Oremus for Thursday, March 31, 2022

John Donne, Isaac Oliver, 1622

John Donne
John Donne was born in about the year 1571 and brought up as a Roman Catholic. He was a great-great nephew of Thomas More, although this seems to have had little influence on him, as he led a somewhat debauched youth and was extremely sceptical about all religion. He went up to Oxford when he was fourteen, studied further at Cambridge and perhaps on the Continent, and eventually discovered his Christian faith in the Church of England. After much heart-searching, he accepted ordination and later the post of Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral. Much of his cynicism dissolved and he became a strong advocate for the discerning of Christian vocation, and in particular affirming his own vocation as a priest, loving and loved by the crucified Christ. The people of London flocked to his sermons. He died on this day in the year 1631. His love-poetry and religious poems took on a renewed life in the twentieth century and his place both as a patristic scholar and as a moral theologian are confirmed by his prolific writings and the publication of his sermons. EH

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/mth545h5

God is in his holy place,
God who unites those who dwell in his house;
he himself gives might and strength to his people. Psalm 68

Almighty God,
you love us, but we have not loved you.
You call, but we have not listened.
We walk away from neighbors in need,
wrapped in our own concerns.
We condone evil, prejudice, warfare, and greed.
God of grace, help us to admit our sin,
so that as you come to us in mercy,
we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. 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: Dietrich Bonhoeffer; trans. Church Hymnary 4
Tune: Valor https://tinyurl.com/4py4v3fn

1 We turn to God when we are sorely pressed;
we pray for help, and ask for peace and bread;
we seek release from illness, guilt, and death:
all people do, in faith or unbelief.

2 We turn to God when he is sorely pressed,
and find him poor, scorned, without roof and bread,
bowed under weight of weakness, sin, and death:
faith stands by God in his dark hour of grief.

3 God turns to us when we are sorely pressed,
and feeds our souls and bodies with his bread;
for one and all Christ gives himself in death:
through his forgiveness sin will find relief.

