OREMUS: 23 November 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Nov 22 17:00:00 GMT 2010


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

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

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.
You have given us a share in the inheritance
of the saints in light. 
In the darkness of this age
your saints proclaim the glory of your kingdom. 
Chosen as lights in the world, 
they surround our steps as we journey on
towards that eternal city of light
where all will sing the triumphal song: 
Great and wonderful are your deeds, Lord God almighty; 
just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 
To you be praise and glory, now and 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 [Daniel 3:1–30]:

King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent for the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counsellors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to assemble and come to the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counsellors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, assembled for the dedication of the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When they were standing before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the herald proclaimed aloud, 'You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.' Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshipped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 

Accordingly, at this time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, 'O king, live for ever! You, O king, have made a decree, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, shall fall down and worship the golden statue, and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up.' 

Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar said to them, 'Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble to fall down and worship the statue that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?' 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defence to you in this matter. If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.' 

Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace to be heated up seven times more than was customary, and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. So the men were bound, still wearing their tunics, their trousers, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. Because the king's command was urgent and the furnace was so overheated, the raging flames killed the men who lifted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But the three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire. 

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counsellors, 'Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?' They answered the king, 'True, O king.' He replied, 'But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god.' Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and said, 'Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!' So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counsellors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men; the hair of their heads was not singed, their tunics were not harmed, and not even the smell of fire came from them. Nebuchadnezzar said, 'Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king's command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.' Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon. 

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 [Revelation 20:1–15]:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while. 

Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. 

When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea. They marched up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from heaven and consumed them. And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 

Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. 

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

The Lord bless us and keep us;
the Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us;
the Lord turn his face toward us and give us peace. 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 is from _New Patterns for Worship_ and the closing sentence is from the Book of Numbers.

Clement was active as an elder in the Church in Rome towards the end of the first century and was reputed to have been a disciple of the apostles. He wrote an epistle to the Corinthians which witnessed to ministry in the Church and concerned their authority and duties. That letter clearly showed the authority of one senior presbyter intervening in a conflict in another Church and is full of valuable information about the history of the developing Church and its ministry at this time. His hierarchical view of Church order set a future pattern for episcopal practice and ministry. Clement seems to have been president of a council of presbyters which governed the Church in Rome and his letters are clearly written on their behalf. A fourth-century document has Clement being exiled to the Crimea where he was then put to death by being thrown into the sea with an anchor around his neck, his relics being recovered some centuries later by Cyril and Methodius. [Exciting Holiness]



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