OREMUS: 19 May 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun May 18 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Monday, May 19, 2008
Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Restorer of Monastic Life, 988

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of peace,
by your saving word you teach us
that we may know ourselves as a people
reborn to a living hope,
walking in one communion of love
and eagerly awaiting the coming of the Savior.
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 4

Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause;*
 you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
   have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
'You mortals, how long will you dishonour my glory;*
 how long will you worship dumb idols
   and run after false gods?'
Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful;*
 when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.
Tremble, then, and do not sin;*
 speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
Offer the appointed sacrifices*
 and put your trust in the Lord.
Many are saying,
'O that we might see better times!'*
 Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.
You have put gladness in my heart,*
 more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep;*
 for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 8

O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children*
 your majesty is praised above the heavens.
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries,*
 to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,*
 the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What are mortals, that you should be mindful of them?*
 mere human beings, that you should seek them out?
You have made them little lower than the angels;*
 you adorn them with glory and honour.
You give them mastery over the works of your hands;*
 and put all things under their feet,
All sheep and oxen,*
 even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,*
 and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!

A Song of the Justified (Romans 4.24,25; 5.1-5,8,9,11)

God reckons as righteous those who believe,  
who believe in him who raised Jesus from the dead; 
For Christ was handed over to death for our sins,  
and raised to life for our justification. 
Since we are justified by faith,  
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Through Christ we have gained access 
to the grace in which we stand,  
and rejoice in our hope of the glory of God. 
We even exult in our sufferings,  
for suffering produces endurance, 
And endurance brings hope,  
and our hope is not in vain, 
Because God's love has been poured into our hearts,  
through the Holy Spirit, given to us. 
God proves his love for us:  
while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. 
Since we have been justified by his death,  
how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath. 
Therefore, we exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  
in whom we have now received our reconciliation. 

Psalm 146

   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

FIRST READING [Ezra 1:1-8]:

In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the Lord by the
mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus
of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written
edict declared:
'Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the
kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in
Judah. Any of those among you who are of his people may their God be with
them! are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the
Lord, the God of Israel he is the God who is in Jerusalem; and let all survivors, in
whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and
gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill-offerings for the house of God in
The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the
Levites everyone whose spirit God had stirred got ready to go up and rebuild the
house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbours aided them with silver vessels,
with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely
offered. King Cyrus himself brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that
Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods.
King Cyrus of Persia had them released into the charge of Mithredath the treasurer,
who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 

Words: William Dalyrimple Maclagan, 1875
Tune: Song 4    
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"Lord, when thy kingdom comes, remember me;"
thus spake the dying lips to dying ears:
O faith, which in that darkest hour could see
the promised glory of the far-off years!

No kingly sign declares that glory now,
no ray of hope lights up that awful hour;
a thorny crown surrounds the bleeding brow,
the hands are stretched in weakness, not in power.

Hark! through the gloom the dying Savior saith,
"Thou too shalt rest in paradise today;"
O words of love to answer words of faith!
O words of hope for those who live to pray!

Lord, when with dying lips my prayer is said,
grant that in faith thy kingdom I may see;
and, thinking on thy cross and bleeding head,
may breathe my parting words, "Remember me."

Remember me, but not my shame or sin;
thy cleansing blood hath washed them all away;
thy precious death for me did pardon win;
thy blood redeemed me in that awful day.

Remember me; and, ere I pass away,
speak thou the assuring word that sets us free,
and make thy promise to my heart, "Today
thou too shalt rest in paradise with me."

SECOND READING [Acts 7:1-16]:

Stephen replied to the high priest: 'Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of
glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived
in Haran, and said to him, "Leave your country and your relatives and go to the land
that I will show you." Then he left the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran.
After his father died, God had him move from there to this country in which you are
now living. He did not give him any of it as a heritage, not even a foot's length, but
promised to give it to him as his possession and to his descendants after him, even
though he had no child. And God spoke in these terms, that his descendants would be
resident aliens in a country belonging to others, who would enslave them and maltreat
them for four hundred years. "But I will judge the nation that they serve," said God,
"and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place." Then he gave him
the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac and
circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of
the twelve patriarchs.
'The patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him, and
rescued him from all his afflictions, and enabled him to win favour and to show
wisdom when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him ruler over
Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine throughout Egypt and
Canaan, and great suffering, and our ancestors could find no food. But when Jacob
heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our ancestors there on their first visit. On
the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family
became known to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent and invited his father Jacob and all his
relatives to come to him, seventy-five in all; so Jacob went down to Egypt. He himself
died there as well as our ancestors, and their bodies were brought back to Shechem
and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of
Hamor in Shechem.' 

