Oremus for Friday, March 12, 2021

Pope Gregory the Great, ivory book cover, ca. 980

Gregory the Great
Gregory was born in 540, the son of a Roman senator. As a young man he pursued a governmental career, and in 573 was made Prefect of the city of Rome. Following the death of his father, he resigned his office, sold his inheritance, and became a monk. In 579 he was sent by the Pope to Constantinople to be his representative to the Patriarch. He returned to Rome in 586, and was himself elected Pope in 590. At a time of political turmoil, Gregory proved an astute administrator and diplomat, securing peace with the Lombards. He initiated the mission to England, sending Augustine and forty monks from his own monastery to refound the English Church. His writings were pastorally oriented. His spirituality was animated by a dynamic of love and desire for God. Indeed, he is sometimes called the ‘Doctor of desire’. For Gregory, desire was a metaphor for the journey into God. As Pope, he styled himself ‘Servant of the servants of God’ — a title which typified both his personality and ministry. He died in 604. EH

Antiphon1

Ant. The Lord is my shepherd and I shall want nothing;
he has set me in a land of abundant pastures;
he has led me to life-renewing waters.
V. Near restful waters he leads me; *
he revives my soul. Psalm 23

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/ufxekitx

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
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: attr. to Gregory the Great; trans. T. A. Lacey
Tune: Jena https://tinyurl.com/wjf4ej6a

1 Now is the healing time decreed
For sins of heart and word and deed,
When we in humble fear record
The wrong that we have done the Lord:

2 Who, always merciful and good,
Has borne so long our wayward mood,
Nor cut us off unsparingly
In our so great iniquity.

3 Therefore with fasting and with prayer,
Our secret sorrow we declare,
With all good striving seek his face,
And lowly-hearted plead for grace.

4 Cleanse us, O Lord, from every stain,
Help us the gifts of grace to gain,
Till with the angels, linked in love,
Joyful we tread thy courts above.

5 We pray thee, holy Trinity,
One God, unchanging Unity,
That we from this our abstinence
May reap the fruits of penitence.

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

Psalm 62 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y9slywgl)

1  My soul truly waiteth still upon God *
 for of him cometh my salvation.
2  He verily is my strength and my salvation *
 he is my defence, so that I shall not greatly fall.
3  How long will ye imagine mischief against every man *
 ye shall be slain all the sort of you;
yea, as a tottering wall shall ye be, and like a broken hedge.
4  Their device is only how to put him out whom God will exalt *
 their delight is in lies; they give good words with their mouth,
but curse with their heart.
5  Nevertheless, my soul, wait thou still upon God *
 for my hope is in him.
6  He truly is my strength and my salvation *
 he is my defence, so that I shall not fall.
7  In God is my health, and my glory *
 the rock of my might, and in God is my trust.
8  O put your trust in him alway, ye people *
 pour out your hearts before him, for God is our hope.
9  As for the children of men, they are but vanity *
 the children of men are deceitful upon the weights,
they are altogether lighter than vanity itself.
10  O trust not in wrong and robbery, give not yourselves unto vanity *
 if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
11  God spake once, and twice I have also heard the same *
 that power belongeth unto God;
12  And that thou, Lord, art merciful *
 for thou rewardest every man according to his work.
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 63 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y7dmyzy2)

1  O God, thou art my God *
 early will I seek thee.
2  My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh also longeth after thee *
 in a barren and dry land where no water is.
3  Thus have I looked for thee in holiness *
 that I might behold thy power and glory.
4  For thy loving-kindness is better than the life itself *
 my lips shall praise thee.
5  As long as I live will I magnify thee on this manner *
 and lift up my hands in thy Name.
6  My soul shall be satisfied, even as it were with marrow and fatness *
 when my mouth praiseth thee with joyful lips.
7  Have I not remembered thee in my bed *
 and thought upon thee when I was waking?
8  Because thou hast been my helper *
 therefore under the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
9  My soul hangeth upon thee *
 thy right hand hath upholden me.
10  These also that seek the hurt of my soul *
 they shall go under the earth.
11  Let them fall upon the edge of the sword *
 that they may be a portion for foxes.
12  But the King shall rejoice in God;
all they also that swear by him shall be commended *
 for the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
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 64 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ydc4zq6h)

