Oremus for Friday, October 23, 2020

Saint James, brother of the Lord Jesus, apostle and martyr, bishop of Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Trinity, Corfu

James of Jerusalem
In the Gospel according to Matthew and in the Epistle to the Galatians, the James whom we commemorate today is called the Lord’s brother. Other writers, following Mark’s tradition, believe him to have been a cousin of Jesus. Certain apocryphal writings speak
of him as a son of Joseph’s first wife. Whatever his relationship to Jesus—brother, half-brother, or cousin—James was converted after the resurrection. Eventually, he became Bishop of Jerusalem.

In the first letter to the Corinthians (15:7), Paul says that James was favored with a special appearance of the Lord before the ascension. Later, James dealt cordially with Paul at Jerusalem, when the latter came there to meet Peter and the other apostles. During the Council of Jerusalem, when there was disagreement about whether Gentile converts should be circumcised, James summed up the momentous decision with these words: “My judgment is that we should impose no irksome restrictions on those Gentiles who are turning to God” (Acts 15:19).

Eusebius, quoting from an earlier church history by Hegesippus, declares that James was surnamed “the Just.” He was holy, abstemious, did not cut his hair nor oil his body, and was continually on his knees in prayer, interceding for his people. “As many as came to believe did so through James,” says Hegesippus.

James’ success in converting many to Christ greatly perturbed some factions in Jerusalem. According to Hegesippus, they begged him to “restrain the people, for they have gone astray to Jesus, thinking him to be the Messiah … we bear you witness that you are just … Persuade the people that they do not go astray … we put our trust in you.” They then set James on the pinnacle of the temple, bidding him to preach to the multitude and turn them from Jesus. James, however, testified for the Lord. Thereupon, they hurled him from the roof to the pavement, and cudgeled him to death.
HWHM

Antiphon1

Ant. Sing to the Lord a new song, alleluia; *
for the Lord has accomplished wondrous deeds, alleluia;
he has revealed his justice in the sight of the Gentiles, alleluia, alleluia.
V. His right hand and his holy arm *
have brought salvation.
He has remembered his merciful love *
and his truth for the house of Israel. Psalm 98

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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: Christopher Idle ©
Tune: Kingsfold https://tinyurl.com/yb2k7wyk

1 And did you risk yourself, O Christ,
for such a world as ours,
into its hands to yield your life,
your name, your gifts and powers?
So few had seen and touched and heard,
so few received your love!
but now your Spirit and your word
have set us on the move.

2 What stories fill those early days
of saints whose names we know,
who risked their lives to speak your praise
and saw your kingdom grow!
What news escapes to reach us now
and shames our little faith
believers risking all for you
through prison, pain and death.

3 Lord, help us to release our grasp
on all that chokes the seed,
on all that undermines our task
or contradicts our creed;
to find the new security
of launching into space
when you baptize us, set us free
and give the opening grace!

4 No status, goods or power of choice,
no right and no renown
can matter when we hear your voice
or glimpse your thorny crown;
when we are least in human eyes
in you we are most strong;
can this be risk, to die, to rise
with you, our Glory Song?

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

Psalm 114 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tbxne5c)

1  God standeth in the congregation of princes *
 he is1  When Israel came out of Egypt *
 and the house of Jacob from among the strange people,
2  Judah was his sanctuary *
 and Israel his dominion.
3  The sea saw that, and fled *
 Jordan was driven back.
4  The mountains skipped like rams *
 and the little hills like young sheep.
5  What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest *
 and thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
6  Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams *
 and ye little hills, like young sheep?
7  Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord *
 at the presence of the God of Jacob;
8  Who turned the hard rock into a standing water *
 and the flint-stone into a springing well.
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 115 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yaw43w93)

