OREMUS: 21 November 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Nov 20 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Wednesday, November 21, 2007 

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 127

Unless the Lord builds the house,*
 their labour is in vain who build it.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,*
 in vain the guard keeps vigil.
It is in vain that you rise so early
   and go to bed so late;*
 vain, too, to eat the bread of toil,
   for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,*
 and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior*
 are the children of one's youth.
Happy are they who have their quiver full of them!*
 they shall not be put to shame
   when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 135

Alleluia!  Praise the name of the Lord;*
 give praise, you servants of the Lord,
You who stand in the house of the Lord,*
 in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;*
 sing praises to his name, for it is lovely.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself*
 and Israel for his own possession.
For I know that the Lord is great,*
 and that our Lord is above all gods.
The Lord does whatever pleases him,
   in heaven and on earth,*
 in the seas and all the deeps.
He brings up rain clouds from the ends of the earth;*
 he sends out lightning with the rain,
   and brings the winds out of his storehouse.
It was he who struck down the first-born of Egypt,*
 the first-born both of human and beast.
He sent signs and wonders
   into the midst of you, O Egypt,*
 against Pharaoh and all his servants.
He overthrew many nations*
 and put mighty kings to death:
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
   and Og, the king of Bashan,*
 and all the kingdoms of Canaan.
He gave their land to be an inheritance,*
 an inheritance for Israel his people.
O Lord, your name is everlasting;*
 your renown, O Lord, endures from age to age.
For the Lord gives his people justice*
 and shows compassion to his servants.
The idols of the heathen are silver and gold,*
 the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;*
 eyes have they, but they cannot see.
They have ears, but they cannot hear;*
 neither is there any breath in their mouth.
Those who make them are like them,*
 and so are all who put their trust in them.
Bless the Lord, O house of Israel;*
 O house of Aaron, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O house of Levi;*
 you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
Blessed be the Lord out of Zion,*
 who dwells in Jerusalem. Alleluia!

A Song of the Righteous (Wisdom 3.1,2a,3b-8)
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God  
and no torment will ever touch them. 
In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died;  
but they are at peace. 
For though, in the sight of others, they were punished,  
their hope is full of immortality. 
Having been disciplined a little, 
they will receive great good,  
because God tested them and found them worthy. 
Like gold in the furnace, God tried them  
and, like a sacrificial burnt offering, accepted them. 
In the time of their visitation, they will shine forth  
and will run like sparks through the stubble. 
They will govern nations and rule over peoples  
and God will reign over them for ever.

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 Maccabees 7:1,20-31, 39-42]:

It happened also that seven brothers and their mother were arrested and were being
compelled by the king, under torture with whips and thongs, to partake of unlawful
swine's flesh.
The mother was especially admirable and worthy of honourable memory. Although she
saw her seven sons perish within a single day, she bore it with good courage because
of her hope in the Lord. She encouraged each of them in the language of their
ancestors. Filled with a noble spirit, she reinforced her woman's reasoning with a
man's courage, and said to them, 'I do not know how you came into being in my
womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements
within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of
humankind and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath
back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.'
Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her
reproachful tone. The youngest brother being still alive, Antiochus not only appealed
to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if
he would turn from the ways of his ancestors, and that he would take him for his
Friend and entrust him with public affairs. Since the young man would not listen to
him at all, the king called the mother to him and urged her to advise the youth to save
himself. After much urging on his part, she undertook to persuade her son. But,
leaning close to him, she spoke in their native language as follows, deriding the cruel
tyrant: 'My son, have pity on me. I carried you for nine months in my womb, and
nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in
your life, and have taken care of you. I beg you, my child, to look at the heaven and
the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them
out of things that existed. And in the same way the human race came into being. Do
not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in
God's mercy I may get you back again along with your brothers.'
While she was still speaking, the young man said, 'What are you waiting for? I will not
obey the king's command, but I obey the command of the law that was given to our
ancestors through Moses. But you, who have contrived all sorts of evil against the
Hebrews, will certainly not escape the hands of God.
The king fell into a rage, and handled him worse than the others, being exasperated at
his scorn. So he died in his integrity, putting his whole trust in the Lord.
Last of all, the mother died, after her sons.
Let this be enough, then, about the eating of sacrifices and the extreme tortures. 

Words: Liturgy of Saint James; trans. Charles William Humphreys, 1906
Tune: Sheen, St. Keverne

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>From glory to glory advancing, we praise thee, O Lord;
thy name with the Father and Spirit be ever adored.

>From strength unto strength we go forward on Zion's highway,
to appear before God in the city of infinite day.

Thanksgiving, and glory and worship, and blessing and love,
one heart and one song have the saints upon earth and above.

Evermore, O Lord, to thy servants thy presence be nigh;
ever fit us by service on earth for thy service on high.

SECOND READING [Luke 19:11-28]:

As they were listening to this, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because he was near
Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear
immediately. So he said, 'A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for
himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds,
and said to them, "Do business with these until I come back." But the citizens of his
country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, "We do not want this man
to rule over us." When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these
slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out
what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, "Lord, your pound
has made ten more pounds." He said to him, "Well done, good slave! Because you
have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities." Then the second
came, saying, "Lord, your pound has made five pounds." He said to him, "And you,
rule over five cities." Then the other came, saying, "Lord, here is your pound. I
wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man;
you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow." He said to him, "I
will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a
harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then
did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected
it with interest." He said to the bystanders, "Take the pound from him and give it to
the one who has ten pounds." (And they said to him, "Lord, he has ten pounds!") "I
tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing,
even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not
want me to be king over them bring them here and slaughter them in my presence." '

 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 

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 Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

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, in your mercy.
Hear our prayer.

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

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

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.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, 
you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be the light of the world: 
Free us from all that darkens and ensnares us, 
and bring us to eternal light and glory; 
through the power of him who is alive and reigns 
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 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.

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