OREMUS: 21 April 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Apr 20 20:49:39 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Saturday, April 21, 2007 
Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher of the Faith, 1109

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 48

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised;*
 in the city of our God is his holy hill.
Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth,
   is the hill of Zion,*
 the very centre of the world
   and the city of the great king.
God is in her citadels;*
 he is known to be her sure refuge.
Behold, the kings of the earth assembled*
 and marched forward together.
They looked and were astounded;*
 they retreated and fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there;*
 they writhed like a woman in childbirth,
   like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them.
As we have heard, so have we seen,
   in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God;*
 God has established her for ever.
We have waited in silence
   on your loving-kindness, O God,*
 in the midst of your temple.
Your praise, like your name, O God,
   reaches to the world's end;*
 your right hand is full of justice.
Let Mount Zion be glad
   and the cities of Judah rejoice,*
 because of your judgements.
Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her;*
 count the number of her towers.
Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds;*
 that you may tell those who come after.
This God is our God for ever and ever;*
 he shall be our guide for evermore.

Psalm 119:145-152

I call with my whole heart;*
 answer me, O Lord, that I may keep your statutes.
I call to you; O that you would save me!*
 I will keep your decrees.
Early in the morning I cry out to you,*
 for in your word is my trust.
My eyes are open in the night watches,*
 that I may meditate upon your promise.
Hear my voice, O Lord,
   according to your loving-kindness;*
 according to your judgements, give me life.
They draw near who in malice persecute me;*
 they are very far from your law.
You, O Lord, are near at hand,*
 and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your decrees*
 that you have established them for ever.

A Song of God's Grace (Ephesians 1:3-10)

Blessed are you, 
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for you have blest us in Christ Jesus
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

You chose us to be yours in Christ
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and blameless before you.

In love you destined us for adoption as your children,
through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of your will,

To the praise of your glorious grace,
which you freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In you, we have redemption
through the blood of Christ,
the forgiveness of our sins,

According to the riches of your grace,
which you have lavished upon us.

You have made known to us, in all wisdom and insight,
the mystery of your will,

According to your purpose 
which you set forth in Christ,
as a plan for the fullness of time,

To unite all things in Christ,
things in heaven and things on earth.

Psalm 149

Alleluia!
   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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Genesis 18:1-8]:

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the
heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran
from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, 'My lord, if I find
favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet,
and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves,
and after that you may pass on since you have come to your servant.' So they said, 'Do as you
have said.' And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, 'Make ready quickly three
measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.' Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf,
tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and
milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree
while they ate.

HYMN 
Words: Isaac Watts, 1707
Tune: Beulah, Capel, Mendip, Covenanters 
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There is a land of pure delight,
where saints immortal reign,
infinite day excludes the night,
and pleasures banish pain.

There everlasting spring abides,
and never-withering flowers:
death, like a narrow sea, divides
this heavenly land from ours.

Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
stand dressed in living green:
so to the Jews old Canaan stood,
while Jordan rolled between.

But timorous mortals start and shrink
to cross this narrow sea;
and linger, shivering on the brink,
and fear to launch away.

O could we make our doubts remove,
those gloomy thoughts that rise,
and see the Canaan that we love
with unbeclouded eyes!

Could we but climb where Moses stood,
and view the landscape o'er,
not Jordan's stream, nor death's cold flood,
should fright us from the shore.

SECOND READING [Luke 14:12-14]:

Jesus said, 'When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or
your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will
be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the
righteous.'

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

Prayer:
Jesus, Light of the world,
bring the light and peace of your Gospel
to the nations.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, Bread of life,
give food to the hungry
and nourish us all with your Word.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, our Way, our Truth, our Life,
be with us and all who follow in the way.
Deepen our appreciation of your truth
and fill us with your life.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, Good Shepherd,
who gave your life for the sheep,
recover the straggler,
bind up the injured,
strengthen the sick
and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life,
we give you thanks for all who have lived and believed in you.
Raise us with them to eternal life.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
you have made us fellow citizens with the saints
in the city of eternal light.
In the time of storm, when the foundations shake,
teach us to wait in silence 
on your steadfast and transforming love,
made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, 
who raised up your servant Anselm 
to be a guide and teacher of faith
in its quest for understanding,
provide your Church in every age
with godliness and sound learning, 
that we may have power to speak 
the reason for the hope that is in us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for 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 are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle, the opening thanksgiving and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer
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.

Anselm is the most important Christian theologian in the West between Augustine and Thomas
Aquinas. His two great accomplishments are his Proslogium (in which he undertakes to show that
Reason requires that men should believe in God), and his Cur Deus Homo? (in which he
undertakes to show that Divine Love responding to human rebelliousness requires that God
should become a man).

He was born in Italy about 1033, and in 1060 he entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy to
study under Stephen Lanfranc, whom he succeeded in office, first as prior of Bec, and later as
Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1078 he was elected abbot of Bec. The previous year, he completed a work called the
Monologium, in which he argues for the existence of God from the existence of degrees of
perfection (Aquinas's Fourth Way is a variation of this argument).

In 1087, while still at Bec, he produced his Proslogium, an outline of his "ontological argument"
for the existence of God. Taking as his text the opening of Psalm 14 ("The fool hath said in his
heart: There is no God."), Anselm undertakes to show that the fool is contradicting himself -- that
the concept of God is unique in that anyone who understands what is meant by the question,
"Does God exist?" will see that the answer must be "Yes." 
King William II of England had no fondness for the Church, and at the death of Lanfranc he kept
the See of Canterbury vacant until he was gravely ill, whereon he promised to let Anselm be made
Archbishop. Anselm was made Archbishop (4 December 1093), the King recovered, and the two
began to dispute the extent of the King's right to intervene in Church matters. Anselm went into
exile in 1097 and remained in Italy for three years until the King died in 1100.

During that time Anselm was instrumental in settling the doubts of the Greek bishops of southern
Italy about the doctrine of the Filioque.

He also devoted the time to writing a book known as Cur Deus Homo? (meaning "Why Did God
Become Man?"). In it he puts forward the "satisfaction theory" of the Atonement. Man's offence
of rebellion against God is one that demands a payment or satisfaction. Fallen man is incapable of
making adequate satisfaction, and so God took human nature upon Him, in order that a perfect
man might make perfect satisfaction and so restore the human race. The success of his work may
be gauged by the fact that many Christians today not only accept his way of explaining the
Atonement, but are simply unaware that there is any other way.
After the death of King William II in 1100, Anselm returned to England at the invitation of the
new king Henry I, only to quarrel with Henry about the lawful extent of the king's control over
the selection of bishops and abbots (it must be remembered that these officials had civil as well as
religious authority). Anselm was again in exile from 1103 to 1106. In 1107 a compromise was
reached, and Anselm returned home to Canterbury, where he lived his last few years in peace,
dying 21 April 1109. [James Kiefer, abridged]


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