OREMUS: 14 February 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Feb 13 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for February 14
Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 and 885

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

Blessed are you, O Lord Eternal and Creator of all things,
who in your inscrutable goodness called us to this life; 
who bestowed on use the grace of Baptism
and the Seal of the Holy Spirit; 
who imbued us with the desire 
to seek you, the one true God. 
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 73

Truly, God is good to Israel,*
 to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;*
 I had almost tripped and fallen;
Because I envied the proud*
 and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
For they suffer no pain,*
 and their bodies are sleek and sound;
In the misfortunes of others they have no share;*
 they are not afflicted as others are;
Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace*
 and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
Their iniquity comes from gross minds,*
 and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
They scoff and speak maliciously;*
 out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,*
 and their evil speech runs through the world.
And so the people turn to them*
 and find in them no fault.
They say, 'How should God know?*
 is there knowledge in the Most High?'
So then, these are the wicked;*
 always at ease, they increase their wealth.
In vain have I kept my heart clean,*
 and washed my hands in innocence.
I have been afflicted all day long,*
 and punished every morning.
Had I gone on speaking this way,*
 I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
When I tried to understand these things,*
 it was too hard for me;
Until I entered the sanctuary of God*
 and discerned the end of the wicked.
Surely, you set them in slippery places;*
 you cast them down in ruin.
O how suddenly do they come to destruction,*
 come to an end and perish from terror!
Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord,*
 when you arise you will make their image vanish.
When my mind became embittered,*
 I was sorely wounded in my heart.
I was stupid and had no understanding;*
 I was like a brute beast in your presence.
Yet I am always with you;*
 you hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me by your counsel,*
 and afterwards receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?*
 and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
Though my flesh and my heart should waste away,*
 God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;*
 you destroy all who are unfaithful.
But it is good for me to be near God;*
 I have made the Lord God my refuge.
I will speak of all your works*
 in the gates of the city of Zion.

Psalm 74 [CCP]

O God, why have you utterly cast us off?*
 why is your wrath so hot
   against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago,*
 the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,
   and Mount Zion where you dwell.
Turn your steps towards the endless ruins;*
 the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
Your adversaries roared in your holy place;*
 they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
They were like men coming up with axes
   to a grove of trees;*
 they broke down all your carved work
   with hatchets and hammers.
They set fire to your holy place;*
 they defiled the dwellingplace of your name
   and razed it to the ground.
They said to themselves, 'Let us destroy them altogether.'*
 They burned down all the meetingplaces of God
   in the land.
There are no signs for us to see;
   there is no prophet left;*
 there is not one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, will the adversary scoff?*
 will the enemy blaspheme your name for ever?
Why do you draw back your hand?*
 why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
Yet God is my king from ancient times,*
 victorious in the midst of the earth.
You divided the sea by your might*
 and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
You crushed the heads of Leviathan*
 and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
You split open spring and torrent;*
 you dried up everflowing rivers.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;*
 you established the moon and the sun.
You fixed all the boundaries of the earth;*
 you made both summer and winter.
Remember, O Lord, how the enemy scoffed,*
 how a foolish people despised your name.
Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;*
 never forget the lives of your poor.
Look upon your covenant;*
 the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed;*
 let the poor and needy praise your name.
Arise, O God, maintain your cause;*
 remember how fools revile you all day long.
Forget not the clamour of your adversaries,*
 the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.

FIRST READING [1 Maccabees 3:42-60]:

Now Judas and his brothers saw that misfortunes had increased and that the forces were encamped in their territory. They also learned what the king had commanded to be done to the people to cause their final destruction. But they said to one another, 'Let us restore the ruins of our people, and fight for our people and the sanctuary.' So the congregation assembled to be ready for battle, and to pray and ask for mercy and compassion. 
Jerusalem was uninhabited like a wilderness;
   not one of her children went in or out.
The sanctuary was trampled down,
   and aliens held the citadel;
   it was a lodging-place for the Gentiles.
Joy was taken from Jacob;
   the flute and the harp ceased to play. 

Then they gathered together and went to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem, because Israel formerly had a place of prayer in Mizpah. They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, and tore their clothes. And they opened the book of the law to inquire into those matters about which the Gentiles consulted the images of their gods. They also brought the vestments of the priesthood and the first fruits and the tithes, and they stirred up the nazirites who had completed their days; and they cried aloud to Heaven, saying,
'What shall we do with these?
   Where shall we take them? 
Your sanctuary is trampled down and profaned,
   and your priests mourn in humiliation. 
Here the Gentiles are assembled against us to destroy us;
   you know what they plot against us. 
How will we be able to withstand them,
   if you do not help us?' 

Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout. After this Judas appointed leaders of the people, in charge of thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens. Those who were building houses, or were about to be married, or were planting a vineyard, or were faint-hearted, he told to go home again, in accordance with the law. Then the army marched out and encamped to the south of Emmaus. 

And Judas said, 'Arm yourselves and be courageous. Be ready early in the morning to fight with these Gentiles who have assembled against us to destroy us and our sanctuary. It is better for us to die in battle than to see the misfortunes of our nation and of the sanctuary. But as his will in heaven may be, so shall he do.' 

HYMN 
Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Tune: Breslau, Brockham, Deus tuorum militum, Warrington

God is a name my soul adores,
The almighty three, the eternal one;
Nature and grace with all their powers 
Confess the infinite unknown.

Thy voice produced the sea and spheres,
Bade the waves roar, the planets shine;
But nothing like thyself appears
Through all these spacious works of thine.

Still restless nature dies and grows;
>From change to change the creatures run:
Thy being no succession knows,
And all thy vast designs are one.

A glance of thine runs through the globe,
Rules the bright worlds and moves their frame;
Of light thou form'st thy dazzling robe,
Thy ministers are living flame.

How shall polluted mortals dare
To sing thy glory or thy grace?
Beneath thy feet we lie afar,
And see but shadows of thy face.

Who can behold the blazing light?
Who can approach consuming flame?
None but thy wisdom knows thy might,
None but thy word can speak thy name.

SECOND READING [John 5:1–18]:

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 

Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, 'Do you want to be made well?' The sick man answered him, 'Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.' Jesus said to him, 'Stand up, take your mat and walk.' At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.

Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, 'It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.' But he answered them, 'The man who made me well said to me, "Take up your mat and walk."' They asked him, 'Who is the man who said to you, "Take it up and walk"?' Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, 'See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.' The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is still working, and I also am working.' For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God. 

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

Prayer:
Blessed are you, eternal God,
to be praised and glorified for ever.

Hear us as we pray for your holy Catholic Church:
make us all one, that the world may believe.

Grant that every member of the Church
may truly and humbly serve you:
that the life of Christ may be revealed in us.

Strengthen all who minister in Christ(s name:
give them courage to proclaim your Gospel.

Inspire and lead those who hold authority
in the nations of the world:
guide them in the ways of justice and peace.

Make us alive to the needs of our community:
help us to share each other(s joys and burdens.

Look with kindness on our homes and families:
grant that your love may grow in our hearts.

Deepen our compassion for all who suffer 
from sickness, grief or trouble:
in your presence may they find their strength.

We remember those who have died:
may they rest in your peace.

We praise you for all your saints 
who have entered your eternal glory:
bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

Christ my God, 
set my heart on fire with love in you, 
that in its flame I may love you 
with all my heart, with all my mind, 
and with all my soul and with all my strength, 
and my neighbor as myself, 
so that by keeping your commandments 
I may glorify you, 
the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Lord of all,
who gave to your servants Cyril and Methodius
the gift of tongues to proclaim the gospel to the Slavs: 
make your whole Church one as you are one
that all Christians may honour one another,
and east and west acknowledge
   one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
and you, the God and Father of all; 
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

By the power of your blessing
enable us at all times to speak and act to your glory 
with a pure spirit, with humility, patience, 
love, gentleness, peace, courage and wisdom: 
aware always of your presence. 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 and the closing sentence are adapted from
a prayer by Archimandrite Sophronios.

The first collect is from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops( Council, 2000.

Cyril and his older brother Methodius were born in Thessalonica, both developing in their youth the ability to speak several languages, including Slavonic, a language not yet written down, at least in an alphabet understood by others. Cyril created the Slavonic alphabet and set about translating the Scriptures and other liturgical texts into the language. They established the church in Moravia, but in so doing entered into the controversy between indigenous and centralised religious practices and worship. Cyril died on this day in the year 869, whilst the brothers were in Rome, there to obtain papal approval for their evangelistic work. Methodius returned to Moravia as archbishop, where he completed the translation of the Bible and continued the missionary work. He died in the year 885. Today they are revered in both Christian East and West and, as such, are seen as patron saints of ecumenism between these two great branches of Christendom. [Exciting Holiness]



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