OREMUS: 7 March 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Mar 6 17:00:00 GMT 2006


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OREMUS for Tuesday, March 7, 2006 
Perpetua, Felicity and their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God, rich in mercy,
you so loved the world 
that when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth,
he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross,
he is truth and salvation.
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. 

http://www.oremus.org/lentocan.html

Psalm 139

Lord, you have searched me out and known me;*
 you know my sitting down and my rising up;
   you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places*
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,*
 but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before*
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;*
 it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit?*
 where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;*
 if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning*
 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me*
 and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, 'Surely the darkness will cover me,*
 and the light around me turn to night',
Darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day;*
 darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;*
 you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made;*
 your works are wonderful and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you,*
 while I was being made in secret
   and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
   all of them were written in your book;*
 they were fashioned day by day,
   when as yet there was none of them.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God!*
 how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them,
   they would be more in number than the sand;*
 to count them all,
   my life span would need to be like yours.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;*
 try me and know my restless thoughts.
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me*
 and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

A Song of the Blessed (Matthew 5:3-10)
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are those who suffer persecution
for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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 [Romans 1:8-17]:

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of
you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the
world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing
the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing
I remember you always in my prayers, asking that by God's
will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. For
I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some
spiritual gift to strengthen you  or rather so that we
may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both
yours and mine. I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far
have been prevented), in order that I may reap some
harvest among you as I have among the rest of the
Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians,
both to the wise and to the foolish   hence my eagerness
to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of
God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew
first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness
of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is
written, 'The one who is righteous will live by faith.'

For another Biblical reading,
Genesis 10

HYMN 
Words: Robert L. Edwards (c)
Tune: Blaenwern 
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/g/g299.html
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God, whose giving knows no ending,
from your rich and endless store--
nature's wonder, Jesus' wisdom,
costly cross, grave's shattered door--
gifted by you, we turn to you,
offering up ourselves in praise;
thankful song shall rise forever,
gracious Donor of our days.

Skills and time are ours for pressing
toward the goals of Christ, your Son:
all at peace in health and freedom,
races joined, the Church made one.
Now direct our daily labor,
lest we strive for self alone.
Born with talents, make us servants
fit to answer at your throne.

Treasure, too, you have entrusted,
gain through powers your grace conferred,
ours to use for home and kindred,
and to spread the gospel word.
Open wide our hands in sharing,
as we heed Christ's ageless call,
healing, teaching, and reclaiming,
serving you by loving all.

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

Prayer:
Eternal God, we rejoice today in the gift of life, which
we have received by your grace, and the new life you give
in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you for
     the love of our families...
                         (We thank you, Lord.)
     the affection of our friends...
     strength and abilities to serve your purpose today...
     this community in which we live...
     opportunities to give as we have received...

God of grace, we offer our prayers for the needs of
others and commit ourselves to serve them as we have been
served in Jesus Christ. Especially we pray for
     those closest to us, families, friends, neighbors...
                         (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     refugees and homeless men, women and children...
     the outcast and persecuted...
     those from whom we are estranged...
     the church in Africa...
     the Diocese of  Bo, West Africa, The Rt Revd Samuel Sao Gbonda, Bishop...

Grant to your people, Lord, grace 
to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, 
and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only true God; 
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy God,
who gave great courage to Perpetua, Felicity and their companions:
grant that we may be worthy to climb the ladder of sacrifice
and be received into the garden of peace;
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.
       
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God give us
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next. 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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

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

Hymn (c) 1961, renewed 1989 by The Hymn Society 
(admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188).  
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:  Hope Publishing Company, 
www.hopepublishing.com

The intercession is from _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 
1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

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

The second collect 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.

The moving, contemporary account of these early third-century, African
martyrs proved to be of great significance in the life of the early Church. Vibia
Perpetua was a young, married noblewoman of Carthage and Felicity was her
personal slave. Saturas was possibly a priest and there were two other men,
Saturninus and Revocatus, the latter also a slave. Felicity was pregnant. It
seems most of them were catechumens when arrested and only baptised later in
prison. They were condemned as Christians by the Roman authorities and
dispatched to the public arena, there to be mauled by wild animals. They all
survived and were then taken to be executed by the sword. Before this, they all
exchanged the Kiss of Peace and affirmed their faith in Christ, the Son of God.
The contemporary account was much circulated secretly throughout the
Christian congregations and proved both to give renown to their courage and
to give encouragement to their fellow Christians in the face of adversity. They
were martyred for their faith on this day in the year 203. [Exciting Holiness]



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