OREMUS: 17 January 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jan 16 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for January 17
Antony of Egypt, Hermit, Abbot, 356

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

Blessed are you, Eternal One,
you search us and you know us. 
You surround us and you stay with us. 
You form us, creating us lovingly, 
seeing our mould and pattern, 
the path of our days, 
even before others think of us. 
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 86

Bow down your ear, O Lord, and answer me,*
 for I am poor and in misery.
Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful;*
 save your servant who trusts in you.
Be merciful to me, O Lord, for you are my God;*
 I call upon you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,*
 for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,*
 and great is your love towards all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer,*
 and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the time of my trouble I will call upon you,*
 for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord,*
 nor anything like your works.
All nations you have made
   will come and worship you, O Lord,*
 and glorify your name.
For you are great; you do wondrous things;*
 and you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
   and I will walk in your truth;*
 knit my heart to you that I may fear your name.
I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart,*
 and glorify your name for evermore.
For great is your love towards me;*
 you have delivered me from the nethermost Pit.
The arrogant rise up against me, O God,
   and a violent band seeks my life;*
 they have not set you before their eyes.
But you, O Lord, are gracious and full of compassion,*
 slow to anger and full of kindness and truth.
Turn to me and have mercy upon me;*
 give your strength to your servant;
   and save the child of your handmaid.
Show me a sign of your favour,
   so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed;*
 because you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain stands the city he has founded;*
 the Lord loves the gates of Zion
   more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,*
 O city of our God.
I count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me;*
 behold Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia:
   in Zion were they born.
Of Zion it shall be said, 'Everyone was born in her,*
 and the Most High himself shall sustain her.'
The Lord will record as he enrols the peoples,*
 'These also were born there.'
The singers and the dancers will say,*
 'All my fresh springs are in you.'

Psalm 88

O Lord, my God, my Saviour,*
 by day and night I cry to you.
Let my prayer enter into your presence;*
 incline your ear to my lamentation.
For I am full of trouble;*
 my life is at the brink of the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;*
 I have become like one who has no strength;
Lost among the dead,*
 like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom you remember no more,*
 for they are cut off from your hand.
You have laid me in the depths of the Pit,*
 in dark places and in the abyss.
Your anger weighs upon me heavily,*
 and all your great waves overwhelm me.
You have put my friends far from me;
   you have made me to be abhorred by them;*
 I am in prison and cannot get free.
My sight has failed me because of trouble;*
 Lord, I have called upon you daily;
   I have stretched out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?*
 will those who have died
   stand up and give you thanks?
Will your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?*
 your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
Will your wonders be known in the dark?*
 or your righteousness in the country
   where all is forgotten?
But as for me, O Lord, I cry to you for help;*
 in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why have you rejected me?*
 why have you hidden your face from me?
Ever since my youth,
   I have been wretched and at the point of death;*
 I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind.
Your blazing anger has swept over me;*
 your terrors have destroyed me;
They surround me all day long like a flood;*
 they encompass me on every side.
My friend and my neighbour you have put away from me,*
 and darkness is my only companion.

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 39:1–10, 17–29]:

And you, mortal, prophesy against Gog, and say: Thus says the Lord God: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal! I will turn you round and drive you forwards, and bring you up from the remotest parts of the north, and lead you against the mountains of Israel. I will strike your bow from your left hand, and will make your arrows drop out of your right hand. You shall fall in the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples that are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every kind and to the wild animals to be devoured. You shall fall in the open field; for I have spoken, says the Lord God. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live securely in the coastlands; and they shall know that I am the Lord. 

My holy name I will make known among my people Israel; and I will not let my holy name be profaned any more; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. It has come! It has happened, says the Lord God. This is the day of which I have spoken. 

Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and make fires of the weapons and burn them—bucklers and shields, bows and arrows, hand-pikes and spears—and they will make fires of them for seven years. They will not need to take wood out of the field or cut down any trees in the forests, for they will make their fires of the weapons; they will despoil those who despoiled them, and plunder those who plundered them, says the Lord God. 

