OREMUS: 3 April 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Apr 2 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for April 3
Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253

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

Blessed are you, O Lord,
when we turned away
you did not reject us,
but came to meet us in your Son.
You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.
In Christ you shared our life
that we might live in him and he in us.
He opened wide his arms upon the cross
and made for all a perfect sacrifice for sin.
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 18
I love you, O Lord my strength,*
 O Lord my stronghold, my crag and my haven. 
My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,*
 my shield, the horn of my salvation and my refuge;
   you are worthy of praise. 
I will call upon the Lord,*
 and so shall I be saved from my enemies. 
The breakers of death rolled over me,*
 and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid. 
The cords of hell entangled me,*
 and the snares of death were set for me. 
I called upon the Lord in my distress*
 and cried out to my God for help. 
He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling;*
 my cry of anguish came to his ears. 
The earth reeled and rocked;*
 the roots of the mountains shook;
   they reeled because of his anger. 
Smoke rose from his nostrils
   and a consuming fire out of his mouth;*
 hot burning coals blazed forth from him. 
He parted the heavens and came down*
 with a storm cloud under his feet. 
He mounted on cherubim and flew;*
 he swooped on the wings of the wind. 
He wrapped darkness about him;*
 he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion. 
>From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds,*
 burst hailstones and coals of fire. 
The Lord thundered out of heaven;*
 the Most High uttered his voice. 
He loosed his arrows and scattered them;*
 he hurled thunderbolts and routed them. 
The beds of the seas were uncovered,
   and the foundations of the world laid bare,*
 at your battle cry, O Lord,
   at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 
He reached down from on high and grasped me;*
 he drew me out of great waters. 
He delivered me from my strong enemies
   and from those who hated me;*
 for they were too mighty for me. 
They confronted me in the day of my disaster;*
 but the Lord was my support. 
He brought me out into an open place;*
 he rescued me because he delighted in me. 

The Lord rewarded me because of my righteous dealing;*
 because my hands were clean he rewarded me; 
For I have kept the ways of the Lord*
 and have not offended against my God; 
For all his judgements are before my eyes,*
 and his decrees I have not put away from me; 
For I have been blameless with him*
 and have kept myself from iniquity; 
Therefore the Lord rewarded me
   according to my righteous dealing,*
 because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight. 
With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God;*
 with the forthright you show yourself forthright. 
With the pure you show yourself pure,*
 but with the crooked you are wily. 
You will save a lowly people,*
 but you will humble the haughty eyes. 
You, O Lord, are my lamp;*
 my God, you make my darkness bright. 
With you I will break down an enclosure;*
 with the help of my God I will scale any wall. 
As for God, his ways are perfect;
   the words of the Lord are tried in the fire;*
 he is a shield to all who trust in him. 
For who is God, but the Lord?*
 who is the rock, except our God? 
It is God who girds me about with strength*
 and makes my way secure. 
He makes me sure-footed like a deer*
 and lets me stand firm on the heights. 
He trains my hands for battle*
 and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze. 
You have given me your shield of victory;*
 your right hand also sustains me;
   your loving care makes me great. 
You lengthen my stride beneath me,*
 and my ankles do not give way. 
I pursue my enemies and overtake them;*
 I will not turn back till I have destroyed them. 
I strike them down and they cannot rise;*
 they fall defeated at my feet. 
You have girded me with strength for the battle;*
 you have cast down my adversaries beneath me;
   you have put my enemies to flight. 
I destroy those who hate me;
   they cry out, but there is none to help them;*
 they cry to the Lord, but he does not answer. 
I beat them small like dust before the wind;*
 I trample them like mud in the streets. 
You deliver me from the strife of the peoples;*
 you put me at the head of the nations. 
A people I have not known shall serve me;
   no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me;*
 strangers will cringe before me. 
The foreign peoples will lose heart;*
 they shall come trembling out of their strongholds. 
The Lord lives! Blessèd is my rock!*
 Exalted is the God of my salvation! 
He is the God who gave me victory*
 and cast down the peoples beneath me. 
You rescued me from the fury of my enemies;
   you exalted me above those who rose against me;*
 you saved me from my deadly foe; 
Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O Lord,*
 and sing praises to your name. 
He multiplies the victories of his king;*
 he shows loving-kindness to his anointed,
   to David and his descendants for ever. 

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 22.20–23.8]:

Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,
   and lift up your voice in Bashan;
cry out from Abarim,
   for all your lovers are crushed. 
I spoke to you in your prosperity,
   but you said, 'I will not listen.'
This has been your way from your youth,
   for you have not obeyed my voice. 
The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,
   and your lovers shall go into captivity;
then you will be ashamed and dismayed
   because of all your wickedness. 
O inhabitant of Lebanon,
   nested among the cedars,
how you will groan when pangs come upon you,
   pain as of a woman in labour! 

As I live, says the Lord, even if King Coniah son of Jehoiakim of Judah were the signet ring on my right hand, even from there I would tear you off and give you into the hands of those who seek your life, into the hands of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and into the hands of the Chaldeans. I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. But they shall not return to the land to which they long to return. 
Is this man Coniah a despised broken pot,
   a vessel no one wants?
Why are he and his offspring hurled out
   and cast away in a land that they do not know? 
O land, land, land,
   hear the word of the Lord! 
Thus says the Lord:
Record this man as childless,
   a man who shall not succeed in his days;
for none of his offspring shall succeed
   in sitting on the throne of David,
   and ruling again in Judah. 

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 
Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord. 

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The Lord is our righteousness.' 

Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, 'As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt', but 'As the Lord lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.' Then they shall live in their own land. 

HYMN 
Words: Richard of Chichester (c.1197-c.1253)

Day by day, dear Lord,
Of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
To love thee more dearly
To follow thee more nearly,
Day by day.

SECOND READING [Romans 4.13–end]:

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. 

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, 'I have made you the father of many nations')—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become 'the father of many nations', according to what was said, 'So numerous shall your descendants be.' He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith 'was reckoned to him as righteousness.' Now the words, 'it was reckoned to him', were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification. 
 
The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
On the cross, our Lord offered himself to the Father for the whole
world. So, at the foot of his cross, we join our prayers with his.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
For by virtue of the 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 be merciful to us
That your ways may be known upon earth,
your saving health among all nations.

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

We thank you, Lord God, 
for all the benefits you have given us 
in your Son Jesus Christ, 
our most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, 
and for all the pains and insults 
which he has borne for us; 
and like your holy bishop Richard, 
we pray that day by day we may see Christ more clearly, 
love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Lord,
who created and fashioned us,
who knows us and searches us out,
who abides with us through light and dark:
help us to know your presence in this life
and, in the life to come, still to be with you;
where you are alive and reign,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Christ crucified draw us to himself,
to find in him a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven. 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.

Richard de Wych, or of Droitwich as it is now known, was born there in 1197 and worked hard for his yeoman father to restore the family fortunes. Later he studied at Oxford and Paris and then in Bologna as an ecclesiastical lawyer. When he returned to England in 1235, he was made Chancellor of Oxford and eventually Chancellor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund of Abingdon. When Richard eventually became Bishop of Chichester, he was seen as a model diocesan bishop: progressing around his diocese on foot, visiting and caring for his clergy and people, generally being accessible to all who needed his ministry. He insisted that the sacraments be administered without payment and with a proper dignity. Whilst on a recruitment campaign for the Crusades, he fell ill at Dover and died there on 3 April 1253. [Exciting Holiness]


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