OREMUS: 19 April 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Apr 18 17:00:01 GMT 2008


*******************************************************
Visit our website at http://www.oremus.org
*******************************************************

OREMUS for Saturday, April 19, 2008
Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, God of peace, 
who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, 
the great shepherd of the sheep, 
by the blood of the eternal covenant, 
making us complete in everything good 
so that we may do his will, 
and working among us that which is pleasing in his sight.
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. 

http://www.oremus.org/eastocan.html

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;*
 I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures*
 and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul*
 and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I shall fear no evil;*
 for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me
   in the presence of those who trouble me;*
 you have anointed my head with oil,
   and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,*
 and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 30

I will exalt you, O Lord,
   because you have lifted me up*
 and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to you,*
 and you restored me to health.
You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead;*
 you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
Sing to the Lord, you servants of his;*
 give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye,*
 his favour for a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night,*
 but joy comes in the morning.
While I felt secure, I said,
   'I shall never be disturbed.*
 You, Lord, with your favour,
   made me as strong as the mountains.'
Then you hid your face,*
 and I was filled with fear.
I cried to you, O Lord;*
 I pleaded with the Lord, saying,
'What profit is there in my blood,
   if I go down to the Pit?*
 will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
'Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me;*
 O Lord, be my helper.'
You have turned my wailing into dancing;*
 you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy;
Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;*
 O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

The Song of Moses and Miriam (Exodus 15.1b-3,6,10,13,17)

I will sing to the Lord, who has triumphed gloriously,  
the horse and its rider he has thrown into the sea. 
The Lord is my strength and my song  
and has become my salvation. 
This is my God whom I will praise,  
the God of my forebears whom I will exalt. 
The Lord is a warrior,  
the Lord is his name. 
Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power:  
your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. 
At the blast of your nostrils, the sea covered them;  
they sank as lead in the mighty waters. 
In your unfailing love, O Lord,  
you lead the people whom you have redeemed. 
And by your invincible strength  
you will guide them to your holy dwelling. 
You will bring them in and plant them, O Lord,  
in the sanctuary which your hands have established. 

Psalm 150

Alleluia!
   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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 50:4-10]:

The Lord God has given me
   the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain
   the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens 
   wakens my ear
   to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
   and I was not rebellious,
   I did not turn backwards.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
   and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
   from insult and spitting.

The Lord God helps me;
   therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
   and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
   he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
   Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
   Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me;
   who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment;
   the moth will eat them up.

Who among you fears the Lord
   and obeys the voice of his servant,
who walks in darkness
   and has no light,
yet trusts in the name of the Lord
   and relies upon his God? 

HYMN 
Words: Bianco da Siena, d. 1434;
trans. Richard Frederick Littledale, Jr., 1867
Tune: Down Ampney

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/c/c186.html
Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus.             

Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o'er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.

SECOND READING [Ephesians 3:13-end]:

I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your
glory.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven
and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may
grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and
grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the
saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of
Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of
God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far
more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. 

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

Prayer:
Jesus, Light of the world,
bring the light and peace of your Gospel
to the nations.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, Bread of life,
give food to the hungry
and nourish us all with your Word.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, our Way, our Truth, our Life,
be with us and all who follow in the way.
Deepen our appreciation of your truth
and fill us with your life.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, Good Shepherd,
who gave your life for the sheep,
recover the straggler,
bind up the injured,
strengthen the sick
and lead the healthy and strong to new pastures.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life,
we give you thanks for all who have lived and believed in you.
Raise us with them to eternal life.
Lord of life,
hear our prayer.

Glory to you, Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd.
In the waters of baptism you give us new birth,
at your table you nourish us with heavenly food,
and in your goodness and mercy
you guide us beyond the terrors of evil and death
to your Father's home to dwell in eternal light.
Glory to you for ever. Amen.

O loving God, your martyr Alphege of Canterbury suffered violent death when
he refused to permit a ransom to be extorted from his people: Grant that all
pastors of your flock may pattern themselves on the Good Shepherd, who
laid down his life for the sheep; and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives
and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 
       
Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Lead us always to the living waters
where you promise respite and refreshment,
that we may be counted among those
who know and follow you, O Lord. 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.

Alphege (Elphege, AElfheah) was born about 953, during the second major period of
Viking raids against England. He became first a monk and then a hermit, and then was
appointed Abbot of Bath. In 984 he became Bishop of Westminster. In 994 King Ethelred
the Unready sent him to parley with the Danish invaders Anlaf and Swein. The
Anglo-Saxons paid tribute, but Anlaf became a Christian and swore never to invade
England again. He never did. In that same year Alphege brought the newly baptized King
Olaf Tryggvason of Norway to a peaceful meeting with King Ethelred, and to his
confirmation at Andover. (Remark: "Unready" does not mean that the king was often
unprepared; it means that he was headstrong and stubborn, and would not accept "rede,"
meaning counsel or advice.)
In 1005 Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011 the Danes overran much of
southern England. The payment of the tribute agreed on (the Danegeld) did not stop them,
and in September they captured Canterbury and held Alphege and other prominent
persons for ransom. The others were duly paid for and released, but the price demanded
for Alphege was a fantastically high 3,000 pounds (worth of course, far more than modern
pounds). Alphege, knowing the poverty of his people, refused to pay or let anyone else
pay for him. The infuriated Danes, at the end of a drunken feast, brought him out and
repeated their demands. When he again refused, they threw various objects at him (large
bones from the feast, for example) and finally an axeman delivered the death-blow. Their
chief, Thorkell the Tall, tried to save him, offering all his possessions except his ship for
the Archbishop's life. By his death Alphege became a national hero.
When the Dane Cnut (Canute) became King of England in 1016, he adopted a policy of
conciliation, and in 1023 he brought the body of Alphege from London to Canterbury,
where he was long remembered as a martyr, one who died, not precisely for professing the
Christian faith, but for exercising the Christian virtue of justice. In art, he is shown with an
axe, the instrument of his death, or as a shepherd defending his flock from wolves. 



More information about the oremus mailing list