The Martyrs of Uganda
On June 3, 1886, thirty-two young men, pages of the court of King Mwanga of Buganda, were burned to death at Namugongo for their refusal to renounce Christianity. In the following months many other Christians throughout the country died by fire or spear for their faith. These martyrdoms totally changed the dynamic of Christian growth in Uganda. The Namugongo martyrdoms produced a result entirely opposite to Mwanga’s intentions. The example of these martyrs, who walked to their death singing hymns and praying for their enemies, so inspired many of the bystanders that they began to seek instruction from the remaining Christians. Within a few years the original handful of converts had multiplied many times and spread far beyond the court. The martyrs had left the indelible impression that Christianity was truly African, not simply a white man’s religion. Most of the missionary work was carried out by Africans rather than by white missionaries, and Christianity spread steadily.
Renewed persecution of Christians by a Muslim military dictatorship in the 1970’s proved the vitality of the example of the Namugongo martyrs. Among the thousands of new martyrs, both Anglican and Roman Catholic, was Janani Luwum, Archbishop of the (Anglican) Church of Uganda, whose courageous ministry and death inspired not only his countrymen but also Christians throughout the world. HWHM
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread?
When those who do evil draw near, they stumble and fall. Psalm 27
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!
HYMN: Brian Doerksen ©
1 Purify my heart,
let me be as gold and precious silver.
Purify my heart,
let me be as gold, pure gold.
my heart’s one desire
is to be holy,
set apart for you, Lord.
I choose to be holy,
set apart for you, my Master,
ready to do your will.
2 Purify my heart,
cleanse me from within and make me holy.
Purify my heart,
cleanse me from my sin, deep within. [Refrain]
(Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/yx7qz95s)
1 I will love thee, O Lord, my strength;
the Lord is my stony rock, and my defence *
my Saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust,
my buckler, the horn also of my salvation, and my refuge.
2 I will call upon the Lord, which is worthy to be praised *
so shall I be safe from mine enemies.
3 The sorrows of death compassed me *
and the overflowings of ungodliness made me afraid.
4 The pains of hell came about me *
the snares of death overtook me.
5 In my trouble I will call upon the Lord *
and complain unto my God.
6 So shall he hear my voice out of his holy temple *
and my complaint shall come before him,
it shall enter even into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked *
the very foundations also of the hills shook,
and were removed, because he was wroth.
8 There went a smoke out in his presence *
and a consuming fire out of his mouth,
so that coals were kindled at it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down *
and it was dark under his feet.
10 He rode upon the cherubims, and did fly *
he came flying upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his secret place *
his pavilion round about him with dark water,
and thick clouds to cover him.
12 At the brightness of his presence his clouds removed *
hail-stones, and coals of fire.
13 The Lord also thundered out of heaven,
and the Highest gave his thunder *
hail-stones, and coals of fire.
14 He sent out his arrows, and scattered them *
he cast forth lightnings, and destroyed them.
15 The springs of waters were seen,
and the foundations of the round world were discovered,
at thy chiding, O Lord *
at the blasting of the breath of thy displeasure.
16 He shall send down from on high to fetch me *
and shall take me out of many waters.
17 He shall deliver me from my strongest enemy,
and from them which hate me *
for they are too mighty for me.
18 They prevented me in the day of my trouble *
but the Lord was my upholder.
19 He brought me forth also into a place of liberty *
he brought me forth, even because he had a favour unto me.
20 The Lord shall reward me after my righteous dealing *
according to the cleanness of my hands shall he recompense me.
21 Because I have kept the ways of the Lord *
and have not forsaken my God, as the wicked doth.
22 For I have an eye unto all his laws *
and will not cast out his commandments from me.
23 I was also uncorrupt before him *
and eschewed mine own wickedness.
24 Therefore shall the Lord reward me after my righteous dealing *
and according unto the cleanness of my hands in his eye-sight.
25 With the holy thou shalt be holy *
and with a perfect man thou shalt be perfect.
26 With the clean thou shalt be clean *
and with the froward thou shalt learn frowardness.
27 For thou shalt save the people that are in adversity *
and shalt bring down the high looks of the proud.
28 Thou also shalt light my candle *
the Lord my God shall make my darkness to be light.
29 For in thee I shall discomfit an host of men *
and with the help of my God I shall leap over the wall.
30 The way of God is an undefiled way *
the word of the Lord also is tried in the fire;
he is the defender of all them that put their trust in him.
31 For who is God, but the Lord *
or who hath any strength, except our God?
