OREMUS: 14 November 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Nov 13 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Friday, November 14, 2008
Samuel Seabury, First Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA, 1796

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 102

Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come before you;*
 hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me;*
 when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke,*
 and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered,*
 so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning*
 I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,*
 like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan;*
 I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
My enemies revile me all day long,*
 and those who scoff at me
   have taken an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes for bread*
 and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of your indignation and wrath*
 you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days pass away like a shadow,*
 and I wither like the grass.
But you, O Lord, endure for ever,*
 and your name from age to age.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to have mercy upon her;*
 indeed, the appointed time has come.
For your servants love her very rubble,*
 and are moved to pity even for her dust.
The nations shall fear your name, O Lord,*
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion,*
 and his glory will appear.
He will look with favour on the prayer of the homeless;*
 he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,*
 so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.
For the Lord looked down from his holy place on high;*
 from the heavens he beheld the earth;
That he might hear the groan of the captive*
 and set free those condemned to die;
That they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,*
 and his praise in Jerusalem;
When the peoples are gathered together,*
 and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
He has brought down my strength before my time;*
 he has shortened the number of my days;
And I said, 'O my God,
   do not take me away in the midst of my days;*
 your years endure throughout all generations.
'In the beginning, O Lord,
   you laid the foundations of the earth,*
 and the heavens are the work of your hands;
'They shall perish, but you will endure;
   they all shall wear out like a garment;*
 as clothing you will change them,
   and they shall be changed;
'But you are always the same,*
 and your years will never end.
'The children of your servants shall continue,*
 and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.'

A Song of Wisdom (Wisdom 9.1-5a,c,6,9-11)

O God of our ancestors and Lord of mercy,  
you have made all things by your word. 
By your wisdom you have formed us  
to have dominion over the creatures you have made; 
To rule the world in holiness and righteousness  
and to pronounce judgement in uprightness of soul. 
Give us the Wisdom that sits by your throne;  
do not reject us from among your servants, 
For we are your servants,  
with little understanding of judgement and laws. 
Even one who is perfect among us  
will be regarded as nothing 
without the wisdom that comes from you. 
With you is Wisdom, she who knows your works,  
and was present when you made the world. 
She understands what is pleasing in your sight  
and what is right according to your commandments. 
Send her forth from the holy heavens,  
from the throne of your glory send her. 
That she may labour at our side  
and that we may learn what is pleasing to you. 
For she knows and understands all things,  
she will guide us wisely in our actions 
and guard us with her glory.

Psalm 149

   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.

FIRST READING [Deuteronomy 29:9-21]:

Diligently observe the words of this covenant, in order that you may succeed in
everything that you do.
You stand assembled today, all of you, before the Lord your God the leaders of your
tribes, your elders, and your officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your women,
and the aliens who are in your camp, both those who cut your wood and those who
draw your water  to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, sworn by an oath,
which the Lord your God is making with you today; in order that he may establish you
today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you and as he swore
to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I am making this covenant,
sworn by an oath, not only with you who stand here with us today before the Lord our
God, but also with those who are not here with us today. You know how we lived in
the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which
you passed. You have seen their detestable things, the filthy idols of wood and stone,
of silver and gold, that were among them. It may be that there is among you a man or
woman, or a family or tribe, whose heart is already turning away from the Lord our
God to serve the gods of those nations. It may be that there is among you a root
sprouting poisonous and bitter growth. All who hear the words of this oath and bless
themselves, thinking in their hearts, 'We are safe even though we go our own stubborn
ways' (thus bringing disaster on moist and dry alike)  the Lord will be unwilling to
pardon them, for the Lord's anger and passion will smoke against them. All the curses
written in this book will descend on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from
under heaven. The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity,
in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the law. 

Words: Fred Pratt Green (c) used with permission
Tune: Herongate, Brockham, Illsley

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The church of Christ in every age,
beset by change but Spirit-led,
must claim and test its heritage
and keep on rising from the dead.

Across the world, across the street,
the victims of injustice cry
for shelter and for bread to eat,
and never live until they die.

The let the servant church arise,
a caring church that longs to be
a partner in Christ's sacrifice,
and clothed in Christ's humanity.

For he alone, whose blood was shed,
can cure the fever in our blood,
and teach us how to share our bread
and feed the starving multitude.

We have no mission but to serve
in full obedience to our Lord:
to care for all, without reserve,
and spread his liberating word.

