OREMUS: 4 December 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Dec 3 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Friday, December 4, 2009
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, loving God,
ever faithful to your promises
and ever close to your church.
The earth rejoices in hope of the Savior's coming
and looks forward with longing
to his return at the end of time.
You call us to prepare our hearts
and remove that which hinders us
from the joy and hope his presence will bestow.
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. 

http://www.oremus.org/advocant.html

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?*
 and are so far from my cry
   and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime,
   but you do not answer;*
 by night as well, but I find no rest.
Yet you are the Holy One,*
 enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
Our forebears put their trust in you;*
 they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried out to you and were delivered;*
 they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
But as for me, I am a worm and no man,*
 scorned by all and despised by the people.
All who see me laugh me to scorn;*
 they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
'He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him;*
 let him rescue him, if he delights in him.'
Yet you are he who took me out of the womb,*
 and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;*
 you were my God
   when I was still in my mother's womb.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near,*
 and there is none to help.
Many young bulls encircle me;*
 strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
They open wide their jaws at me,*
 like a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water;
   all my bones are out of joint;*
 my heart within my breast is melting wax.
My mouth is dried out like a potsherd;
   my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;*
 and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
Packs of dogs close me in,
   and gangs of evildoers circle around me;*
 they pierce my hands and my feet;
   I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;*
 they divide my garments among them;
   they cast lots for my clothing.
Be not far away, O Lord;*
 you are my strength; hasten to help me.
Save me from the sword,*
 my life from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth,*
 my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
I will declare your name to my people;*
 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
Praise the Lord, you that fear him;*
 stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;
   all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
For he does not despise nor abhor
   the poor in their poverty;
   neither does he hide his face from them;*
 but when they cry to him he hears them.
My praise is of him in the great assembly;*
 I will perform my vows
   in the presence of those who worship him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied,
   and those who seek the Lord shall praise him:*
 'May your heart live for ever!'
All the ends of the earth
   shall remember and turn to the Lord,*
 and all the families of the nations
   shall bow before him.
For kingship belongs to the Lord;*
 he rules over the nations.
To him alone all who sleep in the earth
   bow down in worship;*
 all who go down to the dust fall before him.
My soul shall live for him;
   my descendants shall serve him;*
 they shall be known as the Lord's for ever.
They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn*
 the saving deeds that he has done.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;*
 I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures*
 and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul*
 and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I shall fear no evil;*
 for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me
   in the presence of those who trouble me;*
 you have anointed my head with oil,
   and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,*
 and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 5:8-29]:

Ah, you who join house to house,
   who add field to field,
until there is room for no one but you,
   and you are left to live alone
   in the midst of the land! 
The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
Surely many houses shall be desolate,
   large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant. 
For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath,
   and a homer of seed shall yield a mere ephah. 

Ah, you who rise early in the morning
   in pursuit of strong drink,
who linger in the evening
   to be inflamed by wine, 
whose feasts consist of lyre and harp,
   tambourine and flute and wine,
but who do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
   or see the work of his hands! 
Therefore my people go into exile without knowledge;
their nobles are dying of hunger,
   and their multitude is parched with thirst. 

Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
   and opened its mouth beyond measure;
the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down,
   her throng and all who exult in her. 
People are bowed down, everyone is brought low,
   and the eyes of the haughty are humbled. 
But the Lord of hosts is exalted by justice,
   and the Holy God shows himself holy by righteousness. 
Then the lambs shall graze as in their pasture,
   fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins. 

Ah, you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood,
   who drag sin along as with cart-ropes, 
who say, ‘Let him make haste,
   let him speed his work
   that we may see it;
let the plan of the Holy One of Israel hasten to fulfilment,
   that we may know it!’ 
Ah, you who call evil good
   and good evil,
who put darkness for light
   and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
   and sweet for bitter! 
Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes,
   and shrewd in your own sight! 
Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine
   and valiant at mixing drink, 
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
   and deprive the innocent of their rights! 

Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
   and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will become rotten,
   and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the instruction of the Lord of hosts,
   and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 

Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
   and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them;
   the mountains quaked,
and their corpses were like refuse
   in the streets.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
   and his hand is stretched out still. 

He will raise a signal for a nation far away,
   and whistle for a people at the ends of the earth;
Here they come, swiftly, speedily! 
None of them is weary, none stumbles,
   none slumbers or sleeps,
not a loincloth is loose,
   not a sandal-thong broken; 
their arrows are sharp,
   all their bows bent,
their horses’ hoofs seem like flint,
   and their wheels like the whirlwind. 
Their roaring is like a lion,
   like young lions they roar;
they growl and seize their prey,
   they carry it off, and no one can rescue. 

HYMN 
Words: Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Tune: Dominica

Begin the day with God:
He is the rising Sun,
His is the radiance of thy dawn,
His the fresh day begun.

Sing a new song at morn;
Join the glad woods and hills;
Join the fresh winds and seas and plains;
Join the bright flowers and rills.

Awake, cold lips, and sing;
Arise, dull heart, and pray;
Lift up, O man, thy heart and eyes;
Brush slothfulness away.

Cast every weight aside;
Do battle with each sin;
Fight with the faithless world without,
The faithless heart within.

Look up beyond these clouds,
Thither thy pathway lies;
Mount up, away, and linger not,
Thy goal is yonder skies!

SECOND READING [Revelation 7:1-4, 9-17]:

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on earth or sea or against any tree. I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying, ‘Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads.’ 

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel: 

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ 
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing,
‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honour
and power and might
be to our God for ever and ever! Amen.’ 

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you are the one that knows.’ Then he said to me, ‘These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 
For this reason they are before the throne of God,
   and worship him day and night within his temple,
   and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. 
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
   the sun will not strike them,
   nor any scorching heat; 
for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd,
   and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ 

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

Prayer:
In joyful hope, we pray to you, O Lord:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to your Church as Lord and Judge
and give us a longing for your loving rule.
We pray especially for :
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to your world as King of the nations
and let righteousness and peace prevail:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to us as Savior and Comforter,
breaking into our failure and freeing us to serve you:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to us with power and great joy,
that our hearts may be lifted to meet you in joy:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Eternal God, you taught us that the night is far spent and the day is at hand: Keep us awake and alert, watching for your kingdom, and make us strong in faith, so that when Christ comes in glory to judge the earth, we may joyfully give him praise; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
		
God of peace, 
make us worthy of your perfect love 
that, with your servant Nicholas Ferrar and his household, 
we may rule ourselves after your Word 
and serve you with our whole heart; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

O Son of God, our Savior,
today we await your coming,
and tomorrow we shall see your glory.
Reveal the good news to all of us
who long for your arrival.
Come, Love incarnate, do not delay.
Come, Lord Jesus! 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 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 and the closing sentence are adapted 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.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from
_Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice Press, 1997. Reproduced with
permission.

Nicholas Ferrar, born in 1592, was the founder of a religious community that
lasted from 1626 to 1646.
After Nicholas had been ordained as a deacon, he and his family and a few
friends retired to Little Gidding, Huntingdonshire, England, to devote
themselves to a life of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (Matthew 6:2,5,16).
They restored the abandoned church building, and became responsible for
regular services there. They taught the neighborhood children, and looked after
the health and well-being of the people of the district. They read the regular
daily offices of the Book of Common Prayer, including the recital every day of
the complete Psalter. (Day and night, there was always at least one member of
the community kneeling in prayer before the altar, that they might keep the
word, "Pray without ceasing.") They wrote books and stories dealing with
various aspects of Christian faith and practice. They fasted with great rigor,
and in other ways embraced voluntary poverty, so that they might have as
much money as possible for the relief of the poor.
The community was founded in 1626 (when Nicholas was 34). He died in 1637
(aged 45), and in 1646 the community was forcibly broken up by the Puritans
of Cromwell's army. The memory of the community survived to inspire and
influence later undertakings in Christian communal living, and one of T.S.
Eliot's Four Quartets is called "Little Gidding."



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