OREMUS: 24 January 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Mon Jan 23 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for January 24
Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher of the Faith, 1622

Francis de Sales was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Geneva at the time John Calvin was working so assiduously to reform the Church in that city. Born in 1567 in the castle at Sales in Savoy, he was educated in Paris and Padua first as a legal advocate and then as a priest. His preaching against Calvinism began in 1593 to win back the Chablais to Roman Catholicism. He moved to Geneva in 1599 as Bishop-Coadjutor and became the diocesan in 1602, continuing his mission. In his preaching and writings, particularly his book Introduction to the Devout Life, he concentrated on putting prayer and meditation within the reach of all Christians. He died at Lyons on 28 December 1622 and his body was translated to Annecy on this day in 1623. 

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

Consider how great is the love
which the Father bestowed on us
in calling us his children!
Let us worship God.

Hidden God, we worship you. 
By ourselves, we could not know you; 
no human wisdom can discover you, 
no argument lead to you, 
no enterprise reveal you; 
in the wealth of its knowledge 
the world fails to find you. 
But you came to search for us 
in the frailty of a human life; 
you trusted yourself to the fragile faith 
of wavering disciples. 
We praise you that in our very weakness 
we can know you; 
that stumbling blocks become stepping stones, 
and the foolishness of the cross 
the very truth that quickens us to life. 
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 116

I love the Lord,because he has heard
the voice of my supplication,*
 because he has inclined his ear to me
   whenever I called upon him. 
The cords of death entangled me;
the grip of the grave took hold of me;*
 I came to grief and sorrow. 
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:*
 'O Lord, I pray you, save my life.' 
Gracious is the Lord and righteous;*
 our God is full of compassion. 
The Lord watches over the innocent;*
 I was brought very low and he helped me. 
Turn again to your rest, O my soul,*
 for the Lord has treated you well. 
For you have rescued my life from death,*
 my eyes from tears
 and my feet from stumbling. 
I will walk in the presence of the Lord*
 in the land of the living. 
I believed, even when I said,
'I have been brought very low.'*
 In my distress I said,
 'No one can be trusted.' 
How shall I repay the Lord*
 for all the good things he has done for me? 
I will lift up the cup of salvation*
 and call upon the name of the Lord. 
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people. 
Precious in the sight of the Lord*
 is the death of his servants. 
O Lord, I am your servant;*
 I am your servant
 and the child of your handmaid;
 you have freed me from my bonds. 
I will offer you
the sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and call upon the name of the Lord. 
I will fulfil my vows to the Lord*
 in the presence of all his people. 
In the courts of the Lord's house,*
 in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all you nations;*
 laud him, all you peoples. 
For his loving-kindness towards us is great,*
 and the faithfulness of the Lord
 endures for ever. Alleluia! 

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;*
 his mercy endures for ever. 
Let Israel now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.' 
Let the house of Aaron now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.' 
Let those who fear the Lord now proclaim,*
 'His mercy endures for ever.' 
I called to the Lord in my distress;*
 the Lord answered by setting me free. 
The Lord is at my side,
therefore I will not fear;*
 what can anyone do to me? 
The Lord is at my side to help me;*
 I will triumph over those who hate me. 
It is better to rely on the Lord*
 than to put any trust in flesh. 
It is better to rely on the Lord*
 than to put any trust in rulers. 
All the ungodly encompass me;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them. 
They hem me in,
they hem me in on every side;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them. 
They swarm about me like bees;
   they blaze like a fire of thorns;*
 in the name of the Lord I will repel them. 
I was pressed so hard that I almost fell,*
 but the Lord came to my help. 
The Lord is my strength and my song,*
 and he has become my salvation. 
There is a sound of exultation and victory*
 in the tents of the righteous: 
'The right hand of the Lord has triumphed!*
 the right hand of the Lord is exalted!
   the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!' 
I shall not die, but live,*
 and declare the works of the Lord. 
The Lord has punished me sorely,*
 but he did not hand me over to death. 
Open for me the gates of righteousness;*
 I will enter them;
 I will offer thanks to the Lord. 
'This is the gate of the Lord;*
 whoever is righteous may enter.' 
I will give thanks to you,
for you answered me*
 and have become my salvation. 
The same stone which the builders rejected*
 has become the chief corner-stone. 
This is the Lord's doing,*
 and it is marvellous in our eyes. 
On this day the Lord has acted;*
 we will rejoice and be glad in it. 
Hosanna, Lord, hosanna!*
 Lord, send us now success. 
Blessèd is he who comes
in the name of the Lord;*
 we bless you from the house of the Lord. 
God is the Lord; he has shined upon us;*
 form a procession with branches
   up to the horns of the altar. 
'You are my God and I will thank you;*
 you are my God and I will exalt you.' 
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;*
 his mercy endures for ever. 
FIRST READING [Genesis 8:6-22]:

At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more. 

In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. Then God said to Noah, 'Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.' So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives. And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families. 

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.' 

Words: George Conder (1821-1874)
Tune: Te laudant omnia (77 77 77)

All things praise Thee, Lord most high,
heaven and earth and sea and sky,
all were for Thy glory made,
that Thy greatness, thus displayed,
should all worship bring to Thee;
all things praise Thee: Lord, may we.

All things praise Thee: night to night
sings in silent hymns of light;
all things praise Thee: day to day
chants Thy power in burning ray;
Time and space are praising Thee;
all things praise Thee: Lord, may we.

All things praise Thee, high and low,
rain and dew, and seven-hued bow,
crimson sunset, fleecy cloud,
rippling stream, and tempest loud,
summer, winter, - all to Thee
glory render: Lord, may we.

All things praise Thee: heaven's high shrine
rings with melody divine;
lowly bending at Thy feet
seraph and archangel meet;
This their highest bliss, to be
ever praising: Lord, may we.

All things praise thee; round her zones
earth, with her ten thousand tones,
rolls a ceaseless choral strain;
roaring wind and deep-voiced main,
rustling leaf and humming bee,
all things praise thee: Lord, may we.

All things praise Thee: gracious Lord,
great Creator, powerful Word,
omnipresent Spirit, now
at Thy feet we humbly bow,
lift our hearts in praise to Thee;
All things praise Thee: Lord, may we.

SECOND READING [Hebrews 10:19-25]:

Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

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

Loving God, in Jesus Christ
you teach us to pray:

Guide us by your Holy Spirit
that our prayers for others may serve your will
and show your steadfast love for all.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
you have called together a people
to be the Church of Jesus Christ,
founded on the apostles.
May your people be one
in faith and discipleship,
breaking bread together
and telling good news.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

May the world come to believe
that you are love,
turn to your ways
and live in the light of your truth.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

You made all things and called them good.
May your planet earth
be held in reverence by all people,
that its resources may be used wisely 
and its fragile balance
between life and death respected.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers
for those who rule the nations,
that they may learn wisdom and truth,
establish justice and mercy
and seek the ways of peace.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

O my God, I thank you and I praise you for accomplishing your holy and all-lovable will without any regard for mine. With my whole heart, in spite of my heart, do I receive this cross I feared so much! It is the cross of your choice, the cross of your love. I venerate it; nor for anything in the world would I wish that it had not come, since you willed it. I keep it with gratitude and with joy, as I do everything that comes from your hand; and I shall strive to carry it without letting it drag, with all the respect and all the affection which your works deserve.  Amen.

O God, our Creator and our Goal, who guided many in the practice of your love by the ministry of your servant Francis de Sales, grant us so to live by the grace of Christ that we may serve you with our prayers, praise you with our minds, and show forth your love by our readiness in mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and 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

May Christ, who calls us,
make us ready witnesses to him
and multiply the number of those
who acknowledge you
and celebrate your holy Name. 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 of thanksgiving is from _Common Order_ and the closing sentence is adapted from _Celebrating the Christian Year_ (c) Canterbury Press, Norwich. The intercession is adapted from a prayer in _The Book of Common Worship. The Presbyterian Church in Canada_, 1991. Used with permission. The biography is from Exciting Holiness © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997. The opening sentence is 1 John 3:1. The first collect is by Francis de Sales and the second collect is from _For All the Saints_, (c) General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1994. 

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