1  Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer *
 preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2  Hide me from the gathering together of the froward *
 and from the insurrection of wicked doers;
3  Who have whet their tongue like a sword *
 and shoot out their arrows, even bitter words;
4  That they may privily shoot at him that is perfect *
 suddenly do they hit him, and fear not.
5  They encourage themselves in mischief *
 and commune among themselves how they may lay snares,
and say, that no man shall see them.
6  They imagine wickedness, and practise it *
 that they keep secret among themselves,
every man in the deep of his heart.
7  But God shall suddenly shoot at them with a swift arrow *
 that they shall be wounded.
8  Yea, their own tongues shall make them fall *
 insomuch that whoso seeth them shall laugh them to scorn.
9  And all men that see it shall say, This hath God done *
 for they shall perceive that it is his work.
10  The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord, and put his trust in him *
 and all they that are true of heart shall be glad.
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

Lord God,
in a threatening world we look to you as our rock of hope.
Hear us as we pour out our hearts to you,
and give us your grace and protection;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Daniel 12:5-13

Then I, Daniel, looked, and two others appeared, one standing on this bank of the stream and one on the other. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was upstream, ‘How long shall it be until the end of these wonders?’ The man clothed in linen, who was upstream, raised his right hand and his left hand towards heaven. And I heard him swear by the one who lives for ever that it would be for a time, two times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end, all these things would be accomplished. I heard but could not understand; so I said, ‘My lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?’ He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are to remain secret and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, cleansed, and refined, but the wicked shall continue to act wickedly. None of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. From the time that the regular burnt-offering is taken away and the abomination that desolates is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Happy are those who persevere and attain the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. But you, go your way, and rest; you shall rise for your reward at the end of the days.’

HYMN: attr. to Gregory the Great; trans. John Chandler
Tune: University College https://tinyurl.com/6xfcepdh

1 Source of light and life divine,
Thou didst cause the light to shine;
Thou didst bring Thy sunbeams forth
O’er Thy new-created earth.

2 Shade of eve, and morning ray,
Took from Thee the name of day:
Now the shades of night are nigh,
Listen to our mournful cry.

3 May we ne’er, by guilt opprest,
Lose the way to endless rest;
May no thoughts impure and vain
Draw our souls to earth again.

4 Rather lift them to the skies,
Where our dear-bought treasure lies;
Help us in our daily strife,
Make us struggle into life.

5 Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three in One,
Praise and glory be to Thee,
Now and through eternity.

Reading: Ephesians 1:7-14

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

HYMN: Isaac Watts
Tune: Holy Trinity https://tinyurl.com/72t7t8sd

1 Why should the children of a King
Go mourning all their days?
Great Comforter, descend, and bring
Some tokens of thy grace.

2 Dost thou not dwell in all the saints,
And seal the heirs of heaven?
When wilt thou banish my complaints
And show my sins forgiven?

3 Assure my conscience of her part
In the Redeemer’s blood;
And bear thy witness with my heart
That I am born of God.

4 Thou art the earnest of his love,
The pledge of joys to come;
And thy soft wings, celestial Dove,
Will safe convey me home.

Reading: Matthew 22:23-33

The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses said, “If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow, and raise up children for his brother.” Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married, and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother. The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman herself died. In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her.’

Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.’ And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.

CANTICLE Philippians 2:6-11
(Chant by John Michael Talbot: https://tinyurl.com/y8ljx8y7)

Though he was in the form of God,
Jesus did not deem equality with God
something to be grasped at.
Rather, he emptied himself
and took the form of a slave,
being born in the likeness of men.
He was known to be of human estate
and it was thus that he humbled himself,
obediently accepting even death,
death on a cross!
Because of this,
God highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
above every other name,  
So that at Jesus’ name
every knee must bend
in the heavens, on the earth,
and under the earth,
and every tongue proclaim
to the glory of God the Father:  
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
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.

THE PRAYERS WS2

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.

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.

Merciful Father,
who chose your bishop Gregory
to be a servant of the servants of God:
grant that, like him, we may ever long to serve you
by proclaiming your gospel to the nations,
and may ever rejoice to sing your praises;
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


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

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

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

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

Common Worship: Collects and Post Communions, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.

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

2 Eric Wyse, Lord’s Prayer, ©; audio from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_a40ME7aVk

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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