OREMUS: 25 April 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Apr 24 17:00:00 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Saint Mark the Evangelist

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for you have revealed the mystery of our redemption
through the Holy Scriptures,
the work of authors inspired by the Holy Spirit
to entrust to the Church
the words and deeds of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 37:23-41

Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land,*
 but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
Our steps are directed by the Lord;*
 he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong,*
 for the Lord holds them by the hand.
I have been young and now I am old,*
 but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
   or their children begging bread.
The righteous are always generous in their lending,*
 and their children shall be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,*
 and dwell in the land for ever.
For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.
They shall be kept safe for ever,*
 but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
The righteous shall possess the land*
 and dwell in it for ever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,*
 and their tongue speaks what is right.
The law of their God is in their heart,*
 and their footsteps shall not falter.
The wicked spy on the righteous*
 and seek occasion to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their hand,*
 nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;*
 he will raise you up to possess the land,
   and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.<td
I have seen the wicked in their arrogance,*
 flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
I went by and, behold, they were not there;*
 I searched for them, but they could not be found.
Mark those who are honest; observe the upright;*
 for there is a future for the peaceable.
Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;*
 the future of the wicked is cut off.
But the deliverance of the righteous
   comes from the Lord;*
 he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

FIRST READING [Proverbs 15:28-33]:

The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer,
   but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil.
The Lord is far from the wicked,
   but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
   and good news refreshes the body.
The ear that heeds wholesome admonition
   will lodge among the wise.
Those who ignore instruction despise themselves,
   but those who heed admonition gain understanding.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
   and humility goes before honour. 

Words: Laurence Housman, 1906
Tune: Brockham
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The saint who first found grace to pen
the life which was the Life of men,
and shed abroad the Gospel's ray,
his fame we celebrate today.

Lo, drawn by Pentecostal fire,
his heart conceived its great desire,
when pure of mind, inspired, he heard
and with his hand set forth the Word.

Then, clearly writ, the Godhead shone
serene and fair to look upon;
and through that record still comes power
to lighten souls in death's dark hour.

O holy mind, for wisdom fit
wherein that Life of lives stood writ,
may we through minds of like accord
show forth the pattern of our Lord.

And so may all whose minds are dark
be led to truth by good Saint Mark,
and after this our earthly strife
stand written in the Book of Life.

SECOND READING [Acts 15:35-41]:

But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, and there,
with many others, they taught and proclaimed the word of
the Lord. After some days Paul said to Barnabas, 'Come,
let us return and visit the believers in every city where
we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are
doing.' Barnabas wanted to take with them John called
Mark. But Paul decided not to take with them one who had
deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them
in the work. The disagreement became so sharp that they
parted company; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed
away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and set out, the
believers commending him to the grace of the Lord. He
went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the

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

God the Father,
have mercy upon us.

God the Son,
have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy upon us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity,
have mercy upon us.

>From all evil and mischief;
from pride, vanity and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred and malice;
and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

>From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart
and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

>From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

>From famine and disaster;
from violence, murder and dying unprepared,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow;
in all times of joy;
in the hour of death,
and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Hear our prayers, O Lord our God.
Hear us, good Lord.

Govern and direct your holy Church;
fill it with love and truth;
and grant it that unity which is your will.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us boldness to preach the gospel in all the world,
and to make disciples of all the nations.
Hear us, good Lord.

Enlighten N our Bishop and all who minister 
with knowledge and understanding,
that by their teaching and their lives they may proclaim your word.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give your people grace to hear and receive your word,
and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bring into the way of truth all who have erred
and are deceived.
Hear us, good Lord.

Strengthen those who stand; 
comfort and help the faint-hearted;
raise up the fallen;
and finally beat down Satan under our feet.
Hear us, good Lord.

Guide the leaders of the nations 
into the ways of peace and justice.
Hear us, good Lord.

Endue our leaders with wisdom and understanding.
that they may uphold justice, honesty and truth.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us the will to use the resources of the earth to your glory, 
and for the good of all creation.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bless and keep all your people.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bring your joy into all families;
strengthen and deliver those in childbirth,
watch over children and guide the young,
bring reconciliation to those in discord
and peace to those in stress.
Hear us, good Lord.

Help and comfort the lonely, the bereaved and the oppressed.
Hear us, good Lord.