32 It is God, that girdeth me with strength of war *
and maketh my way perfect.
33 He maketh my feet like harts’ feet *
and setteth me up on high.
34 He teacheth mine hands to fight *
and mine arms shall break even a bow of steel.
35 Thou hast given me the defence of thy salvation *
thy right hand also shall hold me up,
and thy loving correction shall make me great.
36 Thou shalt make room enough under me for to go *
that my footsteps shall not slide.
37 I will follow upon mine enemies, and overtake them *
neither will I turn again till I have destroyed them.
38 I will smite them, that they shall not be able to stand *
but fall under my feet.
39 Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle *
thou shalt throw down mine enemies under me.
40 Thou hast made mine enemies also to turn their backs upon me *
and I shall destroy them that hate me.
41 They shall cry, but there shall be none to help them *
yea, even unto the Lord shall they cry, but he shall not hear them.
42 I will beat them as small as the dust before the wind *
I will cast them out as the clay in the streets.
43 Thou shalt deliver me from the strivings of the people *
and thou shalt make me the head of the heathen.
44 A people whom I have not known *
shall serve me.
45 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me *
but the strange children shall dissemble with me.
46 The strange children shall fail *
and be afraid out of their prisons.
47 The Lord liveth, and blessed be my strong helper *
and praised be the God of my salvation.
48 Even the God that seeth that I be avenged *
and subdueth the people unto me.
49 It is he that delivereth me from my cruel enemies,
and setteth me up above mine adversaries *
thou shalt rid me from the wicked man.
50 For this cause will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles *
and sing praises unto thy Name.
51 Great prosperity giveth he unto his King *
and sheweth loving-kindness unto David his Anointed,
and unto his seed for evermore.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
2 I love you, Lord, my strength,
3 my rock, my fortress, my savior.
My God is the rock where I take refuge;
my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold.
4 The Lord is worthy of all praise,
when I call I am saved from my foes.
5 The waves of death rose about me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
6 the snares of the grave entangled me;
the traps of death confronted me.
7 In my anguish I called to the Lord;
I cried to God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears.
8 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the mountains were shaken to their base:
they reeled at his terrible anger.
9 Smoke came forth from his nostrils
and scorching fire from his mouth:
coals were set ablaze by its heat.
10 He lowered the heavens and came down,
a black cloud under his feet.
11 He came enthroned on the cherubim,
he flew on the wings of the wind.
12 He made the darkness his covering,
the dark waters of the clouds, his tent.
13 A brightness shone out before him
with hailstones and flashes of fire.
14 The Lord thundered in the heavens;
The Most High let his voice be heard.
15 He shot his arrows, scattered the foe,
flashed his lightnings and put them to flight.
16 The bed of the ocean was revealed;
the foundations of the world were laid bare
at the thunder of your threat, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your anger.
17 From on high he reached down and seized me;
he drew me forth from the mighty waters.
.18 he snatched me from my powerful foe,
from my enemies whose strength I could not match.
19 They assailed me in the day of my misfortune,
but the Lord was my support.
20 He brought me forth into freedom,
he saved me because he loved me.
21 He rewarded me because I was just,
repaid me, for my hands were clean,
22 for I have kept the way of the Lord,
and have not fallen away from my God.
23 For his judgments are all before me:
I have never neglected his commands.
24 I have always been upright before him;
I have kept myself from guilt.
25 He repaid me because I was just
and my hands were clean in his eyes.
26 You are loving with those who love you:
you show yourself perfect with the perfect.
27 With the sincere you show yourself sincere,
but the cunning you outdo in cunning.
28 For you save a humble people
but humble the eyes that are proud.
29 You, O Lord, are my lamp,
my God who lightens my darkness.
30 With you I can break through any barrier,
with my God I can scale any wall.
31 As for God, his ways are perfect;
the word of the Lord, purest gold.
He indeed is the shield
of all who make him their refuge.
32 For who is God but the Lord?
Who is a rock but our God?
33 the God who girds me with strength
and makes the path safe before me.
34 My feet you make swift as the deer’s;
you have made me stand firm on the heights.
35 You have trained my hands for battle
and my hands to bend the heavy bow.
36 You gave me your saving shield;
you upheld me, trained me with care.
37 You gave me freedom for my steps;
my feet have never slipped.
38 I pursued and overtook my foes,
never turning back till they were slain.
39 I smote them so they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
40 You girded me with strength for battle;
you made my enemies fall beneath me,
41 you made my foes take flight;
those who hated me I destroyed.
