Oremus for Saturday, February 13, 2021

Absalom Jones, Raphaelle Peale, 1810

Absalom Jones (1746-1818)
Absalom Jones was born a house slave in 1746 in Delaware. After being sold to a store owner in Philadelphia at sixteen, he eventually bought his own freedom in 1784.
At St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church, he served as lay minister for its Black membership. The active evangelism of Jones and that of his friend, Richard Allen, greatly increased Black membership at St. George’s. The alarmed vestry decided to segregate Blacks into an upstairs gallery, without notifying them. During a Sunday service when ushers attempted to remove them, the Blacks indignantly walked out in a body.
In 1787, Black Christians organized the Free African Society and Jones and Allen were elected overseers. In 1792, the Society began to build a church, which was dedicated on July 17, 1794. The African Church applied for membership in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania on the following conditions: 1, that they be received as an organized body; 2, that they have control over their local affairs; 3, that Absalom Jones be licensed as layreader, and, if qualified, be ordained as minister. In October 1794 it was admitted as St. Thomas African Episcopal Church. Bishop White ordained Jones as deacon in 1795 and as priest on September 21, 1802.
HWHM, alt.

Antiphon1

Ant. If a man wishes to come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
V. I will bless the Lord at all times; *
praise of him is always in my mouth.
Look towards him and be radiant; *
let your faces not be abashed.
This lowly one called; the Lord heard, *
and rescued him from all his distress. Matthew 16; Psalm 34

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: Dietrich Bonhoeffer; para. Fred Pratt Green ©
Tune: Intercessor https://tinyurl.com/oj563rhh

1 By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
and confidently waiting, come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning
and never fails to greet us each new day.

2 Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
O give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, you taught us to prepare.

3 And when this cup you give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

4 Yet when again in this same world you give us
the joy we had, the brightness of your sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be yours alone.

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

Psalm 69 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ybbl2s4j)

1  Save me, O God *
 for the waters are come in, even unto my soul.
2  I stick fast in the deep mire, where no ground is *
 I am come into deep waters, so that the floods run over me.
3  I am weary of crying; my throat is dry *
 my sight faileth me for waiting so long upon my God.
4  They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head *
 they that are mine enemies, and would destroy me guiltless, are mighty.
5  I paid them the things that I never took *
 God, thou knowest my simpleness, and my faults are not hid from thee.
6  Let not them that trust in thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my cause *
 let not those that seek thee be confounded through me, O Lord God of Israel.
7  And why? for thy sake have I suffered reproof *
 shame hath covered my face.
8  I am become a stranger unto my brethren *
 even an alien unto my mother’s children.
9  For the zeal of thine house hath even eaten me *
 and the rebukes of them that rebuked thee are fallen upon me.
10  I wept, and chastened myself with fasting *
 and that was turned to my reproof.
11  I put on sackcloth also *
 and they jested upon me.
12  They that sit in the gate speak against me *
 and the drunkards make songs upon me.
13  But, Lord, I make my prayer unto thee *
 in an acceptable time.
14  Hear me, O God, in the multitude of thy mercy *
 even in the truth of thy salvation.
15  Take me out of the mire, that I sink not *
 O let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
16  Let not the water-flood drown me, neither let the deep swallow me up *
 and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
17  Hear me, O Lord, for thy loving-kindness is comfortable *
 turn thee unto me according to the multitude of thy mercies.
18  And hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble *
 O haste thee, and hear me.
19  Draw nigh unto my soul, and save it *
 O deliver me, because of mine enemies.
20  Thou hast known my reproof, my shame, and my dishonour *
 mine adversaries are all in thy sight.
21  Thy rebuke hath broken my heart; I am full of heaviness *
 I looked for some to have pity on me, but there was no man,
neither found I any to comfort me.
22  They gave me gall to eat *
 and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.
23  Let their table be made a snare to take themselves withal *
 and let the things that should have been for their wealth
be unto them an occasion of falling.
24  Let their eyes be blinded, that they see not *
 and ever bow thou down their backs.
25  Pour out thine indignation upon them *
 and let thy wrathful displeasure take hold of them.
26  Let their habitation be void *
 and no man to dwell in their tents.
27  For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten *
 and they talk how they may vex them whom thou hast wounded.
28  Let them fall from one wickedness to another *
 and not come into thy righteousness.
29  Let them be wiped out of the book of the living *
 and not be written among the righteous.
30  As for me, when I am poor and in heaviness *
 thy help, O God, shall lift me up.
31  I will praise the Name of God with a song *
 and magnify it with thanksgiving.
32  This also shall please the Lord *
 better than a bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
33  The humble shall consider this, and be glad *
 seek ye after God, and your soul shall live.
34  For the Lord heareth the poor *
 and despiseth not his prisoners.
35  Let heaven and earth praise him *
 the sea, and all that moveth therein.
36  For God will save Sion, and build the cities of Judah *
 that men may dwell there, and have it in possession.
37  The posterity also of his servants shall inherit it *
 and they that love his Name shall dwell therein.
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 70 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ybjtdo2u)

