OREMUS: 27 June 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jun 26 17:00:01 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Tuesday, June 27, 2006 
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher of the Faith, 444

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
for setting us free in Jesus Christ
with a power greater than all that would keep us captive.
You call us to turn from the ways of the world
and to accept the fullness of joy in the Spirit
and follow the way of the cross,
which frees us to love one another
for the sake of all creation.
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 19

The heavens declare the glory of God,*
 and the firmament shows his handiwork.
One day tells its tale to another,*
 and one night imparts knowledge to another.
Although they have no words or language,*
 and their voices are not heard,
Their sound has gone out into all lands,*
 and their message to the ends of the world.
In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun;*
 it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;
   it rejoices like a champion to run its course.
It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens
   and runs about to the end of it again;*
 nothing is hidden from its burning heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect
   and revives the soul;*
 the testimony of the Lord is sure
   and gives wisdom to the innocent.
The statutes of the Lord are just
   and rejoice the heart;*
 the commandment of the Lord is clear
   and gives light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean
   and endures for ever;*
 the judgements of the Lord are true
   and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
   more than much fine gold,*
 sweeter far than honey,
   than honey in the comb.
By them also is your servant enlightened,*
 and in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can tell how often he offends?*
 Cleanse me from my secret faults.
Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;
   let them not get dominion over me;*
 then shall I be whole and sound,
   and innocent of a great offence.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
   be acceptable in your sight,*
 O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

A Song of God's Herald (Isaiah 40:9-11)

Go up to a high mountain,
herald of good tidings to Zion;
lift up your voice with strength,
herald of good tidings to Jerusalem.

Lift up your voice, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah, 'Behold your God!'

See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him.

Behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.

God will feed his flock like a shepherd,
and gather the lambs in his arms;

He will carry them in his breast,
and gently lead those that are with young.

Psalm 146

   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

READING [1 Peter 1:13-25]:

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline
yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus
Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient
children, do not be conformed to the desires that you
formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you
is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it
is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'
If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people
impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent
fear during the time of your exile. You know that you
were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your
ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or
gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of
a lamb without defect or blemish. He was destined before
the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end
of the ages for your sake. Through him you have come to
trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him
glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.
Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience
to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love
one another deeply from the heart. You have been born
anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through
the living and enduring word of God. For
'All flesh is like grass
   and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
   and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord endures for ever.'
That word is the good news that was announced to you. 

For another Biblical reading,
1 Samuel 20:1-23

Words: Ian Fraser (c)
Tune: Lawes' Psalm 47, St. John (Parish Choir), St. Andrew   
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Lord, bring the day to pass
when forest, rock and hill,
the beasts, the birds, the grass,
will know your finished will:
when we attain our destiny
and nature lives in harmony.

Forgive our careless use
of water, ore and soil--
the plenty we abuse
supplied by others' toil:
save us from making self our creed,
turn us towards each other's need.

Give us, when we release
creation's secret powers,
to harness them for peace--
our children's peace and ours:
teach us the art of mastering
in servant form, which draws death's sting.

Creation groans, travails,
futile its present plight,
bound till the hour it hails
God's children born of light,
who enter on their true estate.
Come, Lord: new heavens and earth create.

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

We seek you daily, O Father,
and you are there daily to be found.

Wherever we seek you,
at home, at work, on the highway,
you are there, O Lord.

Whatever we do,
eating and drinking,
writing or working,
readings, meditating or praying,
you are there, O Lord.

If we are oppressed,
you defend us, O Lord.

If we hunger,
you feed us, O Lord.

Whatever we need,
you give us, O Lord.

Gracious Creator of heaven and earth,
your Word has come among us
as the true Sun of Righteousness,
and the Good News of his birth
has gone out to the ends of the world:
Open our eyes to the light of your law,
that we may be freed from sin
and serve you without reproach
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Light and our Life. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you gave your blessed Bishop Cyril
grace to maintain that the blessed Virgin Mary
is indeed the Mother of God:
Grant that by this teaching we may know you, 
the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Keep us true to the way of your Son,
that we may leave behind all that hinders us
and, with eyes fixed on him,
walk surely in the path of the kingdom. 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 uses phrases from two prayers reprinted
from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c)
2002 Consultation on Common Texts

Hymn (c) 1969 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. 
(admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188). 
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada:  Hope Publishing Company, 
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 

The intercession is by Stephen Benner and is based on a prayer by James Norden written in 1548.

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish Episcopal Church, 1998.
Used with permission. 

The second collect is by Stephen Benner.
The closing prayer are adapted from prayers in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Ten years after the death of Athanasius, the great champion of faith in Christ as
fully God, the bishopric of Alexandria was bestowed on one Theophilus. He
was a man of fiery temperament, and ruthless and violent in the pursuit of what
he conceived to be his duty. Having obtained the consent of the government,
he destroyed pagan temples, and the monastaries of monks whose views
differed from his own. He is on the Egyptian (Coptic) and the Syrian calendars,
but not on most eastern or any western ones. Summary: unpleasant but
orthodox (Right but Repulsive). Upon his death in 412, he was succeeded by
his nephew Cyril.
Cyril began his career as Bishop of Alexandria by showing himself to be an
ill-tempered, quarrelsome, hasty, and violent man. He shut the churches of the
Novatianists (a group of Christians who were indistinguishable in doctrine and
manner of worship from other Christians, but who as descendants of those who
had stood firm in the persecutions 260 years earlier could have nothing to do
with the descendants of those who had not -- nearly a century earlier, the
emperor Constantine had disgustedly told their leader to set up a ladder and
climb to heaven by himself), he drove out the Jews, he quarrelled with the
imperial prefect Orestes, and with Orestes' friend Hypatia, a distinguished
neo-Platonist scholar. (Hypatia was murdered by a mob. There is no evidence
that Cyril was directly guilty, but the murderers were persons who regarded
him as their leader.) In short, he made a bad beginning.
Then there arose a controversy over the relation between Christ's Divinity and
His Humanity. One view, associated with the name of Nestorius, spoke of
Jesus as a sinless man in whom the Spirit of God fully dwelt, suggesting that
the difference between Jesus and any other good man was a matter of degree.
(Jones is an almost sinless man in whom the Spirit of God dwells almost fully.
He is therefore 99% whatever Jesus is 100%.) This may not do justice to the
subtlety of the Nestorian position, but it is the danger that others saw in it, and
the Nestorians were unable to explain what safeguards their position had
against this danger. Cyril wrote learnedly and with great logic and conviction
against the Nestorian position, and was largely instrumental in getting it
condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Afterwards (surprisingly in view
of his earlier record), he worked to reconcile the two parties, and to bring
many of the less extreme Nestorians back into the fellowship of the church.
But it is as a theologian and a scholar, not as a bishop or human-relations man,
that Cyril is honored. [James Kiefer, abridged]

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