OREMUS: 16 June 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Jun 15 17:00:01 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, June 16, 2006 
Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Philosopher, 1752

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

Blessed are you, merciful God;
in you we live and move and have our being.
Each day we encounter the signs of your tender care.
Possessing the firstfruits of the Spirit,
who raised Jesus from the dead,
we live in the hope that the mystery of his dying and rising
will be for us also an eternal Easter.
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 77

I will cry aloud to God;*
 I will cry aloud and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;*
 my hands were stretched out by night and did not tire;
   I refused to be comforted.
I think of God, I am restless,*
 I ponder and my spirit faints.
You will not let my eyelids close;*
 I am troubled and I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old;*
 I remember the years long past;
I commune with my heart in the night;*
 I ponder and search my mind.
Will the Lord cast me off for ever?*
 will he no more show his favour?
Has his loving-kindness come to an end for ever?*
 has his promise failed for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?*
 has he, in his anger, withheld his compassion?
And I said, 'My grief is this:*
 the right hand of the Most High has lost its power.'
I will remember the works of the Lord,*
 and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your acts*
 and ponder your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy;*
 who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who works wonders*
 and have declared your power among the peoples.
By your strength you have redeemed your people,*
 the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw you, O God;
   the waters saw you and trembled;*
 the very depths were shaken.
The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered;*
 your arrows flashed to and fro;
The sound of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
   your lightnings lit up the world;*
 the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea,
   and your paths in the great waters,*
 yet your footsteps were not seen.
You led your people like a flock*
 by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

A Song of Repentance (1 John 1:5-9)

This is the message we have heard from Christ
and proclaim to you:
that God is light,
in whom there is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with God
while we walk in darkness,
we lie and do not do what is true.

But if we walk in the light
as God is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another.

And the blood of Jesus, the Son of God,
cleanses us from all our sins.

If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins,
the One who is faithful and just will forgive us
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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 Samuel 15:10-23]:

The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 'I regret that I
made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me,
and has not carried out my commands.' Samuel was angry;
and he cried out to the Lord all night. Samuel rose early
in the morning to meet Saul, and Samuel was told, 'Saul
went to Carmel, where he set up a monument for himself,
and on returning he passed on down to Gilgal.' When
Samuel came to Saul, Saul said to him, 'May you be
blessed by the Lord; I have carried out the command of
the Lord.' But Samuel said, 'What then is this bleating
of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of cattle that I
hear?' Saul said, 'They have brought them from the
Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep
and the cattle, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but
the rest we have utterly destroyed.' Then Samuel said to
Saul, 'Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me
last night.' He replied, 'Speak.'
Samuel said, 'Though you are little in your own eyes, are
you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord
anointed you king over Israel. And the Lord sent you on a
mission, and said, "Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the
Amalekites, and fight against them until they are
consumed." Why then did you not obey the voice of the
Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do what
was evil in the sight of the Lord?' Saul said to Samuel,
'I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, I have gone on the
mission on which the Lord sent me, I have brought Agag
the king of Amalek, and I have utterly destroyed the
Amalekites. But from the spoil the people took sheep and
cattle, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to
sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.' And Samuel
'Has the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and
   as in obedience to the voice of the Lord?
Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice,
   and to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is no less a sin than divination,
   and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
   he has also rejected you from being king.' 

For another Biblical reading,
Luke 11:14-23

Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1889
Tune: St. Patrick's Breastplate     
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I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicŠd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord. 

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

There is one body and one spirit,
one hope in God's call to us;
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,
One God and Father of all.

Let us pray for the Church, responding "Lord, hear our prayer."

For the Episcopal Church as it gathers in General Convention,
that it may flourish as a part of Christ's one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, 
faithfully fulfilling its mission and exercising its ministry 
in the changes and chances of this day and age,
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For forgiveness of our failure to commend the faith that is in us 
to those both far and near, 
that you wll strengthen us to proclaim by word and example 
the good news of God in Jesus Christ, 
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

In thanksgiving for the courage, compassion, and fearless witness 
of lay and clergy leaders who have risen to the trials of our times, 
and who have called the chuch to live out its enduring truth 
in the midst of changing circumstances,
that our witness may be ever fatihful and ever new, 
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

For the coming of your kingdom, 
that we may prayerfully continue to strive for justice and peace 
as signs of your reign that is already at work among us, 
we pray to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Almighty Father, 
whose blessed Son before his passion 
prayed for his disciples that they might be one, 
as you and he are one: 
Grant that your Church, 
being bound together in love and obedience to you, 
may be united in one body by the one Spirit, 
that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, 
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; 
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, 
by your Holy Spirit 
you give to some the word of wisdom, 
to others the word of knowledge, 
to others the word of faith: 
We praise your Name for the gifts of grace 
manifested in your servant Joseph Butler,
and we pray that your Church 
may never be destitute of such gifts;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Compassionate God,
grant that our experience of your pardon
may increase our love
until it reflects your own immeasurable forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

The canticle, the opening thanksgiving and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer
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 is adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The second collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

The closing prayer is adapted from a prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects
in Contemporary Language_. Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.
Butler was born in 1692 and ordained in 1718. In 1726 he published Fifteen
Sermons, preached at the Rolls Chapel in London, and chiefly dealing with
human nature and its implications for ethics and practical Christian life. He
maintained that it is normal for a man to have an instinct of self-interest, which
leads him to seek his own good, and equally normal for him to have an instinct
of benevolence, which leads him to seek the good of others individually and
generally, and that the two aims do not in fact conflict.
He served as parish priest in several parishes, and in 1736 was appointed
chaplain to Queen Caroline, wife of King George II. In the same year he
published his masterpiece, The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to
the Constitution and Course of Nature (often cited simply as "Butler's
Analogy"), a work chiefly directed against Deism, of which more will be said
below. Appended to the main work was a treatise, Of the Nature of Virtue,
which establishes him as one of the foremost British writers on ethics, or moral
When the Queen died in 1737, Butler was made Bishop of Bristol. However,
George II had been impressed with him earlier, and in 1746 he was called back
to court and the next year offered the post of Archbishop of Canterbury. He
refused the post, but in 1750 he became Bishop of Durham. He died there on
16 June 1752. [James Kiefer, abridged; for the original, see

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