OREMUS: 29 August 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Aug 28 17:00:00 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Friday, August 29, 2008
The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

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

Blessed are you, God of power and might,
for John the Baptist,
who revealed the Lamb, the Redeemer of the world
and bore witness to Christ
by the shedding of his own blood;
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 11

In the Lord have I taken refuge;*
 how then can you say to me,
   'Fly away like a bird to the hilltop;
'For see how the wicked bend the bow
   and fit their arrows to the string,*
 to shoot from ambush at the true of heart.
'When the foundations are being destroyed,*
 what can the righteous do?'
The Lord is in his holy temple;*
 the Lord's throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold the inhabited world;*
 his piercing eye weighs our worth.
The Lord weighs the righteous as well as the wicked,*
 but those who delight in violence he abhors.
Upon the wicked he shall rain coals of fire
   and burning sulphur;*
 a scorching wind shall be their lot.
For the Lord is righteous;
   he delights in righteous deeds;*
 and the just shall see his face.

A Song of Faith (1 Peter 1.3-4,18-21)

Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ!

By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading,
kept in heaven for you.

Who are being protected by the power of God
through faith for a salvation,
ready to be revealed in the last time.

You were ransomed from the futile ways of your ancestors
not with perishable things like silver or gold

But with the precious blood of Christ
like that of a lamb without spot or stain.

Through him you have confidence in God,
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are set on God.

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 [Jeremiah 4:1-10]:

If you return, O Israel, 
says the Lord,
   if you return to me,
if you remove your abominations from my presence,
   and do not waver, 
and if you swear, 'As the Lord lives!'
   in truth, in justice, and in uprightness,
then nations shall be blessed by him,
   and by him they shall boast. 

For thus says the Lord to the people of Judah and to the inhabitants of
Break up your fallow ground,
   and do not sow among thorns. 
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
   remove the foreskin of your hearts,
   O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or else my wrath will go forth like fire,
   and burn with no one to quench it,
   because of the evil of your doings. 

Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:
Blow the trumpet through the land;
   shout aloud and say,
'Gather together, and let us go
   into the fortified cities!' 
Raise a standard towards Zion,
   flee for safety, do not delay,
for I am bringing evil from the north,
   and a great destruction. 
A lion has gone up from its thicket,
   a destroyer of nations has set out;
   he has gone out from his place
to make your land a waste;
   your cities will be ruins
   without inhabitant. 
Because of this put on sackcloth,
   lament and wail:
'The fierce anger of the Lord
   has not turned away from us.' 

On that day, says the Lord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall
be appalled and the prophets astounded. Then I said, 'Ah, Lord God, how utterly you
have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, "It shall be well with you", even
while the sword is at the throat!'

Words: Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)   2000 Stainer & Bell Ltd Used with permission
Tune: Charlestown (87 87)

To a world so torn and tortured
Came the voice of one who knew
What it cost to lift oppression,
Challenge the accepted view.

John convicted crowds before him,
Charged hypocrisy with God;
Opened up the way for Jesus
Who would follow where he trod.

Then, imprisoned, John was silenced;
Yet a voice more powerful still
Challenged in and out of season
All who heard to do God's will.

Living, Christ would lift oppression,
Dying, he would seem to fail,
Crying out in desolation,
Yet God's love would still prevail.

SECOND READING [Matthew 14:1-12]:

At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus;
and he said to his servants, 'This is John the Baptist;
he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason
these powers are at work in him.' For Herod had arrested
John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of
Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because John had
been telling him, 'It is not lawful for you to have her.'
Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the
crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. But when
Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced
before the company, and she pleased Herod so much that he
promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask.
Prompted by her mother, she said, 'Give me the head of
John the Baptist here on a platter.' The king was
grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the
guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John
beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter
and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. His
disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they
went and told Jesus.

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

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ,
let us pray to the Father, saying
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
who promised Zechariah a son
filled with with the spirit and power of Elijah,
to prepare a people fit for the Lord
we pray for reconciliation among all people..
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting
the baby leapt in her womb
may we bless among women she who believed your promise,
and proclaim with joy the good news of your Christ.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
at John's birth Zechariah proclaimed
he would be the prophet of the Most High
we pray for all who preach the Good News.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
when your Son came to the Jordan and was baptized by John
he saw the heavens open and the Spirit descending as a dove
may we who are baptized into your Church
faithfully proclaim in the world the words of your beloved Son.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
John proclaimed your Son as 'the Lamb of God'
and John's disciples followed Jesus
help us to follow him too,
and by our words and deeds
to bring our families and friends closer to you.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
who sent John to witness to the light,
to be the voice of one crying in the wilderness
and to make straight the way of the Lord
comfort your people
and bring your healing to the sick and needy,
to the broken-hearted and the oppressed,
to prisoners and captives.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
John preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
and suffered imprisonment and death for proclaiming your Law
we pray with and for all who have died in your service,
joining our prayers with John the Baptist, and all the saints,
and grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

In the tender compassion of our God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us
Shine, Lord, on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death
and guide our feet into the way of peace.
Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God,
who called your servant John the Baptist
to be the forerunner of your Son in birth and death
strengthen us by your grace
that, as he suffered for the truth,
so we may boldly resist corruption and vice
and receive with him the unfading crown of 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 the word of God dwell richly in our heart from hour to hour, 
so that all may see the triumph through Jesus' power and love. 

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 is adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is by Simon Kershaw.

The 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.

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