OREMUS: 31 December 2004

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Dec 30 17:00:01 GMT 2004

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OREMUS for Friday, December 31, 2004
John Wyclif, Reformer, 1384

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, loving and merciful God,
you fill our hearts with joy
as we recognize in Christ the revelation of your love.
No eye can see his glory as our God,
yet now he is seen like one of us.
Christ is your Son before all ages,
yet now he is born in time.
He has come to lift up all things to himself,
to restore unity to creation,
and to lead us from exile into your heavenly kingdom.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 90

Lord, you have been our refuge*
 from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
   or the land and the earth were born,*
 from age to age you are God.
You turn us back to the dust and say,*
 'Go back, O child of earth.'
For a thousand years in your sight
   are like yesterday when it is past*
 and like a watch in the night.
You sweep us away like a dream;*
 we fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and flourishes;*
 in the evening it is dried up and withered.
For we consume away in your displeasure;*
 we are afraid because of your wrathful indignation.
Our iniquities you have set before you,*
 and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
When you are angry, all our days are gone;*
 we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The span of our life is seventy years,
   perhaps in strength even eighty;*
 yet the sum of them is but labour and sorrow,
   for they pass away quickly and we are gone.
Who regards the power of your wrath?*
 who rightly fears your indignation?
So teach us to number our days*
 that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Return, O Lord; how long will you tarry?*
 be gracious to your servants.
Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;*
 so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Make us glad by the measure of the days
   that you afflicted us*
 and the years in which we suffered adversity.
Show your servants your works*
 and your splendour to their children.
May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us;*
 prosper the work of our hands;
   prosper our handiwork.

A Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2.1-2,3b-5,7-8)

My soul exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.

My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

There is no Holy One like you, O Lord,
nor any Rock like you, our God.

For you are a God of knowledge
and by you our actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.

Those who were full now hire themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are well fed.

The barren woman has borne sevenfold,
but she who has many children is forlorn.

Both the poor and the rich are of your making;
you bring low and you also exalt.

You raise up the poor from the dust,
and lift the needy from the ash heap.

You make them sit with the rulers
and inherit a place of honour.

For the pillars of the earth are yours
and on them you have set the world.

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

READING [1 John 2:15-17]:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The
love of the Father is not in those who love the world;
for all that is in the world the desire of the flesh, the
desire of the eyes, the pride in riches comes not from
the Father but from the world. And the world and its
desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God
live for ever.

For another Biblical reading,
Micah 5:2-5a

Words: (c) Timothy Dudley-Smith
Tune: O perfect love; Lord of the years
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Lord, for the years your love has kept and guided,
urged and inspired us, cheered us on our way,
sought us and saved us, pardoned and provided:
Lord for the years, we bring our thanks today.

Lord, for that word, the word of life which fires us,
speaks to our hearts and sets our souls ablaze,
teaches and trains, rebukes us and inspires us:
Lord of the word, receive your people's praise.

Lord, for our land in this our generation,
spirits oppressed by pleasure, wealth and care:
for young and old, for commonwealth and nation,
Lord of our land, be pleased to hear our prayer.

Lord, for our world where men disown and doubt you,
loveless in strength, and comfortless in pain,
hungry and helpless, lost indeed without you:
Lord of the world, we pray that Christ may reign.

Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us-
self on the cross, and Christ upon the throne,
past put behind us, for the future take us:
Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.

The Benedictus (Morning), the 
Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Jesus, born in a human family,
we pray for families.

Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, cradled in a manger,
we pray for the homeless and refugees.
We remember especially those killed or left homeless
by the tsunami in South Asia.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, sharing the stable with the animals,
we pray for your creation.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, worshiped by shepherds and kings,
we pray for nations and peoples.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, our Emmanuel,
we pray for those in particular need...
We pray also for your Church, especially the Diocese of
Lagos, Nigeria, The Most Revd Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, Archbishop.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

God of community, 
whose call is more insistent than ties of family or blood: 
May we so respect and love those 
whose lives are linked with ours 
that we fail not in loyalty to you, 
but make choices according to your will; 
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Eternal Word, 
grant that as your servant John Wyclif 
was fired with zeal for the reform of your Church, 
so may we grow in the knowledge and love of your will, 
as revealed to us through holy scripture and the Spirit of truth, 
and so come to be with you in your heavenly kingdom; 
through your incarnate Son Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

May he who by his incarnation gathered into one
things earthly and heavenly,
bestow upon us the fullness of peace and goodwill. Amen.

