OREMUS: 27 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Sun Feb 26 17:00:01 GMT 2012

Visit our website at http://www.oremus.org

OREMUS for February 27
George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633

Born in 1593 into the aristocratic Pembroke family, George Herbert went up to Cambridge in 1614, eventually becoming a fellow of Trinity College. At the age of twenty-five, he became Public Orator in the University and then a Member of Parliament, apparently destined for a life at court. To everyone's surprise, he decided to be ordained and, after spending a time with his friend Nicholas Ferrar at Little Gidding, he was made deacon in 1626. He married in 1629, was priested in 1630 and given the care of souls of the parish of Bemerton, near Salisbury, where he spent the rest of his short life. He wrote prolifically, his hymns still being popular throughout the English-speaking world. His treatise, The Country Parson, on the priestly life, and his poetry, especially The Temple, earned Herbert a leading place in English literature. He never neglected the care of the souls of Bemerton, however, and encouraged attendance at the weekday recitation of the daily office, calling to mind the words of his hymn, 'Seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise thee'. He died on this day in 1633.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

THROW away thy rod, 
Throw away thy wrath : 
                 O my God, 
Take the gentle path. 

For my hearts desire 
Unto thine is bent : 
                 I aspire 
To a full consent. 

Nor a word or look 
I affect to own, 
                 But by book, 
And thy book alone. 

Though I fail, I weep : 
Though I halt in pace, 
                 Yet I creep 
To the throne of grace. 

Then let wrath remove ; 
Love will do the deed : 
                 For with love 
Stonie hearts will bleed. 

Love is swift of foot ; 
Love's a man of warre, 
                 And can shoot, 
And can hit from farre. 

Who can scape his bow ? 
That which wrought on thee, 
                 Brought thee low, 
Needs must work on me. 

Throw away thy rod ; 
Though man frailties hath, 
                 Thou art God : 
Throw away thy wrath.

Blessed are you, immortal love,
author of this great frame,
sprung from that beauty which can never fade,
While we parcel out your glorious name,
and throw it on that dust which you have made, 
while mortal love all the title gains. 
Wit fancies beauty, beauty raises wit : 
the world is theirs; they two play out the game, 
and you standing by: and though your glorious name 
wrought our deliverance from the infernal pit, 
who sings your praise? Only a scarf or glove 
warms our hands and makes them write of love.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you, 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

Psalm 126

When the Lord
restored the fortunes of Zion,*
 then were we like those who dream. 
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,*
 and our tongue with shouts of joy. 
Then they said among the nations,*
 'The Lord has done great things for them.' 
The Lord has done great things for us,*
 and we are glad indeed. 
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,*
 like the watercourses of the Negev. 
Those who sowed with tears*
 will reap with songs of joy. 
Those who go out weeping,
carrying the seed,*
 will come again with joy,
 shouldering their sheaves. 

Psalm 127[CCP]

Unless the Lord builds the house,*
 their labour is in vain who build it. 
Unless the Lord watches over the city,*
 in vain the guard keeps vigil.   
It is in vain that you rise so early
 and go to bed so late;*
 vain, too, to eat the bread of toil,
 for he gives to his belovèd sleep. 
Children are a heritage from the Lord,*
 and the fruit of the womb is a gift. 
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior*
 are the children of one's youth. 
Happy are they
who have their quiver full of them!*
 they shall not be put to shame
 when they contend
 with their enemies in the gate.   

Psalm 128

Happy are they all who fear the Lord,*
 and who follow in his ways! 
You shall eat the fruit of your labour;*
 happiness and prosperity shall be yours. 
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
 within your house,*
 your children like olive shoots
 round about your table. 
Whoever fears the Lord*
 shall thus indeed be blessed. 
The Lord bless you from Zion,*
 and may you see
 the prosperity of Jerusalem
 all the days of your life. 
May you live to see
your children's children;*
 may peace be upon Israel. 

