OREMUS: 20 September 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Sep 19 17:00:00 GMT 2011


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OREMUS for September 20
John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia,
and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871

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

Blessed are you, God of miracles and of mercy,
all creation sings your praise,
for your grace is extravagant and unexpected.
You lead us to repentance
and the acceptance of your grace,
that we may witness to your love,
which embraces both those we call friend
and those we call stranger.
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 102

Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come before you;*
 hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me;*
 when I call, make haste to answer me,
For my days drift away like smoke,*
 and my bones are hot as burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass and withered,*
 so that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning*
 I am but skin and bones.
I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,*
 like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan;*
 I am like a sparrow, lonely on a housetop.
My enemies revile me all day long,*
 and those who scoff at me
   have taken an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes for bread*
 and mingled my drink with weeping.
Because of your indignation and wrath*
 you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
My days pass away like a shadow,*
 and I wither like the grass.
But you, O Lord, endure for ever,*
 and your name from age to age.
You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to have mercy upon her;*
 indeed, the appointed time has come.
For your servants love her very rubble,*
 and are moved to pity even for her dust.
The nations shall fear your name, O Lord,*
 and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion,*
 and his glory will appear.
He will look with favour on the prayer of the homeless;*
 he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,*
 so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.
For the Lord looked down from his holy place on high;*
 from the heavens he beheld the earth;
That he might hear the groan of the captive*
 and set free those condemned to die;
That they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,*
 and his praise in Jerusalem;
When the peoples are gathered together,*
 and the kingdoms also, to serve the Lord.
He has brought down my strength before my time;*
 he has shortened the number of my days;
And I said, 'O my God,
   do not take me away in the midst of my days;*
 your years endure throughout all generations.
'In the beginning, O Lord,
   you laid the foundations of the earth,*
 and the heavens are the work of your hands;
'They shall perish, but you will endure;
   they all shall wear out like a garment;*
 as clothing you will change them,
   and they shall be changed;
'But you are always the same,*
 and your years will never end.
'The children of your servants shall continue,*
 and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight.'

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,*
 and forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all your sins*
 and heals all your infirmities;
He redeems your life from the grave*
 and crowns you with mercy and lovingkindness;
He satisfies you with good things,*
 and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
The Lord executes righteousness*
 and judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made his ways known to Moses*
 and his works to the children of Israel.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,*
 slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us,*
 nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,*
 nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,*
 so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,*
 so far has he removed our sins from us.
As a father cares for his children,*
 so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
For he himself knows whereof we are made;*
 he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are like the grass;*
 we flourish like a flower of the field;
When the wind goes over it, it is gone,*
 and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord
   endures for ever on those who fear him,*
 and his righteousness on children's children;
On those who keep his covenant*
 and remember his commandments and do them.
The Lord has set his throne in heaven,*
 and his kingship has dominion over all.
Bless the Lord, you angels of his,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,*
 and hearken to the voice of his word.
Bless the Lord, all you his hosts,*
 you ministers of his who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of his,
   in all places of his dominion;*
 bless the Lord, O my soul.

FIRST READING [Ecclus 28.14–end]:

Slander has shaken many,
   and scattered them from nation to nation;
it has destroyed strong cities,
   and overturned the houses of the great. 
Slander has driven virtuous women from their homes,
   and deprived them of the fruit of their toil. 
Those who pay heed to slander will not find rest,
   nor will they settle down in peace. 
The blow of a whip raises a welt,
   but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones. 
Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,
   but not as many as have fallen because of the tongue. 
Happy is one who is protected from it,
   who has not been exposed to its anger,
who has not borne its yoke,
   and has not been bound with its fetters. 
For its yoke is a yoke of iron,
   and its fetters are fetters of bronze; 
its death is an evil death,
   and Hades is preferable to it. 
It has no power over the godly;
   they will not be burned in its flame. 
Those who forsake the Lord will fall into its power;
   it will burn among them and will not be put out.
It will be sent out against them like a lion;
   like a leopard it will mangle them.
As you fence in your property with thorns,
   so make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
As you lock up your silver and gold,
   so make balances and scales for your words. 
Take care not to err with your tongue,
   and fall victim to one lying in wait. 

