OREMUS: 12 October 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Oct 11 22:48:45 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Thursday, October 12, 2006 
Wilfrid of Ripon, Bishop, Missionary, 709

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

Blessed are you, O God, the rock of our salvation,
whose gifts can never fail.
You deepen the faith you have already bestowed
and let its power be seen in your servants.
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 65

You are to be praised, O God, in Zion;*
 to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.
To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come,*
 because of their transgressions.
Our sins are stronger than we are,*
 but you will blot them out.
Happy are they whom you choose
   and draw to your courts to dwell there!*
 they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house,
   by the holiness of your temple.
Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness,
   O God of our salvation,*
 O Hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the seas that are far away.
You make fast the mountains by your power;*
 they are girded about with might.
You still the roaring of the seas,*
 the roaring of their waves,
   and the clamour of the peoples.
Those who dwell at the ends of the earth
   will tremble at your marvellous signs;*
 you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.
You visit the earth and water it abundantly;
   you make it very plenteous;*
 the river of God is full of water.
You prepare the grain,*
 for so you provide for the earth.
You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges;*
 with heavy rain you soften the ground
   and bless its increase.
You crown the year with your goodness,*
 and your paths overflow with plenty.
May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing,*
 and the hills be clothed with joy.
May the meadows cover themselves with flocks
   and the valleys cloak themselves with grain;*
 let them shout for joy and sing.

A Song of the New Jerusalem (Isaiah 60.1-3,11a,18,19,14b

Arise, shine out, for your light has come,  
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you.

Though night still covers the earth,
and darkness the peoples;

Above you the Holy One arises,
and above you God's glory appears.

The nations will come to your light,
and kings to your dawning brightness.

Your gates will lie open continually,
shut neither by day nor by night.

The sound of violence shall be heard no longer in your land,
or ruin and devastation within your borders.

You will call your walls, Salvation,
and your gates, Praise.

No more will the sun give you daylight,
nor moonlight shine upon you;

But the Lord will be your everlasting light,
your God will be your splendour.

For you shall be called the city of God,
the dwelling of the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 148

   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.

FIRST READING [Job 17:1-16]:

My spirit is broken, my days are extinct,
   the grave is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers around me,
   and my eye dwells on their provocation.

'Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
   who is there that will give surety for me?
Since you have closed their minds to understanding,
   therefore you will not let them triumph.
Those who denounce friends for reward 
   the eyes of their children will fail.

'He has made me a byword of the peoples,
   and I am one before whom people spit.
My eye has grown dim from grief,
   and all my members are like a shadow.
The upright are appalled at this,
   and the innocent stir themselves up against the
Yet the righteous hold to their way,
   and they that have clean hands grow stronger and
But you, come back now, all of you,
   and I shall not find a sensible person among you.
My days are past, my plans are broken off,
   the desires of my heart.
They make night into day;
   "The light", they say, "is near to the darkness."
If I look for Sheol as my house,
   if I spread my couch in darkness,
if I say to the Pit, "You are my father",
   and to the worm, "My mother", or "My sister",
where then is my hope?
   Who will see my hope?
Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
   Shall we descend together into the dust?' 

Words: Oswald Allen, 1862
Tune: Endsleigh

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Today thy mercy calls us
to wash away our sin;
however great our trespass,
whatever we have been;
however long from mercy
we may have turned away,
thy blood, O Christ, can cleanse us,
and make us white today.

Today thy gate is open,
and all who enter in
shall find a Father's welcome,
and pardon for their sin;
the past shall be forgotten,
a present joy be given;
a future grace be promised,
a glorious crown in heaven.

O all-embracing Mercy,
thou ever-open Door,
what shall we do without thee
when heart and eyes run o'er?
When all things seem against us,
to drive us to despair,
we know one gate is open,
one ear will hear our prayer.

SECOND READING [Hebrews 3:7-19]:

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
'Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
   as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors put me to the test,
   though they had seen my works for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, "They always go astray in their hearts,
   and they have not known my ways."
As in my anger I swore,
   "They will not enter my rest." '
Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart
that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is
called 'today', so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we
have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.
As it is said,
'Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.'
Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left
Egypt under the leadership of Moses? But with whom was he angry for forty years?
Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he
swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who were disobedient? So we
see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

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

Lord of our lives,
we have decided to follow Jesus
and have chosen to be in your Kingdom.
Give us courage, discernment and an unwavering faith.

