Oremus for Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Gregory of Nyssa, 11th century mosaic, Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Gregory of Nyssa
Gregory of Nyssa was born at Caesarea in what is now Turkey around the year 330, the child of an aristocratic Christian family. Unlike his elder brother Basil, he was academically undistinguished, but ultimately proved to be the most original of the group of the theologians known as the Cappadocian Fathers. He was introduced to the spiritual life by his elder sister Macrina who exercised a formative influence upon him, and with whom he maintained close bonds of friendship throughout his life. It was she who, after the death of their father, converted the household into a sort of monastery on one of the family estates. Gregory married a deeply spiritual woman, Theosebia, and at first refused ordination, choosing to pursue a secular career. He was ordained only later in life, and in 372 was chosen to be bishop of Nyssa. In the year 379 both his brother Basil and his sister Macrina died, and this deeply affected him; but out of this darkness emerged a profound spirituality. For Gregory, God is met not as an object to be understood, but as a mystery to be loved. He died in the year 394. EH

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/2p8j755c

O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
In his presence are majesty and splendor,
strength and honor in his holy place. Psalm 96

Gracious God,
our sins are too heavy to carry,
too real to hide,
and too deep to undo.
Forgive what our lips tremble to name,
what our hearts can no longer bear,
and what has become for us
a consuming fire of judgment.
Set us free from a past that we cannot change;
open to us a future in which we can be changed;
and grant us grace
to grow more and more in your likeness and image;
through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen. BCW

Music: https://tinyurl.com/ufxekitx

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

HYMN: Gerhard Tersteegen; trans. Frederick W Foster and John Miller
Tune: Arnsberg https://tinyurl.com/rs5fpxun

1 God himself is with us:
let us now adore him,
and with awe appear before him.
God is in his temple–
all within keep silence,
prostrate lie with deepest rev’rence.
Him alone
God we own,
him, our God and Savior;
praise his name forever.

2 God himself is with us:
hear the harps resounding!
See the crowds the throne surrounding!
“Holy, holy, holy”–
hear the hymn ascending,
angels, saints, their voices blending!
Bow thine ear
to us here:
hear, O Christ, the praises
that thy church now raises.

3 O thou fount of blessing,
purify my spirit;
trusting only in thy merit,
like the holy angels
who behold thy glory,
may I ceaselessly adore thee,
and in all,
great and small,
seek to do most nearly
what thou lovest dearly.

