Oremus for Friday, February 4, 2022

The Baptism of Cornelius, Francesco Trevisani, 1709

Cornelius the Centurion
All that we know about Cornelius is contained in the Acts of the Apostles (chapters 10–11). He was the first Gentile converted to the Christian faith, along with his household. A centurion was commander of a company of one hundred men in the Roman army, responsible for their discipline, both on the field of battle and in camp. A centurion was a Roman citizen, a military career man, well-paid, and generally noted for courage and competence. Some centurions, such as Cornelius, and those whom we know about from the Gospel narratives, were men of deep religious piety.
The author of Acts considered Cornelius’ conversion very momentous for the future of Christianity. He records that it occurred as the result of divine intervention and revelation,
and as a response to the preaching of Peter the chief apostle. The experience of Cornelius’
household was regarded as comparable to a new Pentecost, and it was a primary precedent for the momentous decision of the apostolic council, held in Jerusalem a few years later, to admit Gentiles to full and equal partnership with Jewish converts in the household of faith.
According to tradition, Cornelius was the second Bishop of Caesarea, the metropolitan see of Palestine. Undoubtedly, Cornelius and his household formed the nucleus of the first Church in this important city, a Church that was gathered by Philip the Evangelist (Acts 8:40 and 21:8).
HWHM

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/48bst233

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5

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: Joy F Patterson ©
Tune: St Petersburg https://tinyurl.com/2p8fwxhf

1 To Peter, lost in earnest prayer
beneath the blazing midday sun
the Spirit spoke: “What God makes clean
you must not scorn, or think profane” –
and heeding what the Spirit said,
he followed where its speaking led.

2 To Caesarea Peter went,
obedient to the Spirit’s call,
and in a Gentile household there
he preached good news of Christ to all,
baptizing them in Jesus’ name
all those who caught the Spirit’s flame.

3 Through all his years had Peter kept,
both great and small, the Law’s demands,
yet left behind the ancient rules
to preach and live God’s new command:
“Ask not what people’s lives have been,
but welcome all believers in.”

