OREMUS: 25 March 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Mar 24 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Sunday, March 25, 2007 
The Fifth Sunday in Lent

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

Blessed are you, holy Father, 
almighty and eternal God,
 through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For as the time of his passion and resurrection draws near
the whole world is called to acknowledge his hidden majesty.
The power of the life-giving cross
reveals the judgement that has come upon the world
and the triumph of Christ crucified.
He is the victim who dies no more,
the Lamb once slain, who lives for ever,
our advocate in heaven to plead our cause.
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 20

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble,*
 the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
Send you help from his holy place*
 and strengthen you out of Zion;
Remember all your offerings*
 and accept your burnt sacrifice;
Grant you your heart's desire*
 and prosper all your plans.
We will shout for joy at your victory
   and triumph in the name of our God;*
 may the Lord grant all your requests.
Now I know that the Lord gives victory
   to his anointed;*
 he will answer him out of his holy heaven,
   with the victorious strength of his right hand.
Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses,*
 but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall down,*
 but we will arise and stand upright.
O Lord, give victory to the king*
 and answer us when we call.

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,*
 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'
Now our feet are standing*
 within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city*
 that is at unity with itself.
To which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord,*
 the assembly of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
For there are the thrones of judgement,*
 the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:*
 'May they prosper who love you.
'Peace be within your walls*
 and quietness within your towers.
'For my family and companions' sake,*
 I pray for your prosperity.
'Because of the house of the Lord our God,*
 I will seek to do you good.'

FIRST READING [Isaiah 52:13-53:12]:

See, my servant shall prosper;
   he shall be exalted and lifted up,
   and shall be very high.
Just as there were many who were astonished at him
    so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
   and his form beyond that of mortals 
so he shall startle many nations;
   kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
   and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

Who has believed what we have heard?
   And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
   and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by others;
   a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities
   and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
   struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
   crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
   and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
   and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
   Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
   stricken for the transgression of my people.
They made his grave with the wicked
   and his tomb with the rich,
although he had done no violence,
   and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
   he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
   Out of his anguish he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
   The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
   and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
   and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
   and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
   and made intercession for the transgressors. 

Words: Venantius Fortunatus, sixth century; trans. Alan Gaunt (c)
Tune: Gonfalon Royal
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As royal banners are unfurled,
the cross displays its mystery:
the Maker of our flesh, in flesh,
impaled and hanging helplessly.

Already deeply wounded: see
his side now riven by a spear,
and all our sins are swept away
by blood and water flowing there.

See everything the prophets wrote
fulfilled in its totality,
and tell the nations of the world
our God is reigning from a tree.

This tree, ablaze with royal light
and with the blood-red robe it wears,
is hallowed and embellished
by the weight of holiness it bears.

Stretched like a balance here, his arms
have gauged the price of wickedness;
but, hanging here, his love outweighs
hell's unforgiving bitterness.

The Savior, victim, sacrifice,
is, through his dying, glorified;
his life is overcome by death
and leaps up, sweeping death aside.

We hail the cross, faith's one true hope:
God's passion set in time and space,
by which our guilt is blotted out,
engulfed in such stupendous grace.

SECOND READING [Luke 23:36-39]:

As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the
country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great
number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating
their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, 'Daughters of
Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the
days are surely coming when they will say, "Blessed are the barren, and the wombs
that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed." Then they will begin to say to the
mountains, "Fall on us"; and to the hills, "Cover us." For if they do this when the
wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?'
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with
the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [[ Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive
them; for they do not know what they are doing.']] And they cast lots to divide his
clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying,
'He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!'
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, 'If
you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!' There was also an inscription over him,
'This is the King of the Jews.'
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, 'Are you
not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!' 

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

As we enter the contemplation of those saving mysteries
which ended with death on a cross and rising from the grave,
hear our prayers for forgiveness, O Lord.

Forgive us when we forget the painful death you suffered on the cross,
when we make Christian faith a bland way of life demanding no sacrifice.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Forgive us that our preference runs to Bethlehem and Joseph's garden,
to poinsettias and lilies, and away from Golgotha,
with its rusty nails and twisted thorns.
Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.

Forgive us when we are more willing to be instructed or reformed
than we are to be redeemed. 
Open us to ever new and deeper awareness of our your passion.
Jesus, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.

Hear, O Father, the cry of your Son, 
who, to establish the new and everlasting covenant, 
became obedient to death upon the cross: 
Grant that, through all the trials of this life, 
we may come to share more intimately in his redeeming passion; 
and so obtain the fruitfulness of the seed 
that falls to the earth and dies, 
to be gathered as your harvest for the kingdom. 
We ask this through your Son, 
our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Standing at the foot of the cross, BR>
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Christ crucified draw us to himself,
to find in him a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven. 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.

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

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