OREMUS: 22 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Mar 21 18:07:07 GMT 2011

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OREMUS for March 22
James De Koven, Priest, 1879

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

Blessed are you, almighty God,
in Christ you nourish the faith
of those who keep the fast;
you rouse their hope, you fortify their love.
Christ is the true and living bread,
in whom is food for eternal life
and sustenance for righteousness.
You never cease to give us this bread,
that we may always hunger for Christ our Lord.
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. 


Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,*
 and his mercy endures for ever.
Let all those whom the Lord has redeemed proclaim*
 that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
He gathered them out of the lands;*
 from the east and from the west,
   from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes;*
 they found no way to a city where they might dwell.
They were hungry and thirsty;*
 their spirits languished within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He put their feet on a straight path*
 to go to a city where they might dwell.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
For he satisfies the thirsty*
 and fills the hungry with good things.
Some sat in darkness and deep gloom,*
 bound fast in misery and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God*
 and despised the counsel of the Most High.
So he humbled their spirits with hard labour;*
 they stumbled and there was none to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them out of darkness and deep gloom*
 and broke their bonds asunder.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
For he shatters the doors of bronze*
 and breaks in two the iron bars.
Some were fools and took to rebellious ways;*
 they were afflicted because of their sins.
They abhorred all manner of food*
 and drew near to death's door.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them*
 and saved them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.
Some went down to the sea in ships*
 and plied their trade in deep waters;
They beheld the works of the Lord*
 and his wonders in the deep.
Then he spoke and a stormy wind arose,*
 which tossed high the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to the heavens
   and fell back to the depths;*
 their hearts melted because of their peril.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards*
 and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper*
 and quieted the waves of the sea.
Then were they glad because of the calm,*
 and he brought them
   to the harbour they were bound for.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people*
 and praise him in the council of the elders.
The Lord changed rivers into deserts,*
 and watersprings into thirsty ground,
A fruitful land into salt flats,*
 because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
He changed deserts into pools of water*
 and dry land into watersprings.
He settled the hungry there,*
 and they founded a city to dwell in.
They sowed fields and planted vineyards,*
 and brought in a fruitful harvest.
He blessed them, so that they increased greatly;*
 he did not let their herds decrease.
Yet when they were diminished and brought low,*
 through stress of adversity and sorrow,
He lifted up the poor out of misery*
 and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
He pours contempt on princes*
 and makes them wander in trackless wastes.
The upright will see this and rejoice,*
 but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
Whoever is wise will ponder these things,*
 and consider well the mercies of the Lord.

FIRST READING [Genesis 21:1–21]:

The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Now Sarah said, 'God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.' And she said, 'Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.' 

The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, 'Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.' The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, 'Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named after you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.' So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. 

When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, 'Do not let me look on the death of the child.' And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, 'What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.' Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. 

God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 

Words: Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Tune: Cambridge, Potsdam, Song 20

O everlasting light,
Giver of dawn and day,
Dispeller of the ancient night,
In which creation lay.

O everlasting health,
>From which all healing springs,
Our bliss, our treasure,  and our wealth,
To thee our spirit clings.

O everlasting truth,
Truest of all that's true;
Sure guide of erring age and youth,
Lead us, and teach us too.

O everlasting strength,
Uphold us in the way;
Bring us, in spite of foes, at length
To joy, and light, and day.

O everlasting love,
Wellspring of grace and peace;
Pour down thy fulness from above,
Bid doubt and trouble cease.

SECOND READING [Mark 6:35–56]:

When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, 'This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.' But he answered them, 'You give them something to eat.' They said to him, 'Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?' And he said to them, 'How many loaves have you? Go and see.' When they had found out, they said, 'Five, and two fish.' Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men. 

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 

When evening came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the lake. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.' Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. 

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. 

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

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, here we have no abiding city,
but seek that which is to come:
guide and deliver us in all earthly changes
and direct our way towards the haven of salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, 
the source and perfection of all virtues, 
you inspired your servant James DeKoven 
to do what is right and to preach what is true: 
Grant that all ministers and stewards of your mysteries 
may impart to your faithful people, by word and example, 
the knowledge of your grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and 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 God give us
his comfort and his peace,
his light and his joy,
in this world and the next. Amen.
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 second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

James de Koven was born in Connecticut in 1831, ordained to the priesthood
in 1855, and promptly became a professor of Church history at at Nashotah
House, a seminary of the Episcopal Church in Wisconsin. In 1859 he became
Warden of Racine College, an Episcopal college in Racine, Wisconsin.
Nashotah House was from its inception dedicated to an increased emphasis on
the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and on the
use of ritual practices that recognized and honored that presence. This met
opposition from other Christians who were suspicious (1) of anything that
suggested Roman Catholicism, (2) of anything that seemed fancy and
pretentious, as opposed to the plain, blunt, simplicity that was considered to be
an American virtue as well as a virtue of the New Testament Church, and (3)
of anything that varied from the practices they had become used to as
In the General Conventions of 1871 and 1874, de Koven became the chief
spokesman for the "ritualists," defending the use of candles, incense, bowing
and kneeling, and the like. He reminded his hearers of the numerous assertions
by prominent Anglican theologians from the Reformation on down who had
taught, and the ecclesiastical courts which when the question came up had
ruled, that it is Anglican belief, shared not only with Romans but with
Lutherans and East Orthodox, that the presence of the Body and Blood of
Christ in the Sacrament is a real and objective presence. However, he was
eloquent and firm in saying: "The gestures and practices by which we
recognize the presence of Christ do not matter. Only Christ matters."
In 1874 he was elected Bishop of Wisconsin, and in 1875 Bishop of Illinois,
but because he was "controversial" he failed both times to have his election
ratified by a majority of Bishops and a majority of Standing Committees of
Dioceses, as required by canon law. He died at his college in Racine,
Wisconsin, on 22 March 1879. [James Kiefer]

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