OREMUS: 8 June 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jun 7 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Monday, June 8, 2009
Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, Non-Juror, Hymn Writer, 1711

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

Blessed are you, O Lord,
full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
You have not dealt with us according to our sins,
your mercy is great upon those who fear you.
In your Son Jesus Christ you have redeemed
our life from the grave and crowned us with mercy and loving-kindness.
You satisfy us with good things,
and our youth is renewed like an eagle's.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 
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Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause;*
 you set me free when I am hardpressed;
   have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
'You mortals, how long will you dishonour my glory;*
 how long will you worship dumb idols
   and run after false gods?'
Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful;*
 when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.
Tremble, then, and do not sin;*
 speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
Offer the appointed sacrifices*
 and put your trust in the Lord.
Many are saying,
'O that we might see better times!'*
 Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.
You have put gladness in my heart,*
 more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep;*
 for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 8

O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children*
 your majesty is praised above the heavens.
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries,*
 to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,*
 the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What are mortals, that you should be mindful of them?*
 mere human beings, that you should seek them out?
You have made them little lower than the angels;*
 you adorn them with glory and honour.
You give them mastery over the works of your hands;*
 and put all things under their feet,
All sheep and oxen,*
 even the wild beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,*
 and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor,*
 how exalted is your name in all the world!

A Song of God's Children (Romans 8.2,14,15b-19)

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus  
has set us free from the law of sin and death. 
All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God;  
for we have received the Spirit that enables us to cry, 'Abba, Father'. 
The Spirit himself bears witness that we are children of God  
and if God's children, then heirs of God; 
If heirs of God, then fellow-heirs with Christ;  
since we suffer with him now, that we may be glorified with him. 
These sufferings that we now endure  
are not worth comparing to the glory that shall be revealed. 
For the creation waits with eager longing  
for the revealing of the children of God.

Psalm 146

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Numbers 16:1-14]:

Now Korah son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, along with Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—descendants of Reuben—took two hundred and fifty Israelite men, leaders of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men, and they confronted Moses. They assembled against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, 'You have gone too far! All the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. So why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?' When Moses heard it, he fell on his face. Then he said to Korah and all his company, 'In the morning the Lord will make known who is his, and who is holy, and who will be allowed to approach him; the one whom he will choose he will allow to approach him. Do this: take censers, Korah and all your company, and tomorrow put fire in them, and lay incense on them before the Lord; and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. You Levites have gone too far!' Then Moses said to Korah, 'Hear now, you Levites! Is it too little for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to allow you to approach him in order to perform the duties of the Lord's tabernacle, and to stand before the congregation and serve them? He has allowed you to approach him, and all your brother Levites with you; yet you seek the priesthood as well! Therefore you and all your company have gathered together against the Lord. What is Aaron that you rail against him?' 

Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab; but they said, 'We will not come! Is it too little that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also lord it over us? It is clear you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come!' 

HYMN 
Words: Thomas Ken, 1695, 1709
Tune: Morning Hymn
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/a/a408.html
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Awake, my soul, and with the sun
thy daily stage of duty run;
shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
to pay thy morning sacrifice.

Lord, I my vows to thee renew;
disperse my sins as morning dew;
guard my first springs of thought and will,
and with thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
all I design or do or say;
that all my powers, with all their might,
in thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host:
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

SECOND READING [Luke 1:1-25]:

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed. 

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. 

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.' Zechariah said to the angel, 'How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.' The angel replied, 'I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.' 

Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was ended, he went to his home. 

After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 'This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.' 

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

Prayer:
All-seeing, all-loving God,
you behold the human family as one.
You regard each of us as loved, redeemed, a temple of your Spirit.
Beholding you, we respond in thanks and praise as one Church.

Renew the Church in a dynamic sense of your grace.
Renew us, O Lord.

We remember your Church in the Diocese of
Renew us, O Lord.

Work in us a continuing conversion:
Renew us, O Lord.

Give all your disciples eyes to see you in the ordinary:
Renew us, O Lord.

Lift the heavy hands of oppression
from the poor, the abused and the exploited:
Renew us, O Lord.

Kindle in the suffering and desperate
the warmth of your nearness and consolation:
Renew us, O Lord.

Stir up in us attention to the Spirit breathing within us:
Renew us, O Lord.

We bless you, Master of the heavens,
for the order which enfolds all things
and that this universe should find its meaning
in a Son of Man through whom and for whom all is made,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
O God, from whom all blessings flow,
by whose providence we are kept
and by whose grace we are directed:
help us, through the example of your servant Thomas Ken,
faithfully to keep your word,
humbly to accept adversity
and steadfastly to worship you;
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

O God in Three Persons,
you bring to life,
call us to freedom,
and move between us in love.
May we so participate
in your dance of trinity
that our lives may resonate with you,
now and for 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 based on a eucharistic prayer in
_Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John
Knox Press. 

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.
 The second 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.

Thomas Ken in the course of his lifetime was both rewarded and punished for
his firm adherence to principle. He was born in 1637 and reared by his
half-sister Anne and her husband the well-known angler Izaak Walton. He
became a clergyman and served for a year at the Hague as chaplain to Mary,
Princess of England and Queen of Holland, niece of King Charles II of England
and wife of the Dutch King William of Orange. During this year he publicly
rebuked King William for his treatment of his wife the said Mary, which may
be why he was chaplain there for only a year. Upon his return to England, he
was made Royal Chaplain to King Charles. The King had a mistress, Nell
Gwyn, and for his convenience wished to lodge her in his chaplain's residence.
Thomas sent the King a sharp refusal, saying that it was not suitable that the
Royal Chaplain should double as the Royal Pimp. Charles admired his honesty
and bluntness, and when the bishopric of Bath and Wells became available
soon after, he declared, "None shall have it but that little man who refused
lodging to poor Nellie!" Ken was accordingly made a bishop. When Charles
was on his deathbed, it was Ken whom he asked to be with him and prepare
him for death.
Under the next king, James II, brother of Charles, matters were different.
James converted to Roman Catholicism, the religion of his mother, and
political turmoil followed. James issued a decree known as the Declaration of
Indulgence, which decreed that various public offices formerly open only to
Anglicans, should thereafter be open to all persons. It was feared that the King
would appoint large numbers of Roman Catholics to positions of power, and
eventually transfer to them the control of the government. When the King
commanded the bishops to proclaim the Declaration of Indulgence, seven of
them refused to do so and were by the King's command imprisoned in the
Tower of London. The people of London rioted, and the bishops were freed
and carried in triumph through the streets of the city. Soon after, Parliament
offered the crown to the King's daughter Mary and her husband William of
Orange and James fled into exile.
William and Mary naturally began their reign by demanding oaths of allegiance
from all persons holding public positions, including the bishops. Thomas Ken
and others (known as the Non-Jurors -- the older meaning of "juror" is "one
who takes an oath," hence "perjurer" as "one who swears falsely") refused to
take the oath, on the grounds that they had sworn allegiance to James, and
could not during his lifetime swear allegiance to another monarch without
making such oaths a mockery. They were accordingly put out of office.
Thomas Ken became a private tutor and spent the rest of his life in retirement.
He died 19 March 1711. [James Kiefer, abridged]



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