OREMUS: 30 December 2010

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Dec 29 17:00:00 GMT 2010


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OREMUS for December 30
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 58:1-13]:

Shout out, do not hold back!
   Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
   to the house of Jacob their sins. 
Yet day after day they seek me
   and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practised righteousness
   and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements,
   they delight to draw near to God. 
‘Why do we fast, but you do not see?
   Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day,
   and oppress all your workers. 
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
   and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
   will not make your voice heard on high. 
Is such the fast that I choose,
   a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
   and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
   a day acceptable to the Lord? 

Is not this the fast that I choose:
   to loose the bonds of injustice,
   to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
   and to break every yoke? 
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
   and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
   and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
   the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. 
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
   you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. 

If you remove the yoke from among you,
   the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 
if you offer your food to the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
   and your gloom be like the noonday. 
The Lord will guide you continually,
   and satisfy your needs in parched places,
   and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
   like a spring of water,
   whose waters never fail. 
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
   you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
   the restorer of streets to live in. 

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
   from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
   and the holy day of the Lord honourable;
if you honour it, not going your own ways,
   serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;

HYMN 
Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith (1926-) (c)
Tune: Beacon Hill

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 [Luke 1:26–38]:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.' But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.' Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?' The angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.' Then Mary said, 'Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.' Then the angel departed from her. 

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 Butler (née Grey) was born in April 1828, and baptised on this day that year, in Northumberland. She married an Anglican priest in 1852. She became incensed by the way contemporary society treated prostitutes, most of whom were forced into such activity through desperate poverty. From 1869, she campaigned for the repeal of the legislation which put all opprobrium onto the women concerned, and the issue became international after she travelled in Europe addressing meetings in 1874-75. Her campaign succeeded with the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Act in 1883. She was a devout Anglican and a woman of prayer, basing her spirituality on that of St Catherine of Siena, whose biography she wrote. She died on 30 December 1906. [Exciting Holiness]



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