OREMUS: 23 November 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Nov 22 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Monday, November 23, 2009
Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100

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

Blessed are you, God our Father,
for with the oil of gladness
you have anointed Christ the Lord, your only Son,
to be our great high priest and king of all creation.
As priest, he offered himself once for all upon the altar of the cross
and redeemed the human race by this perfect sacrifice of peace.
As king he claims dominion over all your creatures,
that he may bring before your infinite majesty
a kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace.
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 110:1-5

The Lord said to my lord, 'Sit at my right hand,*
 until I make your enemies your footstool.'
The Lord will send the sceptre of your power
   out of Zion,*
 saying, 'Rule over your enemies round about you.
'Princely state has been yours
   from the day of your birth,*
 in the beauty of holiness have I begotten you,
   like dew from the womb of the morning.'
The Lord has sworn and he will not recant:*
 'You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.'

Psalm 111

Alleluia!
   I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,*
 in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the deeds of the Lord!*
 they are studied by all who delight in them.
His work is full of majesty and splendour,*
 and his righteousness endures for ever.
He makes his marvellous works to be remembered;*
 the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
He gives food to those who fear him;*
 he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works*
 in giving them the lands of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice;*
 all his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever,*
 because they are done in truth and equity.
He sent redemption to his people;
   he commanded his covenant for ever;*
 holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;*
 those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
   his praise endures for ever.

Psalm 112

Alleluia!
   Happy are they who fear the Lord*
 and have great delight in his commandments!
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;*
 the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in their house,*
 and their righteousness will last for ever.
Light shines in the darkness for the upright;*
 the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.
It is good for them to be generous in lending*
 and to manage their affairs with justice.
For they will never be shaken;*
 the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
They will not be afraid of any evil rumours;*
 their heart is right;
   they put their trust in the Lord.
Their heart is established and will not shrink,*
 until they see their desire upon their enemies.
They have given freely to the poor,*
 and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
   they will hold up their head with honour.
The wicked will see it and be angry;
   they will gnash their teeth and pine away;*
 the desires of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 113

Alleluia!
   Give praise, you servants of the Lord;*
 praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be blessed,*
 from this time forth for evermore.
>From the rising of the sun to its going down*
 let the name of the Lord be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,*
 and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
   who sits enthroned on high,*
 but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
He takes up the weak out of the dust*
 and lifts up the poor from the ashes.
He sets them with the princes,*
 with the princes of his people.
He makes the woman of a childless house*
 to be a joyful mother of children.

FIRST READING [Wisdom 9:1-4, 9-11]:

O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy,
who have made all things by your word, 
and by your wisdom have formed humankind
to have dominion over the creatures you have made, 
and rule the world in holiness and righteousness,
and pronounce judgement in uprightness of soul, 
give me the wisdom that sits by your throne,
and do not reject me from among your servants. 
With you is wisdom, she who knows your works
and was present when you made the world;
she understands what is pleasing in your sight
and what is right according to your commandments. 
Send her forth from the holy heavens,
and from the throne of your glory send her,
that she may labour at my side,
and that I may learn what is pleasing to you. 
For she knows and understands all things,
and she will guide me wisely in my actions
and guard me with her glory.

HYMN 
Words: Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)
Meter: 76 76 D

O Jesus Christ, the Saviour,
We only look to Thee;
'Tis in Thy love and favour
Our souls find liberty.
While Satan fiercely rages
And shipwreck oft we fear,
'Tis this our grief assuages,
That Thou art always near.

Yes, though the tempest round us
Seems safety to defy,
Though rocks and shoals surround us
And swell the billows high;
Thou dost from death protect us
And cheer us by Thy love;
Thy counsels, too, direct us
Safe to the rest above.

There, with what joy reviewing
Past conflicts, dangers, fears,
Thy hand our foes subduing
And drying all our tears;
Our hearts with rapture burning,
The path we shall retrace,
Where now our souls are learning
The riches of Thy grace.

O then how loud the chorus
Shall to Thy name resound,
>From all at rest before us,
>From all Thy grace hath found!
One joyful song for ever
Each heart, each lip shall raise,
The praise of our Redeemer,
Our God and Saviour's praise.

SECOND READING [2 Peter 1:1-11]:

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ: 

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you. 

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

Prayer:
We pray for the coming of God(s kingdom.

You sent your Son to bring news to the poor,
sight to the blind, freedom to captives
and salvation to your people:
anoint us with your Spirit;
rouse us to work in his name:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor and freedom to the oppressed:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world the good news of your healing love:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn
to bring joy and gladness instead of grief:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here 
for you to save your people:
Father, by your Spirit
bring in your kingdom.

Lord of the Church
hear our prayer, 
and make us one in mind and heart
to serve you in Christ our Lord. Amen.

When you came among us in majesty, O God,
you took the form of a servant. 
May we whom you call to your priestly service
work to establish justice on earth, 
that we may inherit your kingdom in heaven; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Creator and Father of eternity,
whose martyr Clement bore witness with his blood
to the love he proclaimed and the gospel that he preached:
give us thankful hearts as we celebrate your faithfulness,
revealed to us in the lives of your saints,
and strengthen us in our pilgrimage as we follow your Son,
Jesus Christ 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

May Christ our King make us faithful and strong to do his will,
that we may reign with him in glory; 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 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 and the closing sentence are 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.

Clement is counted as the third bishop of Rome (after the apostles). His predecessors are Linus and Cletus (or Anacletus, or Anencletus), about whom almost nothing is known. They are simply names on a list. Clement is a little more than this, chiefly because he wrote a letter to the Corinthians, which was highly valued by the early church, and has been preserved to the present day. The letter itself does not carry his name, but is merely addressed from the congregation at Rome to the congregation at Corinth. However, a letter from Corinth to Rome a few decades later refers to "the letter we received from your bishop Clement, which we still read regularly." Other early writers are unanimous in attributing the letter to Clement. Perhaps because this letter made his name familiar, he has had an early anonymous sermon (commonly called II Clement) attributed to him, and is a character in some early religious romances (e.g. the Clementine Recognitions). 
One story about Clement is that he was put to death by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. Accordingly, he is often depicted with an anchor, and many churches in port towns intended to minister chiefly to mariners are named for him.
The Epistle of Clement to The Corinthians (also called I Clement) can be found in
collections of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, such as the Penguin Paperback Early Christian Writings, translated by Maxwell Staniforth. The letter is commonly dated around 96 AD, but an earlier date is suggested by John Robinson in his Redating the New Testament.
The letter is occasioned by the fact that a group of Christians at Corinth had banded
together against their leaders and had deposed them from office. Clement writes to tell them that they have behaved badly, and to remind them of the importance of Christian unity and love. He speaks at length of the way in which each kind of official in the church has his own function for the good of the whole. The letter is an important witness to the early Christian understanding of Church government, but an ambiguous witness in that we are never told precisely why the Corinthians had deposed their leaders, and therefore the letter can be read as saying that presbyters ought not to be deposed without reasonable grounds, or as saying that they cannot be deposed on any grounds at all. [James Kiefer, abridged]



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