OREMUS: 29 September 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Sep 28 17:00:01 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, September 29, 2006 
Saint Michael and All Angels

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

Blessed are you, God of power and might,
the glorious Lord of the universe:
you created the host of angels and archangels
to become your eternal crown of praise
while carrying into your presence
our own acts of worship, faith and prayer.
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 34

I will bless the Lord at all times;*
 his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
I will glory in the Lord;*
 let the humble hear and rejoice.
Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord;*
 let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord and he answered me*
 and delivered me out of all my terror.
Look upon him and be radiant,*
 and let not your faces be ashamed.
I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me*
 and saved me from all my troubles.
The angel of the Lord
   encompasses those who fear him,*
 and he will deliver them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;*
 happy are they who trust in him!
Fear the Lord, you that are his saints,*
 for those who fear him lack nothing.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger,*
 but those who seek the Lord
   lack nothing that is good.
Come, children, and listen to me;*
 I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who among you loves life*
 and desires long life to enjoy prosperity?
Keep your tongue from evil-speaking*
 and your lips from lying words.
Turn from evil and do good;*
 seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,*
 and his ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,*
 to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry and the Lord hears them*
 and delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted*
 and will save those whose spirits are crushed.
Many are the troubles of the righteous,*
 but the Lord will deliver him out of them all.
He will keep safe all his bones;*
 not one of them shall be broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,*
 and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
The Lord ransoms the life of his servants,*
 and none will be punished who trust in him.

A Song of God's Assembled (Hebrews 12:22-24a,28-29)

We have come before God's holy mountain,
to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.

We have come before countless angels making festival,
before the assembly of the firstborn citizens of heaven.

We have come before God, who is judge of all,
before the spirits of the just made perfect.

We have come before Jesus,
the mediator of the new covenant.

We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken:
so let us give thanks and offer to God acceptable worship,

full of reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire.

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

READING [Tobit 12:6-end]:

Then Raphael called the two of them privately and said to
them, 'Bless God and acknowledge him in the presence of
all the living for the good things he has done for you.
Bless and sing praise to his name. With fitting honour
declare to all people the deeds  of God. Do not be slow
to acknowledge him. It is good to conceal the secret of a
king, but to acknowledge and reveal the works of God, and
with fitting honour to acknowledge him. Do good, and evil
will not overtake you. Prayer with fasting is good, but
better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A
little with righteousness is better than wealth with
wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to lay up
gold. For almsgiving saves from death and purges away
every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life,
but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst
'I will now declare the whole truth to you and will
conceal nothing from you. Already I have declared it to
you when I said, "It is good to conceal the secret of a
king, but to reveal with due honour the works of God." So
now, when you and Sarah prayed, it was I who brought and
read the record of your prayer before the glory of the
Lord, and likewise whenever you buried the dead. And that
time when you did not hesitate to get up and leave your
dinner to go and bury the dead, I was sent to you to test
you. And at the same time God sent me to heal you and
Sarah your daughter-in-law. I am Raphael, one of the
seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory
of the Lord.'
The two of them were shaken; they fell face down, for
they were afraid. But he said to them, 'Do not be afraid;
peace be with you. Bless God for evermore. As for me,
when I was with you, I was not acting on my own will, but
by the will of God. Bless him each and every day; sing
his praises. Although you were watching me, I really did
not eat or drink anything but what you saw was a vision.
So now get up from the ground, and acknowledge God. See,
I am ascending to him who sent me. Write down all these
things that have happened to you.' And he ascended. Then
they stood up, and could see him no more. They kept
blessing God and singing his praises, and they
acknowledged God for these marvellous deeds of his, when
an angel of God had appeared to them.

Words: Latin, ninth century, attributed to Rabanus Maurus (ca. 776-856);
Trans. C. S. Phillips
Tune: Caelites plaudant (Rouen)
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Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels,
ruler of all, and author of creation,
grant us in thy mercy grace to win by patience
realms everlasting.

Send forth thine angel Michael from thy presence:
peacemaker bless d, may he hover o'er us
hallow our dwellings, that for us thy children
all things may prosper.

Send forth thine angel Gabriel the mighty;
on strong wings flying, may he come from heaven,
drive from thy temple Satan the old foeman,
succor our weakness.

Send forth thine angel Raphael the healer
through him with wholesome medicines of salvation,
heal our backsliding, and in paths of goodness
guide our steps daily.

May the blest Mother of our God and Savior,
may all the countless company of angels,
may the assembly of the saints in glory,
ever assist us.

