OREMUS: 31 December 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Dec 30 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Wednesday, December 31, 2008
John Wyclif, Reformer, 1384

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 145

I will exalt you, O God my King,*
 and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day will I bless you*
 and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;*
 there is no end to his greatness.
One generation shall praise your works to another*
 and shall declare your power.
I will ponder the glorious splendour of your majesty*
 and all your marvellous works.
They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts,*
 and I will tell of your greatness.
They shall publish the remembrance
   of your great goodness;*
 they shall sing of your righteous deeds.
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,*
 slow to anger and of great kindness.
The Lord is loving to everyone*
 and his compassion is over all his works.
All your works praise you, O Lord,*
 and your faithful servants bless you.
They make known the glory of your kingdom*
 and speak of your power;
That the peoples may know of your power*
 and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;*
 your dominion endures throughout all ages.
The Lord is faithful in all his words*
 and merciful in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all those who fall;*
 he lifts up those who are bowed down.
The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord,*
 and you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand*
 and satisfy the needs of every living creature.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways*
 and loving in all his works.
The Lord is near to those who call upon him,*
 to all who call upon him faithfully.
He fulfils the desire of those who fear him,*
 he hears their cry and helps them.
The Lord preserves all those who love him,*
 but he destroys all the wicked.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord;*
 let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

A Song of the Lamb (Revelation 19.1b,2a,5b,6b,7,9b)

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, . 
whose judgements are true and just. 
Praise our God, all you his servants, . 
all who fear him, both small and great. 
The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns: . 
let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory. 
For the marriage of the Lamb has come . 
and his bride has made herself ready. 
Blessed are those who are invited . 
to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

FIRST READING [Isaiah 62]:

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
   and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
   and her salvation like a burning torch.
The nations shall see your vindication,
   and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
   that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
   and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
   and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
   and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
   and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
   so shall your builder marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
   so shall your God rejoice over you.
Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
   I have posted sentinels;
all day and all night
   they shall never be silent.
You who remind the Lord,
   take no rest,
and give him no rest
   until he establishes Jerusalem
   and makes it renowned throughout the earth.
The Lord has sworn by his right hand
   and by his mighty arm:
I will not again give your grain
   to be food for your enemies,
and foreigners shall not drink the wine
   for which you have laboured;
but those who garner it shall eat it
   and praise the Lord,
and those who gather it shall drink it
   in my holy courts.

Go through, go through the gates,
   prepare the way for the people;
build up, build up the highway,
   clear it of stones,
   lift up an ensign over the peoples.
The Lord has proclaimed
   to the end of the earth:
Say to daughter Zion,
   'See, your salvation comes;
his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him.'
They shall be called, 'The Holy People,
   The Redeemed of the Lord';
and you shall be called, 'Sought Out,
   A City Not Forsaken.' 

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.

SECOND READING [1 John 2:18-end]:

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many
antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from
us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have
remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us.
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write
to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you
know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that
Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the
Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard
from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And
this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. As for you, the
anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to
teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie,
and just as it has taught you, abide in him.

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have
confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.

If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has
been born of him. 

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.
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.
We pray especially for the people of Pakistan.
Lord Jesus,
hear our prayer.

Jesus, our Emmanuel,
we pray for those in particular need...
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 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.

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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