OREMUS: 8 August 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Aug 7 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Friday, August 8, 2008
Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221

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

Blessed are you, O God,
beyond all seeing and knowing,
yet we meet you in the night of change and crisis,
and wrestle with you in the darkness of doubt.
You renew us with your your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your true and living bread,
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 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all your sins*
 and heals all your infirmities;
He redeems your life from the grave*
 and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;
He satisfies you with good things,*
 and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
The Lord executes righteousness*
 and judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made his ways known to Moses*
 and his works to the children of Israel.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,*
 slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us,*
 nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,*
 nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,*
 so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,*
 so far has he removed our sins from us.
As a father cares for his children,*
 so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
For he himself knows whereof we are made;*
 he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are like the grass;*
 we flourish like a flower of the field;
When the wind goes over it, it is gone,*
 and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord
   endures for ever on those who fear him,*
 and his righteousness on children's children;
On those who keep his covenant*
 and remember his commandments and do them.
The Lord has set his throne in heaven,*
 and his kingship has dominion over all.
Bless the Lord, you angels of his,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,*
 and hearken to the voice of his word.
Bless the Lord, all you his hosts,*
 you ministers of his who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of his,
   in all places of his dominion;*
 bless the Lord, O my soul.

A Song of Praise (Revelation 4.11; 5.9b,10)

You are worthy, our Lord and God,  
to receive glory and honour and power. 
For you have created all things,  
and by your will they have their being. 
You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,  
and by your blood you ransomed for God 
saints from every tribe and language and nation. 
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests 
serving our God,  
and they will reign with you on earth.

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 [Habakkuk 2:9-14,19-20]:

'Alas for you who get evil gain for your houses,
   setting your nest on high
   to be safe from the reach of harm!'
You have devised shame for your house
   by cutting off many peoples;
   you have forfeited your life.
The very stones will cry out from the wall,
   and the plaster will respond from the woodwork.

'Alas for you who build a town by bloodshed,
   and found a city on iniquity!'
Is it not from the Lord of hosts
   that peoples labour only to feed the flames,
   and nations weary themselves for nothing?
But the earth will be filled
   with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
   as the waters cover the sea.

Alas for you who say to the wood, 'Wake up!'
   to silent stone, 'Rouse yourself!'
   Can it teach?
See, it is plated with gold and silver,
   and there is no breath in it at all.

But the Lord is in his holy temple;
   let all the earth keep silence before him! 

Words: Pamphlet at St. Oswald's, Durham, nineteenth century
Music: Old 124th 

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O praise the Lord, ye servants of the Lord,
into his courts your joyful homage bring,
ye that within his holy temple stand
lift up your hands, lift up your voice and sing:
so shall ye have the blessing from your King.

He that hath made all heaven and all the worlds,
shall from that Zion where his saints adore
look down with favor, sanctify his Church,
bless them that tread his sanctuary floor,
and keep them in his ways for evermore.

All glory now to God the Father's Name;
Son everlasting, glory unto thee;
and, Holy Spirit, glory thine the same;
one God eternal, blessŠd Trinity,
as ever was and evermore shall be.

SECOND READING [Romans 11:1-21]:

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a
descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his
people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he
pleads with God against Israel? 'Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have
demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.' But what is the
divine reply to him? 'I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the
knee to Baal.' So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it
is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the
rest were hardened, as it is written,
'God gave them a sluggish spirit,
   eyes that would not see
   and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.'
And David says,
'Let their table become a snare and a trap,
   a stumbling-block and a retribution for them;
let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
   and keep their backs for ever bent.'

So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling
salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their stumbling
means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much
more will their full inclusion mean!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles,
I glorify my ministry in order to make my own people jealous, and thus save some of
them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance
be but life from the dead! If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the
whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted
in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, do not vaunt yourselves over the
branches. If you do vaunt yourselves, remember that it is not you that support the
root, but the root that supports you. You will say, 'Branches were broken off so that I
might be grafted in.' That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but
you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God
did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you.

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

Great are you, Lord, and greatly to be praised!
There is no end to your greatness.
Let your Spirit shape and make new our character,
encourage us in constant prayer,
direct us in the way of love
and bring us at last to heaven with all your saints in light.

