OREMUS: 9 September 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Sep 8 17:00:00 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Charles Fuge Lowder, Priest, 1880

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, O God,
who shaped creation at earth's chaotic dawn,
who framed us in your image;
your goodness is revealed in mercy and compassion,
you touch us with tenderness,
and broken hearts are healed.
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 111

   I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,*
 in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the deeds of the Lord!*
 they are studied by all who delight in them.
His work is full of majesty and splendour,*
 and his righteousness endures for ever.
He makes his marvellous works to be remembered;*
 the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
He gives food to those who fear him;*
 he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works*
 in giving them the lands of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice;*
 all his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever,*
 because they are done in truth and equity.
He sent redemption to his people;
   he commanded his covenant for ever;*
 holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;*
 those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
   his praise endures for ever.

Psalm 113

   Give praise, you servants of the Lord;*
 praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be blessed,*
 from this time forth for evermore.
>From the rising of the sun to its going down*
 let the name of the Lord be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,*
 and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
   who sits enthroned on high,*
 but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
He takes up the weak out of the dust*
 and lifts up the poor from the ashes.
He sets them with the princes,*
 with the princes of his people.
He makes the woman of a childless house*
 to be a joyful mother of children.

A Song of God's Assembled (Hebrews 12.22-24a,28,29)

We have come before God's holy mountain,  
to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. 
We have come before countless angels making festival,  
before the assembly of the firstborn citizens of heaven. 
We have come before God, who is judge of all,  
before the spirits of the just made perfect. 
We have come before Jesus,  
the mediator of the new covenant. 
We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken:  
so let us give thanks and offer to God acceptable worship, 
Full of reverence and awe;  
for our God is a consuming fire.

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

FIRST READING [Ecclesiasticus 43:20-end]:

The cold north wind blows,
   and ice freezes on the water;
it settles on every pool of water,
   and the water puts it on like a breastplate.
He consumes the mountains and burns up the wilderness,
   and withers the tender grass like fire.
A mist quickly heals all things;
   the falling dew gives refreshment from the heat.

By his plan he stilled the deep
   and planted islands in it.
Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers,
   and we marvel at what we hear.
In it are strange and marvellous creatures,
   all kinds of living things, and huge sea-monsters.
Because of him each of his messengers succeeds,
   and by his word all things hold together.

We could say more but could never say enough;
   let the final word be: 'He is the all.'
Where can we find the strength to praise him?
   For he is greater than all his works.
Awesome is the Lord and very great,
   and marvellous is his power.
Glorify the Lord and exalt him as much as you can,
   for he surpasses even that.
When you exalt him, summon all your strength,
   and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise him enough.
Who has seen him and can describe him?
   Or who can extol him as he is?
Many things greater than these lie hidden,
   for I have seen but few of his works.
For the Lord has made all things,
   and to the godly he has given wisdom. 

Words: Gerhardt Tersteegen, 1729; trans. John Wesley, 1738 
Tune: Vater unser, St. Catherine

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Thou hidden love of God, whose height,
whose depth unfathomed no man knows,
I see from afar thy beauteous light,
and inly sigh for thy repose;
my heart is pained, nor can it be
at rest, till it finds rest in thee.

Thy secret voice invites me still
the sweetness of thy yoke to prove;
and fain I would; but though my will
seems fixed, yet wide my passions rove;
yet hindrances strew all the way;
I aim at thee, yet from thee stray.

'Tis mercy all that thou has brought
my mind to seek its peace in thee;
yet while I seek, but find thee not,
no peace my wandering soul shall see.
O when shall all my wanderings end,
And all my steps to theeward tend?

Is there a thing beneath the sun
that strives with thee my heart to share?
Ah, tear it hence and reign alone,
the Lord of every motion there;
then shall my heart from earth be free,
when it hath found repose in thee.

O hide this self from me, that I
no more, but Christ in me, may live!
my vile affections crucify,
nor let one darling lust survive
in all things nothing may I see,
nothing desire or seek, but thee!

O Love, thy sovereign aid impart
to save me from low thought care;
chase this self will from all my heart,
from all its hidden mazes there;
make me thy duteous child that I
ceaseless may "Abba, Father" cry.

Ah no! ne'er will I backward turn:
thine wholly, thine alone I am!
thrice happy he who views with scorn
earth's toys, for thee his constant Flame;
O help that I may never move
from the blest footsteps of thy love!

Each moment draw from earth away
my heart that lowly waits thy call;
speak to my inmost soul and say,
"I am thy love, thy God, thy all!"
to feel thy power, to hear thy voice,
to taste thy love, be all my choice. 

SECOND READING [Matthew 9:36-10:15]:

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed
and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest
is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out
labourers into his harvest.'

Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean
spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the
names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother
Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew;
Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: 'Go nowhere among the
Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the
house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, "The kingdom of heaven has
come near." Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You
received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in
your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers
deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy,
and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If
anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet
as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land
of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.

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

O God our Salvation, you are near to all who call:
hear and answer our prayers.

You are a refuge for the oppressed;
be our stronghold in troubled times.

You stand at the right hand of the needy;
rescue all who are wrongfully condemned.

You raise the poor from the dust;
restore dignity to those who seek refuge.

You give food to the hungry;
uphold the cause of the destitute.

You watch over those who wander and sustain the widow;
provide protection in the face of danger.

You heal the brokenhearted;
bind up the wounds of all who suffer.

You call us to be your Church,
send us out to do your will in the world.

You are a mighty God who loves justice;
establish your equity for all people.

Praise be to you, O Lord;
you hear and answer our prayers.

>From the rising of the sun to its setting,
we praise your name, O Lord.
May your promise to raise the poor from the dust
and turn the fortunes of the needy upside down
be fulfilled in our time also,
as it was in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty Father,
you have built up your Church
through the love and devotion of your saints:
Inspire us to follow the example of Charles Fuge Lowder, 
whom we commemorate today,
that we in our generation may rejoice with him
in the vision of your 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

May God make safe to us each step,
May God open to us each door,
May God make clear to us each road.
May God enfold us in loving arms.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 uses phrases from a hymn by William Watkins Reid, Jr..

 The closing prayer is adapted from a prayer by Bruce Prewer, 2001. 

The intercession is adapted by Stephen Benner from a prayer by Karen Moshier Shenk and
Rebecca J. Slough, in _MPH Bulletin_, 10/13/85, as adapted in _Words
for Worship_; used by permission of Herald Press.

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.

Charles Lowder was born in 1820 and came under the influence of the Oxford
Movement during his studies at Exeter College in the early 1840s. After
ordination, he became increasingly drawn to a Tractarian and ritualist
expression of the faith, especially after his move to London in 1851, despite the
fierce opposition such Catholic spirituality faced within the Church. As a curate
in Pimlico and Stepney, and then as the first Vicar of St Peter's, London
Docks, Lowder came to epitomise the nineteenth-century Anglo-Catholic 'slum
priest'. Dedicated to the poor and destitute, he was tireless in his parish work.
His health gave way and he died at the age of sixty on this day in 1880.

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