Oremus for Sunday, August 15, 2021

Dormition of the Virgin Mary, El Greco, before 1567

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The honor paid to Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, goes back to the earliest days of the Church. Two Gospels tell of the manner of Christ’s birth, and the familiar Christmas story testifies to the Church’s conviction that he was born of a virgin. In Luke’s Gospel, we catch a brief glimpse of Jesus’ upbringing at Nazareth, when the child was wholly in the care of his mother and his foster-father, Joseph.
During Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, we learn that Mary was often with the other women who followed Jesus and ministered to his needs. At Calvary, she was among the little band of disciples who kept watch at the cross. After the resurrection, she was to be found with the Twelve in the upper room, watching and praying until the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost.
Mary was the person closest to Jesus in his most impressionable years, and the words of the Magnificat, as well as her humble acceptance of the divine will, bear more than an accidental resemblance to the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount.
Later devotion has claimed many things for Mary which cannot be proved from Holy Scripture. What we can believe is that one who stood in so intimate a relationship with the incarnate Son of God on earth must, of all the human race, have the place of highest honor in the eternal life of God. A paraphrase of an ancient Greek hymn expresses this belief in very familiar words: “O higher than the cherubim, more glorious than the seraphim, lead their praises, alleluia.”
HWHM

Antiphon1

Ant. Glorious things have been proclaimed concerning you, O Mary;
for the Almighty has done marvelous things on your behalf.
V. My soul magnifies the Lord, *
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he has regarded the humility of his handmaid; *
for behold, from this day all generations shall call me blessèd. Psalm 87; Luke 1

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: Dan Schutte ©
Tune: Song of Mary https://tinyurl.com/2pakeeuv

1 Let us sing the praises of Mary,
daughter of David’s holy line,
she who heard the voice of an angel
telling the plan of God’s design,
how in wisdom’s holy sight
she would mother heaven’s Christ.
Blessed be the name of Mary,
she who trusted the love of God.

2 Let us sing the praises of Mary,
chosen as blessed from the least,
she who heard the song of the angels
filling the night with heaven’s peace.
When the promised time had come
she gave birth to God’s own Son. 
Blessed be the name of Mary,
she who trusted the love of God.

3 Let us sing the praises of Mary,
woman of strong and steadfast love.
She who raised the Savior of nations
held in her arms the Son of God.
She who knew the Father’s grace
taught her Son to know God’s face.
Blessed be the name of Mary,
she who trusted the love of God.

4 Let us sing the praises of Mary,
pierced by the sword of sorrow’s pain,
she who saw the child of her loving
nailed on a cross to die in shame.
Though his friends would flee in fear
she remained forever near.
Blessed be the name of Mary,
she who trusted the love of God.

5 Let us sing the praises of Mary,
friend of the poor in ev’ry age,
she who saw her Son and her Savior
risen in glory from the grave.
Sin and death shall reign no more;
Christ has opened heaven’s door.
Blessed be the name of Mary,
she who trusted the love of God.

