OREMUS: 27 June 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jun 26 23:07:53 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Wednesday, June 27, 2007 
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher of the Faith, 444

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
for setting us free in Jesus Christ
with a power greater than all that would keep us captive.
You call us to turn from the ways of the world
and to accept the fullness of joy in the Spirit
and follow the way of the cross,
which frees us to love one another
for the sake of all creation.
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 139

Lord, you have searched me out and known me;*
 you know my sitting down and my rising up;
   you discern my thoughts from afar.
You trace my journeys and my resting-places*
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,*
 but you, O Lord, know it altogether.
You press upon me behind and before*
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;*
 it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go then from your Spirit?*
 where can I flee from your presence?
If I climb up to heaven, you are there;*
 if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
If I take the wings of the morning*
 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there your hand will lead me*
 and your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, 'Surely the darkness will cover me,*
 and the light around me turn to night',
Darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day;*
 darkness and light to you are both alike.
For you yourself created my inmost parts;*
 you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I will thank you because I am marvellously made;*
 your works are wonderful and I know it well.
My body was not hidden from you,*
 while I was being made in secret
   and woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
   all of them were written in your book;*
 they were fashioned day by day,
   when as yet there was none of them.
How deep I find your thoughts, O God!*
 how great is the sum of them!
If I were to count them,
   they would be more in number than the sand;*
 to count them all,
   my life span would need to be like yours.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart;*
 try me and know my restless thoughts.
Look well whether there be any wickedness in me*
 and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

A Song of Redemption (Colossians 1.13-18a,19,20a)

The Father has delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son;

In whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.

For in him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.

All things were created through him and for him,
he is before all things and in him all things hold together.

He is the head of the body, the Church,
he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.

In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell;
and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things.

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 [2 Kings 9:30-37]:

When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she
painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of
the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, 'Is it
peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?' He looked up to
the window and said, 'Who is on my side? Who?' Two or
three eunuchs looked out at him. He said, 'Throw her
down.' So they threw her down; some of her blood
spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled
on her. Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, 'See
to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king's
daughter.' But when they went to bury her, they found no
more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of
her hands. When they came back and told him, he said,
'This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his
servant Elijah the Tishbite, "In the territory of Jezreel
the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; the corpse of
Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory
of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel." '

Words: Ian Fraser (c)
Tune: Lawes' Psalm 47, St. John (Parish Choir), St. Andrew   
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Lord, bring the day to pass
when forest, rock and hill,
the beasts, the birds, the grass,
will know your finished will:
when we attain our destiny
and nature lives in harmony.

Forgive our careless use
of water, ore and soil--
the plenty we abuse
supplied by others' toil:
save us from making self our creed,
turn us towards each other's need.

Give us, when we release
creation's secret powers,
to harness them for peace--
our children's peace and ours:
teach us the art of mastering
in servant form, which draws death's sting.

Creation groans, travails,
futile its present plight,
bound till the hour it hails
God's children born of light,
who enter on their true estate.
Come, Lord: new heavens and earth create.


On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met
him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, 'Teacher, I beg you to look at my son;
he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It throws
him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave
him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.' Jesus answered, 'You
faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with
you? Bring your son here.' While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground
in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him
back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God.

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

Under your holy wings, you gather us, O God,
and you shelter us by your grace.

Together in faith communities, 
you call us share your love and mercy.
Gather us in, O God.

We give you thanks for all that gives shape to life in community:
devotion to apostolic teaching,
sharing in fellowship around your Word and Table,
continuous prayer for the world and the Church.
Gather us in, O God.

Save your Church from formless piety.
Gather us in, O God.

Help families and the leaders of households to pattern faith.
Gather us in, O God.

Choose and renew our leaders for disciple-making.
Gather us in, O God.

Uphold those who seek peace with justice.
Gather us in, O God.

Give light to all who strive to discern what is right.
Gather us in, O God.

Comfort the dying.
Gather us in, O God.

Heal the broken and suffering.
Gather us in, O God.

who created and fashioned us,
who knows us and searches us out,
who abides with us through light and dark:
help us to know your presence in this life
and, in the life to come, still to be with you;
where you are alive and reign,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you gave your blessed Bishop Cyril
grace to maintain that the blessed Virgin Mary
is indeed the Mother of God:
Grant that by this teaching we may know you, 
the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Keep us true to the way of your Son,
that we may leave behind all that hinders us
and, with eyes fixed on Jesus,
walk surely in the path of the kingdom. 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 phrases from two prayers reprinted
from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c)
2002 Consultation on Common Texts

Hymn (c) 1969 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. 
(admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188). 
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada:  Hope Publishing Company, 
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 

The closing prayer are adapted from prayers in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The second collect is by Stephen Benner.
The closing prayer are adapted from prayers in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Ten years after the death of Athanasius, the great champion of faith in Christ as
fully God, the bishopric of Alexandria was bestowed on one Theophilus. He
was a man of fiery temperament, and ruthless and violent in the pursuit of what
he conceived to be his duty. Having obtained the consent of the government,
he destroyed pagan temples, and the monastaries of monks whose views
differed from his own. He is on the Egyptian (Coptic) and the Syrian calendars,
but not on most eastern or any western ones. Summary: unpleasant but
orthodox (Right but Repulsive). Upon his death in 412, he was succeeded by
his nephew Cyril.
Cyril began his career as Bishop of Alexandria by showing himself to be an
ill-tempered, quarrelsome, hasty, and violent man. He shut the churches of the
Novatianists (a group of Christians who were indistinguishable in doctrine and
manner of worship from other Christians, but who as descendants of those who
had stood firm in the persecutions 260 years earlier could have nothing to do
with the descendants of those who had not -- nearly a century earlier, the
emperor Constantine had disgustedly told their leader to set up a ladder and
climb to heaven by himself), he drove out the Jews, he quarrelled with the
imperial prefect Orestes, and with Orestes' friend Hypatia, a distinguished
neo-Platonist scholar. (Hypatia was murdered by a mob. There is no evidence
that Cyril was directly guilty, but the murderers were persons who regarded
him as their leader.) In short, he made a bad beginning.
Then there arose a controversy over the relation between Christ's Divinity and
His Humanity. One view, associated with the name of Nestorius, spoke of
Jesus as a sinless man in whom the Spirit of God fully dwelt, suggesting that
the difference between Jesus and any other good man was a matter of degree.
(Jones is an almost sinless man in whom the Spirit of God dwells almost fully.
He is therefore 99% whatever Jesus is 100%.) This may not do justice to the
subtlety of the Nestorian position, but it is the danger that others saw in it, and
the Nestorians were unable to explain what safeguards their position had
against this danger. Cyril wrote learnedly and with great logic and conviction
against the Nestorian position, and was largely instrumental in getting it
condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Afterwards (surprisingly in view
of his earlier record), he worked to reconcile the two parties, and to bring
many of the less extreme Nestorians back into the fellowship of the church.
But it is as a theologian and a scholar, not as a bishop or human-relations man,
that Cyril is honored. [James Kiefer, abridged]

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