OREMUS: 8 May 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed May 7 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Thursday, May 8, 2008
Julian of Norwich, Spiritual Writer, c.1417

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
Your living Word brings light out of darkness
and daily your Spirit renews the face of the earth.
Christ, the true Lamb, his passion accomplished,
has been raised to the right hand of your majesty on high.
The pioneer of our faith has opened the way to heaven
and sends on us your promised Spirit.
Pour upon us the riches of your grace
that we, the first fruits of your new creation,
may bring forth the fruits of the Spirit
and reveal your glory in all the world.
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 72

Give the king your justice, O God,*
 and your righteousness to the king's son;
That he may rule your people righteously*
 and the poor with justice;
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,*
 and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people;*
 he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,*
 from one generation to another.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown field,*
 like showers that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
 there shall be abundance of peace
   till the moon shall be no more.
He shall rule from sea to sea,*
 and from the River to the ends of the earth.
His foes shall bow down before him,*
 and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute,*
 and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.
All kings shall bow down before him,*
 and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,*
 and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
 he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,*
 and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live,
   and may there be given to him gold from Arabia;*
 may prayer be made for him always,
   and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
   growing thick even on the hilltops;*
 may its fruit flourish like Lebanon,
   and its grain like grass upon the earth.
May his name remain for ever
   and be established as long as the sun endures;*
 may all the nations bless themselves in him
   and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*
 who alone does wondrous deeds!
And blessed be his glorious name for ever!*
 and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
   Amen. Amen.

A Song of Julian of Norwich

God chose to be our mother in all things
and so made the foundation of his work,
most humbly and most pure,
in the Virgin's womb.

God, the perfect wisdom of all,
arrayed himself in this humble place.

Christ came in our poor flesh
to share a mother's care.

Our mothers bear us for pain and for death;
our true mother, Jesus,
bears us for joy and endless life.

Christ carried us within him in love and travail,
until the full time of his passion.

And when all was completed
and he had carried us so for joy,
still all this could not satisfy
the power of his wonderful love.

All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God,
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.

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 [Isaiah 9:2-7]:

The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness 
   on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
   you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
   as with joy at the harvest,
   as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
   and the bar across their shoulders,
   the rod of their oppressor,
   you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
   and all the garments rolled in blood
   shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 

Words: Alan Gaunt (1935-), after Julian of Norwich (c)
Tune: Aus der Tiefe (Heinlein)
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Listen, frightened spirits, hear!
Christ has spoken loud and clear:
'Through all tempest, pain and fear,
You shall not be overcome.'

When you agonize and grieve,
Call to mind his cross, believe
Love like this will not deceive.
You shall not be overcome.

Though you suffer grievous ill,
Dare to trust his promise still;
Sure, in God's unchanging will,
You shall not be overcome.

In your trouble and distress,
Though your faith grow less and less,
Grounded in Christ's faithfulness,
You shall not be overcome.

Word of Life, once crucified,
Resurrected Love, who died,
Held for ever at your side,
We shall not be overcome!

SECOND READING [Acts 3:11-end]:

While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico
called Solomon's Portico, utterly astonished. When Peter saw it, he addressed the
people, 'You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as
though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant
Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had
decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to
have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised
from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has
made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has
given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
'And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this
way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah
would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,
so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may
send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the
time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.
Moses said, "The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a
prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone
who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out from the people." And all
the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted
these days. You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God
gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, "And in your descendants all the families
of the earth shall be blessed." When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you,
to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.' 

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

We pray for God to fill us with his Spirit.

Generous God, we thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit.
We ask that we may be strengthened to serve you better.
Lord, come to bless us.
Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.
We ask you to make us wise to understand your will.
Lord, come to bless us.
Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.
We ask you to keep us confident of your love,
wherever you call us.
Lord, come to bless us.
Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.
We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness
where there is division, sickness and sorrow.
Lord, come to bless us.
Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.
We ask you to equip us for the work
which you have given us.
Lord, come to bless us.
Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.
We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus.
Lord, come to bless us.
Fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit,
given by the risen Lord.
We ask you to keep the whole Church,
living and departed,
in the joy of eternal life.
Lord, come to bless us.
Fill us with your Spirit.

Your kingdom come, O Lord,
with deliverance for the needy,
with peace for the righteous,
with overflowing blessing for all nations,
with glory, honour and praise
   for the only Saviour,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God,
whose blessings overflow,
grant us the knowledge of your beloved Julian,
that we may keep the watch of prayer
and proclaim your marvelous wisdom
made manifest in our Savior Jesus Christ,
whose love is sovereign over all creation. Amen.
Being made one by the power of the Spirit,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

God of power,
may the boldness of your Spirit transform us,
may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,
and may the gifts of your Spirit equip us 
to serve and worship you now and always. 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
_Common WorshipServices and Prayers for the Church of
England_, material from which is included in this service is copyright
(c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

The Lady Juliana was born about 1342, and when she was thirty years old, she became
gravely ill and was expected to die. Then, on the seventh day, the medical crisis passed,
and she had a series of fifteen visions, or "showings," in which she was led to contemplate
the Passion of Christ. These brought her great peace and joy. She became an anchoress,
living in a small hut near to the church in Norwich, where she devoted the rest of her life
to prayer and contemplation of the meaning of her visions. The results of her meditations
she wrote in a book called Revelations of Divine Love, available in modern English in a
Penguin Paperback edition. During her lifetime, she became known as a counselor, whose
advice combined spiritual insight with common sense, and many persons came to speak
with her. Since her death, many more have found help in her writings. The precise date of
her death is uncertain.
Her book is a tender meditation on God's eternal and all-embracing love, as expressed to
us in the Passion of Christ. She describes seeing God holding a tiny thing in his hand, like
a small brown nut, which seemed so fragile and insignificant that she wondered why it did
not crumble before her eyes. She understood that the thing was the entire created
universe, which is as nothing compared to its Creator, and she was told, "God made it,
God loves it, God keeps it."
She was concerned that sometimes when we are faced wiith a difficult moral decision, it
seems that no matter which way we decide, we will have acted from motives that are less
then completely pure, so that neither decision is defensible. She finally wrote: "It is enough
to be sure of the deed. Our courteous Lord will deign to redeem the motive." [James
Kiefer, abridged]

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