OREMUS: 30 September 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Sep 29 22:21:08 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Saturday, September 30, 2006 
Jerome, Translator of the Scriptures, Teacher of the Faith, 420

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 120

When I was in trouble I called to the Lord,*
 I called to the Lord and he answered me.
Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips*
 and from the deceitful tongue.
What shall be done to you and what more besides,*
 O you deceitful tongue?
The sharpened arrows of a warrior,*
 along with hot glowing coals.
How hateful it is that I must lodge in Meshech*
 and dwell among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I had to live*
 among the enemies of peace.
I am on the side of peace,*
 but when I speak of it, they are for war.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills;*
 from where is my help to come?
My help comes from the Lord,*
 the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved*
 and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel*
 shall neither slumber nor sleep;
The Lord himself watches over you;*
 the Lord is your shade at your right hand,
So that the sun shall not strike you by day,*
 nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;*
 it is he who shall keep you safe.
The Lord shall watch over your going out
   and your coming in,*
 from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 124

If the Lord had not been on our side,*
 let Israel now say;
If the Lord had not been on our side,*
 when enemies rose up against us;
Then would they have swallowed us up alive*
 in their fierce anger towards us;
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us*
 and the torrent gone over us;
Then would the raging waters*
 have gone right over us.
Blessed be the Lord!*
 he has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
   from the snare of the fowler;*
 the snare is broken and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,*
 the maker of heaven and earth.

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 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 [Esther 2:1-23]:

After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had
abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and
what had been decreed against her. Then the king's
servants who attended him said, 'Let beautiful young
virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king
appoint commissioners in all the provinces of his kingdom
to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in
the citadel of Susa under the custody of Hegai, the
king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; let their
cosmetic treatments be given them. And let the girl who
pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.' This
pleased the king, and he did so.
Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was
Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a
Benjaminite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem
among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of
Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried
away. Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther,
his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the
girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her
mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter. So
when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and
when many young women were gathered in the citadel of
Susa in the custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into
the king's palace and put in the custody of Hegai, who
had charge of the women. The girl pleased him and won his
favour, and he quickly provided her with her cosmetic
treatments and her portion of food, and with seven chosen
maids from the king's palace, and advanced her and her
maids to the best place in the harem. Esther did not
reveal her people or kindred, for Mordecai had charged
her not to tell. Every day Mordecai would walk around in
front of the court of the harem, to learn how Esther was
and how she fared.
The turn came for each girl to go in to King Ahasuerus,
after being twelve months under the regulations for the
women, since this was the regular period of their
cosmetic treatment, six months with oil of myrrh and six
months with perfumes and cosmetics for women. When the
girl went in to the king she was given whatever she asked
for to take with her from the harem to the king's palace.
In the evening she went in; then in the morning she came
back to the second harem in the custody of Shaashgaz, the
king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines; she
did not go in to the king again, unless the king
delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
When the turn came for Esther daughter of Abihail the
uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own
daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing
except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of
the women, advised. Now Esther was admired by all who saw
her. When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal
palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth,
in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther
more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won
his favour and devotion, so that he set the royal crown
on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then
the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and
ministers 'Esther's banquet.' He also granted a holiday
to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal
When the virgins were being gathered together, Mordecai
was sitting at the king's gate. Now Esther had not
revealed her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had
charged her; for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she
was brought up by him. In those days, while Mordecai was
sitting at the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of
the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became
angry and conspired to assassinate King Ahasuerus. But
the matter came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told
it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name
of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found
to be so, both the men were hanged on the gallows. It was
recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the

Words:  Isaac Watts (1674-1748), 1707,
as altered by John Wesley (1703-1791), 1737.
Tune: Old 100th
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Before Jehovah's awful throne,
ye nations, bow with sacred joy;
know that the Lord is God alone;
he can create, and he destroy.

His sovereign power, without our aid,
made us of clay, and formed us men;
and when like wandering sheep we strayed,
he brought us to his fold again.

