OREMUS: 9 March 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Mar 8 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Sunday, March 9, 2008
The Fifth Sunday in Lent

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

Blessed are you, holy Father, 
almighty and eternal God,
 through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For as the time of his passion and resurrection draws near
the whole world is called to acknowledge his hidden majesty.
The power of the life-giving cross
reveals the judgement that has come upon the world
and the triumph of Christ crucified.
He is the victim who dies no more,
the Lamb once slain, who lives for ever,
our advocate in heaven to plead our cause.
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 35

Fight those who fight me, O Lord;*
 attack those who are attacking me.
Take up shield and armour*
 and rise up to help me.
Draw the sword and bar the way
   against those who pursue me;*
 say to my soul, 'I am your salvation.'
Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled;*
 let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
Then I will be joyful in the Lord;*
 I will glory in his victory.
My very bones will say, 'Lord, who is like you?*
 You deliver the poor
   from those who are too strong for them,
   the poor and needy from those who rob them.'
Malicious witnesses rise up against me;*
 they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
They pay me evil in exchange for good;*
 my soul is full of despair.
But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth*
 and humbled myself by fasting;
I prayed with my whole heart,
   as one would for a friend or a brother;*
 I behaved like one who mourns for his mother,
   bowed down and grieving.
But when I stumbled,
   they were glad and gathered together;
   they gathered against me;*
 strangers whom I did not know
   tore me to pieces and would not stop.
They put me to the test and mocked me;*
 they gnashed at me with their teeth.
O Lord, how long will you look on?*
 rescue me from the roaring beasts,
   and my life from the young lions.
I will give you thanks in the great congregation;*
 I will praise you in the mighty throng.
Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me,*
 nor let those who hate me without a cause
   wink at each other.
For they do not plan for peace,*
 but invent deceitful schemes
   against the quiet in the land.
They opened their mouths at me and said,*
 'Aha! we saw it with our own eyes.'
You saw it, O Lord; do not be silent;*
 O Lord, be not far from me.
Awake, arise, to my cause!*
 to my defence, my God and my Lord!
Give me justice, O Lord my God,
   according to your righteousness;*
 do not let them triumph over me.
Do not let them say in their hearts,
   'Aha! just what we want!'*
 Do not let them say, 'We have swallowed him up.'
Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced;*
 let those who boast against me
   be clothed with dismay and shame.
Let those who favour my cause
   sing out with joy and be glad;*
 let them say always, 'Great is the Lord,
   who desires the prosperity of his servant.'
And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness*
 and of your praise all the day long.

A Song of Solomon (cf Song of Solomon 8.6,7)

Set me as a seal upon your heart,  
as a seal upon your arm; 
For love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave;  
its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. 
Many waters cannot quench love,  
neither can the floods drown it. 
If all the wealth of our house were offered for love,  
it would be utterly scorned.

FIRST READING [Lamentations 3:19-33]:

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
   is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
   and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
   and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
   'therefore I will hope in him.'

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
   to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
   for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for one to bear
   the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
   when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one's mouth to the dust
   (there may yet be hope),
to give one's cheek to the smiter,
   and be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not
   reject for ever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
   according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict
   or grieve anyone. 

Words: Venantius Fortunatus, sixth century; trans. Alan Gaunt (c)
Tune: Gonfalon Royal
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As royal banners are unfurled,
the cross displays its mystery:
the Maker of our flesh, in flesh,
impaled and hanging helplessly.

Already deeply wounded: see
his side now riven by a spear,
and all our sins are swept away
by blood and water flowing there.

See everything the prophets wrote
fulfilled in its totality,
and tell the nations of the world
our God is reigning from a tree.

This tree, ablaze with royal light
and with the blood-red robe it wears,
is hallowed and embellished
by the weight of holiness it bears.

Stretched like a balance here, his arms
have gauged the price of wickedness;
but, hanging here, his love outweighs
hell's unforgiving bitterness.

The Savior, victim, sacrifice,
is, through his dying, glorified;
his life is overcome by death
and leaps up, sweeping death aside.

We hail the cross, faith's one true hope:
God's passion set in time and space,
by which our guilt is blotted out,
engulfed in such stupendous grace.

SECOND READING [Matthew 20:17-34]:

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside by
themselves, and said to them on the way, 'See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the
Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn
him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged
and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.'
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling
before him, she asked a favour of him. And he said to her, 'What do you want?' She
said to him, 'Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and
one at your left, in your kingdom.' But Jesus answered, 'You do not know what you
are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?' They said to him,
'We are able.' He said to them, 'You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right
hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been
prepared by my Father.'
When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to
him and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their
great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to
be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you
must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to
give his life a ransom for many.'
As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men
sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted,
'Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!' The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet;
but they shouted even more loudly, 'Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!' Jesus
stood still and called them, saying, 'What do you want me to do for you?' They said to
him, 'Lord, let our eyes be opened.' Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their
eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. 

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

As we enter the contemplation of those saving mysteries
which ended with death on a cross and rising from the grave,
hear our prayers for forgiveness, O Lord.

Forgive us when we forget the painful death you suffered on the cross,
when we make Christian faith a bland way of life demanding no sacrifice.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Forgive us that our preference runs to Bethlehem and Joseph's garden,
to poinsettias and lilies, and away from Golgotha,
with its rusty nails and twisted thorns.
Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.

Forgive us when we are more willing to be instructed or reformed
than we are to be redeemed. 
Open us to ever new and deeper awareness of our your passion.
Jesus, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.

Hear, O Father, the cry of your Son, 
who, to establish the new and everlasting covenant, 
became obedient to death upon the cross: 
Grant that, through all the trials of this life, 
we may come to share more intimately in his redeeming passion; 
and so obtain the fruitfulness of the seed 
that falls to the earth and dies, 
to be gathered as your harvest for the kingdom. 
We ask this through your Son, 
our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Christ crucified draw us to himself,
to find in him a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven. 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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

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