OREMUS: 21 March 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Mar 20 17:00:00 GMT 2009

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OREMUS for Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556

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. 
Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all your sins*
 and heals all your infirmities;
He redeems your life from the grave*
 and crowns you with mercy and lovingkindness;
He satisfies you with good things,*
 and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
The Lord executes righteousness*
 and judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made his ways known to Moses*
 and his works to the children of Israel.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,*
 slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us,*
 nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,*
 nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,*
 so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,*
 so far has he removed our sins from us.
As a father cares for his children,*
 so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
For he himself knows whereof we are made;*
 he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are like the grass;*
 we flourish like a flower of the field;
When the wind goes over it, it is gone,*
 and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord
   endures for ever on those who fear him,*
 and his righteousness on children's children;
On those who keep his covenant*
 and remember his commandments and do them.
The Lord has set his throne in heaven,*
 and his kingship has dominion over all.
Bless the Lord, you angels of his,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,*
 and hearken to the voice of his word.

Bless the Lord, all you his hosts,*
 you ministers of his who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of his,
   in all places of his dominion;*
 bless the Lord, O my soul.

A Song of the Rock (Deuteronomy 32.112)

Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;  
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 
May my teaching drop as the rain, 
my speech distil as the dew,  
as the gentle rain on the grass, 
and as the showers upon the meadow. 
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord.  
Ascribe greatness to our God! 
The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are just:  
a faithful God without deceit, just and upright is he. 
His degenerate children have dealt corruptly with him;  
a perverse and crooked generation. 
Do you thus repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people?  
Is not he your father, who created you, 
who made you and established you? 
Remember the days of old, consider the years long past;  
ask your father, and he will show you; 
your elders, and they will tell you. 
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, 
when he divided the children of earth,  
he fixed the bounds of the peoples 
according to the number of the children of God. 
For the Lord(s own portion is his people,  
Jacob his allotted heritage. 
He sustained him in a desert land, 
in the howling waste of the wilderness;  
he shielded him and cared for him; 
he kept him as the apple of his eye. 
As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young,  
spreading out its wings, takes them, 
and bears them aloft on its pinions, 
So the Lord alone did guide him,  
and no foreign god was with him.

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 [Genesis 43:1-5, 11-16, 26-34]:

Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, 'Go again, buy us a little more food.' But Judah said to him, 'The man solemnly warned us, saying, "You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you." If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, "You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you." ' 

Then their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry them down as a present to the man—a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man; may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.' So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 

When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, 'Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.' 

When Joseph came home, they brought him the present that they had carried into the house, and bowed to the ground before him. He inquired about their welfare, and said, 'Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?' They said, 'Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.' And they bowed their heads and did obeisance. Then he looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, 'Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!' 
With that, Joseph hurried out, because he was overcome with affection for his brother, and he was about to weep. So he went into a private room and wept there. Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, 'Serve the meal.' They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. When they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, the men looked at one another in amazement. Portions were taken to them from Joseph's table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him. 

Words: Thomas A Lacey (1853-1931)
Tune: Genevan Psalm 68

Faith of our fathers, taught of old
By faithful shepherds of the fold,
The hallowing of our nation;
Thou wast through many a wealthy year,
Through many a darkened day of fear,
The rock of our salvation.
Arise, arise, good Christian men,
Your glorious standard raise again,
The cross of Christ who calls you;
Who bids you live and bids you die
For his great cause, and stands on high
To witness what befalls you.

Our fathers heard the trumpet call
Through lowly cot and kingly hall
>From oversea resounding;
They bowed with stubborn wills to learn
The truths that live, the thoughts that burn,
With new resolve abounding.
Arise, arise, good Christian men,
Your glorious standard raise again,
The cross of Christ who guides you;
Whose arm is bared to join the fray,
Who marshals you in stern array,
Fearless, whate'er betides you.

Our fathers held the faith received,
By saints declared, by saints believed,
By saints in death defended;
Through pain of doubt and bitterness,
Through pain of treason and distress,
They for the right contended.
Arise, arise, good Christian men,
Your glorious standard raise again,
The cross of Christ who bought you;
Who leads you forth in this new age
With long-enduring hearts to wage
The warfare he has taught you.

Though frequent be the loud alarms,
Though still we march by ambushed arms
Of death and hell surrounded:
With Christ for chief we fear no foe;
Nor force nor craft can overthrow
The Church that he has founded.
Arise, arise, good Christian men,
Your glorious standard raise again,
The cross wherewith he signed you
The King himself shall lead you on,
Shall watch you till the strife be done,
Then near his throne shall find you.

SECOND READING [1 Corinthians 12:1-11]:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says 'Let Jesus be cursed!' and no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit. 

