OREMUS: 30 September 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Sep 29 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Jerome, Translator of the Scriptures, Teacher of the Faith, 420

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

Blessed are you, God of our salvation,
we falter before the demands of your word
and turn away from your call to life.
Yet you pour out your mercy on us
as you showed mercy to your people of old,
that we may turn from our sinfulness
and walk the path of self-emptying love
made known in Jesus Christ. 
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 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul;*
 O Lord my God, how excellent is your greatness!
   you are clothed with majesty and splendour.
You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak*
 and spread out the heavens like a curtain.
You lay the beams of your chambers
   in the waters above;*
 you make the clouds your chariot;
   you ride on the wings of the wind.
You make the winds your messengers*
 and flames of fire your servants.
You have set the earth upon its foundations,*
 so that it never shall move at any time.
You covered it with the deep as with a mantle;*
 the waters stood higher than the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;*
 at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.
They went up into the hills
   and down to the valleys beneath,*
 to the places you had appointed for them.
You set the limits that they should not pass;*
 they shall not again cover the earth.
You send the springs into the valleys;*
 they flow between the mountains.
All the beasts of the field drink their fill from them,*
 and the wild asses quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the air make their nests*
 and sing among the branches.
You water the mountains from your dwelling on high;*
 the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works.
You make grass grow for flocks and herds*
 and plants to serve us all;
That they may bring forth food from the earth,*
 and wine to gladden our hearts,
Oil to make a cheerful countenance,*
 and bread to strengthen the heart.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap,*
 the cedars of Lebanon which he planted,
In which the birds build their nests,*
 and in whose tops the stork makes his dwelling.
The high hills are a refuge for the mountain goats,*
 and the stony cliffs for the rock badgers.
You appointed the moon to mark the seasons,*
 and the sun knows the time of its setting.
You make darkness that it may be night,*
 in which all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar after their prey*
 and seek their food from God.
The sun rises and they slip away*
 and lay themselves down in their dens.
The labourer goes forth to work*
 and to toil until the evening.
O Lord, how manifold are your works!*
 in wisdom you have made them all;
   the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the great and wide sea
   with its living things too many to number,*
 creatures both small and great.
There move the ships,
   and there is that Leviathan,*
 which you have made for the sport of it.
All of them look to you*
 to give them their food in due season.
You give it to them, they gather it;*
 you open your hand and they are filled with good things.
You hide your face and they are terrified;*
 you take away their breath
   and they die and return to their dust.
You send forth your Spirit and they are created;*
 and so you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;*
 may the Lord rejoice in all his works.
He looks at the earth and it trembles;*
 he touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;*
 I will praise my God while I have my being.
May these words of mine please him;*
 I will rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed out of the earth,*
 and the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.*

A Song of the Holy City (Revelation 21.1-5a)

I saw a new heaven and a new earth,  
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away 
and the sea was no more. 
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, 
coming down out of heaven from God,  
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 
And I heard a great voice from the throne saying,  
'Behold, the dwelling of God is among mortals. 
'He will dwell with them and they shall be his peoples,  
and God himself will be with them. 
'He will wipe every tear from their eyes,  
and death shall be no more. 
'Neither shall there be mourning, 
nor crying, nor pain any more,  
for the former things have passed away.' 
And the One who sat upon the throne said,  
'Behold, I make all things new.'

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 [Job 38:1-11, 16-18]:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
'Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man,
   I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
   Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements surely you know!
   Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
   or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
   and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

'Or who shut in the sea with doors
   when it burst out from the womb? 
when I made the clouds its garment,
   and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed bounds for it,
   and set bars and doors,
and said, "Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
   and here shall your proud waves be stopped"?

'Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
   or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
   or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
   Declare, if you know all this.' 

Words: Alan Gaunt   1991 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. Used with permission
Tune: Bourbon

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God's Spirit, as a rising gale,
tears down our false tranquility;
come surging through our settled minds,
demolish our complacency!

God's Spirit, as the breath of life,
creation's source and guide and goal,
breathe life into our souls again;
restore our faith and make us whole.