All that is unfinished in us and in the world,
we entrust to you, Lord.

Every aspiration, longing and dream
crushed by temptation, sin and dullness of heart,
we entrust to you, Lord.

Holy Church seeking to offer you worship
in every place and culture.
we entrust to you, Lord.

Every people and tribe oppressed
by the greed and prejudice of others,
we entrust to you, Lord.

The empty and hungry places in our spirits
and in our relationships with others,
we entrust to you, Lord.

God of infinite mercy and forgiveness,
by the cross and resurrection of Jesus your Son,
wash away our sins and deliver us
from our infirmities of body and spirit,
that we may live with him his risen life,
to the praise and glory of your holy Name. Amen.

Almighty God,
whose servant Dominic grew 
in the knowledge of your truth
and formed an order of preachers 
to proclaim the faith of Christ:
by your grace give to all your people
a love for your word
and a longing to share the gospel,
so that the whole world may come to know you
and your Son Jesus Christ 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

Refresh us with your grace,
that we may not be weary in well-doing,
for the sake of him who has called us
to hunger and thirst to see right prevail,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The psalms 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 uses phrases from a prayer in _Revised Common Lectionary
Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts and from
_Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press.
The closing prayer uses phrases from _Book of Common Worship_, (c)
1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 

The intercession is reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of
Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order
of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

Dominic was born in Castile, in Spain, in 1170. He entered the priesthood, and eventually
became prior of the canons of the cathedral chapter at Osma. The turning point of his life
came in 1206, when he was chosen to accompany the bishop on a visit to southern France,
to an area held by the Albigenses. These were a heretical sect more or less directly
descended from the early Gnostics and Manichees. They were dualists, holding that there
are two gods, one the god of goodness, light, truth, and spirit, and the other the god of
evil, darkness, error, and matter. The material universe is the creation of the bad god. The
good god made the souls of men, and the bad god kidnapped them and imprisoned them in
bodies of flesh. On their first night in Albigensian country, they stayed at an inn where the
innkeeper was an Albigensian. Dominic engaged him in conversation, they sat up all night
talking, and by dawn the man was ready to become an orthodox Christian. From then on,
Dominic knew what his calling in life was. Dominic and his bishop undertook to study the
Albigensian beliefs and to engage in public debates with their opponents. They seemed to
be making some progress, but in 1207 the bishop died, and in the same year the murder by
Albigenses of the papal legate moved the pope to declare a crusade against the Albigenses,
which lasted about five years.
Dominic continued to preach and to debate where he could, and in 1215 he founded an
order of preachers, who were to live in poverty, and devote themselves to studying
philosophy and theology and to combatting false doctrine by logical argument rather than
by the use of force. He was convinced that a major obstacle to the conversion of heretics
was the material wealth of some of the clergy, which made plausible the accusation that
they were concerned for their purses and not for the glory of God, and made workers
indisposed to hear them. He therefore determined that the brothers of his order should live
lives of poverty and simplicity, being no better off materially than those they sought to
convert. When he was in Rome, seeking authorization for his order from the Pope, the
Pope gave him a tour of the treasures of the Vatican, and remarked complacently
(referring to Acts 3:6), "Peter can no longer say, 'Silver and gold have I none.'" Dominic
turned and looked straight at the Pope, and said, "No, and neither can he say, 'Rise and
walk.'" He got the permission he was seeking, and the order grew and flourished.
Officially known as the Order of Preachers (hence the letters O.P. after the name of a
member), it was informally known as the Dominicans, or the Blackfriars (from the color of
their cloaks). Two of their best-known members are Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great,
1200-1280), who was famous for his learning in numerous fields, and his pupil Thomas
Aquinas (1225-1274), who wrote reconciling Christian theology with the philosophy of
Aristotle, which was then being rediscovered in western Europe, and was thought by many
to be a threat to Christianity. In later years, the Order forgot its commitment to "logic and
persuasion, not force" as the means of bringing men to Christian truth, and many of its
members were active in the Inquisition.
Dominic was three times offered a bishopric, and refused, believing that he was called to
another work. He died in 1220 in Bologna, Italy, after a preaching mission to Hungary.
[James Kiefer]

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