OREMUS: 24 April 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Apr 23 20:27:21 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Tuesday, April 24, 2007 
Martyrs of the Twentieth Century   

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 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;*
 his mercy endures for ever.
Let Israel now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.'
Let the house of Aaron now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.'
Let those who fear the Lord now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.'
I called to the Lord in my distress;*
 the Lord answered by setting me free.
The Lord is at my side, therefore I will not fear;*
 what can anyone do to me?
The Lord is at my side to help me;*
 I will triumph over those who hate me.
It is better to rely on the Lord*
 than to put any trust in flesh.
It is better to rely on the Lord*
 than to put any trust in rulers.
All the ungodly encompass me;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them.
They hem me in, they hem me in on every side;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them.
They swarm about me like bees;
   they blaze like a fire of thorns;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them.
I was pressed so hard that I almost fell,*
 but the Lord came to my help.
The Lord is my strength and my song,*
 and he has become my salvation.
There is a sound of exultation and victory*
 in the tents of the righteous:
'The right hand of the Lord has triumphed!*
 the right hand of the Lord is exalted!
   the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!'
I shall not die, but live,*
 and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me sorely,*
 but he did not hand me over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness;*
 I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord.
'This is the gate of the Lord;*
 whoever is righteous may enter.'
I will give thanks to you, for you answered me*
 and have become my salvation.
The same stone which the builders rejected*
 has become the chief corner-stone.
This is the Lord's doing,*
 and it is marvellous in our eyes.
On this day the Lord has acted;*
 we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Hosanna, Lord, hosanna!*
 Lord, send us now success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;*
 we bless you from the house of the Lord.
God is the Lord; he has shined upon us;*
 form a procession with branches
   up to the horns of the altar.
'You are my God and I will thank you;*
 you are my God and I will exalt you.'
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;*
 his mercy endures for ever.

A Song of the New Creation (Isaiah 43:15-21)

'I am the Lord, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your king.'

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,

'Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.

'Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

'I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert,  
to give drink to my chosen people,

'The people whom I formed for myself,
that they might declare my praise.'

Psalm 146

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 6:1-8]:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting
on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe
filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him;
each had six wings: with two they covered their faces,
and with two they covered their feet, and with two they
flew. And one called to another and said:
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.'
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those
who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said:
'Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips,
and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes
have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal
that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: 'Now that
this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and
your sin is blotted out.' Then I heard the voice of the
Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'
And I said, 'Here am I; send me!' 

HYMN 
Words: James Russell Lowell, 1849
Tune: Ton-y-botel    
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Once to every man and nation,
comes the moment to decide,
in the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
and the choice goes by forever,
'twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble,
when we share her wretched crust,
ere her cause bring fame and profit,
and 'tis prosperous to be just;
then it is the brave man chooses
while the coward stands aside,
till the multitude make virtue
of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, thy bleeding feet we track,
toiling up new Calvaries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
new occasions teach new duties,
ancient values test our youth;
they must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
yet the truth alone is strong;
though her portion be the scaffold,
and upon the throne be wrong;
yet that scaffold sways the future,
and behind the dim unknown,
standeth God within the shadow,
keeping watch above his own.

SECOND READING [Luke 5:1-11]:

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was
pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the
lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one
of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from
the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had
finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep water and let down your
nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we have worked all night long but have
caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.' When they had done this,
they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signalled to
their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both
boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus'
knees, saying, 'Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!' For he and all who
were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were
James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to
Simon, 'Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.' When they had
brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

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

Prayer:
On this day that the Lord has made, let us give God the glory
and pray for the people he has redeemed.

That we may live as those who believe
in the triumph of the cross: 
Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

That all people may receive the good news of his victory: 
Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

That those born to new life in the waters of baptism
may know the power of his resurrection:
Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

That those who suffer pain and anguish may find healing and peace
in the wounds of Christ:
Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

That in the undying love of Christ,
we may have union with all who have died:
Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

Let us join our voices with the saints in proclaiming
that Christ has given us the victory:

O Lord, how manifold are all your works
and the earth is full of your creatures.
Send forth your Spirit again this day
to renew the face of the earth,
that the whole creation may reflect
the majesty of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Merciful God,
break the bonds of our complacency
and strengthen our hearts and hands,
that, in remembrance of all those
who have died for their faith,
we may advance your justice
and show forth your power,
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 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.

The second collect is adapted from _For All the Saints_, (c)
General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994.

This day is a day of remembrance of the millions killed for their faith during the
twentienth century. The day is chosen to coincide with Yom Hashoah which
occurred earlier this week and today's remembrance of the murder of
Armenians on this day in 1915.
Armenia is located at the east end of modern Turkey, with some of its
traditional territory now in Turkey and some across the border in the former
Soviet Union. The Armenians were converted to Christianity around 280 or
290, and are accounted the first country to become predominantly Christian.
Their country is located at a spot where empires have clashed for centuries,
and they have often been caught in the middle. For centuries they have been
dominated by their moslem neighbors, most recently the Turks of the Ottoman
Empire.
The Turks were concerned about the possibility of an Armenian revolt. In 1895
and 1896 the Turkish Army killed about 100,000 Armenian civilians. Then in
1915, early in World War I, with Turkey fighting on the side of Germany and
Austria-Hungary, and Russia fighting in alliance with the British and French on
the other side, the Turkish government accused the Armenians of plotting with
the Russians to assist a Russian invasion of Turkey. That spring, around
600,000 Armenians were killed by the Turkish Army, in an attempt to
exterminate the Armenians completely. Much of the slaughter took place on 24
April 1915. The survivors were driven eastward and escaped into Russia. On
29 November 1920, most of Armenia was annexed by the Soviet Union.
It is sometimes said that the issues here were national, political, and ethnic
rather than religious, and that the victims therefore do not qualify as martyrs.
However, many of the Armenians, when about to be killed, were given the
option of saving their lives by converting to Islam. Few did. [James Kiefer]



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