OREMUS: 2 March 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Mar 1 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for March 2
Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672

Chad was born in Northumbria, the youngest of four sons, all of whom became both priests and monks. They entered the monastery on the isle of Lindisfarne and were taught by St Aidan. Chad's brother Cedd had founded the abbey at Lastingham and, on his brother's death, Chad was elected abbot. During the confusion in ecclesiastical discipline between the Celtic-oriented, Anglo-Saxon hierarchy and the pressure from Rome for conformity, Chad became Bishop of York for a time. He graciously stepped back with the arrival in Britain of Theodore, who doubted the validity of indigenous consecrations. This was eventually rectified and Chad became Bishop of Mercia, a huge diocese the centre of which he moved from Repton to Lichfield. Chad travelled extensively and became much loved for his wisdom and gentleness in otherwise difficult situations. The plague was prevalent at this time and Chad died on this day in the year 672.

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

Happy are the people whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’
way; they will climb from height to height. 

Blessed are you, Lord our God,
in every age you call a people
to hear your word
and to do your will.
You renew us in these Lenten days,
wash us clean of sin,
seal us with the Spirit,
and sustain us by your living bread,
that we may remain true to our calling,
and, with the elect, serve you alone.
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 9

I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
with my whole heart;*
 I will tell of all your marvellous works. 
I will be glad and rejoice in you;*
 I will sing to your name, O Most High. 
When my enemies are driven back,*
 they will stumble and perish
 at your presence. 
For you have maintained
my right and my cause;*
 you sit upon your throne judging right. 
You have rebuked the ungodly
and destroyed the wicked;*
 you have blotted out their name
 for ever and ever. 
As for the enemy, they are finished,
in perpetual ruin,*
 their cities ploughed under,
 the memory of them perished; 
But the Lord is enthroned for ever;*
 he has set up his throne for judgement. 
It is he who rules
the world with righteousness;*
 he judges the peoples with equity. 
The Lord will be a refuge
for the oppressed,*
 a refuge in time of trouble. 
Those who know your name
will put their trust in you,*
 for you never forsake those
 who seek you, O Lord. 
Sing praise to the Lord
who dwells in Zion;*
 proclaim to the peoples
 the things he has done. 
The avenger of blood will remember them;*
 he will not forget the cry of the afflicted. 
Have pity on me, O Lord;*
 see the misery I suffer
 from those who hate me,
 O you who lift me up
 from the gate of death; 
So that I may tell of all your praises
and rejoice in your salvation*
 in the gates of the city of Zion. 
The ungodly have fallen
into the pit they dug,*
 and in the snare they set
 is their own foot caught. 
The Lord is known by his acts of justice;*
 the wicked are trapped
 in the works of their own hands. 
The wicked shall be given over
to the grave,*
 and also all the peoples that forget God. 
For the needy
shall not always be forgotten,*
 and the hope of the poor
 shall not perish for ever. 
Rise up, O Lord,
let not the ungodly have the upper hand;*
 let them be judged before you. 
Put fear upon them, O Lord;*
 let the ungodly know they are but mortal. 

Psalm 10

Why do you stand so far off, O Lord,*
 and hide yourself in time of trouble?
The wicked arrogantly persecute the poor,*
 but they are trapped
 in the schemes they have devised.
The wicked boast of their heart's desire;*
 the covetous curse and revile the Lord.
The wicked are so proud
that they care not for God;*
 their only thought is, 'God does not matter.'
Their ways are devious at all times;
your judgements are far above
out of their sight;*
 they defy all their enemies.
They say in their heart, 'I shall not be shaken;*
 no harm shall happen to me ever.'
Their mouth is full of cursing,
deceit and oppression;*
 under their tongue are mischief and wrong.
They lurk in ambush in public squares
and in secret places they murder the innocent;*
 they spy out the helpless.
They lie in wait, like a lion in a covert;
they lie in wait to seize upon the lowly;*
 they seize the lowly
 and drag them away in their net.
The innocent are broken
and humbled before them;*
 the helpless fall before their power.
They say in their heart, 'God has forgotten;*
 he hides his face; he will never notice.'
Rise up, O Lord;
lift up your hand, O God;*
 do not forget the afflicted.
Why should the wicked revile God?*
 why should they say in their heart,
 'You do not care'?
Surely, you behold trouble and misery;*
 you see it and take it into your own hand.
The helpless commit themselves to you,*
 for you are the helper of orphans.
Break the power of the wicked and evil;*
 search out their wickedness
 until you find none.
The Lord is king for ever and ever;*
 the ungodly shall perish from his land.
The Lord will hear the desire of the humble;*
 you will strengthen their heart
 and your ears shall hear;
To give justice to the orphan and oppressed,*
 so that mere mortals
 may strike terror no more.