1  Haste thee, O God, to deliver me *
 make haste to help me, O Lord.
2  Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul *
 let them be turned backward and put to confusion that wish me evil.
3  Let them for their reward be soon brought to shame *
 that cry over me, There, there.
4  But let all those that seek thee be joyful and glad in thee *
 and let all such as delight in thy salvation say alway, The Lord be praised.
5  As for me, I am poor and in misery *
 haste thee unto me, O God.
6  Thou art my helper, and my redeemer *
 O Lord, make no long tarrying.
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

Blessed are you, God of hope;
you restore the fallen
and rebuild the broken walls.
Teach us the song of thanksgiving,
for you are the strength of your people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Ruth 2:14-3:5

At mealtime Boaz said to her, ‘Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.’ So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, ‘Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.’

So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. Her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.’ So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, ‘The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.’ Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!’ Naomi also said to her, ‘The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.’ Then Ruth the Moabite said, ‘He even said to me, “Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.” ’ Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, ‘It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.’ So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing-floor. Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing-floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.’ She said to her, ‘All that you tell me I will do.’

HYMN: Knowles Shaw
Tune: https://tinyurl.com/3dc2vs57

1 Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve,
Waiting for the harvest and the time of reaping —
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Refrain:
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Bringing in the sheaves,
bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

2 Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest and our labor ended –
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. [Refrain]

3 Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
When our weeping’s over He will bid us welcome –
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Reading: Romans 16:1-27

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae, so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus, and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert in Asia for Christ. Greet Mary, who has worked very hard among you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. Greet my relative Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; and greet his mother—a mother to me also. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offences, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good, and guileless in what is evil. The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Timothy, my co-worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.

I Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord.

Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you.

Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever! Amen.

HYMN: Carolyn Gillette ©
Tune: Ellacombe https://tinyurl.com/fogbtp8h

1 “For freedom, Christ has set us free!”
What joy is ours to claim!
No more enslaved, humanity
finds life in Jesus’ name.
We try, Lord, to be justified
through all the works we do.
Yet you adopt us, saying, “Child,
it’s Christ who makes you new.”

2 We’re clothed in Christ and we belong;
now no one waits outside.
In him we find our common song;
old ways no more divide.
“It is no longer I who live,
but Christ who lives in me.”
He died for us, new life to give
and new identity.

3 Now, Spirit filled, may we be led
from ways that would destroy.
May we, your people, turn instead
to lives of love and joy.
May we find peace that makes us whole
and patience everywhere.
God, give us kindness, self control,
and hearts and hands that share.

Reading: Matthew 10:24-33

Jesus continued, ‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.’

CANTICLE Revelation 15:3-4
(Chant by Joe Cox: https://tinyurl.com/yb3kd863)

Ant. All nations will draw near and fall down before you, *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.
O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.
Who can fail to do you homage, Lord,
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you, *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Ant.

THE PRAYERS BCW

Great and wonderful God, we praise and thank you for the gift of renewal in Jesus
Christ. Especially we thank you for
opportunities for rest and recreation . . .
the regenerating gifts of the Holy Spirit . . .
activities shared by young and old . . .
fun and laughter . . .
every service that proclaims your love. . . .

You make all things new, O God, and we offer our prayers for the renewal of the
world and the healing of its wounds. Especially we pray for
those who have no leisure . . .
people enslaved by addictions . . .
those who entertain and enlighten . . .
those confronted with temptation . . .
the church in North America. . . .

(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.

Set us free, heavenly Father,
from every bond of prejudice and fear;
that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones,
we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love
and true freedom of the children of God,
which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. HWHM.

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.

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © Church Publishing, Inc. (here abbreviated)

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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