OREMUS: 17 March 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Mar 16 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for March 17
Patrick, Bishop, Missionary, Patron of Ireland

 Patrick was born in Celtic Cornwall around the year 390 and was captured by Irish raiders when he was sixteen years old and taken to Ireland as a slave. After six years, he escaped and seems to have gone to the Continent. He eventually found his way back to his own family, where his previously-nominal Christian faith grew and matured. He returned to Gaul and was there trained as a priest and much influenced by the form of monasticism evolving under Martin of Tours. When he was in his early forties, he returned to Ireland as a bishop, and made his base at Armagh, which became the centre of his See. He evangelised the people of the land by walking all over the island, gently bringing men and women to a knowledge of Christ. Although he faced fierce opposition and possible persecution, he continued his missionary journeys. Despite being unsuccessful in his attempts to establish the diocesan system he had experienced in Gaul, his monastic foundations proved to be the infrastructure required to maintain the faith after his death, which occurred on this day in the year 460. 

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

Christ came and proclaimed 
peace to you who were far off 
and peace to those who were near;
for through him we have access
in one Spirit to the Father.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, God,
unbegotten, without beginning,
from whom is all beginning,
the Lord of the universe.
Blessed is God's Son Jesus Christ,
who has always been with the Father
before the beginning of the world,
before all beginning;
and by whom are made
all things visible and invisible.
Every tongue shall confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord and God,
in whom we believe,
and whose advent we expect soon to be.
Blessed is the gift of the Holy Spirit,
poured forth upon us abundantly,
the gift and pledge of immortality,
who makes those who believe
children of God and joint heirs with Christ;
and whom we do confess and adore,
one God in the Trinity of the Holy Name.
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 

Psalm 86

Bow down your ear, O Lord,
and answer me,*
 for I am poor and in misery. 
Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful;*
 save your servant who trusts in you. 
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
for you are my God;*
 I call upon you all the day long. 
Gladden the soul of your servant,*
 for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,*
 and great is your love towards all
 who call upon you. 
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer,*
 and attend to the voice of my supplications. 
In the time of my trouble
I will call upon you,*
 for you will answer me. 
Among the gods
there is none like you, O Lord,*
 nor anything like your works. 
All nations you have made
will come and worship you, O Lord,*
 and glorify your name. 
For you are great; you do wondrous things;*
 and you alone are God. 
Teach me your way, O Lord, 
and I will walk in your truth;*
 knit my heart to you
 that I may fear your name. 
I will thank you, O Lord my God,
with all my heart,*
 and glorify your name for evermore. 
For great is your love towards me;*
 you have delivered me
 from the nethermost Pit. 
The arrogant rise up against me, O God,
and a violent band seeks my life;*
 they have not set you before their eyes. 
But you, O Lord,
are gracious and full of compassion,*
 slow to anger and full of kindness and truth. 
Turn to me and have mercy upon me;*
 give your strength to your servant; 
 and save the child of your handmaid. 
Show me a sign of your favour, 
so that those who hate me
may see it and be ashamed;*
 because you, O Lord, have helped me
 and comforted me. 

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain
stands the city he has founded;*
 the Lord loves the gates of Zion
 more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 
Glorious things are spoken of you,*
 O city of our God. 
I count Egypt and Babylon
among those who know me;*
 behold Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia: 
 in Zion were they born. 
Of Zion it shall be said,
'Everyone was born in her,*
 and the Most High himself
 shall sustain her.' 
The Lord will record
as he enrols the peoples,*
 'These also were born there.' 
The singers and the dancers will say,*
 'All my fresh springs are in you.' 

