OREMUS: 17 March 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Mar 16 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Patrick, Bishop, Missionary, Patron of Ireland

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy:
your steadfast love is shown to every living thing;
your word calls us forth and your law revives and refreshes.
You call us to repent our misuse of your gifts,
that we may be transformed by your wisdom
to manifest for others
the mercy of our crucified and risen Lord.
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 73

Truly, God is good to Israel,*
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;*
 I had almost tripped and fallen;
Because I envied the proud*
 and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
For they suffer no pain,*
 and their bodies are sleek and sound;
In the misfortunes of others they have no share;*
 they are not afflicted as others are;
Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace*
 and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from gross minds,*
 and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
They scoff and speak maliciously;*
 out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,*
 and their evil speech runs through the world.
And so the people turn to them*
 and find in them no fault.
They say, 'How should God know?*
 is there knowledge in the Most High?'
So then, these are the wicked;*
 always at ease, they increase their wealth.
In vain have I kept my heart clean,*
 and washed my hands in innocence.
I have been afflicted all day long,*
 and punished every morning.
Had I gone on speaking this way,*
 I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
When I tried to understand these things,*
 it was too hard for me;
Until I entered the sanctuary of God*
 and discerned the end of the wicked.
Surely, you set them in slippery places;*
 you cast them down in ruin.
O how suddenly do they come to destruction,*
 come to an end and perish from terror!
Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord,*
 when you arise you will make their image vanish.
When my mind became embittered,*
 I was sorely wounded in my heart.

I was stupid and had no understanding;*
 I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you;*
 you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me by your counsel,*
 and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?*
 and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
Though my flesh and my heart should waste away,*
 God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;*
 you destroy all who are unfaithful.
But it is good for me to be near God;*
 I have made the Lord God my refuge.
I will speak of all your works*
 in the gates of the city of Zion.

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 147:1-12

How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

FIRST READING [Genesis 40]:

Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody. One night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers, who were with him in custody in his master's house, 'Why are your faces downcast today?' They said to him, 'We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.' And Joseph said to them, 'Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.' 

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, 'In my dream there was a vine before me, and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and the clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.' Then Joseph said to him, 'This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days; within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. But remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place. For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.' 

When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favourable, he said to Joseph, 'I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.' And Joseph answered, 'This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a pole; and the birds will eat the flesh from you.' 

On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. He restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand; but the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. 

HYMN 
Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1889
Tune: St. Patrick's Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spic d tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

SECOND READING [1 Corinthians 10:1-13]:

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness. 

Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.' We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. 

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

Prayer:
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.

O Lord, save our nation;
And teach wisdom to those in authority.

Let your priests be clothed with righteousness;
Let your faithful people sing with joy.

Let your ways be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.

Give your people the blessing of peace
And may all the earth be filled with your glory.

Create in us clean hearts, O God,
And renew a right spirit within us.

May the Strength of God guide us. 
May the Power of God preserve us. 
May the Wisdom of God instruct us. 
May the Hand of God protect us. 
May the Way of God direct us. 
May the Shield of God defend us. 
May the Angels of God guard us. 
 Against the snares of the evil one. Amen.

Almighty God,
who in your providence chose your servant Patrick
to be the apostle of the Irish people:
keep alive in us the fire of the faith he kindled
and strengthen us in our pilgrimage
towards the light of everlasting life;
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.

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

God of love,
turn our hearts to your ways;
and give us peace. 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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

The first collect is attributed to Saint Patrick. 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.

Patrick was born about 390, in southwest Britain, somewhere between the
Severn and the Clyde rivers, son of a deacon and grandson of a priest. When
about sixteen years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery
in Ireland. Until this time, he had, by his own account, cared nothing for God,
but now he turned to God for help. After six years, he either escaped or was
freed, made his way to a port 200 miles away, and there persuaded some
sailors to take him onto their ship. He returned to his family much changed,
and began to prepare for the priesthood, and to study the Bible.
Around 435, Patrick was commissioned, perhaps by bishops in Gaul and
perhaps by the Pope, to go to Ireland as a bishop and missionary. Four years
earlier another bishop, Palladius, had gone to Ireland to preach, but he was no
longer there (my sources disagree on whether he had died, or had become
discouraged and left Ireland to preach in Scotland). Patrick made his
headquarters at Armagh in the North, where he built a school, and had the
protection of the local monarch. From this base he made extensive missionary
journeys, with considerable success. To say that he single-handedly turned
Ireland from a pagan to a Christian country is an exaggeration, but is not
far from the truth.
Almost everything we know about him comes from his own writings, available
in English in the Ancient Christian Writers series. He has left us an
autobiography (called the Confession), a Letter to Coroticus in which he
denounces the slave trade and rebukes the British chieftain Coroticus for
taking part in it, and the Lorica (or "Breastplate" a poem of disputed
authorship traditionally attributed to Patrick), a work that has been called "part
prayer, part anthem, and part incantation." [James Kiefer, abridged]



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