OREMUS: 1 September 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Aug 31 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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

OREMUS for Monday, September 1, 2008
[Labor Day, US]

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

Blessed are you, O God,
the One whome we seek together,
the Life which is part of us all,
the Truth and the mark of mystery,
the Love and the Joy that makes us whole.
Blessed are you, O God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;*
 let me never be ashamed.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;*
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;*
 you are my crag and my stronghold.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,*
 from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God,*
 my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
   from my mother's womb you have been my strength;*
 my praise shall be always of you.
I have become a portent to many;*
 but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise*
 and your glory all the day long.
Do not cast me off in my old age;*
 forsake me not when my strength fails.
For my enemies are talking against me,*
 and those who lie in wait for my life
   take counsel together.
They say, 'God has forsaken him;
   go after him and seize him;*
 because there is none who will save.'
O God, be not far from me;*
 come quickly to help me, O my God.
Let those who set themselves against me
   be put to shame and be disgraced;*
 let those who seek to do me evil
   be covered with scorn and reproach.
But I shall always wait in patience,*
 and shall praise you more and more.
My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
   and saving deeds all day long;*
 though I cannot know the number of them.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;*
 I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,*
 and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
And now that I am old and grey-headed, O God,
   do not forsake me,*
 till I make known your strength to this generation
   and your power to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;*
 you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
You have showed me great troubles and adversities,*
 but you will restore my life and bring me up again
   from the deep places of the earth.
You strengthen me more and more;*
 you enfold and comfort me,
Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre
   for your faithfulness, O my God;*
 I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you,*
 and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long,*
 for they are ashamed and disgraced
   who sought to do me harm.

A Song of the Blessed (Matthew 5.3-10)

Blessed are the poor in spirit,  
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn,  
for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek,  
for they shall inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger 
and thirst after righteousness,  
for they shall be satisfied. 
Blessed are the merciful,  
for they shall obtain mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart,  
for they shall see God. 
Blessed are the peacemakers,  
for they shall be called children of God. 
Blessed are those who suffer persecution 
for righteousness' sake,  
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Rejoice and be glad 
for you are the light of the world, 
and great is your reward in heaven. 

Psalm 146

   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

FIRST READING [Ecclesiasticus 34:18-35:3]:

To whom does he look? And who is his support?
The eyes of the Lord are on those who love him,
   a mighty shield and strong support,
a shelter from scorching wind and a shade from noonday sun,
   a guard against stumbling and a help against falling.
He lifts up the soul and makes the eyes sparkle;
   he gives health and life and blessing.

If one sacrifices ill-gotten goods, the offering is blemished;
   the gifts of the lawless are not acceptable.
The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly,
   nor for a multitude of sacrifices does he forgive sins.
Like one who kills a son before his father's eyes
   is the person who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor.
The bread of the needy is the life of the poor;
   whoever deprives them of it is a murderer.
To take away a neighbour's living is to commit murder;
   to deprive an employee of wages is to shed blood.

When one builds and another tears down,
   what do they gain but hard work?
When one prays and another curses,
   to whose voice will the Lord listen?
If one washes after touching a corpse, and touches it again,
   what has been gained by washing?
So if someone fasts for his sins,
   and goes again and does the same things,
who will listen to his prayer?
   And what has he gained by humbling himself?

One who keeps the law makes many offerings;
   one who heeds the commandments makes an offering of well-being.

Words: John Oxenham, 1920 
Tune: Labor

Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus.             

All labor gained new dignity
since he who all creation made
toiled with his hands for daily bread
right manfully.

No work is commonplace, if all
be done as unto him alone;
life's simplest toil to him is known
who knoweth all.

Each smallest common thing he makes
serves him with its minutest part;
man only with his wand'ring heart
his way forsakes.

His service is life's highest joy,
it yields fair fruit a hundred fold:
be this our prayer--"Not fame, nor gold,
but--thine employ!" 

SECOND READING [Matthew 7:1-12]:

Jesus said, 'Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you
make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why
do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own
eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, "Let me take the speck out of your eye",
while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own
eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour's eye.

'Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they
will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

'Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be
opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds,
and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you
who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will
give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

'In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and
the prophets.' 

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

Let us offer our prayers to God, who pronounced
all creation good, who sent his Son to live and
work as one like us, and who calls us to serve the poor and
those oppressed. 

For all those who work:
Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who are unemployed or underemployed, or have lost their jobs
because of changing economic conditions, let us pray:
Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who work in hazardous conditions without sufficient protection, let us
Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For migrant workers and all who work the land, let us pray:
Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For all employers that they may seek to provide a just work environment:
Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who face discrimination, harassment, or abuse in the workplace, let us
Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

For those who must balance job commitments with the needs of their family, let us
Lord, give success to the work of our hands.

Loving God,
through your Son you gave us an example to love one another as he loved us. 
Give us the strength to continue working to bring forth your kingdom here on
a kingdom of justice and peace, kindness and compassion, grace and mercy. 
Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, 
whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life 
shared our toil and hallowed our labor: 
Be present with your people where they work; 
make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land 
responsive to your will;
and give to us all a pride in what we do, 
and a just return for our labor;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives 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

Faithful God, hope of the oppressed, source of freedom:
make us strong to witness to your liberating power,
in generosity of life and in humility of spirit,
that all the world may delight in your goodness.  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 hymn by Colin Gibson.

The closing prayer is based on a prayer from _Revised Common Lectionary
Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

More information about the oremus mailing list