Keep in safety those who travel, and all who are in danger.
Hear us, good Lord.

Heal the sick in body and mind, 
and provide for the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.
Hear us, good Lord.

Show your pity on prisoners and refugees, 
and all who are in trouble.
Hear us, good Lord.

Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, 
and turn their hearts.
Hear us, good Lord.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the peace of Christ, 
both those who have confessed the faith 
and those whose faith is known to you alone, 
and grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us true repentance;
forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance
and our deliberate sins;
and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit
to amend our lives according to your holy word.
Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
have mercy upon us.

Almighty God, 
by the hand of Mark the Evangelist 
you have given to your Church 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: 
We thank you for this witness, 
and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.

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

- The Lord's Prayer

Increase our love for one another,
that both in name and in truth
we may be disciples of the risen Lord Jesus,
and so reflect by our lives
the glory that is yours. 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 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 is (c) Stephen T. Benner, 2001, and
is inspired by a prayer in _We Give You Thanks and Praise: The
Ambrosian Eucharistic Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c)
The Canterbury Press Norwich, 1999.

The litany (which is traditionally song on St. Mark's Day) is slightly adapted
from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of
England_, material from which is included in this service is copyright
(c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

The collect is from The Book of Common Prayer_ (1979),
Charles Mortimer Guilbert, Custodian.

The closing sentence is from a prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in
Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The book of Acts mentions a Mark, or John Mark, a kinsman of Barnabas (Col
4:10). The house of his mother Mary was a meeting place for Christians in
Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). When Paul and Barnabas, who had been in Antioch,
came to Jerusalem, they brought Mark back to Antioch with them (12:25), and
he accompanied them on their first missionary journey (13:5), but left them
prematurely and returned to Jerusalem (13:13). When Paul and Barnabas were
about to set out on a second missionary journey, Barnabas proposed to take
Mark, but Paul thought him unreliable, so that eventually Barnabas made one
journey taking Mark, and Paul another journey taking Silas (15:36-40). Mark
is not mentioned again in Acts. However, it appears that he became more
reliable, for Paul mentions him as a trusted assistant in Colossians 4:10 and
again in 2 Timothy 4:11.
The Apostle Peter had a co-worker whom he refers to as "my son Mark" (1
Peter 5:13). Papias, an early second century writer, in describing the origins of
the Gospels, tells us that Mark was the "interpreter" of Peter, and that he
wrote down ("but not in order") the stories that he had heard Peter tell in his
preaching about the life and teachings of Jesus.
The Gospel of Mark, in describing the arrest of Jesus (14:51f), speaks of a
young man who followed the arresting party, wearing only a linen cloth
wrapped around his body, whom the arresting party tried to seize, but who left
the cloth in their hands and fled naked. It is speculated that this young man was
the writer himself, since the detail is hardly worth mentioning if he were
Tradition has it that after the death of Peter, Mark left Rome and went to
preach in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was eventually martyred.
It is natural to identify the John Mark of Acts with the Gospel-writer and
interpreter of Peter, and this identification is standard in liturgical references to
Mark. However, "Mark" is the commonest of Latin first names, and they may
well have been separate persons.
Mark's symbol in art is a Lion, usually winged. In the book of Revelation, the
visionary sees about the throne of God four winged creatures: a lion, an ox, a
man, and an eagle. (Compare with the cherubs in Ezek 1 and 10.) It has
customarily been supposed that these represent the four Gospels, or the four
Evangelists (Gospel-writers). One way of matching them is to say that the man
stands for Matthew, whose narrative begins with the human genealogy of
Jesus; that the lion stands for Mark, whose narrative begins with John the
Baptist crying out in the desert (a lion roars in the desert); that the ox, a
sacrificial animal, stands for Luke, whose narrative begins in the Temple, and
that the eagle stands for John, whose narrative begins in Heaven, with the
eternal Word. How old this correspondence is I do not know. I have seen it in
an illustrated Gospel-book from the early 800's. An alternative assignment,
which I think to be far more recent, calls Matthew the lion (because he
portrays Christ as the Messiah, the fulfilment of Jewish prophecy, "the lion of
the tribe of Judah"), Mark the ox (because he portrays Christ the servant,
constantly doing the work for which he was sent), Luke the man (because he
portrays the humanity and compassion of Christ), and John the eagle (because
he portrays Christ as the eternal Word, who came down from Heaven). [James

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