OREMUS: 26 May 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed May 25 17:00:00 GMT 2011

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OREMUS for May 26
Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 605

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Blessed are you, O God, worker of wonders,
you made us for joy and gladness.
Your risen Lord abides with us in our hearts,
opening the scriptures to us
and breaking bread in our midst.
He sets our hearts aflame and opens our eyes
that we may recognize him
and follow wherever he leads.
For these and all your wondrous acts, we praise you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever! Alleluia!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


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.


Then Job answered: 
'Indeed I know that this is so;
   but how can a mortal be just before God? 
If one wished to contend with him,
   one could not answer him once in a thousand. 
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength
—who has resisted him, and succeeded?— 
he who removes mountains, and they do not know it,
   when he overturns them in his anger; 
who shakes the earth out of its place,
   and its pillars tremble; 
who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
   who seals up the stars; 
who alone stretched out the heavens
   and trampled the waves of the Sea; 
who made the Bear and Orion,
   the Pleiades and the chambers of the south; 
who does great things beyond understanding,
   and marvellous things without number. 
Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him;
   he moves on, but I do not perceive him. 
He snatches away; who can stop him?
   Who will say to him, "What are you doing?" 

'God will not turn back his anger;
   the helpers of Rahab bowed beneath him. 
How then can I answer him,
   choosing my words with him? 
Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
   I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. 
If I summoned him and he answered me,
   I do not believe that he would listen to my voice. 
For he crushes me with a tempest,
   and multiplies my wounds without cause; 
he will not let me get my breath,
   but fills me with bitterness. 
If it is a contest of strength, he is the strong one!
   If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? 
Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me;
   though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse. 
I am blameless; I do not know myself;
   I loathe my life. 
It is all one; therefore I say,
   he destroys both the blameless and the wicked. 
When disaster brings sudden death,
   he mocks at the calamity of the innocent. 
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
   he covers the eyes of its judges—
   if it is not he, who then is it? 

'My days are swifter than a runner;
   they flee away, they see no good. 
They go by like skiffs of reed,
   like an eagle swooping on the prey. 
If I say, "I will forget my complaint;
   I will put off my sad countenance and be of good cheer", 
I become afraid of all my suffering,
   for I know you will not hold me innocent. 
I shall be condemned;
   why then do I labour in vain? 
If I wash myself with soap
   and cleanse my hands with lye, 
yet you will plunge me into filth,
   and my own clothes will abhor me. 
For he is not a mortal, as I am, that I might answer him,
   that we should come to trial together. 
There is no umpire between us,
   who might lay his hand on us both. 
If he would take his rod away from me,
   and not let dread of him terrify me, 
then I would speak without fear of him,
   for I know I am not what I am thought to be. 

Words: William Blake (1757-1827)
Tune: Jerusalem     

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

SECOND READING [1 Timothy 5.17–end]:

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain', and, 'The labourer deserves to be paid.' Never accept any accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels, I warn you to keep these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality. Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 

No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. 

The sins of some people are conspicuous and precede them to judgement, while the sins of others follow them there. So also good works are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden. 
The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

O Christ, in your resurrection,
the heavens and the earth rejoice:

By your resurrection you broke open the gates of hell,
and destroyed sin and death.
Keep us victorious over sin.

By your resurrection you raised the dead,
and brought us from death to life.
Guide us in the way of eternal life.

By your resurrection you confounded your guards and executioners,
and filled the disciples with joy.
Give us joy in your service.

By your resurrection you proclaimed good news to the women and apostles,
and brought salvation to the whole world.
Direct our lives as your new creation.

By your resurrection you give new life to your people, the Church.
Send us out to do the work you have given us to do.

O God our shepherd,
you know your sheep by name
and lead us to safety through the valleys of death.
Guide us by your voice,
that we may walk with certainty and security
to the joyous feast prepared in your house,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,<BR
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Everliving God,
you strengthened your servant Augustine,
though he was fearful and laden with doubt,
to lay the foundations of your Church
among the English people.
Grant us always to show forth the reason
for all your gifts so freely bestowed upon us,
by sharing with all peoples and races
your infinite gift of salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Rejoicing in God's new creation,
let us pray as our Redeemer has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Increase our love for one another,
that both in name and in truth
we may be disciples of the risen Lord Jesus,
and so reflect by our lives
the glory that is yours. Amen.

- The Lord's Prayer

God of power,
may the boldness of your Spirit transform us,
may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,
and may the gifts of your Spirit equip us 
to serve and worship you now and always. 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.

Augustine was prior of the monastery of St Andrew in Rome. In 596, at the instigation of Pope Gregory the Great, he was dispatched as the leader of a group of forty monks to re-evangelise the English Church. Augustine appears not to have been a particularly confident person, and in Gaul he wanted to turn back, but Pope Gregory's firm resolution held the group to their mission. The monks finally landed in Kent in the summer of 597 where they were well received by King Ethelbert whose wife, Bertha, was a Christian. Once established, Augustine returned temporarily to Gaul to receive ordination as a bishop. Pope Gregory would have preferred London to have become the primatial see, but in the event Canterbury was chosen, and thus Augustine became the first archbishop of Canterbury. He died in either 604 or 605. [Exciting Holiness]

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