OREMUS: 19 May 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu May 18 22:48:15 GMT 2006

Visit our website at http://www.oremus.org
There you will find links to each day's Oremus, an archive for the past year,
and the lectionary and calendar we follow. You can access our online
hymnal, collection of liturgical texts and a NRSV Bible Browser at our site.
We also provide links to other forms of Anglican daily prayer
and a site to leave and view prayer requests. An opportunity to support our work
is also now available.

OREMUS for Friday, May 19, 2006 
Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Restorer of Monastic Life, 988

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for you have raised from the dead
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
You are the ineffable sea of love,
the fountain of blessings,
and you water us with plenteous streams
from the riches of your grace
and the most sweet springs of your kindness.
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 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,*
 and his mercy endures for ever.
Let all those whom the Lord has redeemed proclaim*
 that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
He gathered them out of the lands;*
 from the east and from the west,
   from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes;*
 they found no way to a city where they might dwell.
They were hungry and thirsty;*
 their spirits languished within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He put their feet on a straight path*
 to go to a city where they might dwell.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
For he satisfies the thirsty*
 and fills the hungry with good things.
Some sat in darkness and deep gloom,*
 bound fast in misery and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God*
 and despised the counsel of the Most High.
So he humbled their spirits with hard labour;*
 they stumbled and there was none to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them out of darkness and deep gloom*
 and broke their bonds asunder.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
For he shatters the doors of bronze*
 and breaks in two the iron bars.
Some were fools and took to rebellious ways;*
 they were afflicted because of their sins.
They abhorred all manner of food*
 and drew near to death's door.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them*
 and saved them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.
Some went down to the sea in ships*
 and plied their trade in deep waters;
They beheld the works of the Lord*
 and his wonders in the deep.
Then he spoke and a stormy wind arose,*
 which tossed high the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to the heavens
   and fell back to the depths;*
 their hearts melted because of their peril.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards*
 and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper*
 and quieted the waves of the sea.
Then were they glad because of the calm,*
 and he brought them
   to the harbour they were bound for.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people*
 and praise him in the council of the elders.
The Lord changed rivers into deserts,*
 and water-springs into thirsty ground,
A fruitful land into salt flats,*
 because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
He changed deserts into pools of water*
 and dry land into water-springs.
He settled the hungry there,*
 and they founded a city to dwell in.
They sowed fields and planted vineyards,*
 and brought in a fruitful harvest.
He blessed them, so that they increased greatly;*
 he did not let their herds decrease.
Yet when they were diminished and brought low,*
 through stress of adversity and sorrow,
He lifted up the poor out of misery*
 and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
He pours contempt on princes*
 and makes them wander in trackless wastes.
The upright will see this and rejoice,*
 but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
Whoever is wise will ponder these things,*
 and consider well the mercies of the Lord.

A Song of Solomon (cf. Song of Songs 8:6-7)

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;

For love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave;
its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can the floods drown it.

If all the wealth of our house were offered for love,
it would be utterly scorned.

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 [Judges 16:23-31]:

Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a
great sacrifice to their god Dagon, and to rejoice; for
they said, 'Our god has given Samson our enemy into our
hand.' When the people saw him, they praised their god;
for they said, 'Our god has given our enemy into our
hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of
us.' And when their hearts were merry, they said, 'Call
Samson, and let him entertain us.' So they called Samson
out of the prison, and he performed for them. They made
him stand between the pillars; and Samson said to the
attendant who held him by the hand, 'Let me feel the
pillars on which the house rests, so that I may lean
against them.' Now the house was full of men and women;
all the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the
roof there were about three thousand men and women, who
looked on while Samson performed.
Then Samson called to the Lord and said, 'Lord God,
remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so
that with this one act of revenge I may pay back the
Philistines for my two eyes.' And Samson grasped the two
middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned
his weight against them, his right hand on the one and
his left hand on the other. Then Samson said, 'Let me die
with the Philistines.' He strained with all his might;
and the house fell on the lords and all the people who
were in it. So those he killed at his death were more
than those he had killed during his life. Then his
brothers and all his family came down and took him and
brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol
in the tomb of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel
for twenty years. 

For another Biblical reading,
Acts 10:34-43

Words: William Dalyrimple Maclagan, 1875
Tune: Song 4    
Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus.

"Lord, when thy kingdom comes, remember me;"
thus spake the dying lips to dying ears:
O faith, which in that darkest hour could see
the promised glory of the far-off years!

No kingly sign declares that glory now,
no ray of hope lights up that awful hour;
a thorny crown surrounds the bleeding brow,
the hands are stretched in weakness, not in power.

