Oremus for Saturday, July 24, 2021

Thomas à Kempis, ca. 1460

Thomas à Kempis
The name of Thomas à Kempis is perhaps more widely known than that of any other medieval Christian writer. The Imitation of Christ, which he composed or compiled, has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Holy Scriptures. Millions of Christians have found in this manual a treasured and constant source of edification.
His name was Thomas Hammerken, and he was born at Kempen in the Duchy of Cleves about 1380. He was educated at Deventer by the Brethren of the Common Life, and joined their order in 1399 at their house of Mount St. Agnes in Zwolle (in the Low Countries). He took his vows (those of the Augustinian Canons Regular) there in 1407, was ordained a priest in 1415, and was made sub-prior in 1425. He died on July 25, 1471.
The Order of the Brethren of the Common Life was founded by Gerard Groote (1340–1384) at Deventer. It included both clergy and lay members who cultivated a biblical piety of a practical rather than speculative nature, with stress upon the inner life and the practice of virtues. They supported themselves by copying manuscripts and teaching. One of their most famous pupils was the humanist Erasmus. Many have seen in them harbingers of the Reformation; but the Brethren had little interest in the problems of the institutional Church. Their spirituality, known as the “New Devotion” (Devotio moderna), has influenced both Catholic and Protestant traditions of prayer and meditation.
HWHM

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/37sehdz7

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you is found forgiveness,
O God of Israel. Psalm 130

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: attr. Thomas à Kempis; trans. Benjamin Webb
Tune: Deo gracias https://tinyurl.com/b5fpczv2 

1 O love, how deep, how broad, how high!
It fills the heart with ecstasy, 
that God, the Son of God, should take 
our mortal form for mortals’ sake.

2 For us he was baptized and bore 
his holy fast, and hungered sore.
For us temptation sharp he knew, 
for us the tempter overthrew.

3 For us he prayed, for us he taught,
for us his daily works he wrought,
by words and signs and actions thus 
still seeking not himself but us.

4 For us to wicked hands betrayed, 
scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
he bore the shameful cross and death, 
for us at length gave up his breath.

5 Eternal glory to our God 
for love so deep, so high, so broad;
the Trinity whom we adore 
forever and forevermore.

PSALMS

Psalm 116 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/r9c5ke7)
1  I am well pleased *
 that the Lord hath heard the voice of my prayer;
2  That he hath inclined his ear unto me *
 therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3  The snares of death compassed me round about *
 and the pains of hell gat hold upon me.
4  I shall find trouble and heaviness, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord *
 O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5  Gracious is the Lord, and righteous *
 yea, our God is merciful.
6  The Lord preserveth the simple *
 I was in misery, and he helped me.
7  Turn again then unto thy rest, O my soul *
 for the Lord hath rewarded thee.
8  And why? thou hast delivered my soul from death *
 mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9  I will walk before the Lord *
 in the land of the living.
10  I believed, and therefore will I speak; but I was sore troubled *
 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
11  What reward shall I give unto the Lord *
 for all the benefits that he hath done unto me?
12  I will receive the cup of salvation *
 and call upon the Name of the Lord.
13  I will pay my vows now in the presence of all his people *
 right dear in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
14  Behold, O Lord, how that I am thy servant *
 I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid;
thou hast broken my bonds in sunder.
15  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving *
 and will call upon the Name of the Lord.
16  I will pay my vows unto the Lord, in the sight of all his people *
 in the courts of the Lord’s house,
even in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. 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.