PSALMS

Psalm 78 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/uq2kpk3)
1  Hear my law, O my people *
 incline your ears unto the words of my mouth.
2  I will open my mouth in a parable *
 I will declare hard sentences of old;
3  Which we have heard and known *
 and such as our fathers have told us;
4  That we should not hide them
from the children of the generations to come *
but to shew the honour of the Lord,
his mighty and wonderful works that he hath done.
5  He made a covenant with Jacob, and gave Israel a law *
 which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children;
6  That their posterity might know it *
 and the children which were yet unborn;
7  To the intent that when they came up *
 they might shew their children the same;
8  That they might put their trust in God *
 and not to forget the works of God, but to keep his commandments;
9  And not to be as their forefathers,
a faithless and stubborn generation *
 a generation that set not their heart aright,
and whose spirit cleaveth not stedfastly unto God;
10  Like as the children of Ephraim *
 who being harnessed, and carrying bows,
turned themselves back in the day of battle.
11  They kept not the covenant of God *
 and would not walk in his law;
12  But forgat what he had done *
 and the wonderful works that he had shewed for them.
13  Marvellous things did he in the sight of our forefathers,
in the land of Egypt *
 even in the field of Zoan.
14  He divided the sea, and let them go through *
 he made the waters to stand on an heap.
15  In the day-time also he led them with a cloud *
 and all the night through with a light of fire.
16  He clave the hard rocks in the wilderness *
 and gave them drink thereof, as it had been out of the great depth.
17  He brought waters out of the stony rock *
 so that it gushed out like the rivers.
18  Yet for all this they sinned more against him *
 and provoked the most Highest in the wilderness.
19  They tempted God in their hearts *
 and required meat for their lust.
20  They spake against God also, saying *
 Shall God prepare a table in the wilderness?
21  He smote the stony rock indeed,
that the water gushed out, and the streams flowed withal *
 but can he give bread also, or provide flesh for his people?
22  When the Lord heard this, he was wroth *
 so the fire was kindled in Jacob,
and there came up heavy displeasure against Israel;
23  Because they believed not in God *
 and put not their trust in his help.
24  So he commanded the clouds above *
 and opened the doors of heaven.
25  He rained down manna also upon them for to eat *
 and gave them food from heaven.
26  So man did eat angels’ food *
 for he sent them meat enough.
27  He caused the east-wind to blow under heaven *
 and through his power he brought in the south-west-wind.
28  He rained flesh upon them as thick as dust *
 and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea.
29  He let it fall among their tents *
 even round about their habitation.
30  So they did eat, and were well filled;
for he gave them their own desire *
 they were not disappointed of their lust.
31  But while the meat was yet in their mouths,
the heavy wrath of God came upon them,
and slew the wealthiest of them *
 yea, and smote down the chosen men that were in Israel.
32  But for all this they sinned yet more *
 and believed not his wondrous works.
33  Therefore their days did he consume in vanity *
 and their years in trouble.
34  When he slew them, they sought him *
 and turned them early, and enquired after God.
35  And they remembered that God was their strength *
 and that the high God was their redeemer.
36  Nevertheless, they did but flatter him with their mouth *
 and dissembled with him in their tongue.
37  For their heart was not whole with him *
 neither continued they stedfast in his covenant.
38  But he was so merciful, that he forgave their misdeeds *
 and destroyed them not.
39  Yea, many a time turned he his wrath away *
 and would not suffer his whole displeasure to arise.
40  For he considered that they were but flesh *
 and that they were even a wind that passeth away,
and cometh not again.
41  Many a time did they provoke him in the wilderness *
 and grieved him in the desert.
42  They turned back, and tempted God *
 and moved the Holy One in Israel.
43  They thought not of his hand *
 and of the day when he delivered them from the hand of the enemy;
44  How he had wrought his miracles in Egypt *
 and his wonders in the field of Zoan.
45  He turned their waters into blood *
 so that they might not drink of the rivers.
46  He sent lice among them, and devoured them up *
 and frogs to destroy them.
47  He gave their fruit unto the caterpillar *
 and their labour unto the grasshopper.
48  He destroyed their vines with hail-stones *
 and their mulberry-trees with the frost.
49  He smote their cattle also with hail-stones *
 and their flocks with hot thunderbolts.
50  He cast upon them the furiousness of his wrath,
anger, displeasure, and trouble *
 and sent evil angels among them.
51  He made a way to his indignation,
and spared not their soul from death *
 but gave their life over to the pestilence;
52  And smote all the first-born in Egypt *
 the most principal and mightiest in the dwellings of Ham.
53  But as for his own people, he led them forth like sheep *
 and carried them in the wilderness like a flock.
54  He brought them out safely, that they should not fear *
 and overwhelmed their enemies with the sea.
55  And brought them within the borders of his sanctuary *
 even to his mountain which he purchased with his right hand.
56  He cast out the heathen also before them *
 caused their land to be divided among them for an heritage,
and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
57  So they tempted, and displeased the most high God *
 and kept not his testimonies;
58  But turned their backs, and fell away like their forefathers *
 starting aside like a broken bow.
59  For they grieved him with their hill altars *
 and provoked him to displeasure with their images.
60  When God heard this, he was wroth *
 and took sore displeasure at Israel.
61  So that he forsook the tabernacle in Silo *
 even the tent that he had pitched among men.
62  He delivered their power into captivity *
 and their beauty into the enemy’s hand.
63  He gave his people over also unto the sword *
 and was wroth with his inheritance.
64  The fire consumed their young men *
 and their maidens were not given to marriage.
65  Their priests were slain with the sword *
 and there were no widows to make lamentation.
66  So the Lord awaked as one out of sleep *
 and like a giant refreshed with wine.
67  He smote his enemies in the hinder parts *
 and put them to a perpetual shame.
68  He refused the tabernacle of Joseph *
 and chose not the tribe of Ephraim;
69  But chose the tribe of Judah *
 even the hill of Sion which he loved.
70  And there he built his temple on high *
 and laid the foundation of it like the ground
which he hath made continually.
71  He chose David also his servant *
 and took him away from the sheep-folds.
72  As he was following the ewes great with young ones he took him *
 that he might feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
73  So he fed them with a faithful and true heart *
 and ruled them prudently with all his power.
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 78 (Karl Kohlhase: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-78-KH.mp3)
Listen, listen, listen, O my people