When we are uncertain,
reveal a vision.

When we are passive,
light a fire.

When we are tempted,
send your Spirit.

Enfold us in your love,
wrap us about with assurance
and infuse us with determination,
that we may be true disciples
and all the world may see the love of Jesus Christ in us. Amen.

O Lord, whose way is perfect,
help us always to trust in your goodness,
to walk in the way of faith,
and to follow in the path of simplicity.
Teach us to cast our cares on your providence,
that we may possess a quiet mind
and a contended spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God,
who called our forebears to the light of the gospel
by the preaching of your servant Wilfrid:
help us, who keep his life and labour in remembrance,
to glorify your name by following the example
of his zeal and perseverance;
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.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Bless the work entrusted to our hands,
that we may offer you an abundance of just works,
a rich harvest of peace. 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 prayer use phrases from a
prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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.

Wilfred was born around 634 in Northumbria, and was educated for a while at
the island monastery of Lindisfarne, after which he went south to London,
where he became an enthusiastic supporter of Roman liturgical customs, as
contrasted with the traditional Celtic customs that were prevalent in the North
and in other areas that had been evangelised by Celtic rather than Roman
missionaries. The two questions that were nominally in dispute were (1) the
method of calculating the date of Easter, and (2) the method of tonsuring a
monk (i.e. which areas of the head ought to be shaved). As often happens,
these were probably stand-ins for other questions less easily articulated. In
about 654, Wilfred left England for Rome (stopping for a year in Lyons,
France) and then returned (stopping for three years in Lyons), arriving in
England in about 660. He was made abbot of Ripon in Northumbria, and
imposed the Roman rules there. In 664 a conference was held (the Synod of
Whitby) to settle the usages controversy, and the Roman party triumphed,
thanks in large part to the leadership of Wilfrid. He was appointed Bishop of
York by Alcfrid, sub-king of Deira (a division of Northumbria), but was
unwilling to be consecrated by bishops of the Celtic tradition, and so went over
to France to be consecrated, and was gone for two years. On his return, he
found that King Oswy of Northumbria had appointed Chad (see 2 March 672)
as bishop of York. Wilfrid returned quietly to Ripon. But in 669 the new
Archbishop of Canterbury, Theodore (see 19 September 690), declared that
Wilfrid was rightful bishop of York. Chad quietly withrew, and Wilfrid was
installed at York. For the next few years, Wilfrid enjoyed peace and prosperity,
stood high in the favor of King Efrith of Northumbria, and was undisputed
bishop of a diocese that included the entire kingdom of Northumbria, with his
cathedral at York. But there was trouble ahead. The queen wanted to leave her
husband and become a nun, and Wilfrid encouraged her in this. After she had
left (in 672), the king was not as cordial to Wilfrid as he had been, and in 678,
Archbishop Theodore, acting in close concert with the king, divided the
Diocese of York into four smaller dioceses, and appointed new bishops for
three of them, leaving Wilfrid with the fourth, which did not include the city of
York. Wilfrid decided to appeal to the pope. On his way to Rome, he spent a
year preaching in Frisia, and so was the beginning of the movement by
Christian Anglo-Saxons in Britain to convert their relatives on the Continent.
The pope eventually sided with Wilfrid, but the ruling was not accepted in
England, and Wilfrid was banished from Northumbria. He went to Sussex, the
last center of Anglo-Saxon paganism in England, and preached there. When he
arrived, there had been no rain for many months, the crops were ruined, and
the people were starving. Wilfrid showed them how to construct fishnets for
ocean fishing, and so saved the lives of many. They listened to his preaching
with favorable presuppositions, and soon a large number of them were ready
for baptism. On the day that he baptized them, it rained. He remained in Sussex
for five years, preaching with great success.
Eventually he was reconciled with Archbishop Theodore, and returned to
Northumbria, where he was again given a bishopric. He served there a bishop
for five peaceful years, but then a royal council found him unfit; he was
deposed again, appealed to Rome again, and ended up bishop of the small
diocese of Hexham, with jurisdiction over the various monasteries that he had
founded. In his will, he bequeathed his money to four causes: (1) to various
Roman congregations; (2) to the poor; (3) to the clergy who had followed him
into exile; and (4) to the abbots of the various monasteries under his
jurisdiction, "so that they could purchase the friendship of kings and bishops."
He died 12 October 709. [James Kiefer]

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