OREMUS: 13 October 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Oct 12 20:06:14 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, October 13, 2006 
Edward the Confessor, King of England, 1066

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 61

Hear my cry, O God,*
 and listen to my prayer.
I call upon you from the ends of the earth
   with heaviness in my heart;*
 set me upon the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,*
 a strong tower against the enemy.
I will dwell in your house for ever;*
 I will take refuge under the cover of your wings.
For you, O God, have heard my vows;*
 you have granted me the heritage
   of those who fear your name.
Add length of days to the king's life;*
 let his years extend over many generations.
Let him sit enthroned before God for ever;*
 bid love and faithfulness watch over him.
So will I always sing the praise of your name,*
 and day by day I will fulfil my vows.

Psalm 89:1-9,11-14,18-21,24-29, 52

Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing;*
 from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever;*
 you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
'I have made a covenant with my chosen one;*
 I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
'"I will establish your line for ever,*
 and preserve your throne for all generations."'
The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O Lord,*
 and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?*
 who is like the Lord among the gods?
God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones,*
 great and terrible to all those round about him.
Who is like you, Lord God of hosts?*
 O mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.
You rule the raging of the sea*
 and still the surging of its waves.
Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours;*
 you laid the foundations of the world
   and all that is in it.
You have made the north and the south;*
 Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
You have a mighty arm;*
 strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
Righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of your throne;*
 love and truth go before your face.
Truly, the Lord is our ruler;*
 the Holy One of Israel is our king.
You spoke once in a vision
   and said to your faithful people:*
 'I have set the crown upon a warrior
   and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
'I have found David my servant;*
 with my holy oil have I anointed him.
'My hand will hold him fast*
 and my arm will make him strong.
'My faithfulness and love shall be with him,*
 and he shall be victorious through my name.
'I shall make his dominion extend*
 from the Great Sea to the River.
'He will say to me, "You are my Father,*
 my God and the rock of my salvation."
'I will make him my first-born*
 and higher than the kings of the earth.
'I will keep my love for him for ever,*
 and my covenant will stand firm for him.
'I will establish his line for ever*
 and his throne as the days of heaven.
Blessed be the Lord for evermore!*
 Amen, I say, Amen.

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.

FIRST READING [Job 18:1-21]:

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
'How long will you hunt for words?
   Consider, and then we shall speak.
Why are we counted as cattle?
   Why are we stupid in your sight?
You who tear yourself in your anger 
   shall the earth be forsaken because of you,
   or the rock be removed out of its place?

'Surely the light of the wicked is put out,
   and the flame of their fire does not shine.
The light is dark in their tent,
   and the lamp above them is put out.
Their strong steps are shortened,
   and their own schemes throw them down.
For they are thrust into a net by their own feet,
   and they walk into a pitfall.
A trap seizes them by the heel;
   a snare lays hold of them.
A rope is hid for them in the ground,
   a trap for them in the path.
Terrors frighten them on every side,
   and chase them at their heels.
Their strength is consumed by hunger,
   and calamity is ready for their stumbling.
By disease their skin is consumed,
   the firstborn of Death consumes their limbs.
They are torn from the tent in which they trusted,
   and are brought to the king of terrors.
In their tents nothing remains;
   sulphur is scattered upon their habitations.
Their roots dry up beneath,
   and their branches wither above.
Their memory perishes from the earth,
   and they have no name in the street.
They are thrust from light into darkness,
   and driven out of the world.
They have no offspring or descendant among their people,
   and no survivor where they used to live.
They of the west are appalled at their fate,
   and horror seizes those of the east.
Surely such are the dwellings of the ungodly,
   such is the place of those who do not know God.' 

