OREMUS: 23 April 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Apr 22 20:53:17 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Monday, April 23, 2007 
George, Martyr, Patron of England, c.304

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

Blessed are you, God of life,
in your risen Son
you reveal your abiding presence among us
and call us in our baptism to lives of worship and service,
that we may be his witnesses 
to the farthest reaches of the earth.
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 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.
Who only does great wonders,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Who by his wisdom made the heavens,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Who spread out the earth upon the waters,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Who created great lights,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
The sun to rule the day,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
The moon and the stars to govern the night,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.
Who struck down the first-born of Egypt,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
And brought out Israel from among them,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
With a mighty hand and a stretched-out arm,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Who divided the Red Sea in two,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
And made Israel to pass through the midst of it,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Who led his people through the wilderness,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.
Who struck down great kings,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
And slew mighty kings,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Sihon, king of the Amorites,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
And Og, the king of Bashan,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
And gave away their lands for an inheritance,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
An inheritance for Israel his servant,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.
Who remembered us in our low estate,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
And delivered us from our enemies,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Who gives food to all creatures,*
 for his mercy endures for ever;
Give thanks to the God of heaven,*
 for his mercy endures for ever.

A Song of the Heavenly City (Revelation 21.22-26;22.1,2b,2d,3b-4)

I saw no temple in the city,
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty
and the Lamb.

And the city has no need of sun or moon
to shine upon it,
for the glory of God is its light,
and its lamp is the Lamb.

By its light the nations shall walk,
and the rulers of the earth
shall bring their glory into it.

Its gates shall never be shut by day,
nor shall there be any night;
they shall bring into it
the glory and honour of the nations.

I saw the river of the water of life,
bright as crystal,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

And either side of the river stood the tree of life,
yielding its fruit each month,
and the leaves of the tree
were for the healing of the nations.

The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be there,
and his servants shall worship him;
and they shall see his face
and his name shall be on their foreheads.

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 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 1:26-2:1]:

And above the dome over their heads there was something
like a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated
above the likeness of a throne was something that seemed
like a human form. Upwards from what appeared like the
loins I saw something like gleaming amber, something that
looked like fire enclosed all round; and downwards from
what looked like the loins I saw something that looked
like fire, and there was a splendour all round. Like the
bow in a cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of
the splendour all round. This was the appearance of the
likeness of the glory of the Lord.
When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice
of someone speaking.
He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I
will speak with you. 

Words: George William Kitchen and Michael Robert Newbolt, 1916
Tune: Crucifer
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Lift high the cross,
the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore
his sacred Name.

Come, brethren, follow where our Captain trod,
our King victorious, Christ the Son of God. Refrain

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
the hosts of God in conquering ranks combine. Refrain

Each newborn soldier of the Crucified
bears on the brow the seal of him who died. Refrain

This is the sign which Satan's legions fear
and angels veil their faces to rever. Refrain

Saved by this Cross whereon their Lord was slain,
the sons of Adam their lost home regain. Refrain

>From north and south, from east and west they raise
in growing unison their songs of praise. Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw the world to thee. Refrain

Let every race and every language tell
of him who saves our souls from death and hell. Refrain

>From farthest regions let their homage bring,
and on his Cross adore their Savior King. Refrain

Set up thy throne, that earth's despair may cease
beneath the shadow of its healing peace. Refrain

For thy blest Cross which doth for all atone
creation's praises rise before thy throne. Refrain

SECOND READING [Acts 26:1-18]:

Agrippa said to Paul, 'You have permission to speak for yourself.' Then Paul
stretched out his hand and began to defend himself:
'I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am to make my
defence today against all the accusations of the Jews, because you are especially
familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews; therefore I beg of you to
listen to me patiently.
'All the Jews know my way of life from my youth, a life spent from the beginning
among my own people and in Jerusalem. They have known for a long time, if they are
willing to testify, that I have belonged to the strictest sect of our religion and lived as a
Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial on account of my hope in the promise made by
God to our ancestors, a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly
worship day and night. It is for this hope, your Excellency, that I am accused by Jews!
Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
'Indeed, I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of
Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; with authority received from
the chief priests, I not only locked up many of the saints in prison, but I also cast my
vote against them when they were being condemned to death. By punishing them often
in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was so furiously
enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.

