OREMUS: 17 November 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Nov 16 17:00:00 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Saturday, November 17, 2007 
Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200

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

Blessed are you, ever-living God,
you inscribe our names in your book of life
so that we may share the firstfruits of salvation.
You protect the widows and strangers,
the oppressed and forgotten,
and feed the hungry with good things.
You stand among us in Christ, offering life to all.
You call us to respond with open hearts and minds to the world,
caring for those for whom you care. 
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 119:145-176

I call with my whole heart;*
 answer me, O Lord, that I may keep your statutes.
I call to you; O that you would save me!*
 I will keep your decrees.
Early in the morning I cry out to you,*
 for in your word is my trust.
My eyes are open in the night watches,*
 that I may meditate upon your promise.
Hear my voice, O Lord,
   according to your loving-kindness;*
 according to your judgements, give me life.
They draw near who in malice persecute me;*
 they are very far from your law.
You, O Lord, are near at hand,*
 and all your commandments are true.
Long have I known from your decrees*
 that you have established them for ever.
Behold my affliction and deliver me,*
 for I do not forget your law.
Plead my cause and redeem me;*
 according to your promise, give me life.
Deliverance is far from the wicked,*
 for they do not study your statutes.
Great is your compassion, O Lord;*
 preserve my life, according to your judgements.
There are many who persecute and oppress me,*
 yet I have not swerved from your decrees.
I look with loathing at the faithless,*
 for they have not kept your word.
See how I love your commandments!*
 O Lord, in your mercy, preserve me.
The heart of your word is truth;*
 all your righteous judgements endure for evermore.
Rulers have persecuted me without a cause,*
 but my heart stands in awe of your word.
I am as glad because of your promise*
 as one who finds great spoils.
As for lies, I hate and abhor them,*
 but your law is my love.
Seven times a day do I praise you,*
 because of your righteous judgements.
Great peace have they who love your law;*
 for them there is no stumbling block.
I have hoped for your salvation, O Lord,*
 and I have fulfilled your commandments.
I have kept your decrees*
 and I have loved them deeply.
I have kept your commandments and decrees,*
 for all my ways are before you.
Let my cry come before you, O Lord;*
 give me understanding, according to your word.
Let my supplication come before you;*
 deliver me, according to your promise.
My lips shall pour forth your praise,*
 when you teach me your statutes.
My tongue shall sing of your promise,*
 for all your commandments are righteous.
Let your hand be ready to help me,*
 for I have chosen your commandments.
I long for your salvation, O Lord,*
 and your law is my delight.
Let me live and I will praise you,*
 and let your judgements help me.
I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost;*
 search for your servant,
   for I do not forget your commandments.

A Song of Wisdom (Wisdom 9.1-5a,c,6,9-11)

O God of our ancestors and Lord of mercy,  
you have made all things by your word. 
By your wisdom you have formed us  
to have dominion over the creatures you have made; 
To rule the world in holiness and righteousness  
and to pronounce judgement in uprightness of soul. 
Give us the Wisdom that sits by your throne;  
do not reject us from among your servants, 
For we are your servants,  
with little understanding of judgement and laws. 
Even one who is perfect among us  
will be regarded as nothing 
without the wisdom that comes from you. 
With you is Wisdom, she who knows your works,  
and was present when you made the world. 
She understands what is pleasing in your sight  
and what is right according to your commandments. 
Send her forth from the holy heavens,  
from the throne of your glory send her. 
That she may labour at our side  
and that we may learn what is pleasing to you. 
For she knows and understands all things,  
she will guide us wisely in our actions 
and guard us with her glory.

Psalm 149

   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.

FIRST READING [Wisdom 18:14-16; 19:6-9]:

For while gentle silence enveloped all things,
and night in its swift course was now half gone,
your all-powerful word leapt from heaven, from the royal throne,
into the midst of the land that was doomed,
a stern warrior
carrying the sharp sword of your authentic command,
and stood and filled all things with death,
and touched heaven while standing on the earth.

For the whole creation in its nature was fashioned anew,
complying with your commands,
so that your children might be kept unharmed.
The cloud was seen overshadowing the camp,
and dry land emerging where water had stood before,
an unhindered way out of the Red Sea,
and a grassy plain out of the raging waves,
where those protected by your hand passed through as one nation,
after gazing on marvellous wonders.
For they ranged like horses,
and leapt like lambs,
praising you, O Lord, who delivered them. 

Words: Charles Wesley, 1740
Tune: Azmon, Richmond (Haweis), Oxford New , Stracathro

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O for a thousand tongues to sing
my dear Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim
and spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy Name.

Jesus! the Name that charms our fears
and bids our sorrows cease;
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life and health and peace.

He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.

Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold, your Savior come;
and leap, ye lame, for joy!

Glory to God and praise and love
be now and ever given
by saints below and saints above
the Church in earth and heaven.

SECOND READING [Luke 18:1-8]:

Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He
said, 'In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for
people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, "Grant me
justice against my opponent." For a while he refused; but later he said to himself,
"Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow
keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by
continually coming." ' And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And
will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he
delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet,
when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?'

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

United in the company of all the faithful 
and looking for the coming of the kingdom, 
let us offer our prayers to God, the source of all life and holiness.

Merciful Lord, 
strengthen all Christian people by your Holy Spirit 
that we may live as a royal priesthood 
and a holy nation to the praise of Christ Jesus our Saviour.
Lord, have mercy.