We'll crowd thy gates with thankful songs,
high as the heavens our voices raise;
and earth, with her ten thousand tongues,
shall fill thy courts with sounding praise.

Wide as the world is thy command,
vast as eternity thy love;
firm as a rock thy truth must stand,
when rolling years shall cease to move.

SECOND READING [Acts 12:20-25]:

Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they came to him in a
body; and after winning over Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for a
reconciliation, because their country depended on the king's country for food. On an
appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and
delivered a public address to them. The people kept shouting, 'The voice of a god, and
not of a mortal!' And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an
angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
But the word of God continued to advance and gain adherents. Then after completing
their mission Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem and brought with them John,
whose other name was Mark. 

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

God of glory, we praise you for your presence in our
lives, and for all goodness that you shower upon your
children in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you for
     promises kept and hope for tomorrow...
                         (We thank you, Lord.)
     the enjoyment of friends...
     the wonders of your creation...
     love from our parents, our sisters and brothers,
     our spouses, lovers, and children...
     pleasures of living...

God of grace, we are one with all your children, for we
are sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ, and we offer
our prayers for all whom we love. Especially we pray for
     those we too often forget...
                (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     people who have lost hope...
     victims of tragedy and disaster...
     those who suffer mental anguish...
     ecumenical councils and church agencies...

God, good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair,
in you is calmness, peace and concord.
Heal our divisions,
draw us into your divine nature,
and through the embrace of your love
make us one in Spirit. Amen.

O Lord, O God of truth, 
your Word is a lantern to our feet 
and a light upon our path: 
We give you thanks for your servant Jerome, 
and those who, following in his steps, 
have labored to render the Holy Scriptures 
in the language of the people; 
and we pray that your Holy Spirit 
will overshadow us as we read the written Word, 
and that Christ, the living Word, 
will transform us according to your righteous will; 
for he 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

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

Jerome was the foremost biblical scholar of the ancient Church. His translation
of the Bible, along with his commentaries and homilies on the biblical books,
have made him a major intellectual force in the Western Church.
Jerome was born in about 347, and was converted and baptized during his
student days in Rome. On a visit to Trier, he found himself attracted to the
monastic life, which he tested in a brief but unhappy experience as a hermit in
the deserts of Syria. At Antioch, he continued his studies in Hebrew and
Greek. In 379, he went to Constantinople where he studied under Gregory of
Nazianzus. From 382 to 384 he was secretary to Pope Damasus I, and spiritual
director of many noble Roman ladies who were becoming interested in the
monastic life. It was Damasus who set him the task of making a new
translation of the Bible into Latin -- into the popular form of the language,
hence the name of the translation: the Vulgate. After the death of Damasus,
Jerome returned to the East, and estabished a monastery at Bethlehem, where
he lived and worked until his death on 30 September 420.
Jerome is best known as the translator of the Bible into Latin. A previous
version (now called the Old Latin) existed, but Jerome's version far surpassed
it in scholarship and in literary quality. Jerome was well versed in classical
Latin (as well as Greek and Hebrew), but deliberately translated the Bible into
the style of Latin that was actually spoken and written by the majority of
persons in his own time. This kind of Latin is known as Vulgate Latin
(meaning the Latin of the common people), and accordingly Jerome's
translation is called the Vulgate.
Jerome was intemperate in controversy, and any correspondence with him
tended to degenerate into a flame war. (His friendship with Augustine,
conducted by letter, nearly ended before it began. Fortunately Augustine sized
him up correctly, soothed his feelings, and was extremely tactful thereafter.)
His hot temper, pride of learning, and extravagant promotion of asceticism
involved him in many bitter controversies over questions of theology and of
Bible interpretation. However, he was candid at times in admitting his failings,
and was never ambitious for either worldly or churchly honors. He was a
militant champion of orthodoxy, a tireless worker, and a scholar of rare gifts.
[James Kiefer, abridged]

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