OREMUS: 19 April 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Apr 18 23:15:12 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Thursday, April 19, 2007 
Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, eternal God;
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom we receive the legacy of a living hope,
born again not only from his death
but also from his resurrection.
Day by day you refine our faith,
that we who have not seen the Christ
may truly confess him as our Lord and God,
and share the blessedness of those who believe.
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/eastocan.html

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it,*
 the world and all who dwell therein.
For it is he who founded it upon the seas*
 and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
'Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?*
 and who can stand in his holy place?'
'Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,*
 who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
   nor sworn by what is a fraud.
'They shall receive a blessing from the Lord*
 and a just reward from the God of their salvation.'
Such is the generation of those who seek him,*
 of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle.'
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is he, this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord of hosts,
   he is the King of glory.'

Psalm 47

Clap your hands, all you peoples;*
 shout to God with a cry of joy.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared;*
 he is the great king over all the earth.
He subdues the peoples under us,*
 and the nations under our feet.
He chooses our inheritance for us,*
 the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
God has gone up with a shout,*
 the Lord with the sound of the ram's-horn.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;*
 sing praises to our king, sing praises.
For God is king of all the earth;*
 sing praises with all your skill.
God reigns over the nations;*
 God sits upon his holy throne.
The nobles of the peoples have gathered together*
 with the people of the God of Abraham.
The rulers of the earth belong to God,*
 and he is highly exalted.

A Song of the Redeemed (Revelation 7. 9-10,14b-17)

Behold, a great multitude
 which no one could number,

>From every nation,
from all tribes and peoples and tongues,
 standing before the throne and the Lamb.

They were clothed in white robes
 and had palms in their hands,
 and they cried with a loud voice, saying,

'Salvation belongs to our God
 who sits on the throne,
 and to the Lamb.'

These are they
who have come out of the great tribulation,
 they have washed their robes
 and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;

Therefore they stand before the throne of God,
 whom they serve day and night within the temple.

And the One who sits upon the throne
 will shelter them with his presence.

They shall never again feel hunger or thirst,
 the sun shall not strike them,
 nor any scorching heat.

For the Lamb at the heart of the throne
 will be their Shepherd,

He will guide them to springs of living water,
 and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
 be blessing and honour and glory and might,
 for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 148

Alleluia!
   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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 5:11-17]:

Ah, you who rise early in the morning
   in pursuit of strong drink,
who linger in the evening
   to be inflamed by wine,
whose feasts consist of lyre and harp,
   tambourine and flute and wine,
but who do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
   or see the work of his hands!
Therefore my people go into exile without knowledge;
their nobles are dying of hunger,
   and their multitude is parched with thirst.

Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
   and opened its mouth beyond measure;
the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down,
   her throng and all who exult in her.
People are bowed down, everyone is brought low,
   and the eyes of the haughty are humbled.
But the Lord of hosts is exalted by justice,
   and the Holy God shows himself holy by righteousness.
Then the lambs shall graze as in their pasture,
   fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins. 

HYMN 
Words: William Kethe (died 1594), 1561
Tune: Old 100th

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/a/a142.html
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All people that on earth do dwell,
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice:
him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell,
come ye before him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
without our aid he did us make:
we are his folk, he doth us feed,
and for his sheep he doth us take.

O enter then his gates with praise,
approach with joy his courts unto;
praise, laud, and bless his Name always,
for it is seemly so to do.

For why? the Lord our God is good,
his mercy is for ever sure;
his truth at all times firmly stood,
and shall from age to age endure.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
the God whom heaven and earth adore,
from men and from the angel host
be praise and glory evermore.

SECOND READING [Revelation 3:14-22]:

'And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful
and true witness, the origin of God's creation:
'I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or
hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you
out of my mouth. For you say, "I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing." You
do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I
counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white
robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and
salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. I reprove and discipline those whom I
love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if
you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you
with me. To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I
myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. Let anyone who has an
ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.' 

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

Prayer:
O Christ, in your resurrection,
the heavens and the earth rejoice:
Alleluia!

By your resurrection you broke open the gates of hell,
and destroyed sin and death.
Keep us victorious over sin.

By your resurrection you raised the dead,
and brought us from death to life.
Guide us in the way of eternal life.

By your resurrection you confounded your guards and executioners,
and filled the disciples with joy.
Give us joy in your service.

By your resurrection you proclaimed good news to the women and apostles,
and brought salvation to the whole world.
Direct our lives as your new creation.

By your resurrection you give new life to your people, the Church.
Send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

As Christ was raised by your glory, O Father,
so may we walk in newness of life
and rejoice to be called the children of God;
now and for ever.  Amen.

O loving God, your martyr Alphege of Canterbury suffered violent death when
he refused to permit a ransom to be extorted from his people: Grant that all
pastors of your flock may pattern themselves on the Good Shepherd, who
laid down his life for the sheep; and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives
and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.        

Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God, who through the resurrection
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
has given us the victory,
give us joy and peace in our faith. Amen.

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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 uses one sentence from _Revised
Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on
Common Texts and another sentence from _Opening Prayers: Collects in
Contemporary Language_.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

Alphege (Elphege, AElfheah) was born about 953, during the second major period of
Viking raids against England. He became first a monk and then a hermit, and then was
appointed Abbot of Bath. In 984 he became Bishop of Westminster. In 994 King Ethelred
the Unready sent him to parley with the Danish invaders Anlaf and Swein. The
Anglo-Saxons paid tribute, but Anlaf became a Christian and swore never to invade
England again. He never did. In that same year Alphege brought the newly baptized King
Olaf Tryggvason of Norway to a peaceful meeting with King Ethelred, and to his
confirmation at Andover. (Remark: "Unready" does not mean that the king was often
unprepared; it means that he was headstrong and stubborn, and would not accept "rede,"
meaning counsel or advice.)
In 1005 Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011 the Danes overran much of
southern England. The payment of the tribute agreed on (the Danegeld) did not stop them,
and in September they captured Canterbury and held Alphege and other prominent
persons for ransom. The others were duly paid for and released, but the price demanded
for Alphege was a fantastically high 3,000 pounds (worth of course, far more than modern
pounds). Alphege, knowing the poverty of his people, refused to pay or let anyone else
pay for him. The infuriated Danes, at the end of a drunken feast, brought him out and
repeated their demands. When he again refused, they threw various objects at him (large
bones from the feast, for example) and finally an axeman delivered the death-blow. Their
chief, Thorkell the Tall, tried to save him, offering all his possessions except his ship for
the Archbishop's life. By his death Alphege became a national hero.
When the Dane Cnut (Canute) became King of England in 1016, he adopted a policy of
conciliation, and in 1023 he brought the body of Alphege from London to Canterbury,
where he was long remembered as a martyr, one who died, not precisely for professing the
Christian faith, but for exercising the Christian virtue of justice. In art, he is shown with an
axe, the instrument of his death, or as a shepherd defending his flock from wolves. 



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