Oremus for Wednesday, April 8, 2020

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

During this Holy Week, Oremus will feature the Passion according to St John over the course of the next six days. Take the time to read the story slowly, pausing to reflect.

We see Jesus, who for a little while
was made lower than the angels,
now crowned with glory and honour
because of the suffering of death,
so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Since, therefore, we share flesh and blood,
he himself likewise shared the same things,
so that through death he might destroy
the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 
and free those who all their lives were held
in slavery by the fear of death. Hebrews 2:9, 14-15

Gracious God,
who for our sake chose that your Son
should bear the yoke of the cross
to drive out the enemy’s power from our midst:
Grant that as we celebrate the suffering of Christ,
we may participate in the grace of the resurrection.
We make this prayer in his name,
who is alive, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

HYMN: James Montgomery
Tune: Penitence https://tinyurl.com/tztv53b

1 In the hour of trial, 
Jesus, plead for me
Lest by base denial 
I unworthy be.
When you see me waver, 
With a look recall,
Nor for fear or favor 
Ever let me fall.

2 With forbidden pleasures 
Should this vain world charm
Or its tempting treasures 
Spread to work me harm,
Bring to my remembrance 
Sad Gethsemane
Or, in darker semblance, 
Cross-crowned Calvary.

3 Should your mercy send me 
Sorrow, toil, and woe,
Or should pain attend me 
On my path below,
Grant that I may never 
Fail your cross to view;
Grant that I may ever 
Cast my care on you.

4 When my life is ending, 
Though in grief or pain,
When my body changes 
Back to dust again,
On your truth relying, 
Through that mortal strife,
Jesus, take me, dying, 
To eternal life.

PSALMS

Psalm 41 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/urktsqu)

1  Blessed is he that considereth the poor and needy *
 the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble.
2  The Lord preserve him, and keep him alive,
that he may be blessed upon earth *
 and deliver not thou him into the will of his enemies.
3  The Lord comfort him, when he lieth sick upon his bed *
 make thou all his bed in his sickness.
4  I said, Lord, be merciful unto me *
 heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.
5  Mine enemies speak evil of me *
 When shall he die, and his name perish?
6  And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity *
 and his heart conceiveth falsehood within himself,
and when he cometh forth he telleth it.
7  All mine enemies whisper together against me *
 even against me do they imagine this evil.
8  Let the sentence of guiltiness proceed against him *
 and now that he lieth, let him rise up no more.
9  Yea, even mine own familiar friend, whom I trusted *
 who did also eat of my bread, hath laid great wait for me.
10  But be thou merciful unto me, O Lord *
 raise thou me up again, and I shall reward them.
11  By this I know thou favourest me *
 that mine enemy doth not triumph against me.
12  And when I am in my health, thou upholdest me *
 and shalt set me before thy face for ever.
13  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel *
 world without end. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalms 42 and (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/wxrfhr8)
sung as the one psalm they originally were

1  Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks *
 so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
2  My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God *
 when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
3  My tears have been my meat day and night *
 while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?
4  Now when I think thereupon, I pour out my heart by myself *
 for I went with the multitude, and brought them forth into the house of God;
5  In the voice of praise and thanksgiving *
 among such as keep holy-day.
6  Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul *
 and why art thou so disquieted within me?
7  Put thy trust in God *
 for I will yet give him thanks for the help of his countenance.
8  My God, my soul is vexed within me *
 therefore will I remember thee concerning the land of Jordan,
and the little hill of Hermon.
9  One deep calleth another, because of the noise of the water-pipes *
 all thy waves and storms are gone over me.
10  The Lord hath granted his loving-kindness in the day-time *
 and in the night-season did I sing of him,
and made my prayer unto the God of my life.
11  I will say unto the God of my strength, Why hast thou forgotten me *
 why go I thus heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
12  My bones are smitten asunder as with a sword *
 while mine enemies that trouble me cast me in the teeth;
13  Namely, while they say daily unto me *
 Where is now thy God?
14  Why art thou so vexed, O my soul *
 and why art thou so disquieted within me?
15  O put thy trust in God *
 for I will yet thank him, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.
1  Give sentence with me, O God,
and defend my cause against the ungodly people *
 O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
2  For thou art the God of my strength, why hast thou put me from thee *
 and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
3  O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me *
 and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling.
4  And that I may go unto the altar of God,
even unto the God of my joy and gladness *
 and upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.
5  Why art thou so heavy, O my soul *
 and why art thou so disquieted within me?
6  O put thy trust in God *
 for I will yet give him thanks, which is the help of my countenance, and my God.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PRAYER

Gracious God,
in the night of distress we forget the days of sun and joy.
When we do not know your presence,
preserve us from the deep torrent of despair.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Jeremiah 8:13-9:7

When I wanted to gather them, says the Lord,
   there are no grapes on the vine,
   nor figs on the fig tree;
even the leaves are withered,
   and what I gave them has passed away from them.

