OREMUS: 5 June 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Jun 4 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Thursday, June 5, 2008
Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Bishop, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754

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

Blessed are you, O Lord,
your love reaches to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like teh strong mountains,
your justice like the great deep;
you save your entire creation, O Lord,
in your Son, Jesus Christ our 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. 


Psalm 65

You are to be praised, O God, in Zion;*
 to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.
To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come,*
 because of their transgressions.
Our sins are stronger than we are,*
 but you will blot them out.
Happy are they whom you choose
   and draw to your courts to dwell there!*
 they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house,
   by the holiness of your temple.
Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness,
   O God of our salvation,*
 O Hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the seas that are far away.
You make fast the mountains by your power;*
 they are girded about with might.
You still the roaring of the seas,*
 the roaring of their waves,
   and the clamour of the peoples.
Those who dwell at the ends of the earth
   will tremble at your marvellous signs;*
 you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.
You visit the earth and water it abundantly;
   you make it very plenteous;*
 the river of God is full of water.
You prepare the grain,*
 for so you provide for the earth.
You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges;*
 with heavy rain you soften the ground
   and bless its increase.
You crown the year with your goodness,*
 and your paths overflow with plenty.
May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing,*
 and the hills be clothed with joy.
May the meadows cover themselves with flocks
   and the valleys cloak themselves with grain;*
 let them shout for joy and sing.

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 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 [Nehemiah 2:1-8]:

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was
served to him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in
his presence before. So the king said to me, 'Why is your face sad, since you are not
sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.' Then I was very much afraid. I said to the
king, 'May the king live for ever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the
place of my ancestors' graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?'
Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Then I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour
with you, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors' graves, so that
I may rebuild it.' The king said to me (the queen also was sitting beside him), 'How
long will you be gone, and when will you return?' So it pleased the king to send me,
and I set him a date. Then I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, let letters be given
me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may grant me passage
until I arrive in Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, directing
him to give me timber to make beams for the gates of the temple fortress, and for the
wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.' And the king granted me what I
asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me.

Words: verses 1-4: Philip Doddridge, 1736;
verse 5: unknown Scottish author
Tune: Burford, Stracathro, Dundee, Martyrdom

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O God of Bethel, by whose hand
thy people still are fed;
who through this earthly pilgrimage
hast all our fathers led:

Our vows, our prayers, we now present
before thy throne of grace:
O God of Israel, be the God
of their succeeding race.

Through each perplexing path of life
our wandering footsteps guide;
give us each day our daily bread,
and raiment fit provide.

O spread thy covering wings around,
till all our wanderings cease,
and at our Father's loved abode
our souls arrive in peace!

Such blessings from thy gracious hand
our humble prayers implore;
and thou shalt be our covenant God
and portion evermore.

SECOND READING [Acts 12:25-13:12]:

After completing their mission Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem and brought
with them John, whose other name was Mark.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon
who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the
ruler, and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit
said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'
Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they
sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in
the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. When they had
gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish
false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an
intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of
God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them
and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul,
filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, 'You son of the devil, you
enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making
crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen the hand of the Lord is
against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.' Immediately mist
and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by
the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was
astonished at the teaching about the Lord. 

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.

Lord God,
joy marks your presence:
beauty, abundance and peace
are the tokens of your work in all creation.
Work also in our lives,
that by these signs we may see the splendor of your love
and praise you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God our redeemer, 
who called your servant Boniface 
to preach the gospel among the German people
and to build up your Church in holiness: 
grant that we may preserve in our hearts
that faith which he taught with his words
and sealed with his blood,
and profess it in lives dedicated to your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of 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

May we feast at your abundant table, O Lord,
and drink from the river of your delights. 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 of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from Psalm 36.

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Wynfrith, nicknamed Boniface ("good deeds"), was born around 680 near
Crediton in Devonshire, England. When he was five, he listened to some
monks who were staying at his father's house. They had returned from a
mission to the pagans on the continent, and Boniface was so impressed by
them that he resolved to follow their example. Although his father had intended
him for a secular career, he gave way to his son's entreaties and sent him at the
age of seven to a monastery school. He eventually became director of the
school at Nursling, in Winchester, where he wrote the first Latin grammar in
England, and gave lectures that were widely copied and circulated.
At thirty, he was ordained and set out to preach in Friesland (overlaps with
modern Holland), whence he was soon expelled because of war between its
heathen king and Charles Martel of France. Boniface, after a brief withdrawal,
went into Hesse and Bavaria, having secured the support of the Pope and of
Charles Martel for his work there. In Hesse, in the presence of a large crowd
of pagans, he cut down the Sacred Oak of Geismar, a tree of immense age and
girth, sacred to the god Thor. It is said that after only a few blows of his axe,
the tree tottered and crashed to the ground, breaking into four pieces and
revealing itself to be rotted away within. It was the beginning of a highly
successful missionary effort, and the planting of a vigorous Christian church in
Germany, where Boniface was eventually consecrated bishop. He asked the
Christian Saxons of England to support his work among their kinsmen on the
continent, and they responded with money, books, supplies, and above all, with
a steady supply of monks to assist him in teaching and preaching.
Boniface did not confine his attentions to Germany. He worked to establish
cooperation between the Pope and others in Italy on the one hand and Charles
and his successors in France on the other. He persuaded Carloman and Pepin,
the sons of Charles, to call synods for the reform of the church in their
territories, where under previous rulers bishoprics had often been sold to the
highest bidder. He never forgot his initial failure in Friesland, and in old age
resigned his bishopric and returned to work there. Many Frisians had been
converted earlier by Willibrord (another Saxon missionary from England), but
had lapsed after his death. Boniface preached among them with considerable
success. On June 5, the eve of Pentecost, 754, he was preparing a group of
Frisians for confirmation when they were attacked and killed by heathen

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