OREMUS: 24 January 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Jan 23 18:33:25 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for January 24
Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622

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

Hidden God, we worship you. 
By ourselves, we could not know you; 
no human wisdom can discover you, 
no argument lead to you, 
no enterprise reveal you; 
in the wealth of its knowledge 
the world fails to find you. 
But you came to search for us 
in the frailty of a human life; 
you trusted yourself to the fragile faith 
of wavering disciples. 
We praise you that in our very weakness 
we can know you; 
that stumbling blocks become stepping stones, 
and the foolishness of the cross 
the very truth that quickens us to life. 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

Psalm 116

I love the Lord,
   because he has heard the voice of my supplication,*
 because he has inclined his ear to me
   whenever I called upon him.
The cords of death entangled me;
   the grip of the grave took hold of me;*
 I came to grief and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:*
 'O Lord, I pray you, save my life.'
Gracious is the Lord and righteous;*
 our God is full of compassion.
The Lord watches over the innocent;*
 I was brought very low and he helped me.
Turn again to your rest, O my soul,*
 for the Lord has treated you well.
For you have rescued my life from death,*
 my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord*
 in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I said,
   'I have been brought very low.'*
 In my distress I said, 'No one can be trusted.'
How shall I repay the Lord*
 for all the good things he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation*
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord*
 is the death of his servants.
O Lord, I am your servant;*
 I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;
   you have freed me from my bonds.
I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people.
In the courts of the Lord's house,*
 in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
   Alleluia!

Psalm 117

Alleluia!
Praise the Lord, all you nations;*
 laud him, all you peoples.
For his lovingkindness towards us is great,*
 and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
   Alleluia!

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;*
 his mercy endures for ever.
Let Israel now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.'
Let the house of Aaron now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.'
Let those who fear the Lord now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.'
I called to the Lord in my distress;*
 the Lord answered by setting me free.
The Lord is at my side, therefore I will not fear;*
 what can anyone do to me?
The Lord is at my side to help me;*
 I will triumph over those who hate me.
It is better to rely on the Lord*
 than to put any trust in flesh.
It is better to rely on the Lord*
 than to put any trust in rulers.
All the ungodly encompass me;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them.
They hem me in, they hem me in on every side;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them.
They swarm about me like bees;
   they blaze like a fire of thorns;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them.
I was pressed so hard that I almost fell,*
 but the Lord came to my help.
The Lord is my strength and my song,*
 and he has become my salvation.
There is a sound of exultation and victory*
 in the tents of the righteous:
'The right hand of the Lord has triumphed!*
 the right hand of the Lord is exalted!
   the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!'
I shall not die, but live,*
 and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me sorely,*
 but he did not hand me over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness;*
 I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord.
'This is the gate of the Lord;*
 whoever is righteous may enter.'
I will give thanks to you, for you answered me*
 and have become my salvation.
The same stone which the builders rejected*
 has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing,*
 and it is marvellous in our eyes.
On this day the Lord has acted;*
 we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Hosanna, Lord, hosanna!*
 Lord, send us now success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;*
 we bless you from the house of the Lord.
God is the Lord; he has shined upon us;*
 form a procession with branches
   up to the horns of the altar.
'You are my God and I will thank you;*
 you are my God and I will exalt you.'
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;*
 his mercy endures for ever.

FIRST READING [Joel 3:1–21]:

For then, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will enter into judgement with them there, on account of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations. They have divided my land, and cast lots for my people, and traded boys for prostitutes, and sold girls for wine, and drunk it down. 

What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will turn your deeds back upon your own heads swiftly and speedily. For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples. You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, removing them far from their own border. But now I will rouse them to leave the places to which you have sold them, and I will turn your deeds back upon your own heads. I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away; for the Lord has spoken. 

Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare war,
   stir up the warriors.
Let all the soldiers draw near,
   let them come up. 
Beat your ploughshares into swords,
   and your pruning-hooks into spears;
   let the weakling say, ‘I am a warrior.’ 

Come quickly,
   all you nations all around,
   gather yourselves there.
Bring down your warriors, O Lord. 
Let the nations rouse themselves,
   and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat;
for there I will sit to judge
   all the neighbouring nations. 

Put in the sickle,
   for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
   for the wine press is full.
The vats overflow,
   for their wickedness is great. 