PSALMS

Psalm 44 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/4mebue34)
1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us :
 what thou hast done in their time of old;
2 How thou hast driven out the heathen with thy hand,
and planted them in :
 how thou hast destroyed the nations and cast them out.
3 For they gat not the land in possession through their own sword :
 neither was it their own arm that helped them;
4 But thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance :
 because thou hadst a favour unto them.
5 Thou art my King, O God :
 send help unto Jacob.
6 Through thee will we overthrow our enemies :
 and in thy Name will we tread them under, that rise up against us.
7 For I will not trust in my bow :
 it is not my sword that shall help me;
8 But it is thou that savest us from our enemies :
 and puttest them to confusion that hate us.
9 We make our boast of God all day long :
 and will praise thy Name for ever.
10 But now thou art far off, and puttest us to confusion :
 and goest not forth with our armies.
11 Thou makest us to turn our backs upon our enemies :
 so that they which hate us spoil our goods.
12 Thou lettest us be eaten up like sheep :
 and hast scattered us among the heathen.
13 Thou sellest thy people for nought :
 and takest no money for them.
14 Thou makest us to be rebuked of our neighbours :
 to be laughed to scorn, and had in derision of them
that are round about us.
15 Thou makest us to be a by-word among the heathen :
 and that the people shake their heads at us.
16 My confusion is daily before me :
 and the shame of my face hath covered me;
17 For the voice of the slanderer and blasphemer:
for the enemy and avenger.
18 And though all this be come upon us, yet do we not forget thee :
 nor behave ourselves frowardly in thy covenant.
19 Our heart is not turned back :
 neither our steps gone out of thy way;
20 No, not when thou hast smitten us into the place of dragons :
 and covered us with the shadow of death.
21 If we have forgotten the Name of our God,
and holden up our hands to any strange god :
 shall not God search it out? for he knoweth the very secrets of the heart.
22 For thy sake also are we killed all the day long :
 and are counted as sheep appointed to be slain.
23 Up, Lord, why sleepest thou :
 awake, and be not absent from us for ever.
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face :
 and forgettest our misery and trouble?
25 For our soul is brought low, even unto the dust :
our belly cleaveth unto the ground.
26 Arise, and help us :
 and deliver us for thy mercy’s sake.
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 44 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-44-MH.mp3)
2 We heard with our own ears, O God,
our fathers have told us the story
of the things you did in their days,
you yourself, in days long ago.
3 To plant them you uprooted the nations;
to let them spread you laid peoples low.
4 No sword of their own won the land;
no arm of their own brought them victory.
It was your right hand, your arm
and the light of your face; for you loved them.
5 It is you, my king, my God,
who granted victories to Jacob.
6 Through you we beat down our foes;
in your name we trampled down our aggressors.
7 For it was not in my bow that I trusted
nor yet was I saved by my sword:
8 it was you who saved us from our foes,
it was you who put our foes to shame.
9 All day long our boast was in God
and we praised your name without ceasing.
10 Yet now you have rejected us, disgraced us;
you no longer go forth with our armies.
11 You make us retreat from the foe
and our enemies plunder us at will.
12 You make us like sheep for the slaughter
and scatter us among the nations.
13 You sell your own people for nothing
and make no profit by the sale.
14 You make us the taunt of our neighbors,
the laughing stock of all who are near.
15 Among the nations, you make us a byword,
among the peoples a thing of derision.
16 All day long my disgrace is before me;
my face is covered with shame
17 at the voice of the taunter, the scoffer,
at the sight of the foe and avenger.
18 This befell us though we had not forgotten you,
though we had not been false to your covenant,
19 though we had not withdrawn our hearts;
though our feet had not strayed from your path.
20 Yet you have crushed us in a place of sorrows
and covered us with the shadow of death.
21 Had we forgotten the name of our God,
or stretched out our hands to another god
22 would not God have found this out,
he who knows the secrets of the heart?
23 It is for you that we face death all day long
and are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
24 Awake, O Lord, why do you sleep?
Arise, do not reject us for ever!
25 Why do you hide your face
and forget our oppression and misery?
26 For we are brought down low to the dust;
our body lies prostrate on the earth.
27 Stand up and come to our help!
Redeem us because of your love!
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 45 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/ybupe5te)
1  My heart is inditing of a good matter *
 I speak of the things which I have made unto the King.
2  My tongue is the pen *
 of a ready writer.
3  Thou art fairer than the children of men *
 full of grace are thy lips, because God hath blessed thee for ever.
4  Gird thee with thy sword upon thy thigh, O thou most Mighty *
 according to thy worship and renown.
5  Good luck have thou with thine honour *
 ride on, because of the word of truth, of meekness,
and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
6  Thy arrows are very sharp,
and the people shall be subdued unto thee *
 even in the midst among the King’s enemies.
7  Thy seat, O God, endureth for ever *
 the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
8  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity *
 wherefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
9  All thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia *
 out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
10  Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women *
 upon thy right hand did stand the queen in a vesture of gold,
wrought about with divers colours.
11  Hearken, O daughter, and consider, incline thine ear *
 forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house.
12  So shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty *
 for he is thy Lord God, and worship thou him.
13  And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift *
 like as the rich also among the people shall make their supplication before thee.
14  The King’s daughter is all glorious within *
 her clothing is of wrought gold.
15  She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle-work *
 the virgins that be her fellows shall bear her company,
and shall be brought unto thee.
16  With joy and gladness shall they be brought *
 and shall enter into the King’s palace.
17  Instead of thy fathers thou shalt have children *
 whom thou mayest make princes in all lands.
18  I will remember thy Name from one generation to another *
 therefore shall the people give thanks unto thee, world without end.
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 45 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-45.mp3)
1 My heart is stirring with a noble song;
let me recite what I have fashioned for the king; *
my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.
2 You are the fairest of men; *
grace flows from your lips,
because God has blessed you for ever.
3 Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior, *
in your pride and in your majesty.
4 Ride out and conquer in the cause of truth *
and for the sake of justice.
5 Your right hand will show you marvelous things; *
your arrows are very sharp, O mighty warrior.
6 The peoples are falling at your feet, *
and the king’s enemies are losing heart.
7 Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever, *
a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom;
you love righteousness and hate iniquity.
8 Therefore God, your God, has anointed you *
with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
9 All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, *
and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.
10 Kings’ daughters stand among the ladies of the court; *
on your right hand is the queen,
adorned with the gold of Ophir.
11 “Hear, O daughter; consider and listen closely; *
forget your people and your father’s house.
12 The king will have pleasure in your beauty; *
he is your master; therefore do him honor.
13 The people of Tyre are here with a gift; *
the rich among the people seek your favor.”
14 All glorious is the princess as she enters; *
her gown is cloth-of-gold.
15 In embroidered apparel she is brought to the king; *
after her the bridesmaids follow in procession.
16 With joy and gladness they are brought, *
and enter into the palace of the king.
17 “In place of fathers, O king, you shall have sons; *
you shall make them princes over all the earth.
18 I will make your name to be remembered
from one generation to another; *
therefore nations will praise you for ever and ever.”