HYMN 
Words: Isaac Watts, 1714 
Tune: Monmouth, Old 113th

I'll praise my Maker while I've breath,
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers;
my days of praise shall ne'er be past,
while life, and thought, and being last,
or immortality endures.

Why should I make a man my trust?
Princes must die and turn to dust;
vain is the help of flesh and blood:
their breath departs, their pomp, and power,
and thoughts, all vanish in an hour,
nor can they make their promise good.

Happy the man whose hopes rely
on Israel's God: he made the sky,
and earth, and seas, with all their train;
his truth for ever stands secure,
he saves th'oppressed, he feeds the poor,
and none shall find his promise vain.

The Lord has eyes to give the blind;
the Lord supports the sinking mind;
he sends the laboring conscience peace;
he helps the stranger in distress,
the widow, and the fatherless,
and grants the prisoner sweet release.

He loves his saints, he knows them well,
but turns the wicked down to hell;
thy God, O Zion! ever reigns:
Let every tongue, let every age,
in this exalted work engage;
praise him in everlasting strains.

I'll praise him while he lends me breath,
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers;
my days of praise shall ne'er be past,
while life, and thought, and being last,
or immortality endures.

SECOND READING [Mark 14.53–65]:

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 'We heard him say, "I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands." ' But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, 'Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?' But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?' Jesus said, 'I am; and
"you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power",
and "coming with the clouds of heaven." ' 
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?' All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, 'Prophesy!' The guards also took him over and beat him. 

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

Prayer:
Holy God,
we rejoice in the martyrs and prophets, teachers and leaders,
and all the ordinary and extraordinary believers
who have lived and loved the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For their witness and encouragement,
We thank you, Lord.

Recalling their stories and deeds,
we dare to take up our crosses.
For their witness and encouragement,
We thank you, Lord.

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
we plead for the human family and all creation:

For those addicted or tormented:
We pray to you, Lord.

For the victims of terrorism and disaster:
We pray to you, Lord.

For those who despair of life(s goodness:
We pray to you, Lord.

For the Church, especially ecumenical councils and church agencies:
We pray to you, Lord.

For a resolution to unresolved matters of this day:
We pray to you, Lord.

Lord God, King of the Universe,
you show the bright glory of your reign
in acts of mercy and enduring love:
raise the spirits of the downcast
and restore those who have fallen away,
that your Church may continually sing of your saving help;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God of all tribes and peoples and tongues,
who called your servant John Coleridge Patteson
to witness in life and death to the gospel of Christ
amongst the peoples of Melanesia:
grant us to hear your call to service
and to respond trustfully and joyfully
to Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
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

Teach us your ways of justice, O Lord,
and lead us to practice your generosity.  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 opening prayer and closing prayer are adapted from _Revised Common
Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

Born in London in 1827, John Coleridge Patteson came under the influence of George Augustus Selwyn while John was still a scholar at Eton. Patteson went on to be ordained and, in 1855 at the age of twenty-eight, left Britain to begin his life's work among the Islanders of the South Pacific, founding the Melanesian Mission and becoming the first bishop of those Islands. His system of evangelisation was to train indigenous clergy and so to equip local people to share the gospel in a way that was within their own culture. This novel educative approach quickly bore fruit and Christianity spread rapidly. Also working in Melanesia were 'blackbirders', essentially European slave-traders, who carried off Islanders to work in British and other colonies in Australasia. When Patteson and his fellow-workers landed on the island of Nukapu, they were mistaken for such men. They were attacked and brutally put to death by the inhabitants. John Coleridge Patteson gave his life for the gospel on this day in the year 1871. [Exciting Holiness]


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