OREMUS: 15 September 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Sep 14 17:00:00 GMT 2011

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OREMUS for September 15
The Sorrows of Mary at the Cross

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

Blessed are you, O God,
we give you thanks for your Son, Jesus,
who broke the walls that divide
and freed us from death and despair;
we give you thanks for Mary, his mother,
who knew many sorrows and losses in her life,
and yet remained steadfast in her faith and trust in your promises.
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 75

We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks,*
 calling upon your name
   and declaring all your wonderful deeds.
'I will appoint a time,' says God;*
 'I will judge with equity.
'Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking,*
 I will make its pillars fast.
'I will say to the boasters, "Boast no more",*
 and to the wicked, "Do not toss your horns;
'"Do not toss your horns so high,*
 nor speak with a proud neck."'
For judgement is neither from the east
   nor from the west,*
 nor yet from the wilderness or the mountains.
It is God who judges;*
 he puts down one and lifts up another.
For in the Lord's hand there is a cup,
   full of spiced and foaming wine, which he pours out,*
 and all the wicked of the earth
   shall drink and drain the dregs.
But I will rejoice for ever;*
 I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
He shall break off all the horns of the wicked;*
 but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Psalm 76

In Judah is God known;*
 his name is great in Israel.
At Salem is his tabernacle,*
 and his dwelling is in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,*
 the shield, the sword and the weapons of battle.
How glorious you are!*
 more splendid than the everlasting mountains!
The strong of heart have been despoiled;
   they sink into sleep;*
 none of the warriors can lift a hand.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,*
 both horse and rider lie stunned.
What terror you inspire!*
 who can stand before you when you are angry?
>From heaven you pronounced judgement;*
 the earth was afraid and was still;
When God rose up to judgement*
 and to save all the oppressed of the earth.
Truly, wrathful Edom will give you thanks,*
 and the remnant of Hamath will keep your feasts.
Make a vow to the Lord your God and keep it;*
 let all around him bring gifts
   to him who is worthy to be feared.
He breaks the spirit of princes,*
 and strikes terror in the kings of the earth.

Psalm 77

I will cry aloud to God;*
 I will cry aloud and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;*
 my hands were stretched out by night and did not tire;
   I refused to be comforted.
I think of God, I am restless,*
 I ponder and my spirit faints.
You will not let my eyelids close;*
 I am troubled and I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old;*
 I remember the years long past;
I commune with my heart in the night;*
 I ponder and search my mind.
Will the Lord cast me off for ever?*
 will he no more show his favour?
Has his lovingkindness come to an end for ever?*
 has his promise failed for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?*
 has he, in his anger, withheld his compassion?
And I said, 'My grief is this:*
 the right hand of the Most High has lost its power.'
I will remember the works of the Lord,*
 and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your acts*
 and ponder your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy;*
 who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who works wonders*
 and have declared your power among the peoples.
By your strength you have redeemed your people,*
 the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw you, O God;
   the waters saw you and trembled;*
 the very depths were shaken.
The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered;*
 your arrows flashed to and fro;
The sound of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
   your lightnings lit up the world;*
 the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea,
   and your paths in the great waters,*
 yet your footsteps were not seen.
You led your people like a flock*
 by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

FIRST READING [Ecclus 22.6–22]:

Like music in time of mourning is ill-timed conversation,
   but a thrashing and discipline are at all times wisdom. 

Whoever teaches a fool is like one who glues potsherds together,
   or who rouses a sleeper from deep slumber. 
Whoever tells a story to a fool tells it to a drowsy man;
   and at the end he will say, ‘What is it?’ 
Weep for the dead, for he has left the light behind;
   and weep for the fool, for he has left intelligence behind.
Weep less bitterly for the dead, for he is at rest;
   but the life of the fool is worse than death. 
Mourning for the dead lasts seven days,
   but for the foolish or the ungodly it lasts all the days of their lives. 

