Oremus for Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Aelred, illumination in MS of De speculo caritatis, ca. 1140

Aelred
Aelred was born in 1109, of a family which had long been treasurers of the shrine of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne at Durham Cathedral. While still a youth, he was sent for education in upper-class life to the court of King David of Scotland, son of Queen Margaret. The King’s stepsons Simon and Waldef were his models and intimate friends. After intense disillusion and inner struggle, Aelred went to Yorkshire, where he became a Cistercian monk at the abbey of Rievaulx in 1133. Aelred soon became a major figure in English church life. Sent to Rome on diocesan affairs of Archbishop William of York, he returned by way of Clairvaux. Here he made a deep impression on Bernard, who encouraged the young monk to write his first work, Mirror of Charity, on Christian perfection. In 1143, Aelred led the founding of a new Cistercian house at Revesby. Four years later he was appointed abbot of Rievaulx. By the time of his death from a painful kidney disease in 1167, the abbey had over 600 monks, including Aelred’s biographer and friend, Walter Daniel. During this period, Aelred wrote his best known work, Spiritual Friendship.
Friendship, Aelred teaches, is both a gift from God and a creation of human effort. While love is universal, freely given to all, friendship is a particular love between individuals, of which the example is Jesus and John the Beloved Disciple. As abbot, Aelred allowed his monks to hold hands and give other expressions of friendship. In the spirit of Anselm of Canterbury and Bernard of Clairvaux, Aelred writes: “There are four qualities which characterize a friend: Loyalty, right intention, discretion, and patience. Right intention seeks for nothing other than God and natural good. Discretion brings understanding of what is done on a friend’s behalf, and ability to know when to correct faults. Patience enables one to be justly rebuked, or to bear adversity on another’s behalf. Loyalty guards and protects friendship, in good or bitter times.”
HWHM

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/35jr9xdc

You must rejoice, my son,
for your brother was dead and has come to life;
he was lost and is found. Luke 15

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: Timothy Rees
Tune: Abbot’s Leigh https://tinyurl.com/29y4r7an

1 God is Love: let heav’n adore him;
God is Love: let earth rejoice;
let creation sing before him,
and exalt him with one voice.
He who laid the earth’s foundation,
he who spread the heav’ns above,
he who breathes through all creation,
he is Love, eternal Love.

2 God is Love: and he enfoldeth
all the world in one embrace;
with unfailing grasp he holdeth
every child of every race.
And when human hearts are breaking
under sorrow’s iron rod,
then they find that selfsame aching
deep within the heart of God.

3 God is Love: and though with blindness
sin afflicts the souls of all,
God’s eternal loving-kindness
holds and guides us when we fall.
Sin and death and hell shall never
o’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love, so Love for ever
o’er the universe must reign.

PSALMS

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 62 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-62.mp3)
1 For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assail me to crush me,
all of you together, *
as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?
4 They seek only to bring me down from my place of honor; *
lies are their chief delight.
5 They bless with their lips, *
but in their hearts they curse.
6 For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
truly, my hope is in him.
7 He alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
8 In God is my safety and my honor; *
God is my strong rock and my refuge.
9 Put your trust in him always, O people, *
pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
10 Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, *
even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
11 On the scales they are lighter than a breath, *
all of them together.
12 Put no trust in extortion;
in robbery take no empty pride; *
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
13 God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, *
that power belongs to God.
14 Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, *
for you repay everyone according to his deeds.

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 63 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-63-MH.mp3)
2 O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
3 So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
4 For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
5 So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
6 My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.
7 On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
8 for your have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
9 My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.
10 Those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down to the depths of the earth.
11 They shall be put into the power of the sword
and left as the prey of the jackals.
12 But the king shall rejoice in God;
(all that swear by him shall be blessed,)
for the mouth of liars shall be silenced.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Spirit;
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.

