OREMUS: 21 March 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Mar 20 22:49:08 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Tuesday, March 21, 2006 
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556

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

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy:
your steadfast love is shown to every living thing;
your word calls us forth and your law revives and refreshes.
You call us to repent our misuse of your gifts,
that we may be transformed by your wisdom
to manifest for others
the mercy of our crucified and risen 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 38

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;*
 do not punish me in your wrath.
For your arrows have already pierced me,*
 and your hand presses hard upon me.
There is no health in my flesh,
   because of your indignation;*
 there is no soundness in my body, because of my sin.
For my iniquities overwhelm me;*
 like a heavy burden they are too much for me to bear.
My wounds stink and fester*
 by reason of my foolishness.
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;*
 I go about in mourning all the day long.
My loins are filled with searing pain;*
 there is no health in my body.
I am utterly numb and crushed;*
 I wail, because of the groaning of my heart.
O Lord, you know all my desires,*
 and my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart is pounding, my strength has failed me,*
 and the brightness of my eyes is gone from me.
My friends and companions draw back from my affliction;*
 my neighbours stand afar off.
Those who seek after my life lay snares for me;*
 those who strive to hurt me speak of my ruin
   and plot treachery all the day long.
But I am like the deaf who do not hear,*
 like those who are mute and do not open their mouth.
I have become like one who does not hear*
 and from whose mouth comes no defence.
For in you, O Lord, have I fixed my hope;*
 you will answer me, O Lord my God.
For I said, 'Do not let them rejoice at my expense,*
 those who gloat over me when my foot slips.'
Truly, I am on the verge of falling,*
 and my pain is always with me.
I will confess my iniquity*
 and be sorry for my sin.
Those who are my enemies without cause are mighty,*
 and many in number are those who wrongfully hate me.
Those who repay evil for good slander me,*
 because I follow the course that is right.
O Lord, do not forsake me;*
 be not far from me, O my God.
Make haste to help me,*
 O Lord of my salvation.

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 [Jeremiah 29:15-23]:

Because you have said, 'The Lord has raised up prophets
for us in Babylon'  thus says the Lord concerning the
king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all
the people who live in this city, your kinsfolk who did
not go out with you into exile: Thus says the Lord of
hosts, I am going to let loose on them sword, famine, and
pestilence, and I will make them like rotten figs that
are so bad they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with
the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, and will
make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to
be an object of cursing, and horror, and hissing, and a
derision among all the nations where I have driven them,
because they did not heed my words, says the Lord, when I
persistently sent to you my servants the prophets, but
they would not listen, says the Lord. But now, all you
exiles whom I sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon, hear
the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the
God of Israel, concerning Ahab son of Kolaiah and
Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying a lie to
you in my name: I am going to deliver them into the hand
of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and he shall kill them
before your eyes. And on account of them this curse shall
be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: 'The
Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of
Babylon roasted in the fire', because they have
perpetrated outrage in Israel and have committed adultery
with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken in my name
lying words that I did not command them; I am the one who
knows and bears witness, says the Lord.

For another Biblical reading,
1 Corinthians 3:10-23

Words: Alan Gaunt, (c)
Tune: Herstmonceux
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We pray for peace,
but not the easy peace
built on complacency
and not the truth of God.
We pray for real peace,
the peace God's love alone can seal.

We pray for peace,
but not the cruel peace,
leaving God's poor bereft
and dying in distress,
we pray for real peace,
enriching all the human race.

We pray for peace,
and not the evil peace,
defending unjust laws
and nursing prejudice,
but for the real peace
of justice, mercy, truth and love.

We pray for peace:
holy communion
with Christ our risen Lord
and every living thing;
God's will fulfilled on earth
and all his creatures reconciled.

We pray for peace,
and for the sake of peace,
look to the risen Christ
who gives the grace we need,
to serve the cause of peace
and make our own self-sacrifice.

God, give us peace:
if you withdraw your love,
there is no peace for us
nor any hope of it.
With you to lead us on,
through death or tumult, peace will come.

