OREMUS: 19 July 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jul 18 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for July 19
Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, and Macrina, Deaconess,
Teachers of the Faith, c.394 and c. 379

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

Blessed are you, holy God,
holy and merciful, 
holy and compassionate, 
for the gift of the Holy Spirit, 
whose breath revives us for life, 
whose fire rouses us to love. 
You enfold us in your arms
and nurture in us 
the fruits of the Spirit, 
that we may be a living tree, 
sharing your bounty with all the world. 
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

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

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord;*
 let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving*
 and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God,*
 and a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,*
 and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,*
 and his hands have moulded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,*
 and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
   and we are the people of his pasture
   and the sheep of his hand.*
 O that today you would hearken to his voice!
'Harden not your hearts,
   as your forebears did in the wilderness,*
 at Meribah, and on that day at Massah,
   when they tempted me.
'They put me to the test,*
 though they had seen my works.
'Forty years long I detested that generation and said,*
 "This people are wayward in their hearts;
 they do not know my ways."
'So I swore in my wrath,*
 "They shall not enter into my rest."'

Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song;*
 sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.
Sing to the Lord and bless his name;*
 proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations*
 and his wonders among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;*
 he is more to be feared than all gods.
As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols;*
 but it is the Lord who made the heavens.
O the majesty and magnificence of his presence!*
 O the power and the splendour of his sanctuary!
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples;*
 ascribe to the Lord honour and power.
Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name;*
 bring offerings and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;*
 let the whole earth tremble before him.
Tell it out among the nations: 'The Lord is king!*
 he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;
   he will judge the peoples with equity.'
Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad;
   let the sea thunder and all that is in it;*
 let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy
   before the Lord when he comes,*
 when he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness*
 and the peoples with his truth.

Psalm 97

The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;*
 let the multitude of the isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,*
 righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of his throne.
A fire goes before him*
 and burns up his enemies on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;*
 the earth sees it and is afraid.
The mountains melt like wax
   at the presence of the Lord,*
 at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare his righteousness,*
 and all the peoples see his glory.
Confounded be all who worship carved images
   and delight in false gods!*
 Bow down before him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad and the cities of Judah rejoice,*
 because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you are the Lord: most high over all the earth;*
 you are exalted far above all gods.
The Lord loves those who hate evil;*
 he preserves the lives of his saints
   and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light has sprung up for the righteous,*
 and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,*
 and give thanks to his holy name.

FIRST READING [Micah 1.1–9]:

The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear, you peoples, all of you;
   listen, O earth, and all that is in it;
and let the Lord God be a witness against you,
   the Lord from his holy temple. 
For lo, the Lord is coming out of his place,
   and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. 
Then the mountains will melt under him
   and the valleys will burst open,
like wax near the fire,
   like waters poured down a steep place. 
All this is for the transgression of Jacob
   and for the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the transgression of Jacob?
   Is it not Samaria?
And what is the high place of Judah?
   Is it not Jerusalem? 
Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country,
   a place for planting vineyards.
I will pour down her stones into the valley,
   and uncover her foundations. 
All her images shall be beaten to pieces,
   all her wages shall be burned with fire,
   and all her idols I will lay waste;
for as the wages of a prostitute she gathered them,
   and as the wages of a prostitute they shall again be used. 

For this I will lament and wail;
   I will go barefoot and naked;
I will make lamentation like the jackals,
   and mourning like the ostriches. 
For her wound is incurable.
   It has come to Judah;
it has reached to the gate of my people,
   to Jerusalem. 

HYMN 
Words: James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)
Tune: Tallis' Ordinal

We will speak out, we will be heard!
Though all earth's systems crack,
We will not bate a single word,
Nor take a letter back!

Let liars fear, let cowards shrink,
Let traitors turn away;
Whatever we have dared to think,
That dare we also say.

We speak the truth, and what care we
For hissing and for scorn,
While some faint gleaming we can see
Of freedom's coming morn.

We will speak out, we will be heard!
Though all earth's systems crack,
We will not bate a single word,
Nor take a letter back!

SECOND READING [James 2.14–end]:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill', and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 

But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith without works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness', and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. 
 
The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Prayer:
We rejoice in your generous goodness, O God, and
celebrate your lavish gifts to us this day, for you have
shown your love in giving Jesus Christ for the salvation
of the world. Especially we give thanks for

     the labors of those who have served us today...
                             (We thank you, Lord)
     friends with whom we have shared...
     those whom we love and have loved us...
     opportunities for our work to help others...
     all beauty that delights us...

Gracious God, we know you are close to all in need, and
by our prayers for others we come closer to you. We are
bold to claim for others your promises of new life in
Jesus Christ, as we claim them for ourselves. Especially
we pray for
     those in dangerous occupations...
                              (Lord, hear our prayer.)
     physicians and nurses...
     those who are ill or confined to nursing homes...
     for those whom we love and for those who love us...
     those who mourn...
     the Roman Catholic Church...

Our Father in heaven, 
give us those wings, 
that our mind may wing its way up
to the heights of the noble words your Son taught us:
Then we would leave behind the earth altogether
and traverse all the middle air; 
we would reach the beautiful ether, 
come to the stars and behold all their orderly array. 
But not even there would we stop short,
but, passing beyond them, would become a stranger 
to all that moves and changes, 
and apprehend the stable Nature, the immovable Power 
which exists in its own right, 
guiding and keeping in being all things, f
or all depend on the ineffable will of the Divine Wisdom. Amen.

Lord of eternity, creator of all things,
in your Son Jesus Christ you open for us 
the way to resurrection
that we may enjoy your bountiful goodness:
may we who celebrate your servants Gregory and Macrina
press onwards in faith to your boundless love
and ever wonder at the miracle of your presence among us;
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

Enrich us abundantly with your grace, O Lord,
that, firm in faith, secure in hope, and constant in love,
we may keep your commandments with watchful care. 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 adapted from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The closing prayer uses a sentence from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The first collect is adapted from a sermon on the Lord's Prayer by Gregory.

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.

Gregory of Nyssa was born at Caesarea in what is now Turkey around the year 330, the child of an aristocratic Christian family. Unlike his elder brother Basil, he was academically undistinguished, but ultimately proved to be the most original of the group of the theologians known as the Cappadocian Fathers. He was introduced to the spiritual life by his elder sister Macrina who exercised a formative influence upon him, and with whom he maintained close bonds of friendship throughout his life. It was she who, after the death of their father, converted the household into a sort of monastery on one of the family estates. Gregory married a deeply spiritual woman, Theosebia, and at first refused ordination, choosing to pursue a secular career. He was ordained only later in life, and in 372 was chosen to be bishop of Nyssa. In the year 379 both his brother Basil and his sister Macrina died, and this deeply affected him; but out of this darkness emerged a profound spirituality. For Gregory, God is met not as an object to be understood, but as a mystery to be loved. He died in the year 394. [Exciting Holiness]


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