OREMUS: 10 June 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Jun 9 20:13:59 GMT 2006


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OREMUS for Saturday, June 10, 2006 
Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymn Writer, Teacher of the Faith, 373

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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God, creator of all,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
You founded the earth in the beginning
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image, 
and in these last days you have spoken to us
in your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.
As we rejoice in the gift of your presence among us
let the light of your love always shine in our hearts,
your Spirit ever renew our lives
and your praises ever be on our lips.
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. 

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Psalm 37

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;*
 do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,*
 and like the green grass fade away.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good;*
 dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord,*
 and he shall give you your heart's desire.
Commit your way to the Lord
   and put your trust in him,*
 and he will bring it to pass.
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light*
 and your just dealing as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord*
 and wait patiently for him.
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,*
 the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;*
 do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off,*
 but those who wait upon the Lord
   shall possess the land.
In a little while the wicked shall be no more;*
 you shall search out their place,
   but they will not be there.
But the lowly shall possess the land;*
 they will delight in abundance of peace.
The wicked plot against the righteous*
 and gnash at them with their teeth.
The Lord laughs at the wicked,*
 because he sees that their day will come.
The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
   to strike down the poor and needy,*
 to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
Their sword shall go through their own heart,*
 and their bow shall be broken.
The little that the righteous have*
 is better than great riches of the wicked.
For the power of the wicked shall be broken,*
 but the Lord upholds the righteous.
The Lord cares for the lives of the godly,*
 and their inheritance shall last for ever.
They shall not be ashamed in bad times,*
 and in days of famine they shall have enough.
As for the wicked, they shall perish,*
 and the enemies of the Lord,
   like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish;
   they shall vanish like smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay,*
 but the righteous are generous in giving.
Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land,*
 but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
Our steps are directed by the Lord;*
 he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong,*
 for the Lord holds them by the hand.
I have been young and now I am old,*
 but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
   or their children begging bread.
The righteous are always generous in their lending,*
 and their children shall be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,*
 and dwell in the land for ever.
For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.
They shall be kept safe for ever,*
 but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
The righteous shall possess the land*
 and dwell in it for ever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,*
 and their tongue speaks what is right.
The law of their God is in their heart,*
 and their footsteps shall not falter.
The wicked spy on the righteous*
 and seek occasion to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their hand,*
 nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;*
 he will raise you up to possess the land,
   and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen the wicked in their arrogance,*
 flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
I went by and, behold, they were not there;*
 I searched for them, but they could not be found.
Mark those who are honest; observe the upright;*
 for there is a future for the peaceable.
Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;*
 the future of the wicked is cut off.
But the deliverance of the righteous
   comes from the Lord;*
 he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them;*
 he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
   because they seek refuge in him.

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 149

Alleluia!
   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.
   Alleluia!

READING [Jeremiah 4:16-21]:

Tell the nations, 'Here they are!'
   Proclaim against Jerusalem,
'Besiegers come from a distant land;
   they shout against the cities of Judah.
They have closed in around her like watchers of a
field,
   because she has rebelled against me,

says the Lord.
Your ways and your doings
   have brought this upon you.
This is your doom; how bitter it is!
   It has reached your very heart.'

My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
   Oh, the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
   I cannot keep silent;
for I hear the sound of the trumpet,
   the alarm of war.
Disaster overtakes disaster,
   the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my tents are destroyed,
   my curtains in a moment.
How long must I see the standard,
   and hear the sound of the trumpet? 

For another Biblical reading,
Romans 9:1-13

HYMN 
Words: Samuel J. Stone, 1866
Tune: Langran   
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/w/w184.html
Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus.

Weary of earth, and laden with my sin,
I look at heaven and long to enter in,
but there no evil thing may find a home:
and yet I hear a voice that bids me "Come."

I am unworthy; dare I hope to stand
in the pure glory of the heavenly land?
Before the whiteness of that throne appear?
Yet there are hands stretched out to draw me near.

