OREMUS: 25 September 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Sep 24 17:00:00 GMT 2008


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OREMUS for Thursday, September 25, 2008
Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, Spiritual Writer, 1626

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

Blessed are you, God of miracles and of mercy,
all creation sings your praise,
for your grace is extravagant and unexpected.
You lead us to repentance
and the acceptance of your grace,
that we may witness to your love,
which embraces both those we call friend
and those we call stranger.
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. 

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Psalm 73

Truly, God is good to Israel,*
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;*
 I had almost tripped and fallen;
Because I envied the proud*
 and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
For they suffer no pain,*
 and their bodies are sleek and sound;
In the misfortunes of others they have no share;*
 they are not afflicted as others are;
Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace*
 and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from gross minds,*
 and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
They scoff and speak maliciously;*
 out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,*
 and their evil speech runs through the world.
And so the people turn to them*
 and find in them no fault.
They say, 'How should God know?*
 is there knowledge in the Most High?'
So then, these are the wicked;*
 always at ease, they increase their wealth.
In vain have I kept my heart clean,*
 and washed my hands in innocence.
I have been afflicted all day long,*
 and punished every morning.
Had I gone on speaking this way,*
 I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
When I tried to understand these things,*
 it was too hard for me;
Until I entered the sanctuary of God*
 and discerned the end of the wicked.
Surely, you set them in slippery places;*
 you cast them down in ruin.
O how suddenly do they come to destruction,*
 come to an end and perish from terror!
Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord,*
 when you arise you will make their image vanish.
When my mind became embittered,*
 I was sorely wounded in my heart.
I was stupid and had no understanding;*
 I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you;*
 you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me by your counsel,*
 and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?*
 and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
Though my flesh and my heart should waste away,*
 God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;*
 you destroy all who are unfaithful.
But it is good for me to be near God;*
 I have made the Lord God my refuge.
I will speak of all your works*
 in the gates of the city of Zion.

A Song of Tobit (Tobit 13.1,3,4-6a)

Blessed be God, who lives for ever,  
whose reign endures throughout all ages. 
Declare God's praise before the nations,  
you who are the children of Israel. 
For if our God has scattered you among them,  
there too has he shown you his greatness. 
Exalt him in the sight of the living,  
because he is our Lord and God and our Father for ever. 
Though God punishes you for your wickedness,  
mercy will be shown to you all. 
God will gather you from every nation,  
from wherever you have been scattered. 
When you turn to the Lord 
with all your heart and soul,  
God will hide his face from you no more. 
See what the Lord has done for you  
and give thanks with a loud voice. 
Praise the Lord of righteousness  
and exalt the King of the ages. 

Psalm 148

Alleluia!
   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.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Job 21:7-20, 29-33]:

Then Job answered:
Why do the wicked live on,
   reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
Their children are established in their presence,
   and their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear,
   and no rod of God is upon them.
Their bull breeds without fail;
   their cow calves and never miscarries.
They send out their little ones like a flock,
   and their children dance around.
They sing to the tambourine and the lyre,
   and rejoice to the sound of the pipe.
They spend their days in prosperity,
   and in peace they go down to Sheol.
They say to God, "Leave us alone!
   We do not desire to know your ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
   And what profit do we get if we pray to him?"
Is not their prosperity indeed their own achievement?
   The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.

'How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
   How often does calamity come upon them?
   How often does God distribute pains in his anger?
How often are they like straw before the wind,
   and like chaff that the storm carries away?
You say, "God stores up their iniquity for their children."
   Let it be paid back to them, so that they may know it.
Let their own eyes see their destruction,
   and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
   and do you not accept their testimony,
that the wicked are spared on the day of calamity,
   and are rescued on the day of wrath?
Who declares their way to their face,
   and who repays them for what they have done?
When they are carried to the grave,
   a watch is kept over their tomb.
The clods of the valley are sweet to them;
   everyone will follow after,
   and those who went before are innumerable. 

HYMN 
Words: Margaret Clarkson (c)
Tune: Blaenwern, Nettleton

http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/l/l480.html
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Lord, we hear your word with gladness:
you have spoken we rejoice:
words of love and life and freedom
help us make their truth our choice!
Now in holy celebration
for your Word we worship you;
spoken, written, known in Jesus,
ours today to prove anew.

May we hear with understanding,
by your Spirit taught and led;
may the springs of all our being
by your living Word be fed;
may our hearts accept with meekness
all the grace your light makes known;
may obedience mark our footsteps
till we make each word our own!

You have spoken; yours the fullness,
ours the wealth of this your Word:
debtors, then as living letters,
we must make our gospel heard!
By your Spirit's power transform us;
shed your saving light abroad
till our lives by love in action
show our world the truth of God!

