OREMUS: 27 February 2010
steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Feb 26 17:00:00 GMT 2010
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OREMUS for Saturday, February 27, 2010
George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633
O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Blessed are you, God, rich in mercy,
you so loved the world
that when we were dead in our sins,
you sent your only Son for our deliverance.
Lifted up from the earth,
he is light and life;
exalted upon the cross,
he is truth and salvation.
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.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,*
then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,*
and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,*
'The Lord has done great things for them.'
The Lord has done great things for us,*
and we are glad indeed.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,*
like the watercourses of the Negev.
Those who sowed with tears*
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed,*
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.
Unless the Lord builds the house,*
their labour is in vain who build it.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,*
in vain the guard keeps vigil.
It is in vain that you rise so early
and go to bed so late;*
vain, too, to eat the bread of toil,
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,*
and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior*
are the children of one's youth.
Happy are they who have their quiver full of them!*
they shall not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Happy are they all who fear the Lord,*
and who follow in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of your labour;*
happiness and prosperity shall be yours.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
within your house,*
your children like olive shoots round about your table.
Whoever fears the Lord*
shall thus indeed be blessed.
The Lord bless you from Zion,*
and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children's children;*
may peace be upon Israel.
'Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth',*
let Israel now say;
'Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth,*
but they have not prevailed against me.'
Those who plow ploughed upon my back*
and made their furrows long.
The Lord, the Righteous One,*
has cut the cords of the wicked.
Let them be put to shame and thrown back,*
all those who are enemies of Zion.
Let them be like grass upon the housetops,*
which withers before it can be plucked;
Which does not fill the hand of the reaper,*
nor the bosom of him who binds the sheaves;
So that those who go by say not so much as,
'The Lord prosper you.*
We wish you well in the name of the Lord.'
Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice;*
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss,*
O Lord, who could stand?
For there is forgiveness with you;*
therefore you shall be feared.
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;*
in his word is my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord,
more than the nightwatch for the morning,*
more than the nightwatch for the morning.
O Israel, wait for the Lord,*
for with the Lord there is mercy;
With him there is plenteous redemption,*
and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.
O Lord, I am not proud;*
I have no haughty looks.
I do not occupy myself with great matters,*
or with things that are too hard for me.
But I still my soul and make it quiet,
like a child upon its mother's breast;*
my soul is quieted within me.
O Israel, wait upon the Lord,*
from this time forth for evermore.
FIRST READING [Ezek. 34:17-25, 30-31]:
As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?
Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.
I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild animals from the land, so that they may live in the wild and sleep in the woods securely. They shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord God. You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord God.
Words: George Herbert, 1633
Tune: Sandys, Carlisle
Teach me, my God and King,
in all things thee to see,
and what I do in anything
to do it as for thee.
A man that looks on glass,
on it may stay his eye;
or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
and then the heaven espy.
All may of thee partake;
nothing can be so mean,
which with this tincture, "for thy sake,"
will not grow bright and clean.
A servant with this clause
makes drudgery divine:
who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,
makes that and the action fine.
This is the famous stone
that turneth all to gold;
for that which God doth touch and own
cannot for less be told.
SECOND READING [1 Tim. 6:6-end]:
Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right timehe who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.
As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge; by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith.
Grace be with you.
The Benedictus (Morning),
the Magnificat (Evening), or
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.
O Lord, answer us in the day of trouble,
Send us help from your holy place.
Show us the path of life,
For in your presence is joy.
Give justice to the orphan and oppressed
And break the power of wickedness and evil.
Look upon the hungry and sorrowful
And grant them the help for which they long.
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
May your glory endure for ever.
Your kingship has dominion over all
And with you is our redemption.
God of grace,
you loved the world so much
that you gave your only Son to be our Savior.
Help us to rejoice in our salvation
by showing mercy and truth,
and by walking in the way of righteousness and peace.
We ask this in his Name and for his sake. Amen.
King of glory, King of peace,
who called your servant George Herbert
from the pursuit of worldly honours
to be a priest in the temple of his God and King:
grant us also the grace to offer ourselves
with singleness of heart in humble obedience to your service;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:
- The Lord's Prayer
May God give us comfort and peace, light and joy,
in this world and the next. Amen.
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
prayers in _Book of Common Worship_, (c) 1993 Westminster
/ John Knox Press.
The opening prayer of thanksgiving adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.
George Herbert was born in 1593, a cousin of the Earl of Pembroke. His mother was a
friend of the poet John Donne. George attended Trinity College, Cambridge, and became the Public Orator of the University, responsible for giving speeches of welcome in Latin to famoous visitors, and writing letters of thanks, also in Latin, to acknowledge gifts of books for the University Library. This brought him to the attention of King James I, who granted him an annual allowance, and seemed likely to make him an ambassador. However, in 1625 the king died, and George Hebert,
who had originally gone to college with the intention of becoming a priest, but had head turned by the prospect of a career at Court, determined anew to seek ordination. In 1626 he was ordained, and became vicar and then rector of the parish of Bemerton and neighboring Fugglestone, not far from Salisbury.
He served faithfully as a parish priest, diligently visiting his parishioners and bringing them the sacraments when they were ill, and food and clothing when they were in want. He read Morning and Evening Prayer daily in the church, encouraging the congregation to join him when possible, and ringing the church bell before each service so that those who could not come might hear it and pause in their work to join their prayers with his. He used to go once a week to Salisbury to hear Evening Prayer sung there in the cathedral. On one occasion he was late because he had met
a man whose horse had fallen with a heavy load, and he stopped, took off his coat, and helped the man to unload the cart, get the horse back on its feet, and then reload the cart. His spontaneous generosity and good will won him the affection of his parishioners.
Today, however, he is remembered chiefly for his book of poems, The Temple, which he sent shortly before his death to his friend Nicholas Ferrar, to publish if he thought them suitable. They were published after Herbert's death, and have influenced the style of other poets, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Several of them have been used as hymns, in particular "Teach me, my God and King," and "Let all the world in every corner sing." Another of his poems contains the lines:
Prayer, the Church's banquet, Angel's age,
God's breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, the heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav'n and earth.
He also wrote a volume for parish clergy called A Priest to the Temple; or, The Country Parson.
He died on 1 March 1633, but is commemorated two days earlier, to avoid conflict with other commemorations.
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