OREMUS: 21 March 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Mar 20 20:34:47 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Wednesday, March 21, 2007 
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God, rich in mercy,
you so loved the world 
that when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth,
he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross,
he is truth and salvation.
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 3

Lord, how many adversaries I have!*
 how many there are who rise up against me!
How many there are who say of me,*
 'There is no help for him in his God.'
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me;*
 you are my glory, the one who lifts up my head.
I call aloud upon the Lord*
 and he answers me from his holy hill;
I lie down and go to sleep;*
 I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I do not fear the multitudes of people*
 who set themselves against me all around.
Rise up, O Lord; set me free, O my God;*
 surely, you will strike all my enemies across the face,
   you will break the teeth of the wicked.
Deliverance belongs to the Lord.*
 Your blessing be upon your people!

Psalm 6

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;*
 do not punish me in your wrath.
Have pity on me, Lord, for I am weak;*
 heal me, Lord, for my bones are racked.
My spirit shakes with terror;*
 how long, O Lord, how long?
Turn, O Lord, and deliver me;*
 save me for your mercy's sake.
For in death no one remembers you;*
 and who will give you thanks in the grave?
I grow weary because of my groaning;*
 every night I drench my bed
   and flood my couch with tears.
My eyes are wasted with grief*
 and worn away because of all my enemies.
Depart from me, all evildoers,*
 for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;*
 the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be confounded and quake with fear;*
 they shall turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

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 147:13-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 4:1-7]:

Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried
to Elisha, 'Your servant my husband is dead; and you know
that your servant feared the Lord, but a creditor has
come to take my two children as slaves.' Elisha said to
her, 'What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have
in the house?' She answered, 'Your servant has nothing in
the house, except a jar of oil.' He said, 'Go outside,
borrow vessels from all your neighbours, empty vessels
and not just a few. Then go in, and shut the door behind
you and your children, and start pouring into all these
vessels; when each is full, set it aside.' So she left
him and shut the door behind her and her children; they
kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring. When
the vessels were full, she said to her son, 'Bring me
another vessel.' But he said to her, 'There are no more.'
Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man
of God, and he said, 'Go, sell the oil and pay your
debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.'

Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith (c)
Tune: Oasis     
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As water to the thirsty,
as beauty to the eyes,
as strength that follows weakness,
as truth instead of lies,
as songtime and springtime
and summertime to be,
so is my Lord,
my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

Like calm in place of clamor,
like peace that follows pain,
like meeting after parting,
like sunshine after rain,
like moonlight and starlight
and sunlight on the sea,
so is my Lord,
my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

As sleep that follows fever,
as gold instead of grey,
as freedom after bondage,
as sunrise to the day,
as home to the traveler
and all we long to see,
so is my Lord,
my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

SECOND READING [Luke 9:10-17]:

On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and
withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out about it,
they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of
God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, 'Send the
crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to
lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.' But he said to them,
'You give them something to eat.' They said, 'We have no more than five loaves and
two fish unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.' For there were about
five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, 'Make them sit down in groups of
about fifty each.' They did so and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves
and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them
to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over
was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. 

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

Almighty and everliving GOD, 
which by thy holy Apostle hast taught us 
to make prayers, and supplications, 
and to give thanks for all men: 
We humbly beseech thee most mercifully 
to receive these our prayers, 
which we offer unto thy divine Majesty, 
beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal church 
with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: 
And grant, that all they who do confess thy holy name, 
may agree in the truth of thy holy word, 
and live in unity and godly love. 
Specially we beseech thee to save and defend 
all those in authority, 
that they may truly and impartially minister justice,
to the punishment of wickedness and vice, 
and to the maintenance of God's true religion, and virtue. 
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Pastors, and Curates, 
especially in the Diocese of Lango, Uganda, Melchizedek Otim, Bishop,
that they may both by their life and doctrine 
set forth thy true and lively word, 
and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: 
and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, 
that, with meek heart and due reverence, 
they may hear, and receive thy holy word, 
truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life:
And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, 
to comfort and succour all them, 
which in this transitory life be in
trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. 
And especially we commend unto thy merciful goodness, 
this congregation which is here assembled in thy name: 
And here we do give unto thee most high praise, and hearty thanks, 
for the wonderful grace and virtue, declared in all thy saints,
from the beginning of the world: 
And chiefly in the glorious and most blessed virgin Mary, 
mother of thy son Jesus Christ our Lord and God,
and in the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, 
whose examples, O Lord, and steadfastness in thy faith, 
and keeping thy holy commandments, grant us to follow. 
We commend unto thy mercy, O Lord, all other thy servants,
which are departed hence from us, with the sign of faith, 
and now do rest in the sleep of peace: 
Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy, and everlasting peace, 
and that at the day of the general resurrection, 
we and all they which be of the mystical body of thy son, 
may altogether be set on his right hand, 
and hear that his most joyful voice: 
Come unto me, O ye that be blessed of my Father, 
and possess the kingdom, 
which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world. 
Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, 
our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

