OREMUS: 17 October 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Oct 16 17:00:00 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Friday, October 17, 2008
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107

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. 

http://www.oremus.org/ocan.html

Psalm 6

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;*
 do not punish me in your wrath.
Have pity on me, Lord, for I am weak;*
 heal me, Lord, for my bones are racked.
My spirit shakes with terror;*
 how long, O Lord, how long?
Turn, O Lord, and deliver me;*
 save me for your mercy's sake.
For in death no one remembers you;*
 and who will give you thanks in the grave?
I grow weary because of my groaning;*
 every night I drench my bed
   and flood my couch with tears.
My eyes are wasted with grief*
 and worn away because of all my enemies.
Depart from me, all evildoers,*
 for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;*
 the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be confounded and quake with fear;*
 they shall turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Psalm 26

Give judgement for me, O Lord,
   for I have lived with integrity;*
 I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
Test me, O Lord, and try me;*
 examine my heart and my mind.
For your love is before my eyes;*
 I have walked faithfully with you.
I have not sat with the worthless,*
 nor do I consort with the deceitful.
I have hated the company of evildoers;*
 I will not sit down with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord,*
 that I may go in procession round your altar,
Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving*
 and recounting all your wonderful deeds.
Lord, I love the house in which you dwell*
 and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,*
 nor my life with those who thirst for blood,
Whose hands are full of evil plots,*
 and their right hand full of bribes.
As for me, I will live with integrity;*
 redeem me, O Lord, and have pity on me.
My foot stands on level ground;*
 in the full assembly I will bless the Lord.

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

Alleluia!
   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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Ecclesiastes 11]:

Send out your bread upon the waters,
   for after many days you will get it back.
Divide your means seven ways, or even eight,
   for you do not know what disaster may happen on earth.
When clouds are full,
   they empty rain on the earth;
whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
   in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
Whoever observes the wind will not sow;
   and whoever regards the clouds will not reap.

Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother's womb, so
you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; for you do
not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

Even those who live for many years should rejoice in them all; yet let them remember
that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of
your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know
that for all these things God will bring you into judgement.

Banish anxiety from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the
dawn of life are vanity. 

HYMN 
Words: Cecilia M Caddell (1813-1877) 
Tune: Flora

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/b/b069.html
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Behold the lilies of the field,
they neither toil nor sow;
yet God does all things needful yield
that they may live and grow.

Not Solomon in glory shone
like one of these poor flowers,
that look to God and God alone
for sunshine and for showers.

And does his mercy value less
the offspring of his grace?
And will a Father's love not bless
the child that seeks his face?

He is our Father, and he knows
his earthly children's need:
on all our daily wants and woes
he looks with careful heed.

O then away with fear and care
for all that may betide;
and turn to God in trustful prayer,
and in his love confide. 

SECOND READING [Matthew 23:25-end]:

Jesus said, 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside
of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You
blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become
clean.

'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs,
which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead
and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside
you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the
prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, "If we had lived in the
days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood
of the prophets." Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those
who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes,
you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send
you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some
you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may
come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the
blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and
the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

'Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to
it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her
brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you,
desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, "Blessed is the one
who comes in the name of the Lord." '

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

Prayer:
Planting God,
how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those
who bring good news.

Around your table we are bound together as your Body
for the life of the world.
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Deliver us from impatience
that will not wait for fruit to ripen:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Save us from forcing others to see what we see
and embrace what we embrace:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Liberate us from anger rooted in self-justification:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Fix our gaze upon you
so that we are not overwhelmed by the want and failure of others:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Sow yourself in our words and deeds
that become food for hungry souls:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

God of mercy and tenderness,
giver of life and conqueror of death,
look upon our weakness and grief,
and restore us to health,
that we may sing a new song to your praise;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, 
whose servant Ignatius zealously proclaimed 
the true humanity of Christ 
and witnessed to him, both in life and in death: 
keep the Church firm in its faith 
and grant us all the grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ, 
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

Goodness and mercy,
Light and life,
Comfort and joy
Be ours through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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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 first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 
http://www.scottishepiscopal.com

The closing prayer is from the Church of Scotland website
http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship/wpprayer17.htm

After the Apostles, Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch in Syria. His
predecessor, of whom little is known, was named Euodius. Whether he knew
any of the Apostles directly is uncertain. Little is known of his life except for
the very end of it. Early in the second century (perhaps around 107 AD, during
the reign of the Emperor Trajan), he was arrested by the Imperial authorities,
condemned to death, and transported to Rome to die in the arena. By thus
dealing with a leader, the rulers hoped to terrify the rank and file. Instead,
Ignatius took the opportunity to encourage them, speaking to groups of
Christians at every town along the way. When the prison escort reached the
west coast of Asia Minor, it halted before taking ship, and delegations from
several Asian churches were able to visit Ignatius, to speak with him at length,
to assist him with items for his journey, and to bid him an affectionate farewell
and commend him to the grace of God. In response he wrote seven letters that
have been preserved: five to congregations that had greeted him, en masse or
by delegates (Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Philadelphians, and
Smyrnaeans), one to the congregation that would greet him at his destination
(Romans), and one to Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and disciple of the Apostle
John.
The themes with which he is chiefly concerned in his letters are (1) the
importance of maintaining Christian unity in love and sound doctrine (with
warnings against factionalism and against the heresy of Docetism -- the belief
that Christ was not fully human and did not have a material body or really
suffer and die), (2) the role of the clergy as a focus of Christian unity, (3)
Christian martyrdom as a glorious privilege, eagerly to be grasped.
He writes:
I am God's wheat, ground fine by the lion's teeth to be made purest bread for
Christ.
No early pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I
prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He
who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our
sakes is my one desire. The time for my birth is close at hand. Forgive me, my
brothers. Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life; do not wish me
stillborn. My desire is to belong to God. Do not, then, hand me back to the
world. do not try to tempt me with material things. Let me attain pure light.
Only on my arrival there can I be fully a human being. Give me the privilege of
imitating the passion of my God.


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