Hark! through the gloom the dying Savior saith,
"Thou too shalt rest in paradise today;"
O words of love to answer words of faith!
O words of hope for those who live to pray!

Lord, when with dying lips my prayer is said,
grant that in faith thy kingdom I may see;
and, thinking on thy cross and bleeding head,
may breathe my parting words, "Remember me."

Remember me, but not my shame or sin;
thy cleansing blood hath washed them all away;
thy precious death for me did pardon win;
thy blood redeemed me in that awful day.

Remember me; and, ere I pass away,
speak thou the assuring word that sets us free,
and make thy promise to my heart, "Today
thou too shalt rest in paradise with me."

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

Eternal God, we praise you for your mighty love given in
Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and the new life we have
received by his resurrection. Especially we thank you for
     the presence of Christ in our weakness and suffering...
                         (We thank you, Lord.)
     the ministry of Word and Sacrament...
     all who work to help and heal...
     sacrifices made to our benefit...
     opportunities for our generous giving...

God of grace, let our concern for others reflect Christ's
self-giving love, not only in our prayers, but also in
our practice. Especially we pray for
     those subjected to tyranny and oppression...
                         (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     wounded and injured people...
     those who face death...
     those who may be our enemies...
     the church in Latin America...
    the Diocese of Colombia, The Rt Revd Francisco Jose Duque-Gomez, Bishop...

O God, your steadfast love endures for ever
and your faithfulness from one generation to another;
rescue your people from their distress,
still the storms of our self-will
and bring us to the haven you have prepared for us
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God,
you raised up your servant Dunstan
to renew the Church of the English
in the manifold beauty of holiness.
Teach us to follow his example
that we, finding our order and beauty in you,
may enrich the life of your people
in their loving worship of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Increase our love for one another,
that both in name and in truth
we may be disciples of the risen Lord Jesus,
and so reflect by our lives
the glory that is yours. 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 is by Stephen T. Benner, 2001, and is
based on phrases from a Syrian Clementine liturgy, found in _Chalice
Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

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

The closing sentence is from a prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in
Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The second collect is from _For All the Saints_, (c) General
Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994.

Dunstan was born near Glastonbury in the southwest of England about the
year 909, ten years after the death of King Alfred. During the Viking invasions
of the ninth century, monasteries had been favorite targets of the invaders, and
by Dunstan's time English monasticism had been wiped out. In its restoration in
the tenth century, Dunstan played the leading role. He was born of an
upper-class family, and sent to court, where he did not fit in. At the urging of
his uncle, the Bishop of Westminster, he became a monk and a priest, and
returned to Glastonbury, where he built a hut near the ruins of the old
monastery, and devoted himself to study, music, metal working (particularly
the art of casting church bells, an art which he is said to have advanced
considerably), and painting. A manuscript illuminated by him is in the British
Museum. He returned to court and was again asked to leave; but then King
Edmund had a narrow escape from death while hunting, and in gratitude
recalled Dunstan and in 943 commissioned him to re-establish monastic life at
Glastonbury. (Glastonbury is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and is
associated in legend with King Arthur and his Court, with Joseph of
Arimathea, and with other worthies. It has been said that the Holy Grail, the
chalice of the Last Supper, is hidden somewhere near Glastonbury.) Under
Dunstan's direction, Glastonbury became an important center both of
monasticism and of learning. The next king, Edred, adopted Dunstan's ideas for
various reforms of the clergy (including the control of many cathedrals by
monastic chapters) and for relations with the Danish settlers. These policies
made Dunstan popular in the North of England, but unpopular in the
Edred was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old nephew Edwy, whom Dunstan
openly rebuked for unchastity. The furious Edwy drove Dunstan into exile, but
the North rose in rebellion on his behalf. When the dust settled, Edwy was
dead, his brother Edgar was king, and Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury.
The coronation service which Dunstan compiled for Edgar is the earliest
English coronation service of which the full text survives, and is the basis for
all such services since, down to the present. With the active support of King
Edgar, Dunstan re-established monastic communities at Malmesbury,
Westminster, Bath, Exeter, and many other places. Around 970 he presided at
a conference of bishops, abbots, and abbesses, which drew up a national code
of monastic observance, the Regularis Concordia. It followed Benedictine
lines, but under it the monasteries were actively involved in the life of the
surrounding community. For centuries thereafter the Archbishop of Canterbury
was always a monk.
Dunstan took an active role in politics under Edgar and his successor Edward,
but under the next king, Ethelred, he retired from politics and concentrated on
running the Canterbury cathedral school for boys, where he was apparently
successful in raising the academic standards while reducing the incidence of
corporal punishment. On Ascension Day in 988, he told the congregation that
he was near to death, and died two days later.

More information about the oremus mailing list