42 They cried, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but in vain.
43 I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
trod them down like dirt in the streets.
44 You saved me from the feuds of the people
and put me at the head of the nations.
People unknown to me served me:
45 when they heard of me they obeyed me.
Foreign nations came to me cringing:
46 foreign nations faded away.
They came trembling out of their strongholds.
47 Long life to the Lord, my rock!
Praised be the God who saves me,
48 the God who gives me redress
and subdues people under me.
49 You saved me from my furious foes.
You set me above my assailants.
You saved me from violent men,
50 so I will praise you, Lord, among the nations:
I will sing a psalm to your name.
51 He has given great victories to his king
and shown his love for his anointed,
for David and his sons for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
Praise to you, God of our salvation.
You come to our help and set us free.
May your strength be our shield
and your word, our lamp,
that we may serve you with pure hearts
and find deliverance in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen. BCW
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-20
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. On that day I will fulfil against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to punish his house for ever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering for ever.’
Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, ‘Samuel, my son.’ He said, ‘Here I am.’ Eli said, ‘What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.’ So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, ‘It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.’
As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.
HYMN: Emily Crawford, alt.
Tune: Quietude https://tinyurl.com/2yu6v7dc
1 Speak, Lord, in the stillness,
speak your word to me;
help me now to listen
2 Speak, O gracious Master,
in this quiet hour;
let me see your face, Lord,
feel your touch of power.
3 For the words you give me,
they are life indeed;
living Bread from heaven,
now on my spirit feed.
4 Speak, your servant listens–
I await your word;
let me know your presence,
let your voice be heart!
5 Fill me with the knowledge
of your glorious will;
all your own good pleasure
in my life fulfill.
Reading: Romans 7:7-13
What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died, and the very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.
Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
HYMN: Joseph Swain
Tune: Libera nos https://tinyurl.com/at4mn2v2
1 Come, ye souls by sin afflicted,
Bowed with fruitless sorrow down;
By the broken law convicted,
Through the cross behold the crown;
Look to Jesus;
Mercy flows through him alone.
2 Take his easy yoke and wear it;
Love will make obedience sweet;
Christ will give you strength to bear it,
While his wisdom guides your feet
Safe to glory,
Where his ransomed captives meet.
3 Blessed are the eyes that see him,
Blest the ears that hear his voice;
Blessed are the souls that trust him,
And in him alone rejoice:
Then become their happy choice.
4 Sweet as home to pilgrim’s weary,
Light to newly opened eyes,
Or full springs in deserts dreary,
Is the rest the cross supplies:
All who taste it
Shall to rest immortal rise.
Reading: Matthew 15:10-20
Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, ‘Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.’ Then the disciples approached and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees took offence when they heard what you said?’ He answered, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘Explain this parable to us.’ Then he said, ‘Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.’
CANTICLE Luke 1:46-55
(Lutheran Service Book setting: https://tinyurl.com/ycy2zmqf)
Ant. My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.
For he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold from this day all generations shall call me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things to me,
and holy is his Name,
and his mercy is on them that fear him
from generation to generation. Ant.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen. Ant.
THE PRAYERS BCW
Loving God, as the rising sun chases away the night, so you have scattered the
power of death in the rising of Jesus Christ, and you bring us all blessings in him.
Especially we thank you for
the community of faith in our church . . .
those with whom we work or share common concerns . . .
the diversity of your children . . .
indications of your love at work in the world . . .
those who work for reconciliation. . . .
Mighty God, with the dawn of your love you reveal your victory over all that would
destroy or harm, and you brighten the lives of all who need you.
Especially we pray for
families suffering separation . . .
people different from ourselves . . .
those isolated by sickness or sorrow . . .
the victims of violence or warfare . . .
the church in the Pacific region. . . .
Setting by Eric Wyse:2
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
by the blood of Christian martyrs
you planted in the heart of Uganda
the seed of a strong and living Church,
and you confirmed its growth under the hand of tyranny
by the witness of your servant Janani Luwum.
May we who cherish their remembrance before you
be valiant in our witness against the terrors of unjust rulers
and remain steadfast in the love by which you bind us to yourself;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen. FAS
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14
Donation to Support This Ministry
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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © Church Publishing, Inc.
FAS For All the Saints, Anglican Church of Canada.
2 Eric Wyse, Lord’s Prayer, ©; audio from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_a40ME7aVk
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The traditional psalm texts are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The contemporary psalm text is from The Grail Psalms and is from the Manual Hopper YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/manualhopper/featured
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2021 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.