OREMUS: 13 October 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Oct 12 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Monday, October 13, 2008
Edward the Confessor, King of England, 1066

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

Blessed are you, Lord of the feast,
you have prepared a table before all peoples
and poured out life with such abundance
that death cannot claim the triumph over your universe.
You call us again to your banquet
where we may may receive your holy food,
and, strengthened by what is honorable, just, and pure,
be transformed into a people of righteousness and peace.
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 Blessed (Matthew 5.3-10)

Blessed are the poor in spirit,  
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn,  
for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek,  
for they shall inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger 
and thirst after righteousness,  
for they shall be satisfied. 
Blessed are the merciful,  
for they shall obtain mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart,  
for they shall see God. 
Blessed are the peacemakers,  
for they shall be called children of God. 
Blessed are those who suffer persecution 
for righteousness' sake,  
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Rejoice and be glad 
for you are the light of the world, 
and great is your reward in heaven. 

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 [Ecclesiastes 5:8-end]:

If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and
right, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and
there are yet higher ones over them. But all things considered, this is an advantage for
a land: a king for a ploughed field.

The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with
gain. This also is vanity.

When goods increase, those who eat them increase; and what gain has their owner but
to see them with his eyes?

Sweet is the sleep of labourers, whether they eat little or much; but the surfeit of the
rich will not let them sleep.

There is a grievous ill that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owners
to their hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture; though they are parents of
children, they have nothing in their hands. As they came from their mother's womb, so
they shall go again, naked as they came; they shall take nothing for their toil, which
they may carry away with their hands. This also is a grievous ill: just as they came, so
shall they go; and what gain do they have from toiling for the wind? Besides, all their
days they eat in darkness, in much vexation and sickness and resentment.

This is what I have seen to be good: it is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in
all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of the life God gives us; for
this is our lot. Likewise all to whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he
enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil this is
the gift of God. For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives, because God
keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts. 

Words: William Watkins Reid, Jr.   1958, Renewed 1986 by The Hymn Society
Used with permission
Tune: Llangloffan

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O God of every nation,
of every race and land,
redeem the whole creation
with your almighty hand;
where hate and fear divide us
and bitter threats are hurled,
in love and mercy guide us
and heal our strife-torn world.

>From search for wealth and power
and scorn of truth and right,
from trust in bombs that shower
destruction through the night,
from pride of race and nation
and blindness to your way,
deliver every nation,
eternal God, we pray!

Lord, strengthen all who labor
that we may find release
from fear of rattling saber,
from dread of war's increase;
when hope and courage falter,
your still small voice be heard;
with faith that none can alter,
your servants undergird.

Keep bright in us the vision
of days when war shall cease,
when hatred and division
give way to love and peace,
till dawns the morning glorious
when truth and justice reign
and Christ shall rule victorious
o'er all the world's domain. 

SECOND READING [Matthew 22:15-33]:

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their
disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, 'Teacher, we know that you are
sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no
one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it
lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?' But Jesus, aware of their malice, said,
'Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the
tax.' And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, 'Whose head is this, and
whose title?' They answered, 'The emperor's.' Then he said to them, 'Give therefore
to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are
God's.' When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they
asked him a question, saying, 'Teacher, Moses said, "If a man dies childless, his
brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother." Now there were
seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow to his
brother. The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. Last of all,
the woman herself died. In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be?
For all of them had married her.'

Jesus answered them, 'You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor
the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not
read what was said to you by God, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob"? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.' And when the crowd
heard it, they were astounded at his teaching. 

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

Holy God,
we rejoice in the martyrs and prophets, teachers and leaders,
and all the ordinary and extraordinary believers
who have lived and loved the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For their witness and encouragement,
We thank you, Lord.

Recalling their stories and deeds,
we dare to take up our crosses.
For their witness and encouragement,
We thank you, Lord.

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
we plead for the human family and all creation:

For those addicted or tormented:
We pray to you, Lord.

For the victims of terrorism and disaster:
We pray to you, Lord.

For those who despair of life's goodness:
We pray to you, Lord.

For the Church, especially ecumenical councils and church agencies:
We pray to you, Lord.

For a resolution to unresolved matters of this day:
We pray to you, Lord.

God of work and pleasure,
may all that we do this week
be an offering of love as well as of duty.
Keep us, this day and every day,
in the spirit of kindness, simplicity, and joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sovereign God,
who set your servant Edward
upon the throne of an earthly kingdom
and inspired him with zeal for the kingdom of heaven:
grant that we may so confess the faith of Christ
by word and deed,
that we may, with all your saints, inherit your eternal glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
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

Let us so live 
That what we want
Is what we need.
Let us so pray
That what we seek
Is what you want for us. 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 reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

The intercession is reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of Hours of
Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c) 1997 by The Order
of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

The collect is from Common Order (c) 1994, The Church of Scotland. The
closing prayer is from the Pray Now website.

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Edward was born in 1003. He was the last Saxon king to rule (for more than a
few months) in England. He is called "Edward the Confessor" to distinguish
him from another King of England, Edward the Martyr (c962-979), who was
assassinated (presumably by someone who wished to place Edward's younger
half-brother on the throne), and who came to be regarded, on doubtful
grounds, as a martyr for the faith. In Christian biographies, the term
"confessor" is often used to denote someone who has born witness to the faith
by his life, but who did not die as a martyr. Edward was the son of King
Ethelred the Unready. This does not mean that he was unprepared, but rather
that he was stubborn and wilful, and would not accept "rede," meaning advice
or counsel.
Aethelred was followed by several Danish kings of England, during whose rule
young Edward and his mother took refuge in Normandy. But the last Danish
king named Edward as his successor, and he was crowned in 1042. Opinions
on his success as a king vary. Some historians consider him weak and
indecisive, and say that his reign paved the way for the Norman Conquest.
Others say that his prudent management gave England more than twenty years
of peace and prosperity, with freedom from foreign domination, at a time when
powerful neighbors might well have dominated a less adroit ruler. He was
diligent in public and private worship, generous to the poor, and accessible to
subjects who sought redress of grievances.
While in exile, he had vowed to make a pilgrimage to Rome if his family
fortunes mended. However, his council told him that it was not expedient for
him to be so long out of the country. Accordingly, he spent his pilgrimage
money instead on the relief of the poor and the building of Westminster Abbey,
which stands today (rebuilt in the thirteenth century) as one of the great
churches of England, burial place of her kings and others deemed worthy of
special honor.
He died on 5 January 1066, leaving no offspring; and after his death, the throne
was claimed by his wife's brother, Harold the Saxon, and by William, Duke of
Normandy. William defeated and slew Harold at the Battle of Hastings (14
October 1066), and thereafter the kings and upper classes of England were
Norman-French rather than Anglo-Saxon. Edward is remembered, not on the
day of his death, but on the anniversary of the moving ("translation") of his
corpse to a new tomb, a date which is also the anniversary of the eve of the
Battle of Hastings, the end of Saxon England.

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