
persistently to you, but you have not listened. And
though the Lord persistently sent you all his servants
the prophets, you have neither listened nor inclined your
ears to hear when they said, 'Turn now, everyone of you,
from your evil way and wicked doings, and you will remain
upon the land that the Lord has given to you and your
ancestors from of old and for ever; do not go after other
gods to serve and worship them, and do not provoke me to
anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no
harm.' Yet you did not listen to me, says the Lord, and
so you have provoked me to anger with the work of your
hands to your own harm.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have
not obeyed my words, I am going to send for all the
tribes of the north, says the Lord, even for King
Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring
them against this land and its inhabitants, and against
all these nations around; I will utterly destroy them,
and make them an object of horror and of hissing, and an
everlasting disgrace. And I will banish from them the
sound of mirth and the sound of gladness, the voice of
the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of
the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land
shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall
serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. 

For another Biblical reading,
John 15:18-25

Words:  Clifford Bax, 1919
Tune: Old 124th 
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Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
old now is earth, and none may count her days.
yet thou, her child, whose head is crowned with flame,
still wilt not hear thine inner God proclaim,
"Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways."

Earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.
age after age their tragic empires rise,
built while they dream, and in that dreaming weep:
would man but wake from out his haunted sleep,
earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.

Earth shall be fair, and all her people one:
nor till that hour shall God's whole will be done.
Now, even now, once more from earth to sky,
peals forth in joy man's old undaunted cry:
"Earth shall be fair and all her folk be one!"

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

We rejoice in your generous goodness, O God, and
celebrate your lavish gifts to us this day, for you have
shown your love in giving Jesus Christ for the salvation
of the world. Especially we give thanks for
     the labors of those who have served us today...
                             (We thank you, Lord)
     friends with whom we have shared...
     those whom we love and have loved us...
     opportunities for our work to help others...
     all beauty that delights us...

Gracious God, we know you are close to all in need, and
by our prayers for others we come closer to you. We are
bold to claim for others your promises of new life in
Jesus Christ, as we claim them for ourselves. Especially
we pray for
     those in dangerous occupations...
                              (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     physicians and nurses...
     those who are ill or confined to nursing homes...
     for those whom we love and for those who love us...
     those who mourn...
     the Roman Catholic Church...

God of compassion and love,
forgive our sins,
relieve our misery,
satisfy our longing,
and fulfill all our hopes for peace;
through your Son Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

O Lord, 
in a time of turmoil and confusion 
you raised up your servant William White, 
and endowed him with wisdom, patience, 
and a reconciling temper, 
that he might lead your Church 
into ways of stability and peace: 
Hear our prayer, and give us wise and faithful leaders, 
that through their ministry 
your people may be blessed and your will be done; 
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

Amid the cares of our daily lives,
make us attentive to your voice
and alert to your presence,
that we may treasure your Word above all else. 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 intercession is from _Book of Common Worship_, 
(c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish Episcopal Church, 1998.
Used with permission. 
The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

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

Before the American Revolution, there were no bishops in the colonies (partly
because the British government was reluctant to give the colonies the kind of
autonomy that this would have implied, and partly because many of the
colonists were violently opposed to their presence). After the Revolution, the
establishment of an American episcopate became imperative. Samuel Seabury
was the first American to be consecrated, in 1784 (see 14 Nov), and in 1787
William White and Samuel Provoost, having been elected to the bishoprics of
Pennsylvania and New York respectively, sailed to England and were
consecrated bishops on 14 February by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the
Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Bishop of
William White was born in Philadelphia in 1747, went to England in 1770 to be
ordained deacon and priest, returned in 1772 and became first an assistant and
then the rector of the Church of Christ and Saint Peter in Philadelphia. He
served as Chaplain of the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1789, and then as
Chaplain of the Senate.
White was largely responsible for the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in the United States of America. At his suggestion, the system of
church government was established more or less as we have it today. (What
follows is a rough draft. I welcome notes of correction and clarification.) Only
a bishop can ordain a deacon or priest, and only bishops (normally at least
three) can consecrate a bishop. When a bishop dies or retires, a new bishop is
elected by a convention in his diocese, in which clergy sit in the upper house
and lay delegates (elected by the vestries of the local congregations) sit in the
lower house, and a majority in each house is required to elect. (Afterwards, a
majority of bishops and a majority of Standing Committees (each diocese has
an elected Standing Committee) are required to confirm.) National business is
conducted by the General Convention, which meets every three years and
consists for voting purposes of three Houses: Bishops, Clerical Deputies, and
Lay Deputies. A majority of each is required to pass a measure. (All the
Deputies meet and debate together and are called the House of Deputies, but
Lay and Clerical Deputies vote separately whenever any deputy so requests--in
other words, whenever it might make a difference.) In all this, the Episcopal
Church undertakes to follow, as nearly as modern circumstances permit, the
government of the early church as attested back at least to the second and third
centuries. A section follows from White's writings on Church Government.
    The power of electing a superior order of ministers ought to be in the clergy
and laity together, they being both interested in the choice. In England, the
bishops are appointed by the civil authority, which was a usurpation of the
crown at the Norman conquest, but since confirmed by acts of parliament. The
primitive churches were generally supplied by popular elections; even in the
city of Rome, the privilege of electing the bishop continued with the people to
the tenth or eleventh century, and near those times there are resolves of
councils, that none should be promoted to ecclesiastical dignities, but by
election of the clergy and people. It cannot be denied that this right vested in
numerous bodies, occasioned great disorders; which it is expected will be
avoided, when the people shall exercise the right by representation.
    Let us next take a view of the grounds on which the authority of episcopacy
is asserted.
    The advocates for this form maintain, that there having been an episcopal
power originally lodged by Jesus Christ with his apostles, and by them
generally exercised in person, but sometimes by delegation (as in the instances
of Timothy and Titus) the same was conveyed by them before their decease to
one pastor in each church, which generally comprehended all the Christians in a
city and a convenient surrounding district. Thus were created the apostolic
successors, who on account of their settled residence are called bishops by
restraint; whereas the apostles themselves were bishops at large, exercising
episcopal power over all the churches, except in the case of St. James, who
from the beginning was bishop of Jerusalem. From this time the word
"episcopos," used in the New Testament indiscriminately with the word
"presbyteros" (particularly in the 20th chapter of the Acts where the same
persons are called "episcopoi" and "presbyteroi"), became appropriated to the
superior order of ministers. That the apostles were thus succeeded by an order
of ministers superior to pastors in general, episcopalians think they prove by
the testimonies of the ancient fathers, and from the improbability that so great
an innovation (as some conceive it) could have found general and peaceable
possession in the 2d or 3d century, when epicopacy is on both sides
acknowledged to have been prevalent. The argument is here concisely stated,
but (as is believed) impartially. 
White was Presiding Bishop of PECUSA at its first General Convention in
1789, and again from 1795 till his death on 17 July 1830. [James Kiefer]

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