OREMUS: 18 September 2008

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

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OREMUS for Thursday, September 18, 2008
Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle to the Picts

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

Blessed are you, O God,
in Christ the walls that divide are broken down,
the chains that enslave are thrown aside,
and we are freed from death and despair
to life and hope,
liberated from hate and war
and empowered to love and seek 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 31

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
   let me never be put to shame;*
 deliver me in your righteousness.
Incline your ear to me;*
 make haste to deliver me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
   for you are my crag and my stronghold;*
 for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net
   that they have secretly set for me,*
 for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit,*
 for you have redeemed me,
   O Lord, O God of truth.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols,*
 and I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy;*
 for you have seen my affliction;
   you know my distress.
You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy;*
 you have set my feet in an open place.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;*
 my eye is consumed with sorrow,
   and also my throat and my belly.
For my life is wasted with grief,
   and my years with sighing;*
 my strength fails me because of affliction,
   and my bones are consumed.
I have become a reproach to all my enemies
   and even to my neighbours,
   a dismay to those of my acquaintance;*
 when they see me in the street they avoid me.
I am forgotten like the dead, out of mind;*
 I am as useless as a broken pot.
For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
   fear is all around;*
 they put their heads together against me;
   they plot to take my life.
But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord.*
 I have said, 'You are my God.
'My times are in your hand;*
 rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
   and from those who persecute me.
'Make your face to shine upon your servant,*
 and in your loving-kindness save me.'
Lord, let me not be ashamed
   for having called upon you;*
 rather, let the wicked be put to shame;
   let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be silenced
   which speak against the righteous,*
 haughtily, disdainfully and with contempt.
How great is your goodness, O Lord,
   which you have laid up for those who fear you;*
 which you have done in the sight of all
   for those who put their trust in you.
You hide them in the covert of your presence
   from those who slander them;*
 you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord!*
 for he has shown me the wonders of his love
   in a besieged city.
Yet I said in my alarm,
   'I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes.'*
 Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty
   when I cried out to you.
Love the Lord, all you who worship him;*
 the Lord protects the faithful,
   but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,*
 all you who wait for the Lord.

Great and Wonderful (Revelation 15.3,4)

Great and wonderful are your deeds, . 
Lord God the Almighty. 
Just and true are your ways, . 
O ruler of the nations. 
Who shall not revere and praise your name, O Lord? . 
for you alone are holy. 
All nations shall come and worship in your presence: . 
for your just dealings have been revealed.

Psalm 148

   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.

FIRST READING [Job 10:1-9, 12-18]:

Then Job answered: 
'I loathe my life;
   I will give free utterance to my complaint;
   I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
   let me know why you contend against me.
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
   to despise the work of your hands
   and favour the schemes of the wicked?
Do you have eyes of flesh?
   Do you see as humans see?
Are your days like the days of mortals,
   or your years like human years,
that you seek out my iniquity
   and search for my sin,
although you know that I am not guilty,
   and there is no one to deliver out of your hand?
Your hands fashioned and made me;
   and now you turn and destroy me.
Remember that you fashioned me like clay;
   and will you turn me to dust again?
You have granted me life and steadfast love,
   and your care has preserved my spirit.
Yet these things you hid in your heart;
   I know that this was your purpose.
If I sin, you watch me,
   and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
If I am wicked, woe to me!
   If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
   and look upon my affliction.
Bold as a lion you hunt me;
   you repeat your exploits against me.
You renew your witnesses against me,
   and increase your vexation towards me;
   you bring fresh troops against me.

'Why did you bring me forth from the womb?
   Would that I had died before any eye had seen me, 

Words: Joseph Addison (1672-1719), 1712
Tune: Contemplation, Belgrave, St. Stephen, St. Fulbert, Durham

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When all thy mercies, O my God,
my rising soul surveys,
transported with the view, I'm lost
in wonder, love and praise.

Thy Providence my life sustained,
and all my wants redressed,
while in the silent womb I lay,
and hung upon the breast.

To all my weak complaints and cries
thy mercy lent an ear,
ere yet my feeble thoughts had learned
to form themselves in prayer.

Unnumbered comforts to my soul
thy tender care bestowed,
before my infant heart conceived
from whom those comforts flowed.

When in the slippery paths of youth
with heedless steps I ran,
thine arm unseen conveyed me safe,
and led me up to man.

Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
it gently cleared my way;
and through the pleasing snares of vice,
more to be feared than they.

O how shall words with equal warmth
the gratitude declare,
that glows within my ravished heart?
but thou canst read it there.

Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
hath made my cup run o'er;
and, in a kind and faithful Friend,
hath doubled all my store.

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
my daily thanks employ;
nor is the last a cheerful heart
that tastes those gifts with joy.

When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
with health renewed my face;
and, when in sins and sorrows sunk,
revived my soul with grace.

