Oremus for Friday, October 8, 2021

William D.P. Bliss

William Dwight Porter Bliss
William Dwight Porter Bliss was born in Constantinople, Turkey, on August 20, 1856, the son of Edwin Elisha Bliss and Isabella Holmes (Porter) Bliss, who were Christian missionaries there. He attended Hartford Theological Seminary, where he first learned about religion in relation to social problems. His immediate work after seminary also greatly impacted the trajectory of his future career as a socialist preacher who engaged in activism. Following graduation in 1882,  Bliss was ordained a Congregationalist minister where he was forced to deal with, first hand, the serious labor problems that faced working-class people in America. After witnessing the effects that working unbearably long hours had on family life, the limited amount of food, and the harsh conditions working-class people faced in Boston, Bliss was convinced that the church had a direct duty to improve such terrible conditions. According to Bliss, every person was a part of the kingdom of God regardless of religion and therefore should be treated as such. Exposure to the writings of such people as Charles Kingsley, Frederick Denison Maurice, Edward Bellamy, the English Christian socialist, and most notably George E. McNeil eventually led him to Christian socialism and the Episcopal Church, where he was ordained a deacon in 1886 and a priest in 1887.
Once Bliss adopted the ideas of Christian socialism he began to create a very clear distinct understanding of what it meant. While Bliss recognized that the label Christian Socialism on its surface seemed to be a paradox, he believed that “christianity and socialism were not only compatible, but that socialism was the natural economic expression of christian life.” He sought to rid socialism of its philosophical materialism because he believed Christianity was the most effective way to bring socialism to fruition in America. As Bliss mentioned in a speech, his socialist radicalism was grounded not in Marx but in the teachings of Jesus Christ more than anything else. Despite this understanding of Christianity, Bliss originally believed that Christians did not necessarily have to pick a particular political party or organization in order to be genuine socialist. He did argue, however, that if Christians were to truly live according to the Gospel and the words of Jesus, they would intuitively advocate for a socialist society in America. Moreover, the socialist aspect of Christian Socialism for Bliss was not hampered by the word Christian preceding it. He defined socialism as “that mode of social life which, based upon the recognition of the natural brotherhood and unity of mankind would have land and capital owned by the community collectively, and operated cooperatively for the good of all. He was not interested in merely implementing more state intervention or cooperatives. He, like the scientific socialist, believed that in order to create a just society, where the children of God were all treated with dignity and respect, it would require a complete overhaul of the economic system. Reform was merely a halfway measure for Bliss. Therefore for Bliss, Christian socialism was a fundamentally socialist ideology rooted in Christian principles. He hated the idea that people who tried to apply Christianity to social problems would even try to apply the label Christian Socialism to their work. He died on this day in 1926. Wikipedia

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/ypfm8yec

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be consoled.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall have their fill. Matthew 5

Almighty God,
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.

Music: https://tinyurl.com/ycn4djk5

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: Adam M. L. Tice ©
Tune: Azmon https://tinyurl.com/y36mfsd4

1 The church of Christ cannot be bound 
by walls of wood or stone. 
Where charity and love are found, 
there can the church be known.

2 True faith will open up the door 
and step into the street. 
True service will seek out the poor 
and ask to wash their feet.

3 True love will not sit idly by 
when justice is denied. 
True mercy hears the homeless cry 
and welcomes them inside.

4 If what we have we freely share 
to meet our neighbor’s need, 
then we extend the Spirit’s care 
through ev’ry selfless deed.

5 The church of Christ cannot be bound
by walls of wood or stone. 
Where charity and love are found, 
there can the church be known.

Psalm 41 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/urktsqu)
1  Blessed is he that considereth the poor and needy *
 the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble.
2  The Lord preserve him, and keep him alive,
that he may be blessed upon earth *
 and deliver not thou him into the will of his enemies.
3  The Lord comfort him, when he lieth sick upon his bed *
 make thou all his bed in his sickness.
4  I said, Lord, be merciful unto me *
 heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.
5  Mine enemies speak evil of me *
 When shall he die, and his name perish?
6  And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity *
 and his heart conceiveth falsehood within himself,
and when he cometh forth he telleth it.
7  All mine enemies whisper together against me *
 even against me do they imagine this evil.
8  Let the sentence of guiltiness proceed against him *
 and now that he lieth, let him rise up no more.
9  Yea, even mine own familiar friend, whom I trusted *
 who did also eat of my bread, hath laid great wait for me.
10  But be thou merciful unto me, O Lord *
 raise thou me up again, and I shall reward them.
11  By this I know thou favourest me *
 that mine enemy doth not triumph against me.
12  And when I am in my health, thou upholdest me *
 and shalt set me before thy face for ever.
13  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel *
 world without end. Amen.
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.

