OREMUS: 19 November 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Nov 18 18:54:12 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Monday, November 19, 2007 
Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680

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

Blessed are you, ever-living God,
the hope of the nations,
the builder of the city that is to come.
our love made visible in Jesus Christ
brings home the lost,
restores the sinner
and gives dignity to the despised.
In his face your light shines out,
flooding lives with goodness and truth,
gathering into one in your kingdom
a divided and broken humanity.
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 116

I love the Lord,
   because he has heard the voice of my supplication,*
 because he has inclined his ear to me
   whenever I called upon him.
The cords of death entangled me;
   the grip of the grave took hold of me;*
 I came to grief and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:*
 'O Lord, I pray you, save my life.'
Gracious is the Lord and righteous;*
 our God is full of compassion.
The Lord watches over the innocent;*
 I was brought very low and he helped me.
Turn again to your rest, O my soul,*
 for the Lord has treated you well.
For you have rescued my life from death,*
 my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord*
 in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
   'I have been brought very low.'*
 In my distress I said, 'No one can be trusted.'
How shall I repay the Lord*
 for all the good things he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation*
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord*
 is the death of his servants.
O Lord, I am your servant;*
 I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;
   you have freed me from my bonds.
I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people.
In the courts of the Lord's house,*
 in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Psalm 125

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,*
 which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever.
The hills stand about Jerusalem;*
 so does the Lord stand round about his people,
   from this time forth for evermore.
The sceptre of the wicked shall not hold sway
   over the land allotted to the just,*
 so that the just shall not put their hands to evil.
Show your goodness, O Lord, to those who are good*
 and to those who are true of heart.
As for those who turn aside to crooked ways,
   the Lord will lead them away with the evildoers;*
 but peace be upon Israel.

A Song of Tobit (Tobit 13.1,3,4-6a)

Blessed be God, who lives for ever,  
whose reign endures throughout all ages. 
Declare God's praise before the nations,  
you who are the children of Israel. 
For if our God has scattered you among them,  
there too has he shown you his greatness. 
Exalt him in the sight of the living,  
because he is our Lord and God and our Father for ever. 
Though God punishes you for your wickedness,  
mercy will be shown to you all. 
God will gather you from every nation,  
from wherever you have been scattered. 
When you turn to the Lord 
with all your heart and soul,  
God will hide his face from you no more. 
See what the Lord has done for you  
and give thanks with a loud voice. 
Praise the Lord of righteousness  
and exalt the King of the ages. 

Psalm 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram's-horn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

FIRST READING [1 Maccabees 1:1-15, 54-57, 62-64]:

After Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came from the land of Kittim, had
defeated King Darius of the Persians and the Medes, he succeeded him as king. (He
had previously become king of Greece.) He fought many battles, conquered
strongholds, and put to death the kings of the earth. He advanced to the ends of the
earth, and plundered many nations. When the earth became quiet before him, he was
exalted, and his heart was lifted up. He gathered a very strong army and ruled over
countries, nations, and princes, and they became tributary to him.
After this he fell sick and perceived that he was dying. So he summoned his most
honoured officers, who had been brought up with him from youth, and divided his
kingdom among them while he was still alive. And after Alexander had reigned for
twelve years, he died.
Then his officers began to rule, each in his own place. They all put on crowns after his
death, and so did their descendants after them for many years; and they caused many
evils on the earth.
>From them came forth a sinful root, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus; he
had been a hostage in Rome. He began to reign in the one hundred and thirty-seventh
year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, 'Let us
go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from
them many disasters have come upon us.' This proposal pleased them, and some of the
people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the
Gentiles. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and
removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined
with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.
Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they
erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt-offering. They also built altars in
the surrounding towns of Judah, and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in
the streets. The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with
fire. Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the
law, was condemned to death by decree of the king.
But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food.
They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant;
and they did die. Very great wrath came upon Israel. 

