OREMUS: 26 March 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Mar 25 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for March 26
Harriet Monsell, Founder of the Community of St John the Baptist, Clewer, 1883

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

Blessed are you, O God,
whose love leaves none neglected or ignored,
we give you thanks for Jesus of Nazareth
who opened deaf ears and dull minds.
His story is at work in us still,
awakening us to all that is true and beautiful and good.
His words and deeds are one,
yet we crucified him for his integrity
and turned on him for daring to be different.
We praise you for his life which is bolder than death,
that rises undefeated in us yet,
tantalizing with the promise of change and reconciliation.
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 119:105-144

Your word is a lantern to my feet*
 and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and am determined*
 to keep your righteous judgements.
I am deeply troubled;*
 preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word.
Accept, O Lord, the willing tribute of my lips,*
 and teach me your judgements.
My life is always in my hand,*
 yet I do not forget your law.
The wicked have set a trap for me,*
 but I have not strayed from your commandments.
Your decrees are my inheritance for ever;*
 truly, they are the joy of my heart.
I have applied my heart to fulfil your statutes*
 for ever and to the end.

I hate those who have a divided heart,*
 but your law do I love.
You are my refuge and shield;*
 my hope is in your word.
Away from me, you wicked!*
 I will keep the commandments of my God.
Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live,*
 and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
Hold me up and I shall be safe,*
 and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.
You spurn all who stray from your statutes;*
 their deceitfulness is in vain.

In your sight all the wicked of the earth are but dross;*
 therefore I love your decrees.
My flesh trembles with dread of you;*
 I am afraid of your judgements.

I have done what is just and right;*
 do not deliver me to my oppressors.
Be surety for your servant's good;*
 let not the proud oppress me.
My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation*
 and for your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant
   according to your lovingkindness*
 and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; grant me understanding,*
 that I may know your decrees.
It is time for you to act, O Lord,*
 for they have broken your law.
Truly, I love your commandments*
 more than gold and precious stones.
I hold all your commandments to be right for me;*
 all paths of falsehood I abhor.

Your decrees are wonderful;*
 therefore I obey them with all my heart.
When your word goes forth it gives light;*
 it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant;*
 I long for your commandments.

Turn to me in mercy,*
 as you always do to those who love your name.
Steady my footsteps in your word;*
 let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Rescue me from those who oppress me,*

 and I will keep your commandments.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant*
 and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears,*
 because people do not keep your law.

You are righteous, O Lord,*
 and upright are your judgements.
You have issued your decrees*
 with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
My indignation has consumed me,*
 because my enemies forget your words.
Your word has been tested to the uttermost,*
 and your servant holds it dear.
I am small and of little account,*
 yet I do not forget your commandments.
Your justice is an everlasting justice*
 and your law is the truth.
Trouble and distress have come upon me,*
 yet your commandments are my delight.
The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting;*
 grant me understanding, that I may live.

FIRST READING [Genesis 27:1–29]:

When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, 'My son'; and he answered, 'Here I am.' He said, 'See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death.Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me. Then prepare for me savoury food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.'

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, 'I heard your father say to your brother Esau, "Bring me game, and prepare for me savoury food to eat, that I may bless you before the LORD before I die." Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. Go to the flock, and get me two choice kids, so that I may prepare from them savoury food for your father, such as he likes;and you shall take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.' But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, 'Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.' His mother said to him, 'Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my word, and go, get them for me.'So he went and got them and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared savoury food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the best garments of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob; and she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. Then she handed the savoury food, and the bread that she had prepared, to her son Jacob.

So he went in to his father, and said, 'My father'; and he said, 'Here I am; who are you, my son?' Jacob said to his father, 'I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, so that you may bless me.' But Isaac said to his son, 'How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?' He answered, 'Because the LORD your God granted me success.' Then Isaac said to Jacob, 'Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.' So Jacob went up to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, 'The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.' He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him. He said, 'Are you really my son Esau?' He answered, 'I am.' Then he said, 'Bring it to me, that I may eat of my son's game and bless you.' So he brought it to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, 'Come near and kiss me, my son.' So he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his garments, and blessed him, and said,
'Ah, the smell of my son
   is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed. 
May God give you of the dew of heaven,
   and of the fatness of the earth,
   and plenty of grain and wine. 
Let peoples serve you,
   and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
   and may your mother's sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
   and blessed be everyone who blesses you!'

HYMN 
Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Tune: Irish, Stockton (CM)

Long as I live I'll bless Thy Name,
My King, my God of love;
My work and joy shall be the same
In the bright world above.

Great is the Lord, His power unknown,
And let His praise be great:
I'll sing the honours of Thy throne,
Thy works of grace repeat.

Thy grace shall dwell upon my tongue,
And while my lips rejoice,
The men that hear my sacred song
Shall join their cheerful voice.

Fathers to sons shall teach Thy Name,
And children learn Thy ways;
Ages to come Thy truth proclaim,
And nations sound Thy praise.

Thy glorious deeds of ancient date
Shall through the world be known;
Thine arm of power, Thy heavenly state,
With public splendour shown.

The world is managed by Thy hands,
Thy saints are ruled by love;
And Thine eternal kingdom stands,
Though rocks and hills remove.

SECOND READING [Mark 8:22–38]:

They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, 'Can you see anything?' And the manlooked up and said, 'I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.'Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, 'Do not even go into the village.' 

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that I am?'And they answered him, 'John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.' He asked them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Peter answered him, 'You are the Messiah.' And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, 'Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.'

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, 'If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.'

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

Prayer:
Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance,
Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day, we bless you;
We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin;
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

We long for your salvation, O Lord:
grant us understanding, that we may live.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
For we put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
Let us not be confounded at the last

God of the covenant,
in the mystery of the cross
you promised everlasting life to the world.
Gather all peoples into your arms,
and shelter us with your mercy,
that we may rejoice in your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

God our Savior, 
today we celebrate with joy 
the memory of your servant Harriet Monsell, 
and we give thanks for her faithfulness and love: 
May we, like her, serve you with generous hearts. 
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

		
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May we never boast of anything
except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world is crucified to me,
and I to the world. 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 first collect is from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The closing sentence is Galatians 6:14.

Of Irish parentage, Harriet Monsell (née O'Brien) was born in 1811. After the death of her clergyman husband, she went to work in a penitentiary at Clewer near Windsor. Here, under the guidance of the local Vicar, T T Carter, she was professed as a Religious in 1852 and became the first Superior of the Community of St John the Baptist. Under her care, the community grew rapidly and undertook a range of social work in a variety of locations, with foundations in India and America by the 1880s. The sisters cared for orphans, ran schools and hospitals, and opened mission houses in parishes. In 1875 Mother Harriet retired as Superior through ill-health, moving to a small hermitage in Folkestone, where she died on Easter Day 1883. [Exciting Holiness]


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