OREMUS: 27 March 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Mar 26 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Friday, March 27, 2009
Charles Henry Brent, Bishop of the Philippines,
and of Western New York, 1929 

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

Glory to you, O Champion of all Loves,
who for our sake endured the cross,
encountered the enemy and tasted death.
Glory be to you, O King of all kings,
who for our salvation
wrestled with principalities and powers,
subdued the forces of hell
and won the greatest of all victories.
To you be all praise, all glory and all love;
now and for ever. Amen.

An opening canticle may be sung. 
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Psalm 102

Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come before you;*
 hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me;*
 when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke,*
 and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered,*
 so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning*
 I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,*
 like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan;*
 I am like a sparrow, lonely on a housetop.
My enemies revile me all day long,*
 and those who scoff at me
   have taken an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes for bread*
 and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of your indignation and wrath*
 you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days pass away like a shadow,*
 and I wither like the grass.
But you, O Lord, endure for ever,*
 and your name from age to age.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to have mercy upon her;*
 indeed, the appointed time has come.
For your servants love her very rubble,*
 and are moved to pity even for her dust.
The nations shall fear your name, O Lord,*
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion,*
 and his glory will appear.
He will look with favour on the prayer of the homeless;*
 he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,*
 so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.
For the Lord looked down from his holy place on high;*
 from the heavens he beheld the earth;
That he might hear the groan of the captive*
 and set free those condemned to die;
That they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,*
 and his praise in Jerusalem;
When the peoples are gathered together,*
 and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
He has brought down my strength before my time;*
 he has shortened the number of my days;
And I said, 'O my God,
   do not take me away in the midst of my days;*
 your years endure throughout all generations.
'In the beginning, O Lord,
   you laid the foundations of the earth,*
 and the heavens are the work of your hands;
'They shall perish, but you will endure;
   they all shall wear out like a garment;*
 as clothing you will change them,
   and they shall be changed;
'But you are always the same,*
 and your years will never end.
'The children of your servants shall continue,*
 and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.'

A Song of Christ the Servant 1 Peter 2.21b25 

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,  
that you should follow in his steps. 
He committed no sin, no guile was found on his lips,  
when he was reviled, he did not revile in turn. 
When he suffered, he did not threaten,  
but he trusted himself to God who judges justly. 
Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,  
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. 
By his wounds, you have been healed, 
for you were straying like sheep,  
but have now returned 
to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Psalm 149

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.

FIRST READING [Exodus 1:8-14, 22]:

Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, 'Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.' Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labour. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labour. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, 'Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.'

HYMN 
Words: Ian M Fraser (born 1917) © 1994 Stainer & Bell Ltd. Used with permission.
Tune: Sussex Carol

Lord God, whose Spirit drives us out
Beyond convention's rules and laws
To walk on water for your cause
And test what faith is all about:
Nerve us for risks the Spirit asks,
Strange venturing and daunting tasks.

Lord God, whose Spirit advocates
Structure and form which will endure
That generations may secure
Gains which past faithfulness creates:
Order our ways that we may find
Order consistent with your mind.

Movement and institution weave
Textures of life contrasting, strange,
Yet open out the church to change
Flexible life-forms to achieve:
Firm boughs and moving sap entwine
To make true branches of the Vine!

SECOND READING [1 Corinthians 14:26-end]:

What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let them be silent in church and speak to themselves and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to someone else sitting nearby, let the first person be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. And the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets, for God is a God not of disorder but of peace.

 (As in all the churches of the saints, women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only ones it has reached?) 

Anyone who claims to be a prophet, or to have spiritual powers, must acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. Anyone who does not recognize this is not to be recognized. So, my friends, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order. 

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

Prayer:
Merciful God, we praise you that you give strength for
every weakness, forgiveness for our failures, and new
beginnings in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you for
     the guidance of your Spirit through this day... 
                                (We thank you, Lord.)
     signs of new life and hope...
     people who have helped us...
     those who struggle for justice...
     expressions of love unexpected or undeserved...

Almighty God, you know all needs before we speak our
prayers, yet you welcome our concerns for others in Jesus
Christ. Especially we pray for
     those who keep watch over the sick and dying...
                                (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     those who weep with the grieving...
     those who are without faith 
     and cannot accept your love...

     those who grow old...
     Reformed, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches...

In the beginning, O God,
you laid the foundations of the earth
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
have pity on our human frailty
and cast us not away like clothing that is worn,
for you alone are our salvation for ever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Gracious God in heaven, 
whose Son prayed that we all might be one: 
Deliver us from arrogance and prejudice, 
and give us wisdom and forbearance, 
that, following your servant Charles Henry Brent, 
we may be united in one family 
with all who confess the Name of your Son Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and 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

Help us, O Lord Jesus Christ,
to enter in your sorrows and to rejoice in your victory;
to embrace your cross and to wear your crown;
to receive the wounds of your love
and to behold you in glory and light;
for your own name's sake. 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 by Thomas Ken (1637-1711) and the closing prayer is by St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373).

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

During the Spanish-American War (1898), arising from a dispute over Cuba
and Puerto Rico, the United States also acquired Guam and the Philippines. )
In 1902, the Episcopal Church appointed Charles Brent (at that time serving as
priest in charge of a slum parish in Boston) as Missionary Bishop of the
Philippines. He arrived on the same ship with the American Governor, William
H. Taft, and carried with him the unofficial but very real prestige of the
American establishment.
Brent could easily have confined himself to providing a kind of ecclesiastical
"home away from home" for American officials and others stationed in the
Islands. Equally, he could have devoted himself chiefly to efforts to convert the
Roman Catholics, both of Spanish and of Filipino ancestry, whom the previous
government had left behind. Instead, he directed his efforts toward the
non-Christians of his diocese: the pagan Igorots of the mountains of Luzon, the
Muslims of the southern islands, the Chinese settlements in Manila, all areas in
which he made considerable inroads and established thriving Christian
communities.
He began a campaign against the opium traffic, and served on several
international commissions devoted to stamping out international traffic in
narcotics. During World War I, he was the Senior Chaplain for the American
Armed Forces in Europe. He declined three elections to bishoprics in the
United States in order to continue his work in the Philippines, but in 1918, he
accepted the position of Bishop of Western New York. His experiences in the
Philippines had aroused in him a strong concern for the cause of visible
Christian unity. He wrote:
The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity. The world will go
limping until Christ's prayer that all may be one is answered. We must have
unity, not at all costs, but at all risks. A unified Church is the only offering we
dare present to the coming Christ, for in it alone will He find room to dwell.

He helped to organize the first World Conference on Faith and Order, which
met in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1927. He died there in 1929, being 67 years
minus 12 days old. He wrote the first collect used above.

The writer James Thayer Addison called him "a saint of disciplined mental
vigor, one whom soldiers were proud to salute and whom children were happy
to play with, who could dominate a parliament and minister to an invalid, a
priest and bishop who gloried in the heritage of his Church, yet who stood
among all Christian brothers as one who served." [James Kiefer]



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