Father Almighty, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Godhead eternal, grant us our petition;
thine be the glory through the whole creation
now and for ever.

SECOND READING [Acts 12:1-11]:

About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had
James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he
proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had
seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him,
intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the
church prayed fervently to God for him.
The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was
sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the
prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on
the side and woke him, saying, 'Get up quickly.' And the chains fell off his wrists. The angel said
to him, 'Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.' He did so. Then he said to him, 'Wrap your
cloak around you and follow me.' Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what
was happening with the angel's help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had
passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It
opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when
suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, 'Now I am sure that the Lord
has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people
were expecting.' 

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

Father in heaven, by his blood your Christ has ransomed us to you,
and has made us a kingdom and priests to you our God.
As the angels minister to you in heaven,
strengthen your Church to serve you here on earth.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
when the angels greeted the birth of your Son
they sang for joy 'Glory to God and peace on earth'.
Bless with Christ's peace the nations of the world...
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
your Son has promised to your children
the care of the guardian angels who look upon your face.
Protect by your mercy our neighbours, families and friends...
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
your angel declares 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.'
'Blessed indeed,' says the Spirit,
'for they may rest from their labours,
for they take with them the record of their deeds.'
Enfold in your love (... and) all who come in faith
to your judgement seat in heaven.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
the angels sing by day and night around your throne
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.'
With Michael, prince of the angels, who contends by our side,
with Gabriel, your herald, who brings glad tidings,
and with the whole company of heaven,
we worship you, we give you glory,
we sing your praise and exalt you for ever.  Amen.

Everlasting God,
you have ordained and constituted the ministries
of angels and mortals in a wonderful order
grant that as your holy angels
always serve you in heaven,
so, at your command,
they may help and defend us on earth;
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

Send your holy angels to watch over us,
O loving God,
that on our lips will be found your truth
and in our hearts your love;
for his sake who died for love of our love,
even Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer 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 by Stephen Benner and is based on a
prayer from _We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian
Eucharistic Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The
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.

The intercession and the closing sentence are from _Enriching the
Christian Year_  SPCK, compilation (c)Michael Perham 1993.

Hymn (c) 1932 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn in all territories except the UK, contact:
Hope Publishing Company, 
In the UK, contact:  Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd.,
St. Mary's Works, St. Mary's Plain, Norwich, Norfolk  NR3 3BH  England

On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give
thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both
directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of
God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.
The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans
who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth.
We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are
told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk
15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt
18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the
face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)<P
In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man
who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man,
but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created
beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when
they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as "messengers of God,"
or simply as "messengers." The word for a messenger in Hebrew is MALACH,
in Greek, ANGELOS, from which we get our word "angel."
By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about
angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four
archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative
tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes
each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic
system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is
associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but
I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called "The Golden
Legend," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 
Michael (the name means "Who is like God?") is said to be the captain of the
heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1
(where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he
is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in
Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those
of the great dragon). He is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance,
and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. 
Gabriel (the name means "God is my champion") is thought of as the special
bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an
explainer of some of Daniel's visions. According to the first chapter of Luke,
he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to
Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.
Raphael (the name means "God heals") is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the
book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man
Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the
blindness of his aged father.
Uriel (the name means "God is my light" -- compare with "Uriah", which
means "the LORD is my light") is mentioned in 4 Esdras.
It is thought by many scholars that the seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 are an
image suggested by (among many other things) the idea of seven
What is the value to us of remembering the Holy Angels? Well, since they
appear to excel us in both knowledge and power, they remind us that, even
among created things, we humans are not the top of the heap. Since it is the
common belief that demons are angels who have chosen to disobey God and to
be His enemies rather than His willing servants, they remind us that the higher
we are the lower we can fall. The greater our natural gifts and talents, the
greater the damage if we turn them to bad ends. The more we have been given,
the more will be expected of us. And, in the picture of God sending His angels
to help and defend us, we are reminded that apparently God, instead of doing
good things directly, often prefers to do them through His willing servants,
enabling those who have accepted His love to show their love for one another.
The major post-New-Testament source for Christian ideas about angels is
a writer (probably a fifth-century Syrian monk) who signed himself "Dionysius
the Areopagite." His writings were taken to be those of a convert of the
Apostle Paul, mentioned in Acts 17:34. Accordingly, when he wrote on angels
(or any other theological subject), he was assumed to know what he was
talking about. His writings had a considerable influence on the portrayal of
angels in art and in the popular imagination. [James Kiefer]

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