Through every period of my life
thy goodness I'll pursue
and after death, in distant worlds,
the glorious theme renew.

When nature fails, and day and night
divide thy works no more,
my ever grateful heart, O Lord,
thy mercy shall adore.

Through all eternity to thee
a joyful song I'll raise;
for, oh, eternity's too short
to utter all thy praise! 

SECOND READING [Matthew 13:1-23]:

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds
gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd
stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: 'Listen! A
sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds
came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have
much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the
sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other
seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on
good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let
anyone with ears listen!'

Then the disciples came and asked him, 'Why do you speak to them in parables?' He
answered, 'To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven,
but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they
will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be
taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that "seeing they do not
perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand." With them indeed is
fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
"You will indeed listen, but never understand,
   and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
For this people's heart has grown dull,
   and their ears are hard of hearing,
     and they have shut their eyes;
     so that they might not look with their eyes,
   and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn 
   and I would heal them."
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you,
many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and
to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.

'Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and
does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the
heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this
is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person
has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on
account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown
among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the
lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on
good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears
fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.' 

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

We pray for the family of the church, for loving relationships,
and for the life of families around us, saying
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, born in poverty and soon a refugee,
be with families today who are poor 
and live in hunger and want. . .
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who grew in wisdom and in favor with God and the people
in the family of Joseph the carpenter,
bring wisdom and the presence of God
into the work and growth of families today. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who blessed marriage in the wedding at Cana,
be with those preparing for marriage
and with those who come to the end of their resources. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who healed Peter's mother in law,
bring healing to hurt relationships and families today. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who on the cross said,
'Mother, behold your son',
provide today for those who lose their families,
the bereaved and childless, orphans and widows. . . 
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Jesus, who on the seashore provided food for the disciples,
bring the whole Church on earth and in heaven
 into your risen presence to eat at the eternal banquet.
Jesus, Lord of love:
in your mercy, hear us.

Lord Jesus Christ,
in our pilgrimage through this life,
rescue us from evil,
and make your face to shine on us,
for you are our Lord and our God.  Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God,
who called your servant Ninian to preach the gospel
to the people of northern Britain:
raise up in this and every land
heralds and evangelists of your kingdom,
that your Church may make know the immeasurable riches
of your Son our Savior 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

Let your peace, O God,
fill our hearts, our world, our universe. Amen.

The psalms and first collect 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 Walter Farquahrson and a prayer by
Satish Kumar. The closing prayer uses a sentence from the same prayer by Kumar. 

The intercession is from _Patterns for Worship_, material from which is
included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 1995.

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.

Ninian is also called Nynia, Ninias, Rigna, Trignan, Ninnidh, Ringan, Ninus, or Dinan. He
was a Celt, born in southern Scotland in about 360, and is regarded as the first major
preacher of the Gospel to the people living in Britain north of the Wall--that is, living
outside the territory that had been under Roman rule. He is said to have studied in Rome
(note that he is contemporary with Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine), but was chiefly
influenced by his friendship with Martin of Tours, with whom he spent some considerable
time when he was returning from Italy to Britain. It is probable that he named his
headquarters in Galloway after Martin's foundation in Gall. Martin had a monastery known
as LOCO TEIAC, a Latinized form of the Celtic LEUG TIGIAC. LEUG means "white,
shining," and TIG means "house" (a shanty, or SHAN-TIG, is an old house). The suffix
-AC means "little." Thus, Martin's monastery had a name which in Celtic means "little
white house." At about the time of Martin's death in 397, Ninian built a church at
Galloway, in southwest Scotland. It was built of stone and plastered white, an unusual
construction in a land where almost all buildings were wood. He called it Candida Casa
(White House) or Whithorn, presumably after Martin's foundation at Tours.
Archaeologists have excavated and partially restored his church in this century. From his
base at Galloway, Ninian preached throughout southern Scotland, south of the Grampian
Mountains, and conducted preaching missions among the Picts of Scotland, as far north as
the Moray Firth, He also preached in the Solway Plains and the Lake District of England.
Like Patrick (a generation later) and Columba (a century and a half later), he was a
principal agent in preserving the tradition of the old Romano-British Church and forming
the character of Celtic Christianity. Some historians think that the number and extent of
his conversions has been exaggerated, but throughout southern Scotland there are many
and widespread churches that bear his name, and have traditionally been assumed to be
congregations originally founded by him.
Our information about him comes chiefly from Bede's History (Book 3, chapter 4), an
anonymous eighth century account, and a 12th century account by Aelred. Aelred is
writing 700 years after the event, and is for that reason rejected as untrustworthy by many
critics. However, he claims to rely on an earlier account, "written by a barbarian." This
suggests that he may have had an authentic record by a member of Ninian's community in
Galloway. [James Kiefer]

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