Oremus for Saturday, August 29, 2020

Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist, Caravaggio, 1610

The Beheading of John the Baptist
The main celebration for John the Baptist is on 24 June, the date observing his birth, but John was also the forerunner of Christ in his death and, as the gospels of Matthew and Mark relate it, followed his denouncing of immoral ways and his call to repentance. On hearing of John’s arrest, Christ’s first words immediately take up John’s call: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near; repent, and believe the good news.EH

Antiphon1

Ant. From my mother’s womb the Lord called me by my name;*
and he made my mouth like unto a sharp
sword; he protected me in the shadow of his hand,
and he made me as his chosen arrow.
V. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, *
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your loving mercy in the morning, *
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the tenstringed lyre and the lute, *
with the sound of song on the harp. Isaiah 49; Psalm 92

Eternal God,
you call us to ventures
of which we cannot see the ending,
by paths as yet untrodden,
through perils unknown.
Give us faith to go out with courage,
not knowing where we go,
but only that your hand is leading us
and your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. BCW

Music: https://tinyurl.com/ycn4djk5

O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be 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.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!

HYMN: Johann Olearius, trans. Catherine Winkworth
Tune: Genevan 42nd https://tinyurl.com/yy8hf7dj

1 Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness,
mourning ‘neath their sorrow’s load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

2 Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
blotting out each dark misdeed;
all that well deserved his anger
he no more will see or heed.
She hath suffered many a day,
now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
into ever-springing gladness.

3 For the herald’s voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
bidding all men to repentance,
since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.

4 Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain;
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
now o’er earth is shed abroad;
and all flesh shall see the token
that his word is never broken.

PSALMS
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk

Psalm 142 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ya9l4yc4)

1  I cried unto the Lord with my voice *
 yea, even unto the Lord did I make my supplication.
2  I poured out my complaints before him *
 and shewed him of my trouble.
3  When my spirit was in heaviness thou knewest my path *
 in the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
4  I looked also upon my right hand *
 and saw there was no man that would know me.
5  I had no place to flee unto *
 and no man cared for my soul.
6  I cried unto thee, O Lord, and said *
 Thou art my hope, and my portion in the land of the living.
7  Consider my complaint *
 for I am brought very low.
8  O deliver me from my persecutors *
 for they are too strong for me.
9  Bring my soul out of prison,
that I may give thanks unto thy Name *
 which thing if thou wilt grant me,
then shall the righteous resort unto my company.
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.

Psalm 143 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y76nm8vs)

1  Hear my prayer, O Lord, and consider my desire *
 hearken unto me for thy truth and righteousness’ sake.
2  And enter not into judgement with thy servant *
 for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
3  For the enemy hath persecuted my soul;
he hath smitten my life down to the ground *
 he hath laid me in the darkness, as the men that have been long dead.
4  Therefore is my spirit vexed within me *
 and my heart within me is desolate.
5  Yet do I remember the time past; I muse upon all thy works *
 yea, I exercise myself in the works of thy hands.
6  I stretch forth my hands unto thee *
 my soul gaspeth unto thee as a thirsty land.
7  Hear me, O Lord, and that soon, for my spirit waxeth faint *
 hide not thy face from me,
lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8  O let me hear thy loving-kindness betimes in the morning,
for in thee is my trust *
 shew thou me the way that I should walk in,
for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9  Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies *
 for I flee unto thee to hide me.
10  Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee, for thou art my God *
 let thy loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness.
11  Quicken me, O Lord, for thy Name’s sake *
 and for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12  And of thy goodness slay mine enemies *
 and destroy all them that vex my soul; for I am thy servant.
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

God our refuge,
when all friends have forsaken us
and enemies line all our paths,
come quickly to our aid.
Lead us out from captivity
into the light of your freedom,
secured for us in the sacrifice
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: 2 Samuel 14:1-20

Now Joab son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s mind was on Absalom. Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He said to her, ‘Pretend to be in mourning; put on mourning garments, do not anoint yourself with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead. Go to the king and speak to him as follows.’ And Joab put the words into her mouth.

When the woman of Tekoa came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and did obeisance, and said, ‘Help, O king!’ The king asked her, ‘What is your trouble?’ She answered, ‘Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. Your servant had two sons, and they fought with one another in the field; there was no one to part them, and one struck the other and killed him. Now the whole family has risen against your servant. They say, “Give up the man who struck his brother, so that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he murdered, even if we destroy the heir as well.” Thus they would quench my one remaining ember, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.’

Then the king said to the woman, ‘Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.’ The woman of Tekoa said to the king, ‘On me be the guilt, my lord the king, and on my father’s house; let the king and his throne be guiltless.’ The king said, ‘If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall never touch you again.’ Then she said, ‘Please, may the king keep the Lord your God in mind, so that the avenger of blood may kill no more, and my son not be destroyed.’ He said, ‘As the Lord lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.’