Psalm 41 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-41.mp3)
1 Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! *
the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.
2 The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive,
so that they may be happy in the land; *
he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed *
and ministers to them in their illness.
4 I said, “LORD, be merciful to me; *
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies are saying wicked things about me: *
When will he die, and his name perish?”
6 Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; *
their heart collects false rumors;
they go outside and spread them.
7 All my enemies whisper together about me *
and devise evil against me.
8 “A deadly thing,” they say, “has fastened on him; *
he has taken to his bed and will never get up again.”
9 Even my best friend, whom I trusted,
who broke bread with me, *
has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
10 But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, *
and I shall repay them.
11 By this I know you are pleased with me, *
that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 In my integrity you hold me fast, *
and shall set me before your face for ever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, *
from age to age. Amen. Amen.

Psalms 42 and 43 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/wxrfhr8)
sung as the one psalm they originally were
1  Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks *
 so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
2  My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God *
 when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
3  My tears have been my meat day and night *
 while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?
4  Now when I think thereupon, I pour out my heart by myself *
 for I went with the multitude,
and brought them forth into the house of God;
5  In the voice of praise and thanksgiving *
 among such as keep holy-day.
6  Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul *
 and why art thou so disquieted within me?
7  Put thy trust in God *
 for I will yet give him thanks for the help of his countenance.
8  My God, my soul is vexed within me *
 therefore will I remember thee concerning the land of Jordan,
and the little hill of Hermon.
9  One deep calleth another, because of the noise of the water-pipes *
 all thy waves and storms are gone over me.
10  The Lord hath granted his loving-kindness in the day-time *
 and in the night-season did I sing of him,
and made my prayer unto the God of my life.
11  I will say unto the God of my strength, Why hast thou forgotten me *
 why go I thus heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
12  My bones are smitten asunder as with a sword *
 while mine enemies that trouble me cast me in the teeth;
13  Namely, while they say daily unto me *
 Where is now thy God?
14  Why art thou so vexed, O my soul *
 and why art thou so disquieted within me?
15  O put thy trust in God *
 for I will yet thank him,
which is the help of my countenance, and my God.
1  Give sentence with me, O God,
and defend my cause against the ungodly people *
 O deliver me from the deceitful and wicked man.
2  For thou art the God of my strength, why hast thou put me from thee *
 and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresseth me?
3  O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me *
 and bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy dwelling.
4  And that I may go unto the altar of God,
even unto the God of my joy and gladness *
 and upon the harp will I give thanks unto thee, O God, my God.
5  Why art thou so heavy, O my soul *
 and why art thou so disquieted within me?
6  O put thy trust in God *
 for I will yet give him thanks,
which is the help of my countenance, and my God.
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.

Psalms 42 and 43
(Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-42-43-MH.mp3
2 Like the deer that yearns for running streams,
so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
3 My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life;
when can I enter and see the face of God?
4 My tears have become my bread, by night, by day,
as I hear it said all the day long: “Where is your God?”
5 These things will I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
the throng wild with joy.
6 Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God;
I will praise him still, my savior and my God.
7 My soul is cast down within me as I think of you,
from the country of Jordan and Mount Hermon,
from the Hill of Mizar.
8 Deep is calling on deep, in the roar of waters;
your torrents and all your waves swept over me.
9 By day the Lord will send his loving kindness;
by night I will sing to him,
praise the God of my life.
10 I will say to God, my rock: “Why have your forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning oppressed by the foe?”
11 With cries that pierce me to the heart,
my enemies revile me, saying to me all day long:
“Where is your God?”
12 Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God;
I will praise him still, my savior and my God.
1 Defend me, O God,
and plead my cause against a godless nation.
From deceitful and cunning men
rescue me, O God.
2 Since you, O God, are my stronghold,
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go mourning oppressed by the foe?
3 O send forth your light and your truth;
let these be my guide.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
4 And I will come to the altar of God,
the God of my joy.
My redeemer, I will thank you on the harp, O God, my God.
5 Why are you cast down my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my savior and my God.
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.

PRAYER

Eternal God, source of everlasting light,
send forth your truth into our hearts,
and bring us into your presence with joy and gladness
in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Jeremiah 3:6-14

The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me’; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretence, says the Lord.

Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. Go, and proclaim these words towards the north, and say:
Return, faithless Israel, says the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
   for I am merciful, says the Lord;
I will not be angry for ever.
Only acknowledge your guilt,
   that you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
and scattered your favours among strangers under every green tree,
   and have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord.
Return, O faithless children, says the Lord,
   for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
   and I will bring you to Zion.

HYMN: Isaac Williams
Tune: Abridge https://tinyurl.com/399yptr9

1 Be thou my guardian and my guide,
and hear me when I call;
let not my slippery footsteps slide,
and hold me lest I fall.

2 The world, the flesh, and Satan dwell
around the path I tread;
O save me from the snares of hell,
thou quickener of the dead.

3 And if I tempted am to sin,
and outward things are strong,
do thou, O Lord, keep watch within,
and save my soul from wrong.

4 Still let me ever watch and pray,
and feel that I am frail;
that if the tempter cross my way,
yet he may not prevail.

Reading: Hebrews 3:15-19

As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? But with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

HYMN: Psalm 95; para. Psalter, 1912, alt.
Tune: Beecher https://tinyurl.com/yr35xaxu

1 Now with joyful exultation
let us sing to God our praise;
to the Rock of our salvation
loud hosannas let us raise.
Thankful tribute gladly bringing,
let us come before him now,
and, with psalms his praises singing,
joyful in his presence bow.

2 For how great a God, and glorious,
is the LORD of whom we sing;
over idol gods victorious,
great is he, our God and King.
In his hand are earth’s deep places,
also his are all the hills;
his the sea whose bounds he traces,
his the land his bounty fills.

3 To the LORD, such might revealing,
let us come with reverence meet,
and, before our Maker kneeling,
let us worship at his feet.
He is our own God who leads us,
we the people of his care;
with a shepherd’s hand he feeds us
as his flock in pastures fair.

4 While he offers peace and pardon
let us hear his voice today,
lest, if we our hearts should harden,
we should perish in the way
lest to us, so unbelieving,
he in judgment should declare:
“You, so long my Spirit grieving,
never in my rest will share.”

Reading: Luke 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
   Your kingdom come.
   Give us each day our daily bread.
   And forgive us our sins,
     for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
   And do not bring us to the time of trial.’

CANTICLE Isaiah 26:9-20
(Katie Tracy and Mark Ribera: https://tinyurl.com/y76wq85c)

In our distress we sought the Lord;
Poured out a whispered prayer
Cried out, seeking deliverance;
His mercy met us there
Empty idols have ruled over us;
These hardened hearts of stone
The Lord has brought salvation, sweet;
We rest in him alone
Refrain:
Trust in the Lord forevermore
He is our fortress strong
Souls, cling to this everlasting rock
to our salvation sure

May the wicked learn your power;
May they believe your truth
For your righteousness and justice;
Bring peace upon the earth Refrain

To you who dwell in dust, awake! Rise up and sing for joy!
The Lord will redeem you at last; And life shall be restored

THE PRAYERS PWC

God of compassion, answer us in the day of trouble,
send us help from your holy place.
Show us the path of life,
for in your presence is joy.
Give justice to the orphaned and oppressed
and break the power of wickedness and evil.
Look upon the hungry and sorrowful
and grant them the help for which they long.
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
may your glory endure for ever.
You have dominion over all
and with you is our redemption.

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.

Blessed God, whose Son Jesus came as servant to all: We thank you for William Bliss, whose
dedication to the commonweal through economic justice led him to take a stand for justice: may we, with them, may find our true happiness through self-sacrifice in service of your reign, where all the hungry are fed and the downtrodden are raised up through Jesus Christ our Liberator; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now
and for ever. Amen. HWHM

Music: https://tinyurl.com/y9efvwm5
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


Since 1993, Oremus has been done on a volunteer basis. If you are able, please consider supporting this work at the PayPal link below. For software reasons, I’ve set the value at $10.00, but feel free to change it. Thank you.

$10.00

Pay with PayPal

BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © Church Publishing, Inc.

PWC PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Morning and Evening Prayer for the Seasons of the Church Year Prepared by The Rev’d Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett on behalf of The Liturgy Task Force of the Anglican Church of Canada, May 2016.

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 language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language version of Psalm 41 is from the The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel. Psalms 42 and 43 are from The Grail Psalter and are from the manualhopper YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwov5_qdAhY

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: