OREMUS: 15 August 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Aug 14 19:22:57 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Saturday, August 15, 2009
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord

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

Blessed are you, God of all grace,
for Jesus Christ, our Light and our Life.
You have given your living Word to Mary, Birth-Giver,
that through the Holy Spirit,
she might bear the Word made flesh,
who brings light out of darkness,
and with your Spirit renews the face of the earth.
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 98

Sing to the Lord a new song,*
 for he has done marvellous things.
With his right hand and his holy arm*
 has he won for himself the victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;*
 his righteousness has he openly shown
   in the sight of the nations.
He remembers his mercy and faithfulness
   to the house of Israel,*
 and all the ends of the earth have seen
   the victory of our God.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands;*
 lift up your voice, rejoice and sing.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,*
 with the harp and the voice of song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn*
 shout with joy before the King, the Lord.
Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it,*
 the lands and those who dwell therein.
Let the rivers clap their hands,*
 and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,
   when he comes to judge the earth.
In righteousness shall he judge the world,*
 and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 138

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart;*
 before the gods I will sing your praise.
I will bow down towards your holy temple
   and praise your name,*
 because of your love and faithfulness;
For you have glorified your name*
 and your word above all things.
When I called, you answered me;*
 you increased my strength within me.
All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Lord,*
 when they have heard the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the Lord,*
 that great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord be high, he cares for the lowly;*
 he perceives the haughty from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you keep me safe;*
 you stretch forth your hand
   against the fury of my enemies;
   your right hand shall save me.
The Lord will make good his purpose for me;*
 O Lord, your love endures for ever;
   do not abandon the works of your hands.

A Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2.1-2,3b-5,7-8)

My soul exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.

My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

There is no Holy One like you, O Lord,
nor any Rock like you, our God.

For you are a God of knowledge
and by you our actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.

Those who were full now hire themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are well fed.

The barren woman has borne sevenfold,
but she who has many children is forlorn.

Both the poor and the rich are of your making;
you bring low and you also exalt.

You raise up the poor from the dust,
and lift the needy from the ash heap.

You make them sit with the rulers
and inherit a place of honour.

For the pillars of the earth are yours
and on them you have set the world.

Psalm 150

   Praise God in his holy temple;*
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts;*
 praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram'shorn;*
 praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance;*
 praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;*
 praise him with loudclanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath*
 praise the Lord.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 7:10-15]:

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep
as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord
to the test. Then Isaiah said: 'Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to
weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you
a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him
Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil
and choose the good.

Words: Roland Ford Palmer, 1914
Tune: Pleading Savior

Sing of Mary, pure and lowly,
virgin mother undefiled;
sing of God's own Son most holy,
who became her little child.
Fairest child of fairest mother,
God the Lord who came to earth,
Word made flesh, our very brother,
takes our nature by his birth.

Sing of Jesus, son of Mary,
in the home at Nazareth,
toil and labor cannot weary
love enduring unto death.
Constant was the love he gave her,
though he went forth from her side,
forth to preach, and heal, and suffer
till on Calvary he died.

Sing of Mary, sing of Jesus,
holy Mother's holier Son.
>From his throne in heaven he sees us,
thither calls us every one,
where he welcomes home his Mother
to a place at his right hand,
there his faithful servants gather,
there the crown d victors stand.

Joyful Mother, full of gladness,
in thine arms thy Lord was borne.
Mournful Mother, full of sadness,
all thy heart with pain was torn.
Glorious Mother, now rewarded
with a crown at Jesus' hand,
age to age thy name recorded
shall be blessed in every land.

Glory be to God the Father;
glory be to God the Son;
glory be to God the Spirit;
glory to the Three in One.
>From the heart of blessed Mary,
from all saints the song ascends,
and the Church the strain reechoes
unto earth's remotest ends.

SECOND READING [Luke 11:27-28]:

While Jesus was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him,
'Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!' But he said,
'Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!'

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

Following the example of Mary's patient love,
we pray for grace to follow God's will.