Why do we sit still?
Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities
   and perish there;
for the Lord our God has doomed us to perish,
   and has given us poisoned water to drink,
   because we have sinned against the Lord.
We look for peace, but find no good,
   for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.

The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan;
   at the sound of the neighing of their stallions
   the whole land quakes.
They come and devour the land and all that fills it,
   the city and those who live in it.
See, I am letting snakes loose among you,
   adders that cannot be charmed,
   and they shall bite you, says the Lord.

My joy is gone, grief is upon me,
   my heart is sick.
Hark, the cry of my poor people
   from far and wide in the land:
‘Is the Lord not in Zion?
   Is her King not in her?’
(‘Why have they provoked me to anger with their images,
   with their foreign idols?’)
‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
   and we are not saved.’
For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt,
   I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.

Is there no balm in Gilead?
   Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
   not been restored?

O that my head were a spring of water,
   and my eyes a fountain of tears,
so that I might weep day and night
   for the slain of my poor people!
O that I had in the desert
   a traveller’s lodging-place,
that I might leave my people
   and go away from them!
For they are all adulterers,
   a band of traitors.
They bend their tongues like bows;
   they have grown strong in the land for falsehood, and not for truth;
for they proceed from evil to evil,
   and they do not know me, says the Lord.

Beware of your neighbours,
   and put no trust in any of your kin;
for all your kin are supplanters,
   and every neighbour goes around like a slanderer.
They all deceive their neighbours,
   and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongues to speak lies;
   they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent.
Oppression upon oppression, deceit upon deceit!
   They refuse to know me, says the Lord.

Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts:
I will now refine and test them,
   for what else can I do with my sinful people?

HYMN: Spiritual
Organ: https://tinyurl.com/wxewd4v
Performed by Mahalia Jackson: https://tinyurl.com/w66dr46

Refrain:
There is a balm in Gilead
to make the wounded whole,
there is a balm in Gilead
to heal the sin-sick soul.

1 Sometimes I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again. [Refrain]

2 If you cannot preach like Peter,
If you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
And say, “He died for all.” [Refrain]

3 Don’t ever feel discouraged,
For Jesus is your friend;
And if you lack for knowledge
He’ll not refuse to lend. [Refrain]

Reading: Revelation 14:18 – 15:4

Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, ‘Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and he threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the wine press, as high as a horse’s bridle, for a distance of about two hundred miles.

Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended.

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
‘Great and amazing are your deeds,
   Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
   King of the nations!
Lord, who will not fear
   and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
   All nations will come
   and worship before you,
for your judgements have been revealed.’

HYMN: Francis H. Rowley
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/slp4862

1 I will sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me,
how he left the realms of glory
for the cross on Calvary.
Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me —
sing it with his saints in glory,
gathered by the crystal sea.

2 I was lost but Jesus found me,
found the sheep that went astray,
raised me up and gently led me
back into the narrow way.
Days of darkness still may meet me,
sorrow’s path I oft may tread;
but his presence still is with me,
by his guiding hand I’m led.

3 He will keep me till the river
rolls its waters at my feet:
then he’ll bear me safely over,
made by grace for glory meet.
Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
of the Christ who died for me —
sing it with his saints in glory,
gathered by the crystal sea.

Reading: John 18:28-40

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ They answered, ‘If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.’ The Jews replied, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death.’ (This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, ‘I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ They shouted in reply, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a bandit.

THE CANTICLE (Music: Herbert Sumsion https://tinyurl.com/qlqn5pw)

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace:
according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation;
which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
to be a light to lighten the Gentiles
and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PRAYER

Giver of life, we wait with you to offer the hope
that comes from the cross to earth’s darkest places.
Where pain is deep and affection is denied:
let love break through.
Where justice is destroyed,
let sensitivity to right spring up.
Where hope is crucified,
let faith persist.
Where peace has no chance,
let passion live on.
Where truth is trampled underfoot,
let the struggle continue.
Where fear paralyzes,
let forgiveness break through.
Eternal God, reach into the silent darkness of our souls
with the radiance of the cross.
O you who are the bearer of all pain,
have mercy on us.
Giver of life,
have mercy on us.
Merciful God,
have mercy on us. Amen.

https://tinyurl.com/yx297u58
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ, suffering Son of God,
our minds do not grasp
the length and breadth, the height and depth
of your love for us sinners,
poured out in your precious blood.
Our minds do not grasp your unfathomable love,
but our hearts hold it; our hearts do hold it. Amen.

https://tinyurl.com/uubfbgd
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

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