Words: Tate and Brady, 1698
Tune: St. Bride

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Have mercy, Lord, on me,
as thou wert ever kind;
let me, oppressed with loads of guilt,
thy wonted mercy find.

Wash off my foul offense,
and cleanse me from my sin;
for I confess my crime, and see
how great my guilt has been.

The joy thy favor gives
let me again obtain,
and thy free Spirit's firm support
my fainting soul sustain.

To God the Father, Son
and Spirit glory be,
as 'twas, and is, and shall be so
to all eternity.

SECOND READING [Luke 18:35-43]:

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When
he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, 'Jesus of
Nazareth is passing by.' Then he shouted, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'
Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more
loudly, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be
brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 'What do you want me to do
for you?' He said, 'Lord, let me see again.' Jesus said to him, 'Receive your sight;
your faith has saved you.' Immediately he regained his sight and followed him,
glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

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

We pray for the coming of God's kingdom.

You sent your Son to bring news to the poor,
sight to the blind, freedom to captives
and salvation to your people:
anoint us with your Spirit;
rouse us to work in his name:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor and freedom to the oppressed:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world the good news of your healing love:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn
to bring joy and gladness instead of grief:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here 
for you to save your people:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Lord of the Church
hear our prayer, 
and make us one in mind and heart
to serve you in Christ our Lord. Amen.

Everliving God, 
before the earth was formed 
and even after it shall cease to be, you are God: 
Break into our short span of life 
and show us those things that are eternal, 
that we may serve your purpose in all we do; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.

O God of peace, 
by whose grace the abbess Hilda 
was endowed with gifts 
of justice, prudence, and strength 
to rule as a wise mother 
over the nuns and monks of her household, 
and to become a trusted and reconciling friend 
to leaders of the Church: 
Give us grace to recognize and accept 
the varied gifts you bestow on women and men, 
that our common life may be enriched 
and your gracious will be done;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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

May Christ who makes saints of sinners,
and who has transformed those who have gone before us,
raise and strengthen us that we may transform the world. 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
_Common Worship: Times and Seasons (draft)_, material from which is
included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2004.

Hilda (known in her own century as "Hild") was the grandniece of King Edwin
of Northumbria, a kingdom of the Angles. She was born in 614 and baptized in
627 when the king and his household became Christians. In 647 she decided to
become a nun, and under the direction of Aidan she established several
monasteries. Her last foundation was at Whitby. It was a double house: a
community of men and another of women, with the chapel in between, and
Hilda as the governor of both; and it was a great center of English learning,
one which produced five bishops (during Hilda's lifetime or that of the
Abbey?). Here a stable-boy, Caedmon, was moved to compose religious poems
in the Anglo-Saxon tongue, most of them metrical paraphrases of narratives
from Genesis and the Gospels.
The Celtic peoples of Britain had heard the Gospel well before 300 AD, but in
the 400's and 500's a massive invasion of Germanic peoples (Angles, Jutes, and
Saxons) forced the native Celts out of what is now England and into Wales,
Ireland, and Scotland. The invaders were pagans, and missionaries were sent to
them in the north and west by the Celts, and in the south and east by Rome and
other churches on the continent of Europe.
Roman and Celtic traditions differed, not in doctrine, but on such questions as
the proper way of calculating the date of Easter, and the proper style of haircut
and dress for a monk. It was, in particular, highly desirable that Christians, at
least in the same area, should celebrate Easter at the same time; and it became
clear that the English Church would have to choose between the old Celtic
customs which it had inherited from before 300, and the customs of continental
Europe and in particular of Rome that missionaries from there had brought
with them. In 664 the Synod of Whitby met at that monastery to consider the
matter, and it was decided to follow Roman usage.
Hilda herself greatly preferred the Celtic customs in which she had been reared,
but once the decision had been made she used her moderating influence in
favor of its peaceful acceptance. Her influence was considerable; kings and
commoners alike came to her for advice. She was urgent in promoting the
study of the Scriptures and the thorough education of the clergy. She died 17
November 680.

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