Psalm 116 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-116.mp3)
1 I love the LORD, because he has heard the voice of
 my supplication, *
because he has inclined his ear to me whenever
 I called upon him.
2 The cords of death entangled me;
the grip of the grave took hold of me; *
I came to grief and sorrow.
3 Then I called upon the Name of the LORD: *
“O LORD, I pray you, save my life.”
4 Gracious is the LORD and righteous; *
our God is full of compassion.
5 The LORD watches over the innocent; *
I was brought very low, and he helped me.
6 Turn again to your rest, O my soul, *
for the LORD has treated you well.
7 For you have rescued my life from death, *
my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
8 I will walk in the presence of the LORD *
in the land of the living.
9 I believed, even when I said,
“I have been brought very low.” *
In my distress I said, “No one can be trusted.”
10 How shall I repay the LORD *
for all the good things he has done for me?
11 I will lift up the cup of salvation *
and call upon the Name of the LORD.
12 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD *
in the presence of all his people.
13 Precious in the sight of the LORD *
is the death of his servants.
14 O LORD, I am your servant; *
I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;
you have freed me from my bonds.
15 I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and call upon the Name of the LORD.
16 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD *
in the presence of all his people,
17 In the courts of the LORD’S house, *
in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 117 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/rxgv7mn)
1  O praise the Lord, all ye heathen *
 praise him, all ye nations.
2  For his merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us *
 and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. 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.

Psalm 117 (LSB Tone A: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-117-LSB.mp3)
1 Praise the LORD, all nations!*
 Extol him, all peoples!
2 For great is his steadfast love toward us,*
 and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
 Praise the 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.

Psalm 118 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tkh65hw)
1  O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious *
 because his mercy endureth for ever.
2  Let Israel now confess, that he is gracious *
 and that his mercy endureth for ever.
3  Let the house of Aaron now confess *
 that his mercy endureth for ever.
4  Yea, let them now that fear the Lord confess *
 that his mercy endureth for ever.
5  I called upon the Lord in trouble *
 and the Lord heard me at large.
6  The Lord is on my side *
 I will not fear what man doeth unto me.
7  The Lord taketh my part with them that help me *
 therefore shall I see my desire upon mine enemies.
8  It is better to trust in the Lord *
 than to put any confidence in man.
9  It is better to trust in the Lord *
 than to put any confidence in princes.
10  All nations compassed me round about *
 but in the Name of the Lord will I destroy them.
11  They kept me in on every side, they kept me in, I say, on every side *
 but in the Name of the Lord will I destroy them.
12  They came about me like bees,
and are extinct even as the fire among the thorns *
 for in the Name of the Lord I will destroy them.
13  Thou hast thrust sore at me, that I might fall *
 but the Lord was my help.
14  The Lord is my strength, and my song *
 and is become my salvation.
15  The voice of joy and health is in the dwellings of the righteous *
 the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.
16  The right hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence *
 the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.
17  I shall not die, but live *
 and declare the works of the Lord.
18  The Lord hath chastened and corrected me *
 but he hath not given me over unto death.
19  Open me the gates of righteousness *
 that I may go into them, and give thanks unto the Lord.
20  This is the gate of the Lord *
 the righteous shall enter into it.
21  I will thank thee, for thou hast heard me *
 and art become my salvation.
22  The same stone which the builders refused *
 is become the head-stone in the corner.
23  This is the Lord’s doing *
 and it is marvellous in our eyes.
24  This is the day which the Lord hath made *
 we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25  Help me now, O Lord *
 O Lord, send us now prosperity.
26  Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord *
 we have wished you good luck, ye that are of the house of the Lord.
27  God is the Lord who hath shewed us light *
 bind the sacrifice with cords, yea, even unto the horns of the altar.
28  Thou art my God, and I will thank thee *
 thou art my God, and I will praise thee.
29  O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious *
 and his mercy endureth for ever.
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 118 (LSB Tone I: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-118-LSB.mp3)
1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;*
 for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say,*
 “His steadfast love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say,*
 “His steadfast love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the LORD say,*
 “His steadfast love endures forever.”
5 Out of my distress I called on the LORD;*
 the LORD answered me and set me free.
6The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.*
 What can man do to me?
7 The LORD is on my side as my helper;*
 I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD*
 than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD*
 than to trust in princes.
10 All nations surrounded me;*
 in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;*
 in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they went out like a fire among thorns;*
 in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,*
 but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my song;*
 he has become my salvation.
15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous:*
 “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
16 the right hand of the LORD exalts,*
 the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,*
 and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18 The LORD has disciplined me severely,*
 but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,*
 that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD;*
 the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me*
 and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected*
 has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the LORD’s doing;*
 it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made;*
 let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we pray, O LORD!*
 O LORD, we pray, give us success!
26 Blessèd is he who comes in the name of the LORD!*
 We bless you from the house of the LORD.
27The LORD is God,
and he has made his light to shine upon us.*
 Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
 up to the horns of the altar!
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;*
 you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;*
 for his steadfast love endures forever!
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.