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

Almighty and everliving GOD, 
which by thy holy Apostle hast taught us 
to make prayers, and supplications, 
and to give thanks for all men: 
We humbly beseech thee most mercifully 
to receive these our prayers, 
which we offer unto thy divine Majesty, 
beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal church 
with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: 
And grant, that all they who do confess thy holy name, 
may agree in the truth of thy holy word, 
and live in unity and godly love. 
Specially we beseech thee to save and defend 
all those in authority, 
that they may truly and impartially minister justice,
to the punishment of wickedness and vice, 
and to the maintenance of God's true religion, and virtue. 
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Pastors, and Curates, 
especially in the Diocese of Lango, Uganda, Melchizedek Otim, Bishop,
that they may both by their life and doctrine 
set forth thy true and lively word, 
and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: 
and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, 
that, with meek heart and due reverence, 
they may hear, and receive thy holy word, 
truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life:
And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, 
to comfort and succour all them, 
which in this transitory life be in
trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. 
And especially we commend unto thy merciful goodness, 
this congregation which is here assembled in thy name: 
And here we do give unto thee most high praise, and hearty thanks, 
for the wonderful grace and virtue, declared in all thy saints,
from the beginning of the world: 
And chiefly in the glorious and most blessed virgin Mary, 
mother of thy son Jesus Christ our Lord and God,
and in the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, 
whose examples, O Lord, and steadfastness in thy faith, 
and keeping thy holy commandments, grant us to follow. 
We commend unto thy mercy, O Lord, all other thy servants,
which are departed hence from us, with the sign of faith, 
and now do rest in the sleep of peace: 
Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy, and everlasting peace, 
and that at the day of the general resurrection, 
we and all they which be of the mystical body of thy son, 
may altogether be set on his right hand, 
and hear that his most joyful voice: 
Come unto me, O ye that be blessed of my Father, 
and possess the kingdom, 
which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world. 
Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, 
our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

God of compassion,
when we are weighed down by the burden of our sins,
help us to remember that you do not forsake us,
but show mercy through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Father of all wisdom and understanding,
who through the life of your servant Thomas Cranmer
renewed the life and worship of your Church,
and through his death
revealed your strength in human weakness:
by your grace let the light of faith
always shine within us,
that we may bear witness to the truth of your holy name;
through Jesus Christ,
our Mediator and Advocate. Amen. 
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

God of love,
turn our hearts to your ways;
and give us peace. 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 An Invitation to Prayer, (c) The Church of
England, 2001-2003.

Hymn (c) 1991 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 adapted from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer.

The second  collect is adapted 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.

Prayers for Peace can be found by following the link on the Oremus front page:

When Henry VIII of England died, he left three heirs: his son Edward and his
two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Edward succeeded to the throne and was a
staunch Protestant (or at least his advisors were). Under his rule, the church
services, previously in Latin, were translated into English, and other changes
were made. When Edward died, the throne passed to his sister Mary, who was
firmly Roman Catholic in her beliefs. She determined to return England to
union with the Pope. With more diplomacy, she might have succeeded. But she
was headstrong and would take no advice. Her mother had been Spanish, and
she determined to marry the heir to the throne of Spain, not realizing how
much her people (of all religious persuasions) feared that this would make
England a province of the Spanish Empire. She insisted that the best way to
deal with heresy was to burn as many heretics as possible. (It is worth noting
that her husband was opposed to this.) In the course of a five-year reign, she
lost all the English holdings on the continent of Europe, she lost the affection
of her people, and she lost any chance of a peaceful religious settlement in
Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury in the days of Henry, and
defended the position that Henry's marriage to Katharine of Aragon (Spain)
was null and void. When Edward came to the throne, Cranmer was foremost in
translating the worship of the Church into English (his friends and enemies
agree that he was an extraordinarily gifted translator) and securing the use of
the new forms of worship. When Mary came to the throne, Cranmer was in a
quandary. He had believed, with a fervor that many people today will find hard
to understand, that it is the duty of every Christian to obey the monarch, and
that "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13). As long as the
monarch was ordering things that Cranmer thought good, it was easy for
Cranmer to believe that the king was sent by God's providence to guide the
people in the path of true religion, and that disobedience to the king was
disobedience to God. Now Mary was Queen, and commanding him to return to
the Roman obedience. Cranmer five times wrote a letter of submission to the
Pope and to Roman Catholic doctrines, and four times he tore it up. In the end,
he submitted. However, Mary was unwilling to believe that the submission was
sincere, and he was ordered to be burned at Oxford on 21 March 1556. At the
very end, he repudiated his final letter of submission, and announced that he
died a Protestant. He said, "I have sinned, in that I signed with my hand what I
did not believe with my heart. When the flames are lit, this hand shall be the
first to burn." And when the fire was lit around his feet, he leaned forward and
held his right hand in the fire until it was charred to a stump. Aside from this,
he did not speak or move, except that once he raised his left hand to wipe the
sweat from his forehead.

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