Psalm 64 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-64-MH.mp3)
2 Hear my voice, O God, as I complain,
guard my life from dread of the foe.
3 Hide me from the band of the wicked,
from the throng of those who do evil.
4 They sharpen their tongues like swords;
they aim bitter words like arrows
5 to shoot at the innocent from ambush,
shooting suddenly and recklessly.
6 They scheme their evil course;
they conspire to lay secret snares.
They say: “Who will see us?
7 Who can search out our crimes?”
He will search who searches the mind
and knows the depths of the heart.
8 God has shot them with his arrow
and dealt them sudden wounds.
9 Their own tongue has brought them to ruin
and all who see them mock.
10 Then will all men fear;
they will tell what God has done.
They will understand God’s deeds.
11 The just will rejoice in the Lord
and fly to him for refuge.
All the upright hearts will glory.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Spirit;
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: Genesis 3:1-24

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’ The Lord God said to the serpent,
‘Because you have done this,
   cursed are you among all animals
   and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
   and dust you shall eat
   all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
   and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
   and you will strike his heel.’
To the woman he said,
‘I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
   in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
   and he shall rule over you.’
And to the man he said,
‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
   and have eaten of the tree
about which I commanded you,
   “You shall not eat of it”,
cursed is the ground because of you;
   in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
   and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
   you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
   for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
   and to dust you shall return.’

The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all who live. And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.

Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever’— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.

HYMN: Psalm 139; para. Calvin Seerveld ©
Tune: Leicester https://tinyurl.com/2p9azeca

1 LORD, you have searched my life and know
each move I make, each step I go;
my half-framed talk, my inmost thought
you watch and note my total walk.
Your hand keeps hold of me always;
your knowledge leaves me mute, amazed.

2 Where can I hide, where can I flee?
There is no place you do not see.
No distant grave, no foreign place
can bar me from your strong embrace.
I cannot be obscured by night:
your Spirit pierces dark with light.

3 You formed me in my mother’s womb,
you braided me with awesome care;
my flesh, my unformed bones grew there
invisible, yet seen by you.
Your wonders make me catch my breath,
surrounding me in life, in death.

4 O LORD, destroy the violent
who speak of you with ill intent.
I shrink from those who hate your name,
from enemies who feel no shame.
LORD, search my heart, teach me, I pray,
to walk the everlasting way.

Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:17-31

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
   and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’

HYMN: Columba of Iona; para. Duncan MacGregor
Tune: Moville https://tinyurl.com/477f59wa

1 Christ is the world’s redeemer,
the lover of the pure,
the fount of heavenly wisdom,
our trust and hope secure,
the armour of his soldiers,
the lord of earth and sky,
our health while we are living,
our life when we shall die.

2 Christ has our host surrounded
with clouds of martyrs bright
who wave their palms in triumph
and fire us for the fight.
For Christ the cross ascended
to save a world undone
and, suffering for the sinful,
our full redemption won.

3 Down in the realm of darkness
he lay a captive bound,
but at the hour appointed
he rose, a victor crowned,
and now, to heaven ascended,
he sits upon the throne
in glorious dominion,
his Father’s and his own.

Reading: Mark 1:29-39

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

CANTICLE Isaiah 55:6-11
(Setting by Gregory Wilbur: https://tinyurl.com/yawmg8fp)

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
Call ye upon him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

And let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
My ways and thoughts are higher than yours.

And let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven,
And maketh it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to sow,
that it may give bread to eat.

So shall my world be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
It shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please it shall prosper
in the thing whereunto I sent it.

THE PRAYERS BCW

God of all mercies, we praise you that you have brought us to this new day, brightening
our lives with the dawn of promise and hope in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
the warmth of sunlight, the wetness of rain and snow, and all that nourishes the earth…
the presence and power of your Spirit . . .
the support and encouragement we receive from others . . .
those who provide for public safety and well-being . . .
the mission of the church around the world. . . .

Merciful God, strengthen us in prayer that we may lift up the brokenness of this
world for your healing, and share in the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Especially we pray for
those in positions of authority over others . . .
the lonely and forgotten . . .
children without families or homes . . .
agents of caring and relief . . .
the church in Asia and the Middle East. . . .

(Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/ahnrtv59)ELW

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.

Almighty God, you endowed the abbot Aelred with the gift of Christian friendship and the wisdom to lead others in the way of holiness: Grant to your people that same spirit of mutual affection, that, in loving one another, we may know the love of Christ and rejoice in the gift of your eternal goodness; through the same Jesus Christ our Savior, 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


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

ELW The Lord’s Prayer is from Setting Five in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © 2010 The Church Pension Fund.

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 version of Psalm 62 is from Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel. Psalms 63 and 64 are from The Grail Psalter and are from the Manual Hopper YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/manualhopper/featured.

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 © 2022 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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