Multitudes, multitudes,
   in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
   in the valley of decision. 
The sun and the moon are darkened,
   and the stars withdraw their shining. 

The Lord roars from Zion,
   and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
   and the heavens and the earth shake.
But the Lord is a refuge for his people,
   a stronghold for the people of Israel. 

So you shall know that I, the Lord your God,
   dwell in Zion, my holy mountain.
And Jerusalem shall be holy,
   and strangers shall never again pass through it. 

On that day
the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
   the hills shall flow with milk,
and all the stream beds of Judah
   shall flow with water;
a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord
   and water the Wadi Shittim. 

Egypt shall become a desolation
   and Edom a desolate wilderness,
because of the violence done to the people of Judah,
   in whose land they have shed innocent blood. 
But Judah shall be inhabited for ever,
   and Jerusalem to all generations. 
I will avenge their blood, and I will not clear the guilty,
   for the Lord dwells in Zion. 

HYMN 
Words: Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)
Tune: Narenza, St. George, St. Michael

Ye servants of the Lord,
Each in his office wait,
Observant of his heavenly word,
And watchful at his gate.

Let all your lamps be bright,
And trim the golden flame;
Gird up your loins, as in his sight,
For aweful is his name.

Watch: 'tis your Lord's command;
And while we speak he's near;
Mark the first signal of his hand,
And ready all appear.

O happy servant he,
In such a posture found!
He shall his Lord with rapture see,
And be with honour crowned.

Christ shall the banquet spread
With his own royal hand,
And raise that favoured servant's head
Amid the angelic band.

SECOND READING [Romans 12:14—13:14]:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' No, 'if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; for it is God's servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, busy with this very thing. Pay to all what is due to them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honour to whom honour is due. 

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet'; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. 

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. 

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

Prayer:
Loving God, in Jesus Christ you teach us to pray:

Guide us by your Holy Spirit
that our prayers for others may serve your will
and show your steadfast love for all.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
you have called together a people
to be the Church of Jesus Christ,
founded on the apostles.
May your people be one in faith and discipleship,
breaking bread together and telling good news.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

May the world come to believe that you are love,
turn to your ways and live in the light of your truth.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

You made all things and called them good.
May your planet earth be held in reverence by all people,
that its resources may be used wisely 
and its fragile balance between life and death respected.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers for those who rule the nations,
that they may learn wisdom and truth,
establish justice and mercy
and seek the ways of peace.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

O my God, I thank you and I praise
you for accomplishing your holy
and all-lovable will without any regard for mine.
With my whole heart,
in spite of my heart,
do I receive this cross I feared so much!
It is the cross of Your choice,
the cross of Your love.
I venerate it;
nor for anything in the world
would I wish that it had not come,
since You willed it.
I keep it with gratitude and with joy,
as I do everything that comes from Your hand;
and I shall strive to carry it without letting it drag,
with all the respect
and all the affection which Your works deserve. Amen.

O God, our Creator and our Goal,
who guided many in the practice of your love
by the ministry of your servant Francis de Sales,
grant us so to live by the grace of Christ
that we may serve you with our prayers,
praise you with our minds,
and show forth your love by our readiness in mercy;
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

May Christ, who calls us,
make us ready witnesses to him
and multiply the number of those who acknowledge you
and celebrate your holy Name. 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 from _Common Order_ and the closing sentence is adapted from _Celebrating the Christian Year_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich.

The intercession is adapted from a prayer in _The Book of Common Worship. The Presbyterian Church in Canada_, 1991. Used with permission.

The first collect is by Francis de Sales and the second collect is from _For All the Saints_, (c) General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994.

Francis de Sales was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Geneva at the time John Calvin was working so assiduously to reform the Church in that city. Born in 1567 in the castle at Sales in Savoy, he was educated in Paris and Padua first as a legal advocate and then as a priest. His preaching against Calvinism began in 1593 to win back the Chablais to Roman Catholicism. He moved to Geneva in 1599 as Bishop-Coadjutor and became the diocesan in 1602, continuing his mission. In his preaching and writings, particularly his book Introduction to the Devout Life, he concentrated on putting prayer and meditation within the reach of all Christians. He died at Lyons on 28 December 1622 and his body was translated to Annecy on this day in 1623. [Exciting Holiness]


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