OREMUS: 29 September 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Sep 28 20:03:10 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Saturday, September 29, 2007 
Saint Michael and All Angels

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

Blessed are you, God of power and might,
the glorious Lord of the universe:
you created the host of angels and archangels
to become your eternal crown of praise
while carrying into your presence
our own acts of worship, faith and prayer.
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 138

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart;*
 before the gods I will sing your praise.
I will bow down towards your holy temple
   and praise your name,*
 because of your love and faithfulness;
For you have glorified your name*
 and your word above all things.
When I called, you answered me;*
 you increased my strength within me.
All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord,*
 when they have heard the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the Lord,*
 that great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord be high, he cares for the lowly;*
 he perceives the haughty from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you keep me safe;*
 you stretch forth your hand
   against the fury of my enemies;
   your right hand shall save me.
The Lord will make good his purpose for me;*
 O Lord, your love endures for ever;
   do not abandon the works of your hands.

A Song of God's Assembled (Hebrews 12:22-24a,28-29)

We have come before God's holy mountain,
to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God.

We have come before countless angels making festival,
before the assembly of the firstborn citizens of heaven.

We have come before God, who is judge of all,
before the spirits of the just made perfect.

We have come before Jesus,
the mediator of the new covenant.

We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken:
so let us give thanks and offer to God acceptable worship,

full of reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire.

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 [Daniel 10:4-21]:

On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that
is, the Tigris), I looked up and saw a man clothed in linen, with a belt of gold from Uphaz around
his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms
and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the roar of a
multitude. I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; the people who were with me did not see the vision,
though a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone to
see this great vision. My strength left me, and my complexion grew deathly pale, and I retained no
strength. Then I heard the sound of his words; and when I heard the sound of his words, I fell into
a trance, face to the ground.
But then a hand touched me and roused me to my hands and knees. He said to me, 'Daniel,
greatly beloved, pay attention to the words that I am going to speak to you. Stand on your feet,
for I have now been sent to you.' So while he was speaking this word to me, I stood up
trembling. He said to me, 'Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to
gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I
have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for
twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I left him there with
the prince of the kingdom of Persia, and have come to help you understand what is to happen to
your people at the end of days. For there is a further vision for those days.'
While he was speaking these words to me, I turned my face towards the ground and was
speechless. Then one in human form touched my lips, and I opened my mouth to speak, and said
to the one who stood before me, 'My lord, because of the vision such pains have come upon me
that I retain no strength. How can my lord's servant talk with my lord? For I am shaking, no
strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.'
Again one in human form touched me and strengthened me. He said, 'Do not fear, greatly
beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!' When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and
said, 'Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.' Then he said, 'Do you know why I have
come to you? Now I must return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I am through with
him, the prince of Greece will come. But I am to tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth.
There is no one with me who contends against these princes except Michael, your prince.

Words: Latin, ninth century, attributed to Rabanus Maurus (ca. 776-856);
Trans. C. S. Phillips
Tune: Caelites plaudant (Rouen)
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Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels,
ruler of all, and author of creation,
grant us in thy mercy grace to win by patience
realms everlasting.

Send forth thine angel Michael from thy presence:
peacemaker bless d, may he hover o'er us
hallow our dwellings, that for us thy children
all things may prosper.

Send forth thine angel Gabriel the mighty;
on strong wings flying, may he come from heaven,
drive from thy temple Satan the old foeman,
succor our weakness.

Send forth thine angel Raphael the healer
through him with wholesome medicines of salvation,
heal our backsliding, and in paths of goodness
guide our steps daily.

May the blest Mother of our God and Savior,
may all the countless company of angels,
may the assembly of the saints in glory,
ever assist us.

Father Almighty, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Godhead eternal, grant us our petition;
thine be the glory through the whole creation
now and for ever.

SECOND READING [Revelation 5]:

Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on
the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is
worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?' And no one in heaven or on earth or under the
earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one
was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not
weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open
the scroll and its seven seals.'

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb
standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven
spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the
one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the
twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense,
which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:
'You are worthy to take the scroll
   and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
   saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
   and they will reign on earth.'

