OREMUS: 17 January 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Jan 16 17:00:00 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Saturday, January 17, 2009
Antony of Egypt, Hermit, Abbot, 356

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

Blessed are you, God of wonderful knowledge,
whose voice calls each of us by name.
You confounded our expectation
by revealing yourself to the lowly
and you also confound our fear
that we may not be afraid
to face the powerful of this earth
with your word of judgment,
in the sure knowledge
that nothing spoken in your name will be lost.
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 16

Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you;*
 I have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord,
   my good above all other.'
All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land,*
 upon those who are noble among the people.
But those who run after other gods*
 shall have their troubles multiplied.
Their libations of blood I will not offer,*
 nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
O Lord, you are my portion and my cup;*
 it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;*
 indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel;*
 my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the Lord always before me;*
 because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad and my spirit rejoices;*
 my body also shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon me to the grave,*
 nor let your holy one see the Pit.
You will show me the path of life;*
 in your presence there is fullness of joy,
   and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

A Song of God(s Love (1 John 4.711,12b)

Beloved, let us love one another, 
for love is of God;  
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 
Whoever does not love does not know God,  
for God is love. 
In this the love of God was revealed among us,  
that God sent his only Son into the world, 
so that we might live through him. 
In this is love, 
not that we loved God but that he loved us,  
and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. 
Beloved, since God loved us so much,  
we ought also to love one another. 
For if we love one another, God abides in us,  
and God(s love will be perfected in us.  

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 [Proverbs 4:7-18]:

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
ÿÿÿand whatever else you get, get insight. 
Prize her highly, and she will exaltÿyou;
ÿÿÿshe will honour you if you embraceÿher. 
She will place on your head a fair garland;
ÿÿÿshe will bestow on you a beautiful crown.? 

Hear, my child, and accept my words,
ÿÿÿthat the years of your life may beÿmany. 
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
ÿÿÿI have led you in the paths of uprightness. 
When you walk, your step will not be hampered;
ÿÿÿand if you run, you will not stumble. 
Keep hold of instruction; do not letÿgo;
ÿÿÿguard her, for she is your life. 
Do not enter the path of the wicked,
ÿÿÿand do not walk in the way of evildoers. 
Avoid it; do not go on it;
ÿÿÿturn away from it and pass on. 
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
ÿÿÿthey are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. 
For they eat the bread of wickedness
ÿÿÿand drink the wine of violence. 
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
ÿÿÿwhich shines brighter and brighter until full day. 

Words: Alan Gaunt (1935-); ? 1999 Stainer & Bell Ltd. Used with permission.
Metre: Iambic (Suggested Tune: Highlands)

Christ at the centre, when the two or three
meet in your name, you are their unity;
and when their numbers, or their views, increase,
you are yourself their harmony and peace.

Christ at the centre, one and only Lord,
because our hope is frail, and faith is flawed,
because, through fear and sin, our love has failed,
you suffer still, and still your love is nailed.

Christ at the centre, when we disagree,
when our convictions hurt our unity,
lest truth be marred by carelessness or pride,
stay at the centre, Holy One who died.

Christ at the centre, when we seek to find
God's word in Scripture with an honest mind,
Speak through your Spirit, and when we have heard,
Claim us to serve your truth, God's Living Word.

Christ at the centre, loving without end,
full of compassion, called the sinner's friend;
seeing your love for friend and enemy,
let us blend mercy with integrity.

Christ at the centre, make your own will known,
our truth begins and ends with you alone;
heal our confusion, Resurrected Lord,
Christ at the centre, evermore adored!

SECOND READING [Ephesians 4:1-16]:

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. 

But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ?s gift. Therefore it is said,
?When he ascended on high he made captivity itself aÿcaptive;
ÿÿÿhe gave gifts to his people.? 
(When it says, ?He ascended?, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people?s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body?s growth in building itself up in love. 

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

In every time of trouble,
you, O God, are a very present help.
You are with us, sustaining our world in freedom,
restraining the powers of darkness, of death and of destruction;
embracing us all with arms of love, to enfold and to hold.
And so we bring to you our prayers for ourselves,
for those we love, and for our world.

We pray for ourselves and our own needs:
Whatever you would have us to be;
whatever we need to love our neighbor as ourselves,
whatever we need to love one another:

Bountiful Source of Love:
hear our prayer.

We pray for those we love:
Our hopes and dreams for them;
our anguish and anxiety on their behalf;
our desire to make life easier for them.
Bountiful Source of Love:
hear our prayer.

We pray for our world:
Our pain at what we have done to creation;
our wonder at the beauty of that which we have not yet spoiled;
our calling to establish justice and peace.
Bountiful Source of Love:
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus,
we give you our body, our soul, our whole being; 
our fame, our friends, our liberty, and our life: 
Use us to the glory of your blessed Name. 
Be a light to our eyes, 
music to our ears, 
sweetness to our taste, 
and full contentment to our hearts. Amen.

Almighty God,
you strengthened your servant Antony
to endure all trials of the spirit
and cleansed his heart of fear
to make him perfect in the discipline of love.
Give us grace to cherish his example,
that we may know your call
and walk in the paths of righteousness
all the days of our lives;
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

Lift up the light of your countenance on us, O God.,
that we may be faithful to your commandments
and always do what is right and good;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
_Celebrating the Christian Year_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich.

The intercession is by David Bromell. The first collect is adapted from one by John Cosin. 

Born in about the year 251, Antony heard the gospel message, "If you would be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." He was twenty years old and rich, following the death of his parents, but he did as the gospel instructed and went to live in the desert, living an austere life of manual work, charity and prayer. His many spiritual struggles left him both wise and sensible and he became a spiritual guide for many who flocked to him. His simple rule of personal discipline and prayer was taken up and spread throughout Christendom. He died peacefully in the desert in the year 356, asking that he be buried secretly, so that his person might be hidden in death as in life. [Exciting Holiness]

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