Listen, my people, to instruction;
give ear to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
and utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
our fathers passed on to us.
Not hiding them from their children,
but telling generations to come
The praise of the LORD and his strength,
the wonderful works he has done.
He established a witness in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
Which he commanded our fathers,
to teach them to their children,
that ages to come might know,
even children yet to be born,

Listen, listen, listen, O my people

They’d rise to tell their children,
to fix their hearts upon God
And not to forget the works of God,
but keep all his commands,
And not be like their fathers,
a stubborn rebellious age,
who would not prepare its heart,
with spirits unfaithful to God.
Ephraim’s sons were archers with bows,
but left in the day of battle.
Not keeping God’s covenant,
refusing to walk in his law;
forgetting about his deeds,
his miracles that he showed them.
His wonders before their fathers,
in Egypt and Zoan’s field.

Listen, listen, listen, O My people

Dividing the sea so they passed through,
making the waters stand in a heap.
Leading with cloud by day,
with a light of fire by night.
He split the rocks in the wilderness,
gave drink in full like the ocean depths.
He brought a stream from the rock,
made waters run down like rivers.
Yet they persisted in sin in the desert
against the Most high.
In their heart putting God to the test,
by asking for food they desired.
Against their God they grumbled,
in deserts will God set table?
He struck the rock so that waters,
gushed forth in flowing streams.

Listen, listen, listen, O My people

Then can he also give bread to us?
Can he give meat for his people?”
Therefore the LORD God heard them,
and then he was full of wrath;
A fire was kindled in Jacob,
and anger then burned against Israel,
For they did not have faith in God,
refusing to trust his salvation.
Yet he called the clouds above,
and opened the doors of heaven;
Rained manna down for them to eat,
and gave them food from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels;
He sent them food in abundance.
The east winds blew in the heavens,
and with power he called the south wind.

Listen, listen, listen, O my people

Like dust he rained down meat,
winged fowl like sands of the sea,
within their camp he let them fall,
round about all their dwellings.
They ate and were well filled,
He gave to them their desire.
But before their longing was filled,
while the food was still in their mouths,
God’s anger rose up against them,
killing the strong and choice ones.
Yet still they remained in their sin,
disbelieving his wonderful works.
Their days he ended in vanity,
their years in sudden terror.
But when he struck they sought him,
they returned to seek after God;

Listen, listen, listen, O my people

Then they remembered their rock was God,
the Most high God their Redeemer.
But they deceived with their mouth,
they lied to him with their tongue.
Their heart was never steadfast to him,
nor would they be faithful in covenant.
But He, in loving compassion,
forgave and did not destroy;
He often restrained his anger,
His wrath he did not arouse.
Remembering they were but flesh,
fleeting wind that does not return.
They often rebelled in the wilderness,
and grieved him in the desert!
Again and again they tested God,
grieving the Holy One of Israel.

Listen, listen, listen, O my people

They did not remember his power,
the day when he saved from their enemies,
in Egypt he showed his miracles,
His signs in the field of Zoan,
He turned their rivers to blood,
so they could not drink of their streams.
Sending out flies that devoured,
and frogs that brought on corruption.
He gave their crops to locusts,
the fruit of their toil to swarms.
Destroying their vines with his hail,
their sycamores all with his frost.
He gave their cattle to hailstones,
their herds to bolts of lightning.
He loosed his burning anger,
with fury and rage and anguish

Listen, listen, listen, O My people

With a band of destroying angels,
He leveled a path for his anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
but gave their life to the plague,
And smote the firstborn in Egypt,
the firstborn of strength in the tents of Ham.
Like sheep he led his own people,
a flock he led through the wilderness;
In safety he led with no fear;
as waters then covered their foes.
He brought them to his holy land,
to the mountain his right hand had gained.
Expelling the nations he split the land,
the tribes of Isr’el lived in their tents.
But grumbling and testing the Most high God,
they would not keep his witness,

Listen, listen, listen, O my people

Just like their fathers turned traitor;
they turned like a treacherous bow.
Provoking him with their high places,
His jealousy with graven idols.
When God heard this he was filled
with wrath, and greatly detested Israel;
He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent which he pitched among men,
He gave his strength to captivity,
His glory to the hand of the enemy.
His people he gave to the sword,
His wrath burned against his inheritance.
Fire devoured his young men,
His virgins had no wedding songs.
His priests then fell by the sword,
and his widows could not even weep.