Psalm 88

O Lord, my God, my Saviour,*
 by day and night I cry to you. 
Let my prayer enter into your presence;*
 incline your ear to my lamentation. 
For I am full of trouble;*
 my life is at the brink of the grave. 
I am counted among those
who go down to the Pit;*
 I have become like one
 who has no strength; 
Lost among the dead,*
 like the slain who lie in the grave, 
Whom you remember no more,*
 for they are cut off from your hand. 
You have laid me in the depths of the Pit,*
 in dark places and in the abyss. 
Your anger weighs upon me heavily,*
 and all your great waves overwhelm me. 
You have put my friends far from me; 
you have made me to be abhorred by them;*
 I am in prison and cannot get free. 
My sight has failed me because of trouble;*
 Lord, I have called upon you daily; 
 I have stretched out my hands to you. 
Do you work wonders for the dead?*
 will those who have died
 stand up and give you thanks? 
Will your loving-kindness
be declared in the grave?*
 your faithfulness in the land of destruction? 
Will your wonders be known in the dark?*
 or your righteousness in the country
 where all is forgotten? 
But as for me, O Lord,
I cry to you for help;*
 in the morning my prayer
 comes before you. 
Lord, why have you rejected me?*
 why have you hidden your face from me? 
Ever since my youth, 
I have been wretched
and at the point of death;*
 I have borne your terrors
 with a troubled mind. 
Your blazing anger has swept over me;*
 your terrors have destroyed me; 
They surround me all day long like a flood;*
 they encompass me on every side. 
My friend and my neighbour
you have put away from me,*
 and darkness is my only companion. 

FIRST READING [Exodus 6:2-13]:

God also spoke to Moses and said to him: 'I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name "The Lord" I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the Israelites, "I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgement. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord." ' Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery. 

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, 'Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.' But Moses spoke to the Lord, 'The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?' Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt. 

Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1889
Tune: St. Patrick's Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spic d tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

SECOND READING [Romans 5:1-11]:

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 

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

Lord, your word which summoned this world into existence, brought order out of chaos and beauty out of the formless, has infused the very air we breathe with the precious perfume of your love. This word is the light by which our journey is illuminated, the light by which we see the beauty of this world, and the light we pass to those who would join us travelling in the joy of your company.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love extends to the boundaries of the universe yet is focused on humankind; weak, sinful, helpless, blown this-way-and-that-way individuals who you count as your children, wanting nothing more than to welcome them into your arms, prodigals returning to their Father.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love extends to the boundaries of humankind, to rich and poor, have and have-nots, oppressor and oppressed, thief and victim, for we are all inheritors of a fallen nature and all in need of your forgiveness. We pray for all your children wherever they might be, in their joy and sorrow, fear and loathing, pain and suffering; that your word might comfort, your love heal and restore.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love breaks through, demands to be noticed, exposes that which has been hidden, reveals the truth that has been concealed within the heart. We pray for those who exploit the poor, those whose business is slavery or persecution and those who hold power over life or death. We pray that your word, your love might bring change, and bring light into hearts darkened by sin. 
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, your love has influence wherever it is shown; a shoulder to lean on, a willing ear to listen, a task performed, a gift given, a selfless act. We pray for politicians and leaders, all those in positions of authority who also walk with in your company. May they show your love and share your word through their actions and service, and may they and those they serve be blessed.
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
And a light for my path.

Lord, grant us simplicity of faith
and a generosity of service
that gives without counting cost.
A life overflowing with Grace
poured out from the One
who gave everything,
that we might show
the power of love
to a broken world,
and share the truth
from a living Word.
Lord, grant us simplicity of faith,
and a yearning to share it. Amen.

O God, we thank you for Patrick,
whom you took into your service,
to bring within the freedom of your household
those who once enslaved him.
Encourage us through his example,
that we may know your power
made perfect in our weakness,
and delight in serving others
for the sake of him
who became servant of all,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive 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 taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us. 
May the Wisdom of God instruct us. 
May the Hand of God protect us. 
May the Way of God direct us. 
May the Shield of God defend us. 
May the Angels of God guard us. 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 sentence is Ephesians 2:17-18. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted from the Confessions of Saint Patrick. The intercession and first collect are by John Birch, http://www.faithandworship.com The closing sentence is attributed to Saint Patrick. The second collect is from _For All the Saints_, Anglican Church of Canada. 

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