We pray for the Church.
May it follow Mary's example of patience, humility and trust.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for women
who serve as bishops, priests, deacons and ministers in your Church.
Open our ears to their witness and teaching.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the world.
Teach us to honor the wholeness of God's creation
in both male and female.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for mothers.
May the knowledge of your love
ease the burden of those who live with poverty or anxiety.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for women
suffering from cruelty and indifference.
Give us strength to give them comfort and relief.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the departed,
joining our prayers with those of Mary.
In the hour of death, save us by the love of Christ.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

Redeeming God,
whose daughter Mary trusted angelic voices,
rejoiced with a song of praise,
and wept at the foot of the cross:
Give us such courage, faith and hope as hers,
that we, too, may praise you, trust you and receive you
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
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

Receiving the Holy Spirit,
bearing the child of God,
pondering the mystery of Christ,
witnessing and following in the Way,
so Mary witnessed to your saving grace.
May we, O God, be as faithful and strong. 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 of thanksgiving, the collect and the closing sentence are
adapted from prayers 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 intercession is by Stephen Benner and uses phrases from a prayer in
_Leading Intercessions_, (c) 2000, Canterbury Press.

The honor paid to Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God,
goes back to the earliest days of the Church. Indeed, it goes back further, for
even before the birth of her Son, Mary prophesied, "From this time forth, all
generations shall call me blessed."
The New Testament records several incidents from the life of the Virgin: her
betrothal to Joseph, the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel that she was to bear
the Messiah, her Visitation to Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist, the
Nativity of our Lord, the visits of the shepherds and the magi, the Presentation
of the infant Jesus in the Temple at the age of forty days, the flight into Egypt,
the Passover visit to the Temple when Jesus was twelve, [Matthew 1:16,18-25;
2; Luke 1:26-56; 2]; the wedding at Cana in Galilee and the performance of her
Son's first miracle at her intercession [John 2:1-11], the occasions when
observers said, "How can this man be special? We know his family!" [Matthew
13:54-56 = Mark 6:1-3 = Luke 4:22; also John 6:42], an occasion when she
came with others to see him while he was preaching [Matthew 12:46-50 =
Mark 3:31-35 = Luke 8:19-21], her presence at the foot of the Cross, where
Jesus commends her to the care of the Beloved Disciple [John 19:25-27], and
her presence with the apostles in the upper room after the Ascension, waiting
for the promised Spirit [Acts 1:14]. She is thus seen to be present at most of
the chief events of her Son's life.
Besides Jesus himself, only two humans are mentioned by name in the Creeds.
One is Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD. That
Jesus was crucified by order of Pontius Pilate pins down the date of his death
within a few years, and certifies that we are not talking, like the worshippers of
Tammuz or Adonis, about a personification or symbol of the annual death and
resurrection of the crops. His death is an event in history, something that really
happened. The other name is that of Mary. The Creeds say that Christ was
"born of the virgin Mary." That is to say, they assert on the one hand that he
was truly and fully human, born of a woman and not descended from the skies
like an angel. On the other hand, by telling us that his mother was a virgin they
exclude the theory that he was simply an ordinary man who was so virtuous
that he eventually, at his baptism, became filled with the Spirit of God. His
virgin birth attests to the fact that he was always more than merely human,
always one whose presence among us was in itself a miracle, from the first
moment of his earthly existence. In Mary, Virgin and Mother, God gives us a
sign that Jesus is both truly God and truly Man.
Little is known of the life of the Virgin Mary except insofar as it intersects with
the life of her Son, and there is an appropriateness in this. The Scriptures
record her words to the angel Gabriel, to her kinswoman Elizabeth, to her Son
on two occasions. But the only recorded saying of hers to what may be called
ordinary, run-of-the-mill hearers is her instruction to the servants at the
wedding feast, to whom she says simply, indicating her Son, "Whatever he says
to you, do it."
This we may take to be the summation of her message to the world. If we
listen to her, she will tell us, "Listen to Him. Listen to my Son. Do what He
tells you." When we see her, we see her pointing to her Son. If our regard for
the Blessed Virgin does not have the immediate effect of turning our attention
from her to the One whom she carried in her womb for nine months and
suckled at her breast, to the Incarnate God, the Word made flesh, then we may
be sure that it is not the kind of regard that she seeks. A right regard for her
will always direct us to Him Who found in her His first earthly dwelling-place.
[James Kiefer, abridged]

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