OREMUS: 14 September 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Sep 13 19:19:39 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Holy Cross Day

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of life,
for the cross, the sign of Christ's victory over death.
Once through the fruit of the forbidden tree, we fell;
now through this tree Christ cancels all our guilt.
On the tree of the cross our Redeemer hung,
becoming accursed for our sake,
to snatch us from our ancient foe
and lead us from death's dominion into eternal life.
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/ocan.html

Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;*
 let me never be ashamed.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;*
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;*
 you are my crag and my stronghold.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,*
 from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God,*
 my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
   from my mother's womb you have been my strength;*
 my praise shall be always of you.
I have become a portent to many;*
 but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise*
 and your glory all the day long.
Do not cast me off in my old age;*
 forsake me not when my strength fails.
For my enemies are talking against me,*
 and those who lie in wait for my life
   take counsel together.
They say, 'God has forsaken him;
   go after him and seize him;*
 because there is none who will save.'
O God, be not far from me;*
 come quickly to help me, O my God.
Let those who set themselves against me
   be put to shame and be disgraced;*
 let those who seek to do me evil
   be covered with scorn and reproach.
But I shall always wait in patience,*
 and shall praise you more and more.
My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
   and saving deeds all day long;*
 though I cannot know the number of them.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;*
 I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,*
 and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
And now that I am old and greyheaded, O God,
   do not forsake me,*
 till I make known your strength to this generation
   and your power to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;*
 you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
You have showed me great troubles and adversities,*
 but you will restore my life and bring me up again
   from the deep places of the earth.
You strengthen me more and more;*
 you enfold and comfort me,
Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre
   for your faithfulness, O my God;*
 I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you,*
 and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long,*
 for they are ashamed and disgraced
   who sought to do me harm.

Psalm 72

Give the king your justice, O God,*
 and your righteousness to the king's son;
That he may rule your people righteously*
 and the poor with justice;
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,*
 and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people;*
 he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,*
 from one generation to another.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown field,*
 like showers that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
 there shall be abundance of peace
   till the moon shall be no more.
He shall rule from sea to sea,*
 and from the River to the ends of the earth.
His foes shall bow down before him,*
 and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute,*
 and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.
All kings shall bow down before him,*
 and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,*
 and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
 he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,*
 and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live,
   and may there be given to him gold from Arabia;*
 may prayer be made for him always,
   and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
   growing thick even on the hilltops;*
 may its fruit flourish like Lebanon,
   and its grain like grass upon the earth.
May his name remain for ever
   and be established as long as the sun endures;*
 may all the nations bless themselves in him
   and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*
 who alone does wondrous deeds!
And blessed be his glorious name for ever!*
 and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
   Amen. Amen.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 63:1-16]:

'Who is this that comes from Edom,
   from Bozrah in garments stained crimson?
Who is this so splendidly robed,
   marching in his great might?'

'It is I, announcing vindication,
   mighty to save.'

'Why are your robes red,
   and your garments like theirs who tread the wine press?'

'I have trodden the wine press alone,
   and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
   and trampled them in my wrath;
their juice spattered on my garments,
   and stained all my robes.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
   and the year for my redeeming work had come.
I looked, but there was no helper;
   I stared, but there was no one to sustain me;
so my own arm brought me victory,
   and my wrath sustained me.
I trampled down peoples in my anger,
   I crushed them in my wrath,
   and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.'

I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord,
   the praiseworthy acts of the Lord,
because of all that the Lord has done for us,
   and the great favour to the house of Israel
that he has shown them according to his mercy,
   according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
For he said, 'Surely they are my people,
   children who will not deal falsely';
and he became their saviour
   in all their distress.
It was no messenger or angel
   but his presence that saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
   he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

But they rebelled
   and grieved his holy spirit;
therefore he became their enemy;
   he himself fought against them.
Then they remembered the days of old,
   of Moses his servant.
Where is the one who brought them up out of the sea
   with the shepherds of his flock?
Where is the one who put within them
   his holy spirit,
who caused his glorious arm
   to march at the right hand of Moses,
who divided the waters before them
   to make for himself an everlasting name,
   who led them through the depths?
Like a horse in the desert,
   they did not stumble.
Like cattle that go down into the valley,
   the spirit of the Lord gave them rest.
Thus you led your people,
   to make for yourself a glorious name.

