OREMUS: 15 October 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Oct 14 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop of Shanghai, 1906

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 13

How long, O Lord;
   will you forget me for ever?*
 how long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
   and grief in my heart, day after day?*
 how long shall my enemy triumph over me?
Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God;*
 give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
Lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him',*
 and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
But I put my trust in your mercy;*
 my heart is joyful because of your saving help.
I will sing to the Lord,
   for he has dealt with me richly;*
 I will praise the name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 14

The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'*
 All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;
   there is none who does any good.
The Lord looks down from heaven upon us all,*
 to see if there is any who is wise,
   if there is one who seeks after God.
Everyone has proved faithless;
   all alike have turned bad;*
 there is none who does good; no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, all those evildoers*
 who eat up my people like bread
   and do not call upon the Lord?
See how they tremble with fear,*
 because God is in the company of the righteous.
Their aim is to confound the plans of the afflicted,*
 but the Lord is their refuge.
O that Israel's deliverance would come out of Zion!*
 when the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

A Song of Redemption (Colossians 1.13-18a,19,20a)

The Father has delivered us from the dominion of darkness,  
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son; 
In whom we have redemption,  
the forgiveness of our sins. 
He is the image of the invisible God,  
the firstborn of all creation. 
For in him all things were created,  
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. 
All things were created through him and for him,  
he is before all things and in him all things hold together. 
He is the head of the body, the Church,  
he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. 
In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell;  
and through him God was pleased to reconcile all things. 

FIRST READING [Ecclesiastes 8:12-9:1]:

Though sinners do evil a hundred times and prolong their lives, yet I know that it will
be well with those who fear God, because they stand in fear before him, but it will not
be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because
they do not stand in fear before God.

There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people who are
treated according to the conduct of the wicked, and there are wicked people who are
treated according to the conduct of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. So I
commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat,
and drink, and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the
days of life that God gives them under the sun.

When I applied my mind to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on
earth, how one's eyes see sleep neither day nor night, then I saw all the work of God,
that no one can find out what is happening under the sun. However much they may toil
in seeking, they will not find it out; even though those who are wise claim to know,
they cannot find it out.

All this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds
are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hate one does not know.

Words: Andrew Reed, 1829
Music: Nun danket all

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Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
and make this house thy home;
descend with all thy gracious powers,
O come, great Spirit, come!

Come as the light; to us reveal
our emptiness and woe,
and lead us in those paths of life
whereon the righteous go.

Come as the fire and purge our hearts
like sacrificial flame;
let our whole soul an offering be
to our Redeemer's Name.

Come as the dove, and spread thy wings,
the wings of peaceful love;
and let thy Church on earth become
blest as the Church above.

Come as the dew and sweetly bless
this consecrated hour;
may barrenness rejoice to own
thy fertilizing power.

Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
make a lost world thy home;
descend with all thy gracious powers;
O come, great Spirit, come!

SECOND READING [Matthew 23:1-12]:

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit on
Moses' seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as
they do, for they do not practise what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to
bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift
a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make
their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honour
at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the
market-places, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi,
for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on
earth, for you have one Father the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called
instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be
your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble
themselves will be exalted. 

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

Earth-shaking, sky-rumbling, all-powerful Trinity:
Behold your Church.

We thank you for claiming for yourself
servants from every nation and time
to be a royal priest dedicated to your service.
Lord of glory,
send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

We thank you for our common vocation
of giving witness to your coming reign.
Lord of glory,
send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

Sift us like wheat,
convert the catechumens,
turn homeward the penitents
and welcome those who are strangers.
Lord of glory,
send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

Clothe your Church with words and deeds that free and heal.
Lord of glory,
come in your might.

Light our lamps with the oil of your Spirit.
Lord of glory,
come in your might.

Make us and all your Church vigilant and alert
for your knocking on doors.
Lord of glory,
come in your might.
[OSL, alt.]

God of wisdom and love,
without you neither truth nor holiness can survive:
Show your mighty presence among us,
and make us glad in proclaiming your deliverance
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, 
your Word is revealed to us in Jesus Christ,
your Son, the Truth Incarnate and the Teacher of the faithful:
Lead us, we pray, to commit our lives and talents to you, 
in the confidence that when you give your servants any work to do, 
you also supply the strength to do it,
as you did for your servant Joseph Schereschewsky,
who worked to bring your word to China; 
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

May we be mindful of God's call to holiness
and be clothed in the practice of good works,
that we may come to God's banquet prepared
to feast with the whole world.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 and the closing prayer are 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 first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

The second collect is by Stephen Benner.

Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky was born in Lithuania in 1831, went to
Germany to study for the rabbinate, there became a Christian, emigrated to
America, trained for the priesthood, and in 1859 was sent by the Episcopal
Church to China, where he devoted himself from 1862 to 1875 to translating
the Bible into Mandarin Chinese. In 1877 he was elected Bishop of Shanghai,
where he founded St. John's University, and began his translation of the Bible
into Wenli (another Chinese dialect). He developed Parkinson's disease, was
largely paralyzed, resigned his position as Bishop of Shanghai, and spent the
rest of his life completing his Wenli Bible, the last 2000 pages of which he
typed with the one finger that he could still move.
Four years before his death in 1906, he said: "I have sat in this chair for over
twenty years. It seemed very hard at first. But God knew best. He kept me for
the work for which I am best fitted."

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