'With this in mind, I was travelling to Damascus with the authority and commission of
the chief priests, when at midday along the road, your Excellency, I saw a light from
heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. When we had
all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, "Saul,
Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts you to kick against the goads." I asked,
"Who are you, Lord?" The Lord answered, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to
appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those
in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your people and from the
Gentiles to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from
darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive
forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." 

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

O Sun of righteousness, 
you came forth from the dark night of death.  
May you rise also in our hearts,
and enable us to contemplate the glories 
of this sacred mystery, 
that we may praise and glorify you for ever.  
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

O Prince of Life, 
you take away the old leaven of malice and evil 
that we may always walk with you and serve you:
Abide continually with us, 
that in everything we do we may not forget the joy of your resurrection.
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

O Paschal Lamb, offered for all, 
you have taken away the sin of the world 
and by rising again you have restored to us everlasting life.
Send laborers into the harvest
to proclaim the life you offer to those who believe. 
We pray especially for 
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

O Conqueror of death and captain of our salvation, 
you overcame the darkness of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven for all believers.  
We thank you for those saints whom you have already led
through death to life in the glory of heaven.
Lord of life, hear our prayer.

Remember us, Lord, as you have in ages past.
You made the world and our human race;
you shaped its history,
correcting your people with judgement yet with love.
Your mercy endures for ever
and we give you thanks, for you alone are good.
Blessed be God for ever! Amen.

God our Redeemer,
whose Church was strengthened
by the blood of your martyr George:
so bind us, in life and death, to Christ's sacrifice
that our lives, broken and offered with his,
may carry his death and proclaim his resurrection in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Stir up our faith, O God of life,
that our hearts may burn within us
at the sound of Jesus' word,
and our eyes be opened to recognize him
in the breaking of the bread. 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

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.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing sentence use sentences
from three prayers in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary

George is a soldier and martyr who suffered around 303 at Lydda (Diospolis)
in Palestine. The earliest surviving record of him is a church inscription in
Syria, dated about 346. Commemorations of him are numerous, early, and
widespread. However, no details of his life are known. In 495 his name appears
on a list of "good men, justly remembered, whose good deeds are known only
to God." The best-known story about him is that he rescued a beautiful
princess in Libya by killing a dragon. It should be noted that this story is
unknown before the appearance in 1265 of a romance called the Golden
Legend (Legendum Aureum), translated into English in 1483.
When the soldiers of the First Crusade were besieging Antioch in 1098, they
had a vision of George and Demetrius (a deacon of Sirmium in Serbia,
martyred under Maximian, and referred to as a "soldier of Christ," from which
he was often understood to be a literal soldier) encouraging them to maintain
the siege, which ultimately proved successful. Richard I ("the Lion-Heart") of
England, who fought in the Holy Land in 1191-1192, placed himself and his
army under George's protection, and with the return home of the Crusaders,
the popularity of George in England increased greatly. Edward III founded the
Order of the Garter in 1348 under his patronage, his banner (a red cross on a
white field) began to be used as the English national flag in 1284, and in 1415
Henry V spoke of him to rally the troops before the battle of Agincourt ("Once
more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our
English dead!"), and in the years following George was regarded as the special
patron of England, of soldiers, and of the Boy Scouts, as well as of Venice,
Genoa, Portugal, and Catalonia. He is also remembered with enthusiasm in
many parts of the East Orthodox Church. He is a principal character in
Edmund Spenser's allegorical poem The Faerie Queene, written in the late
1500's. [James Kiefer]

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