OREMUS: 14 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Feb 13 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for February 14
Cyril and Methodius,
Missionaries to the Slavs, 869 and 885

Cyril and his older brother Methodius were born in Thessalonica, both developing in their youth the ability to speak several languages, including Slavonic, a language not yet written down, at least in an alphabet understood by others. Cyril created the Slavonic alphabet and set about translating the Scriptures and other liturgical texts into the language. They established the church in Moravia, but in so doing entered into the controversy between indigenous and centralised religious practices and worship. Cyril died on this day in the year 869, whilst the brothers were in Rome, there to obtain papal approval for their evangelistic work. Methodius returned to Moravia as archbishop, where he completed the translation of the Bible and continued the missionary work. He died in the year 885. Today they are revered in both Christian East and West and, as such, are seen as patron saints of ecumenism between these two great branches of Christendom. 

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

We know love by this,
that he laid down his life for us
and we ought to lay down our lives
for one another.
How does God’s love abide in anyone
who has the world’s goods
and sees a brother or sister in need
and yet refuses help? 
Little children, let us love,
not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you,
O Lord Eternal and Creator of all things,
who in your inscrutable goodness
called us to this life; 
who bestowed on us the grace of Baptism
and the Seal of the Holy Spirit; 
who imbued us with the desire 
to seek you, the one true God. 
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 73

Truly, God is good to Israel,*
 to those who are pure in heart. 
But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped;*
 I had almost tripped and fallen; 
Because I envied the proud*
 and saw the prosperity of the wicked: 
For they suffer no pain,*
 and their bodies are sleek and sound; 
In the misfortunes of others
they have no share;*
 they are not afflicted as others are; 
Therefore they wear their pride
like a necklace*
 and wrap their violence
 about them like a cloak. 
Their iniquity comes from gross minds,*
 and their hearts overflow
 with wicked thoughts. 
They scoff and speak maliciously;*
 out of their haughtiness
 they plan oppression. 
They set their mouths against the heavens,*
 and their evil speech
 runs through the world. 
And so the people turn to them*
 and find in them no fault. 
They say, 'How should God know?*
 is there knowledge in the Most High?' 
So then, these are the wicked;*
 always at ease, they increase their wealth. 
In vain have I kept my heart clean,*
 and washed my hands in innocence. 
I have been afflicted all day long,*
 and punished every morning. 
Had I gone on speaking this way,*
 I should have betrayed
 the generation of your children. 
When I tried to understand these things,*
 it was too hard for me; 
Until I entered the sanctuary of God*
 and discerned the end of the wicked. 
Surely, you set them in slippery places;*
 you cast them down in ruin. 
O how suddenly
do they come to destruction,*
 come to an end and perish from terror! 
Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord,*
 when you arise
 you will make their image vanish. 
When my mind became embittered,*
 I was sorely wounded in my heart. 
I was stupid and had no understanding;*
 I was like a brute beast in your presence. 
Yet I am always with you;*
 you hold me by my right hand. 
You will guide me by your counsel,*
 and afterwards receive me with glory. 
Whom have I in heaven but you?*
 and having you I desire nothing upon earth. 
Though my flesh and my heart
should waste away,*
 God is the strength of my heart
 and my portion for ever. 
Truly, those who forsake you will perish;*
 you destroy all who are unfaithful. 
But it is good for me to be near God;*
 I have made the Lord God my refuge. 
I will speak of all your works*
 in the gates of the city of Zion. 

Psalm 74
O God, why have you utterly cast us off?*
 why is your wrath so hot
 against the sheep of your pasture? 
Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago,*
 the tribe you redeemed
 to be your inheritance,
 and Mount Zion where you dwell. 
Turn your steps towards the endless ruins;*
 the enemy has laid waste
 everything in your sanctuary. 
Your adversaries roared in your holy place;*
 they set up their banners
 as tokens of victory. 
They were like men coming up with axes
to a grove of trees;*
 they broke down all your carved work
 with hatchets and hammers. 
They set fire to your holy place;*
 they defiled the dwelling-place
 of your name and razed it to the ground. 
They said to themselves,
'Let us destroy them altogether.'*
 They burned down
 all the meeting-places of God in the land. 
There are no signs for us to see;
there is no prophet left;*
 there is not one among us
 who knows how long. 
How long, O God,
will the adversary scoff?*
 will the enemy blaspheme
 your name for ever? 
Why do you draw back your hand?*
 why is your right hand
 hidden in your bosom? 
Yet God is my king from ancient times,*
 victorious in the midst of the earth. 
You divided the sea by your might*
 and shattered the heads of the dragons
 upon the waters; 
You crushed the heads of Leviathan*
 and gave him to the people
 of the desert for food. 
You split open spring and torrent;*
 you dried up ever-flowing rivers. 
Yours is the day, yours also the night;*
 you established the moon and the sun. 
You fixed all the boundaries of the earth;*
 you made both summer and winter. 
Remember, O Lord,
how the enemy scoffed,*
 how a foolish people despised your name. 
Do not hand over the life
of your dove to wild beasts;*
 never forget the lives of your poor. 
Look upon your covenant;*
 the dark places of the earth
 are haunts of violence. 
Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed;*
 let the poor and needy praise your name. 
Arise, O God, maintain your cause;*
 remember how fools
 revile you all day long. 
Forget not the clamour of your adversaries,*
 the unending tumult of those
 who rise up against you. 
FIRST READING [Genesis 19:15-29]:

When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, 'Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the punishment of the city.' But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and left him outside the city. When they had brought them outside, they said, 'Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed.' And Lot said to them, 'Oh, no, my lords; your servant has found favour with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. Look, that city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!' He said to him, 'Very well, I grant you this favour too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.' Therefore the city was called Zoar. The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 

Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 

Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord; and he looked down towards Sodom and Gomorrah and towards all the land of the Plain, and saw the smoke of the land going up like the smoke of a furnace. 

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had settled. 

Words: Jean Baptiste de Santeüil (1630-1697); trans. Isaac Williams (1802-1865)
Tune: Disposer Supreme, Hanover, Old 104th

Disposer supreme,
and judge of the earth,
who choosest for thine
the meek and the poor;
to frail earthen vessels,
and things of no worth,
entrusting thy riches
which ay shall endure;

Those vessels soon fail,
though full of thy light,
and at thy decree
are broken and gone;
thence brightly appeareth
thy truth in its might,
as through the clouds riven
the lightnings have shone.

Like clouds are they borne
to do thy great will,
and swift as the winds
about the world go:
the Word with his wisdom
their spirits doth fill;
they thunder, they lighten,
the waters o'erflow.

Their sound goeth forth,
'Christ Jesus the Lord!'
then Satan doth fear,
his citadels fall;
as when the dread trumpets
went forth at thy word,
and one long blast shattered
the Canaanite's wall.

O loud be their trump,
and stirring their sound,
to rouse us, O Lord,
from slumber of sin:
the lights thou hast kindled
in darkness around,
O may they awaken
our spirits within.

All honour and praise,
dominion and might,
to God, Three in One,
eternally be,
who round us hath shed his
own marvellous light,
and called us from darkness
his glory to see.

SECOND READING [John 14:15-21]:

Jesus said, 'If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 

'I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.' 

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

In peace let us pray to the Lord, saying "Hospodi, pomiluj." [Hos-po-dee po-mee-loo, "Lord, have mercy" in Slavonic]
For peace from on high and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For peace in the whole world, the well-being of the holy churches of God, and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For this house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For all the bishops, priests, deacons, clergy, and people, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For our public servants, for the government and all who protect us, that they may be upheld and strengthened in every good deed, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For our city and every city and country and the faithful living in them, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For favorable weather, an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For the travelers by sea, air, and land, for the sick, the suffering, for the captives, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and need, let us pray to the Lord.  Hospodi, pomiluj.

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by your grace. 
 Hospodi, pomiluj.

Remembering our all-holy, spotless, most highly blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God. Teb’i, Hospodi.

For all glory, honor, and worship are your due, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amin.

Christ my God, 
set my heart on fire with love in you, 
that in its flame I may love you 
with all my heart, with all my mind, 
and with all my soul and with all my strength, 
and my neighbor as myself, 
so that by keeping your commandments 
I may glorify you, 
the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Everliving God,
by the power of your Spirit,
Cyril and his brother Methodius,
in the face of hostility,
brought the light of the gospel to the Slavic people:
Make your whole Church
one as you are one
that all Christians may honour one another,
and east and west acknowledge
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
and you, the God and Father of all; 
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, 
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

Listen, all you peoples, listen to the word that comes from God, the word that nourishes souls, the word that leads to the knowledge of God. 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 biography is from Exciting Holiness © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997. The opening sentence is 1 John 3:16-18. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from a prayer by Archimandrite Sophronios. The first collect is a hymn from the Eastern Orthodox liturgy. The closing sentence is the invocation to Cyril's translation of the Bible into Slavonic. The second collect combines a collect 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 with a collect from For All the Saints, Anglican Church of New Zealand.

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