OREMUS: 30 December 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Dec 29 22:33:39 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906

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 144

Blessed be the Lord my rock!*
 who trains my hands to fight and my fingers to battle;
My help and my fortress,
   my stronghold and my deliverer,*
 my shield in whom I trust,
   who subdues the peoples under me.
O Lord, what are we that you should care for us?*
 mere mortals that you should think of us?
We are like a puff of wind;*
 our days are like a passing shadow.
Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;*
 touch the mountains and they shall smoke.
Hurl the lightning and scatter them;*
 shoot out your arrows and rout them.
Stretch out your hand from on high;*
 rescue me and deliver me from the great waters,
   from the hand of foreign peoples,
Whose mouths speak deceitfully*
 and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
O God, I will sing to you a new song;*

 I will play to you on a tenstringed lyre.
You give victory to kings*
 and have rescued David your servant.
Rescue me from the hurtful sword*
 and deliver me from the hand of foreign peoples,
Whose mouths speak deceitfully*
 and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
May our sons be like plants
   well nurtured from their youth,*
 and our daughters like sculptured corners of a palace.
May our barns be filled to overflowing*
 with all manner of crops;
May the flocks in our pastures
   increase by thousands and tens of thousands;*
 may our cattle be fat and sleek.
May there be no breaching of the walls,
   no going into exile,*
 no wailing in the public squares.
Happy are the people of whom this is so!*
 happy are the people whose God is the Lord!

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.

Psalm 146

Alleluia!
   Praise the Lord, O my soul!*
 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers,
   nor in any child of earth,*
 for there is no help in them.
When they breathe their last, they return to earth,*
 and in that day their thoughts perish.
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob
   for their help!*
 whose hope is in the Lord their God;
Who made heaven and earth, the seas,
   and all that is in them;*
 who keeps his promise for ever;
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,*
 and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;*
 the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
   the Lord cares for the stranger;*
 he sustains the orphan and widow,
   but frustrates the way of the wicked.
The Lord shall reign for ever,*
 your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
   Alleluia!

FIRST READING [Isaiah 59:1-3, 15b-21]:

See, the Lord's hand is not too short to save,
   nor his ear too dull to hear.
Rather, your iniquities have been barriers
   between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
   so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
   and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
   your tongue mutters wickedness.
Truth is lacking,
   and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him
   that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no one,
   and was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm brought him victory,
   and his righteousness upheld him.
He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
   and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
   and wrapped himself in fury as in a mantle.
According to their deeds, so will he repay;
   wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies;
   to the coastlands he will render requital.
So those in the west shall fear the name of the Lord,
   and those in the east, his glory;
for he will come like a pent-up stream
   that the wind of the Lord drives on.

And he will come to Zion as Redeemer,
   to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, says the Lord.
And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the Lord: my spirit that is upon
you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth,
or out of the mouths of your children, or out of the mouths of your children's children,
says the Lord, from now on and for ever. 

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.

SECOND READING [Hebrews 2]:

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will. 

Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,
'What are human beings that you are mindful of them, 
   or mortals, that you care for them? 
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; 
   you have crowned them with glory and honour, 
   subjecting all things under their feet.'
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, 
'I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, 
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.' 
And again, 
'I will put my trust in him.'
And again, 
'Here am I and the children whom God has given me.' 
Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. 

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.

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.

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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.

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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