OREMUS: 17 July 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jul 16 20:21:54 GMT 2007


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OREMUS for Tuesday, July 17, 2007 
William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise. nnn

Blessed are you, merciful God;
so abundant is your compassion
that you healed the wounds of our sins
and lifted out of death into new life
through your Son 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. 

http://www.oremus.org/ocan.html

Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;*
 let me never be ashamed.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;*
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;*
 you are my crag and my stronghold.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,*
 from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God,*
 my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
   from my mother's womb you have been my strength;*
 my praise shall be always of you.
I have become a portent to many;*
 but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise*
 and your glory all the day long.
Do not cast me off in my old age;*
 forsake me not when my strength fails.
For my enemies are talking against me,*
 and those who lie in wait for my life
   take counsel together.
They say, 'God has forsaken him;
   go after him and seize him;*
 because there is none who will save.'
O God, be not far from me;*
 come quickly to help me, O my God.
Let those who set themselves against me
   be put to shame and be disgraced;*
 let those who seek to do me evil
   be covered with scorn and reproach.
But I shall always wait in patience,*
 and shall praise you more and more.
My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
   and saving deeds all day long;*
 though I cannot know the number of them.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;*
 I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,*
 and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
And now that I am old and grey-headed, O God,
   do not forsake me,*
 till I make known your strength to this generation
   and your power to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;*
 you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
You have showed me great troubles and adversities,*
 but you will restore my life and bring me up again
   from the deep places of the earth.
You strengthen me more and more;*
 you enfold and comfort me,
Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre
   for your faithfulness, O my God;*
 I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you,*
 and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long,*
 for they are ashamed and disgraced
   who sought to do me harm.

A Song of the Holy City (Revelation 21:1-5a)

I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away
and the sea was no more.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice from the throne saying,
'Behold, my dwelling is with my people.

'I will dwell with them and they shall be mine,
and I myself will be with them.

'I will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more.

'Neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain any more,
for the former things have passed away.'

And the One who sat upon the throne said,
'Behold, I make all things new.'

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 [Amos 4:6-13]:

I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
   and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

And I also withheld the rain from you
   when there were still three months to the harvest;
I would send rain on one city,
   and send no rain on another city;
one field would be rained upon,
   and the field on which it did not rain withered;
so two or three towns wandered to one town
   to drink water, and were not satisfied;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

I struck you with blight and mildew;
   I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards;
   the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
   I killed your young men with the sword;
I carried away your horses;
   and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

I overthrew some of you,
   as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
   and you were like a brand snatched from the fire;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

Therefore, thus I will do to you, O Israel;
   because I will do this to you,
   prepare to meet your God, O Israel!

For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind,
   reveals his thoughts to mortals,
makes the morning darkness,
   and treads on the heights of the earth 
   the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name! 

HYMN 
Words: Anna Laetitia Waring, 1850
Tune: Nyland

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/i/i246.html
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In heavenly love abiding,
no change my heart shall fear.
and safe in such confiding,
for nothing changes here.
the storm may roar without me,
my heart may low be laid,
but God is round about me,
and can I be dismayed?

Wherever he may guide me,
no want shall turn me back.
my Shepherd is beside me,
and nothing can I lack.
his wisdom ever waking,
his sight is never dim.
He knows the way He's taking,
and I will walk with Him

Green pastures are before me,
which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be over me,
where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
my path to life is free.
My Savior has my treasure,
and he will walk with me.

SECOND READING [1 John 3:11-17]:

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one
another. We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his
brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his
brother's righteous. Do not be astonished, brothers and sisters, that the world hates
you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another.
Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are murderers,
and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. We know love
by this, that he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for one
another. How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a
brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

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

Prayer:
Generous God, we thank you for being with us today, and
for every sign of your truth and love in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
     the gift of peace in Christ...
                   (We thank you, Lord.)
     reconciliation in our relationships...
     each new insight into your love...
     energy and courage to share your love...
     the ministries of the church...

Gracious God, we remember in our own hearts the needs of
others, that we may reach up to claim your love for them,
and reach out to give your love in the name of Christ.
Especially we pray for
     racial harmony and justice...
                   (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     those imprisoned...
     strangers we have met today...
     friends who are bereaved...
     Orthodox and Coptic churches...

