OREMUS: 21 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Mar 20 17:00:01 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for March 21
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
for in your kindness and mercy, 
patience and faithfulness,
you are always ready to forgive and not punish.
We thank you for your Son,
our Savior and Brother, Jesus Christ,
by whose example and strength
we turn our backs on the lures of evil,
seeking instead to store up treasure in heaven,
knowing that though we may seem to have nothing,
in reality we possess everything in you. 
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 105

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;*
 make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him,*
 and speak of all his marvellous works.
Glory in his holy name;*
 let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Search for the Lord and his strength;*
 continually seek his face.
Remember the marvels he has done,*
 his wonders and the judgements of his mouth,
O offspring of Abraham his servant,*
 O children of Jacob his chosen.
He is the Lord our God;*
 his judgements prevail in all the world.
He has always been mindful of his covenant,*
 the promise he made for a thousand generations:
The covenant he made with Abraham,*
 the oath that he swore to Isaac,
Which he established as a statute for Jacob,*
 an everlasting covenant for Israel,
Saying, 'To you will I give the land of Canaan*
 to be your allotted inheritance.'
When they were few in number,*
 of little account and sojourners in the land,
Wandering from nation to nation*
 and from one kingdom to another,
He let no one oppress them*
 and rebuked kings for their sake,
Saying, 'Do not touch my anointed*
 and do my prophets no harm.'
Then he called for a famine in the land*
 and destroyed the supply of bread.
He sent a man before them,*
 Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
They bruised his feet in fetters;*
 his neck they put in an iron collar.
Until his prediction came to pass,*
 the word of the Lord tested him.
The king sent and released him;*
 the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him as master over his household,*
 as a ruler over all his possessions,
To instruct his princes according to his will*
 and to teach his elders wisdom.
Israel came into Egypt,*
 and Jacob became a sojourner in the land of Ham.
The Lord made his people exceedingly fruitful;*
 he made them stronger than their enemies;
Whose heart he turned, so that they hated his people,*
 and dealt unjustly with his servants.
He sent Moses his servant,*
 and Aaron whom he had chosen.
They worked his signs among them,*
 and portents in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness and it grew dark;*
 but the Egyptians rebelled against his words.
He turned their waters into blood*
 and caused their fish to die.
Their land was overrun by frogs,*
 in the very chambers of their kings.
He spoke and there came swarms of insects*
 and gnats within all their borders.
He gave them hailstones instead of rain,*
 and flames of fire throughout their land.
He blasted their vines and their fig trees*
 and shattered every tree in their country.
He spoke and the locust came,*
 and young locusts without number,
Which ate up all the green plants in their land*
 and devoured the fruit of their soil.
He struck down the firstborn of their land,*
 the firstfruits of all their strength.
He led out his people with silver and gold;*
 in all their tribes there was not one that stumbled.
Egypt was glad of their going,*
 because they were afraid of them.
He spread out a cloud for a covering*
 and a fire to give light in the night season.
They asked and quails appeared,*
 and he satisfied them with bread from heaven.
He opened the rock and water flowed,*
 so the river ran in the dry places.
For God remembered his holy word*
 and Abraham his servant.
So he led forth his people with gladness,*
 his chosen with shouts of joy.
He gave his people the lands of the nations,*
 and they took the fruit of others' toil,
That they might keep his statutes*
 and observe his laws.

FIRST READING [Genesis 18:1–15]:

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, 'My lord, if I find favour with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.' So they said, 'Do as you have said.' And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, 'Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.' Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate. 

They said to him, 'Where is your wife Sarah?' And he said, 'There, in the tent.' Then one said, 'I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.' And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, 'After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?' The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, and say, "Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?" Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.' But Sarah denied, saying, 'I did not laugh'; for she was afraid. He said, 'Oh yes, you did laugh.' 

HYMN 
Words: Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)
Tune: Saffron Walden

Just as I am, without one plea
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come. 

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come. 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come. 

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve:
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come. 

Just as I am (thy love unknown
has broken every barrier down),
now to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come. 

Just as I am, of that free love
the breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come.

