OREMUS: 24 January 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Jan 23 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Thursday, January 24, 2008
Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622

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

Blessed are you, O God,
in the One you have declared
to be your servant and your Son.
Blessed are you, O God,
in those called to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Blessed are you, O God,
in your Creator Spirit
who calls us to renew and fashion our lives
into a joyful announcement of your good news.
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 83:1-8, 18

O God, do not be silent;*
 do not keep still nor hold your peace, O God;
For your enemies are in tumult,*
 and those who hate you have lifted up their heads.
They take secret counsel against your people*
 and plot against those whom you protect.
They have said,
   'Come, let us wipe them out from among the nations;*
 let the name of Israel be remembered no more.'
They have conspired together;*
 they have made an alliance against you:
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,*
 the Moabites and the Hagarenes;
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,*
 the Philistines and those who dwell in Tyre.
The Assyrians also have joined them,*
 and have come to help the people of Lot.
Let them know that you, whose name is Yahweh,*
 you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain stands the city he has founded;*
 the Lord loves the gates of Zion
   more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,*
 O city of our God.
I count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me;*
 behold Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia:
   in Zion were they born.
Of Zion it shall be said, 'Everyone was born in her,*
 and the Most High himself shall sustain her.'
The Lord will record as he enrols the peoples,*
 'These also were born there.'
The singers and the dancers will say,*
 'All my fresh springs are in you.'

A Song of the Bride (Isaiah 61.10,11; 62.1-3)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,  
my soul shall exult in my God; 
Who has clothed me with the garments of salvation,  
and has covered me with the cloak of integrity, 
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,  
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 
For as the earth puts forth her blossom,  
and as seeds in the garden spring up, 
So shall God make righteousness and praise  
blossom before all the nations. 
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,  
and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, 
Until her deliverance shines out like the dawn,  
and her salvation as a burning torch. 
The nations shall see your deliverance,  
and all rulers shall see your glory; 
Then you shall be called by a new name  
which the mouth of God will give. 
You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord,  
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Psalm 148

   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 [1 Samuel 18.6 9, 19.1 7]:

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the
women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul,
with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women
sang to one another as they made merry, 'Saul has killed his thousands, and David his
tens of thousands.'
Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, 'They have ascribed to
David tens of thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he
have but the kingdom?' So Saul eyed David from that day on.
Saul spoke to his son Jonathan and to all his servants about killing David. But Saul's
son Jonathan took great delight in David. Jonathan told David, 'My father Saul is
trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and
hide yourself. I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I
will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.' Jonathan spoke
well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, 'The king should not sin against his
servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been
of good service to you; for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine,
and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why
then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?' Saul
heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, 'As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to
death.' So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then
brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before. 

Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith (c) (information linked below)
Tune: Alleluia, Ebenezer

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We believe in God the Father,
God Almighty, by whose plan
earth and heaven sprang to being,
all created things began.
We believe in Christ the Savior,
Son of God in human frame,
virgin-born, the child of Mary
upon whom the Spirit came.

Christ, who on the cross forsaken,
like a lamb to slaughter led,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
he descended to the dead.
We believe in Jesus risen,
heaven's king to rule and reign,
to the Father's side ascended
till as judge he comes again.

We believe in God the Spirit;
in one church, below, above;
saints of God in one communion,
one in holiness and love.
So by faith, our sins forgiven,
Christ our Savior, Lord and Friend,
we shall rise with him in glory
to the life that knows no end.

SECOND READING [Mark 3.7 12]:

Jesus departed with his disciples to the lake, and a great multitude from Galilee
followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from
Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon.
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they
would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed
upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before
him and shouted, 'You are the Son of God!' But he sternly ordered them not to make
him known.

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

Most holy and gracious God,
we praise you for the glorious freedom
we have together in Christ Jesus.

You have called us to be brothers and sisters
in the covenant of your Church.
Hear our desire to live in covenant relationships
of binding and loosing,
so that we may truly be your faithful people.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

Enlarge our understandings of how we can work together
to raise up your Church and your mission
in this technological age.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

Forgive us for not being sensitive to one another
and for preferring to be loners instead of joining in our common cause.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

As you have forgiven us, may we forgive one another.
May our love flow like an everlasting river,
making our baptismal covenant a daily reality.
Gracious God,
hear our prayer.

O my God, I thank you and I praise
you for accomplishing your holy
and all-lovable will without any regard for mine.
With my whole heart,
in spite of my heart,
do I receive this cross I feared so much!
It is the cross of Your choice,
the cross of Your love.
I venerate it;
nor for anything in the world
would I wish that it had not come,
since You willed it.
I keep it with gratitude and with joy,
as I do everything that comes from Your hand;
and I shall strive to carry it without letting it drag,
with all the respect
and all the affection which Your works deserve. Amen.

O God, our Creator and our Goal,
who guided many in the practice of your love
by the ministry of your servant Francis de Sales,
grant us so to live by the grace of Christ
that we may serve you with our prayers,
praise you with our minds,
and show forth your love by our readiness in mercy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Believing the promises of God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Equip us, your Church, to serve the human family
as a life-giving leaven,
by drawing men and women 
into a new birth as your beloved children,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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
_Celebrating the Christian Year_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich.

The intercession is adapted by Stephen Benner from a prayer by Emma Richards, Villa
Park, Illinois as adapted in _Words for Worship_; used by permission of Herald
The first collect is by Francis de Sales and the second collect is from _For All the
Saints_, (c) General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994.

 Francis de Sales was born in the Savoy district of France in 1567 and ordained
a priest in 1593. At that time the religious and political struggles of the time
had placed under the control of Roman Catholic rulers several regions in which
the people were mostly Protestants. Francis was sent to preach in one such
region near his birthplace, attempting to persuade his hearers to become
Roman Catholics. Since he was seen to be persuasive, he was appointed in
1602 to be Roman Catholic bishop of Geneva, a Calvinist stronghold which
had been captured by the Roman Catholic Duke of Savoy. Here again, he
brought many to his way of thinking. His motto was, "He who preaches with
love, preaches effectively." His numerous controversial tracts are unfailingly
courteous to his opponents. Many Christians who are not at all convinced of
the truth of the Romanist position by his arguments nevertheless read him with
delight because of his obvious love for God and his neighbor.
By no means all of his writings were concerned with disputation. His best
known and best loved treatises were concerned with the life of prayer, and
were written to advise those who wish to become more aware of the presence
of God in their lives. His Introduction to the Devout Life was highly praised by
John Wesley. C.S. Lewis has referred to the "dewy freshness" that permeates
the book. It is available in English, as is his The Love of God. Both have been
used and found helpful by Christians of many different denominations.
In 1604 he met a widow, Jane Frances de Chantal (born at Dijon, 1572, died
12 December 1641), and under his influence she founded a religious order of
nuns called the Order of the Visitation. Their correspondence is an outstanding
example of mutual Christian encouragement and support.
Francis died at Lyons 29 December 1622. Since this date is already spoken for
(Thomas a Becket), he is remembered 24 January. [James Kiefer]

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