OREMUS: 24 July 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Jul 23 18:50:19 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Thursday, July 24, 2008
Thomas a Kempis, Priest, 1471

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

Blessed are you, O God,
the source and end of all things:
in the resurrection of Christ
you reveal the first fruits of the Spirit,
the pledge of things to come.
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 21:1-7,14

The king rejoices in your strength, O Lord;*
 how greatly he exults in your victory!
You have given him his heart's desire;*
 you have not denied him the request of his lips.
For you meet him with blessings of prosperity,*
 and set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked you for life and you gave it to him;*
 length of days, for ever and ever.
His honour is great, because of your victory;*
 splendour and majesty have you bestowed upon him.
For you will give him everlasting felicity*
 and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king puts his trust in the Lord;*
 because of the loving-kindness of the Most High,
   he will not fall.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your might;*
 we will sing and praise your power.

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it,*
 the world and all who dwell therein.
For it is he who founded it upon the seas*
 and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
'Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?*
 and who can stand in his holy place?'
'Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,*
 who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
   nor sworn by what is a fraud.
'They shall receive a blessing from the Lord*
 and a just reward from the God of their salvation.'
Such is the generation of those who seek him,*
 of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord, strong and mighty,
   the Lord, mighty in battle.'
Lift up your heads, O gates;
   lift them high, O everlasting doors;*
 and the King of glory shall come in.
'Who is he, this King of glory?'*
 'The Lord of hosts,
   he is the King of glory.'

Great and Wonderful (Revelation 15.3,4)

Great and wonderful are your deeds, . 
Lord God the Almighty. 
Just and true are your ways, . 
O ruler of the nations. 
Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord? . 
for you alone are holy. 
All nations shall come and worship in your presence: . 
for your just dealings have been revealed.

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.


So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they
were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, 'What is your petition, Queen
Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my
kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.' Then Queen Esther answered, 'If I have won your
favour, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me that is my
petition and the lives of my people that is my request. For we have been sold, I and
my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold
merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can
compensate for this damage to the king.' Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther,
'Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?' Esther said, 'A foe and
enemy, this wicked Haman!' Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.
The king rose from the feast in wrath and went into the palace garden, but Haman
stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that the king had determined to
destroy him. When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall,
Haman had thrown himself on the couch where Esther was reclining; and the king said,
'Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?' As the words left
the mouth of the king, they covered Haman's face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs
in attendance on the king, said, 'Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for
Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman's house, fifty cubits high.'
And the king said, 'Hang him on that.' So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he
had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated. 

Words:  attributed to Thomas   Kempis (1379-1471);
trans. John Mason Neale
Tune: Lewes     

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If there be that skills to reckon
all the number of the blest,
he perchance can weigh the gladness
of the everlasting rest,
which, their earthly exile finished,
they by merit have possessed.

Through the vale of lamentation
happily and safely past,
now the years of their affliction
in their memory they recast,
and the end of all perfection
they can contemplate at last.

There the gifts of each and single
all in common right possess;
there each member hath his portion
in the Body's blessedness;
so that he, the least in merits,
share the guerdon none the less.

In a glass through types and riddles
dwelling here, we see alone;
then serenely, purely, clearly,
we shall know as we are known,
fixing our enlightened vision
on the glory of the throne.

There the Trinity of persons
unbeclouded shall we see;
there the Unity of essence
perfectly revealed shall be;
while we hail the threefold Godhead
and the simple Unity.

Wherefore man, take heart and courage,
whatso'er thy present pain;
such untold reward through suffering
thou may'st merit to attain:
and for ever in his glory
with the Light of light to reign.

SECOND READING [Romans 3:1-20]:

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in
every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.
What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is
'So that you may be justified in your words,
   and prevail in your judging.'
But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That
God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then
how could God judge the world? But if through my falsehood God's truthfulness
abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not say (as
some people slander us by saying that we say), 'Let us do evil so that good may
come'? Their condemnation is deserved!

 What then? Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all,
both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written:
'There is no one who is righteous, not even one;
   there is no one who has understanding,
     there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned aside, together they have become worthless;
   there is no one who shows kindness,
     there is not even one.'
'Their throats are opened graves;
   they use their tongues to deceive.'
'The venom of vipers is under their lips.'
   'Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.'
'Their feet are swift to shed blood;
   ruin and misery are in their paths,
and the way of peace they have not known.'
   'There is no fear of God before their eyes.'

 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law,
so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to
God. For 'no human being will be justified in his sight' by deeds prescribed by the law,
for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

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

Loving God, as the rising sun chases away the night, so
you have scattered the power of death in the rising of
Jesus Christ, and you bring us all blessings in him.
Especially we thank you for
     the community of faith in our church...
                (We thank you, Lord.)
     those with whom we work or share common concerns...
     the diversity of your children...
     indications of your love at work in the world...
     those who work for reconciliation...

Mighty God, with the dawn of your love you reveal your
victory over all that would destroy or harm, and you
brighten the lives of all who need you. Especially we pray
     families suffering separation...
                (Lord, hear our prayer)
     people different from ourselves...
     those isolated by sickness or sorrow...
     the victims of violence or warfare...
     the church in the Pacific region...

Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts that cannot be dragged down by false loves; give us
courageous hearts that cannot be worn down by trouble; give us righteous hearts that
cannot be sidetracked by unholy or unworthy goals. Give to us also, our Lord and
God, understanding to know you, diligence to look for you, wisdom to recognize you,
and a faithfulness that will bring us to see you face to face. Amen.

Holy God, 
you have nourished and strengthened your Church 
by the inspired writings 
of your servant Thomas   Kempis: 
Grant that we may learn from him 
to know what is necessary to be known, 
to love what is to be loved, 
to praise what highly pleases you, 
and always to seek to know and follow your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Enrich us abundantly with your grace, O Lord,
that, firm in faith, secure in hope, and constant in love,
we may keep your commandments with watchful care. 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 and closing sentence are adapted from prayers by Alan Griffiths..

The first collect is by Thomas a Kempis.

Thomas Hammerken (or Hammerlein -- both mean "little hammer") was born at Kempen
(hence the "A Kempis") in the duchy of Cleves in Germany around 1380. He was educated
by a religious order called the Brethren of the Common Life, and in due course joined the
order, was ordained a priest, became sub-prior of his house (in the low Countries), and
died 25 July 1471 (his feast is observed a day early to avoid conflict with that of James
bar-Zebedee the Apostle).
Thomas is known almost entirely for composing or compiling a manual of spiritual advice
known as The Imitation of Christ, in which he urges the reader to seek to follow the
example of Jesus Christ and to be conformed in all things to His will. [James Kiefer]

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