OREMUS: 20 August 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Aug 19 21:19:15 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for August 20
Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher of the Faith, 1153

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

Blessed are you, God of all mercies, 
you extend forgiveness and aid again and again. 
You confront us with the mystery of your grace, 
beyond all human comprehension; 
you cause us to be merciful in your Name, 
that all whom we serve may see beyond us
and find you there. 
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 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul;*
 O Lord my God, how excellent is your greatness!
   you are clothed with majesty and splendour.
You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak*
 and spread out the heavens like a curtain.
You lay the beams of your chambers
   in the waters above;*
 you make the clouds your chariot;
   you ride on the wings of the wind.
You make the winds your messengers*
 and flames of fire your servants.
You have set the earth upon its foundations,*
 so that it never shall move at any time.
You covered it with the deep as with a mantle;*
 the waters stood higher than the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;*
 at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.
They went up into the hills
   and down to the valleys beneath,*
 to the places you had appointed for them.
You set the limits that they should not pass;*
 they shall not again cover the earth.
You send the springs into the valleys;*
 they flow between the mountains.
All the beasts of the field drink their fill from them,*
 and the wild asses quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the air make their nests*
 and sing among the branches.
You water the mountains from your dwelling on high;*
 the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works.
You make grass grow for flocks and herds*
 and plants to serve us all;
That they may bring forth food from the earth,*
 and wine to gladden our hearts,
Oil to make a cheerful countenance,*
 and bread to strengthen the heart.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap,*
 the cedars of Lebanon which he planted,
In which the birds build their nests,*
 and in whose tops the stork makes his dwelling.
The high hills are a refuge for the mountain goats,*
 and the stony cliffs for the rock badgers.
You appointed the moon to mark the seasons,*
 and the sun knows the time of its setting.
You make darkness that it may be night,*
 in which all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar after their prey*
 and seek their food from God.
The sun rises and they slip away*
 and lay themselves down in their dens.
The labourer goes forth to work*
 and to toil until the evening.
O Lord, how manifold are your works!*
 in wisdom you have made them all;
   the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the great and wide sea
   with its living things too many to number,*
 creatures both small and great.
There move the ships,
   and there is that Leviathan,*
 which you have made for the sport of it.
All of them look to you*
 to give them their food in due season.
You give it to them, they gather it;*
 you open your hand and they are filled with good things.
You hide your face and they are terrified;*
 you take away their breath
   and they die and return to their dust.
You send forth your Spirit and they are created;*
 and so you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure for ever;*
 may the Lord rejoice in all his works.
He looks at the earth and it trembles;*
 he touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;*
 I will praise my God while I have my being.
May these words of mine please him;*
 I will rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed out of the earth,*
 and the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.*
 Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Esther 2]:

After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. Then the king’s servants who attended him said, ‘Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king appoint commissioners in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in the citadel of Susa under the custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; let their cosmetic treatments be given them. And let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.’ This pleased the king, and he did so. 

Now there was a Jew in the citadel of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjaminite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with King Jeconiah of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had carried away. Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter. So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in the citadel of Susa in the custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in the custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. The girl pleased him and won his favour, and he quickly provided her with her cosmetic treatments and her portion of food, and with seven chosen maids from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her maids to the best place in the harem. Esther did not reveal her people or kindred, for Mordecai had charged her not to tell. Every day Mordecai would walk around in front of the court of the harem, to learn how Esther was and how she fared. 

The turn came for each girl to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their cosmetic treatment, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics for women. When the girl went in to the king she was given whatever she asked for to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. In the evening she went in; then in the morning she came back to the second harem in the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name. 

When the turn came for Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had adopted her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was admired by all who saw her. When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the virgins she won his favour and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet to all his officials and ministers—’Esther’s banquet.’ He also granted a holiday to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal liberality. 

When the virgins were being gathered together, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Now Esther had not revealed her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had charged her; for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Ahasuerus. But the matter came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. When the affair was investigated and found to be so, both the men were hanged on the gallows. It was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king. 

HYMN 
Words: attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), trans. Edward Caswall 
Tune: Bishopthorpe, King’s Norton, Land of Rest, St Agnes, St Bernard, St Botolph, St Magnus

O Jesus, King most wonderful,
thou conqueror renowned,
thou sweetness most ineffable,
in whom all joys are found!

When once thou visitest the heart,
then truth begins to shine,
then earthly vanities depart,
then kindles love divine.

Jesus thy mercies are untold
through each returning day;
thy love exceeds a thousand fold
whatever we can say.

O Jesus, light of all below!
thou fount of living fire,
surpassing all the joys we know,
and all we can desire:

May every heart confess thy name,
and ever thee adore;
and seeking thee, themselves inflame
to seek thee more and more.

Thee may our tongues for ever bless
thee may we love alone,
and ever in our lives express
the image of thine own.

Abide with us, and let thy light
shine, Lord, on every heart;
dispel the darkness of our night,
and joy to all impart.

Jesus, our love and joy, to thee,
the Virgin's holy Son,
all might and praise and glory be
while endless ages run.

SECOND READING [Mark 8.1–10]:

In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus called his disciples and said to them, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.’ His disciples replied, ‘How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?’ He asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven.’ Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

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

Prayer:
Faithful God, Lord of all,
we offer our prayers to you
for a world in need.

Lord of the Church, we pray for your people throughout the world,
especially in the Diocese of
Give unity in the Spirit
that we may be one in the witness of saving love
and glorify you with one mind and mouth.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Head of the Body,
give us wisdom to follow your commandments,
to live peacefully and do justly,
and to walk humbly with you.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Creator and ruler of the universe,
give to all who exercise authority
wisdom and virtue to govern justly
and bring peace across the land.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Source of all compassion,
give to all who suffer
the light of your presence and the caring of your people,
to bring calm and comfort.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Giver of good to all,
take from us any evil thought or will
that we may forgive those who offend us or seek our harm
as you have forgiven us.
Faithful God,
hear our prayer.

Let your goodness, Lord, appear to us,
that we, made in your image,
may conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength we cannot imitate 
your majesty, power and wonder;
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But your mercy reaches from the heavens,
through the clouds, to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child,
but you have brought the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love.
Caress us with your tiny hands,
embrace us with your tiny arms,
and piece our hearts with your soft, sweet cries. Amen.

Merciful Redeemer, 
who, by the life and preaching of your servant Bernard, 
rekindled the radiant light of your Church: 
grant us, in our generation, 
to be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, 
and ever walk before you as children of light; 
through Jesus Christ your Son 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

Light of the anxious heart, dispel the gloom of guilt and shed your sweetness, that your presence may be a fount of love for the world.  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 is by Laurence Hull Stookey. The first collect and closing sentence are by Bernard of Clairvaux.

Bernard was born at Fontaines, near Dijon, in France in the year 1090. He entered the Benedictine abbey at Cîteaux in 1112, taking with him many of his young companions, some of whom were his own brothers. He was a leader of the reform within Benedictinism at this time and in 1115 was sent to establish a new monastery at a place he named Clairvaux, or valley of light. Though times were hard, he built up the community with his remarkable qualities of leadership. Bernard preached widely and powerfully and proved himself a theologian of renown. Literally hundreds of houses were founded on the Cîteaux or Cistercian system and Bernard's influence on his own generation and beyond was immense. He died on this day in 1153. [Exciting Holiness]


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