OREMUS: 8 April 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Apr 7 17:00:00 GMT 2011

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OREMUS for April 8
William Augustus Muhlenberg, Priest, 1877

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

God of life and death,
from the fullness of yourself
you have created all that is;
through the power of your love
you call us towards you;
in the giving of your Son
our salvation has been wrought.
Our flowering and our passing,
all the seasons of the vine,
belong to you.
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. 

Psalm 41

Happy are they who consider the poor and needy!*
 the Lord will deliver them in the time of trouble.
The Lord preserves them and keeps them alive,
   so that they may be happy in the land;*
 he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed*
 and ministers to them in their illness.
I said, 'Lord, be merciful to me;*
 heal me, for I have sinned against you.'
My enemies are saying wicked things about me:*
 'When will he die and his name perish?'
Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words;*
 their heart collects false rumours;
   they go outside and spread them.
All my enemies whisper together about me*
 and devise evil against me.
'A deadly thing', they say, 'has fastened on him;*
 he has taken to his bed and will never get up again.'Even my best friend, whom I trusted,
   who broke bread with me,*
 has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
But you, O Lord, be merciful to me and raise me up,*
 and I shall repay them.
By this I know you are pleased with me,*
 that my enemy does not triumph over me.
In my integrity you hold me fast,*
 and shall set me before your face for ever.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,*
 from age to age. Amen. Amen.

Psalm 42

As the deer longs for the waterbrooks,*
 so longs my soul for you, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God;*
 when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my food day and night,*
 while all day long they say to me,
   'Where now is your God?'
I pour out my soul when I think on these things:*
 how I went with the multitude
   and led them into the house of God,
With the voice of praise and thanksgiving,*
 among those who keep holyday.
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul?*
 and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God;*
 for I will yet give thanks to him,
   who is the help of my countenance, and my God.
My soul is heavy within me;*
 therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,
   and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.
One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts;*
 all your rapids and floods have gone over me.
The Lord grants his lovingkindness in the daytime;*
 in the night season his song is with me,
   a prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to the God of my strength,
   'Why have you forgotten me?*
 and why do I go so heavily
   while the enemy oppresses me?'
While my bones are being broken,*
 my enemies mock me to my face;
All day long they mock me*
 say to me, 'Where now is your God?'
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul?*
 and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God;*
 for I will yet give thanks to him,
   who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 43

Give judgement for me, O God,
   and defend my cause against an ungodly people;*
 deliver me from the deceitful and the wicked.
For you are the God of my strength;
   why have you put me from you?*
 and why do I go so heavily
   while the enemy oppresses me?
Send out your light and your truth,
   that they may lead me,*
 and bring me to your holy hill
   and to your dwelling;
That I may go to the altar of God,
   to the God of my joy and gladness;*
 and on the harp I will give thanks to you,
   O God my God.
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul?*
 and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God;*
 for I will yet give thanks to him,
   who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

FIRST READING [Song of Solomon 2.8–end]:

The voice of my beloved!
   Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
   bounding over the hills. 
My beloved is like a gazelle
   or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
   behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
   looking through the lattice. 
My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
   and come away; 
for now the winter is past,
   the rain is over and gone. 
The flowers appear on the earth;
   the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
   is heard in our land. 
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
   and the vines are in blossom;
   they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
   and come away. 
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
   in the covert of the cliff,
let me see your face,
   let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
   and your face is lovely. 
Catch us the foxes,
   the little foxes,
that ruin the vineyards—
   for our vineyards are in blossom.’ 

My beloved is mine and I am his;
   he pastures his flock among the lilies. 
Until the day breathes
   and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
Words: George Wade Robinson (1838-1877)
Tune: Calon Lan, Hollingside, Müller, Tichfield

Loved with everlasting love,
led by grace that love to know;
Spirit, breathing from above,
thou hast taught me it is so.
O this full and perfect peace!
O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease
I am his, and he is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms
cannot now disturb my rest;
closed in everlasting arms,
pillowed on the loving breast:
oh, to lie for ever here!
doubt and care and self resign,
while he whispers in my ear-
I am his and he is mine.

His for ever, only his:
who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heaven and earth may fade and flee,
first-born light in gloom decline;
but, while God and I shall be,
I am his, and he is mine.

SECOND READING [Romans 7.1–6]:

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress. 

In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. 

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 saving power, 
remember us in times of sorrow and despair. 
Redeem us with your strength
and guide us through the wilderness. 
We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

God of merciful compassion,
your Son came to heal those 
who were broken in body or spirit, 
and to turn their sorrow into joy:
grant that your Church may possess
the vision and compassion 
of your servant William Augustus Muhlenberg
that we will not close our eyes 
to the plight of the poor and neglected, 
the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, 
the lonely and those who have none to care for them;
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

May the love of the cross,
the power of the resurrection,
and the presence of the living Lord,
be with us always. 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 adapts phrases from _Opening
Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press,
Norwich, 1999.

The closing sentence is from _Chalice Worship_, (c) Chalice
Press, 1997. Reproduced with permission.
The second collect is by Stephen Benner and is based on a collect  from
_The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c)
1980 The Church Pension Fund.

William A. Muhlenberg was born in Philadelphia on 16 September 1796, to a
distinguished German Lutheran family. Attracted to the Episcopal Church by its use of
English, he was ordained in 1817. He was active in promoting the Sunday School
movement, and concerned that the Church should minister to all social groups. He wrote
hymns and compiled hymnals, greatly expanding the range of music in Episcopal churches.

In 1828 he founded, and for twenty years headed, Flushing Institute (later St Paul's
College), a boys' school in Flushing, New York. There he made extensive use of music,
flowers, vestments, and an emphasis on the Church year and on sacramental worship, with
the weekly reception of the sacrament of Holy Communion, while at the same time
preaching with great force and conviction the Reformation doctrines of grace and of
justification by faith. Out of his ministry came inspiration for the establishment of Church
schools and hospitals, and an outreach to the poor.      
In 1846 he founded the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City, with a parish
school, a parish unemployment fund, and trips to the country for poor city children. He
called himself an "Evangelical Catholic," and by his firm stand for Evangelical Faith,
Apostolic Order, and Corporal Works of Mercy, he spoke to all parties in the Church
while belonging to none. [James Kiefer]

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