OREMUS: 30 December 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Dec 29 20:48:21 GMT 2005


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OREMUS for Friday, December 30, 2005
Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906

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. 

http://www.oremus.org/chrocant.html

Psalm 97

The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;*
 let the multitude of the isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,*
 righteousness and justice
   are the foundations of his throne.
A fire goes before him*
 and burns up his enemies on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;*
 the earth sees it and is afraid.
The mountains melt like wax
   at the presence of the Lord,*
 at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare his righteousness,*
 and all the peoples see his glory.
Confounded be all who worship carved images
   and delight in false gods!*
 Bow down before him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad and the cities of Judah rejoice,*
 because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you are the Lord: most high over all the earth;*
 you are exalted far above all gods.
The Lord loves those who hate evil;*
 he preserves the lives of his saints
   and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.<td
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Light has sprung up for the righteous,*
 and joyful gladness for those who are true-hearted.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,*
 and give thanks to his holy name.

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song,*
 for he has done marvellous things.
With his right hand and his holy arm*
 has he won for himself the victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;*
 his righteousness has he openly shown
   in the sight of the nations.
He remembers his mercy and faithfulness
   to the house of Israel,*
 and all the ends of the earth have seen
   the victory of our God.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands;*
 lift up your voice, rejoice and sing.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,*
 with the harp and the voice of song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn*
 shout with joy before the King, the Lord.
Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it,*
 the lands and those who dwell therein.
Let the rivers clap their hands,*
 and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,
   when he comes to judge the earth.
In righteousness shall he judge the world,*
 and the peoples with equity.

A Song of Christ's Appearing (1 Timothy 3:16; 6:15-16)
Christ Jesus was revealed in the flesh
and vindicated in the spirit.

He was seen by angels
and proclaimed among the nations.

Believed in throughout the world,
he was taken up in glory.

This will be made manifest at the proper time
by the blessed and only Sovereign,

Who alone has immortality,
and dwells in unapproachable light.

To the King of kings and Lord of lords
be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

Psalm 147:1-12

Alleluia!
   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.
 Alleluia!

READING [Proverbs 9:1-12]:

Wisdom has built her house,
   she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
   she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
   from the highest places in the town,
'You that are simple, turn in here!'
   To those without sense she says,
'Come, eat of my bread
   and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Lay aside immaturity, and live,
   and walk in the way of insight.'

Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse;
   whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.
A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you;
   the wise, when rebuked, will love you.
Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still;
   teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
   and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
   and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
   if you scoff, you alone will bear it. 

For another Biblical reading,
Micah
4:1-5

HYMN 
Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith (1926-) (c)
Tune: Beacon Hill
http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/h/h000.html
Hit "Back" in your browser to return to Oremus.

Had he not loved us
he had never come;
yet is he love
and love is all his way:
low to the mystery
of the Virgin's womb
Christ bows his glory--
born on Christmas Day.

Had he not loved us
he had never come;
had he not come
he need have never died,
nor won the victory
of the vacant tomb,
the awful triumph
of the Crucified.

Had he not loved us
he had never come;
still we were lost
in sorrow, sin and shame,
the doors fast shut
on our eternal home
which now stand open--
for he loved and came.

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

Prayer:
Unlooked for,
Christ comes.

To shepherds,
watching their sheep through the long, dark night,
he comes with the glory of the angels' song
and in the humility of the manger.

Loving God, we pray for our community...
In the midst of our everyday lives,
surprise us with glimpses of your glorious, humble love,
at the heart of existence.

Lord, you come to your people
and set us free.

Searched for, 
Christ comes.

To the wise and powerful,
star-led to Bethlehem, seeking a king,
he comes, child of Mary,
crowned with meekness,
worthy of every gift.

Loving God, we pray for the leaders of the world...
Guide them with your light
to seek wisdom, justice and peace.

Lord, you come to your people
and set us free.

Longed for,
Christ comes.

To Anna and Simeon,
whose days were lived in faithful expectation,
he came, a new life to the old,
a living prophecy of hope.

Loving God, we pray for your Church in all the world...
We pray especially for the Diocese of West Tennessee, USA,
The Rt Revd Don E Johnson, Bishop.
United us by your Spirit,
and make us faithful witnesses to the hope we have in you.

Lord, you come to your people
and set us free.

To men and women, girls and boys,
crying out in darkness, pain and loneliness,
he comes, at one with us,
our Savior, Healer and Friend.

Loving God, we pray for those
whose lives are hard and painful
or whose existence is sorrowful, bitter or empty...
In their need, may they know your healing touch,
reaching out to comfort, strengthen and restore.

Lord, you come to your people
and set us free.

Unlooked for and not searched for,
longed for and prayed for,
loving God, you come to us now
as you have come to your people in every age.

We thank you for all who have reflected
the light of Christ through the ages,
especially the ever-blessed Virgin Mary,
blessed Joseph, blessed John the Baptist [and...].
Help us to follow their example
and bring us with them to eternal life.

Lord, you come to your people
and set us free.

All creation was astonished at your appearing, O Christ,
for in your presence no one living can be justified,
yet you have redeemed us and we rejoice in your salvation:
grant that your righteousness may illuminate our hearts
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

God of compassion and love, 
by your grace, your servant Josephine Butler 
followed in the way of your incarnate Son 
in caring for those in need. 
Help us like her to work with strength 
for the restoration of all to the dignity and freedom 
of those created in your image; 
through Jesus Christ our Savior, 
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 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
permission.

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

The intercession is adapted from a prayer in _New Patterns for
Worship_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

Josephine Elizabeth Grey was born in Northumberland in 1828. She was
schooled at home, where she read English and Italian literature, and
translations of the Church Fathers. When 24 years old, she married George
Butler, then a tutor at Oxford. She was an early advocate of better provisions
for university education for women (see her contributions to Woman's Work
and Woman's Culture, 1869). Later, she focused her energies on the plight of
women on the fringes of society. Having settled in Liverpool in 1866, she
helped to establish homes and refuges for friendless women, housing large
numbers of them in her own home. The Contagious Disease Acts of 1864,
1866, and 1869 in effect established government brothels for soldiers and
sailors. They placed prostitutes under police supervision while essentially
making it impossible for them to leave their line of work. The Acts applied to
seaports and garrison towns (although it was proposed eventually to extend
them to the rest of the country), and they were defended on the grounds that it
was inevitable that soldier and sailors would have sex, and that it was better
that they do so under government supervision, so as to control the spread of
sexually transmitted diseases (safe sex), and so that men, having an ample
supply of prostitutes at their disposal, would leave nice girls alone. Mrs Butler
led the campaign for the repeal of these Acts, which finally succeeded in 1886.
This included the abolition of similar arrangements in British India.
Meanwhile, Mrs Butler extended her concerns to the continent of Europe. She
was able to show that in Brussels a number of under-age English girls were
being involuntarily held as prostitutes with the connivance of the police, and
the Police Chief and his second in command were accordingly dismissed. It
was largely through her influence that the laws for the state regulation of vice
were reformed to prevent the enslavement of prostitutes in Switzerland,
Holland, Norway, France, and Italy.
In 1886 her husband (who had given his full support to her work) fell seriously
ill, and she retired from public life to care for him. She died on 30 December
1906.


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