Psalm 46 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y7svqcl3)
1  God is our hope and strength *
 a very present help in trouble.
2  Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved *
 and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea.
3  Though the waters thereof rage and swell *
 and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.
4  The rivers of the flood thereof shall make glad the city of God *
 the holy place of the tabernacle of the most Highest.
5  God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed *
 God shall help her, and that right early.
6  The heathen make much ado, and the kingdoms are moved *
 but God hath shewed his voice, and the earth shall melt away.
7  The Lord of hosts is with us *
 the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8  O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord *
 what destruction he hath brought upon the earth.
9  He maketh wars to cease in all the world *
 he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder,
and burneth the chariots in the fire.
10  Be still then, and know that I am God *
 I will be exalted among the heathen, and I will be exalted in the earth.
11  The Lord of hosts is with us *
 the God of Jacob is our refuge.
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 46 (LSB Tone C: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-46-LSB.mp3)
1 God is our refuge and strength,*
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,*
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,*
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,*
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;*
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;*
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;*
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,*
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;*
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.*
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;*
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
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

God our strength, you are the only refuge of all who trust you.
Fortify us with your goodness to live in quietness of spirit,
that we may serve you all our days;
through Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Genesis 37:25-36

Then Joseph’s brothers sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, ‘What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.’ And his brothers agreed. When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes. He returned to his brothers, and said, ‘The boy is gone; and I, where can I turn?’ Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. They had the long robe with sleeves taken to their father, and they said, ‘This we have found; see now whether it is your son’s robe or not.’ He recognized it, and said, ‘It is my son’s robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.’ Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son for many days. All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, ‘No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.’ Thus his father bewailed him. Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

HYMN: Irish; trans. Mary E Byrner; para. Eleanor H Hull
Tune: Slane https://tinyurl.com/2p962pm8

1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

2 Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
be thou ever with me, and I with thee, Lord;
be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

3 Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might;
be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

4 Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
be thou mine inheritance now and always;
be thou and thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.

5 High King of heaven, thou heaven’s bright Sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Reading: Romans 1:28-2:11

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious towards parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practise such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practise them.

Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. You say, ‘We know that God’s judgement on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.’ Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgement of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed. For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honour and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

HYMN: William Cowper
Tune: London New https://tinyurl.com/2sw963sa

1 God moves in a mysterious way
his wonders to perform;
he plants his footsteps in the sea,
and rides upon the storm.

2 Deep in unfathomable mines
of never-failing skill
he treasures up his bright designs,
and works his sovereign will.

3 Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
the clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy, and shall break
in blessings on your head.

4 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
but trust him for his grace;
behind a frowning providence
he hides a smiling face.

5 His purposes will ripen fast,
unfolding every hour;
the bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flower.

6 Blind unbelief is sure to err,
and scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
and he will make it plain.

Reading: Mark 8:27-33

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

CANTICLE Isaiah 12:2-6
(Uptown Worship Band: https://tinyurl.com/y8q877og)

Refrain:
Surely, it is God who saves;
I will and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my sure defense,
and he will be my Savior.

Therefore you shall draw water
and rejoice from the salvation spring.
On that day you shall say,
give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name. Refrain

Make his deeds known among the people;
they remember his Name on high.
Sing praise to the Lord, for he has done great things,
and this is known in all the world. Refrain

Cry aloud, O Zion, ring out your joy,
for the great one in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

LITANY OF CONFESSION CW:TS

We pray to the Lord for courage to give up other things
and to give ourselves to him this Lent.

Give your Church the courage
to give up her preoccupation with herself
and to give more time to your mission in the world.

Lord, meet us in the silence,
give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give your world the courage
to give up war, bitterness and hatred,
and to seek peace.

Lord, meet us in the silence,
give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give us the courage to give up quarrels, strife and jealousy
in our families, neighbourhoods and communities.

Lord, meet us in the silence,
give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give us the courage
to give up our selfishness as we live for others,
and to give time, care and comfort to the sick.

Lord, meet us in the silence,
give us strength and hear our prayer.

Give us the courage to give up our fear of death
and to rejoice with those who have died in faith.

Lord, meet us in the silence,
give us strength and hear our prayer.

(Traditional chant: http://oremus.org/chant/LP-1940.mp3)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord of eternity, creator of all things,
in your Son Jesus Christ
    you open for us the way to resurrection
that we may enjoy your bountiful goodness:
may we who celebrate your servant Gregory
press onwards in faith to your boundless love
and ever wonder at the miracle of your presence among us;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. EH

Music: https://tinyurl.com/y9efvwm5
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14


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

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

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

CW:TS Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2006 and published by Church House Publishing.

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 44 is from The Grail Psalter and is from the Manual Hopper YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA7dFvm3xGcnay-IeuplWww. Psalm 45 is from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel. Psalm 46 is the version in Lutheran Service Book and is 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 © 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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