OREMUS: 30 December 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Dec 29 17:00:01 GMT 2011


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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 have always borne in your heart
the pain and sin of the world.
You sent your Son Jesus
to share our human experience,
that our vision of you no longer be clouded by
anger, fear, and dismay;
but instead find in you
a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
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 58:6-14]:

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; 
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
   and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. 

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 [John 1.29–34]:

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John testified, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.'

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 flesh be blessed and born anew
by a truth which leaves the heavens
and walks the waiting earth. 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 is based on words by Josephine Butler found in _Josephine Butler and Her Work for Social Purity_ by L. Hay-Cooper, Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, 1922, pages 121-122. 

The second collect is slightly altered from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops( Council, 2000.

The closing sentence is from a prayer in Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare.

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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