OREMUS: 21 May 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue May 20 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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 25

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
   my God, I put my trust in you;*
 let me not be humiliated,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
Let none who look to you be put to shame;*
 let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
Show me your ways, O Lord,*
 and teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,*
 for you are the God of my salvation;
   in you have I trusted all the day long.
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love,*
 for they are from everlasting.
Remember not the sins of my youth
   and my transgressions;*
 remember me according to your love
   and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
Gracious and upright is the Lord;*
 therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
He guides the humble in doing right*
 and teaches his way to the lowly.
All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness*
 to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For your name's sake, O Lord,*
 forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who are they who fear the Lord?*
 he will teach them the way that they should choose.
They shall dwell in prosperity,*
 and their offspring shall inherit the land.
The Lord is a friend to those who fear him*
 and will show them his covenant.
My eyes are ever looking to the Lord,*
 for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and have pity on me,*
 for I am left alone and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart have increased;*
 bring me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery*
 and forgive me all my sin.
Look upon my enemies, for they are many,*
 and they bear a violent hatred against me.
Protect my life and deliver me;*
 let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,*
 for my hope has been in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,*
 out of all his troubles.

Bless the Lord (The Song of the Three 29-34)

Blessed are you, the God of our ancestors,  
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever. 
Blessed is your holy and glorious name,  
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever. 
Blessed are you, in your holy and glorious temple,  
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever. 
Blessed are you who look into the depths,  
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever. 
Blessed are you, enthroned on the cherubim,  
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever. 
Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,  
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever. 
Blessed are you in the heights of heaven,  
worthy to be praised and exalted for ever.
Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

FIRST READING [Haggai 1:1-8,12-15]:

In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month,
the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,
governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest: Thus says the
Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord's house.
Then the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying: Is it a time for you
yourselves to live in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now
therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown
much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you
never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and you that earn
wages earn wages to put them into a bag with holes.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. Go up to the hills and
bring wood and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured,
says the Lord.
Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with
all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words
of the prophet Haggai, as the Lord their God had sent him; and the people feared the
Lord. Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord's
message, saying, I am with you, says the Lord. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of
Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they
came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth
day of the month, in the sixth month. 

Words: J.H.B. Masterman (1867-1933)
Tune: Ellers

Grant us your peace, for you alone can bend
our faltering purpose to a nobler end;
you Lord alone can teach our hearts to know
the fellowship that through your love can grow.

Grant us your peace, for we have filled the years
with greed and envy and with foolish fears,
with squandered treasures and ignoble gain,
and fruitless harvests that we reap in vain.

Grant us your peace, till all our strife shall seem
the hateful memory of some evil dream;
till that new song ring out that shall not cease,
'In heaven your glory and on earth your peace!'

SECOND READING [Acts 7:35-53]:

Stephen continued, 'It was this Moses whom they rejected when they said, "Who made
you a ruler and a judge?" and whom God now sent as both ruler and liberator through
the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out, having performed wonders
and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the
Moses who said to the Israelites, "God will raise up a prophet for you from your own
people as he raised me up." He is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness
with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he
received living oracles to give to us. Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead,
they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron,
"Make gods for us who will lead the way for us; as for this Moses who led us out from
the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him." At that time they made a
calf, offered a sacrifice to the idol, and revelled in the works of their hands. But God
turned away from them and handed them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is
written in the book of the prophets:
"Did you offer to me slain victims and sacrifices
   for forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
No; you took along the tent of Moloch,
   and the star of your god Rephan,
     the images that you made to worship;
so I will remove you beyond Babylon."

'Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God directed when he
spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. Our
ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God
drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, who found
favour with God and asked that he might find a dwelling-place for the house of Jacob.
But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in
houses made by human hands; as the prophet says,
"Heaven is my throne,
   and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
   or what is the place of my rest?
Did not my hand make all these things?"

'You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are for ever opposing the
Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors
not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and
now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the
law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.' 

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

We bring before the Lord, this day, the stricken people of China. May those who have
died in the earthquake be received into the eternal kingdom. And may those who are
bereaved be comforted by the love of those around them. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Let us pray also for the people of Burma. We bring before the Lord those who have lost
everything in the cyclone disaster. In particular we pray for those who have been
bereaved and are feeling totally abandoned. Lord, in your mercy, hear our

We ask that God will bless all those who work in the many aid agencies which are trying
to help the people of both China and Burma in their disasters. May they persevere in
their efforts and not be discouraged. Lord, in your goodness, hear our

We bring before the Lord those who are ministering to the needs of refugees and
displaced persons throughout the world. May they be continue to be just and fair even as
they are faced by many and massive problems. May they be ministers of God's love
wherever they are. Lord hear us, graciously hear us.

We pray for all the peoples of the Palestine and Israel, of whatever faith and allegiance.
Especially we bring before the Lord the needs of all who have to carry the greatest
burdens of violence and unrest. May those who can bring peace be encouraged and
supported in their efforts. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

As we come to the end of Christian Aid Week we give thanks for the work done by so
many to bring help where it is most needed. May they continue to be a support and
inspiration to others   helping vulnerable people around the world. Lord, hear us,
graciously hear us.

Set our hearts on fire
with love for you, O Christ our God,
that in that flame we may love you
with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul,
and with all our strength, and our neighbors as ourselves;
that following your way of righteousness,
we may glorify you, the Giver of all good gifts. 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 bidding prayer is by Redemptorist Publications and the collect is from the Eastern
Orthodox tradition.

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