SECOND READING [Mark 6:14–34]:

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, 'John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.' But others said, 'It is Elijah.' And others said, 'It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.' But when Herod heard of it, he said, 'John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.' 

For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.' And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, 'Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.' And he solemnly swore to her, 'Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.' She went out and said to her mother, 'What should I ask for?' She replied, 'The head of John the baptizer.' Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, 'I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.' The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. 

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, 'Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 

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

Prayer:
Almighty and everliving GOD, 
which by thy holy Apostle hast taught us 
to make prayers, and supplications, 
and to give thanks for all men: 
We humbly beseech thee most mercifully 
to receive these our prayers, 
which we offer unto thy divine Majesty, 
beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal church 
with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: 
And grant, that all they who do confess thy holy name, 
may agree in the truth of thy holy word, 
and live in unity and godly love. 
Specially we beseech thee to save and defend 
all those in authority, 
that they may truly and impartially minister justice,
to the punishment of wickedness and vice, 
and to the maintenance of God's true religion, and virtue. 
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Pastors, and Curates, 
that they may both by their life and doctrine 
set forth thy true and lively word, 
and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments: 
and to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, 
that, with meek heart and due reverence, 
they may hear, and receive thy holy word, 
truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life:
And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, 
to comfort and succour all them, 
which in this transitory life be in
trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. 
And especially we commend unto thy merciful goodness, 
this congregation which is here assembled in thy name: 
And here we do give unto thee most high praise, and hearty thanks, 
for the wonderful grace and virtue, declared in all thy saints,
from the beginning of the world: 
And chiefly in the glorious and most blessed virgin Mary, 
mother of thy son Jesus Christ our Lord and God,
and in the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, 
whose examples, O Lord, and steadfastness in thy faith, 
and keeping thy holy commandments, grant us to follow. 
We commend unto thy mercy, O Lord, all other thy servants,
which are departed hence from us, with the sign of faith, 
and now do rest in the sleep of peace: 
Grant unto them, we beseech thee, thy mercy, and everlasting peace, 
and that at the day of the general resurrection, 
we and all they which be of the mystical body of thy son, 
may altogether be set on his right hand, 
and hear that his most joyful voice: 
Come unto me, O ye that be blessed of my Father, 
and possess the kingdom, 
which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world. 
Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, 
our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

As your merciful goodness endures for ever, O Lord,
remember the frailty of your children;
deal with us not according to our sins
but, in your compassion, redeem our life
and crown us with your mercy and lovingkindness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Father of all wisdom and understanding,
who through the life of your servant Thomas Cranmer
renewed the life and worship of your Church,
and through his death
revealed your strength in human weakness:
by your grace let the light of faith
always shine within us,
that we may bear witness to the truth of your holy name;
through Jesus Christ,
our Mediator and Advocate. Amen. 
		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

The peace of God which passeth all understanding
keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God. 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 intercession is adapted from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer.

The second collect is adapted 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.

Born in Aslockton in Nottinghamshire in 1489, Thomas Cranmer, from an unspectacular Cambridge academic career, was recruited for diplomatic service in 1527. Two years later he joined the team working to annul Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. He was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533 and duly pronounced the Aragon marriage annulled. By now a convinced Church reformer, he married in 1532 while clerical marriage was still illegal in England. He worked closely with Thomas Cromwell to further reformation, but survived Henry's final, unpredictable years to become a chief architect of Edwardian religious change, constructing two editions of The Book of Common Prayer, in 1549 and 1552, the Ordinal in 1550 and the original version of the later Thirty-Nine Articles. 

Cranmer acquiesced in the unsuccessful attempt to make Lady Jane Grey Queen of England. Queen Mary's regime convicted him of treason in 1553 and of heresy in 1554. Demoralised by imprisonment, he signed six recantations, but was still condemned to the stake at Oxford. Struggling with his conscience, he made a final, bold statement of Protestant faith. Perhaps too fair-minded and cautious to be a ready-made hero in Reformation disputes, he was an impressively learnèd scholar, and his genius for formal prose has left a lasting mark on Anglican liturgy. He was burnt at the stake on this day in the year 1556. [Exciting Holiness]



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