OREMUS: 17 July 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Jul 16 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Friday, July 17, 2009
William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836

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

Blessed are you, Lord of all creation;
in your love you made us for yourself.
When we turned away you did not reject us,
but came to meet us in your Son.
You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.
In Christ you shared our life
that we might live in him and he in us.
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. 
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Psalm 26

Give judgement for me, O Lord,
   for I have lived with integrity;*
 I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.
Test me, O Lord, and try me;*
 examine my heart and my mind.
For your love is before my eyes;*
 I have walked faithfully with you.
I have not sat with the worthless,*
 nor do I consort with the deceitful.
I have hated the company of evildoers;*
 I will not sit down with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord,*
 that I may go in procession round your altar,
Singing aloud a song of thanksgiving*
 and recounting all your wonderful deeds.
Lord, I love the house in which you dwell*
 and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,*
 nor my life with those who thirst for blood,
Whose hands are full of evil plots,*
 and their right hand full of bribes.
As for me, I will live with integrity;*
 redeem me, O Lord, and have pity on me.
My foot stands on level ground;*
 in the full assembly I will bless the Lord.

The Song of Christ(s Glory (Philippians 2.511)

Christ Jesus was in the form of God,  
but he did not cling to equality with God. 
He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,  
and was born in our human likeness. 
Being found in human form he humbled himself,  
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 
Therefore God has highly exalted him,  
and bestowed on him the name above every name, 
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  
in heaven and on earth and under the earth; 
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,  
to the glory of God the Father.

Psalm 149

Alleluia!
   Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his maker;*
 let the children of Zion be joyful in their king.
Let them praise his name in the dance;*
 let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people*
 and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;*
 let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat*
 and a twoedged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations*
 and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains*
 and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgement decreed;*
 this is glory for all his faithful people.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Ruth 4:9-17]:

Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, 'Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man's name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.' Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, 'We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.' 

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, 'Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.' Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, 'A son has been born to Naomi.' They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. 

HYMN 
Words: Fred Pratt Green 1903-2000 © 1971 Stainer & Bell Ltd
Used with permission.
Tune: Dunedin, Wareham, Brockham

The Church of Christ in every age
Beset by change but Spirit led,
Must claim and test its heritage
And keep on rising from the dead.

Across the world, across the street, 
The victims of injustice cry 
For shelter and for bread to eat, 
And never live until they die.

Then let the servant Church arise, 
A caring Church that longs to be 
A partner in Christ's sacrifice, 
And clothed in Christ's humanity.

For he alone, whose blood was shed, 
Can cure the fever in our blood, 
And teach us how to share our bread 
And feed the starving multitude.

We have no mission but to serve 
In full obedience to our Lord: 
To care for all, without reserve, 
And spread his liberating Word.

SECOND READING [Luke 11:14-28]:

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, 'He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.' Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 

'When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting-place, but not finding any, it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.' 

While he 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.

Prayer:
Gracious God and Father,
you have given your Son for us all,
that his death might be our life
and his affliction our peace.

We pray for the suffering...
the hungry....

the refugees....
the prisoners....
the persecuted....
all who bring sin and suffering to others....
ministries of care and relief....
the Church in all its work, especially

Gracious God and Father, we give you thanks

for the cross of Christ at the heart of creation,
the presence of Christ in our weakness and strength,
the power of Christ to transform our suffering....

for all ministries of healing,
all agencies of relief,
all that sets men free from pain, fear and distress....

for the assurance that your mercy knows no limit,
and for the privilege of sharing
your work of renewal through prayer.

In darkness and in light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us to trust your love, to serve your purpose
and to praise your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, 
in a time of turmoil and confusion 
you raised up your servant William White, 
and endowed him with wisdom, patience, 
and a reconciling temper, 
that he might lead your Church 
into ways of stability and peace: 
Hear our prayer, and give us wise and faithful leaders, 
that through their ministry 
your people may be blessed and your will be done; 
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

You have opened to us the Scriptures, O Christ.
Abide with us, we pray,
that, blessed by your royal presence,
we may walk with you
all the days of our life,
and at its end behold you
in the glory of the eternal Trinity,
one God for ever and ever. 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 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 closing prayer uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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

Before the American Revolution, there were no bishops in the colonies (partly
because the British government was reluctant to give the colonies the kind of
autonomy that this would have implied, and partly because many of the
colonists were violently opposed to their presence). After the Revolution, the
establishment of an American episcopate became imperative. Samuel Seabury
was the first American to be consecrated, in 1784 (see 14 Nov), and in 1787
William White and Samuel Provoost, having been elected to the bishoprics of
Pennsylvania and New York respectively, sailed to England and were
consecrated bishops on 14 February by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the
Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Bishop of
Peterborough.
William White was born in Philadelphia in 1747, went to England in 1770 to be
ordained deacon and priest, returned in 1772 and became first an assistant and
then the rector of the Church of Christ and Saint Peter in Philadelphia. He
served as Chaplain of the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1789, and then as
Chaplain of the Senate.
White was largely responsible for the Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in the United States of America. At his suggestion, the system of
church government found in the Episcopal Church was adopted. A section follows from White's writings on Church Government.
    The power of electing a superior order of ministers ought to be in the clergy
and laity together, they being both interested in the choice. In England, the
bishops are appointed by the civil authority, which was a usurpation of the
crown at the Norman conquest, but since confirmed by acts of parliament. The
primitive churches were generally supplied by popular elections; even in the
city of Rome, the privilege of electing the bishop continued with the people to
the tenth or eleventh century, and near those times there are resolves of
councils, that none should be promoted to ecclesiastical dignities, but by
election of the clergy and people. It cannot be denied that this right vested in
numerous bodies, occasioned great disorders; which it is expected will be
avoided, when the people shall exercise the right by representation.
White was Presiding Bishop of PECUSA at its first General Convention in
1789, and again from 1795 till his death on 17 July 1830. [James Kiefer]



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