OREMUS: 7 March 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Mar 6 18:52:50 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Friday, March 7, 2008
Perpetua, Felicity and their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

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

Glory to you, O Champion of all Loves,
who for our sake endured the cross,
encountered the enemy and tasted death.
Glory be to you, O King of all kings,
who for our salvation
wrestled with principalities and powers,
subdued the forces of hell
and won the greatest of all victories.
To you be all praise, all glory and all love;
now and for ever. Amen.

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

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 Christ the Servant 1 Peter 2.21b-25 

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,  
that you should follow in his steps. 
He committed no sin, no guile was found on his lips,  
when he was reviled, he did not revile in turn. 
When he suffered, he did not threaten,  
but he trusted himself to God who judges justly. 
Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,  
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. 
By his wounds, you have been healed, 
for you were straying like sheep,  
but have now returned 
to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

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 [Wisdom 2.1, 12 22]:

For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves,
'Short and sorrowful is our life,
and there is no remedy when a life comes to its end,
and no one has been known to return from Hades.
'Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
he reproaches us for sins against the law,
and accuses us of sins against our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a child of the Lord.
He became to us a reproof of our thoughts;
the very sight of him is a burden to us,
because his manner of life is unlike that of others,
and his ways are strange.
We are considered by him as something base,
and he avoids our ways as unclean;
he calls the last end of the righteous happy,
and boasts that God is his father.
Let us see if his words are true,
and let us test what will happen at the end of his life;
for if the righteous man is God's child, he will help him,
and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries.
Let us test him with insult and torture,
so that we may find out how gentle he is,
and make trial of his forbearance.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death,
for, according to what he says, he will be protected.'

Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray,
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they did not know the secret purposes of God,
nor hoped for the wages of holiness,
nor discerned the prize for blameless souls.

HYMN 
Words: Henry James Buckoll, 1843
Tune: St. Raphael,  Dismissal

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/l/l258.html
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Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing,
thanks for mercies past receive;
pardon all, their faults confessing;
time that's lost may all retrieve;
may thy children,
ne'er again thy Spirit grieve.

Bless thou all our days of leisure;
help us selfish lures to flee;
sanctify our every pleasure;
pure and blameless may it be;
may our gladness
draw us evermore to thee.

By thy kindly influence cherish
all the good we have gained;
may all taint of evil perish
by thy mightier power restrained;
seek we ever
knowledge pure and love unfeigned.

Let thy father-hand be shielding
all who here shall meet no more;
may their seed-time past be yielding
year by year a richer store;
those returning,
make more faithful than before.

SECOND READING [John 7.1 2, 10, 25 30]:

After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because
the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of
Booths was near.
But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it
were in secret.
Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, 'Is not this the man whom they are
trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be
that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man
is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.' Then Jesus
cried out as he was teaching in the temple, 'You know me, and you know where I am
from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not
know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.' Then they tried to
arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. 

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

Prayer:
Send forth your strength, O God,
Establish what you have wrought in us.

Uphold all those who fall
And raise up those who are bowed down.

Open the eyes of the blind
And set the prisoners free.

Sustain the orphan and widow
And give food to those who hunger.

Grant them the joy of your help again
And sustain them with your Spirit.

O Lord, judge the peoples
And take all nations for your own.

Faithful God, living Saviour,
in youth and old age,
in weakness and adversity,
from the womb to the grave,
may we know your protection
and proclaim your great salvation
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy God,
who gave great courage to Perpetua, Felicity and their companions:
grant that we may be worthy to climb the ladder of sacrifice
and be received into the garden of peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
       
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Help us, O Lord Jesus Christ,
to enter in your sorrows and to rejoice in your victory;
to embrace your cross and to wear your crown;
to receive the wounds of your love
and to behold you in glory and light;
for your own name's sake. 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 is by Thomas Ken (1637-1711) and the closing prayer
is by St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373).

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.

The moving, contemporary account of these early third-century, African
martyrs proved to be of great significance in the life of the early Church. Vibia
Perpetua was a young, married noblewoman of Carthage and Felicity was her
personal slave. Saturas was possibly a priest and there were two other men,
Saturninus and Revocatus, the latter also a slave. Felicity was pregnant. It
seems most of them were catechumens when arrested and only baptised later in
prison. They were condemned as Christians by the Roman authorities and
dispatched to the public arena, there to be mauled by wild animals. They all
survived and were then taken to be executed by the sword. Before this, they all
exchanged the Kiss of Peace and affirmed their faith in Christ, the Son of God.
The contemporary account was much circulated secretly throughout the
Christian congregations and proved both to give renown to their courage and
to give encouragement to their fellow Christians in the face of adversity. They
were martyred for their faith on this day in the year 203. [Exciting Holiness]



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