The psalms and the second collect are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is
used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing sentence are adapted from
_The Promise of His Glory_ (Mowbray), (c) The Central
Board of Finance  of the Church of England 1990, 1991, which is used with

Hymn (c) 1969 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL  60188.
All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this text in all territories except the UK, Europe &
Africa, contact: Hope Publishing Company, 
For UK, Europe & Africa: contact: Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith,
9 Ashlands, Ford, Salisbury, Wiltshire  SP4 6DY  England

The first collect is from _A Prayer Book for Australia_. (c)
1995, The Anglican Church of Australia Trust Corporation.

John Wyclif (also spelled Wycliffe, Wycliff, Wicliffe, or Wiclif) was born in
Yorkshire around 1330, and was educated at Oxford, becoming a doctor of
divinity in 1372.
In 1374, King Edward III appointed him rector of Lutterworth, and later made
him part of a deputation to meet at Brussels with a papal deputation to
negotiate difference between King and Pope. About this time Wyclif began to
argue for "dominion founded on grace." By "dominion" he meant both the right
to exercise authority in church or state and the right to own property. He
maintained that these rights were given to men directly from God, and that
they were not given or continued apart from sanctifying grace. Thus, a man in
a state of mortal sin could not lawfully function as an official of church or
state, nor could he lawfully own property. He argued that the Church had
fallen into sin and that it ought therefore to give up all its property and that the
clergy should live in complete poverty. This disendowment was to be carried
out by the king. From 1376 to 1378 Wyclif was clerical advisor to John of
Gaunt, who effectively governed England until his nephew, Richard II, came of
age in 1381. It is not clear what influence each man had on the other, but it is
conjectured that John of Gaunt, who had his own reasons for opposing the
wealth and power of the clergy, may have used a naive Wyclif as his tool. In
1377, King and Parliament asked his judgement on whether it was lawful to
withhold traditional payments from Rome, and he responded that it was. Pope
Gregory XI issued five bulls against him, but without effect. Wyclif's last
political act was in 1378, when he argued that criminals who had taken
sanctuary in churches might lawfully be dragged out of sanctuary. He then
retired to private life in Lutterworth in 1381.
>From Lutterworth, he published a series of severe attacks on corruption in the
Church. These, although bitterly worded even for the time, might have found
agreement, were it not that he also attacked the doctrine of transubstantiation
(that, once the Eucharist has been consecrated, the bread is no longer present
in reality, but only in appearance). He taught instead that the bread remains,
but that Christ is truly present in the bread, though not in a material manner.
This view cost him the support of John of Gaunt and of many other friends
whose support he could not afford to lose. In all his controversies, he declared
himself a loyal churchman, willing to submit his cause and his opinions to the
judgement of the Pope.
In 1381, disaster struck with the Peasants' Revolt. It is unlikely that Wyclif's
teachings, circulated chiefly among the learned, had any role in instigating the
revolt, but the fact that many peasants were setting out to put to death all
landlords, lay and clerical alike, made Wyclif's "dominion founded on grace"
look extremely dangerous; and Wyclif's movement was bloodily suppressed
along with the Revolt. In 1382, all of his writings were banned. In that year
Wyclif suffered a stroke, and on 31 December 1384 a second stroke killed him.
After his death, his opponents finally succeeded in having him condemned for
heresy, and in 1428 his body was removed from consecrated ground. Later
generations saw him as a precursor of the Protestant Reformation of the
1500's, but his direct influence on the beginnings of that movement appear to
be surprisingly slight. (Only John Hus seems to have read any of his work.)
Wyclif is chiefly remembered and honored for his role in Bible translating. In
the early 1380's he led the movement for a translation of the Bible into English,
and two complete translations (one much more idiomatic than the other) were
made at his instigation. (How much of the translating he did himself, if any,
remains uncertain.) He proposed the creation of a new religious order of Poor
Preachers who would preach to the people from the English Bible. [James

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