As for you, mortal, thus says the Lord God: Speak to the birds of every kind and to all the wild animals: Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. You shall eat fat until you are filled, and drink blood until you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you. And you shall be filled at my table with horses and charioteers, with warriors and all kinds of soldiers, says the Lord God. 

I will display my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt treacherously with me. So I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them. 

Therefore, thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. They shall forget their shame, and all the treachery they have practised against me, when they live securely in their land with no one to make them afraid, when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have displayed my holiness in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will leave none of them behind; and I will never again hide my face from them, when I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God. 

HYMN 
Words: The Psalter (1912), Psalm 46
Tune: Claudius, Materna (CMD)

God is our refuge and our strength,
Our ever present aid,
And, therefore, though the earth remove,
We will not be afraid;
Though hills amidst the seas be cast,
Though foaming waters roar,
Yea, though the mighty billows shake
The mountains on the shore.

A river flows whose streams make glad
The city of our God,
The holy place wherein the Lord
Most high has His abode;
Since God is in the midst of her,
Unmoved her walls shall stand,
For God will be her early help,
When trouble is at hand.

The nations raged, the kingdoms moved,
But when His voice was heard
The troubled earth was stilled to peace
Before His mighty word.
The Lord of Hosts is on our side,
Our safety to secure;
The God of Jacob is for us
A refuge strong and sure.

O come, behold what wondrous works
Jehovah's hand has wrought;
Come, see what desolation great
He on the earth has brought.
To utmost ends of all the earth
He causes war to cease;
The weapons of the strong destroyed,
He makes abiding peace.

Be still, and know that I am God,
O'er all exalted high;
The subject nations of the earth
My Name shall magnify-
The Lord of Hosts is on our side,
Our safety to secure
The God of Jacob is for us
A refuge strong and sure.

SECOND READING [Romans 7:21—8:17]:

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. 

here is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. 

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 

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

Prayer:
In every time of trouble,
you, O God, are a very present help.
You are with us, sustaining our world in freedom,
restraining the powers of darkness, of death and of destruction;
embracing us all with arms of love, to enfold and to hold.
And so we bring to you our prayers for ourselves,
for those we love, and for our world.

We pray for ourselves and our own needs:
Whatever you would have us to be;
whatever we need to love our neighbor as ourselves,
whatever we need to love one another:

Bountiful Source of Love:
hear our prayer.

We pray for those we love:
Our hopes and dreams for them;
our anguish and anxiety on their behalf;
our desire to make life easier for them.
Bountiful Source of Love:
hear our prayer.

We pray for our world:
Our pain at what we have done to creation;
our wonder at the beauty of that which we have not yet spoiled;
our calling to establish justice and peace.
Bountiful Source of Love:
hear our prayer.

God of pilgrims,
teach us to recognize your dwelling place
in the love, generosity, and support of those
with whom we share our journey,
and help us to worship you
in our response to those who need our care;
for all the world is your temple
and every human heart is a sign of your presence,
made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God,
you strengthened your servant Antony
to endure all trials of the spirit
and cleansed his heart of fear
to make him perfect in the discipline of love.
Give us grace to cherish his example,
that we may know your call
and walk in the paths of righteousness
all the days of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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

Lift up the light of your countenance on us, O God.,
that we may be faithful to your commandments
and always do what is right and good;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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
_Celebrating the Christian Year_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich. The intercession is by David Bromell. 

Born in about the year 251, Antony heard the gospel message, "If you would be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." He was twenty years old and rich, following the death of his parents, but he did as the gospel instructed and went to live in the desert, living an austere life of manual work, charity and prayer. His many spiritual struggles left him both wise and sensible and he became a spiritual guide for many who flocked to him. His simple rule of personal discipline and prayer was taken up and spread throughout Christendom. He died peacefully in the desert in the year 356, asking that he be buried secretly, so that his person might be hidden in death as in life. [Exciting Holiness]



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