OREMUS: 14 September 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Sep 13 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for September 14
Holy Cross Day

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of life,
for the cross, the sign of Christ's victory over death.
He stretched out his arms upon the hard wood of the cross,
that all people might be brought within its saving embrace;
you draw each of us to you with the bonds of that same love,
that we may find you and be found by you,
and be bound to you as your faithful servants,
that we may take up our cross daily and follow 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. 

http://www.oremus.org/ocan.html

Psalm 71

In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;*
 let me never be ashamed.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;*
 incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;*
 you are my crag and my stronghold.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,*
 from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord God,*
 my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
   from my mother's womb you have been my strength;*
 my praise shall be always of you.
I have become a portent to many;*
 but you are my refuge and my strength.
Let my mouth be full of your praise*
 and your glory all the day long.
Do not cast me off in my old age;*
 forsake me not when my strength fails.
For my enemies are talking against me,*
 and those who lie in wait for my life
   take counsel together.
They say, 'God has forsaken him;
   go after him and seize him;*
 because there is none who will save.'
O God, be not far from me;*
 come quickly to help me, O my God.
Let those who set themselves against me
   be put to shame and be disgraced;*
 let those who seek to do me evil
   be covered with scorn and reproach.
But I shall always wait in patience,*
 and shall praise you more and more.
My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
   and saving deeds all day long;*
 though I cannot know the number of them.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God;*
 I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young,*
 and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
And now that I am old and greyheaded, O God,
   do not forsake me,*
 till I make known your strength to this generation
   and your power to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens;*
 you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
You have showed me great troubles and adversities,*
 but you will restore my life and bring me up again
   from the deep places of the earth.
You strengthen me more and more;*
 you enfold and comfort me,
Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre
   for your faithfulness, O my God;*
 I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you,*
 and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long,*
 for they are ashamed and disgraced
   who sought to do me harm.

Psalm 72

Give the king your justice, O God,*
 and your righteousness to the king's son;
That he may rule your people righteously*
 and the poor with justice;
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,*
 and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people;*
 he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,*
 from one generation to another.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown field,*
 like showers that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
 there shall be abundance of peace
   till the moon shall be no more.
He shall rule from sea to sea,*
 and from the River to the ends of the earth.
His foes shall bow down before him,*
 and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute,*
 and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.
All kings shall bow down before him,*
 and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,*
 and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
 he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,*
 and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live,
   and may there be given to him gold from Arabia;*
 may prayer be made for him always,
   and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
   growing thick even on the hilltops;*
 may its fruit flourish like Lebanon,
   and its grain like grass upon the earth.
May his name remain for ever
   and be established as long as the sun endures;*
 may all the nations bless themselves in him
   and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*
 who alone does wondrous deeds!
And blessed be his glorious name for ever!*
 and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
   Amen. Amen.

FIRST READING [Ecclus 21.1–17]:

Have you sinned, my child? Do so no more,
   but ask forgiveness for your past sins. 
Flee from sin as from a snake;
   for if you approach sin, it will bite you.
Its teeth are lion’s teeth,
   and can destroy human lives. 
All lawlessness is like a two-edged sword;
   there is no healing for the wound it inflicts. 

Panic and insolence will waste away riches;
   thus the house of the proud will be laid waste. 
The prayer of the poor goes from their lips to the ears of God,
   and his judgement comes speedily. 
Those who hate reproof walk in the sinner’s steps,
   but those who fear the Lord repent in their heart. 
The mighty in speech are widely known;
   when they slip, the sensible person knows it. 

Whoever builds his house with other people’s money
   is like one who gathers stones for his burial mound. 
An assembly of the wicked is like a bundle of tow,
   and their end is a blazing fire. 
The way of sinners is paved with smooth stones,
   but at its end is the pit of Hades. 

Whoever keeps the law controls his thoughts,
   and the fulfilment of the fear of the Lord is wisdom. 
One who is not clever cannot be taught,
   but there is a cleverness that increases bitterness. 
The knowledge of the wise will increase like a flood,
   and their counsel like a life-giving spring. 
The mind of a fool is like a broken jar;
   it can hold no knowledge. 

When an intelligent person hears a wise saying,
   he praises it and adds to it;
when a fool hears it, he laughs at it
   and throws it behind his back. 
A fool’s chatter is like a burden on a journey,
   but delight is found in the speech of the intelligent. 
The utterance of a sensible person is sought in the assembly,
   and they ponder his words in their minds. 

HYMN 
Words: Fred Pratt Green (c)
Tune: The Third Tune

To mock your reign, O dearest Lord,
they made a crown of thorns;
set you with taunts along that road
from which no one returns.
They did not know, as we do now,
that glorious is your crown;
that thorns would flower upon your brow,
your sorrows heal our own.

In mock acclaim, O gracious Lord,
they snatched a purple cloak,
your passion turned, for all they cared,
into a soldier's joke.
They did not know, as we do now,
that though we merit blame
you will your robe of mercy throw
around our naked shame.

A sceptered reed, O patient Lord,
they thrust into your hand,
and acted out their grim charade
to its appointed end.
They did not know, as we do now,
though empires rise and fall,
your Kingdom shall not cease to grow
till love embraces all.

SECOND READING [Philippians 2:6-11]:

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 
who, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited, 
but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form, 
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross. 

Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name, 
so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father. 

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

Prayer:
We glory in your cross, O Lord,
- and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
  for by virtue of your cross
  joy has come to the whole world.

God, be merciful to us and bless us,
and show us the light of your countenance,
and come to us
- Let your ways may be known upon earth,
  your saving health among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

- We glory in your cross, O Lord,
  and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
  for by virtue of your cross
  joy has come to the whole world.

Hear our prayers especially for those who died, have lost loved ones
or who are injured or are under distress. 
May the dead find rest for their souls,
may we find healing for our minds and bodies
and the strength to know that your Cross brings salvation to the world.
Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.

Almighty God,
when the world's wars terrify us,
lift our eyes to your Son,
enthroned on Calvary,
whose meekness dumbfounds kings
and shatters earthly pride.
In his Name, we pray. Amen.

Almighty God, 
whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ 
was lifted high upon the cross 
that he might draw the whole world to himself: 
Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, 
may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us delight in the mercy that has found us
and bring all to rejoice at the feast of forgiveness. 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 is adapted by Stephen Benner from various sources. 

Hymn (c) 1973 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.  
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada:  Hope Publishing Company, 
www.hopepublishing.com
Rest of the World:  Stainer & Bell Ltd., 
www.stainer.co.uk

The second collect is from The Book of Common Prayer_ (1979),
Charles Mortimer Guilbert, Custodian.

The closing prayer uses phrases from a prayer in _Opening Prayers:
Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The cross on which our Lord was crucified has become the universal symbol for Christianity, replacing the fish symbol of the early church, though the latter has been revived in recent times. After the end of the persecution era, early in the fourth century, pilgrims began to travel to Jerusalem to visit and pray at the places associated with the life of Jesus. Helena, the mother of the emperor, was a Christian and, whilst overseeing excavations in the city, is said to have uncovered a cross, which many believed to be the Cross of Christ. A basilica was built on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and dedicated on this day in the year 335. [Exciting Holiness]


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