OREMUS: 22 June 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Jun 21 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Friday, June 22, 2007 
Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.250

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

All glory and praise are yours, Lord God,,
creator of the universe and Father of all:
we thank you for calling us in Jesus
to be your beloved people
and temples of your Holy Spirit.
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 123

To you I lift up my eyes,*
 to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,*
 and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,*
 until he show us his mercy.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,*
 for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,*
 and of the derision of the proud.

Psalm 130

Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
   Lord, hear my voice;*
 let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss,*
 O Lord, who could stand?
For there is forgiveness with you;*
 therefore you shall be feared.
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;*
 in his word is my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord,
   more than the night-watch for the morning,*
 more than the night-watch for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the Lord,*
 for with the Lord there is mercy;
With him there is plenteous redemption,*
 and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

A Song of the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;

Let the wicked abandon their ways,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;

Return to the Lord,
who will have mercy;
to our God, who will richly pardon.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways', says the Lord.

'For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

'As the rain and the snow come down from above,
and return not again but water the earth,

'Bringing forth life and giving growth,
seed for sowing and bread to eat,

'So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;
it will not return to me fruitless,

'But it will accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the task I gave it.'

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

FIRST READING [Job 6:14-30]:

'Those who withhold kindness from a friend
   forsake the fear of the Almighty.
My companions are treacherous like a torrent-bed,
   like freshets that pass away,
that run dark with ice,
   turbid with melting snow.
In time of heat they disappear;
   when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
The caravans turn aside from their course;
   they go up into the waste, and perish.
The caravans of Tema look,
   the travellers of Sheba hope.
They are disappointed because they were confident;
   they come there and are confounded.
Such you have now become to me;
   you see my calamity, and are afraid.
Have I said, "Make me a gift"?
   Or, "From your wealth offer a bribe for me"?
Or, "Save me from an opponent's hand"?
   Or, "Ransom me from the hand of oppressors"?

'Teach me, and I will be silent;
   make me understand how I have gone wrong.
How forceful are honest words!
   But your reproof, what does it reprove?
Do you think that you can reprove words,
   as if the speech of the desperate were wind?
You would even cast lots over the orphan,
   and bargain over your friend.

'But now, be pleased to look at me;
   for I will not lie to your face.
Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done.
   Turn now, my vindication is at stake.
Is there any wrong on my tongue?
   Cannot my taste discern calamity? 

Words: Christopher Wordsworth, 1872
Tune: Quam dilecta

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Lord, be thy word my rule;
in it may I rejoice;
thy glory be my aim,
thy holy will my choice;

Thy promises my hope;
thy providence my guard;
thine arm my strong support;
thyself my great reward.

SECOND READING [Galatians 3:15-22]:

Brothers and sisters, I give an example from daily life: once a person's will has been
ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it. Now the promises were made to Abraham and
to his offspring; it does not say, 'And to offsprings', as of many; but it says, 'And to
your offspring', that is, to one person, who is Christ. My point is this: the law, which
came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified
by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no
longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring would
come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a
mediator. Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one.
Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been
given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law.
But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was
promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 

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

Beginning and End of all things,
we bless you for the present that is ever yielding
to your new heaven and new earth.

For all the means of grace,
we praise you, O Lord.

For every prompting of your Spirit
we praise you, O Lord.

We yield our cares to your unceasing mercy:
Attend the sick and the suffering,
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Touch the dying:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Claim the newborn:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Shelter the homeless:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Sing in the fearful:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Chasten the arrogant and powerful:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Lift up the lowly:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Center the Church,
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Grant peace to Jerusalem and every people:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Shape our lives by the mystery 
of Christ crucified, risen and interceding for us:
In your mercy, Lord, hear us.

Lord our God,
whose glory is beyond our understanding,
whose mercy is without measure
and whose love is beyond our telling;
in your tenderness of heart 
look upon us and all whom we love,
and deal with us
according to the riches of your grace and compassion;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal Father,
when the Gospel of Christ first came to Britain
you gloriously confirmed the faith of Alban
by making him the first to win a martyr's crown: 
grant that, following his example,
in the fellowship of the saints 
we may worship you, the living God,
and give true witness to Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of 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

Bless us in all we do
and bless all the places
in which your people will meet and work and play.
Help us to recognize your presence among us,
fill us with your joy,
and guide us at all times. 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 and the closing prayer use phrases from a prayer by
Roy Williamson. The collect is from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

The intercession is reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of
Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order
of Saint Luke. Used by permission.
The second collect is 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.

There were probably Christians in the British Isles already in the first century.
However, Alban is the first recorded Christian martyr. The traditional date of
his death is 304, during the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian; but
many scholars now date it as around 209, during the persecution under the
Emperor Septimius Severus. Alban was a pagan, and a soldier in the Roman
Army. He gave shelter to a Christian priest who was fleeing from arrest, and in
the next few days the two talked at length, and Alban became a Christian.
When officers came in search of the priest, Alban met them, dressed in the
priest's cloak, and they mistook him for the priest and arrested him. He refused
to renounce his new faith, and was beheaded. He thus became the first
Christian martyr in Britain. The second was the executioner who was to kill
him, but who heard his testimony and was so impressed that he became a
Christian on the spot, and refused to kill Alban. The third was the priest, who
when he learned that Alban had been arrested in his place, hurried to the court
in the hope of saving Alban by turning himself in. The place of their deaths is
near the site of St. Alban's Cathedral today. [James Kiefer]

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