The while I fain would tread the heavenly way
evil is ever with me day by day;
yet on mine ears the gracious tidings fall:
"Repent, confess, thou shalt be loosed from all."

It is the voice of Jesus that I hear;
his are the hands stretched out to draw me near,
and his the blood that can for all atone,
and set me faultless there before the throne.

'Twas he who found me on the deathly wild,
and made me heir of heaven, the Father's child,
and day by day, whereby my soul may live,
gives me his grace of pardon, and will give.

O great Absolver, grant my soul may wear
the lowliest garb of penitence and prayer,
that in the Father's courts my glorious dress
may be the garment of thy righteousness.

Yea, thou wilt answer for me, righteous Lord;
thine all the merits, mine the great reward;
thine the sharp thorns, and mine the golden crown;
mine the life won, and thine the life laid down.

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

Prayer:
Loving God, in Jesus Christ you teach us to pray:

Guide us by your Holy Spirit
that our prayers for others may serve your will
and show your steadfast love for all.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
you have called together a people
to be the Church of Jesus Christ,
founded on the apostles.
Hear our prayer for the Diocese of
Delhi, India, The Rt Revd Karam Masih, Bishop.
May your people be one in faith and discipleship,
breaking bread together and telling good news.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

May the world come to believe that you are love,
turn to your ways and live in the light of your truth.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

You made all things and called them good.
May your planet earth be held in reverence by all people,
that its resources may be used wisely 
and its fragile balance between life and death respected.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers for those who rule the nations,
that they may learn wisdom and truth,
establish justice and mercy
and seek the ways of peace.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

O Lord and Master of my life, 
do not give me the spirit of laziness, 
meddling, self-importance and idle talk.
Instead, grace me, your servant, with the spirit of modesty,
humility, patience, and love.
Indeed, my Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults,
and not condemn my brothers and sisters, 
for you are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

Pour out on us, O Lord, that same Spirit 
by which your deacon Ephraim rejoiced 
to proclaim in sacred song the mysteries of faith; 
and so gladden our hearts 
that we, like him, may be devoted to you alone;
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

O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;
that so desiring, we may seek and find you;
and so finding, may love you;
and so loving, may hate those sins
from which you have delivered us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.

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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 is adapted from _Common
WorshipServices and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from
which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council,
2000.

The closing sentence is attributed to Saint Anselm and is from _Common
Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from
which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops'
Council, 2000., 2002.

The intercession is adapted from a prayer in _The Book of Common Worship. The Presbyterian Church
in Canada_, 1991. Used with permission.

The first collect is by Ephrem.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

Ephrem (or Ephren or Ephraim or Ephrain) of Edessa was a teacher, poet,
orator, and defender of the Faith. (To English-speakers, the most familiar form
of his name will be "Ephraim." It is the name of the younger son of Joseph, son
of Jacob (see Genesis 41:52), and is thus the name of one of the largest of the
twelve tribes of Israel.) Edessa (now Urfa), a city in modern Turkey about 100
kilometers from Antioch (now Antakya), was a an early center for the spread
of Christian teaching in the East. It is said that in 325 he accompanied his
bishop, James of Nisibis, to the Council of Nicea. Certainly his writings are an
eloquent defense of the Nicene faith in the Deity of Jesus Christ. He countered
the Gnostics' practice of spreading their message through popular songs by
composing Christian songs and hymns of his own, with great effect. He is
known to the Syrian church as "the harp of the Holy Spirit."
Ephrem retired to a cave outside Edessa, where he lived in great simplicity and
devoted himself to writing. He frequently went into the city to preach. During
a famine in 372-3 he worked distributing food to the hungry, and organizing a
sort of ambulance service for the sick. He worked long hours at this, and
became exhausted and sick, and so died.
Of his writings there remain 72 hymns, commentaries on the Old and New
Testaments, and numerous sermons. [James Kiefer abridged]



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