OREMUS: 2 September 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Sep 1 17:00:00 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Saturday, September 2, 2006 
The Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1901 and 1942

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

Blessed are you, Holy God,
you liberate the oppressed
and make a way of salvation.
You call us to unite ourselves with all who cry for justice,
and lead us together into freedom
through our Lord and Liberator,
Jesus Christ.
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 139

Lord, you have searched me out and known me;*
 you know my sitting down and my rising up;
   you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places*
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,*
 but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before*
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;*
 it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit?*
 where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;*
 if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning*
 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me*
 and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, 'Surely the darkness will cover me,*
 and the light around me turn to night',
Darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day;*
 darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;*
 you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made;*
 your works are wonderful and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you,*
 while I was being made in secret
   and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
   all of them were written in your book;*
 they were fashioned day by day,
   when as yet there was none of them.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God!*
 how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them,
   they would be more in number than the sand;*
 to count them all,
   my life span would need to be like yours.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;*
 try me and know my restless thoughts.
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me*
 and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

A Song of Jerusalem our Mother (from Isaiah 66)

'Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her
all you who love her', says the Lord.

'Rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her,

'That you may drink deeply with delight
from her consoling breast.'

For thus says our God,
'You shall be nursed and carried on her arm.

'As a mother comforts her children,
so I will comfort you;

'You shall see and your heart shall rejoice;
you shall flourish like the grass of the fields.'

Psalm 149

   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.

FIRST READING [Hosea 3:1-5]:

The Lord said to me again, 'Go, love a woman who has a
lover and is an adulteress, just as the Lord loves the
people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love
raisin cakes.' So I bought her for fifteen shekels of
silver and a homer of barley and a measure of wine. And I
said to her, 'You must remain as mine for many days; you
shall not play the whore, you shall not have intercourse
with a man, nor I with you.' For the Israelites shall
remain many days without king or prince, without
sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim.
Afterwards the Israelites shall return and seek the Lord
their God, and David their king; they shall come in awe
to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.

Words: William Walsham How, 1871
Tune: Croft's 136th, Love Unknown

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Thou art the Christ, O Lord,
the Son of God most high!
For ever be adored
that Name in earth and sky,
in which, though mortal strength may fail,
the saints of God at last prevail!

O surely he was blest 
with blessedness unpriced,
who, taught of God, confessed 
the Godhead in the Christ!
For of thy Church, Lord, thou didst own
thy saint a true foundation-stone.

Thrice fallen, thrice restored!
The bitter lesson learned,
that heart for thee, O Lord,
with triple ardor burned.
The cross he took he laid not down
until he grasped the martyr's crown.

O bright triumphant faith,
O courage void of fears!
O love most strong in death,
O penitential tears!
By these, Lord, keep us lest we fall,
and make us go where thou shalt call.

SECOND READING [John 18:28-32]:

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's headquarters. It was early in the
morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual
defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said,
'What accusation do you bring against this man?' They answered, 'If this man were
not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.' Pilate said to them, 'Take
him yourselves and judge him according to your law.' The Jews replied, 'We are not
permitted to put anyone to death.' (This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he
indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

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

God of all time,
we bless you for the gift of this day
and for our hope in Christ Jesus.
In the midst of all that demands our attention,
free us to love you with all our hearts
and to love the world with your mercy and justice.

Let our love be genuine:
Kyrie eleison

Let our affections be tempered with holiness:
Kyrie eleison

Let our desires be shaped by the vision
of a new heaven and a new earth:
Kyrie eleison

Let our actions reflect the balance of love
for your reign in all things:
Kyrie eleison

Let our perceptions and feelings be ordered
by the hope we have in Christ:
Kyrie eleison

Grant, O God, that we may live in your fear,
die in your favor, rest in your peace,
rise in your power and reign in your glory;
for the sake of your Son,
our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, 
we remember before you this day 
the blessed martyrs of New Guinea, 
who, following the example of their Savior, 
laid down their lives for their friends; 
and we pray that we who honor their memory 
may imitate their loyalty and faith; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and 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

May the mind that was in Christ possess us,
the love that is always at the heart of God enlarge us,
and the joy of the Spirit give us kindly eyes and thankful soul.

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 is based on a prayer 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.

The first collect is by William Laud and the closing sentence is by Bruce Prewer.

The intercession is adapted from a prayer reprinted from _THE DAILY
OFFICE: A Book of Hours of Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint
Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

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

New Guinea (also called Irian), one of the world's largest islands, has a difficult
terrain that discourages travel between districts. Consequently, it is home to
many isolated tribes, with many different cultures and at least 500 languages.
Christian missionaries began work there in the 1860's, but proceeded
When World War II threatened Papua and New Guinea, it was obvious that
missionaries of European origin were in danger. There was talk of leaving.
Bishop Philip Strong wrote to his clergy:
"We must endeavour to carry on our work. God expects this of us. The church
at home, which sent us out, will surely expect it of us. The universal church
expects it of us. The people whom we serve expect it of us. We could never
hold up our faces again if, for our own safety, we all forsook Him and fled,
when the shadows of the Passion began to gather around Him in His spiritual
and mystical body, the Church in Papua."
They stayed. Almost immediately there were arrests. Eight clergymen and two
laymen were executed "as an example" on September 2, 1942. In the next few
years, many Papuan Christians of all Churches risked their own lives to care for
the wounded. [James Kiefer]

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