OREMUS: 10 November 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Nov 9 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Monday, November 10, 2008
Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, Teacher of the Faith, 461

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, O God.
for all the saints
who have gone before us,
who have spoken to our hearts,
and have touched us with your fire.
Blessed are you, O God,
for all the saints
who live beside us,
whose weakness and strengths
are woven with our own.
Blessed are you, O God,
who live beyond us,
who challenge us
to change the world with them.
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 90

Lord, you have been our refuge*
 from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
   or the land and the earth were born,*
 from age to age you are God.
You turn us back to the dust and say,*
 'Go back, O child of earth.'
For a thousand years in your sight
   are like yesterday when it is past*
 and like a watch in the night.
You sweep us away like a dream;*
 we fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and flourishes;*
 in the evening it is dried up and withered.
For we consume away in your displeasure;*
 we are afraid because of your wrathful indignation.
Our iniquities you have set before you,*
 and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
When you are angry, all our days are gone;*
 we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The span of our life is seventy years,
   perhaps in strength even eighty;*
 yet the sum of them is but labour and sorrow,
   for they pass away quickly and we are gone.
Who regards the power of your wrath?*
 who rightly fears your indignation?
So teach us to number our days*
 that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Return, O Lord; how long will you tarry?*
 be gracious to your servants.
Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;*
 so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Make us glad by the measure of the days
   that you afflicted us*
 and the years in which we suffered adversity.
Show your servants your works*
 and your splendour to their children.
May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us;*
 prosper the work of our hands;
   prosper our handiwork.

A Song of the New Creation (Isaiah 43.15,16,18,19,20c,21)

'I am the Lord, your Holy One,  
the Creator of Israel, your King.' 
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea,  
a path in the mighty waters, 
'Remember not the former things,  
nor consider the things of old. 
'Behold, I am doing a new thing;  
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? 
'I will make a way in the wilderness 
and rivers in the desert,  
to give drink to my chosen people, 
'The people whom I formed for myself,  
that they might declare my praise.' 

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 [Deuteronomy 24:10-18]:

When you make your neighbour a loan of any kind, you shall not go into the house to
take the pledge. You shall wait outside, while the person to whom you are making the
loan brings the pledge out to you. If the person is poor, you shall not sleep in the
garment given you as the pledge. You shall give the pledge back by sunset, so that
your neighbour may sleep in the cloak and bless you; and it will be to your credit
before the Lord your God.

You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy labourers, whether other
Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns. You shall pay them
their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on
them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.

Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death
for their parents; only for their own crimes may persons be put to death.

You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a
widow's garment in pledge. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord
your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this. 

Words: William Williams, 1745; trans. Peter Williams, 1771 
Music: Cwm Rhondda

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Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim though this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through;
strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer.
be thou still my Strength and Shield,
be thou still my Strength and Shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
bear me through the swelling current,
land me safe on Canaan's side;
songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee,
I will ever give to thee.

SECOND READING [1 Thessalonians 1]:

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace.

We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers,
constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of
love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and
sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel
came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full
conviction; just as you know what kind of people we proved to be among you for your
sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you
received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example
to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded
forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place where your faith
in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people
of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how
you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son
from heaven, whom he raised from the dead Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath
that is coming. 

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

Sovereign King,
we praise you for your just and righteous reign over the cosmos:
for the order you give to creation . . .
for your sovereign rule over the nations . . .
for your faithfulness to your church . . .
for your lordship in our lives . . .

You are at once King and servant, willing to give your life
and caring even for what we might count as insignificant.
So we approach your throne knowing you will listen to our prayers
for creation and its care . . .
for the nations of the world . . .
for our nation and its leaders . . .
for this community and those who are in authority . . .
for the church universal as it works on your behalf . . .
for this local church in its ministry . . .
for persons with particular needs . . .
We pray in your name, O Christ, our sovereign servant King.

Mighty and tender God,
voice of the voiceless,
power of the powerless:
we praise you for your vision
of a community of wholeness,
a realm of peace,
in which all hunger and thirst are nourished,
in which the stranger is welcomed,
the hurting are healed,
and the captive is set free.
Guide us by your truth and love
until we and all your people
make manifest your reign of justice and compassion.
We pray in the name of your anointed one, our servant-king,
to whom with you and the Spirit, one Holy God,
be honor, glory, and blessing,
this day and forever.  Amen.

O Lord our God, 
grant that your Church, 
following the example of your servant Leo of Rome, 
may hold fast the great mystery of our redemption, 
and adore the one true Christ, 
truly God and truly Human, 
neither divided from our human nature 
nor separate from your divine Being;
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

God beyond answers,
Lord beyond words,
Spirit beyond imagining,
move us today. 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 is adapted from a prayer by Janet Morley. The closing prayer is from
the Pray Now website, http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship/wpprayer9.htm

The first collect and  intercession is reprinted by permission from The Worship Sourcebook,  
2004, CRC Publications.

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

Leo I (440-461) and Gregory I (590-604) are the only two bishops of Rome
commonly called "the Great." Leo, at a time when the capital of the Empire
had been moved to Constantinople, and the government even in Italy no longer
had its headquarters at Rome, was the most important official in the city. To
him fell such prosaic tasks as supervising the distribution of grain imports and
reorganizing the municipal fire department. When Attila and the Huns invaded
Italy in 452, he negotiated their withdrawal, and when Gaiseric (or Genseric)
the Vandal captured Rome three years later, it was Leo who prevented the
total destruction of the city. It is perhaps not surprising that the theory of papal
supremacy gained much ground in his day.
In his day there were disgreements about the correct way to state the truth that
Jesus Christ is both God and man. In 449 Leo wrote a letter (known as the
Tome of Leo) to Bishop Flavian of Constantinople, in which he affirmed that
Christ has two Natures in one Person. The letter was read in 451 by the
Council of Chalcedon (the fourth Ecumenical Council), and judged by them to
be sound doctrine. It contributed much to the creedal statements of that
Leo's influence on church government will naturally get mixed reviews. But for
his defense of the belief that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto
himself, all Christians may thank God.
>From a sermon by Leo the Great:
"Although the universal Church of God is constituted of distinct orders of
members, still, in spite of the many parts of its holy body, the Church subsists
as an integral whole, just as the Apostle says: we are all one in Christ. . . For
all, regenerated in Christ, are made kings by the sign of the cross; they are
consecrated priests by the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that beyond the special
service of our ministry as priests, all spiritual and mature Christians know that
they are a royal race and are sharers in the office of the priesthood. For what is
more king-like that to find yourself ruler over your body after having
surrendered your soul to God? And what is more priestly than to promise the
Lord a pure conscience and to offer him in love unblemished victims on the
altar of one's heart? "

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