OREMUS: 25 April 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Apr 24 19:14:56 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Friday, April 25, 2008
Saint Mark the Evangelist

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for you have revealed the mystery of our redemption
through the Holy Scriptures,
the work of authors inspired by the Holy Spirit
to entrust to the Church
the words and deeds of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 19

The heavens declare the glory of God,*
 and the firmament shows his handiwork.
One day tells its tale to another,*
 and one night imparts knowledge to another.
Although they have no words or language,*
 and their voices are not heard,
Their sound has gone out into all lands,*
 and their message to the ends of the world.
In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun;*
 it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber;
   it rejoices like a champion to run its course.
It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens
   and runs about to the end of it again;*
 nothing is hidden from its burning heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect
   and revives the soul;*
 the testimony of the Lord is sure
   and gives wisdom to the innocent.
The statutes of the Lord are just
   and rejoice the heart;*
 the commandment of the Lord is clear
   and gives light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean
   and endures for ever;*
 the judgements of the Lord are true
   and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
   more than much fine gold,*
 sweeter far than honey,
   than honey in the comb.
By them also is your servant enlightened,*
 and in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can tell how often he offends?*
 Cleanse me from my secret faults.
Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins;
   let them not get dominion over me;*
 then shall I be whole and sound,
   and innocent of a great offence.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
   be acceptable in your sight,*
 O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Psalm 112

   Happy are they who fear the Lord*
 and have great delight in his commandments!
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;*
 the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in their house,*
 and their righteousness will last for ever.
Light shines in the darkness for the upright;*
 the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.
It is good for them to be generous in lending*
 and to manage their affairs with justice.
For they will never be shaken;*
 the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
They will not be afraid of any evil rumours;*
 their heart is right;
   they put their trust in the Lord.
Their heart is established and will not shrink,*
 until they see their desire upon their enemies.
They have given freely to the poor,*
 and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
   they will hold up their head with honour.
The wicked will see it and be angry;
   they will gnash their teeth and pine away;*
 the desires of the wicked will perish.

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 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 [Ecclesiasticus 2:1-11]:

My child, when you come to serve the Lord,
   prepare yourself for testing.
Set your heart right and be steadfast,
   and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.
Cling to him and do not depart,
   so that your last days may be prosperous.
Accept whatever befalls you,
   and in times of humiliation be patient.
For gold is tested in the fire,
   and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust in him, and he will help you;
   make your ways straight, and hope in him.

You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy;
   do not stray, or else you may fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust in him,
   and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the Lord, hope for good things,
   for lasting joy and mercy.
Consider the generations of old and see:
   has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed?
Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken?
   Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful;
   he forgives sins and saves in time of distress. 

Words: Laurence Housman, 1906
Tune: Brockham

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The saint who first found grace to pen
the life which was the Life of men,
and shed abroad the Gospel's ray,
his fame we celebrate today.

Lo, drawn by Pentecostal fire,
his heart conceived its great desire,
when pure of mind, inspired, he heard
and with his hand set forth the Word.

Then, clearly writ, the Godhead shone
serene and fair to look upon;
and through that record still comes power
to lighten souls in death's dark hour.

O holy mind, for wisdom fit
wherein that Life of lives stood writ,
may we through minds of like accord
show forth the pattern of our Lord.

And so may all whose minds are dark
be led to truth by good Saint Mark,
and after this our earthly strife
stand written in the Book of Life.

SECOND READING [2 Timothy 4:1-11,16-18]:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead,
and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the
message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince,
rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming
when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will
accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from
listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure
suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure
has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
>From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who
have longed for his appearing.
Do your best to come to me soon, for Demas, in love with this present world, has
deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to
Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in
my ministry.
At my first defence no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be
counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that
through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.
So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil
attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever.

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

God the Father,
have mercy upon us.

God the Son,
have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy upon us.

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity,
have mercy upon us.

>From all evil and mischief;
from pride, vanity and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred and malice;
and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

>From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart
and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

>From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

>From famine and disaster;
from violence, murder and dying unprepared,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow;
in all times of joy;
in the hour of death,
and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Hear our prayers, O Lord our God.
Hear us, good Lord.

Govern and direct your holy Church;
fill it with love and truth;
and grant it that unity which is your will.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us boldness to preach the gospel in all the world,
and to make disciples of all the nations.
Hear us, good Lord.

Enlighten N our Bishop and all who minister 
with knowledge and understanding,
that by their teaching and their lives they may proclaim your word.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give your people grace to hear and receive your word,
and to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bring into the way of truth all who have erred
and are deceived.
Hear us, good Lord.

Strengthen those who stand; 
comfort and help the faint-hearted;
raise up the fallen;
and finally beat down Satan under our feet.
Hear us, good Lord.

Guide the leaders of the nations 
into the ways of peace and justice.
Hear us, good Lord.

