OREMUS: 4 April 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Apr 3 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for April 4
Reginald Heber, Bishop of Calcutta, 1826

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

Blessed are you, O Lord;
How wonderful the work of your hands!
As a mother tenderly gathers her children
you embraced a people as your own.
When they turned away and rebelled
your love remained steadfast.
>From them you raised up Jesus our Savior, born of Mary,
to be the living bread,
in whom all our hungers are satisfied.
He offered his life for sinners
and with a love stronger than death
he opened wide his arms on the cross.
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 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?*
 and are so far from my cry
   and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime,
   but you do not answer;*
 by night as well, but I find no rest.
Yet you are the Holy One,*
 enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
Our forebears put their trust in you;*
 they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried out to you and were delivered;*
 they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
But as for me, I am a worm and no man,*
 scorned by all and despised by the people.
All who see me laugh me to scorn;*
 they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
'He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him;*
 let him rescue him, if he delights in him.'
Yet you are he who took me out of the womb,*
 and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;*
 you were my God
   when I was still in my mother's womb.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near,*
 and there is none to help.
Many young bulls encircle me;*
 strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
They open wide their jaws at me,*
 like a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water;
   all my bones are out of joint;*
 my heart within my breast is melting wax.
My mouth is dried out like a potsherd;
   my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;*
 and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
Packs of dogs close me in,
   and gangs of evildoers circle around me;*
 they pierce my hands and my feet;
   I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me;*
 they divide my garments among them;
   they cast lots for my clothing.
Be not far away, O Lord;*
 you are my strength; hasten to help me.
Save me from the sword,*
 my life from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth,*
 my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
I will declare your name to my people;*
 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
Praise the Lord, you that fear him;*
 stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;
   all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
For he does not despise nor abhor
   the poor in their poverty;
   neither does he hide his face from them;*
 but when they cry to him he hears them.
My praise is of him in the great assembly;*
 I will perform my vows
   in the presence of those who worship him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied,
   and those who seek the Lord shall praise him:*
 'May your heart live for ever!'
All the ends of the earth
   shall remember and turn to the Lord,*
 and all the families of the nations
   shall bow before him.
For kingship belongs to the Lord;*
 he rules over the nations.
To him alone all who sleep in the earth
   bow down in worship;*
 all who go down to the dust fall before him.
My soul shall live for him;
   my descendants shall serve him;*
 they shall be known as the Lord's for ever.
They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn*
 the saving deeds that he has done.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;*
 I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures*
 and leads me beside still waters.
He revives my soul*
 and guides me along right pathways for his name's sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I shall fear no evil;*
 for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You spread a table before me
   in the presence of those who trouble me;*
 you have anointed my head with oil,
   and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,*
 and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

FIRST READING [Jeremiah 23.9–32]:

Concerning the prophets:
My heart is crushed within me,
   all my bones shake;
I have become like a drunkard,
   like one overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
   and because of his holy words. 
For the land is full of adulterers;
   because of the curse the land mourns,
   and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course has been evil,
   and their might is not right. 
Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
   even in my house I have found their wickedness, 
says the Lord. 
Therefore their way shall be to them
   like slippery paths in the darkness,
   into which they shall be driven and fall;
for I will bring disaster upon them
   in the year of their punishment, 
says the Lord. 
In the prophets of Samaria
   I saw a disgusting thing:
they prophesied by Baal
   and led my people Israel astray. 
But in the prophets of Jerusalem
   I have seen a more shocking thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies;
   they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
   so that no one turns from wickedness;
all of them have become like Sodom to me,
   and its inhabitants like Gomorrah. 
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
‘I am going to make them eat wormwood,
   and give them poisoned water to drink;
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
   ungodliness has spread throughout the land.’ 

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they are deluding you. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to all who stubbornly follow their own stubborn hearts, they say, ‘No calamity shall come upon you.’ 

For who has stood in the council of the Lord
   so as to see and to hear his word?
   Who has given heed to his word so as to proclaim it? 
Look, the storm of the Lord!
   Wrath has gone forth,
a whirling tempest;
   it will burst upon the head of the wicked. 
The anger of the Lord will not turn back
   until he has executed and accomplished
   the intents of his mind.
In the latter days you will understand it clearly. 

I did not send the prophets,
   yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
   yet they prophesied. 
But if they had stood in my council,
   then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
   and from the evil of their doings. 

Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back—those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. See, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their own tongues and say, ‘Says the Lord.’ See, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the Lord, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the Lord. 

HYMN 
Words: Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Tune: Nicaea

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy, there is none beside thee
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty!
all thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

SECOND READING [Romans 5.1–11]:

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 

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

Prayer:
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.

Lord God, King of the Universe,
you show the bright glory of your reign
in acts of mercy and enduring love:
raise the spirits of the downcast
and restore those who have fallen away,
that your Church may continually sing of your saving help;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
		
Almighty God,
you granted to Reginald Heber
a manifold life of service,
to shepherd a rural parish in England
and to preach in the cities of India.
Give to your people such faithfulness,
that in every place and circumstance
they may sing of your power
and minister your gifts
for the glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for 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 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.

Heber is best remembered as a poet and hymn writer; born at Malpas, Cheshire (just north of Whitchurch, Shropshire) and educated at Whitchurch Grammar School from 1790 to 1796. He attended Brasenose College, Oxford. He became Rector of Hodnet, Shropshire, in 1807 and took up residence at the Rectory following his marriage two years later. He devoted himself to the affairs of the parish and writing hymns. In 1812 he published a small volume of poetry and began work on a Dictionary of the Bible. In 1822 he also became preacher at Lincoln's Inn, but the following year, after much agonising, he decided to leave Hodnet to become Bishop of Calcutta, sailing on 16 June 1823. He spent the next three years travelling around his new extensive diocese before suddenly dying of apoplexy, whilst taking a cold bath, on 3 April 1826. [http://www3.shropshire-cc.gov.uk/heber.htm]



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