OREMUS: 10 January 2008

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Jan 9 17:00:01 GMT 2008

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OREMUS for Thursday, January 10, 2008
William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645

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

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
 to you be glory and praise for ever.
Your light springs up for the righteous
and all the peoples have seen your glory.
You gave the Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the anointing of the Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
You call us into your marvelous light,
that our lives may bear witness to your truth
and our lips never cease to proclaim your praise.
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 64

Hear my voice, O God, when I complain;*
 protect my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,*
 from the mob of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongue like a sword,*
 and aim their bitter words like arrows,
That they may shoot down the blameless from ambush;*
 they shoot without warning and are not afraid.
They hold fast to their evil course;*
 they plan how they may hide their snares.
They say, 'Who will see us?
   who will find out our crimes?*
 we have thought out a perfect plot.'
The human mind and heart are a mystery;*
 but God will loose an arrow at them,
   and suddenly they will be wounded.
He will make them trip over their tongues,*
 and all who see them will shake their heads.
Everyone will stand in awe and declare God's deeds;*
 they will recognise his works.
The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
   and put their trust in him,*
 and all who are true of heart will glory.

Psalm 65

You are to be praised, O God, in Zion;*
 to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.
To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come,*
 because of their transgressions.
Our sins are stronger than we are,*
 but you will blot them out.
Happy are they whom you choose
   and draw to your courts to dwell there!*
 they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house,
   by the holiness of your temple.
Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness,
   O God of our salvation,*
 O Hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the seas that are far away.
You make fast the mountains by your power;*
 they are girded about with might.
You still the roaring of the seas,*
 the roaring of their waves,
   and the clamour of the peoples.
Those who dwell at the ends of the earth
   will tremble at your marvellous signs;*
 you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.
You visit the earth and water it abundantly;
   you make it very plenteous;*
 the river of God is full of water.
You prepare the grain,*
 for so you provide for the earth.
You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges;*
 with heavy rain you soften the ground
   and bless its increase.
You crown the year with your goodness,*
 and your paths overflow with plenty.
May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing,*
 and the hills be clothed with joy.
May the meadows cover themselves with flocks
   and the valleys cloak themselves with grain;*
 let them shout for joy and sing.

A Song of the Bride (Isaiah 61.10,11; 62.1-3)
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,  
my soul shall exult in my God; 
Who has clothed me with the garments of salvation,  
and has covered me with the cloak of integrity, 
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,  
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 
For as the earth puts forth her blossom,  
and as seeds in the garden spring up, 
So shall God make righteousness and praise  
blossom before all the nations. 
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,  
and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, 
Until her deliverance shines out like the dawn,  
and her salvation as a burning torch. 
The nations shall see your deliverance,  
and all rulers shall see your glory; 
Then you shall be called by a new name  
which the mouth of God will give. 
You shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord,  
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Psalm 148

   Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
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.

FIRST READING [1 John 4.19   5.4]:

We love because he first loved us. Those who say, 'I love God', and hate their
brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they
have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have
from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone
who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of
God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that
we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for
whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the
world, our faith.

Words: Horatio R. Palmer (1834-1907), 1868
Tune: Yield Not to Temptation

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Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
each victory will help you some other to win;
fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
look ever to Jesus, he'll carry you through.
Ask the Savior to help you,
comfort, strengthen and keep you;
he is willing to aid you,
he will carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God's Name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain;
be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true,
look ever to Jesus, he'll carry you through. Refrain

To him that o'ercometh, God giveth a crown;
Through faith we shall conquer, though often cast down;
He Who is our Savior our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He'll carry you through. Refrain

SECOND READING [Luke 4.14 22]:

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about
him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues
and was praised by everyone.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue
on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the
prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it
was written:
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because he has anointed me
     to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
   and recovery of sight to the blind,
     to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.'
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all
in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, 'Today this
scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.' All spoke well of him and were amazed at
the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, 'Is not this Joseph's son?' 

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

We pray for the coming of God's kingdom:

You came in Jesus to bring good news to the poor,
sight to the blind, freedom to the captives,
and salvation to your people:
anoint us with your Spirit;
rouse us to work in his name.
Father, by your Spirit:
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to bring help to the poor
and freedom to the oppressed.
Father, by your Spirit:
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to tell the world
the good news of your healing love.
We pray for the people of Oman.
Father, by your Spirit:
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to those who mourn,
to bring joy and gladness instead of grief.
Father, by your Spirit:
bring in your kingdom.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here
for you to save your people.
Father, by your Spirit:
bring in your kingdom.

