OREMUS: 25 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Mar 24 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for March 25
The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary

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

Blessed are you, merciful Father,
for in your Son Jesus Christ, 
lowliness was taken by majesty,
weakness by strength,
mortality by eternity.
To pay the debt of our fallen state,
the nature which was inviolable
was united with a nature which was transitory.
Thus the one and same mediator between God and man,
enters into the depths of the world,
coming down from his heavenly throne,
yet not leaving his Father's glory,
begotten into a new order by a new birth.
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 119:33-40

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,*
 and I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding and I shall keep your law;*
 I shall keep it with all my heart.
Make me go in the path of your commandments,*
 for that is my desire.
Incline my heart to your decrees*
 and not to unjust gain.
Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless;*
 give me life in your ways.
Fulfil your promise to your servant,*
 which you make to those who fear you.
Turn away the reproach which I dread,*
 because your judgements are good.
Behold, I long for your commandments;*
 in your righteousness preserve my life.
Psalm 119:41-48

Let your lovingkindness come to me, O Lord,*
 and your salvation, according to your promise.
Then shall I have a word for those who taunt me,*
 because I trust in your words.
Do not take the word of truth out of my mouth,*
 for my hope is in your judgements.
I shall continue to keep your law;*
 I shall keep it for ever and ever.
I will walk at liberty,*
 because I study your commandments.
I will tell of your decrees before kings*
 and will not be ashamed.
I delight in your commandments,*
 which I have always loved.
I will lift up my hands to your commandments,*
 and I will meditate on your statutes.
Psalm 119:49-56

Remember your word to your servant,*
 because you have given me hope.
This is my comfort in my trouble,*
 that your promise gives me life.
The proud have derided me cruelly,*
 but I have not turned from your law.
When I remember your judgements of old,*
 O Lord, I take great comfort.
I am filled with a burning rage,*
 because of the wicked who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been like songs to me*
 wherever I have lived as a stranger.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,*
 and dwell upon your law.
This is how it has been with me,*
 because I have kept your commandments.
Psalm 119:57-64

You only are my portion, O Lord;*
 I have promised to keep your words.
I entreat you with all my heart,*
 be merciful to me according to your promise.

I have considered my ways*
 and turned my feet towards your decrees.
I hasten and do not tarry*
 to keep your commandments.
Though the cords of the wicked entangle me,*
 I do not forget your law.
At midnight I will rise to give you thanks,*
 because of your righteous judgements.
I am a companion of all who fear you*
 and of those who keep your commandments.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your love;*
 instruct me in your statutes.
Psalm 119:65-72

O Lord, you have dealt graciously with your servant,*
 according to your word.
Teach me discernment and knowledge,*
 for I have believed in your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,*
 but now I keep your word.
You are good and you bring forth good;*
 instruct me in your statutes.
The proud have smeared me with lies,*
 but I will keep your commandments
   with my whole heart.
Their heart is gross and fat,*
 but my delight is in your law.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,*
 that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is dearer to me*
 than thousands in gold and silver.

FIRST READING [Genesis 24:32–52, 61–67]:

So the man came into the house; and Laban unloaded the camels, and gave him straw and fodder for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. Then food was set before him to eat; but he said, 'I will not eat until I have told my errand.' He said, 'Speak on.'

So he said, 'I am Abraham's servant. The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, "You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father's house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son." I said to my master, "Perhaps the woman will not follow me." But he said to me, "The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you and make your way successful. You shall get a wife for my son from my kindred, from my father's house. Then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my kindred; even if they will not give her to you, you will be free from my oath."

'I came today to the spring, and said, "O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, 'Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,' and who will say to me, 'Drink, and I will draw for your camels also'—let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son."

 'Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, "Please let me drink." She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, "Drink, and I will also water your camels." So I drank, and she also watered the camels. Then I asked her, "Whose daughter are you?" She said, "The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him." So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Then I bowed my head and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master's kinsman for his son. Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.'

Then Laban and Bethuel answered, 'The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you anything bad or good. Look, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as theLORD has spoken.'

When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before the LORD. 

Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb.Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, 'Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?' The servant said, 'It is my master.' So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

HYMN 
Words: Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) © 2001 Stainer & Bell Ltd Used with permission.
Tune: Agincourt (Meter: 88 88 88)

Almighty God has done great things,
an angel proffers stunning news, 
the news of human hope he brings, 
her baby heaven and earth shall fuse; 
and she will give her life for that, 
O, Mary, sing magnificat. 

A mother and her unborn child, 
a man who ought to let her go
to save his face, stay undefiled, 
as love and duty taunt and flow; 
and Joseph will consider that
as Mary sings magnificat. 

And all the greatness of a God, 
distilled to love, sets captives free, 
a single liberating Word: 
those born in darkness now can see; 
as human power considers that
let Mary sing magnificat.

SECOND READING [Mark 8:1–21d]:

In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, "I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance."His disciples replied, "How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?" He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven." Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd. They had also a few small fish; and after blessing them, he ordered that these too should be distributed. They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Now there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, "Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation." And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.

Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, "Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod." They said to one another, "It is because we have no bread." And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?" They said to him, "Twelve." "And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?" And they said to him, "Seven." Then he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?" 

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

Prayer:
Following the example of Mary's patient love,
we pray for grace to follow God's will.

We pray for the Church.
May it follow Mary's example of patience, humility and trust.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for women
who serve as bishops, priests, deacons and ministers in your Church.
Open our ears to their witness and teaching.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the world.
Teach us to honor the wholeness of God's creation
in both male and female.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for mothers.
May the knowledge of your love
ease the burden of those who live with poverty or anxiety.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for women
suffering from cruelty and indifference.
Give us strength to give them comfort and relief.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for the departed,
joining our prayers with those of Mary.
In the hour of death, save us by the love of Christ.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

Redeeming God,
whose daughter Mary trusted angelic voices,
rejoiced with a song of praise,
and wept at the foot of the cross:
Give us such courage, faith and hope as hers,
that we, too, may praise you, trust you and receive you
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 so fill us with his grace,
that we in all things may accept his holy will
and with the Virgin Mary, full of grace,
rejoice in the salvation given us through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 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 of thanksgiving uses one sentence from _Revised
Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on
Common Texts and another sentence from _Opening Prayers: Collects in
Contemporary Language_.

The closing sentence is from _New Patterns for Worship_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The story of the announcement of the coming of God made flesh in the person of his Son, Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One, is heard in today's proclamation of the good news from the gospel of Luke. The feast marks the conception of Christ in the womb of Mary and has been celebrated in the Church at least since the late fourth century. The perfect humanity and the complete divinity of Jesus is affirmed, following the controversies around those orthodox assertions, which themselves led to the acknowledgement of Mary as Theotokos, God-bearer, which in the West became translated as Mother of God. The celebration thus took on strong associations with the person of Mary, and became known in England as Lady Day. In recent years, the Church has re-affirmed the day as a Feast of our Lord, on which his virgin- mother has a unique place of honour and veneration. [Exciting Holiness]

>From the Gospel of Luke:
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.



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