SECOND READING [1 Thessalonians 4:13-end]:

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have
died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe
that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those
who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are
alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who
have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and
with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will
rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together
with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever.
Therefore encourage one another with these words. 

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

God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
of apostles and prophets:
in every age you have chosen people to work for you,
by showing justice and doing mercy.
Let the Church share Christ's own work
as prophet, priest and king,
reconciling the world to your law and your love,
and telling of your mighty power.

You have called us out of the world, O God,
and chosen us to witness to the nations.
Give us your Spirit to show the way, the truth and the life
of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Give thanks to God for the Church.
We are a chosen people.

You have appointed us as a royal priesthood, O God,
to pray for people everywhere and to declare your mercy.
We pray especially for the Episcopal Church
and the Churches of the Anglican Communion. 
Give us your Spirit that we may be drawn to each other in love.
Give thanks to God for the Church.
We are the household of God.

You have baptized us into one family of faith,
and named us your children,
the sisters and brothers of Jesus.
Give us your Spirit to live in peace
and serve each other gladly.
Give thanks to God for the Church.
We are a temple for your Spirit.

You have built us up, O God,
into a temple for worship.
Give us your Spirit to know that there is no other foundation for us
than Jesus Christ, our Rock and our Redeemer.
Give thanks to God for the Church.
We are a colony of heaven.

You have joined us in one body, O God,
to live for our Lord in the world.
Give us your Spirit that, working together without envy or pride,
we may serve our Lord and Head.
Give thanks to God for the Church.
We are the Body of Christ.

O God, we are your Church,
called, adopted, built up, blessed and joined to Jesus Christ.
Help us to know who we are
and in all we do to be your servants.
Give thanks to God for the Church.
And trust the Holy Spirit.

Almighty and everlasting God, 
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church 
is governed and sanctified: 
Receive our prayers and supplications, 
which we offer before you for all people in your holy Church, 
that all its members, in their vocation and ministry, 
may truly and godly serve you; 
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Eternal God,
who blessed your servant Samuel Seabury
with the gift of perseverance
to renew the Anglican inheritance
in the churches of North America:
grant us unity in faith, steadfastness in hope,
and constancy in love,
that we may ever be true members
of the body of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of 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 second collect is from _For All the Saints_, (c) General
Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994.

A crucial date for members of the Episcopal Church in the United States of
America is the consecration of the first Bishop of the Anglican Communion in
the United States. During the colonial era, there had been no Anglican bishops
in the New World; and persons seeking to be ordained as clergy had had to
travel to England for the purpose. After the achievement of American
independence, it was important for the Church in the United States to have its
own bishops, and an assembly of Connecticut clergy chose Samuel Seabury to
go to England and there seek to be consecrated as a bishop.
However, the English bishops were forbidden by law to consecrate anyone
who would not take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. He accordingly
turned to the Episcopal Church of Scotland. When the Roman Catholic king
James II was deposed in 1688, some of the Anglican clergy (including some
who had been imprisoned by James for defying him on religious issues) said
that, having sworn allegiance to James as King, they could not during his
lifetime swear allegiance to the new monarchs William and Mary. Those who
took this position were known as non-Jurors (non-swearers), and they included
almost all the bishops and clergy of the Episcopal Church in Scotland.
Accordingly, the monarchs and Parliament declared that thenceforth the official
church in Scotland should be the Presbyterian Church. The Episcopal Church
of Scotland thereafter had no recognition by the government, and for some
time operated under serious legal disablities. However, since it had no
connection with the government, it was free to consecrate Seabury without
government permission, and it did. This is why you see a Cross of St. Andrew
on the Episcopal Church flag.
In Aberdeen, 14 November 1784, Samuel Seabury was consecrated to the
Episcopate by the Bishop and the Bishop Coadjutor of Aberdeen and the
Bishop of Ross and Caithness. He thus became part of the unbroken chain of
bishops that links the Church today with the Church of the Apostles.
In return, he promised them that he would do his best to persuade the
American Church to use as its Prayer of Consecration (blessing of the bread
and wine at the Lord's Supper) the Scottish prayer, taken largely unchanged
from the 1549 Prayer Book, rather than the much shorter one in use in
England. The aforesaid prayer, adopted by the American Church with a few
modifications, has been widely regarded as one of the greatest treasures of the
Church in this country. [James Kiefer]

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