Listen, listen, listen, O my people

The Lord then awoke from his slumber,
like a warrior rejoicing from wine.
He drove away all his enemies;
He heaped on lasting reproach.
He left the tents of Joseph,
not choosing the tribe of Ephraim,
But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which he loved.
He built on high his Holy Place,
as earth was founded forever.
He also chose David his servant,
taking him from the sheepfolds;
From ewes and lambs he brought him,
to shepherd his people and heritage.
He shepherded with deep integrity,
and led them with skillful hands.

Listen, listen, listen, O my people

PRAYER

God of pilgrims,
strengthen our faith, we pray.
Guide us through the uncertainties of our journey,
and hold before us the vision of your eternal kingdom,
made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house,
   she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
   she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
   from the highest places in the town,
‘You that are simple, turn in here!’
   To those without sense she says,
‘Come, eat of my bread
   and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Lay aside immaturity, and live,
   and walk in the way of insight.’

HYMN: Charles Wesley
Tune: Truro https://tinyurl.com/yzpry985

1 Happy the man who finds the grace,
The blessing of God’s chosen race,
The wisdom coming from above,
The faith that sweetly works by love.

2 Wisdom divine! who tells the price
Of wisdom’s costly merchandise?
Wisdom to silver we prefer,
And gold is dross compared to her.

3 Her hands are filled with length of days,
True riches, and immortal praise,
Riches of Christ on all bestowed,
And honour that descends from God.

4 To purest joys she all invites,
Chaste, holy, spiritual delights;
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her flowery paths are peace.

5 Happy the man who wisdom gains;
Thrice happy, who his guest retains;
He owns, and shall for ever own,
Wisdom, and Christ, and heaven, are one.

Reading: Ephesians 5:15-20

Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HYMN: Frances Ridley Havergal
Tune: Hendon https://tinyurl.com/ycwdvc32

1 Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

2 Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

3 Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

4 Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

5 Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee. 

Reading: John 6:51-58

Jesus said, ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’

CANTICLE Rory Cooney; based on Luke 1:46-55
(Performed by The Gentle Wolves https://tinyurl.com/ybox4ctg)

1. My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant’s plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

2. Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn.

3. From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

4. Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God’s mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror’s crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
‘Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.

PRAYERS Joe Milner, alt.

For the Church: that we may recognize our bodies as temples of the living God and be open to the continuing marvels that God does in our lives

For the transformation of our society: that our fidelity to God will help us be a sign to our society that God is with us and active in our midst

For renewal of our minds and hearts: that, like Mary, we may take to heart the word that God speaks to us and strive to put it into practice in our lives more fully

For a fuller understanding of our destiny: that God’s gift of new life in the resurrection will sustain us through all the losses and misfortunes of life

For a growing appreciation of Mary: that the witness of Mary’s faithfulness to God will inspire greater discipleship in the church

For all who are pregnant, particularly those with an untimely or difficult pregnancy: that they may nurture the gift of life entrusted to them and that they may make wise and loving decisions for themselves and their child,

For all who hunger after justice and righteousness: that they may be sustained by word and sacrament as they await the fulfillment of God’s promises,

For the conversion of the strong and mighty: that God will change the hearts of all who misuse their power or oppress others and bring them to a new appreciation of the dignity of each person

For all who are suffering: that God will guide the homeless to safe shelter, bring healing to the sick, and give strength and hope to those facing addictions

For all who are grieving: that their faith will bring them to a new awareness of God’s presence and faithfulness to them

For all who have lost homes, jobs, or property to wildfires: that God will give them strength, renew their spirits, and open up opportunities and resources for them

For healing in our communities: that God will heal the wounds from violence in our cities and homes, bring an end to domestic violence, and lead hearts to new ways to settle disputes

For all leaders in government: that they will use their power and influence to address the needs of the voiceless and powerless in society

For all healthcare workers: that God will renew their strength, keep them safe from the virus, and help them to be signs of hope to all who are will

For an end to drought:  that God will send rain to all the areas that are suffering from lack of water and give courage to all who are protecting livestock or plantings 

Setting by Eric Wyse:2

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
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.

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. BCP79

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.

$10.00

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

The intercession is by Joe Milner http://liturgy.slu.edu

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

BCP79 The Book of Common Prayer (1979), The Episcopal Church

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 traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language version of Psalm 78 is in the version sung by Karl Kohlhase http://www.k4communications.com/karl/index.html.

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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