Psalm 129

'Greatly have they oppressed me
since my youth',*
 let Israel now say; 
'Greatly have they oppressed me
since my youth,*
 but they have not prevailed against me.' 
The ploughers ploughed upon my back*
 and made their furrows long. 
The Lord, the Righteous One,*
 has cut the cords of the wicked. 
Let them be put to shame and thrown back,*
 all those who are enemies of Zion. 
Let them be like grass upon the housetops,*
 which withers before it can be plucked; 
Which does not fill the hand of the reaper,*
 nor the bosom of him
 who binds the sheaves; 
So that those who go by say not so much as,
 'The Lord prosper you.*
 We wish you well in the name of the Lord.' 

Psalm 130

Out of the depths
have I called to you, O Lord;
 Lord, hear my voice;*
 let your ears consider well
 the voice of my supplication. 
If you, Lord, were to note
what is done amiss,*
 O Lord, who could stand? 
For there is forgiveness with you;*
 therefore you shall be feared. 
I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him;*
 in his word is my hope. 
My soul waits for the Lord,
 more than the night-watch for the morning,*
 more than the night-watch
 for the morning.   
O Israel, wait for the Lord,*
 for with the Lord there is mercy; 
With him there is plenteous redemption,*
 and he shall redeem Israel
 from all their sins. 

Psalm 131

O Lord, I am not proud;*
 I have no haughty looks. 
I do not occupy myself with great matters,*
 or with things that are too hard for me. 
But I still my soul and make it quiet,
 like a child upon its mother's breast;*
 my soul is quieted within me. 
O Israel, wait upon the Lord,*
 from this time forth for evermore. 

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 2:1-3:11]:

The Lord God said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God.' Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them. And you, O mortal, do not be afraid of them, and do not be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns surround you and you live among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words, and do not be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. You shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear; for they are a rebellious house. 

But you, mortal, hear what I say to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you. I looked, and a hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it. He spread it before me; it had writing on the front and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation and mourning and woe. 
He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. He said to me, Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey. 

He said to me: Mortal, go to the house of Israel and speak my very words to them. For you are not sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel— not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. See, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads. Like the hardest stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not fear them or be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. He said to me: Mortal, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart and hear with your ears; then go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them. Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God'; whether they hear or refuse to hear. 

Words: George Herbert, 1633
Tune: Sandys, Carlisle    

Teach me, my God and King,
in all things thee to see,
and what I do in anything
to do it as for thee.

A man that looks on glass,
on it may stay his eye;
or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
and then the heaven espy.

All may of thee partake;
nothing can be so mean,
which with this tincture, "for thy sake,"
will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause
makes drudgery divine:
who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,
makes that and the action fine.

This is the famous stone
that turneth all to gold;
for that which God doth touch and own
cannot for less be told.

SECOND READING [Romans 1:1-7]:

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

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

Almighty God,
maker of all good things and Father of all;
you have shown us in Christ
the purpose of your creation
and call us to be responsible in the world.

We pray for the world
all the nations....
our own country....
those in authority....
the peace of the world....
racial harmony....
those who maintain order....

Almighty God, we give you thanks
for the order of created things
the resources of the earth
and the gift of human life....

for the continuing work of creation,
man's share in it,
and for creative vision and inventive skill....

for your faithfulness to the human race
in patience and in love,
and for every human response of obedience
and humble achievement....

May we delight in your purpose
and work to bring all things to their true end;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God of tender care,
like a mother, like a father,
you never forget your children,
and you know already what we need.
In all our anxiety give us trusting and faithful hearts,
that in confidence we may embody
the peace and justice of your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
King of glory, King of peace,
who called your servant George Herbert
from the pursuit of worldly honours
to be a priest in the temple of his God and King:
grant us also the grace to offer ourselves
with singleness of heart in humble obedience to your service;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.       

Trusting in the compassion of our God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Such are thy secrets, which my life makes good, 
and comments on thee :  for in ev’ry thing 
thy words do finde me out, and parallels bring, <BR
and in another make me understood. 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 the poem "Discipline" by George Herbert. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from "Love I" by George Herbert. The collect is from _Evangelical Lutheran Worship_, (c) 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 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. The closing sentence is from "The Holy Scriptures I" by Herbert.

More information about the oremus mailing list