OREMUS: 19 September 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Sep 18 17:00:00 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Wednesday, September 19, 2007 
Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690

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

Blessed are you, Shepherding God,
undaunted, you seek the lost,
exultant, you bring home the found.
You touch our hearts with grateful wonder
at the tenderness of your forbearing love,
revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ. 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever.

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 37:1-29

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;*
 do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,*
 and like the green grass fade away.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good;*
 dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord,*
 and he shall give you your heart's desire.
Commit your way to the Lord
   and put your trust in him,*
 and he will bring it to pass.
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light*
 and your just dealing as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord*
 and wait patiently for him.
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,*
 the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;*
 do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off,*
 but those who wait upon the Lord
   shall possess the land.
In a little while the wicked shall be no more;*
 you shall search out their place,
   but they will not be there.
But the lowly shall possess the land;*
 they will delight in abundance of peace.
The wicked plot against the righteous*
 and gnash at them with their teeth.
The Lord laughs at the wicked,*
 because he sees that their day will come.
The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
   to strike down the poor and needy,*
 to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
Their sword shall go through their own heart,*
 and their bow shall be broken.
The little that the righteous have*
 is better than great riches of the wicked.
For the power of the wicked shall be broken,*
 but the Lord upholds the righteous.
The Lord cares for the lives of the godly,*
 and their inheritance shall last for ever.
They shall not be ashamed in bad times,*
 and in days of famine they shall have enough.
As for the wicked, they shall perish,*
 and the enemies of the Lord,
   like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish;
   they shall vanish like smoke.
The wicked borrow and do not repay,*
 but the righteous are generous in giving.
Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land,*
 but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
Our steps are directed by the Lord;*
 he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong,*
 for the Lord holds them by the hand.
I have been young and now I am old,*
 but never have I seen the righteous forsaken,
   or their children begging bread.
The righteous are always generous in their lending,*
 and their children shall be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good,*
 and dwell in the land for ever.
For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.

A Song of the Lord's Anointed (Isaiah 61.1-3,11,6a)

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
 because he has anointed me.

He has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
 to bind up the broken-hearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,
 and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the year of the Lord's favour,
 to comfort all who mourn,

To give them a garland instead of ashes,
 the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
 the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit,

That they may be called oaks of righteousness,
 the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

For as the earth puts forth her blossom,
 and as seeds in the garden spring up,

So shall the Lord God make righteousness and praise
 blossom before all the nations.

You shall be called priests of the Lord
 they shall speak of you as ministers of our God.

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 [1 Timothy 3:14-16]:

I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these
instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may
know how one ought to behave in the household of God,
which is the church of the living God, the pillar and
bulwark of the truth. Without any doubt, the mystery of
our religion is great:
He was revealed in flesh,
   vindicated in spirit,
     seen by angels,
proclaimed among Gentiles,
   believed in throughout the world,
     taken up in glory. 

Words: Alan Gaunt   1991
Tune: Abingdon

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Lord Christ, we praise your sacrifice,
your life in love so freely given.
For those who took your life away
you prayed, that they might be forgiven;
and there, in helplessness arrayed,
God's power was perfectly displayed.

Once helpless in your mother's arms,
dependent on her mercy then,
at last, by choice, in other hands,
you were as helpless once again;
and, at their mercy, crucified,
you claimed your victory and died.

Though helpless and rejected then,
you're now as risen Lord acclaimed;
forever by your sacrifice
is God's eternal love proclaimed:
the love, which, dying, brings to birth
new life and hope for all on earth.

So, living Lord, prepare us now
your willing helplessness to share,
to give ourselves in sacrifice,
to overcome the world's despair;
in love to give our lives away
and claim your victory today.

SECOND READING [Luke 7:31-35]:

Jesus said, 'To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are
they like? They are like children sitting in the market-place and calling to one another,
"We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
   we wailed, and you did not weep."
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, "He
has a demon"; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, "Look, a
glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!" Nevertheless, wisdom
is vindicated by all her children.'

