OREMUS: 10 March 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Mar 9 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Monday, March 10, 2008

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 7

O Lord my God, I take refuge in you;*
 save and deliver me from all who pursue me;
Lest like a lion they tear me in pieces*
 and snatch me away with none to deliver me.
O Lord my God, if I have done these things:*
 if there is any wickedness in my hands,
If I have repaid my friend with evil,*
 or plundered one who without cause is my enemy;
Then let my enemy pursue and overtake me,*
 trample my life into the ground,
   and lay my honour in the dust.
Stand up, O Lord, in your wrath;*
 rise up against the fury of my enemies.
Awake, O my God, decree justice;*
 let the assembly of the peoples gather round you.
Be seated on your lofty throne, O Most High;*
 O Lord, judge the nations.
Give judgement for me
   according to my righteousness, O Lord,*
 and according to my innocence, O Most High.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
   but establish the righteous;*
 for you test the mind and heart, O righteous God.
God is my shield and defence;*
 he is the saviour of the true in heart.
God is a righteous judge;*
 God sits in judgement every day.
If they will not repent, God will whet his sword;*
 he will bend his bow and make it ready.
He has prepared his weapons of death;*
 he makes his arrows shafts of fire.
Look at those who are in labour with wickedness,*
 who conceive evil and give birth to a lie.
They dig a pit and make it deep*
 and fall into the hole that they have made.
Their malice turns back upon their own head;*
 their violence falls on their own scalp.
I will bear witness that the Lord is righteous;*
 I will praise the name of the Lord Most High.

The Song of Christ's Glory (Philippians 2.5-11)

Christ Jesus was in the form of God,  
but he did not cling to equality with God. 
He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,  
and was born in our human likeness. 
Being found in human form he humbled himself,  
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 
Therefore God has highly exalted him,  
and bestowed on him the name above every name, 
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  
in heaven and on earth and under the earth; 
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,  
to the glory of God the Father.

FIRST READING [Susanna 1 9, 15 17, 19 30, 33 62]:

There was a man living in Babylon whose name was Joakim. He married the daughter
of Hilkiah, named Susanna, a very beautiful woman and one who feared the Lord. Her
parents were righteous, and had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses.
Joakim was very rich, and had a fine garden adjoining his house; the Jews used to
come to him because he was the most honoured of them all.
That year two elders from the people were appointed as judges. Concerning them the
Lord had said: 'Wickedness came forth from Babylon, from elders who were judges,
who were supposed to govern the people.' These men were frequently at Joakim's
house, and all who had a case to be tried came to them there.

When the people left at noon, Susanna would go into her husband's garden to walk.
Every day the two elders used to see her, going in and walking about, and they began
to lust for her. They suppressed their consciences and turned away their eyes from
looking to Heaven or remembering their duty to administer justice.

Once, while they were watching for an opportune day, she went in as before with only
two maids, and wished to bathe in the garden, for it was a hot day. No one was there
except the two elders, who had hidden themselves and were watching her. She said to
her maids, 'Bring me olive oil and ointments, and shut the garden doors so that I can

When the maids had gone out, the two elders got up and ran to her. They said, 'Look,
the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us. We are burning with desire for you;
so give your consent, and lie with us. If you refuse, we will testify against you that a
young man was with you, and this was why you sent your maids away.'

Susanna groaned and said, 'I am completely trapped. For if I do this, it will mean
death for me; if I do not, I cannot escape your hands. I choose not to do it; I will fall
into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.'
Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and the two elders shouted against her. And
one of them ran and opened the garden doors. When the people in the house heard the
shouting in the garden, they rushed in at the side door to see what had happened to
her. And when the elders told their story, the servants felt very much ashamed, for
nothing like this had ever been said about Susanna.

The next day, when the people gathered at the house of her husband Joakim, the two
elders came, full of their wicked plot to have Susanna put to death. In the presence of
the people they said, 'Send for Susanna daughter of Hilkiah, the wife of Joakim.' So
they sent for her. And she came with her parents, her children, and all her relatives.
Those who were with her and all who saw her were weeping.

Then the two elders stood up before the people and laid their hands on her head.
Through her tears she looked up towards Heaven, for her heart trusted in the Lord.
The elders said, 'While we were walking in the garden alone, this woman came in with
two maids, shut the garden doors, and dismissed the maids. Then a young man, who
was hiding there, came to her and lay with her. We were in a corner of the garden, and
when we saw this wickedness we ran to them. Although we saw them embracing, we
could not hold the man, because he was stronger than we are, and he opened the doors
and got away. We did, however, seize this woman and asked who the young man was,
but she would not tell us. These things we testify.'

