OREMUS: 28 September 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Sep 27 21:24:32 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Thursday, September 28, 2006 

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

Blessed are you, O God,
you protect the poor and defend the just;
in your kingdom, the last becomes first,
the gentle are strong,
and the lowly are exalted.
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 16

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;*
 I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord,
   my good above all other.'
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,*
 upon those who are noble among the people.
But those who run after other gods*
 shall have their troubles multiplied.
Their libations of blood I will not offer,*
 nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;*
 it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;*
 indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;*
 my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;*
 because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad and my spirit rejoices;*
 my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,*
 nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;*
 in your presence there is fullness of joy,
   and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 26

Give judgement for me, O Lord,
   for I have lived with integrity;*
 I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
Test me, O Lord, and try me;*
 examine my heart and my mind.
For your love is before my eyes;*
 I have walked faithfully with you.
I have not sat with the worthless,*
 nor do I consort with the deceitful.
I have hated the company of evildoers;*
 I will not sit down with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord,*
 that I may go in procession round your altar,
Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving*
 and recounting all your wonderful deeds.
Lord, I love the house in which you dwell*
 and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,*
 nor my life with those who thirst for blood,
Whose hands are full of evil plots,*
 and their right hand full of bribes.
As for me, I will live with integrity;*
 redeem me, O Lord, and have pity on me.
My foot stands on level ground;*
 in the full assembly I will bless the Lord.

A Song of Christ's Appearing (1 Timothy 3:16; 6:15-16)
Christ Jesus was revealed in the flesh
and vindicated in the spirit.

He was seen by angels
and proclaimed among the nations.

Believed in throughout the world,
he was taken up in glory.

This will be made manifest at the proper time
by the blessed and only Sovereign,

Who alone has immortality,
and dwells in unapproachable light.

To the King of kings and Lord of lords
be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

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 [Esther 1:1-21]:

This happened in the days of Ahasuerus, the same
Ahasuerus who ruled over one hundred and twenty-seven
provinces from India to Ethiopia. In those days when King
Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in the citadel of Susa,
in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all
his officials and ministers. The army of Persia and Media
and the nobles and governors of the provinces were
present, while he displayed the great wealth of his
kingdom and the splendour and pomp of his majesty for
many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.
When these days were completed, the king gave for all the
people present in the citadel of Susa, both great and
small, a banquet lasting for seven days, in the court of
the garden of the king's palace. There were white cotton
curtains and blue hangings tied with cords of fine linen
and purple to silver rings and marble pillars. There were
couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of
porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and coloured stones.
Drinks were served in golden goblets, goblets of
different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished in
accordance with the bounty of the king. Drinking was by
flagons, without restraint; for the king had given orders
to all the officials of his palace to do as each one
desired. Furthermore, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the
women in the palace of King Ahasuerus.
On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he
commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha,
Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who attended him, to
bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing the royal
crown, in order to show the peoples and the officials her
beauty; for she was fair to behold. But Queen Vashti
refused to come at the king's command conveyed by the
eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger
burned within him.
Then the king consulted the sages who knew the laws (for
this was the king's procedure towards all who were versed
in law and custom, and those next to him were Carshena,
Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan,
the seven officials of Persia and Media, who had access
to the king, and sat first in the kingdom): 'According to
the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti because she
has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus conveyed
by the eunuchs?' Then Memucan said in the presence of the
king and the officials, 'Not only has Queen Vashti done
wrong to the king, but also to all the officials and all
the peoples who are in all the provinces of King
Ahasuerus. For this deed of the queen will be made known
to all women, causing them to look with contempt on their
husbands, since they will say, "King Ahasuerus commanded
Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not
come." This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media
who have heard of the queen's behaviour will rebel
against the king's officials, and there will be no end of
contempt and wrath! If it pleases the king, let a royal
order go out from him, and let it be written among the
laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be
altered, that Vashti is never again to come before King
Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to
another who is better than she. So when the decree made
by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom,
vast as it is, all women will give honour to their
husbands, high and low alike.'
This advice pleased the king and the officials, and the
king did as Memucan proposed.

Words: Isaac Watts, 1707
Tune: St. Thomas (Williams)

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Come, we that love the Lord,
and let our joys be known;
join in a song with sweet accord,
and thus surround the throne.

Let those refuse to sing,
who never knew our God;
but favorites of the heavenly King,
may speak their joys abroad.

The men of grace have found,
glory begun below.
celestial fruits on earthly ground
from faith and hope may grow.

Then let our songs abound,
and every tear be dry;
we're marching through Emmanuel's ground,
to fairer worlds on high.

SECOND READING [Acts 4:13-21]:

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were
uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions
of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had
nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they
discussed the matter with one another. They said, 'What will we do with them? For it
is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them;
we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn
them to speak no more to anyone in this name.' So they called them and ordered them
not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them,
'Whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge;
for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.' After
threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the
people, for all of them praised God for what had happened.

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

We give you praise and thanks, O God, for all gifts of
love we have received from you, and for your persistent
mercy in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you for
     work we have accomplished pleasing to you...
                         (We thank you, Lord.)
     the faithful witness of Christian people...
     the example of righteousness we see in parents and teachers...
     the innocence and openness we see in children...
     all works of Christian compassion...

We give you our cares and concerns, O God, because we
know you are kind and care for your children in every
circumstance. Especially we pray for
     those who struggle with doubt and despair...
            (Lord, hear our prayer.) 
     people afflicted with disease...
     those called to special ministries...
     people neglected or abused...
     Baptist, Disciples of Christ, and other free churches...

Feed our souls, O Lord, with the bread of heaven,
that we may be prepared for eternity,
and pour the waters of your holiness into our souls,
that our every work and action
may be a joyful sign of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Give us grace to persevere in following Jesus,
in whom is the pattern of true discipleship. 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.

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