Look down from heaven and see,
   from your holy and glorious habitation.
Where are your zeal and your might?
   The yearning of your heart and your compassion?
   They are withheld from me.
For you are our father,
   though Abraham does not know us
   and Israel does not acknowledge us;
you, O Lord, are our father;
   our Redeemer from of old is your name. 

HYMN 
Words: Fred Pratt Green (c)
Tune: The Third Tune

To mock your reign, O dearest Lord,
they made a crown of thorns;
set you with taunts along that road
from which no one returns.
They did not know, as we do now,
that glorious is your crown;
that thorns would flower upon your brow,
your sorrows heal our own.

In mock acclaim, O gracious Lord,
they snatched a purple cloak,
your passion turned, for all they cared,
into a soldier's joke.
They did not know, as we do now,
that though we merit blame
you will your robe of mercy throw
around our naked shame.

A sceptered reed, O patient Lord,
they thrust into your hand,
and acted out their grim charade
to its appointed end.
They did not know, as we do now,
though empires rise and fall,
your Kingdom shall not cease to grow
till love embraces all.

SECOND READING [1 Corinthians 1:18-25]:

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
   and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.'
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God,
the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of
our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks
desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and
foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ
the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human
wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.

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

Prayer:
We glory in your cross, O Lord,
- and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
  for by virtue of your cross
  joy has come to the whole world.

God, be merciful to us and bless us,
and show us the light of your countenance,
and come to us
- Let your ways may be known upon earth,
  your saving health among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

- We glory in your cross, O Lord,
  and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
  for by virtue of your cross
  joy has come to the whole world.

Hear our prayers especially for those who died, have lost loved ones
or who are injured or are under distress. 
May the dead find rest for their souls,
may we find healing for our minds and bodies
and the strength to know that your Cross brings salvation to the world.
Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

Almighty God,
when the world's wars terrify us,
lift our eyes to your Son,
enthroned on Calvary,
whose meekness dumbfounds kings
and shatters earthly pride.
In his Name, we pray. Amen.

Almighty God, 
whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ 
was lifted high upon the cross 
that he might draw the whole world to himself: 
Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, 
may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us delight in the mercy that has found us
and bring all to rejoice at the feast of forgiveness. 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 adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

Hymn (c) 1973 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.  
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada:  Hope Publishing Company, 
www.hopepublishing.com
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 
www.stainer.co.uk

The second collect is from The Book of Common Prayer_ (1979),
Charles Mortimer Guilbert, Custodian.

The closing prayer uses phrases from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

During the reign of Constantine, first Roman Emperor to profess the Christian
faith, his mother Helena went to Israel and there undertook to find the places
especially significant to Christians. (She was helped in this by the fact that in
their destructions around 135, the Romans had built pagan shrines over many
of these sites.) Having located, close together, what she believed to be the sites
of the Crucifixion and of the Burial (at locations that modern archaeologists
think may be correct), she then had built over them the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre, which was dedicated on 14 September 335. It has become a day for
recognizing the Cross (in a festal atmosphere that would be inappropriate on
Good Friday) as a symbol of triumph, as a sign of Christ's victory over death,
and a reminder of His promise, "And when I am lifted up, I will draw all men
unto me." (John 12:32)
Tertullian, in his De Corona (3:2), written around AD 211, says that Christians
seldom do anything significant without making the sign of the cross. Certainly
by his time the practice was well established. Justin Martyr, in chapters 55 and
60 of his First Apology (Defence of the Christian Faith, addressed to the
Emperor Antoninus Pius and therefore written between 148 and 155 AD),
refers to the cross as a standard Christian symbol, but not explicitly to tracing
the sign of the cross as a devotional gesture.
What is the significance of the sign of the cross? Well, in the first place, we
often place our initials or other personal mark on something to show that it
belongs to us. The Cross is the personal mark of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and
we mark it on ourselves as a sign that we belong to him, just as in the book of
Revelation, as noted above, the servants of God are sealed or marked on their
foreheads as a sign that they are his.
Again, as one preacher has said, if you were telling someone how to make a
cross, you might say (at least to an English speaker), "Draw an I and then cross
it out." As we make the sign, we first draw a vertical stroke, as if to say to
God, "Lord, here am I." Then we cancel it with a horizontal stroke, as if to say,
"Help me, Lord, to abandon my self-centeredness and self-will, and to make
you the center of my life instead. Fix all my attention and all my desire on you,
Lord, that I may forget my self, cancel my self, abandon myself completely to
your love and service." [James Kiefer, abridged]


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