OREMUS: 4 April 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Apr 3 21:38:49 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Wednesday in Holy Week

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, almighty God,
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
for the days in which we commemorate
his life-giving death and glorious resurrection
are close at hand,
when the pride of the ancient enemy is trampled down
and the mystery of our redemption is fulfilled.
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. 

http://www.oremus.org/passocan.html

Psalm 31

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
   let me never be put to shame;*
 deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;*
 make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
   for you are my crag and my stronghold;*
 for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net
   that they have secretly set for me,*
 for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,*
 for you have redeemed me,
   O Lord, O God of truth.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols,*
 and I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy;*
 for you have seen my affliction;
   you know my distress.
You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy;*
 you have set my feet in an open place.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;*
 my eye is consumed with sorrow,
   and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief,
   and my years with sighing;*
 my strength fails me because of affliction,
   and my bones are consumed.
I have become a reproach to all my enemies
   and even to my neighbours,
   a dismay to those of my acquaintance;*
 when they see me in the street they avoid me.
I am forgotten like the dead, out of mind;*
 I am as useless as a broken pot.
For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
   fear is all around;*
 they put their heads together against me;
   they plot to take my life.
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.*
 I have said, 'You are my God.
'My times are in your hand;*
 rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
   and from those who persecute me.
'Make your face to shine upon your servant,*
 and in your loving-kindness save me.'
Lord, let me not be ashamed
   for having called upon you;*
 rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
   let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be silenced
   which speak against the righteous,*
 haughtily, disdainfully and with contempt.
How great is your goodness, O Lord,
   which you have laid up for those who fear you;*
 which you have done in the sight of all
   for those who put their trust in you.
You hide them in the covert of your presence
   from those who slander them;*
 you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord!*
 for he has shown me the wonders of his love
   in a besieged city.
Yet I said in my alarm,
   'I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.'*
 Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
   when I cried out to you.
Love the Lord, all you who worship him;*
 the Lord protects the faithful,
   but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,*
 all you who wait for the Lord.

Psalm 88

O Lord, my God, my Saviour,*
 by day and night I cry to you.
Let my prayer enter into your presence;*
 incline your ear to my lamentation.
For I am full of trouble;*
 my life is at the brink of the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;*
 I have become like one who has no strength;
Lost among the dead,*
 like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom you remember no more,*
 for they are cut off from your hand.
You have laid me in the depths of the Pit,*
 in dark places and in the abyss.
Your anger weighs upon me heavily,*
 and all your great waves overwhelm me.
You have put my friends far from me;
   you have made me to be abhorred by them;*
 I am in prison and cannot get free.
My sight has failed me because of trouble;*
 Lord, I have called upon you daily;
   I have stretched out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?*
 will those who have died
   stand up and give you thanks?
Will your loving-kindness be declared in the grave?*
 your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
Will your wonders be known in the dark?*
 or your righteousness in the country
   where all is forgotten?
But as for me, O Lord, I cry to you for help;*
 in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why have you rejected me?*
 why have you hidden your face from me?
Ever since my youth,
   I have been wretched and at the point of death;*
 I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind.
Your blazing anger has swept over me;*
 your terrors have destroyed me;
They surround me all day long like a flood;*
 they encompass me on every side.
My friend and my neighbour you have put away from me,*
 and darkness is my only companion.

READING [Lamentations 3:1-30]:

I am one who has seen affliction
   under the rod of God's wrath;
he has driven and brought me
   into darkness without any light;
against me alone he turns his hand,
   again and again, all day long.

He has made my flesh and my skin waste away,
   and broken my bones;
he has besieged and enveloped me
   with bitterness and tribulation;
he has made me sit in darkness
   like the dead of long ago.

He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;
   he has put heavy chains on me;
though I call and cry for help,
   he shuts out my prayer;
he has blocked my ways with hewn stones,
   he has made my paths crooked.

He is a bear lying in wait for me,
   a lion in hiding;
he led me off my way and tore me to pieces;
   he has made me desolate;
he bent his bow and set me
   as a mark for his arrow.

He shot into my vitals
   the arrows of his quiver;
I have become the laughing-stock of all my people,
   the object of their taunt-songs all day long.
He has filled me with bitterness,
   he has glutted me with wormwood.

He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
   and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
   I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, 'Gone is my glory,
   and all that I had hoped for from the Lord.'

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
   is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
   and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
   and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
   'therefore I will hope in him.'

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
   to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
   for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for one to bear
   the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
   when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one's mouth to the dust
   (there may yet be hope),
to give one's cheek to the smiter,
   and be filled with insults. 

HYMN 
Words: Thomas Kelly, 1815
Tune: Bow Brickhill, Breslau, Ach bleib bei uns
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We sing the praise of him who died,
of him who died upon the cross;
the sinner's hope let men deride;
for this we count the world but loss.

Inscribed upon the cross we see
in shining letters, God is love:
he bears our sins upon the tree:
he brings us mercy from above.

The cross: it takes our guilt away,
it holds the fainting spirit up;
it cheers with hope the gloomy day,
and sweetens every bitter cup.

It makes the coward spirit brave,
and nerves the feeble arm for fight;
it takes its terror from the grave,
and gilds the bed of death with light.

The balm of life, the cure of woe,
the measure and the pledge of love,
the sinner's refuge here below,
the angel's theme in heaven above.

SECOND READING [2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11]:

But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth.
I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your
joy, because you stand firm in the faith.
So I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. For if I cause you pain, who is there
to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I
might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice; for I am confident about all of
you, that my joy would be the joy of all of you. For I wrote to you out of much distress and
anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant
love that I have for you.
But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent not to exaggerate
it to all of you. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you
should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I
urge you to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether
you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if
I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ. And we do this so that
we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 

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

Prayer:
With faith and love and in union with Christ,
let us offer our prayer before the throne of grace.

Have mercy on your people,
for whom your Son laid down his life.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations,
and have pity on those torn apart by division. 
Lord, graciously hear us.

Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name's sake,
and deliver them from evil.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Look in mercy upon all who suffer,
and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Bring comfort to the dying,
and gladden their hearts with the power of your glory.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Give rest to the departed and bring them, with your saints,
to glory everlasting.
Lord, graciously hear us.

As we rejoice in the triumph of the cross,
we pray that the whole of creation may find fulfillment
in the eternal kingdom of God:

Almighty God,
as we stand at the foot of the cross of your Son,
help us to see and know your love for us,
so that in humility, love and joy
we may place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Standing at the foot of the cross,
we pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Lead us, O God, in the way of Christ
and give us courage to take up our cross
and, in full reliance upon your grace, to follow him. Amen.

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The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer (adapted) are 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 adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is adapted from two sentences in a prayer from
_Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John
Knox Press.



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