OREMUS: 20 May 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon May 19 17:00:05 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Alcuin of York, Deacon, Abbot of Tours, 820

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

Blessed are you, O God,
by whose word the heavens were formed
and the earth was brought forth from the waters.
The reflection of your glory
shines in each created thing,
and, though earth's flowering fades,
you call life out of death
into the light that endures forever,
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 16

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;*
 I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord,
   my good above all other.'
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,*
 upon those who are noble among the people.
But those who run after other gods*
 shall have their troubles multiplied.
Their libations of blood I will not offer,*
 nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;*
 it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;*
 indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;*
 my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;*
 because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad and my spirit rejoices;*
 my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,*
 nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;*
 in your presence there is fullness of joy,
   and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 20

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble,*
 the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
Send you help from his holy place*
 and strengthen you out of Zion;
Remember all your offerings*
 and accept your burnt sacrifice;
Grant you your heart's desire*
 and prosper all your plans.
We will shout for joy at your victory
   and triumph in the name of our God;*
 may the Lord grant all your requests.
Now I know that the Lord gives victory
   to his anointed;*
 he will answer him out of his holy heaven,
   with the victorious strength of his right hand.
Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses,*
 but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall down,*
 but we will arise and stand upright.
O Lord, give victory to the king*
 and answer us when we call.

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.

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

FIRST READING [Ezra 4:7,11-24]:

In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and Mithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their
associates wrote to King Artaxerxes of Persia; the letter was written in Aramaic and
translated. this is a copy of the letter that they sent):
'To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the people of the province Beyond the River,
send greeting. And now may it be known to the king that the Jews who came up from
you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city;
they are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. Now may it be known to the
king that, if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom,
or toll, and the royal revenue will be reduced. Now because we share the salt of the
palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king's dishonour, therefore we send
and inform the king, so that a search may be made in the annals of your ancestors. You
will discover in the annals that this is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces,
and that sedition was stirred up in it from long ago. On that account this city was laid
waste. We make known to the king that, if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you
will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.'
The king sent an answer: 'To Rehum the royal deputy and Shimshai the scribe and the
rest of their associates who live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the
River, greeting. And now the letter that you sent to us has been read in translation
before me. So I made a decree, and someone searched and discovered that this city has
risen against kings from long ago, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it.
Jerusalem has had mighty kings who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River,
to whom tribute, custom, and toll were paid. Therefore issue an order that these
people be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until I make a decree.
Moreover, take care not to be slack in this matter; why should damage grow to the
hurt of the king?'
Then when the copy of King Artaxerxes' letter was read before Rehum and the scribe
Shimshai and their associates, they hurried to the Jews in Jerusalem and by force and
power made them cease. At that time the work on the house of God in Jerusalem
stopped and was discontinued until the second year of the reign of King Darius of

Words: Josiah Conder (1789-1855), 1824
Tune: Church Triumphant

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The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,
O earth; and all ye heavens, rejoice!
>From world to world the joy shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King.

The Lord is King! who then shall dare
resist his will, distrust his care,
or murmur at his wise decrees,
or doubt his royal promises?

The Lord is King! Child of the dust,
the Judge of the all the earth is just;
holy and true are all his ways;
let every creature speak his praise.

He reigns! ye saints, exalt your strains;
your God is King, your Father reigns;
and he is at the Father's side,
the Man of love, the Crucified.

Come, make your wants, your burdens known;
he will present them at the throne;
and angel bands are waiting there
his messages of love to bear.

The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,
O earth; and all ye heavens, rejoice!
>From world to world the joy shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King.

