What is oremus?

oremus is a form of daily Christian prayer published on the Internet by Steve Benner and Simon Kershaw at the www.oremus.org web site and each day on the oremus email list.

What does oremus mean?

The word oremus is Latin and means 'Let us pray'.

How is oremus pronounced?

Always three syllables.

For classical Latin: O as in French "eau"; the R rolled, as in Scots or Italian; E, a bit like the first vowel of 'Beethoven'; M as in 'man'; U as in 'put'; S as in 'sing'. Note therefore that the MUS is not as the start of 'must': the vowel is different.

For unreformed English: O as in 'go'; the R scarcely audible; E as in 'seen'; MUS as in 'must'.

(This section contributed by Nicholas Denyer, Lecturer in Classics at Cambridge University.)

Why is oremus posted?

oremus was first devised in November 1993, as a response to a question on the ANGLICAN email list about how individuals might keep the forthcoming Advent more effectively.

The intention was and is to make available a form of the "Daily Office", traditional in format, sufficiently brief and relevant to be used by as many readers as possible, and not duplicating any other form likely to be already used by members.

Steve Benner undertook to create the Office and to post it each day, and he did this for nearly two years, from its first appearance on Thursday, 18 November 1993, until 13 September 1995. For the next fifteen months, Simon Kershaw compiled the Office, and since December 1996, Steve Benner and Simon Kershaw have alternated responsibility for the compilation of the Office.

oremus is now posted to its own email list and on the Web, and it reflects the concerns of this wider group whilst still being closely connected with the original ANGLICAN list and the other lists derived from it.

oremus serves to nourish each of us in our daily prayer and bible reading; to introduce more people to the tradition of the Daily Office; to strengthen the sense of community of the group by the knowledge that our fellow members are using the same form of prayer, and by our prayers for one another; to strengthen our Anglican identity in our prayers for the Anglican Communion; and to greaten our Christian love in our prayers for our fellow Christians and for all people.

How can I use oremus?

oremus is intended as a Daily Office which can be used in various circumstances. Some people will print it out to take home and use in the privacy of their own home, perhaps sharing it with members of their family or friends. Others will be able to set aside a few minutes of privacy at their computer screen to say the Office. Still others will create their own quietness in a busy place for the necessary minutes. If you are able, it is a great help to read it aloud, slowly and thoughtfully.

Can I distribute the oremus to other people?

oremus is protected by copyright. This is because the texts of which it is composed are, in the main, protected by copyright and the compilers have ensured that they have permission to reproduce such texts. If you wish to reproduce the texts you should ensure that you too have that permission. The particular compilation of texts in each oremus is also copyright: in this case the copyright holders are Stephen Benner and Simon Kershaw

We are not trying to be obstructive by pointing this out: it is simply the law and we work within the law. Actually, many of the texts do have liberal reproduction rights associated with them for use by Christian groups for worship. For example, see the copyright notice at the front of a copy of the New Revised Standard Version of the bible. Some other copyright holders are happy to give reproduction rights if you write and ask them, and we have done this for some of the texts. The texts of the American Book of Common Prayer are specifically placed in the public domain and may be used by anyone for any purpose.

next section: the components of oremus