SECOND READING [Matthew 15:1-20]:

Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 'Why do your disciples
break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.' He
answered them, 'And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of
your tradition? For God said, "Honour your father and your mother," and, "Whoever
speaks evil of father or mother must surely die." But you say that whoever tells father
or mother, "Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God", then that
person need not honour the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void
the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:
"This people honours me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
   teaching human precepts as doctrines." '

Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, 'Listen and understand: it is not
what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth
that defiles.' Then the disciples approached and said to him, 'Do you know that the
Pharisees took offence when they heard what you said?' He answered, 'Every plant
that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are
blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a
pit.' But Peter said to him, 'Explain this parable to us.' Then he said, 'Are you also
still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters
the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds
from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions,
murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a
person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.' 

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

Prayer:
Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord,
Our God, the God of our Fathers;
Who turnest the shadow of death into the morning;
and lightenest the face of the earth;
Who separatest darkness from the face of the light ;
and banishest night and bringest back the day;
Who lightenest mine eyes,
that I sleep not in death;
Who deliverest me from the terror by night,
from the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
Who drivest sleep from mine eyes,
and slumber from mine eyelids;
Who makest the outgoings of the morning
and evening to praise Thee;
because I laid me down and slept and rose up again,
for the Lord sustained me; because I waked and beheld,
and my sleep was sweet unto me.
Blot out as a thick cloud my transgressions,
and as a cloud my sins;
grant me to be a child of light, a child of the day,
to walk soberly, holily, honestly, as in the day,
vouchsafe to keep me this day without sin.
Thou who upholdest the falling and liftest the fallen,
let me not harden my heart in provocation,
  or temptation or deceitfulness of any sin.
Moreover, deliver me to-day
from the snare of the hunter
and from the noisome pestilence;
from the arrow that flieth by day,
          from the sickness that destroyeth in the noon day.
Defend this day against my evil,
against the evil of this day defend Thou me.
Let not my days be .spent in vanity,
nor my years in sorrow.
One day teileth another,
and one night certifierh another.
0 let me hear Thy loving-kindness betimes
in the morning,
for in Thee is my trust;
shew Thou me the way that I should walk in,
for I lift up my soul unto Thee.
Deliver me, 0 Lord, from mine enemies,
for I flee unto Thee.
Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth Thee, for Thou art my God:
let Thy loving Spirit 1ead me forth into the land of righteousness.
Quicken me, 0 Lord, for Thy Name's sake,
and for Thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble:
remove from me foolish imaginations,
inspire those which are good and pleasing in Thy sight.
Turn awav mine eyes lest they behold vanitv :
let mine eyes look right on,
and let mine eyelids look straight before me.
Hedge up mine ears with thorns
lest they incline to undisciplined words.
Give me early the ear to hear,
and open mine ears to the instruction of Thy oracles.
Set a watch, 0 Lord, before my mouth,
and keep the door of my lips.
Let my word be seasoned with salt,
that it may minister grace to the hearers.
Let no deed be grief unto me nor offence of heart.
Let me do some work
for which Thou wilt remember me, Lord,
for good,
and spare me according to the greatness
of Thv mercy.
Into Thine hands I commend mv spirit, soul, and body,
which Thou hast created, redeemed,
regenerated,
0 Lord, Thou God of truth:
and together with me
all mine and all that belongs to me.
Thou hast vouchsafed them to me,
Lord, in Thy goodness.
Guard us from all evil,
guard our souls,
I beseech Thee, 0 Lord.
Guard us without falling,
and place us immaculate
in the presence of Thy glory
in that day.
Guard my going out and my coming in
henceforth and for ever.
Prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day, and grant him mercy
in the sight of those who meet him.
0 God, make speed to save me,
0 Lord, make haste to help me. 0 turn Thee then unto me,
and have mercy upon me;
give Thy strength unto Thy servant,
and help the son of Thine handmaid.
Show some token upon me for good,
that they who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
because Thou, Lord, hast holpen me
and comforted me. Amen.

Lord God,
who gave to Lancelot Andrewes many gifts of your Holy Spirit,
making him a man of prayer and a pastor of your people:
perfect in us that which is lacking in your gifts,
of faith, to increase it,
of hope, to establish it,
of love, to kindle it,
that we may live in the light of your grace and 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

Teach us your ways of justice, O Lord,
and lead us to practice your generosity.  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 and closing prayer are adapted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

Hymn (c) 1987 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.  
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:  Hope Publishing Company, 
www.hopepublishing.com

The intercession is a commendation by Lancelot Andrewes.

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.

Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), Bishop of Winchester, was on the committee
of scholars that produced the King James Translation of the Bible, and
probably contributed more to that work than any other single person. It is
accordingly no surprise to find him not only a devout writer but a learned and
eloquent one, a master of English prose, and learned in Latin, Greek, Hebrew
and eighteen other languages. His sermons were popular in his own day, but
are perhaps too academic for most modern readers. He prepared for his own
use a manuscript notebook of Private Prayers, which was published after his
death. The material was apparently intended, not to be read aloud, but to serve
as a guide and stimulus to devout meditation. [James Kiefer, abridged]


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