OREMUS: 4 December 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sat Dec 3 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for December 4
Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, Founder of the Little Gidding Community, 1637

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

All glory and honour, thanks and praise
be given to you at all times and in all places, 
Lord, holy Father, true and living God, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
For he is your eternal Word
through whom you have created all things
from the beginning
and formed us in your own image. 
In him the day of our deliverance has dawned. 
We rejoice that through him you make all things new
and we look for his coming in power and majesty to judge the world. 
In your great love you gave him
to become human for us and with us and to share our common life. 
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

http://www.oremus.org/advocant.html

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 [Isaiah 44.1–8]:

But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
   Israel whom I have chosen! 
Thus says the Lord who made you,
   who formed you in the womb and will help you:
Do not fear, O Jacob my servant,
   Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
   and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
   and my blessing on your offspring. 
They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
   like willows by flowing streams. 
This one will say, 'I am the Lord's',
   another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, 'The Lord's',
   and adopt the name of Israel. 

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
   and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
   besides me there is no god. 
Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
   let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
   Let them tell us what is yet to be. 
Do not fear, or be afraid;
   have I not told you from of old and declared it?
   You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
   There is no other rock; I know not one. 

HYMN 
Words: Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Tune: Dominica

Begin the day with God:
He is the rising Sun,
His is the radiance of thy dawn,
His the fresh day begun.

Sing a new song at morn;
Join the glad woods and hills;
Join the fresh winds and seas and plains;
Join the bright flowers and rills.

Awake, cold lips, and sing;
Arise, dull heart, and pray;
Lift up, O man, thy heart and eyes;
Brush slothfulness away.

Cast every weight aside;
Do battle with each sin;
Fight with the faithless world without,
The faithless heart within.

Look up beyond these clouds,
Thither thy pathway lies;
Mount up, away, and linger not,
Thy goal is yonder skies!

SECOND READING [Revelation 21.15–21]:

The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth cornelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass. 

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

Prayer:
In joyful hope, we pray to you, O Lord:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to your Church as Lord and Judge
and give us a longing for your loving rule.
We pray especially for :
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to your world as King of the nations
and let righteousness and peace prevail:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to us as Savior and Comforter,
breaking into our failure and freeing us to serve you:
Come, Lord Jesus!

Come to us with power and great joy,
that our hearts may be lifted to meet you in joy:
Come, Lord Jesus!

If you come this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. Your are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying. 
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire
Beyond the language of the living. 
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always.
		
Gracious God,
whose servants in the household at Little Gidding
had pleasure in the beauty of holiness,
cleanse our lives of all pride and discord,
that we may become the place
where you delight to set your love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. 

Awaiting his coming in glory,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

You have made known to us again
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
confirm our faith and fix our eyes on him
until the day dawns
and Christ the Morning Star rises in our hearts. 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 of thanksgiving is a preface in the _Book of Common Prayer 2004_ of the Church of Ireland and the closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_. The first collect is from Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot. The second collect is from For All the Saints, Anglican Church of Canada.

Born in London in 1592, Nicholas Ferrar was educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge and elected a Fellow there in 1610. From 1613, he travelled extensively on the continent for five years, trying his hand as a businessman and then as a parliamentarian on his return. In 1625, he moved to Little Gidding in Huntingdonshire, then a derelict manor-house with a chapel which was being used as a hay barn. He was joined by his brother and sister and their families and by his mother, and they established together a community life of prayer, using The Book of Common Prayer, and a life of charitable works in the locality. He was ordained to the diaconate by William Laud the year after they arrived. He wrote to his niece in 1631, "I purpose and hope by God's grace to be to you not as a master but as a partner and fellow student." This indicates the depth and feeling of the community life Nicholas and his family strove to maintain. After the death of Nicholas on this day in 1637, the community was broken up in 1646 by the Puritans, who were suspicious of it and referred to it as the Arminian Nunnery. They feared it promoting the return of Romish practices into England, and so all Nicholas's manuscripts were burned. [Exciting Holiness]



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