Words: Bernard of Clairvaux, twelfth century; trans. Edward Caswall, 1849
Tune: Metzler's Redhead, St. Botolph, Bawley, Windsor (Rhythmic), St. Agnes,

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Jesus, the very thought of thee
with sweetness fills the breast;
but sweeter far thy face to see,
and in thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
nor can the memory find,
a sweeter sound than Jesus' Name,
the Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
to those who fall, how kind thou art:
how good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah, this
nor tongue nor pen can show;
the love of Jesus, what it is,
none but who love him know.

Jesus, our only joy be thou,
as thou our prize wilt be;
in thee be all our glory now,
and through eternity.

SECOND READING [Hebrews 4:1-11]:

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none
of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For indeed the good news came to us
just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were
not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest,
just as God has said,
'As in my anger I swore,
"They shall not enter my rest" ',
though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. For in one place it
speaks about the seventh day as follows: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all
his works.' And again in this place it says, 'They shall not enter my rest.' Since
therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the
good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain
day 'today' saying through David much later, in the words already quoted,
'Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.'
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So
then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest
also cease from their labours as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort
to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

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

Let us pray to God for the coming of the Kingdom:

O God, into the pain of the tortured:
breathe stillness.

Into the hunger of those deprived:
breathe fullness.

Into those who have died in you:
breathe life.

Into those who long for you:
breathe your presence.

Into your Church,
shed forth your renewing Spirit.

Your kingdom come, your will be done:
For the kingdom, the power and the glory
are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Set our hearts on fire with love for you, O God, 
that in its flame we may love you with all our hearts, 
with all our minds,
with all our souls, 
and with all our strength,
and our neighbors as ourselves;
and grant that in the keeping of your commandments
we may glorify you, the giver of all good gifts,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sovereign God,
who set your servant Edward
upon the throne of an earthly kingdom
and inspired him with zeal for the kingdom of heaven:
grant that we may so confess the faith of Christ
by word and deed,
that we may, with all your saints, inherit your eternal glory;
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.

Edward was born in 1003. He was the last Saxon king to rule (for more than a
few months) in England. He is called "Edward the Confessor" to distinguish
him from another King of England, Edward the Martyr (c962-979), who was
assassinated (presumably by someone who wished to place Edward's younger
half-brother on the throne), and who came to be regarded, on doubtful
grounds, as a martyr for the faith. In Christian biographies, the term
"confessor" is often used to denote someone who has born witness to the faith
by his life, but who did not die as a martyr. Edward was the son of King
Ethelred the Unready. This does not mean that he was unprepared, but rather
that he was stubborn and wilful, and would not accept "rede," meaning advice
or counsel.
Aethelred was followed by several Danish kings of England, during whose rule
young Edward and his mother took refuge in Normandy. But the last Danish
king named Edward as his successor, and he was crowned in 1042. Opinions
on his success as a king vary. Some historians consider him weak and
indecisive, and say that his reign paved the way for the Norman Conquest.
Others say that his prudent management gave England more than twenty years
of peace and prosperity, with freedom from foreign domination, at a time when
powerful neighbors might well have dominated a less adroit ruler. He was
diligent in public and private worship, generous to the poor, and accessible to
subjects who sought redress of grievances.
While in exile, he had vowed to make a pilgrimage to Rome if his family
fortunes mended. However, his council told him that it was not expedient for
him to be so long out of the country. Accordingly, he spent his pilgrimage
money instead on the relief of the poor and the building of Westminster Abbey,
which stands today (rebuilt in the thirteenth century) as one of the great
churches of England, burial place of her kings and others deemed worthy of
special honor.
He died on 5 January 1066, leaving no offspring; and after his death, the throne
was claimed by his wife's brother, Harold the Saxon, and by William, Duke of
Normandy. William defeated and slew Harold at the Battle of Hastings (14
October 1066), and thereafter the kings and upper classes of England were
Norman-French rather than Anglo-Saxon. Edward is remembered, not on the
day of his death, but on the anniversary of the moving ("translation") of his
corpse to a new tomb, a date which is also the anniversary of the eve of the
Battle of Hastings, the end of Saxon England.

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