OREMUS: 27 March 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Mar 26 22:16:59 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Tuesday, March 27, 2007 
Charles Henry Brent, Bishop of the Philippines,
and of Western New York, 1929 

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 35

Fight those who fight me, O Lord;*
 attack those who are attacking me.
Take up shield and armour*
 and rise up to help me.
Draw the sword and bar the way
   against those who pursue me;*
 say to my soul, 'I am your salvation.'
Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled;*
 let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
Then I will be joyful in the Lord;*
 I will glory in his victory.
My very bones will say, 'Lord, who is like you?*
 You deliver the poor
   from those who are too strong for them,
   the poor and needy from those who rob them.'
Malicious witnesses rise up against me;*
 they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
They pay me evil in exchange for good;*
 my soul is full of despair.
But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth*
 and humbled myself by fasting;
I prayed with my whole heart,
   as one would for a friend or a brother;*
 I behaved like one who mourns for his mother,
   bowed down and grieving.
But when I stumbled,
   they were glad and gathered together;
   they gathered against me;*
 strangers whom I did not know
   tore me to pieces and would not stop.
They put me to the test and mocked me;*
 they gnashed at me with their teeth.
O Lord, how long will you look on?*
 rescue me from the roaring beasts,
   and my life from the young lions.
I will give you thanks in the great congregation;*
 I will praise you in the mighty throng.
Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me,*
 nor let those who hate me without a cause
   wink at each other.
For they do not plan for peace,*
 but invent deceitful schemes
   against the quiet in the land.
They opened their mouths at me and said,*
 'Aha! we saw it with our own eyes.'
You saw it, O Lord; do not be silent;*
 O Lord, be not far from me.
Awake, arise, to my cause!*
 to my defence, my God and my Lord!
Give me justice, O Lord my God,
   according to your righteousness;*
 do not let them triumph over me.
Do not let them say in their hearts,
   'Aha! just what we want!'*
 Do not let them say, 'We have swallowed him up.'
Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced;*
 let those who boast against me
   be clothed with dismay and shame.
Let those who favour my cause
   sing out with joy and be glad;*
 let them say always, 'Great is the Lord,
   who desires the prosperity of his servant.'
And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness*
 and of your praise all the day long.

FIRST READING [Judges 9:7-15]:

When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top
of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them,
'Listen to me, you lords of Shechem, so that God may
listen to you.
The trees once went out
   to anoint a king over themselves.
So they said to the olive tree,
   "Reign over us."
The olive tree answered them,
   "Shall I stop producing my rich oil
     by which gods and mortals are honoured,
     and go to sway over the trees?"
Then the trees said to the fig tree,
   "You come and reign over us."
But the fig tree answered them,
   "Shall I stop producing my sweetness
     and my delicious fruit,
     and go to sway over the trees?"
Then the trees said to the vine,
   "You come and reign over us."
But the vine said to them,
   "Shall I stop producing my wine
     that cheers gods and mortals,
     and go to sway over the trees?"
So all the trees said to the bramble,
   "You come and reign over us."
And the bramble said to the trees,
   "If in good faith you are anointing me king over
     then come and take refuge in my shade;
   but if not, let fire come out of the bramble
     and devour the cedars of Lebanon."

Words: Reginald Heber, 1811
Tune: Capetown  
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Lord of mercy and of might,
of mankind the life and light,
Maker, Teacher, infinite;
Jesus, hear and save!

Who, when sin's primeval doom
gave creation to the tomb,
didst not scorn a Virgin's womb,
Jesus, hear and save!

Strong Creator, Savior mild,
humbled to a mortal child,
captive, beaten, bound, reviled;
Jesus, hear and save!

Throned above celestial things,
borne aloft on angels' wings,
Lord of lords and King of kings;
Jesus, hear and save!

Soon to come to earth again,
judge of angels and of men,
hear us now, and hear us then;
Jesus, hear and save!

SECOND READING [1 John 2:18-28]:

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many
antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from
us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have
remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us.
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write
to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you
know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that
Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the
Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard
from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And
this is what he has promised us, eternal life.
I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. As for you, the
anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to
teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie,
and just as it has taught you, abide in him.
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have
confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming. 

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

Jesus, remember us when you come into your kingdom
and hear our prayers.

For your Church around the world,
we ask new life.

For all who carry out ministries in your Church,
we ask grace and wisdom.

For people who have accepted spiritual disciplines,
we ask inspired discipleship.

For Christians of every land,
we ask new unity in your Name.

For Jews and Muslims and people of other faiths,
we ask your divine blessing.

For those who cannot believe,
we ask your faithful love.

For governors and rulers in every land,
we ask your guidance.

For people who suffer and sorrow,
we ask your healing peace.

Almighty God, 
through the incarnate Word 
you have caused us to be born anew 
of an imperishable and eternal seed: 
Look with compassion upon those 
who are being prepared for Holy Baptism, 
and grant that they may be built as living stones 
into a spiritual temple acceptable to you; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Gracious God in heaven, 
whose Son prayed that we all might be one: 
Deliver us from arrogance and prejudice, 
and give us wisdom and forbearance, 
that, following your servant Charles Henry Brent, 
we may be united in one family 
with all who confess the Name of your Son Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. 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.

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

During the Spanish-American War (1898), arising from a dispute over Cuba
and Puerto Rico, the United States also acquired Guam and the Philippines. )
In 1902, the Episcopal Church appointed Charles Brent (at that time serving as
priest in charge of a slum parish in Boston) as Missionary Bishop of the
Philippines. He arrived on the same ship with the American Governor, William
H. Taft, and carried with him the unofficial but very real prestige of the
American establishment.
Brent could easily have confined himself to providing a kind of ecclesiastical
"home away from home" for American officials and others stationed in the
Islands. Equally, he could have devoted himself chiefly to efforts to convert the
Roman Catholics, both of Spanish and of Filipino ancestry, whom the previous
government had left behind. Instead, he directed his efforts toward the
non-Christians of his diocese: the pagan Igorots of the mountains of Luzon, the
Muslims of the southern islands, the Chinese settlements in Manila, all areas in
which he made considerable inroads and established thriving Christian
He began a campaign against the opium traffic, and served on several
international commissions devoted to stamping out international traffic in
narcotics. During World War I, he was the Senior Chaplain for the American
Armed Forces in Europe. He declined three elections to bishoprics in the
United States in order to continue his work in the Philippines, but in 1918, he
accepted the position of Bishop of Western New York. His experiences in the
Philippines had aroused in him a strong concern for the cause of visible
Christian unity. He wrote:
The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity. The world will go
limping until Christ's prayer that all may be one is answered. We must have
unity, not at all costs, but at all risks. A unified Church is the only offering we
dare present to the coming Christ, for in it alone will He find room to dwell.

He helped to organize the first World Conference on Faith and Order, which
met in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1927. He died there in 1929, being 67 years
minus 12 days old. He wrote the first collect used above.

The writer James Thayer Addison called him "a saint of disciplined mental
vigor, one whom soldiers were proud to salute and whom children were happy
to play with, who could dominate a parliament and minister to an invalid, a
priest and bishop who gloried in the heritage of his Church, yet who stood
among all Christian brothers as one who served." [James Kiefer]

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