God's Spirit, as an icy blast,
strike through the scorching enmity
that burns our human love to ash;
extinguish all hostility.

God's Spirit, as a healing breeze,
stream gently through our troubled days,
to set us on our feet again,
with confidence, delight, and praise.

God's Spirit, fierce and wild,
and yet unfolding like a mother's womb,
surprise us: bring us, newly born,
with Jesus leaping from the tomb! 

SECOND READING [Matthew 17:1-13]:

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them
up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face
shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to
them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good
for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for
Moses, and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud
overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved;
with him I am well pleased; listen to him!' When the disciples heard this, they fell to
the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
'Get up and do not be afraid.' And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus
himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, 'Tell no one about the
vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.' And the disciples
asked him, 'Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?' He replied,
'Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already
come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So
also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.' Then the disciples understood
that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist. 

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

We seek you daily, O Father,
and you are there daily to be found.

Wherever we seek you,
at home, at work, on the highway,
you are there, O Lord.

Whatever we do,
eating and drinking,
writing or working,
readings, meditating or praying,
you are there, O Lord.

If we are oppressed,
you defend us, O Lord.

If we hunger,
you feed us, O Lord.

Whatever we need,
you give us, O Lord.

O Lord, how manifold are all your works
and the earth is full of your creatures.
Send forth your Spirit again this day
to renew the face of the earth,
that the whole creation may reflect
the majesty of your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, O God of truth, 
your Word is a lantern to our feet 
and a light upon our path: 
We give you thanks for your servant Jerome, 
and those who, following in his steps, 
have labored to render the Holy Scriptures 
in the language of the people; 
and we pray that your Holy Spirit 
will overshadow us as we read the written Word, 
and that Christ, the living Word, 
will transform us according to your righteous will; 
for he 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

Pour out your Spirit, O God, over all the world,
to inspire every heart with knowledge and love of you. 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 is adapted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_,
copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. The closing prayer use phrases
from a prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is by Stephen Benner and is based on a prayer by James Norden written
in 1548. 

The first collect is from _Daily Prayer_, copyright (c) The Scottish
Episcopal Church, 1998. Used with permission. 

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

Jerome was the foremost biblical scholar of the ancient Church. His translation
of the Bible, along with his commentaries and homilies on the biblical books,
have made him a major intellectual force in the Western Church.
Jerome was born in about 347, and was converted and baptized during his
student days in Rome. On a visit to Trier, he found himself attracted to the
monastic life, which he tested in a brief but unhappy experience as a hermit in
the deserts of Syria. At Antioch, he continued his studies in Hebrew and
Greek. In 379, he went to Constantinople where he studied under Gregory of
Nazianzus. From 382 to 384 he was secretary to Pope Damasus I, and spiritual
director of many noble Roman ladies who were becoming interested in the
monastic life. It was Damasus who set him the task of making a new
translation of the Bible into Latin -- into the popular form of the language,
hence the name of the translation: the Vulgate. After the death of Damasus,
Jerome returned to the East, and estabished a monastery at Bethlehem, where
he lived and worked until his death on 30 September 420.
Jerome is best known as the translator of the Bible into Latin. A previous
version (now called the Old Latin) existed, but Jerome's version far surpassed
it in scholarship and in literary quality. Jerome was well versed in classical
Latin (as well as Greek and Hebrew), but deliberately translated the Bible into
the style of Latin that was actually spoken and written by the majority of
persons in his own time. This kind of Latin is known as Vulgate Latin
(meaning the Latin of the common people), and accordingly Jerome's
translation is called the Vulgate.
Jerome was intemperate in controversy, and any correspondence with him
tended to degenerate into a flame war. (His friendship with Augustine,
conducted by letter, nearly ended before it began. Fortunately Augustine sized
him up correctly, soothed his feelings, and was extremely tactful thereafter.)
His hot temper, pride of learning, and extravagant promotion of asceticism
involved him in many bitter controversies over questions of theology and of
Bible interpretation. However, he was candid at times in admitting his failings,
and was never ambitious for either worldly or churchly honors. He was a
militant champion of orthodoxy, a tireless worker, and a scholar of rare gifts.
[James Kiefer, abridged]

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