Psalm 11

In the Lord have I taken refuge;*
 how then can you say to me,
   'Fly away like a bird to the hilltop; 
'For see how the wicked bend the bow
and fit their arrows to the string,*
 to shoot from ambush at the true of heart. 
'When the foundations are being destroyed,*
 what can the righteous do?' 
The Lord is in his holy temple;*
 the Lord's throne is in heaven. 
His eyes behold the inhabited world;*
 his piercing eye weighs our worth. 
The Lord weighs the righteous
as well as the wicked,*
 but those who delight in violence he abhors. 
Upon the wicked he shall rain
coals of fire and burning sulphur;*
 a scorching wind shall be their lot. 
For the Lord is righteous;
he delights in righteous deeds;*
 and the just shall see his face. 

FIRST READING [Ezekiel 7:1-16]:

The word of the Lord came to me: You, O mortal, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:
An end! The end has come
upon the four corners of the land. 
Now the end is upon you,
I will let loose my anger upon you;
I will judge you according to your ways,
I will punish you for all your abominations. 
My eye will not spare you,
I will have no pity.
I will punish you for your ways,
while your abominations are among you.
Then you shall know that I am the Lord. 
Thus says the Lord God:
Disaster after disaster! See, it comes. 
An end has come, the end has come.
It has awakened against you; see, it comes! 
Your doom has come to you,
O inhabitant of the land.
The time has come, the day is near—
of tumult, not of revelling on the mountains. 
Soon now I will pour out my wrath upon you;
I will spend my anger against you.
I will judge you according to your ways,
and punish you for all your abominations. 
My eye will not spare; I will have no pity.
I will punish you according to your ways,
while your abominations are among you.
Then you shall know
that it is I the Lord who strike. 
See, the day! See, it comes!
Your doom has gone out.
The rod has blossomed, pride has budded. 
Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness.
None of them shall remain,
not their abundance, not their wealth;
no pre-eminence among them. 
The time has come, the day draws near;
let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn,
for wrath is upon all their multitude. 
For the sellers shall not return to what has been sold as long as they remain alive. For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not be revoked. Because of their iniquity, they cannot maintain their lives. 
They have blown the horn
and made everything ready;
but no one goes to battle,
for my wrath is upon all their multitude. 
The sword is outside,
pestilence and famine are inside;
those in the field die by the sword;
those in the city—
famine and pestilence devour them. 
If any survivors escape,
they shall be found on the mountains
like doves of the valleys,
all of them moaning over their iniquity. 

Words: John Newton (1725-1807)
Tune: St Mary (CM)

For mercies countless as the sands,
Which daily I receive
>From Jesus, my Redeemer's hands,
My soul, what canst thou give?

Alas! from such a heart as mine
What can I bring Him forth?
My best is stained and dyed with sin,
My all is nothing worth.

Yet this acknowledgment I'll make,
For all He has bestowed:
Salvation's sacred cup I'll take,
And call upon my God.

SECOND READING [Romans 2:25-3:18]:

Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So, if those who are uncircumcised keep the requirements of the law, will not their uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you that have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart—it is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God. 

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,
'So that you may be justified in your words,
and prevail in your judging.' 
But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my falsehood God's truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), 'Let us do evil so that good may come'? Their condemnation is deserved! 

What then? Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written:
'There is no one who is righteous,
not even one; 
there is no one who has understanding,
there is no one who seeks God. 
All have turned aside,
together they have become worthless;
there is no one who shows kindness,
there is not even one.' 
'Their throats are opened graves;
they use their tongues to deceive.'
'The venom of vipers is under their lips.' 
'Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.' 
'Their feet are swift to shed blood; 
ruin and misery are in their paths, 
and the way of peace they have not known.' 
'There is no fear of God before their eyes.' 

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

Gracious and merciful God,
you see into the secret places of our hearts,
when we  mourn our sins.
As we turn again to your grace,
receive our prayers.

That our country and our church may seek justice, peace, and unity. Lord, give us the gift of reconciliation.

That nations at war with each other may come to settle their differences. Lord, give us the gift of reconciliation.

For those pushed to the edge of our society, that they may not be crushed. For the perplexed, that they may not despair. For the persecuted, that they may not be forsaken. Lord, give us the gift of reconciliation.

That those who have gone before us in death may know the refreshment of Christ's peace. Lord, give us the gift of reconciliation.

God most holy, 
make your people grow in readiness
to celebrate the coming feast of Easter,
so that works of prayer,
charity and self-denial
to which we have pledged ourselves
may bear fruit in both body and spirit.
We make this prayer
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Almighty God,
for the peace of the Church
your servant Chad relinquished cheerfully
the honors that had been thrust upon him,
only to be rewarded with equal responsibility:
Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves
more highly than we ought to think,
and ready at all times to step aside for others,
that the cause of Christ may be advanced;
through him who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.
Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us such faithfulness
in proclaiming your justice
that the world may turn
and rejoice in your love. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with
permission. Te 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 from Psalm 84. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999. The introduction to the intercession is from reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts The petitions are adapted from _The Prayer of the Faithful for Weekdays_, ed. by Eltin Griffin. The first collect is from _Celebrating the Christian Year_ by Alan Griffiths. The second collect is from Holy Women, Holy Men, The Episcopal Church. The closing sentence is adapted from For All the Saints, Anglican Church of Canada.

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