OREMUS: 12 March 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Mar 11 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Wednesday, March 12, 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 31

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
   let me never be put to shame;*
 deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;*
 make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
   for you are my crag and my stronghold;*
 for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net
   that they have secretly set for me,*
 for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,*
 for you have redeemed me,
   O Lord, O God of truth.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols,*
 and I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy;*
 for you have seen my affliction;
   you know my distress.
You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy;*
 you have set my feet in an open place.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;*
 my eye is consumed with sorrow,
   and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief,
   and my years with sighing;*
 my strength fails me because of affliction,
   and my bones are consumed.
I have become a reproach to all my enemies
   and even to my neighbours,
   a dismay to those of my acquaintance;*
 when they see me in the street they avoid me.
I am forgotten like the dead, out of mind;*
 I am as useless as a broken pot.
For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
   fear is all around;*
 they put their heads together against me;
   they plot to take my life.
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.*
 I have said, 'You are my God.
'My times are in your hand;*
 rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
   and from those who persecute me.
'Make your face to shine upon your servant,*
 and in your loving-kindness save me.'
Lord, let me not be ashamed
   for having called upon you;*
 rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
   let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be silenced
   which speak against the righteous,*
 haughtily, disdainfully and with contempt.
How great is your goodness, O Lord,
   which you have laid up for those who fear you;*
 which you have done in the sight of all
   for those who put their trust in you.
You hide them in the covert of your presence
   from those who slander them;*
 you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord!*
 for he has shown me the wonders of his love
   in a besieged city.
Yet I said in my alarm,
   'I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.'*
 Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
   when I cried out to you.
Love the Lord, all you who worship him;*
 the Lord protects the faithful,
   but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,*
 all you who wait for the Lord.

A Song of Lamentation (Lamentations 1.12,16a,b; 3.19,21-26,31-33)

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?  
Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, 
Which was brought upon me,  
which the Lord inflicted 
on the day of his fierce anger. 
For these things I weep; 
my eyes flow with tears;  
for a comforter is far from me, 
one to revive my courage. 
Remember my affliction and my bitterness,  
the wormwood and the gall! 
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 we should wait quietly  
for the salvation of the Lord. 
For the Lord will not reject for ever;  
though he causes grief, he will have compassion, 
According to the abundance of his steadfast love;  
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. 

FIRST READING [Daniel 3.14 20, 24 25, 28]:

Nebuchadnezzar said, 'Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do
not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? Now
if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum,
and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, well
and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace
of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?'
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we have
no need to present a defence to you in this matter. If our God whom we serve is able
to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him
deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and
we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.'
Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace to be heated up seven
times more than was customary, and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army
to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of
blazing fire.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his
counsellors, 'Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?' They answered
the king, 'True, O king.' He replied, 'But I see four men unbound, walking in the
middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.'
Nebuchadnezzar said, 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed
the king's command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god
except their own God.

Words: Latin, sixth century; trans. Maurice F. Bell, 1906
Tune: Erhalt uns, Herr

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The glory of these forty days
we celebrate with songs of praise;
for Christ, through whom all things were made,
himself has fasted and has prayed.

Alone and fasting Moses saw
the loving God who gave the law;
and to Elijah, fasting, came
the steeds and chariots of flame.

So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
delivered from the lions' might;
and John, the Bridegroom's friend, became
the herald of Messiah's name.

Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
full oft in fast and prayer with thee;
our spirits strengthen with thy grace,
and give us joy to see thy face.

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
to thee be every prayer addressed,
who art in three-fold Name adored,
from age to age, the only Lord.

SECOND READING [John 8.31 42]:

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are
truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.' They
answered him, 'We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone.
What do you mean by saying, "You will be made free"?'
Jesus answered them, 'Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to
sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place
there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you
are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there
is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence; as
for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.'
They answered him, 'Abraham is our father.' Jesus said to them, 'If you were
Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to
kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what
Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.' They said to him, 'We are
not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.' Jesus said to them, 'If God
were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did
not come on my own, but he sent me. 

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

With faith and love and in union with Christ,
let us offer our prayer before the throne of grace.

Have mercy on your people,
for whom your Son laid down his life.
We pray especially for
Lord, graciously hear us.

Bring healing and wholeness to people and nations,
and have pity on those torn apart by division. 
Lord, graciously hear us.

Strengthen all who are persecuted for your name's sake,
and deliver them from evil.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Look in mercy upon all who suffer,
and hear those who cry out in pain and desolation.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Bring comfort to the dying,
and gladden their hearts with the power of your glory.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Give rest to the departed and bring them, with your saints,
to glory everlasting.
Lord, graciously hear us.

As we rejoice in the triumph of the cross,
we pray that the whole of creation may find fulfilment
in the eternal kingdom of God:

Helper of the helpless,
Comfort of the afflicted,
may your servants who stand in the midst of evil
find strength in the knowledge of your presence,
and praise you for the wonders of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. 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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