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 

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

Almighty and everliving GOD, 
which by thy holy Apostle hast taught us 
to make prayers, and supplications, 
and to give thanks for all men: 
We humbly beseech thee most mercifully 
to receive these our prayers, 
which we offer unto thy divine Majesty, 
beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal church 
with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: 
And grant, that all they who do confess thy holy name, 
may agree in the truth of thy holy word, 
and live in unity and godly love. 
Specially we beseech thee to save and defend 
all those in authority, 
that they may truly and impartially minister justice,
to the punishment of wickedness and vice, 
and to the maintenance of God's true religion, and virtue. 
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Pastors, and Curates, 
that they may both by their life and doctrine 
set forth thy true and lively word, 
and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: 
and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, 
that, with meek heart and due reverence, 
they may hear, and receive thy holy word, 
truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life:
And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, 
to comfort and succour all them, 
which in this transitory life be in
trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. 
And especially we commend unto thy merciful goodness, 
this congregation which is here assembled in thy name: 
And here we do give unto thee most high praise, and hearty thanks, 
for the wonderful grace and virtue, declared in all thy saints,
from the beginning of the world: 
And chiefly in the glorious and most blessed virgin Mary, 
mother of thy son Jesus Christ our Lord and God,
and in the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, 
whose examples, O Lord, and steadfastness in thy faith, 
and keeping thy holy commandments, grant us to follow. 
We commend unto thy mercy, O Lord, all other thy servants,
which are departed hence from us, with the sign of faith, 
and now do rest in the sleep of peace: 
Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy, and everlasting peace, 
and that at the day of the general resurrection, 
we and all they which be of the mystical body of thy son, 
may altogether be set on his right hand, 
and hear that his most joyful voice: 
Come unto me, O ye that be blessed of my Father, 
and possess the kingdom, 
which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world. 
Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, 
our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

As your merciful goodness endures for ever, O Lord,
remember the frailty of your children;
deal with us not according to our sins
but, in your compassion, redeem our life
and crown us with your mercy and lovingkindness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Father of all wisdom and understanding,
who through the life of your servant Thomas Cranmer
renewed the life and worship of your Church,
and through his death
revealed your strength in human weakness:
by your grace let the light of faith
always shine within us,
that we may bear witness to the truth of your holy name;
through Jesus Christ,
our Mediator and Advocate. 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.

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

The intercession is adapted from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer.

The second collect is 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.

When Henry VIII of England died, he left three heirs: his son Edward and his
two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. Edward succeeded to the throne and was a
staunch Protestant (or at least his advisors were). Under his rule, the church
services, previously in Latin, were translated into English, and other changes
were made. When Edward died, the throne passed to his sister Mary, who was
firmly Roman Catholic in her beliefs. She determined to return England to
union with the Pope. With more diplomacy, she might have succeeded. But she
was headstrong and would take no advice. Her mother had been Spanish, and
she determined to marry the heir to the throne of Spain, not realizing how
much her people (of all religious persuasions) feared that this would make
England a province of the Spanish Empire. She insisted that the best way to
deal with heresy was to burn as many heretics as possible. (It is worth noting
that her husband was opposed to this.) In the course of a five-year reign, she
lost all the English holdings on the continent of Europe, she lost the affection
of her people, and she lost any chance of a peaceful religious settlement in
Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury in the days of Henry, and
defended the position that Henry's marriage to Katharine of Aragon (Spain)
was null and void. When Edward came to the throne, Cranmer was foremost in
translating the worship of the Church into English (his friends and enemies
agree that he was an extraordinarily gifted translator) and securing the use of
the new forms of worship. When Mary came to the throne, Cranmer was in a
quandary. He had believed, with a fervor that many people today will find hard
to understand, that it is the duty of every Christian to obey the monarch, and
that "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13). As long as the
monarch was ordering things that Cranmer thought good, it was easy for
Cranmer to believe that the king was sent by God's providence to guide the
people in the path of true religion, and that disobedience to the king was
disobedience to God. Now Mary was Queen, and commanding him to return to
the Roman obedience. Cranmer five times wrote a letter of submission to the
Pope and to Roman Catholic doctrines, and four times he tore it up. In the end,
he submitted. However, Mary was unwilling to believe that the submission was
sincere, and he was ordered to be burned at Oxford on 21 March 1556. At the
very end, he repudiated his final letter of submission, and announced that he
died a Protestant. He said, "I have sinned, in that I signed with my hand what I
did not believe with my heart. When the flames are lit, this hand shall be the
first to burn." And when the fire was lit around his feet, he leaned forward and
held his right hand in the fire until it was charred to a stump. Aside from this,
he did not speak or move, except that once he raised his left hand to wipe the
sweat from his forehead.

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