God of compassion,
when we are weighed down by the burden of our sins,
help us to remember that you do not forsake us,
but show mercy through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Father of all wisdom and understanding,
who through the life of your servant Thomas Cranmer
renewed the life and worship of your Church,
and through his death
revealed your strength in human weakness:
by your grace let the light of faith
always shine within us,
that we may bear witness to the truth of your holy name;
through Jesus Christ,
our Mediator and Advocate. Amen. 
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May God give us
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next. 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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

Hymn (c) 1979 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

For permission to reproduce this text in all territories except the UK, Europe & Africa,

Hope Publishing Company, 
For UK, Europe & Africa: contact: Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith, 9 Ashlands, Ford,
Wiltshire  SP4 6DY  England

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The intercession is adapted from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer.

The second  collect is 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.

Prayers for Peace can be found by following the link on the Oremus front page:

When Henry VIII of England died, he left three heirs: his son Edward and his
two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Edward succeeded to the throne and was a
staunch Protestant (or at least his advisors were). Under his rule, the church
services, previously in Latin, were translated into English, and other changes
were made. When Edward died, the throne passed to his sister Mary, who was
firmly Roman Catholic in her beliefs. She determined to return England to
union with the Pope. With more diplomacy, she might have succeeded. But she
was headstrong and would take no advice. Her mother had been Spanish, and
she determined to marry the heir to the throne of Spain, not realizing how
much her people (of all religious persuasions) feared that this would make
England a province of the Spanish Empire. She insisted that the best way to
deal with heresy was to burn as many heretics as possible. (It is worth noting
that her husband was opposed to this.) In the course of a five-year reign, she
lost all the English holdings on the continent of Europe, she lost the affection
of her people, and she lost any chance of a peaceful religious settlement in
Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury in the days of Henry, and
defended the position that Henry's marriage to Katharine of Aragon (Spain)
was null and void. When Edward came to the throne, Cranmer was foremost in
translating the worship of the Church into English (his friends and enemies
agree that he was an extraordinarily gifted translator) and securing the use of
the new forms of worship. When Mary came to the throne, Cranmer was in a
quandary. He had believed, with a fervor that many people today will find hard
to understand, that it is the duty of every Christian to obey the monarch, and
that "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13). As long as the
monarch was ordering things that Cranmer thought good, it was easy for
Cranmer to believe that the king was sent by God's providence to guide the
people in the path of true religion, and that disobedience to the king was
disobedience to God. Now Mary was Queen, and commanding him to return to
the Roman obedience. Cranmer five times wrote a letter of submission to the
Pope and to Roman Catholic doctrines, and four times he tore it up. In the end,
he submitted. However, Mary was unwilling to believe that the submission was
sincere, and he was ordered to be burned at Oxford on 21 March 1556. At the
very end, he repudiated his final letter of submission, and announced that he
died a Protestant. He said, "I have sinned, in that I signed with my hand what I
did not believe with my heart. When the flames are lit, this hand shall be the
first to burn." And when the fire was lit around his feet, he leaned forward and
held his right hand in the fire until it was charred to a stump. Aside from this,
he did not speak or move, except that once he raised his left hand to wipe the
sweat from his forehead.

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