OREMUS: 17 February 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Feb 16 17:00:01 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Ash Wednesday

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

Blessed are you, eternal God, 
creator and ruler of the universe. 
You are our God, 
and we are the creatures of your hand. 
You made us from the dust of the earth, 
breathed into us the breath of life, 
and set us in your world to love and serve you. 
When we rejected your love 
and ignored your wisdom. 
you did not reject us. 
You loved us still
and call us again and again to turn to you
in obedience and in love. 
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. 
<!
http://www.oremus.org/lentocan.html
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Psalm 89, Part I
Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing;*
 from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever;*
 you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
'I have made a covenant with my chosen one;*
 I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
'"I will establish your line for ever,*
 and preserve your throne for all generations."'
The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O Lord,*
 and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?*
 who is like the Lord among the gods?
God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones,*
 great and terrible to all those round about him.
Who is like you, Lord God of hosts?*

 O mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you.
You rule the raging of the sea*
 and still the surging of its waves.
You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound;*
 you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours;*
 you laid the foundations of the world
   and all that is in it.
You have made the north and the south;*
 Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
You have a mighty arm;*
 strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
Righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of your throne;*
 love and truth go before your face.
Happy are the people who know the festal shout!*
 they walk, O Lord, in the light of your presence.
They rejoice daily in your name;*
 they are jubilant in your righteousness.
For you are the glory of their strength,*
 and by your favour our might is exalted.
Truly, the Lord is our ruler;*
 the Holy One of Israel is our king.
You spoke once in a vision
   and said to your faithful people:*
 'I have set the crown upon a warrior
   and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
'I have found David my servant;*
 with my holy oil have I anointed him.
'My hand will hold him fast*
 and my arm will make him strong.
'No enemy shall deceive him,*
 nor the wicked bring him down.
'I will crush his foes before him*
 and strike down those who hate him.
'My faithfulness and love shall be with him,*
 and he shall be victorious through my name.
'I shall make his dominion extend*
 from the Great Sea to the River.
'He will say to me, "You are my Father,*
 my God and the rock of my salvation."
'I will make him my firstborn*
 and higher than the kings of the earth.
'I will keep my love for him for ever,*
 and my covenant will stand firm for him.

'I will establish his line for ever*
 and his throne as the days of heaven.
'If his children forsake my law*
 and do not walk according to my judgements;
'If they break my statutes*
 and do not keep my commandments;
'I will punish their transgressions with a rod*
 and their iniquities with the lash;
'But I will not take my love from him,*
 nor let my faithfulness prove false.
'I will not break my covenant,*
 nor change what has gone out of my lips.
'Once for all I have sworn by my holiness:*
 "I will not lie to David.
'"His line shall endure for ever*
 and his throne as the sun before me;
'"It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon,*
 the abiding witness in the sky."'
But you have cast off and rejected your anointed;*
 you have become enraged at him.
You have broken your covenant with your servant,*
 defiled his crown and hurled it to the ground.
You have breached all his walls*
 and laid his strongholds in ruins.
All who pass by despoil him;*
 he has become the scorn of his neighbours.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes*
 and made all his enemies rejoice.
You have turned back the edge of his sword*
 and have not sustained him in battle.
You have put an end to his splendour*
 and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth*
 and have covered him with shame.
How long will you hide yourself, O Lord?
   will you hide yourself for ever?*
 how long will your anger burn like fire?
Remember, Lord, how short life is,*
 how frail you have made all flesh.
Who can live and not see death?*
 who can save himself from the power of the grave?
Where, Lord, are your lovingkindnesses of old,*
 which you promised David in your faithfulness?
Remember, Lord, how your servant is mocked,*
 how I carry in my bosom the taunts of many peoples,
The taunts your enemies have hurled, O Lord,*
 which they hurled at the heels of your anointed.
Blessed be the Lord for evermore!*
 Amen, I say, Amen.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 58:1-12]:

Shout out, do not hold back! 
   Lift up your voice like a trumpet! 
Announce to my people their rebellion, 
   to the house of Jacob their sins.  
Yet day after day they seek me
   and delight to know my ways, 
as if they were a nation that practised righteousness
   and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; 
they ask of me righteous judgements, 
   they delight to draw near to God. 
‘Why do we fast, but you do not see? 
   Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’ 
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day, 
   and oppress all your workers. 
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
   and to strike with a wicked fist. 
Such fasting as you do today
   will not make your voice heard on high. 
Is such the fast that I choose, 
   a day to humble oneself? 
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, 
   and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? 
Will you call this a fast, 
   a day acceptable to the Lord? 