Psalms

Psalm 22 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tcvjnwc)
1 My God, my God, look upon me; why hast thou forsaken me *
and art so far from my health, and from the words of my complaint?
2 O my God, I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not *
and in the night-season also I take no rest.
3 And thou continuest holy *
O thou worship of Israel.
4 Our fathers hoped in thee *
they trusted in thee, and thou didst deliver them.
5 They called upon thee, and were holpen *
they put their trust in thee, and were not confounded.
6 But as for me, I am a worm, and no man *
a very scorn of men, and the out-cast of the people.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn *
they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying,
8 He trusted in God, that he would deliver him *
let him deliver him, if he will have him.
9 But thou art he that took me out of my mother’s womb *
thou wast my hope, when I hanged yet upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I have been left unto thee ever since I was born *
thou art my God even from my mother’s womb.
11 O go not from me, for trouble is hard at hand *
and there is none to help me.
12 Many oxen are come about me *
fat bulls of Basan close me in on every side.
13 They gape upon me with their mouths *
as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint *
my heart also in the midst of my body is even like melting wax.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue cleaveth to my gums *
and thou shalt bring me into the dust of death.
16 For many dogs are come about me *
and the council of the wicked layeth siege against me.
17 They pierced my hands and my feet; I may tell all my bones *
they stand staring and looking upon me.
18 They part my garments among them *
and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord *
thou art my succour, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword *
my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth *
thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy Name unto my brethren *
in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 O praise the Lord, ye that fear him *
magnify him, all ye of the seed of Jacob,
and fear him, all ye seed of Israel;
24 For he hath not despised, nor abhorred,
the low estate of the poor *
he hath not hid his face from him,
but when he called unto him he heard him.
25 My praise is of thee in the great congregation *
my vows will I perform in the sight of them that fear him.
26 The poor shall eat, and be satisfied *
they that seek after the Lord shall praise him;
your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember themselves,
and be turned unto the Lord *
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s *
and he is the Governor among the people.
29 All such as be fat upon earth *
have eaten, and worshipped.
30 All they that go down into the dust shall kneel before him *
and no man hath quickened his own soul.
31 My seed shall serve him *
they shall be counted unto the Lord for a generation.
32 They shall come, and the heavens shall declare his righteousness *
unto a people that shall be born, whom the Lord hath made.
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 22 (Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/4ketce9t)
2 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
You are far from my plea and the cry of my distress.
3 O my God, I call by day and you give no reply;
I call by night and I find no peace.
4 Yet you, O God, are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
5 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you set them free.
6 When they cried to you, they escaped.
In you they trusted and never in vain.
7 But I am a worm and no man,
scorned by men, despised by the people.
8 All who see me deride me.
They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
9 “He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
let him release him if this is his friend.”
10 Yes, it was you who took me from the womb,
entrusted me to my mother’s breast.
11 To you I was committed from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
12 Do not leave me alone in my distress;
Come close, there is none else to help.
13 Many bulls have surrounded me,
fierce bulls of Bashan close me in.
14 Against me they open wide their jaws,
like lions, rending and roaring.
15 Like water I am poured out,
disjointed are all my bones.
My heart has become like wax,
it is melted within my breast.
16 Parched as burnt clay is my throat,
my tongue cleaves to my jaws.
17 Many dogs have surrounded me,
a band of the wicked beset me.
They tear holes in my hands and my feet
16c and lay me in the dust of death.
18 I can count every one of my bones.
These people stare at me and gloat;
19 they divide my clothing among them.
They cast lots for my robe.
20 O Lord, do not leave me alone,
my strength, make haste to help me!
21 Rescue my soul from the sword,
my life from the grip of these dogs.
22 Save my life from the jaws of these lions,
my poor soul from the horns of these oxen.
23 I will tell of your name to my brethren
and praise you where they are assembled.
24 “You who fear the Lord give him praise;
all sons of Jacob, give him glory.
Revere him, Israel’s sons.
25 For he has never despised
nor scorned the poverty of the poor.
From him he has not hidden his face,
but he heard the poor man when he cried.”
26 You are my praise in the great assembly.
My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
27 The poor shall eat and shall have their fill.
They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him.
May their hearts live for ever and ever!
28 All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him;
29 for the kingdom is the Lord’s, he is ruler of the nations.
30 They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust.
31 And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
32 declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn:
“These things the Lord has done.”
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 23 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/swfdhyk)
1  The Lord is my shepherd *
 therefore can I lack nothing.
2  He shall feed me in a green pasture *
 and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
3  He shall convert my soul *
 and bring me forth in the paths of righteousness, for his Name’s sake.
4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil *
 for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
5  Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me *
 thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.
6  But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life *
 and I will dwell in the house of the Lord 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 23 (Plainsong: https://tinyurl.com/hvjzp9x5)
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
2 Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
3 to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
4 If I should walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort.
5 You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.
6 Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.
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 Jesus Christ, our good shepherd,
in the waters of Baptism you give us birth,
and at your table you nourish us with heavenly food.
In your goodness and mercy,
lead us along safe paths,
beyond the terrors of evil and death,
to the house of the Lord
where we may rest securely in you forever. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Genesis 24:1-27

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac.’ The servant said to him, ‘Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?’ Abraham said to him, ‘See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, “To your offspring I will give this land”, he will send his angel before you; you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.’ So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.

Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all kinds of choice gifts from his master; and he set out and went to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water; it was towards evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I shall say, “Please offer your jar that I may drink”, and who shall say, “Drink, and I will water your camels”—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.’

Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder. The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, ‘Please let me sip a little water from your jar.’ ‘Drink, my lord,’ she said, and quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, ‘I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.’ So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.

When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring weighing a half-shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, and said, ‘Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?’ She said to him, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.’ She added, ‘We have plenty of straw and fodder and a place to spend the night.’ The man bowed his head and worshipped the Lord and said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness towards my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the way to the house of my master’s kin.’

HYMN: Georg Neumark; trans. Catherine Winkworth
Tune: Wer nur den lieben Gott https://tinyurl.com/y7zb8rds

1 Leave God to order all thy ways,
And hope in Him whate’er betide;
Thou’lt find Him in the evil days
Thine all-sufficient strength and guide:
Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that nought can move.