Do not talk much with a senseless person
   or visit an unintelligent person.
Stay clear of him, or you may have trouble,
   and be spattered when he shakes himself.
Avoid him and you will find rest,
   and you will never be wearied by his lack of sense. 
What is heavier than lead?
   And what is its name except ‘Fool’? 
Sand, salt, and a piece of iron
   are easier to bear than a stupid person. 

A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building
   is not loosened by an earthquake;
so the mind firmly resolved after due reflection
   will not be afraid in a crisis. 
A mind settled on an intelligent thought
   is like stucco decoration that makes a wall smooth. 
Fences set on a high place
   will not stand firm against the wind;
so a timid mind with a fool’s resolve
   will not stand firm against any fear. 

One who pricks the eye brings tears,
   and one who pricks the heart makes clear its feelings. 
One who throws a stone at birds scares them away,
   and one who reviles a friend destroys a friendship. 
Even if you draw your sword against a friend,
   do not despair, for there is a way back. 
If you open your mouth against your friend,
   do not worry, for reconciliation is possible.
But as for reviling, arrogance, disclosure of secrets, or a treacherous blow—
   in these cases any friend will take to flight. 

Words: Latin, thirteenth century; trans. The English Hymnal, 1906.
Tune: Stabat mater

At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus at the last,
Through her soul, of joy bereav d,
bowed with anguish, deeply griev d,
now at length the sword hath passed.

O, that blessed one, grief-laden,
blessed Mother, blessed Maiden,
Mother of the all-holy One;
O that silent, ceaseless mourning,
O those dim eyes, never turning
from that wondrous, suffering Son.

Who, on Christ's dear mother gazing,
in her trouble so amazing,
born of woman, would not weep?
Who, on Christ's dear Mother thinking,
such a cup of sorrow drinking,
would not share her sorrows deep?

For his people's sins, in anguish,
there she saw the victim languish,
bleed in torments, bleed and die.
Saw the Lord's anointed taken,
saw her Child in death forrsaken,
heard his last expiring cry.

In the passion of my Maker,
be my sinful soul partaker,
may I bear with her my part;
of his passion bear the token,
in a spirit bowed and broken
bear his death within my heart.

May his wounds both wound and heal me,
he enkindle, cleanse, and heal me,
be his cross my hope and stay.
May he, when the mountains quiver,
from that flame which burns for ever
shield me on the judgment day.

Jesus, may thy cross defend me,
and thy saving death befriend me,
cherished by thy deathless grace:
when to dust my dust returneth,
grant a soul that to thee yearneth
in thy paradise a place.

SECOND READING [Mark 13.32–end]:

Jesus said, 'But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.' 

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

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 are 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 join with the Blessed Virgin Mary
in intercession for the departed.
In the hour of death, save us by the love of Christ
which has raised them to eternal life.
God of love,
hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ, 
when you were raised upon the cross, 
your mother Mary stood beside you in your passion: 
may your Church, as it shares in your suffering and death, 
come to share more deeply in your risen life; 
for, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, 
you are alive and reign, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Compassionate God,
your generous presence
is always attuned to hurting ones.
Your listening ear is bent
toward the cries of the wounded
Your heart of love
fills with tears for the suffering.
Turn my inward eye to see
that I am not alone.
I am a part of all of life.
Each one's joy and sorrow
is my joy and sorrow,
and mine is theirs.
May I draw strength 
from this inner communion.
May it daily recommit me
to be a compassionate presence
for all who struggle with life's pain. 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 opening prayer is by Stephen Benner and the intercession is by Stephen Benner and is based on a prayer from _Leading Intercessions_, (c) 2000, Canterbury Press.

The closing sentence is by Joyce Rupp.

Today’s feast is clearly linked with yesterday when we celebrated the Exaltation of the Cross. Only the gospel of John records that the “mother of Jesus” stood by the cross with her sister, Mary of Magdala and the “beloved disciple”. (In the Synoptic gospels, women are recorded as standing at some distance from the cross but Mary is not mentioned among them.) One can hardly imagine the pain and grief that Mary must have undergone to see her only Son dying in such terrible suffering over a period of several hours. Mary, as the first and greatest disciple of her Son, shared in a very special way in the redeeming death of her Son and Lord. [Sacred Space]

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