Is not this the fast that I choose: 
   to loose the bonds of injustice, 
   to undo the thongs of the yoke, 
to let the oppressed go free, 
   and to break every yoke? 
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, 
   and bring the homeless poor into your house; 
when you see the naked, to cover them, 
   and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, 
   and your healing shall spring up quickly; 
your vindicator shall go before you, 
   the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. 
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; 
   you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. 

If you remove the yoke from among you, 
   the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 
if you offer your food to the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, 
then your light shall rise in the darkness
   and your gloom be like the noonday. 
The Lord will guide you continually, 
   and satisfy your needs in parched places, 
   and make your bones strong; 
and you shall be like a watered garden, 
   like a spring of water, 
   whose waters never fail. 
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; 
   you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; 
you shall be called the repairer of the breach, 
   the restorer of streets to live in. 

HYMN 
Words: Carl P. Daw, Jr. (c) Hope Publishing Co. Used with permission.
Tune: Southwell (Damon)

Restore in us, O God,
the splendor of your love;
renew your image in our hearts,
and all our sins remove.

O Spirit, wake in us
the wonder of your power;
from fruitless fear unfurl our lives
like springtime bud and flower.

Bring us, O Christ, to share
the fullness of your joy;
baptize us in the risen life
that death cannot destroy.

Three-personed God, fulfill
the promise of your grace,
that we, when our searching ends,
may see you face to face.

SECOND READING [Luke 15:10-end]:

Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.' 

Then Jesus said, 'There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me." So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, "How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.' " So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his slaves, "Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!" And they began to celebrate. 

'Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, "Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound." Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, "Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!" Then the father said to him, "Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." ' 

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

Prayer:
Let us bow before God, our Creator and Redeemer,
and confess our sin.

* Silence may be kept for reflection and self-examination.

Almighty God, you alone are good and holy.
Purify our lives and make us brave disciples.
We do not ask you to keep us safe,
but to keep us loyal,
so we may serve Jesus Christ,
who, tempted in every way as we are,
was faithful to you. Amen.

>From lack of reverence for truth and beauty;
from a calculating or sentimental mind;
from going along with mean and ugly things:
O God, deliver us.

>From cowardice that dares not face truth;
laziness content with half-truth;
or arrogance that thinks we know it all:
O God, deliver us.

>From artificial life and worship;
from all that is hollow or insincere: 
O God, deliver us.

>From trite ideals and cheap pleasures;
from mistaking hard vulgarity for humor:
O God, deliver us.

>From being dull, pompous, or rude;
from putting down our neighbors:
O God, deliver us.

>From cynicism about others;
from intolerance or cruel indifference:
O God, deliver us.

>From being satisfied with things as they are,
in the church or in the world;
from failing to share you indignation about injustice:
O God, deliver us.

>From selfishness, self-indulgence, or self-pity: 
O God, deliver us.

>From token concern for the poor,
for lonely or loveless people;
from confusing faith with good feeling,
or love with wanting to be loved:
O God, deliver us.

For everything in us that may hide your light: 
O God, deliver us.

Have mercy on your prodigal children, O God,
and teach us to acknowledge our sinfulness,
so that, in repentance,
we may come to know your forgiveness
which is the fulfilment of our life in your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May the God of peace
make us holy in every way
and keep our whole being--
spirit, soul, and body--
free from every fault
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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The psalms and collect 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 from _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. The closing sentence is 1 Thessalonians 5:23, adapted.

The litany of confession is from _Book of Common Worship_,
(c) 1993 Westminster / John Knox Press. 



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