PSALMS
For psalms in contemporary language, https://tinyurl.com/y9tjh7rk

Psalm 147 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/w8ysftd)
1  Praise the Lord, for it is a good thing to sing praises unto our God *
 yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful.
2  The Lord doth build up Jerusalem *
 and gather together the out-casts of Israel.
3  He healeth those that are broken in heart *
 and giveth medicine to heal their sickness.
4  He telleth the number of the stars *
 and calleth them all by their names.
5  Great is our Lord, and great is his power *
 yea, and his wisdom is infinite.
6  The Lord setteth up the meek *
 and bringeth the ungodly down to the ground.
7  O sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving *
 sing praises upon the harp unto our God;
8  Who covereth the heaven with clouds,
and prepareth rain for the earth *
 and maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains,
and herb for the use of men;
9  Who giveth fodder unto the cattle *
 and feedeth the young ravens that call upon him.
10  He hath no pleasure in the strength of an horse *
 neither delighteth he in any man’s legs.
11  But the Lord’s delight is in them that fear him *
 and put their trust in his mercy.
12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem *
 praise thy God, O Sion.
13  For he hath made fast the bars of thy gates *
 and hath blessed thy children within thee.
14  He maketh peace in thy borders *
 and filleth thee with the flour of wheat.
15  He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth *
 and his word runneth very swiftly.
16  He giveth snow like wool *
 and scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes.
17  He casteth forth his ice like morsels *
 who is able to abide his frost?
18  He sendeth out his word, and melteth them *
 he bloweth with his wind, and the waters flow.
19  He sheweth his word unto Jacob *
 his statutes and ordinances unto Israel.
20  He hath not dealt so with any nation *
 neither have the heathen knowledge of his laws.
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 147 (BCW Tone: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-147-BCW.mp3)
1 Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
2 The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; *
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our LORD and mighty in power; *
there is no limit to his wisdom.
6 The LORD lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
8 He covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
9 He makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve mankind.
10 He provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
11 He is not impressed by the might of a horse; *
he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12 But the LORD has pleasure in those who fear him, *
in those who await his gracious favor.
13 Worship the LORD, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
14 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.
15 He has established peace on your borders; *
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16 He sends out his command to the earth, *
and his word runs very swiftly.
17 He gives snow like wool; *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18 He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against his cold?
19 He sends forth his word and melts them; *
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.
20 He declares his word to Jacob, *
his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
21 He has not done so to any other nation; *
to them he has not revealed his judgments.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 148 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/vjv42mh)
1  O praise the Lord of heaven *
 praise him in the height.
2  Praise him, all ye angels of his *
 praise him, all his host.
3  Praise him, sun and moon *
 praise him, all ye stars and light.
4  Praise him, all ye heavens *
 and ye waters that are above the heavens.
5  Let them praise the Name of the Lord *
 for he spake the word, and they were made;
he commanded, and they were created.
6  He hath made them fast for ever and ever *
 he hath given them a law which shall not be broken.
7  Praise the Lord upon earth *
 ye dragons, and all deeps;
8  Fire and hail, snow and vapours *
 wind and storm, fulfilling his word;
9  Mountains and all hills *
 fruitful trees and all cedars;
10  Beasts and all cattle *
 worms and feathered fowls;
11  Kings of the earth and all people *
 princes and all judges of the world;
12  Young men and maidens, old men and children,
praise the Name of the Lord *
 for his Name only is excellent,
and his praise above heaven and earth.
13  He shall exalt the horn of his people;
all his saints shall praise him *
 even the children of Israel,
even the people that serveth him.
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 148 (BCW Tone: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-148-BCW.mp3)
1 Hallelujah!
Praise the LORD from the heavens; *
praise him in the heights.
2 Praise him, all you angels of his; *
praise him, all his host.
3 Praise him, sun and moon; *
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, heaven of heavens, *
and you waters above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the Name of the LORD; *
for he commanded, and they were created.
6 He made them stand fast for ever and ever; *
he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, *
you sea-monsters and all deeps;
8 Fire and hail, snow and fog, *
tempestuous wind, doing his will;
9 Mountains and all hills, *
fruit trees and all cedars;
10 Wild beasts and all cattle, *
creeping things and wingèd birds;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, *
princes and all rulers of the world;
12 Young men and maidens, *
old and young together.
13 Let them praise the Name of the LORD, *
for his Name only is exalted,
his splendor is over earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up strength for his people
and praise for all his loyal servants, *
the children of Israel, a people who are near him.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 149 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/rpojt8q)
1  O sing unto the Lord a new song *
 let the congregation of saints praise him.
2  Let Israel rejoice in him that made him *
 and let the children of Sion be joyful in their King.
3  Let them praise his Name in the dance *
 let them sing praises unto him with tabret and harp.
4  For the Lord hath pleasure in his people *
 and helpeth the meek-hearted.
5  Let the saints be joyful with glory *
 let them rejoice in their beds.
6  Let the praises of God be in their mouth *
 and a two-edged sword in their hands;
7  To be avenged of the heathen *
 and to rebuke the people;
8  To bind their kings in chains *
 and their nobles with links of iron.
9  That they may be avenged of them, as it is written *
 Such honour have all his saints.
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 149 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-149.mp3)
1 Hallelujah!
Sing to the LORD a new song; *
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
2 Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people *
and adorns the poor with victory.
5 Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.
6 Let the praises of God be in their throat *
and a two-edged sword in their hand;
7 To wreak vengeance on the nations *
and punishment on the peoples;
8 To bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron;
9 To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
this is glory for all his faithful people.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 150 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/vm5vf4z)
1  O praise God in his holiness *
 praise him in the firmament of his power.
2  Praise him in his noble acts *
 praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3  Praise him in the sound of the trumpet *
 praise him upon the lute and harp.
4  Praise him in the cymbals and dances *
 praise him upon the strings and pipe.
5  Praise him upon the well-tuned cymbals *
 praise him upon the loud cymbals.
6  Let every thing that hath breath *
 praise the Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalm 150 (BCW Tone: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-150-BCW.mp3)
1 Hallelujah!
Praise God in his holy temple; *
praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts; *
praise him for his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn; *
praise him with lyre and harp.
4 Praise him with timbrel and dance; *
praise him with strings and pipe.
5 Praise him with resounding cymbals; *
praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath *
praise the Lord.
Hallelujah!

