OREMUS: 17 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Mar 16 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for March 17
Patrick, Bishop, Missionary, Patron of Ireland

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, almighty God,
in your unbearable gentleness
you gather us in safety under your mothering wings.
You made a lasting covenant with Abraham
and with all who have trusted your promises.
We give you thanks for your Son, Jesus Christ,
who weeps over the sins of your people
and their failure to put their trust in you.
Yet your mercy is an infinite treasure
and you fill us with your tranquil, calm love.
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. 
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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 [Genesis 11:27—12:20]:

Now these are the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives; the name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child. 

Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran. 

Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' 

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother's son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, 'To your offspring I will give this land.' So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on by stages towards the Negeb. 

Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to reside there as an alien, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, 'I know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, “This is his wife”; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account.' When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. When the officials of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female slaves, female donkeys, and camels. 

But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. So Pharaoh called Abram, and said, 'What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, “She is my sister”, so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and be gone.' And Pharaoh gave his men orders concerning him; and they set him on the way, with his wife and all that he had. 

HYMN 
Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1889
Tune: St. Patrick's Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spic d tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

SECOND READING [Mark 4:21–41]:

Jesus said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!' And he said to them, 'Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.' 

He also said, 'The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.' 

He also said, 'With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.' 

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples. 

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, 'Let us go across to the other side.' And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, 'Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?' And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?' 

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

Prayer:
Lord, your word which summoned this world into existence, brought order out of chaos and beauty out of the formless, has infused the very air we breathe with the precious perfume of your love. This word is the light by which our journey is illuminated, the light by which we see the beauty of this world, and the light we pass to those who would join us travelling in the joy of your company.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love extends to the boundaries of the universe yet is focused on humankind; weak, sinful, helpless, blown this-way-and-that-way individuals who you count as your children, wanting nothing more than to welcome them into your arms, prodigals returning to their Father.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love extends to the boundaries of humankind, to rich and poor, have and have-nots, oppressor and oppressed, thief and victim, for we are all inheritors of a fallen nature and all in need of your forgiveness. We pray for all your children wherever they might be, in their joy and sorrow, fear and loathing, pain and suffering; that your word might comfort, your love heal and restore.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love breaks through, demands to be noticed, exposes that which has been hidden, reveals the truth that has been concealed within the heart. We pray for those who exploit the poor, those whose business is slavery or persecution and those who hold power over life or death. We pray that your word, your love might bring change, and bring light into hearts darkened by sin. 
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love has influence wherever it is shown; a shoulder to lean on, a willing ear to listen, a task performed, a gift given, a selfless act. We pray for politicians and leaders, all those in positions of authority who also walk with in your company. May they show your love and share your word through their actions and service, and may they and those they serve be blessed.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, grant us simplicity of faith
and a generosity of service
that gives without counting cost.
A life overflowing with Grace
poured out from the One
who gave everything,
that we might show
the power of love
to a broken world,
and share the truth
from a living Word.
Lord, grant us simplicity of faith,
and a yearning to share it. Amen.

Almighty God,
who in your providence chose your servant Patrick
to be the apostle of the Irish people:
keep alive in us the fire of the faith he kindled
and strengthen us in our pilgrimage
towards the light of everlasting life;
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.
		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us. 
May the Wisdom of God instruct us. 
May the Hand of God protect us. 
May the Way of God direct us. 
May the Shield of God defend us. 
May the Angels of God guard us. 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 adapts phrases from from Nettleton, a phrase from Raissa Maritain and two phrases from Thomas Merton.

The intercession and first collect are by John Birch, http://www.faithandworship.com

The closing sentence is attributed to Saint Patrick. 

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.

Patrick was born in Celtic Cornwall around the year 390 and was captured by Irish raiders when he was sixteen years old and taken to Ireland as a slave. After six years, he escaped and seems to have gone to the Continent. He eventually found his way back to his own family, where his previously-nominal Christian faith grew and matured. He returned to Gaul and was there trained as a priest and much influenced by the form of monasticism evolving under Martin of Tours. When he was in his early forties, he returned to Ireland as a bishop, and made his base at Armagh, which became the centre of his See. He evangelised the people of the land by walking all over the island, gently bringing men and women to a knowledge of Christ. Although he faced fierce opposition and possible persecution, he continued his missionary journeys. Despite being unsuccessful in his attempts to establish the diocesan system he had experienced in Gaul, his monastic foundations proved to be the infrastructure required to maintain the faith after his death, which occurred on this day in the year 460. [Exciting Holiness]


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