Endue our leaders with wisdom and understanding.
that they may uphold justice, honesty and truth.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us the will to use the resources of the earth to your glory, 
and for the good of all creation.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bless and keep all your people.
Hear us, good Lord.

Bring your joy into all families;
strengthen and deliver those in childbirth,
watch over children and guide the young,
bring reconciliation to those in discord
and peace to those in stress.
Hear us, good Lord.

Help and comfort the lonely, the bereaved and the oppressed.
Hear us, good Lord.

Keep in safety those who travel, and all who are in danger.
Hear us, good Lord.

Heal the sick in body and mind, 
and provide for the homeless, the hungry and the destitute.
Hear us, good Lord.

Show your pity on prisoners and refugees, 
and all who are in trouble.
Hear us, good Lord.

Forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers, 
and turn their hearts.
Hear us, good Lord.

Hear us as we remember those who have died in the peace of Christ, 
both those who have confessed the faith 
and those whose faith is known to you alone, 
and grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.
Hear us, good Lord.

Give us true repentance;
forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance
and our deliberate sins;
and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit
to amend our lives according to your holy word.
Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
have mercy upon us.

Almighty God, 
by the hand of Mark the Evangelist 
you have given to your Church 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: 
We thank you for this witness, 
and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Rejoicing in the God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Increase our love for one another,
that both in name and in truth
we may be disciples of the risen Lord Jesus,
and so reflect by our lives
the glory that is yours. 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 is (c) Stephen T. Benner, 2001, and
is inspired by a prayer in _We Give You Thanks and Praise: The
Ambrosian Eucharistic Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c)
The Canterbury Press Norwich, 1999.

The litany (which is traditionally song on St. Mark's Day) is slightly adapted
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 collect is from The Book of Common Prayer_ (1979),
Charles Mortimer Guilbert, Custodian.

The closing sentence is from a prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in
Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The book of Acts mentions a Mark, or John Mark, a kinsman of Barnabas (Col
4:10). The house of his mother Mary was a meeting place for Christians in
Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). When Paul and Barnabas, who had been in Antioch,
came to Jerusalem, they brought Mark back to Antioch with them (12:25), and
he accompanied them on their first missionary journey (13:5), but left them
prematurely and returned to Jerusalem (13:13). When Paul and Barnabas were
about to set out on a second missionary journey, Barnabas proposed to take
Mark, but Paul thought him unreliable, so that eventually Barnabas made one
journey taking Mark, and Paul another journey taking Silas (15:36-40). Mark
is not mentioned again in Acts. However, it appears that he became more
reliable, for Paul mentions him as a trusted assistant in Colossians 4:10 and
again in 2 Timothy 4:11.
The Apostle Peter had a co-worker whom he refers to as "my son Mark" (1
Peter 5:13). Papias, an early second century writer, in describing the origins of
the Gospels, tells us that Mark was the "interpreter" of Peter, and that he
wrote down ("but not in order") the stories that he had heard Peter tell in his
preaching about the life and teachings of Jesus.
The Gospel of Mark, in describing the arrest of Jesus (14:51f), speaks of a
young man who followed the arresting party, wearing only a linen cloth
wrapped around his body, whom the arresting party tried to seize, but who left
the cloth in their hands and fled naked. It is speculated that this young man was
the writer himself, since the detail is hardly worth mentioning if he were
Tradition has it that after the death of Peter, Mark left Rome and went to
preach in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was eventually martyred.
It is natural to identify the John Mark of Acts with the Gospel-writer and
interpreter of Peter, and this identification is standard in liturgical references to
Mark. However, "Mark" is the commonest of Latin first names, and they may
well have been separate persons.
Mark's symbol in art is a Lion, usually winged. In the book of Revelation, the
visionary sees about the throne of God four winged creatures: a lion, an ox, a
man, and an eagle. (Compare with the cherubs in Ezek 1 and 10.) It has
customarily been supposed that these represent the four Gospels, or the four
Evangelists (Gospel-writers). One way of matching them is to say that the man
stands for Matthew, whose narrative begins with the human genealogy of
Jesus; that the lion stands for Mark, whose narrative begins with John the
Baptist crying out in the desert (a lion roars in the desert); that the ox, a
sacrificial animal, stands for Luke, whose narrative begins in the Temple, and
that the eagle stands for John, whose narrative begins in Heaven, with the
eternal Word. How old this correspondence is I do not know. I have seen it in
an illustrated Gospel-book from the early 800's. An alternative assignment,
which I think to be far more recent, calls Matthew the lion (because he
portrays Christ as the Messiah, the fulfilment of Jewish prophecy, "the lion of
the tribe of Judah"), Mark the ox (because he portrays Christ the servant,
constantly doing the work for which he was sent), Luke the man (because he
portrays the humanity and compassion of Christ), and John the eagle (because
he portrays Christ as the eternal Word, who came down from Heaven). [James

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