OREMUS: 13 February 2008
steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Feb 12 21:16:47 GMT 2008
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OREMUS for Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818
O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Blessed are you, God, rich in mercy,
you so loved the world
that when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth,
he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross,
he is truth and salvation.
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.
Help me, Lord, for there is no godly one left;*
the faithful have vanished from among us.
Everyone speaks falsely with their neighbour;*
with a smooth tongue they speak from a double heart.
O that the Lord would cut off all smooth tongues,*
and close the lips that utter proud boasts!
Those who say, 'With our tongue will we prevail;*
our lips are our own; who is lord over us?'
'Because the needy are oppressed,
and the poor cry out in misery,*
I will rise up', says the Lord,
'and give them the help they long for.'
The words of the Lord are pure words,*
like silver refined from ore
and purified seven times in the fire.
O Lord, watch over us*
and save us from this generation for ever.
The wicked prowl on every side,*
and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.
How long, O Lord;
will you forget me for ever?*
how long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
and grief in my heart, day after day?*
how long shall my enemy triumph over me?
Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God;*
give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
Lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him',*
and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
But I put my trust in your mercy;*
my heart is joyful because of your saving help.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has dealt with me richly;*
I will praise the name of the Lord Most High.
The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'*
All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
there is none who does any good.
The Lord looks down from heaven upon us all,*
to see if there is any who is wise,
if there is one who seeks after God.
Everyone has proved faithless;
all alike have turned bad;*
there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, all those evildoers*
who eat up my people like bread
and do not call upon the Lord?
See how they tremble with fear,*
because God is in the company of the righteous.
Their aim is to confound the plans of the afflicted,*
but the Lord is their refuge.
O that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion!*
when the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.
A Song of Humility (Hosea 6.1-6)
Come, let us return to the Lord
who has torn us and will heal us.
God has stricken us
and will bind up our wounds.
After two days, he will revive us,
and on the third day will raise us up,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us strive to know the Lord;
his appearing is as sure as the sunrise.
He will come to us like the showers,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
'O Ephraim, how shall I deal with you?
How shall I deal with you, O Judah?
'Your love for me is like the morning mist,
like the dew that goes early away.
'Therefore, I have hewn them by the prophets,
and my judgement goes forth as the light.
'For loyalty is my desire and not sacrifice,
and the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.'
Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
to them he has not revealed his judgements.
FIRST READING [Jonah 3]:
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 'Get up, go to Nineveh,
that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.' So Jonah set out and
went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an
exceedingly large city, a three days' walk across. Jonah began to go into the city,
going a day's walk. And he cried out, 'Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be
overthrown!' And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and
everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his
robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation
made in Nineveh: 'By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or
animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink
water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry
mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in
their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his
fierce anger, so that we do not perish.'
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his
mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do
Words: Joseph Addison (1672-1719), 1712
Tune: Contemplation, Belgrave, St. Stephen
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When all thy mercies, O my God,
my rising soul surveys,
transported with the view, I'm lost
in wonder, love and praise.
Thy Providence my life sustained,
and all my wants redressed,
while in the silent womb I lay,
and hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries
thy mercy lent an ear,
ere yet my feeble thoughts had learned
to form themselves in prayer.
Unnumbered comforts to my soul
thy tender care bestowed,
before my infant heart conceived
from whom those comforts flowed.
When in the slippery paths of youth
with heedless steps I ran,
thine arm unseen conveyed me safe,
and led me up to man.
Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
it gently cleared my way;
and through the pleasing snares of vice,
more to be feared than they.
O how shall words with equal warmth
the gratitude declare,
that glows within my ravished heart?
but thou canst read it there.
Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
hath made my cup run o'er;
and, in a kind and faithful Friend,
hath doubled all my store.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
my daily thanks employ;
nor is the last a cheerful heart
that tastes those gifts with joy.
When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
with health renewed my face;
and, when in sins and sorrows sunk,
revived my soul with grace.
Through every period of my life
thy goodness I'll pursue
and after death, in distant worlds,
the glorious theme renew.
When nature fails, and day and night
divide thy works no more,
my ever grateful heart, O Lord,
thy mercy shall adore.
Through all eternity to thee
a joyful song I'll raise;
for, oh, eternity's too short
to utter all thy praise!
SECOND READING [Luke 11.29 32]:
When the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, 'This generation is an evil
generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to
this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgement with the people of
this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to
listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn
it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than
Jonah is here!
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
Teach us, O Lord, the way of your statutes:
And lead us in the path of your commandments.
Keep our nation under your care:
And guide us in justice and truth.
O Lord, deal graciously with your servants;
teach us discernment and knowledge.
Let not the needy be forgotten:
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Guide the meek in judgement:
And teach your ways to the gentle.
Lord, remember your people:
Whom you have purchased and redeemed of old.
O God, we carry in our own bodies
the death of the Lord Jesus,
that likewise we might manifest his life:
let not our spiritual foe prevail against us,
but with the morning light
raise us up from the sleep of sin and death;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Set us free, heavenly Father,
from every bond of prejudice and fear;
that, honoring the steadfast courage
of your servant Absalom Jones,
we may show forth in our lives
the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God,
which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:
- The Lord's Prayer
May God give us
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next. 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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.
The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.
In 1786 the membership of St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church in
Philadelphia included both blacks and whites. However, the white members
met that year and decided that thereafter black members should sit only in the
balcony. Two black Sunday school teachers, Absalom Jones (1746-1818) and
Richard Allen (1760-1830), learned of the decision only when, on the
following Sunday, ushers tapped them on the shoulder during the opening
prayers, and demanded that they move to the balcony without waiting for the
end of the prayer. They walked out, followed by the other black members.
Absalom Jones conferred with William White, Episcopal Bishop of
Philadelphia, who agreed to accept the group as an Episcopal parish. Jones
would serve as lay reader, and, after a period of study, would be ordained and
serve as rector. Allen wanted the group to remain Methodist, and in 1793 he
left to form a Methodist congregation. In 1816 he left the Methodists to form a
new denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Jones
(ordained deacon and priest in 1795 and 1802) and Allen (ordained deacon and
elder in 1799 and 1816) were the first two black Americans to receive formal
ordination in any denomination.
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