OREMUS: 22 March 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Mar 21 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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OREMUS for March 22
James De Koven, Priest, 1879

James de Koven was born in Connecticut in 1831, ordained to the priesthood in 1855, and promptly became a professor of Church history at Nashotah House, a seminary of the Episcopal Church in Wisconsin. Nashotah House was from its inception dedicated to an increased emphasis on the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and on the
use of ritual practices that recognized and honored that presence. At the General Conventions of 1871 and 1874, de Koven became the chief spokesman for the "ritualists," defending the use of candles, incense, bowing and kneeling, and the like. He reminded his hearers of the numerous assertions by prominent Anglican theologians since the Reformation that Anglicans believe in the real and objective presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament, but he also eloquently stated: "The gestures and practices by which we recognize the presence of Christ do not matter. Only Christ matters." Despite being elected bishop in two different dioceses, he failed to receive the necessary consents from the other dioceses and was never consecrated. He died on this day in Racine, Wisconsin.

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

Blessed are all who keep the sabbath,
and do not profane it,
and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, almighty God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the mystery of the Incarnation,
Christ has led humankind out of darkness
to walk in the clear light of faith,
and through the new birth given in baptism
has adopted us as your children.
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 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,*
 and his mercy endures for ever. 
Let all those 
whom the Lord has redeemed proclaim*
 that he redeemed them
 from the hand of the foe. 
He gathered them out of the lands;*
 from the east and from the west,
   from the north and from the south. 
Some wandered in desert wastes;*
 they found no way to a city
 where they might dwell. 
They were hungry and thirsty;*
 their spirits languished within them. 
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress. 
He put their feet on a straight path*
 to go to a city where they might dwell. 
Let them give thanks
to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children. 
For he satisfies the thirsty*
 and fills the hungry with good things. 
Some sat in darkness and deep gloom,*
 bound fast in misery and iron; 
Because they rebelled
against the words of God*
 and despised the counsel of the Most High. 
So he humbled their spirits
with hard labour;*
 they stumbled and there was none to help. 
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress. 
He led them
out of darkness and deep gloom*
 and broke their bonds asunder. 
Let them give thanks
to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children. 
For he shatters the doors of bronze*
 and breaks in two the iron bars. 
Some were fools
and took to rebellious ways;*
 they were afflicted because of their sins. 
They abhorred all manner of food*
 and drew near to death's door. 
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress. 
He sent forth his word and healed them*
 and saved them from the grave. 
Let them give thanks
to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children. 
Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving*
 and tell of his acts with shouts of joy. 
Some went down to the sea in ships*
 and plied their trade in deep waters; 
They beheld the works of the Lord*
 and his wonders in the deep. 
Then he spoke and a stormy wind arose,*
 which tossed high the waves of the sea. 
They mounted up to the heavens
   and fell back to the depths;*
 their hearts melted because of their peril. 
They reeled and staggered like drunkards*
 and were at their wits' end. 
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,*
 and he delivered them from their distress. 
He stilled the storm to a whisper*
 and quieted the waves of the sea. 
Then were they glad because of the calm,*
 and he brought them to the harbour
 they were bound for. 
Let them give thanks
to the Lord for his mercy*
 and the wonders he does for his children. 
Let them exalt him
in the congregation of the people*
 and praise him in the council of the elders. 
The Lord changed rivers into deserts,*
 and water-springs into thirsty ground, 
A fruitful land into salt flats,*
 because of the wickedness 
 of those who dwell there. 
He changed deserts into pools of water*
 and dry land into water-springs. 
He settled the hungry there,*
 and they founded a city to dwell in. 
They sowed fields and planted vineyards,*
 and brought in a fruitful harvest. 
He blessed them,
so that they increased greatly;*
 he did not let their herds decrease. 
Yet when they were diminished
and brought low,*
 through stress of adversity and sorrow, 
He lifted up the poor out of misery*
 and multiplied their families
 like flocks of sheep. 
He pours contempt on princes*
 and makes them wander in trackless wastes. 
The upright will see this and rejoice,*
 but all wickedness will shut its mouth. 
Whoever is wise will ponder these things,*
 and consider well the mercies of the Lord.
FIRST READING [Ezekiel 34:11-16]:

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. 

Words: Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Tune: Cambridge, Potsdam, Song 20

O everlasting light,
Giver of dawn and day,
Dispeller of the ancient night,
In which creation lay.

O everlasting health,
>From which all healing springs,
Our bliss, our treasure,  and our wealth,
To thee our spirit clings.

O everlasting truth,
Truest of all that's true;
Sure guide of erring age and youth,
Lead us, and teach us too.

O everlasting strength,
Uphold us in the way;
Bring us, in spite of foes, at length
To joy, and light, and day.

O everlasting love,
Wellspring of grace and peace;
Pour down thy fulness from above,
Bid doubt and trouble cease.

SECOND READING [Romans 9:19-33]:

You will say to me then, 'Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?' But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is moulded say to the one who moulds it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, 'Those who were not my people I will call "my people", and her who was not beloved I will call "beloved".''And in the very place where it was said to them, "You are not my people", there they shall be called children of the living God.' 

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, 'Though the number of the children of Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth quickly and decisively.' And as Isaiah predicted, 'If the Lord of hosts had not left survivors to us, we would have fared like Sodom and been made like Gomorrah.' 

What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling-stone, as it is written, 'See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.' 

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, here we have no abiding city,
but seek that which is to come:
guide and deliver us in all earthly changes
and direct our way
towards the haven of salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, 
the source and perfection of all virtues, 
you inspired your servant James DeKoven 
to do what is right
and to preach what is true: 
Grant that all ministers
and stewards of your mysteries 
may impart to your faithful people,
by word and example, 
the knowledge of your grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
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 taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May we persevere in God's commandments
so that we may come without fault
to the celebration of our Passover in Christ.  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 James Kiefer, abridged. The opening sentence is Isaiah 56:6b-7. The opening prayer of thanksgiving and closing praye are from _Celebrating the Christian Year_ by Alan Griffiths. The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

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