PRAYER

Holy and mighty God,
your Son’s triumph over sin and death
has opened to us the gate of eternal life.
Purify our hearts
that we may follow him
and share in the radiance of his glory.
We ask this for the sake of our risen Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-5

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, ‘This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ So David sent messengers to fetch her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant.’

HYMN: Synesius of Cyrene; trans. Allen William Chatfield
Tune: Southwell https://tinyurl.com/r9bmhpav

1 Lord Jesus, think on me,
and purge away my sin;
from earth-born passions set me free,
and make me pure within.

2 Lord Jesus, think on me,
with care and woe oppressed,
let me Thy loving servant be,
and taste Thy promised rest.

3 Lord Jesus, think on me,
nor let me go astray;
through darkness and perplexity
point Thou the heav’nly way.

4 Lord Jesus, think on me,
that, when the flood is past,
I may eternal brightness see,
and share Thy joy at last.

Reading: Romans 14:10-17

Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For it is written,
‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
   and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

HYMN: Timothy Dwight
Tune: St Thomas (Williams) https://tinyurl.com/v2mvv5zd

1 I love thy kingdom, Lord,
the house of thine abode,
the church our blest Redeemer saved
with his own precious blood.

2 I love thy church, O God:
her walls before thee stand,
dear as the apple of thine eye
and graven on thy hand.

3 For her my tears shall fall,
for her my prayers ascend;
to her my cares and toils be giv’n,
’til toils and cares shall end.

4 Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heav’nly ways,
her sweet communion, solemn vows,
her hymns of love and praise.

5 Jesus, thou Friend divine,
our Savior and our King,
thy hand from ev’ry snare and foe
shall great deliv’rance bring.

6 Sure as thy truth shall last,
to Zion shall be giv’n
the brightest glories earth can yield,
and brighter bliss of heav’n.

Reading: Mark 11:20-26

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.’

CANTICLE Micah 6:6-8
(Tune: Sharpthorne https://tinyurl.com/yafplab4)

What does the Lord require
for praise and offering?
What sacrifice, desire,
or tribute bid you bring?
Do justly,
love mercy,
walk humbly with your God.

Rulers of earth, give ear!
Should you not justice know?
Will God your pleading hear
while crime and cruelty grow?
Do justly,
love mercy,
walk humbly with your God.

Still down the ages ring
the prophet’s stern commands;
to merchant, worker, king
he brings God’s high commands:
do justly,
love mercy,
walk humbly with your God.

How shall our life fulfill
God’s law so hard and high?
Let Christ endue our will
with grace to fortify.
Then justly,
in mercy,
we’ll humbly walk with God.

THE PRAYERS PWC

God of Jerusalem, send the riches of your grace
upon the church throughout the world.
Creator of all, carry us in your arms.
Fill all who proclaim the word of truth with the infinite wisdom of Christ.
Creator of all, carry us in your arms.
Inspire all who have consecrated their lives to your reign
and all who are struggling to follow the way of Christ with the gifts of the Spirit.
Creator of all, carry us in your arms.
Strengthen all who govern the nations
so that they strive for justice and peace.
Creator of all, carry us in your arms.
Enlighten scholars and research-workers
so that their studies may benefit humanity.
Creator of all, carry us in your arms.
Give your peace to all who have passed from this life in faith and obedience.
Creator of all, carry us in your arms.

(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.

Holy Father, you have nourished and strengthened your Church by the inspired writings of your servant Thomas à Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to know what is necessary to be known, to love what is to be loved, to praise what highly pleases you, and always to seek to know and follow your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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


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

DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © Church Publishing, Inc.

The 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 traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language version of Psalm 116 is from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel. Psalms 117 and 118 are in the version used in Lutheran Service Book: Pew Edition Concordia Publishing House, and are from the Next to the Word of God YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkVRYL-MRebncw584Ql2xfg.

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 © 2021 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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