OREMUS: 31 March 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Mar 30 17:00:07 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, March 31, 2006 
John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631

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. 


Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your loving-kindness;*
 in your great compassion blot out my offences.
Wash me through and through from my wickedness*
 and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,*
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned*
 and done what is evil in your sight.
And so you are justified when you speak*
 and upright in your judgement.
Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth,*
 a sinner from my mother's womb.
For behold, you look for truth deep within me,*
 and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
Purge me from my sin and I shall be pure;*
 wash me and I shall be clean indeed.
Make me hear of joy and gladness,*
 that the body you have broken may rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins*
 and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,*
 and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence*
 and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again*
 and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
I shall teach your ways to the wicked,*
 and sinners shall return to you.
Deliver me from death, O God,*
 and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness,
   O God of my salvation.
Open my lips, O Lord,*
 and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice,*
 but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit;*
 a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Be favourable and gracious to Zion,*
 and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with the appointed sacrifices,
   with burnt-offerings and oblations;*
 then shall they offer young bullocks upon your altar.

A Song of Christ the Servant (1 Peter 2.21b-25

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,
that you should follow in his steps.

He committed no sin, no guile was found on his lips,
when he was reviled, he did not revile in turn.

When he suffered, he did not threaten,
but he trusted himself to God who judges justly.

Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

By his wounds, you have been healed,
for you were straying like sheep,
but have now returned
cato the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Psalm 147:1-12

How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

READING [John 4:31-42]:

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, 'Rabbi, eat
something.' But he said to them, 'I have food to eat that
you do not know about.' So the disciples said to one
another, 'Surely no one has brought him something to
eat?' Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of
him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say,
"Four months more, then comes the harvest"? But I tell
you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for
harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is
gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and
reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds
true, "One sows and another reaps." I sent you to reap
that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured,
and you have entered into their labour.'
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of
the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I have ever
done.' So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him
to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And
many more believed because of his word. They said to the
woman, 'It is no longer because of what you said that we
believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know
that this is truly the Saviour of the world.' 

For another Biblical reading,
Job 30:16-31

Words: John Donne (1673-1631)
Tune: So giebst du nun
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Wilt thou forgive that sin, where I begun,
which is my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive those sins through which I run,
and do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
for I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin, by which I won
others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did not shun
a year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
for I have more.

I have a sin of fear that when I've spun
my last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore.
And having done that, thou hast done,
I fear no more.

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

Send forth your strength, O God,
Establish what you have wrought in us.

Uphold all those who fall
And raise up those who are bowed down.

Open the eyes of the blind
And set the prisoners free.

Sustain the orphan and widow
And give food to those who hunger.

Grant them the joy of your help again
And sustain them with your Spirit.

O Lord, judge the peoples
And take all nations for your own.

For your Church, O Lord, we pray, especially
the Diocese of Butere, Kenya, The Rt Revd Horace Etemesi, Bishop.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

O God, 
you have given us the Good News 
of your abounding love in your Son Jesus Christ: 
So fill our hearts with thankfulness 
that we may rejoice to proclaim the good tidings we have received; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, 
the root and fountain of all being: 
Open our eyes to see, with your servant John Donne, 
that whatever has any being is a mirror 
in which we may behold you; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and 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.

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

"All mankind is one volume. When one man dies, one chapter is torn out of the
book and translated into a better language. And every chapter must be so
translated. God employs several translators. Some pieces are translated by age,
some by sickness, some by war, some by justice. But God's hand shall bind up
all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to
Donne (rhymes with "sun") was born in 1573 (his father died in 1576) into a
Roman Catholic family, and from 1584 to 1594 was educated at Oxford and
Cambridge and Lincoln's Inn (this last a highly regarded law school). He
became an Anglican (probably around 1594) and aimed at a career in
government. He joined with Raleigh and Essex in raids on Cadiz and the
Azores, and became private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton. But in 1601 he
secretly married Anne More, the 16-year-old niece of Egerton, and her enraged
father had Donne imprisoned. The years following were years of poverty, debt,
illness, and frustration. In 1615 he was ordained, perhaps largely because he
had given up hope of a career in Parliament.
>From the above information, the reader might conclude that Donne's professed
religious belief was mere opportunism. But the evidence of his poetry is that,
long before his ordination, and probably beginning with his marriage, his
thoughts were turned toward holiness, and he saw in his wife Anne (as Dante
had earlier seen in Beatrice) a glimpse of the glory of God, and in human love a
revelation of the nature of Divine Love.
After his ordination, his reputation as a preacher grew steadily. From 1622
until his death he was Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, and drew huge
crowds to hear him, both at the Cathedral and at Paul's Cross, an outdoor
pulpit nearby. His prose style is in some ways outdated, but his theme
continues to fascinate: "the paradoxical and complex predicament of man as he
both seeks and yet draws away from the inescapable claim of God on him."
Various collections of his sermons (a ten-volume complete edition and a
one-volume selection) have been published. Most anthologies of English poetry
contain at least a few of his poems, and it is a poor college library that does not
have a complete set of them. His friend Izaak Walton (author of The Compleat
Angler) has written a biography. Three poems and a portion of a meditation
can be read at http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/03/31.html and a large
collection of his works can be read at http://www.ccel.org/d/donne/. [James

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