OREMUS: 17 November 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Nov 16 23:26:27 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, November 17, 2006 
Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200

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

Blessed are you, ever-living God,
you inscribe our names in your book of life
so that we may share the firstfruits of salvation.
You protect the widows and strangers,
the oppressed and forgotten,
and feed the hungry with good things.
You stand among us in Christ, offering life to all.
You call us to respond with open hearts and minds to the world,
caring for those for whom you care. 
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 142

I cry to the Lord with my voice;*
 to the Lord I make loud supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him*
 and tell him all my trouble.
When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path;*
 in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me;*
 I have no place to flee to and no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, O Lord;*
 I say, 'You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.'
Listen to my cry for help,
   for I have been brought very low;*
 save me from those who pursue me,
   for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison,
   that I may give thanks to your name;*
 when you have dealt bountifully with me,
   the righteous will gather around me.

Psalm 143

Lord, hear my prayer,
   and in your faithfulness heed my supplications;*
 answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement with your servant,*
 for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
For my enemy has sought my life
   and has crushed me to the ground;*
 making me live in dark places
   like those who are long dead.
My spirit faints within me;*
 my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past;
   I muse upon all your deeds;*
 I consider the works of your hands.
I spread out my hands to you;*
 my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.
O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me;*
 do not hide your face from me
   or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning,
   for I put my trust in you;*
 show me the road that I must walk,
   for I lift up my soul to you.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord,*
 for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;*
 let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Revive me, O Lord, for your name's sake;*
 for your righteousness' sake, bring me out of trouble.

A Song of the Righteous (Wisdom 3:1,2a,3b-8)

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God
 and no torment will ever touch them.

In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died;
 but they are at peace.

For though, in the sight of others, they were punished,
 their hope is of immortality.

Having been disciplined a little,
 they will receive great good,
 because God tested them and found them worthy.

Like gold in the furnace, God tried them
 and, like a sacrificial burnt offering, accepted them.

In the time of their visitation, they will shine forth
 and will run like sparks through the stubble.

They will govern nations and rule over peoples
 and God will reign over them for ever.

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.

FIRST READING [1 Samuel 2:18-21]:

Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a
linen ephod. His mother used to make for him a little
robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with
her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Then Eli would
bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, 'May the Lord repay
you with children by this woman for the gift that she
made to the Lord'; and then they would return to their
And the Lord took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore
three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up
in the presence of the Lord. 

Words: Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885), 1862
Tune: In Babilone, Rex gloriae

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See, the Conqueror mounts in triumph;
see the King in royal state,
riding on the clouds, his chariot,
to his heavenly palace gate.
Hark! the choirs of angel voices
joyful alleluias sing,
and the portals high are lifted
to receive their heavenly King.

Who is this that comes in glory,
with the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies,
he has gained the victory.
he who on the cross did suffer,
he who from the grave arose,
he has vanquished sin and Satan,
he by death has spoiled his foes.

While he raised his hands in blessing,
he was parted from his friends
while their eager eyes behold him,
he upon the clouds ascends;
he who walked with God and pleased him,
preaching truth and doom to come,
he, our Enoch, is translated
to his everlasting home.

Now our heavenly Aaron enters,
with his blood, within the veil;
Joshua now is come to Canaan,
and the kings before him quail;
now he plants the tribes of Israel
in their promised resting place;
now our great Elijah offers
double portion of his grace.

He has raised our human nature
on the clouds to God's right hand;
there we sit in heavenly places,
there with him in glory stand:
Jesus reigns, adored by angels;
man with God is on the throne;
mighty Lord, in thine ascension
we by faith behold our own.

Glory be to God the Father,
glory be to God the Son,
dying, risen, ascending for us,
who the heavenly realm has won;
glory to the Holy Spirit, 
to One God in persons Three;
glory both in earth and heaven,
glory, endless glory, be.

SECOND READING [Colossians 2:6-15]:

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in
him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught,
abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit,
according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and
not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you
have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also
you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh
in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were
also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God
made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the
record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the
cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them,
triumphing over them in it. 

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

To the poor and exploited;
to lives overshadowed by conflict,
come with your message of justice and peace
Come, reveal yourself within our world, Lord.

To the lonely and unloved;
to lives overshadowed by suffering,
come with your friendship and concern
Come, reveal yourself in our community, Lord.

To both young and old on the journey of faith;
to lives overshadowed by doubt,
come with the gift of your Holy Spirit
Come, reveal yourself to the church, Lord.