PRAYER

God our Maker,
you crown the humble with honor
and exalt the faithful who gather in your name.
Because you have favored us with life,
we dance before you in our joy
and praise you with unending song
for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Exodus 1:6-22

Then Joseph died, and all his brothers, and that whole generation. But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, ‘Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.’ Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labour. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labour. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, ‘When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.’ But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live. So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, ‘Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?’ The midwives said to Pharaoh, ‘Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.’ So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, ‘Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.’

HYMN: Psalm 34; para. Marie J Post ©
Tune: Ratisbonhttps://tinyurl.com/9jbwymjr 

1 LORD, I bring my songs to you,
every day declaring praise.
All the meek shall hear my words
always telling of your ways.
Join with me your heart and voice,
praise the LORD, in him rejoice.

2 I sought God, he answered me;
he delivered me from fear.
Look to him; your face will shine,
free from shame and from despair.
Lo, the angel of our God
camps near those who fear the LORD.

3 Taste and see that God is good,
sheltering all who love his name.
Fear the LORD and heed his word;
those who fear him know no shame.
Lions young from hunger cry;
God his own will satisfy.

4 Come, my children, hear me speak.
This is how to fear the LORD:
If good days you would enjoy,
keep your tongue from lying words.
Turn from evil, do the good,
seek the peace that comes from God.

5 God the LORD sees all our needs;
he will answer us in grace.
But against all evil ones
God will surely turn his face.
When the contrite cry, he hears,
saving them and ending fears.

6 Though our troubles multiply,
God the LORD will save his own.
He will turn the wrong aside,
keep unbroken every bone.
Wicked ones the LORD condemns,
but his servants he defends.

Reading: Romans 11:1-12

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? ‘Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.’ But what is the divine reply to him? ‘I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,
‘God gave them a sluggish spirit,
   eyes that would not see
   and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.’
And David says,
‘Let their table become a snare and a trap,
   a stumbling-block and a retribution for them;
let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
   and keep their backs for ever bent.’

So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

HYMN: John Donne
Tune: Donne https://tinyurl.com/4zkufes4

1. Wilt thou forgive that sin, where I begun,
which is my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive those sins through which I run,
and do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
for I have more.

2. Wilt thou forgive that sin, by which I won
others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
a year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
for I have more.

3. I have a sin of fear that when I’ve spun
my last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore.
And having done that, thou hast done,
I fear no more.

Reading: Mark 13:5-8

Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.’

CANTICLE Prayer of Manasseh
(Setting by Joe Cox https://tinyurl.com/4hqmx4jh)

Ant. Your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
    it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
    God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
    and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
    with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
    they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
    it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
    long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
    you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
    that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
    and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
    and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
    Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
    nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
    and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
    and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
    and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.

THE PRAYERS WS2

God of new birth,
we praise you for being the giver of life and the victor over death,
for the evidence of new life we see in creation . . .
for our baptism, a sign of our union with Christ
in his death and resurrection . . .
for the promise of the coming kingdom . . .

God of new birth,
we acknowledge that all of life is sustained by you, so we pray
for creation and its care . . .
for the nations of the world, especially . . .
for our nation and those in authority . . .
for this community and its leaders . . .
for the church universal, its mission, and those who minister . . .
for our local church and its ministry . . .
for persons with particular needs . . .
We pray all these things in the name of the triune God,
the giver and sustainer of life. Amen.

Randy Ferris https://tinyurl.com/4kf3fjje

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
let heaven’s will be done here on earth.
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 and the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, the root and fountain of all being: Open our eyes to see, with your servant John Donne, that whatever has any being is a mirror in which we may behold you; 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


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.

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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

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

WS2 The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources

The main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language versions of the Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1979). Psalms 147, 148, and 150 are set to tones in Book of Common Worship and are from the PCUSA website https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/service-lords-day/service-lords-day-psalm/chant-psalms/. Psalm 149 is chanted by Ryland Angel.

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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