1  Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give the praise *
 for thy loving mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.
2  Wherefore shall the heathen say *
 Where is now their God?
3  As for our God, he is in heaven *
 he hath done whatsoever pleased him.
4  Their idols are silver and gold *
 even the work of men’s hands.
5  They have mouths, and speak not *
 eyes have they, and see not.
6  They have ears, and hear not *
 noses have they, and smell not.
7  They have hands, and handle not; feet have they, and walk not *
 neither speak they through their throat.
8  They that make them are like unto them *
 and so are all such as put their trust in them.
9  But thou, house of Israel, trust thou in the Lord *
 he is their succour and defence.
10  Ye house of Aaron, put your trust in the Lord *
 he is their helper and defender.
11  Ye that fear the Lord, put your trust in the Lord *
 he is their helper and defender.
12  The Lord hath been mindful of us, and he shall bless us *
 even he shall bless the house of Israel, he shall bless the house of Aaron.
13  He shall bless them that fear the Lord *
 both small and great.
14  The Lord shall increase you more and more *
 you and your children.
15  Ye are the blessed of the Lord *
 who made heaven and earth.
16  All the whole heavens are the Lord’s *
 the earth hath he given to the children of men.
17  The dead praise not thee, O Lord *
 neither all they that go down into silence.
18  But we will praise the Lord *
 from this time forth for evermore. Praise the Lord.
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

Sovereign God,
you subdue the arrogant
and raise the humble;
you feed the hungry
and reveal the poverty of wealth.
Help us to praise your name in all times and places,
that we may be faithful servants
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Joshua 1:10-18

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, ‘Pass through the camp, and command the people: “Prepare your provisions; for in three days you are to cross over the Jordan, to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God gives you to possess.” ’

To the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, ‘Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, “The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest, and will give you this land.” Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan. But all the warriors among you shall cross over armed before your kindred and shall help them, until the Lord gives rest to your kindred as well as to you, and they too take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to your own land and take possession of it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan to the east.’

They answered Joshua: ‘All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your orders and disobeys your words, whatever you command, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.’

HYMN: Samuel Stennett
Tune: Promised Land https://tinyurl.com/y583mv7s

1 On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand, 
and cast a wishful eye 
to Canaan’s fair and happy land, 
where my possessions lie. 

Refrain:
I am bound for the promised land, 
I am bound for the promised land; 
oh, who will come and go with me? 
I am bound for the promised land. 

2 O’er all those wide extended plains 
shines one eternal day; 
there God the Son forever reigns, 
and scatters night away. [Refrain]

3 No chilling winds or poisonous breath 
can reach that healthful shore; 
sickness and sorrow, pain and death, 
are felt and feared no more. [Refrain]

4 When I shall reach that happy place, 
I’ll be forever blest, 
for I shall see my Father’s face, 
and in his bosom rest. [Refrain]

Reading: Acts 15:1–31

Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’ And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders. So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the believers. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, ‘It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.’

The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ‘My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.’

The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, ‘My brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first looked favourably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written,
“After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
   from its ruins I will rebuild it,
     and I will set it up,
so that all other peoples may seek the Lord—
   even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called.
     Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things known from long ago.”
Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood. For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues.’

Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers, with the following letter: ‘The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the believers of Gentile origin in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. Since we have heard that certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds, we have decided unanimously to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.’

So they were sent off and went down to Antioch. When they gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. When its members read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation. 

HYMN: John Oxenham
Tune: McKee https://tinyurl.com/u6tgnf7

1 In Christ there is no east or west,
In him no south or north,
But one great fam’ly bound by love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

2 In him shall true hearts ev’rywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord
Close binding human-kind.

3 Join hands, disciples in the faith,
Whate’er your race may be!
Who serve each other in Christ’s love
Are surely kin to me.

4 In Christ now meet both east and west,
In him meet south and north;
All Christly souls are one in him
Throughout the whole wide earth.

Reading: Mark 3:31-35

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’

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 BCW

Eternal God, we praise you for your mighty love given in Christ’s sacrifice on the
cross, and the new life we have received by his resurrection.
Especially we thank you for
the presence of Christ in our weakness and suffering . . .
the ministry of Word and Sacrament . . .
all who work to help and heal . . .
sacrifices made for our benefit . . .
opportunities for our generous giving. . . .

God of grace, let our concern for others reflect Christ’s self-giving love, not only
in our prayers, but also in our practice.
Especially we pray for
those subjected to tyranny and oppression . . .
wounded and injured people . . .
those who face death . . .
those who may be our enemies . . .
the church in Latin America. . . .

Setting: Sanford Dole https://tinyurl.com/y7ldq7h5

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as 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.

Grant, O God, that, following the example of your servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all
who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP 79

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.

DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.

HWWM Holy Women, Holy Men, © 2010 The Church Pension Fund

BCP79 The Book of Common Prayer

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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