OREMUS: 4 December 2008
steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Dec 3 17:10:39 GMT 2008
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OREMUS for Thursday, December 4, 2008
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637
Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are you, loving God,
ever faithful to your promises
and ever close to your church.
The earth rejoices in hope of the Savior's coming
and looks forward with longing
to his return at the end of time.
You call us to prepare our hearts
and remove that which hinders us
from the joy and hope his presence will bestow.
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.
Why do you stand so far off, O Lord,*
and hide yourself in time of trouble?
The wicked arrogantly persecute the poor,*
but they are trapped in the schemes they have devised.
The wicked boast of their heart's desire;*
the covetous curse and revile the Lord.
The wicked are so proud that they care not for God;*
their only thought is, 'God does not matter.'
Their ways are devious at all times;
your judgements are far above out of their sight;*
they defy all their enemies.
They say in their heart, 'I shall not be shaken;*
no harm shall happen to me ever.'
Their mouth is full of cursing, deceit and oppression;*
under their tongue are mischief and wrong.
They lurk in ambush in public squares
and in secret places they murder the innocent;*
they spy out the helpless.
They lie in wait, like a lion in a covert;
they lie in wait to seize upon the lowly;*
they seize the lowly and drag them away in their net.
The innocent are broken and humbled before them;*
the helpless fall before their power.
They say in their heart, 'God has forgotten;*
he hides his face; he will never notice.'
Rise up, O Lord;
lift up your hand, O God;*
do not forget the afflicted.
Why should the wicked revile God?*
why should they say in their heart, 'You do not care'?<td
Surely, you behold trouble and misery;*
you see it and take it into your own hand.
The helpless commit themselves to you,*
for you are the helper of orphans.
Break the power of the wicked and evil;*
search out their wickedness until you find none.
The Lord is king for ever and ever;*
the ungodly shall perish from his land.
The Lord will hear the desire of the humble;*
you will strengthen their heart and your ears shall hear;
To give justice to the orphan and oppressed,*
so that mere mortals may strike terror no more.
A Song of Redemption (Colossians 1.13-18a,19,20a)
The Father has delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son;
In whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.
He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.
All things were created through him and for him,
he is before all things and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the Church,
he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.
In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell;
and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
for his name only is exalted,
his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
and praise for all his loyal servants,*
the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
FIRST READING [Isaiah 4:2-end]:
On that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the
land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. Whoever is left in Zion and
remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in
Jerusalem, once the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and
cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgement and by a
spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and
over its places of assembly a cloud by day and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire
by night. Indeed, over all the glory there will be a canopy. It will serve as a pavilion, a
shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.
Words: Ancient Irish hymn;
trans. Mary Byrne, 1905, and versified by Eleanor Hull, 1912
Music: Slane (Irish)
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Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might;
be thou my soul's shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
be thou mine inheritance now and always;
be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, thou heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.
SECOND READING [Mark 1:40-end]:
A leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling he said to him, 'If you choose, you
can make me clean.' Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him,
and said to him, 'I do choose. Be made clean!' Immediately the leprosy left him, and
he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him,
'See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for
your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.' But he went out and
began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go
into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
O Lord, answer us in the day of trouble,
Send us help from your holy place.
Show us the path of life,
For in your presence is joy.
Give justice to the orphan and oppressed
And break the power of wickedness and evil.
Look upon the hungry and sorrowful
And grant them the help for which they long.
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
May your glory endure for ever.
Your kingship has dominion over all
And with you is our redemption.
Jesus, Coming One,
we cannot know the day of your appearing;
help us to keep awake,
to look patiently for you,
ready to embrace your reign of peace;
in your name we pray. Amen.
God of peace,
make us worthy of your perfect love
that, with your servant Nicholas Ferrar and his household,
we may rule ourselves after your Word
and serve you with our whole heart;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:
- The Lord's Prayer
O Son of God, our Savior,
today we await your coming,
and tomorrow we shall see your glory.
Reveal the good news to all of us
who long for your arrival.
Come, Love incarnate, do not delay.
Come, Lord Jesus! 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 of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from
_Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with
The first collect is _Uniting in Worship 2</cite, (c) 2005 Uniting Church in
Nicholas Ferrar, born in 1592, was the founder of a religious community that
lasted from 1626 to 1646.
After Nicholas had been ordained as a deacon, he and his family and a few
friends retired to Little Gidding, Huntingdonshire, England, to devote
themselves to a life of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (Matthew 6:2,5,16).
They restored the abandoned church building, and became responsible for
regular services there. They taught the neighborhood children, and looked after
the health and well-being of the people of the district. They read the regular
daily offices of the Book of Common Prayer, including the recital every day of
the complete Psalter. (Day and night, there was always at least one member of
the community kneeling in prayer before the altar, that they might keep the
word, "Pray without ceasing.") They wrote books and stories dealing with
various aspects of Christian faith and practice. They fasted with great rigor,
and in other ways embraced voluntary poverty, so that they might have as
much money as possible for the relief of the poor.
The community was founded in 1626 (when Nicholas was 34). He died in 1637
(aged 45), and in 1646 the community was forcibly broken up by the Puritans
of Cromwell's army. The memory of the community survived to inspire and
influence later undertakings in Christian communal living, and one of T.S.
Eliot's Four Quartets is called "Little Gidding."
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