OREMUS: 12 January 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Jan 11 23:56:32 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Saturday, January 12, 2008
Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167

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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
 to you be glory and praise for ever.
Your light springs up for the righteous
and all the peoples have seen your glory.
You gave the Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the anointing of the Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
You call us into your marvelous light,
that our lives may bear witness to your truth
and our lips never cease to proclaim your praise.
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 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 Covenant (Isaiah 42.5-8a)
Thus says God, who created the heavens,  
who fashioned the earth and all that dwells in it; 
Who gives breath to the people upon it  
and spirit to those who walk in it, 
'I am the Lord and I have called you in righteousness,  
I have taken you by the hand and kept you; 
'I have given you as a covenant to the people,  
a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, 
'To bring out the captives from the dungeon,  
from the prison, those who sit in darkness. 
'I am the Lord, that is my name;  
my glory I give to no other.' 

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 [1 John 5.14 end]:

And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will,
he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we
have obtained the requests made of him. If you see your brother or sister committing
what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God will give life to such a one to those
whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray
about that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal.
We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of
God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them. We know that we are God's
children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one. And we know
that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know
him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true
God and eternal life. 

Words: Benjamin Russell Hanby, 1866
Tune: Adoration, Resonet in laudibus
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Who is he in yonder stall
at whose feet the shepherds fall?
'Tis the Lord, O wondrous story!
'Tis the Lord, the King of glory;
at his feet, we humbly fall,
crown him, crown him Lord of all!

Who is he, in yonder cot
bending to his toilsome lot? Refrain

Who is he, in deep distress,
fasting in the wilderness? Refrain

Who is he that stands and weeps
at the grave where Lazarus sleeps? Refrain

Lo, at midnight who is he
praying in Gethsemane? Refrain

Who is he in Calvary's throes
asking blessings on his foes? Refrain

Who is he that from the grave
comes to heal and help and save? Refrain

Who is he that from his throne
rules the world of light alone? Refrain

SECOND READING [John 3.22 30]:

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some
time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim
because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized 
John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.
Now a discussion about purification arose between John's disciples and a Jew. They
came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to
whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.' John answered, 'No
one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are
my witnesses that I said, "I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him."
He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and
hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been
fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.'

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

Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life,
author of salvation, and giver of all grace:
look with favor upon the world you have made and redeemed,
and especially upon those who live together in love.

Give them wisdom and devotion in their common life,
that they may be to the other a strength in need,
a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow,
and a companion in joy.

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will,
and their spirits in your Spirit,
that they may grow in love and peace
with you and one another, all the days of their life.

Give them the grace, when they hurt each other,
to recognize and confess their fault,
and to seek each other's forgiveness and yours.

Make their life together a sign of Christ's love
to this sinful and broken world,
that unity may overcome estrangement,
forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.

Given them such fulfillment of their mutual love
that they may reach out in concern for others.

Enrich with your grace all of us,
that, loving and supporting one another,
we may serve those in need as a sign of your reign.

Grant that the bonds by which all your children
are united to one another
may be so transformed by your Spirit
that your peace and justice may fill the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Faithful God,
you have established with us
your covenant of love:
remember your promise,
fulfilled in your anointed Son Jesus Christ,
and count us worthy to stand in his strength alone;
who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Pour into our hearts, O God, 
the Holy Spirit's gift of love, 
that we. clasping each the other's hand, 
may share the joy of friendship, 
human and divine, 
and with your servant Aelred 
draw many to your community of love; 
through Jesus Christ the Righteous,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Believing the promises of God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May Christ, the Son of God, be manifest in us
that our lives may be a light to the world. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
_The Promise of His Glory_ (Mowbray), (c) The Central
Board of Finance  of the Church of England 1990, 1991, which is used with
The intercessions and the closing words are adapted from _Chalice
Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

The second collect is reprinted by permission from _The Proper for the
Lesser Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd Edition, (c) 1980, The Church
Pension Fund.

Aelred was born in 1109 at Durham, and was sent to the Scottish court for an
education that would ensure his future as a noble and courtier. He succeeded,
to the extent of being made Master of the Household of the King of Scotland.
Nevertheless, he found success at the court of an earthly king unsatisfying, and
at the age of 24 he entered the Cistercian monastery at Rievaulx in Yorkshire.
Bernard of Clairvaux encouraged him to write his first work, The Mirror of
Charity, which deals with seeking to follow the example of Christ in all things.
In 1147 he became abbot of Rievaulx, a post which he held until his death of
kidney disease twenty years later at the age of 57.
His most famous work is called Spiritual Friendship. When Jesus was told that
his family was waiting to see him, he replied, "All who do the will of my Father
are my family." From this, some Christians have drawn the conclusion that the
only kind of love permissible to a Christian is Charity -- that is: (a) the
universal benevolence that wills the good of all persons, and (b) the bond that
unites the Christian with Christ and through Christ with all other Christians.
Note that Universal Belevolence is extended equally to all persons (we are to
love Jones because God made him), and that the bond of Christian Unity unites
us equally with all our fellow Christians who are in a state of grace (we are to
love Jones because Christ dwells in him). Neither leaves any room for
particular friendships, for liking Jones more than Smith because Jones shares
our interest in hockey, or because Jones and we like the same sort of jokes, or
come from the same part of the country and have similar childhood memories,
or because Jones is an easy-going type and it is easy to relax and feel
comfortable around him, or because Jones and we have a special bond of
friendship, loyalty, and trust. Particular friendships are OUT!
Some who do not think that every Christian must renounce particular
friendships believe that every monastic must do so. In many religious houses,
where the monks or nuns walk two by two into chapel or the dining hall or
while pacing about during the daily hour of recreation, the superior will make a
point of constantly shifting partners, lest anyone form a liking for one partner
more than another. (This does not apply just to friends. It is sometimes held
that no monk ought to allow himself any preferences in food or drink.) Against
this view, Aelred wrote that it is compatible with the highest degree of
Christian perfection to take special pleasure in the company of particular
friends. He point out that we are told that Jesus loved John, and Mary, and
Martha, and Lazarus, and that this probably means that he found their company

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