Because they were elders of the people and judges, the assembly believed them and
condemned her to death.

Then Susanna cried out with a loud voice, and said, 'O eternal God, you know what is
secret and are aware of all things before they come to be; you know that these men
have given false evidence against me. And now I am to die, though I have done none
of the wicked things that they have charged against me!'

The Lord heard her cry. Just as she was being led off to execution, God stirred up the
holy spirit of a young lad named Daniel, and he shouted with a loud voice, 'I want no
part in shedding this woman's blood!'

All the people turned to him and asked, 'What is this you are saying?' Taking his stand
among them he said, 'Are you such fools, O Israelites, as to condemn a daughter of
Israel without examination and without learning the facts? Return to court, for these
men have given false evidence against her.'

So all the people hurried back. And the rest of the elders said to him, 'Come, sit
among us and inform us, for God has given you the standing of an elder.' Daniel said
to them, 'Separate them far from each other, and I will examine them.'

When they were separated from each other, he summoned one of them and said to
him, 'You old relic of wicked days, your sins have now come home, which you have
committed in the past, pronouncing unjust judgements, condemning the innocent and
acquitting the guilty, though the Lord said, "You shall not put an innocent and
righteous person to death." Now then, if you really saw this woman, tell me this:
Under what tree did you see them being intimate with each other?' He answered,
'Under a mastic tree.' And Daniel said, 'Very well! This lie has cost you your head, for
the angel of God has received the sentence from God and will immediately cut you in

Then, putting him to one side, he ordered them to bring the other. And he said to him,
'You offspring of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty has beguiled you and lust has
perverted your heart. This is how you have been treating the daughters of Israel, and
they were intimate with you through fear; but a daughter of Judah would not tolerate
your wickedness. Now then, tell me: Under what tree did you catch them being
intimate with each other?' He answered, 'Under an evergreen oak.' Daniel said to him,
'Very well! This lie has cost you also your head, for the angel of God is waiting with
his sword to split you in two, so as to destroy you both.'

Then the whole assembly raised a great shout and blessed God, who saves those who
hope in him. And they took action against the two elders, because out of their own
mouths Daniel had convicted them of bearing false witness; they did to them as they
had wickedly planned to do to their neighbour. Acting in accordance with the law of
Moses, they put them to death. Thus innocent blood was spared that day. 

Words: James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Tune: Crger,   Es flog ein kleins Waldv”glein

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Hail to the Lord's Anointed,
great David's greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free,
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

He comes, with succour speedy,
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
were precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth;
love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth;
before him, on the mountains,
shall peace the herald go;
and righteousness, in fountains,
from hill to valley flow.

Kings shall fall down before him,
and gold and incense bring;
all nations shall adore him,
his praise all people sing;
to him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend,
his kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.

O'er every foe victorious,
he on his throne shall rest;
from age to age more glorious,
all-blessing and all-blest.
the tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his name shall stand for ever,
his changeless Name of love.

SECOND READING [John 8.1 11]:

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple.
All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and
the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her
stand before all of them, they said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very
act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such
women. Now what do you say?' They said this to test him, so that they might have
some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the
ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let
anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' And once
again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away,
one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman
standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, 'Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, sir.' And Jesus said, 'Neither do I
condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.'

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

O Christ, 
out of your fullness we have received grace upon grace.
You are our eternal hope;
you are patient and full of mercy;
you are generous to all who call upon you.
Save us, O Lord.

O Christ, fountain of life and holiness,
you have taken away our sins.
On the cross you were wounded for our transgressions
and were bruised for our iniquities.
Save us, O Lord.

O Christ, obedient unto death,
source of all comfort,
our life and our resurrection,
our peace and reconciliation:
Save us, O Lord.

O Christ, Savior of all who trust you,
hope of all who die for yo,
and joy of all the saints:
Save us, O Lord.

O Christ,
who for a season laid aside the divine glory
and, though Son of God, learned obedience through suffering:
teach us in all our afflictions
to raise our eyes to the One who judges justly
and to find in your will our peace and deliverance;
who live and reign now and for ever.  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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