Bless N our bishop, and all ministers of your Church, 
that by faithful proclamation of your word we may be built 
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets 
into a holy temple in the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Empower us by the gift of your Holy and Life-giving Spirit 
that we may be transformed into the likeness of Christ 
from glory to glory.
Lord, have mercy.

Give to the world and its peoples the peace 
that comes from above, that they may find Christ's way of freedom and life.
Lord, have mercy.

Hold in your embrace all who witness to your love 
in the service of the poor and needy; 
all those who minister to the sick and dying; 
and all who bring light to those in darkness.
Lord, have mercy.

Touch and heal all those whose lives are scarred by sin 
or disfigured by pain, that, raised from death to life in Christ, 
their sorrow may be turned to eternal joy.
Lord, have mercy.

Remember in your mercy those gone before us 
who have been well-pleasing to you from eternity; 
preserve us who live here in your faith, 
guide us to your kingdom, 
and grant us your peace at all times.
Lord, have mercy.

Hasten the day when those who fear you in every nation 
will come from east and west, from north and south, 
and sit at table in your kingdom.
Lord, have mercy.

And so we give you thanks for the whole company 
of your saints in glory, 
with whom in fellowship we join our prayers and praises; 
by your grace may we, like them, be made perfect in your love.
Blessing and glory and wisdom,
thanksgiving and honour and power,
be to our God for ever and ever. Amen.

O God, 
Father of the widow and the orphan, 
welcoming refuge for strangers and justice for the oppressed: 
Uphold the hope of the poor who place their trust in your love; 
that the time may soon come 
when no one will lack the bread and freedom which you provide, 
and all will learn to share freely after the example 
of him who has given his very self, 
Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

O God,
who endowed your servant Hugh
with a wise and cheerful boldness
and taught him to commend to earthly rulers
the discipline of a holy life:
give us grace like him to be bold in the service of the gospel,
putting our confidence in Christ alone,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Uniting our prayers with the whole company of heaven,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant that as we serve yo now on earth,
so we may one day rejoice with all the saints
in your kingdom of light and peace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 sentence are adapted from
prayers reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

As a sign of his remorse for his role in the murder of the Archbishop Thomas a
Becket, King Henry II founded the first house in England of the strict monastic
order called the Carthusians. Difficulties arose with the first two priors, and a
French noble recommended Hugh de Avalon, who at that time had been a
monk at the mother house of the order for 17 years.
On his arrival in England in 1176, Hugh found that the building of the
monastery had not begun. Worse, no compensation had been paid to those
who would have to lose their lands and property to make room for it. Hugh
refused to take office until these persons had been paid "to the last penny." He
intervened again on behalf of the builders, whose pay was not forthcoming.
Henry loved him for his plain speaking. "I do not despair of you," Hugh said to
him at their first interview; "I know how much your many occupations interfere
with the health of your soul." Henry, impressed by his frankness, swore that
while he lived he should not leave his kingdom, and took so much pleasure in
his conversation, and paid so much heed to his counsels, that a rumor arose
that Hugh was his son. Hugh's biographer wrote that "of all men only Hugh
could bend that rhinosceros to his will." When Henry was in danger of
shipwreck, he cried out, "If only my Carthusian Hugh were awake and at
prayer, God would not forget me."
This affection never diminished, though Hugh dared to oppose the king,
particularly in the matter of keeping bishoprics vacant in order that their
revenues might fall to the king's treasury. One of the worst examples was
Lincoln, which, except for a few months, had been without a bishop for
eighteen years. Hugh was elected to the post in 1186, and his monastic
superiors ordered him to accept. After so long a period of neglect, there was
great need of reform. Hugh employed priests of great piety and learning, and
made the fullest use of his authority in disciplining his clergy. He took a stern
view of the ill-treatment of the poor by the royal foresters, and when a subject
of the church of Lincoln suffered at their hands he excommunicated their chief.
He also refused to appoint a royal favorite to a meaningless but lucrative
post. Henry was furious, and summoned him to his presence. He came, and
Henry turned away his face and would not speak, but by way of ignoring his
presence took out a torn glove and began to sew it. At last Hugh said, "How
like you are to your relations at Falaise." The king might have resented this
allusion to the humble birth of William the Conqueror's mother, the daughter of
a glove-maker, but he only laughed, and the quarrel was made up.
Riots against the Jews broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade.
In defence of the persecuted, Hugh faced armed mobs in Lincoln, Stamford
and Northampton and compelled their submission.
Hugh refused to raise money for the foreign wars of King Richard the
Lion-Heart, calmed the king's rage with a kiss, and persisted in his refusal: this
was the first clear example on record of the refusal of a money-grant demanded
directly by the crown, and an important legal precedent. Richard said, "If all
bishops were like my lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could raise his
head against them."
His relations with King John were less happy. John showed him an amulet,
which he said was sacred and would preserve him. Hugh replied, "Do not put
your trust in lifeless stone, but only in the living and heavenly stone, our Lord
Jesus Christ." The following Easter he preached at length on the duties of
kings, and the king slipped out partway through.
Devout, tireless, and forgetful of self, Hugh also had wit, a temper that he
described as "more biting than pepper," and a great love and concern for
children and the defenceless. He visited leper-houses and washed the ulcerous
limbs of their inmates.
He was fond of animals, and they of him. Birds and squirrels came readily to
his hand. He had a swan that would feed from his hand, follow him about, and
keep guard over his bed, so that no one could approach it without being
In 1200 the king sent him on an embassy to France. His mission was a success,
but he took ill and returned to England to die on 16 November 1200. John
Ruskin called him "the most beautiful sacerdotal (priestly) figure known to me
in history."

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