SECOND READING [Acts 7:17-34]:

Stephen continued, 'But as the time drew near for the fulfilment of the promise that
God had made to Abraham, our people in Egypt increased and multiplied until another
king who had not known Joseph ruled over Egypt. He dealt craftily with our race and
forced our ancestors to abandon their infants so that they would die. At this time
Moses was born, and he was beautiful before God. For three months he was brought
up in his father's house; and when he was abandoned, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him
and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the
Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds.
'When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his relatives, the Israelites.
When he saw one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and
avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his kinsfolk would
understand that God through him was rescuing them, but they did not understand. The
next day he came to some of them as they were quarrelling and tried to reconcile them,
saying, "Men, you are brothers; why do you wrong each other?" But the man who was
wronging his neighbour pushed Moses aside, saying, "Who made you a ruler and a
judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?" When he
heard this, Moses fled and became a resident alien in the land of Midian. There he
became the father of two sons.
'Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of
Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the
sight; and as he approached to look, there came the voice of the Lord: "I am the God
of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Moses began to tremble
and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, "Take off the sandals from your
feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the
mistreatment of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have
come down to rescue them. Come now, I will send you to Egypt." 

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

Let us pray for our own needs and for the needs of others,
following the pattern which Jesus gave
when he taught us to pray to God our Father.

Through our love of the countryside,
through our care for animals,
through our respect for property and tools,
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

On our farms and in our homes,
in our colleges and schools,
where machinery is made, and where policy is planned,
Father, your kingdom come.

By our seeking your guidance,
by our keeping your commandments,
by our living true to our consciences,
Father, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

For the millions who live in poverty and hunger,
for our own needs, and the requirements of our neighbours,
by co-operation, sympathy, and generosity,
Give us today our daily bread.

Because we have broken your commandments, 
doing what we ought not to do,
and neglecting what we ought to do,
Forgive us our sins.

If any have injured us by injustice, double dealing or exploitation,
We forgive those who sin against us.

When prosperity lulls us to false security, 
or adversity prompts us to despair,
when success makes us boastful, 
or failure makes us bitter,
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.

In the assurance of faith,
in the confidence of hope,
in the will to serve,
help us to love Christ as Lord, 
and our neighbour as ourselves.
For the kingdom, the power, 
and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

Eternal light, shine in our hearts,
Eternal goodness, deliver us from evil,
Eternal power, be our support,
Eternal wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance,
Eternal pity, have mercy on us,
That with all our heart and mind and soul and strength,
we may seek thy face
And be brought by thine infinite mercy
to thy holy presence. Amen.

Almighty God, 
in a rude and barbarous age 
you raised up your deacon Alcuin 
to rekindle the light of learning: 
Illumine our minds, we pray, 
that amid the uncertainties and confusions of our own time 
we may show forth your eternal truth; 
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

send us to earth's ends with water and words
and startle us with the grace, love, and communion
of your unity in diversity,
that we may live to the praise of your majestic Name. 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 is adapted from a prayer by Philip Newell and the
closing sentence is adapted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts.

The first collect is a prayer by Alcuin.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

Alcuin was an Englishman from York, born into a noble family about 730, and
educated by a pupil of Bede. Having become a deacon, he was made head of
the cathedral school at York aroung 770. In 781 he was asked by the Emperor
Charlemagne to become his minister of education. He accepted, and
established schools at many cathedrals and monasteries, and promoted learning
in every way he could. In the preceding years of constant wars and invasions,
many ancient writings had been lost. Alcuin established scriptoria, dedicated to
the copying and preservation of ancient manuscripts, both pagan and Christian.
That we have as much as we do of the writings of classical Roman authors is
largely due to Alcuin and his scribes. (He is credited with the invention of
cursive script, in which the letters are connected for greater speed of writing.)
To Alcuin, backed by Charlemagne, belongs much of the credit for the revision
and organisation of the Latin liturgy, the preservation of many of the ancient
prayers, and the development of plainchant. He and his fellow theologians at
Charlemagne's capital of Aachen (or Aix-le-Chappelle) were important
advocates of the doctrine that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and
the Son jointly. Unfortunately, the East, which regarded the Emperor at
Byzantium as the sole Emperor, resented Charlemagne's assumption of the title
of Holy Roman Emperor, and this hardened their opposition to the aforesaid
doctrine, thus contributing to the rift between East and West. [James Kiefer]

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