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

Under your holy wings, you gather us, O God,
and you shelter us by your grace.

Together in faith communities, 
you call us share your love and mercy.
Gather us in, O God.

We give you thanks for all that gives shape to life in community:
devotion to apostolic teaching,
sharing in fellowship around your Word and Table,
continuous prayer for the world and the Church.
Gather us in, O God.

Save your Church from formless piety.
Gather us in, O God.

Help families and the leaders of households to pattern faith.
Gather us in, O God.

Choose and renew our leaders for disciple-making.
Gather us in, O God.

Uphold those who seek peace with justice.
Gather us in, O God.

Give light to all who strive to discern what is right.
Gather us in, O God.

Comfort the dying.
Gather us in, O God.

Heal the broken and suffering.
Gather us in, O God.

Blessed and holy God,
ever merciful and forgiving:
may we turn from what is evil
and do what is good in your sight,
that we might be saved by the cross
of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, 
you called your servant Theodore of Tarsus 
from Rome to the see of Canterbury, 
and gave him gifts of grace and wisdom 
to establish unity where there had been division, 
and order where there had been chaos: 
Create in your Church, 
by the operation of your Holy Spirit, 
such godly union and concord 
that it may proclaim, both by word and example, 
the Gospel of the Prince of Peace; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us delight in the mercy that has found us
and bring all to rejoice at the feast of forgiveness. 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 prayer use phrases from a
prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

Hymn (c) 1991 by Stainer & Bell Ltd 
(admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188).  
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada:  Hope Publishing Company, 
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 

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

When the pagan Anglo-Saxons invaded England, they drove the native Celtic
inhabitants north into Scotland and west into Ireland, Wales, and Cornwall.
The Anglo-Saxons were subsequently converted to Christianity by Celtic
missionaries from the north and west, and Roman and Gallic missionaries from
the south and east. As a result, they ended up with two different "flavors" of
Christianity. The difference was expressed mainly in the form of a
disagreement about the proper method for calculating the date of Easter, a
disagreement which we may suspect was a stand-in for other disagreements a
little more difficult to articulate. In 663, a council was called to settle the
dispute, the Synod of Whitby. It decided in favor of the Roman or continental
way of doing things.
Soon after, the Archbishop of Canterbury died, and the English elected a
successor, Wighard, and sent him to Rome to be consecrated by the Pope.
Wighard died in Rome before he could be consecrated, and the Pope (Vitalian)
took it upon himself to choose a man to fill the vacancy. He consecrated
Theodore of Tarsus (the native city of the Apostle Paul), a learned monk (not a
priest) from the East then living in Rome, 65 years old. This surprising choice
turned out to be a very good one. Theodore was (as Bede put it in his
Ecclesiastical History) "the first archbishop whom all the English obeyed."
Having made a tour of his charge, Theodore filled the vacant bishoprics and in
672 presided over the first council of the entire English Churh, at Hertford. He
established definite territorial boundaries for the various dioceses, and founded
new dioceses where needed. He found the Church of England an unorganized
missionary body, and left it a fully ordered province of the universal Church.
The body of canon law drawn up under his supervision, and his structure of
dioceses and parishes, survived the turmoil of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries and are substantially intact today.
He founded a school at Canterbury that trained Christians from both the Celtic
and the Roman traditions, and did much to unite the two groups. The school
was headed by Adrian, an abbot born in Africa but later resident in Italy, who
had been the Pope's first choice for Archbishop, but who had refused and
recommended Theodore instead. Adrian was learned in the Scriptures, a good
administrator, and fluent in Latin and Greek. The school taught Bible, theology
and sacred studies, Latin and Greek (Bede alleges that some of the students
knew these languages as well as they knew English), poetry, astronomy, and
calendar calculation (of some importance for political reasons, as stated
above). Adrian died 9 January 710. Theodore died 19 September 690, being 88
years old. [James Kiefer]

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