Faithful God, living Saviour,
in youth and old age,
in weakness and adversity,
from the womb to the grave,
may we know your protection
and proclaim your great salvation
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, 
in a time of turmoil and confusion 
you raised up your servant William White, 
and endowed him with wisdom, patience, 
and a reconciling temper, 
that he might lead your Church 
into ways of stability and peace: 
Hear our prayer, and give us wise and faithful leaders, 
that through their ministry 
your people may be blessed and your will be done; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
       
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Amid the cares of our daily lives,
make us attentive to your voice
and alert to your presence,
that we may treasure your Word above all else. 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 is adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is from _Book of Common Worship_, 
(c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

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

Before the American Revolution, there were no bishops in the colonies (partly
because the British government was reluctant to give the colonies the kind of
autonomy that this would have implied, and partly because many of the
colonists were violently opposed to their presence). After the Revolution, the
establishment of an American episcopate became imperative. Samuel Seabury
was the first American to be consecrated, in 1784 (see 14 Nov), and in 1787
William White and Samuel Provoost, having been elected to the bishoprics of
Pennsylvania and New York respectively, sailed to England and were
consecrated bishops on 14 February by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the
Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Bishop of
Peterborough.
William White was born in Philadelphia in 1747, went to England in 1770 to be
ordained deacon and priest, returned in 1772 and became first an assistant and
then the rector of the Church of Christ and Saint Peter in Philadelphia. He
served as Chaplain of the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1789, and then as
Chaplain of the Senate.
White was largely responsible for the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in the United States of America. At his suggestion, the system of
church government was established more or less as we have it today. (What
follows is a rough draft. I welcome notes of correction and clarification.) Only
a bishop can ordain a deacon or priest, and only bishops (normally at least
three) can consecrate a bishop. When a bishop dies or retires, a new bishop is
elected by a convention in his diocese, in which clergy sit in the upper house
and lay delegates (elected by the vestries of the local congregations) sit in the
lower house, and a majority in each house is required to elect. (Afterwards, a
majority of bishops and a majority of Standing Committees (each diocese has
an elected Standing Committee) are required to confirm.) National business is
conducted by the General Convention, which meets every three years and
consists for voting purposes of three Houses: Bishops, Clerical Deputies, and
Lay Deputies. A majority of each is required to pass a measure. (All the
Deputies meet and debate together and are called the House of Deputies, but
Lay and Clerical Deputies vote separately whenever any deputy so requests--in
other words, whenever it might make a difference.) In all this, the Episcopal
Church undertakes to follow, as nearly as modern circumstances permit, the
government of the early church as attested back at least to the second and third
centuries. A section follows from White's writings on Church Government.
    The power of electing a superior order of ministers ought to be in the clergy
and laity together, they being both interested in the choice. In England, the
bishops are appointed by the civil authority, which was a usurpation of the
crown at the Norman conquest, but since confirmed by acts of parliament. The
primitive churches were generally supplied by popular elections; even in the
city of Rome, the privilege of electing the bishop continued with the people to
the tenth or eleventh century, and near those times there are resolves of
councils, that none should be promoted to ecclesiastical dignities, but by
election of the clergy and people. It cannot be denied that this right vested in
numerous bodies, occasioned great disorders; which it is expected will be
avoided, when the people shall exercise the right by representation.
    Let us next take a view of the grounds on which the authority of episcopacy
is asserted.
    The advocates for this form maintain, that there having been an episcopal
power originally lodged by Jesus Christ with his apostles, and by them
generally exercised in person, but sometimes by delegation (as in the instances
of Timothy and Titus) the same was conveyed by them before their decease to
one pastor in each church, which generally comprehended all the Christians in a
city and a convenient surrounding district. Thus were created the apostolic
successors, who on account of their settled residence are called bishops by
restraint; whereas the apostles themselves were bishops at large, exercising
episcopal power over all the churches, except in the case of St. James, who
from the beginning was bishop of Jerusalem. From this time the word
"episcopos," used in the New Testament indiscriminately with the word
"presbyteros" (particularly in the 20th chapter of the Acts where the same
persons are called "episcopoi" and "presbyteroi"), became appropriated to the
superior order of ministers. That the apostles were thus succeeded by an order
of ministers superior to pastors in general, episcopalians think they prove by
the testimonies of the ancient fathers, and from the improbability that so great
an innovation (as some conceive it) could have found general and peaceable
possession in the 2d or 3d century, when epicopacy is on both sides
acknowledged to have been prevalent. The argument is here concisely stated,
but (as is believed) impartially. 
White was Presiding Bishop of PECUSA at its first General Convention in
1789, and again from 1795 till his death on 17 July 1830. [James Kiefer]


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