2 Only thy restless heart keep still,
And wait in cheerful hope, content
To take whate’er His gracious will,
His all-discerning love, hath sent;
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

3 Sing, pray, and swerve not from His ways,
But do thine own part faithfully;
Trust His rich promises of grace,
So shall they be fulfilled in thee:
God never yet forsook at need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

Reading: Acts 10:1-33

In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort, as it was called. He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God. One afternoon at about three o’clock he had a vision in which he clearly saw an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius.’ He stared at him in terror and said, ‘What is it, Lord?’ He answered, ‘Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa for a certain Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.’ When the angel who spoke to him had left, he called two of his slaves and a devout soldier from the ranks of those who served him, and after telling them everything, he sent them to Joppa.

About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then he heard a voice saying, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.’ The voice said to him again, a second time, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

Now while Peter was greatly puzzled about what to make of the vision that he had seen, suddenly the men sent by Cornelius appeared. They were asking for Simon’s house and were standing by the gate. They called out to ask whether Simon, who was called Peter, was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Look, three men are searching for you. Now get up, go down, and go with them without hesitation; for I have sent them.’ So Peter went down to the men and said, ‘I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?’ They answered, ‘Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.’ So Peter invited them in and gave them lodging.

The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the believers from Joppa accompanied him. The following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. On Peter’s arrival Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshipped him. But Peter made him get up, saying, ‘Stand up; I am only a mortal.’ And as he talked with him, he went in and found that many had assembled; and he said to them, ‘You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?’

Cornelius replied, ‘Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock, I was praying in my house when suddenly a man in dazzling clothes stood before me. He said, “Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon, who is called Peter; he is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.” Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say.’

HYMN: James Montgomery, alt.
Tune: Dickinson College https://tinyurl.com/3b4ryzfz

1 Command your blessing from above,
O God, on all assembled here;
behold us with your tender love
while we your holy name revere.

2 Command your blessing, Jesus, Lord;
may we your true disciples be.
Speak to each heart your mighty word;
say to the weakest, “Follow me.”

3 Command your blessing in this hour,
Spirit of truth, and fill this place
with humbling and with healing power,
with quickening and confirming grace.

4 You are our maker, saviour, guide,
one true eternal God confessed;
may naught in life or death divide
the saints in your communion blest.

Reading: Mark 6:14-29

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’ But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’

For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’ And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptizer.’ Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

CANTICLE 1 Peter 2:21-24
(Chant by John Michael Talbot: https://tinyurl.com/y94v9fvt)

Ant. If we share fully in the sufferings of Christ,
through Christ we shall know the fullness of his consolation.

Christ suffered for you,
and left you an example
to have you follow in his footsteps.
He did no wrong;
no deceit was found in his mouth.
When he was insulted,
he returned no insult.
When he was made to suffer,
he did not counter with threats.
Instead he delivered himself up
to the One who judges justly.
In his own body
he brought your sins to the cross,
so that all of us, dead to sin,
could live in accord with God’s will.
By his wounds you were healed.

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 PWC

God who restores us, may your people be true and faithful servants of Christ.
Source of life, hear our prayer.
Bring those who are drawing near to the light of faith to true knowledge of you.
Source of life, hear our prayer.
Give our families and friends joy and satisfaction in all that they do.
Source of life, hear our prayer.
Comfort and sustain those who are lonely, sick, hungry, persecuted or ignored.
Source of life, hear our prayer.
Help us to contribute to the true growth and well-being of our country.
Source of life, hear our prayer.
Empower the whole human family to live together in justice and peace.
Source of life, hear our prayer.

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.

O God, by your Spirit you called Cornelius the Centurion to be the first Christian among the Gentiles: Grant to your Church such a ready will to go where you send and to do what you command, that under your guidance it may welcome all who turn to you in love and faith, and proclaim the Gospel to all nations; 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


depositphotos_107435298-stock-illustration-hand-drawn-red-grunge-cross-16

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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.

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

PWC PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Morning and Evening Prayer for the Seasons of the Church Year Prepared by The Rev’d Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett on behalf of The Liturgy Task Force of the Anglican Church of Canada, May 2016.

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 version of the psalms is from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern version of the psalms is from The Grail Psalter and the recordings are linked to 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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