OREMUS: 20 September 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Sep 19 17:00:01 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Thursday, September 20, 2007 
John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia,
and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871

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 37:29-42

For the Lord loves justice;*
 he does not forsake his faithful ones.
They shall be kept safe for ever,*
 but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
The righteous shall possess the land*
 and dwell in it for ever.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,*
 and their tongue speaks what is right.
The law of their God is in their heart,*
 and their footsteps shall not falter.
The wicked spy on the righteous*
 and seek occasion to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their hand,*
 nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
Wait upon the Lord and keep his way;*
 he will raise you up to possess the land,
   and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
I have seen the wicked in their arrogance,*
 flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
I went by and, behold, they were not there;*
 I searched for them, but they could not be found.
Mark those who are honest; observe the upright;*
 for there is a future for the peaceable.
Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;*
 the future of the wicked is cut off.
But the deliverance of the righteous
   comes from the Lord;*
 he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them;*
 he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
   because they seek refuge in him.

A Song of the Redeemed (Revelation 7. 9-10,14b-17)

Behold, a great multitude
 which no one could number,

>From every nation,
from all tribes and peoples and tongues,
 standing before the throne and the Lamb.

They were clothed in white robes
 and had palms in their hands,
 and they cried with a loud voice, saying,

'Salvation belongs to our God
 who sits on the throne,
 and to the Lamb.'

These are they
who have come out of the great tribulation,
 they have washed their robes
 and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;

Therefore they stand before the throne of God,
 whom they serve day and night within the temple.

And the One who sits upon the throne
 will shelter them with his presence.

They shall never again feel hunger or thirst,
 the sun shall not strike them,
 nor any scorching heat.

For the Lamb at the heart of the throne
 will be their Shepherd,

He will guide them to springs of living water,
 and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
 be blessing and honour and glory and might,
 for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 148

   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.

FIRST READING [1 Timothy 4:12-16]:

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an
example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in
purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public
reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not
neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you
through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the
council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote
yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay
close attention to yourself and to your teaching;
continue in these things, for in doing this you will save
both yourself and your hearers.

Words: Brian Wren   1993
Tune: Megerran

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A prophet-woman broke a jar
by Love's divine appointing.
With rare perfume she filled the room,
presiding and anointing.
A prophet-woman broke a jar,
the sneers of scorn defying.
With rare perfume she filled the room,
preparing Christ for dying.

A faithful woman left a tomb
by Love's divine commission.
She saw, she heard, she preached the word,
arising from submission.
A faithful woman left a tomb
with resurrection gospel.
She saw, she heard, she preached the word,
apostle to apostles.

Though woman-wisdom, woman-truth
for centuries were hidden,
unsung, unwritten, and unheard,
derided and forbidden,
the Spirit's breath, the Spirit's fire,
on free and slave, descending,
can tumble our diving walls,
our shame and sadness mending.

The Spirit knows, the Spirit calls,
by Love's divine ordaining,
the friends we need, to serve and lead,
their powers and gifts unchaining.
The Spirit knows, the Spirit calls
from women, men, and children
the friends we need, to serve and lead.
Rejoice and make them welcome!

SECOND READING [Luke 7:36-50]:

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's
house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner,
having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of
ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with
her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and
anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it,
he said to himself, 'If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what
kind of woman this is who is touching him that she is a sinner.' Jesus spoke up and
said to him, 'Simon, I have something to say to you.' 'Teacher,' he replied, 'speak.'
'A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them
will love him more?' Simon answered, 'I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the
greater debt.' And Jesus said to him, 'You have judged rightly.' Then turning towards
the woman, he said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you
gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried
them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not
stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my
feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been
forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves
little.' Then he said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' But those who were at the table
with him began to say among themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?' And
he said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'

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

Almighty and gracious God,
we bless you for your mercy in Christ
and your nearness by the Word and the Spirit.

Hear us as we embrace in the circle of love:

the life and witness of your Church,
Generous God, hear us.

the world and its longing,
especially for peace in India and Pakistan,
Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine and wherever conflict persists.
Generous God, hear us.

the cares of our own lives,
Generous God, hear us.

and those particular concerns your Spirit awakens in us,
Generous God, hear us.

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.
God of all tribes and peoples and tongues,
who called your servant John Coleridge Patteson
to witness in life and death to the gospel of Christ
amongst the peoples of Melanesia:
grant us to hear your call to service
and to respond trustfully and joyfully
to Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for 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) 1993 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.  
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US, Canada, Australia & New Zealand:  Hope Publishing Company, 
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

John Coleridge Patteson was born in London in 1827. He attended Balliol
College, Oxford, and graduated in 1849. After a tour of Europe and a study of
languages, he became a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 1852. In 1855,
he heard Bishop George Selwyn of New Zealand (11 Apr) call for volunteers
to go the South Pacific to preach the Gospel. He went there, and founded a
school for the education of native Christian workers. He was adept at
languages, and learned twenty-three of the languages spoken in the Polynesian
and Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific. In 1861 he was consecrated
Bishop of Melanesia.
The slave-trade was technically illegal in the South Pacific at that time, but the
laws were only laxly enforced and in fact slave-raiding was a flourishing
business. Patteson was actively engaged in the effort to stamp it out. However,
injured men do not always distinguish friends from foes. After slave-raiders had
attacked the island of Nakapu, in the Santa Cruz group, Patteson and several
companions visited the area. They were assumed to be connected with the
raiders, and Patteson's body was floated back to his ship with five hatchet
wounds in the chest, one for each native who had been killed in the earlier raid.
The death of Bishop Patteson caused an uproar back in England, and
stimulated the government there to take firm measures to stamp out slavery
and the slave trade in its Pacific territories. It was also the seed of a strong and
vigorous Church in Melanesia today. Patteson and his companions died on 20
September 1871.

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