OREMUS: 22 June 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Jun 21 17:00:00 GMT 2011

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OREMUS for June 22
Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.250

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

Blessed are you, Lord our God:
in your love you create all things out of nothing
through your eternal Word. 
In your love you redeemed the world
through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
In your love you empower your people
through the gift of your Holy Spirit. 
For these and all your mercies, we praise you: 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: 
Blessed be God forever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

Psalm 108

My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed;*
 I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp;*
 I myself will waken the dawn.
I will confess you among the peoples, O Lord;*
 I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your lovingkindness is greater than the heavens,*
 and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God,*
 and your glory over all the earth.
So that those who are dear to you may be delivered,*
 save with your right hand and answer me.

Psalm 109:1-4, 20-30

Hold not your tongue, O God of my praise;*
 for the mouth of the wicked,
   the mouth of the deceitful, is opened against me.
They speak to me with a lying tongue;*
 they encompass me with hateful words
   and fight against me without a cause.
Despite my love, they accuse me;*
 but as for me, I pray for them.
They repay evil for good,*
 and hatred for my love.
But you, O Lord my God,
   O deal with me according to your name;*
 for your tender mercy's sake, deliver me.
For I am poor and needy,*
 and my heart is wounded within me.
I have faded away like a shadow when it lengthens;*
 I am shaken off like a locust.
My knees are weak through fasting,*
 and my flesh is wasted and gaunt.
I have become a reproach to them;*
 they see and shake their heads.
Help me, O Lord my God;*
 save me for your mercy's sake.
Let them know that this is your hand,*
 that you, O Lord, have done it.
They may curse, but you will bless;*
 let those who rise up against me be put to shame,
   and your servant will rejoice.
Let my accusers be clothed with disgrace*
 and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.
I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth;*
 in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
Because he stands at the right hand of the needy,*
 to save his life from those who would condemn him.


'Can you draw out Leviathan with a fish-hook,
   or press down its tongue with a cord? 
Can you put a rope in its nose,
   or pierce its jaw with a hook? 
Will it make many supplications to you?
   Will it speak soft words to you? 
Will it make a covenant with you
   to be taken as your servant for ever? 
Will you play with it as with a bird,
   or will you put it on a leash for your girls? 
Will traders bargain over it?
   Will they divide it up among the merchants? 
Can you fill its skin with harpoons,
   or its head with fishing-spears? 
Lay hands on it;
   think of the battle; you will not do it again! 
Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed;
   were not even the gods overwhelmed at the sight of it? 
No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up.
   Who can stand before it? 
Who can confront it and be safe?
   —under the whole heaven, who? 

'I will not keep silence concerning its limbs,
   or its mighty strength, or its splendid frame. 
Who can strip off its outer garment?
   Who can penetrate its double coat of mail? 
Who can open the doors of its face?
   There is terror all around its teeth. 
Its back is made of shields in rows,
   shut up closely as with a seal. 
One is so near to another
   that no air can come between them. 
They are joined one to another;
   they clasp each other and cannot be separated. 
Its sneezes flash forth light,
   and its eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn. 
>From its mouth go flaming torches;
   sparks of fire leap out. 
Out of its nostrils comes smoke,
   as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. 
Its breath kindles coals,
   and a flame comes out of its mouth. 
In its neck abides strength,
   and terror dances before it. 
The folds of its flesh cling together;
   it is firmly cast and immovable. 
Its heart is as hard as stone,
   as hard as the lower millstone. 
When it raises itself up the gods are afraid;
   at the crashing they are beside themselves. 
Though the sword reaches it, it does not avail,
   nor does the spear, the dart, or the javelin. 
It counts iron as straw,
   and bronze as rotten wood. 
The arrow cannot make it flee;
   slingstones, for it, are turned to chaff. 
Clubs are counted as chaff;
   it laughs at the rattle of javelins. 
Its underparts are like sharp potsherds;
   it spreads itself like a threshing-sledge on the mire. 
It makes the deep boil like a pot;
   it makes the sea like a pot of ointment. 
It leaves a shining wake behind it;
   one would think the deep to be white-haired. 
On earth it has no equal,
   a creature without fear. 
It surveys everything that is lofty;
   it is king over all that are proud.' 

Words: William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham) (1852-1941)
Tune: McKee, Ballerma, Dundee, Irish, Kilmanock, St Bernard

In Christ there is no east or west,
in him no south or north,
but one great fellowship of love
throughout the whole wide earth.

In him shall true hearts everywhere
their high communion find;
his service is the golden cord,
close binding all mankind.

Join hands, then, brothers of the faith,
whate'er your race may be;
who serves my Father as a son
is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both east and west,
in him meet south and north;
all Christlike souls are one in him,
throughout the whole wide earth.

SECOND READING [Luke 8.16–25]:

Jesus said, 'No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.' 

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, 'Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.' But he said to them, 'My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.' 

One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, 'Let us go across to the other side of the lake.' So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A gale swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, 'Master, Master, we are perishing!' And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, 'Where is your faith?' They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?' 

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

High and holy God,
robed in majesty,
Lord of heaven and earth,
we pray that you bring justice, faith
and salvation to all peoples.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

You chose us in Christ to be your people
and to be the temple of your Holy Spirit;
we pray that you will fill your Church with vision and hope.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Your Spirit enables us to cry, "Abba! Father!",
affirms that we are fellow-heirs with Christ
and pleads for us in our weakness;
we pray for all who are in need or distress.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

In the baptism and birth of Jesus,
you have opened heaven to us
and enabled us to share in your glory:
the joy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
from before the world was made.
May your Church, living and departed,
come to a joyful resurrection in your city of light.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Lord, you trouble our peace,
you step upon our guarded shore
and confront our chaos:
may we who are divided and colonized
by the forces of death
learn from you to speak our own name
and proclaim your works of life;
through Jesus Christ, the Life and Light of the world. Amen.
Eternal Father,
when the Gospel of Christ first came to Britain
you gloriously confirmed the faith of Alban
by making him the first to win a martyr's crown: 
grant that, following his example,
in the fellowship of the saints 
we may worship you, the living God,
and give true witness to 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

Pour out your Spirit upon us,
that we may abandon the security of the easy way
and follow in Christ's footsteps
towards the cross and true life.  Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

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 is from the Methodist Worship Book; the first collect is from Prayers for an Inclusive Church, and the closing sentence is from  _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

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.

Alban was a soldier in the Roman city of Verulamium (now St Albans in Hertfordshire) who gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing from persecution, hiding him in his house for several days. Greatly influenced by his devotion to prayer, Alban received instruction from the priest and was converted. When the priest's hiding-place was discovered, Alban dressed himself in the priest's cloak and was arrested in his place. Tortured by the Roman authorities, Alban refused to renounce his faith. He was beheaded on this day, probably in the year 250, and so became the first British martyr. His shrine stands today as a place of pilgrimage in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban. [Exciting Holiness]

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