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

High and holy God,
robed in majesty,
Lord of heaven and earth,
we pray that you bring justice, faith
and salvation to all peoples.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

You chose us in Christ to be your people
and to be the temple of your Holy Spirit;
we pray that you will fill your Church with vision and hope.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Your Spirit enables us to cry, "Abba! Father!",
affirms that we are fellow-heirs with Christ
and pleads for us in our weakness;
we pray for all who are in need or distress.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

In the baptism and birth of Jesus,
you have opened heaven to us
and enabled us to share in your glory:
the joy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
from before the world was made.
May your Church, living and departed,
come to a joyful resurrection in your city of light.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Give us the wisdom, Lord, 
to know that which is worth knowing,
to love that which is worth loving,
to praise that which most pleases you,
and to esteem that which is precious to you,
that we may fulfill the good pleasure of your will,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God,
you raised up your servant Dunstan
to renew the Church of the English
in the manifold beauty of holiness.
Teach us to follow his example
that we, finding our order and beauty in you,
may enrich the life of your people
in their loving worship of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Make us one in the bond of your charity, O Lord,
that all enmity and malice may be taken away
that we may embrace one another in mutual forgiveness. 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 adapt phrases by Alan
The second collect is from _For All the Saints_, (c) General
Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994.

Dunstan was born near Glastonbury in the southwest of England about the
year 909, ten years after the death of King Alfred. During the Viking invasions
of the ninth century, monasteries had been favorite targets of the invaders, and
by Dunstan's time English monasticism had been wiped out. In its restoration in
the tenth century, Dunstan played the leading role. He was born of an
upper-class family, and sent to court, where he did not fit in. At the urging of
his uncle, the Bishop of Westminster, he became a monk and a priest, and
returned to Glastonbury, where he built a hut near the ruins of the old
monastery, and devoted himself to study, music, metal working (particularly
the art of casting church bells, an art which he is said to have advanced
considerably), and painting. A manuscript illuminated by him is in the British
Museum. He returned to court and was again asked to leave; but then King
Edmund had a narrow escape from death while hunting, and in gratitude
recalled Dunstan and in 943 commissioned him to re-establish monastic life at
Glastonbury. (Glastonbury is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and is
associated in legend with King Arthur and his Court, with Joseph of
Arimathea, and with other worthies. It has been said that the Holy Grail, the
chalice of the Last Supper, is hidden somewhere near Glastonbury.) Under
Dunstan's direction, Glastonbury became an important center both of
monasticism and of learning. The next king, Edred, adopted Dunstan's ideas for
various reforms of the clergy (including the control of many cathedrals by
monastic chapters) and for relations with the Danish settlers. These policies
made Dunstan popular in the North of England, but unpopular in the
Edred was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old nephew Edwy, whom Dunstan
openly rebuked for unchastity. The furious Edwy drove Dunstan into exile, but
the North rose in rebellion on his behalf. When the dust settled, Edwy was
dead, his brother Edgar was king, and Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury.
The coronation service which Dunstan compiled for Edgar is the earliest
English coronation service of which the full text survives, and is the basis for
all such services since, down to the present. With the active support of King
Edgar, Dunstan re-established monastic communities at Malmesbury,
Westminster, Bath, Exeter, and many other places. Around 970 he presided at
a conference of bishops, abbots, and abbesses, which drew up a national code
of monastic observance, the Regularis Concordia. It followed Benedictine
lines, but under it the monasteries were actively involved in the life of the
surrounding community. For centuries thereafter the Archbishop of Canterbury
was always a monk.
Dunstan took an active role in politics under Edgar and his successor Edward,
but under the next king, Ethelred, he retired from politics and concentrated on
running the Canterbury cathedral school for boys, where he was apparently
successful in raising the academic standards while reducing the incidence of
corporal punishment. On Ascension Day in 988, he told the congregation that
he was near to death, and died two days later.

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