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living
creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing
with full voice,
'Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!'
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that
is in them, singing,
'To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever!'
And the four living creatures said, 'Amen!' And the elders fell down and worshipped. 

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

Father in heaven, by his blood your Christ has ransomed us to you,
and has made us a kingdom and priests to you our God.
As the angels minister to you in heaven,
strengthen your Church to serve you here on earth.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
when the angels greeted the birth of your Son
they sang for joy 'Glory to God and peace on earth'.
Bless with Christ's peace the nations of the world...
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
your Son has promised to your children
the care of the guardian angels who look upon your face.
Protect by your mercy our neighbours, families and friends...
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
your angel declares 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.'
'Blessed indeed,' says the Spirit,
'for they may rest from their labours,
for they take with them the record of their deeds.'
Enfold in your love (... and) all who come in faith
to your judgement seat in heaven.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Father in heaven,
the angels sing by day and night around your throne
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.'
With Michael, prince of the angels, who contends by our side,
with Gabriel, your herald, who brings glad tidings,
and with the whole company of heaven,
we worship you, we give you glory,
we sing your praise and exalt you for ever.  Amen.

Everlasting God,
you have ordained and constituted the ministries
of angels and mortals in a wonderful order
grant that as your holy angels
always serve you in heaven,
so, at your command,
they may help and defend us on earth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
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

Send your holy angels to watch over us,
O loving God,
that on our lips will be found your truth
and in our hearts your love;
for his sake who died for love of our love,
even Jesus Christ our Saviour. 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 permission.

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 is by Stephen Benner and is based on a
prayer from _We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian
Eucharistic Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The
Canterbury Press Norwich, 1999.

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.

The intercession and the closing sentence are from _Enriching the
Christian Year_  SPCK, compilation (c)Michael Perham 1993.

Hymn (c) 1932 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn in all territories except the UK, contact:
Hope Publishing Company, 
In the UK, contact:  Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd.,
St. Mary's Works, St. Mary's Plain, Norwich, Norfolk  NR3 3BH  England

On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give
thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both
directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of
God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.
The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans
who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth.
We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are
told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk
15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt
18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the
face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)<P
In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man
who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man,
but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created
beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when
they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as "messengers of God,"
or simply as "messengers." The word for a messenger in Hebrew is MALACH,
in Greek, ANGELOS, from which we get our word "angel."
By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about
angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four
archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative
tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes
each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic
system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is
associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but
I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called "The Golden
Legend," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 
Michael (the name means "Who is like God?") is said to be the captain of the
heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1
(where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he
is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in
Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those
of the great dragon). He is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance,
and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. 
Gabriel (the name means "God is my champion") is thought of as the special
bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an
explainer of some of Daniel's visions. According to the first chapter of Luke,
he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to
Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.
Raphael (the name means "God heals") is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the
book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man
Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the
blindness of his aged father.
Uriel (the name means "God is my light" -- compare with "Uriah", which
means "the LORD is my light") is mentioned in 4 Esdras.
It is thought by many scholars that the seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 are an
image suggested by (among many other things) the idea of seven
What is the value to us of remembering the Holy Angels? Well, since they
appear to excel us in both knowledge and power, they remind us that, even
among created things, we humans are not the top of the heap. Since it is the
common belief that demons are angels who have chosen to disobey God and to
be His enemies rather than His willing servants, they remind us that the higher
we are the lower we can fall. The greater our natural gifts and talents, the
greater the damage if we turn them to bad ends. The more we have been given,
the more will be expected of us. And, in the picture of God sending His angels
to help and defend us, we are reminded that apparently God, instead of doing
good things directly, often prefers to do them through His willing servants,
enabling those who have accepted His love to show their love for one another.
The major post-New-Testament source for Christian ideas about angels is
a writer (probably a fifth-century Syrian monk) who signed himself "Dionysius
the Areopagite." His writings were taken to be those of a convert of the
Apostle Paul, mentioned in Acts 17:34. Accordingly, when he wrote on angels
(or any other theological subject), he was assumed to know what he was
talking about. His writings had a considerable influence on the portrayal of
angels in art and in the popular imagination. [James Kiefer]

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