OREMUS: 27 February 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Feb 26 21:10:35 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Wednesday, February 27, 2008
George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy:
your steadfast love is shown to every living thing;
your word calls us forth and your law revives and refreshes.
You call us to repent our misuse of your gifts,
that we may be transformed by your wisdom
to manifest for others
the mercy of our crucified and risen 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. 

http://www.oremus.org/lentocan.html

Psalm 85

You have been gracious to your land, O Lord,*
 you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people*
 and blotted out all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your fury*
 and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
Restore us then, O God our Saviour;*
 let your anger depart from us.
Will you be displeased with us for ever?*
 will you prolong your anger from age to age?
Will you not give us life again,*
 that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your mercy, O Lord,*
 and grant us your salvation.
I will listen to what the Lord God is saying,*
 for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
   and to those who turn their hearts to him.
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him,*
 that his glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together;*
 righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring up from the earth,*
 and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,*
 and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness shall go before him,*
 and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

Psalm 86

Bow down your ear, O Lord, and answer me,*
 for I am poor and in misery.
Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful;*
 save your servant who trusts in you.
Be merciful to me, O Lord, for you are my God;*
 I call upon you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,*
 for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,*
 and great is your love towards all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer,*
 and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the time of my trouble I will call upon you,*
 for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord,*
 nor anything like your works.
All nations you have made
   will come and worship you, O Lord,*
 and glorify your name.
For you are great; you do wondrous things;*
 and you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and I will walk in your truth;*
 knit my heart to you that I may fear your name.
I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart,*
 and glorify your name for evermore.
For great is your love towards me;*
 you have delivered me from the nethermost Pit.
The arrogant rise up against me, O God,
   and a violent band seeks my life;*
 they have not set you before their eyes.
But you, O Lord, are gracious and full of compassion,*
 slow to anger and full of kindness and truth.
Turn to me and have mercy upon me;*
 give your strength to your servant;
   and save the child of your handmaid.
Show me a sign of your favour,
   so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed;*
 because you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

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.'

Psalm 147:13-end

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 [Deuteronomy 4.1, 5 9]:

So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to
observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of
your ancestors, is giving you.

See, just as the Lord my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances
for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. You must
observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the
peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a
wise and discerning people!' For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the
Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes
and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your
eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them
known to your children and your children's children.

HYMN 
Words: George Herbert, 1633
Tune: Sandys, Carlisle    

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/t/t021.html
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Teach me, my God and King,
in all things thee to see,
and what I do in anything
to do it as for thee.

A man that looks on glass,
on it may stay his eye;
or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
and then the heaven espy.

All may of thee partake;
nothing can be so mean,
which with this tincture, "for thy sake,"
will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause
makes drudgery divine:
who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,
makes that and the action fine.

This is the famous stone
that turneth all to gold;
for that which God doth touch and own
cannot for less be told.

SECOND READING [Matthew 5.17 19]:

Jesus said,  'Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have
come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is
accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments,
and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but
whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.'

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

Prayer:
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.

God of grace,
you loved the world so much
that you gave your only Son to be our Savior.
Help us to rejoice in our salvation
by showing mercy and truth,
and by walking in the way of righteousness and peace.
We ask this in his Name and for his sake. Amen.

King of glory, King of peace,
who called your servant George Herbert
from the pursuit of worldly honours
to be a priest in the temple of his God and King:
grant us also the grace to offer ourselves
with singleness of heart in humble obedience to your service;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.       
       
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

God of love,
turn our hearts to your ways;
and give us peace. Amen.

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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
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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

George Herbert was born in 1593, a cousin of the Earl of Pembroke. His mother was a
friend of
the poet John Donne. George attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and became the Public
Orator
of the University, responsible for giving speeches of welcome in Latin to famoous visitors,
and
writing letters of thanks, also in Latin, to acknowledge gifts of books for the University
Library.
This brought him to the attention of King James I, who granted him an annual allowance,
and
seemed likely to make him an ambassador. However, in 1625 the king died, and George
Hebert,
who had originally gone to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but had head
turned by
the prospect of a career at Court, determined anew to seek ordination. In 1626 he was
ordained,
and became vicar and then rector of the parish of Bemerton and neighboring Fugglestone,
not far
from Salisbury.

He served faithfully as a parish priest, diligently visiting his parishioners and bringing them
the
sacraments when they were ill, and food and clothing when they were in want. He read
Morning
and Evening Prayer daily in the church, encouraging the congregation to join him when
possible,
and ringing the church bell before each service so that those who could not come might
hear it
and pause in their work to join their prayers with his. He used to go once a week to
Salisbury to
hear Evening Prayer sung there in the cathedral. On one occasion he was late because he
had met
a man whose horse had fallen with a heavy load, and he stopped, took off his coat, and
helped the
man to unload the cart, get the horse back on its feet, and then reload the cart. His
spontaneous
generosity and good will won him the affection of his parishioners.
Today, however, he is remembered chiefly for his book of poems, The Temple, which he
sent
shortly before his death to his friend Nicholas Ferrar, to publish if he thought them
suitable. They
were published after Herbert's death, and have influenced the style of other poets,
including
Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Several of them have been used as hymns, in particular "Teach
me, my
God and King," and "Let all the world in every corner sing." Another of his poems
contains the
lines:
     Prayer, the Church's banquet, Angel's age,
     God's breath in man returning to his birth,
     The soul in paraphrase, the heart in pilgrimage,
     The Christian plummet sounding heav'n and earth.

He also wrote a volume for parish clergy called A Priest to the Temple; or, The Country
Parson.

He died on 1 March 1633, but is commemorated two days earlier, to avoid conflict with
other
commemorations. 



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