Show to your people, Lord,
the light of your truth,
and as you have called your Church
to be a light for the world,
so fill your people with the wisdom
to bear that light for your glory.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, the everlasting Sovereign,
you ordain the whole of our nature
for delight in the beauty of holiness,
that we may reverence you with our bodies
even as we worship you with our souls.
Lead us in the way of your servant William Laud,
and grant us so to be mindful of his service
that we may never grow weary in our earnest care
for the integrity and welfare of your Church;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Believing the promises of God,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

May Christ, the Son of God, be manifest in us
that our lives may be a light to the world. Amen.

The psalms and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from _Celebrating Common
Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with

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

William Laud, born in 1573, was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645 in the days
of King Charles I. It was a turbulent time throughout, one of violent divisions in the
Church of England, eventually culminating in the English Civil War.

An example is the surplice controversy. We have all encountered Christians who are
opposed to celebrating Christmas on the grounds that (a) the Bible nowhere commands us
to celebrate Christmas, and does not mention the 25th of December; and (b) the pagans
had a festival in December at which they built fires and feasted and exchanged gifts, from
which it follows that those who celebrate Christmas are participating in pagan rites.
Similarly, in the late 1500's and early 1600's, there were Christians in England who
objected to the garment called the surplice. When participating in the services of Morning
and Evening Prayer in Church, clergy, including choir members, normally wore a cassock
(a black, floor-length, fairly tight-fitting garment) covered by a surplice (a white,
knee-length, fairly loose garment with loose sleeves). The Puritans objected to the surplice
(a) as not mentioned in the Bible, and (b) as something that the Roman Catholics had
worn before the Reformation, which made it one of the props of idolatrous worship, and
marked anyone who wore it as an idolater. Archbishop Laud regarded it as a seemly,
dignified garment, an appropriate response to the Apostle Paul's injunction, "Let all things
be done decently and in order." The Puritans stood by their objections, and violently
interrupted services at which the surplice was worn. On one occasion, a group of Puritans
broke into an Oxford chapel the night before a service and stole the surplices, which they
thrust into a the dung-pit of a privy. Again, a woman marched into Lichfield Cathedral,
accompanied by the town clerk and his wife, and ruined the altar hangings with a bucket
of pitch.

Under English Law, it was part of Laud's office as Archbishop to maintain order and to
punish offences against the peace of the Church. He made it his practice to proceed not
only against poor and obscure offenders, but also, perhaps especially, against rich and
powerful ones. It is well that men should be equal before the law, but his integrity on this
point ultimately cost Laud his life.

Laud was also the prosecutor of record in the trials of those who published seditious or
violent and abusive attacks on the doctrine and discipline of the Church, and the Puritans
produced an abundance of scurrilous attacks on those who disagreed with them, which
were duly punished, with Laud taking the responsibility. In 1630 (before Laud became
Archbishop), when Alexander Leighton published Zion's Plea Against Prelacy, a violent
attack on the Bishops as tools of Antichrist, he was sentenced to be publicly whipped and
branded, and to have his ears cut off. He was sixty years old and a Doctor of Divinity, and
the sentence aroused great public indignation. (It is not certain that it was actually carried

Laud made enemies chiefly in three ways. (1) He punished those who attacked the Church,
both those who vandalized and those who merely scolded. (2) He upheld various customs
in public worship (such as the wearing of the surplice) that were harmless in themselves,
but which aroused the suspicion and fury of those whe feared a return to power of Roman
Catholicism. (3) He sought the financial independence of the clergy, so that a preacher
was not dependent on what support the local squire was pleased to give him. His
proposed means to this end was to restore to the Church some of the Church lands that
had been seized by Henry VIII and given or sold to various nobles and gentlemen. The
proposal never reached the stage of discussion about details, so it was not clear how
compensation would be handled, but the mere whisper of such a proposal was enough to
make every landholder in the country feel personally threatened.

In 1637 an attempt was made to introduce the Book of Common Prayer into general use
in Scotland, and it immediately caused rioting. In February of 1638, Scottish leaders
signed the National Covenant, by which they pledged themselves to uphold the Puritan
position by force, and by the end of the year they had voted to depose and excommunicate
every bishop in Scotland. The unrest spread to England, and in 1640 Laud was arrested on
a charge of high treason. He was kept in the Tower for four years, and tried in 1644, at
the age of seventy-one. He was found guilty, not because there was any evidence of his
guilt, but because the House of Commons was determined that he should die. On the
scaffold he prayed: "The Lord receive my soul, and have mercy on me, and bless this
kingdom with peace and charity, that there may not be this effusion of Christian blood
amongst them." 

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