To the sinner and the seeker;
to lives overshadowed by emptiness,
come with the offering of salvation
Come, reveal yourself in human lives, Lord.

To the sick and anxious;
to lives overshadowed by sorrow,
come with all-sufficient love
Come, that we may know you with us in our need, Lord.

Strength of the weak,
Defender of the needy,
Rescuer of the poor,
deliver us from the power of wickedness,
that we may rejoice in your justice now and for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God,
who endowed your servant Hugh
with a wise and cheerful boldness
and taught him to commend to earthly rulers
the discipline of a holy life:
give us grace like him to be bold in the service of the gospel,
putting our confidence in Christ alone,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant that as we serve yo now on earth,
so we may one day rejoice with all the saints
in your kingdom of light and peace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
prayers reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

As a sign of his remorse for his role in the murder of the Archbishop Thomas a
Becket, King Henry II founded the first house in England of the strict monastic
order called the Carthusians. Difficulties arose with the first two priors, and a
French noble recommended Hugh de Avalon, who at that time had been a
monk at the mother house of the order for 17 years.
On his arrival in England in 1176, Hugh found that the building of the
monastery had not begun. Worse, no compensation had been paid to those
who would have to lose their lands and property to make room for it. Hugh
refused to take office until these persons had been paid "to the last penny." He
intervened again on behalf of the builders, whose pay was not forthcoming.
Henry loved him for his plain speaking. "I do not despair of you," Hugh said to
him at their first interview; "I know how much your many occupations interfere
with the health of your soul." Henry, impressed by his frankness, swore that
while he lived he should not leave his kingdom, and took so much pleasure in
his conversation, and paid so much heed to his counsels, that a rumor arose
that Hugh was his son. Hugh's biographer wrote that "of all men only Hugh
could bend that rhinosceros to his will." When Henry was in danger of
shipwreck, he cried out, "If only my Carthusian Hugh were awake and at
prayer, God would not forget me."
This affection never diminished, though Hugh dared to oppose the king,
particularly in the matter of keeping bishoprics vacant in order that their
revenues might fall to the king's treasury. One of the worst examples was
Lincoln, which, except for a few months, had been without a bishop for
eighteen years. Hugh was elected to the post in 1186, and his monastic
superiors ordered him to accept. After so long a period of neglect, there was
great need of reform. Hugh employed priests of great piety and learning, and
made the fullest use of his authority in disciplining his clergy. He took a stern
view of the ill-treatment of the poor by the royal foresters, and when a subject
of the church of Lincoln suffered at their hands he excommunicated their chief.
He also refused to appoint a royal favorite to a meaningless but lucrative
post. Henry was furious, and summoned him to his presence. He came, and
Henry turned away his face and would not speak, but by way of ignoring his
presence took out a torn glove and began to sew it. At last Hugh said, "How
like you are to your relations at Falaise." The king might have resented this
allusion to the humble birth of William the Conqueror's mother, the daughter of
a glove-maker, but he only laughed, and the quarrel was made up.
Riots against the Jews broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade.
In defence of the persecuted, Hugh faced armed mobs in Lincoln, Stamford
and Northampton and compelled their submission.
Hugh refused to raise money for the foreign wars of King Richard the
Lion-Heart, calmed the king's rage with a kiss, and persisted in his refusal: this
was the first clear example on record of the refusal of a money-grant demanded
directly by the crown, and an important legal precedent. Richard said, "If all
bishops were like my lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could raise his
head against them."
His relations with King John were less happy. John showed him an amulet,
which he said was sacred and would preserve him. Hugh replied, "Do not put
your trust in lifeless stone, but only in the living and heavenly stone, our Lord
Jesus Christ." The following Easter he preached at length on the duties of
kings, and the king slipped out partway through.
Devout, tireless, and forgetful of self, Hugh also had wit, a temper that he
described as "more biting than pepper," and a great love and concern for
children and the defenceless. He visited leper-houses and washed the ulcerous
limbs of their inmates.
He was fond of animals, and they of him. Birds and squirrels came readily to
his hand. He had a swan that would feed from his hand, follow him about, and
keep guard over his bed, so that no one could approach it without being
In 1200 the king sent him on an embassy to France. His mission was a success,
but he took ill and returned to England to die on 16 November 1200. John
Ruskin called him "the most beautiful sacerdotal (priestly) figure known to me
in history."

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