Then the woman said, ‘Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.’ He said, ‘Speak.’ The woman said, ‘Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in giving this decision the king convicts himself, inasmuch as the king does not bring his banished one home again. We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up. But God will not take away a life; he will devise plans so as not to keep an outcast banished for ever from his presence. Now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid; your servant thought, “I will speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant. For the king will hear, and deliver his servant from the hand of the man who would cut both me and my son off from the heritage of God.” Your servant thought, “The word of my lord the king will set me at rest”; for my lord the king is like the angel of God, discerning good and evil. The Lord your God be with you!’

Then the king answered the woman, ‘Do not withhold from me anything I ask you.’ The woman said, ‘Let my lord the king speak.’ The king said, ‘Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?’ The woman answered and said, ‘As surely as you live, my lord the king, one cannot turn right or left from anything that my lord the king has said. For it was your servant Joab who commanded me; it was he who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. In order to change the course of affairs your servant Joab did this. But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the earth.’

HYMN: Nicolaus Ludwig Graf von Zinsendorf, trans. John Wesley
Tune: Germany (Fulda) https://tinyurl.com/ya2242cx

1 Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
my beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
with joy shall I lift up my head.

2 Bold shall I stand in thy great day;
for who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
from sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

3 When from the dust of death I rise
to claim my mansion in the skies,
e’en then this shall be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.

4 Jesus, be endless praise to thee,
whose boundless mercy hath for me,
for me a full atonement made,
an everlasting ransom paid.

5 O let the dead now hear thy voice;
now bid thy banished ones rejoice;
their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness.

Reading: James 5:13-20

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

HYMN: Joseph Medlicott Scriven
Tune: Converse https://tinyurl.com/y9wc9t6s

1 What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer!

2 Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer!

3 Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge–
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield you;
you will find a solace there.

Reading: Matthew 14:1-12

At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus; and he said to his servants, ‘This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been telling him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’ Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.’ The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.

CANTICLE Te Deum
(Chant by Joe Cox: https://tinyurl.com/ybzyundx)

We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud,
the Heavens and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry:
    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
    Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world
                              doth acknowledge thee,
    the Father, of an infinite majesty,
    thine adorable, true, and only Son,
    also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.

Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,
thou didst humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.
    We therefore pray thee, help thy servants,
    whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
    Make them to be numbered with thy saints,
    in glory everlasting.

THE PRAYERS Common Worship

In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ,
let us pray to the Father, saying
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
who promised Zechariah a son
filled with with the spirit and power of Elijah,
to prepare a people fit for the Lord
we pray for reconciliation among all people..
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting
the baby leapt in her womb
may we bless among women she who believed your promise,
and proclaim with joy the good news of your Christ.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
at John’s birth Zechariah proclaimed
he would be the prophet of the Most High
we pray for all who preach the Good News.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
when your Son came to the Jordan and was baptized by John
he saw the heavens open and the Spirit descending as a dove
may we who are baptized into your Church
faithfully proclaim in the world the words of your beloved Son.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
John proclaimed your Son as ‘the Lamb of God’
and John’s disciples followed Jesus
help us to follow him too,
and by our words and deeds
to bring our families and friends closer to you.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
who sent John to witness to the light,
to be the voice of one crying in the wilderness
and to make straight the way of the Lord
comfort your people
and bring your healing to the sick and needy,
to the broken-hearted and the oppressed,
to prisoners and captives.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

Lord God,
John preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
and suffered imprisonment and death for proclaiming your Law
we pray with and for all who have died in your service,
joining our prayers with John the Baptist, and all the saints,
and grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.

In the tender compassion of our God,
the dawn from on high shall break upon us
Shine, Lord, on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death
and guide our feet into the way of peace.
Merciful Father,
Accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Plainsong Mode 2: https://tinyurl.com/yctqq8cf)DL

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the bread of life;
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God,
who called your servant John the Baptist
to be the forerunner of your Son in birth and death:
strengthen us by your grace
that, as he suffered for the truth,
so we may boldly resist corruption and vice
and receive with him the unfading crown of glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. EH

Music: https://tinyurl.com/y9efvwm5
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. 2 Cor. 13:14


Donation to Support This Ministry

Since 1993, Oremus has been done on a volunteer basis. If you are able, please consider supporting this work at the PayPal link below. For software reasons, I've set the value at $10.00, but feel free to change it. Thank you.

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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.

EH Exciting Holiness, Ed. Brother Tristram SSF © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997

RCLP Revised Common Lectionary Prayers. © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress.

WS2 Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources

DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.

1 Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers; audio from https://musicasacra.com/additional-publications/sep-practice-videos/ ©

The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662).

Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.

Compilation © 2020 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.

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