Oremus for Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Pandita Ramabai

Pandita Mary Ramabai
Pandita Rambai (1858-1922) faced most of the obstacles a woman could encounter in the India of her lifetime. She was denied access to formal education and was ostracized from society as first an orphan and then a widow. She experienced first-hand the effects of India’s rigid caste system that placed discriminatory walls between social and racial groups. Yet she fought back, first as a Hindu, then as a Christian.
Her father was a scholar who taught her both the Sanskrit language and the Vedas, the sources of classical Hindu beliefs. An 1876 famine killed most of her family and a few years later a cholera epidemic killed her husband of nineteen months. Acutely aware of the difficulties facing Indian women, Ramabai was increasingly drawn to social work and in 1883 traveled to England where she spent time with the Wantage Sisters, an Anglican religious community near Oxford. She was baptized in 1883 and worked actively in London with a community of nuns whose clientele were former prostitutes. She also attended the Cheltenham Ladies College, an institution that favored women’s suffrage and instructing young women in the same subjects taught in schools for young men.
Ramabai returned to India in 1889 and founded the Mukti Mission, a home for abandoned widows and orphans of the Brahmin high priestly caste in Mumbai, (formerly Bombay). When India was again struck by famine in 1896, she extended the mission’s outreach to include women and orphans of all castes, and gradually added a clinic and vocational training courses.
Fluent in several languages, Ramabai translated the Bible into Marathi, a West Indian language. Indians who encountered her gave her the title “Pandita,” meaning “the learned one.” Ramabai, like Mother Teresa later, worked tirelessly among India’s poor, depending on the generosity of others to fund her activities. Her evangelical enthusiasm never waned. “What a blessing this burden does not fall on me. But Christ bears it on his shoulders,” she wrote, and “no one but He could transform and uplift the downtrodden womanhood of India and of every land.”
HWHM

Antiphon https://tinyurl.com/2up5tr2v

Look to your covenant, O Lord,
and forget not the life of your poor ones for ever.
Arise, O God, and defend your cause,
and forget not the cries of those who seek you. Psalm 74

Merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you
with our whole heart and mind and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be,
so that we may delight in your will
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your holy name. Amen. BCW

Music: https://tinyurl.com/ufxekitx

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory 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.

HYMN: Philip Doddridge, alt. Edward Osler
Tune: St Flavian https://tinyurl.com/bdhm34bw

1 Fountain of good, to own thy love
our thankful hearts incline;
what can we render, Lord to thee,
when all the worlds are thine?

2 But thou hast needy brethren here,
partakers of thy grace,
whose names thou wilt thyself confess
before the Father’s face.

3 And in their accents of distress
thy pleading voice is heard;
in them thou may’st be clothed and fed
and visited and cheered.

4 Thy face with rev’rence and with love
we in thy poor would see;
O may we minister to them,
and in them, Lord, to thee.

PSALMS

Psalm 27 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tlahhq6)
1  The Lord is my light, and my salvation; whom then shall I fear *
 the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
2  When the wicked, even mine enemies, and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh *
 they stumbled and fell.
3  Though an host of men were laid against me,
yet shall not my heart be afraid *
 and though there rose up war against me, yet will I put my trust in him.
4  One thing have I desired of the Lord, which I will require *
 even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the fair beauty of the Lord, and to visit his temple.
5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his tabernacle *
 yea, in the secret place of his dwelling shall he hide me,
and set me up upon a rock of stone.
6  And now shall he lift up mine head *
 above mine enemies round about me.
7  Therefore will I offer in his dwelling an oblation with great gladness *
 I will sing, and speak praises unto the Lord.
8  Hearken unto my voice, O Lord, when I cry unto thee *
 have mercy upon me, and hear me.
9  My heart hath talked of thee, Seek ye my face *
 Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
10  O hide not thou thy face from me *
 nor cast thy servant away in displeasure.
11  Thou hast been my succour *
 leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
12  When my father and my mother forsake me *
 the Lord taketh me up.
13  Teach me thy way, O Lord *
 and lead me in the right way, because of mine enemies.
14  Deliver me not over into the will of mine adversaries *
 for there are false witnesses risen up against me,
and such as speak wrong.
15  I should utterly have fainted *
 but that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
16  O tarry thou the Lord’s leisure *
 be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.
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 27 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-27.mp3)
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? *
the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh, *
it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army should encamp against me, *
yet my heart shall not be afraid;
4 And though war should rise up against me, *
yet will I put my trust in him.
5 One thing have I asked of the LORD; one thing I seek; *
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days  of my life;
6 To behold the fair beauty of the LORD *
and to seek him in his temple. 
7 For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe  in his shelter; *
he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling
and set me high upon a rock.
8 Even now he lifts up my head *
above my enemies round about me.
9 Therefore I will offer in his dwelling an oblation
with sounds of great gladness; *
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
10 Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call; *
have mercy on me and answer me.
11 You speak in my heart and say, “Seek my face.” *
Your face, LORD, will I seek.
12 Hide not your face from me, *
nor turn away your servant in displeasure.
13 You have been my helper; cast me not away; *
do not forsake me, O God of my salvation.
14 Though my father and my mother forsake me, *
the LORD will sustain me.
15 Show me your way, O LORD; *
lead me on a level path, because of my enemies.
16 Deliver me not into the hand of my adversaries, *
for false witnesses have risen up against me,
and also those who speak malice.
17 What if I had not believed
that I should see the goodness of the LORD *
in the land of the living! 
18 O tarry and await the LORD’S pleasure;
be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; *
wait patiently for the LORD.

Psalm 28 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/uxqzzoa)
1  Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my strength *
 think no scorn of me; lest, if thou make as though thou hearest not,
I become like them that go down into the pit.
2  Hear the voice of my humble petitions, when I cry unto thee *
 when I hold up my hands towards the mercy-seat of thy holy temple.
3  O pluck me not away, neither destroy me
with the ungodly and wicked doers *
 which speak friendly to their neighbours,
but imagine mischief in their hearts.
4  Reward them according to their deeds *
 and according to the wickedness of their own inventions.
5  Recompense them after the work of their hands *
 pay them that they have deserved.
6  For they regard not in their mind the works of the Lord,
nor the operation of his hands *
 therefore shall he break them down, and not build them up.
7  Praised be the Lord *
 for he hath heard the voice of my humble petitions.
8  The Lord is my strength, and my shield;
my heart hath trusted in him, and I am helped *
 therefore my heart danceth for joy, and in my song will I praise him.
9  The Lord is my strength *
 and he is the wholesome defence of his Anointed.
10  O save thy people, and give thy blessing unto thine inheritance *
 feed them, and set them up for ever.
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 28 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-28.mp3)
1 O LORD, I call to you;
my Rock, do not be deaf to my cry; *
lest, if you do not hear me,
I become like those who go down to the Pit.
2 Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you, *
when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.
3 Do not snatch me away with the wicked or with the evildoers, *
who speak peaceably with their neighbors,
while strife is in their hearts.
4 Repay them according to their deeds, *
and according to the wickedness of their actions.
5 According to the work of their hands repay them, *
and give them their just deserts.
6 They have no understanding of the LORD’S doings,
nor of the works of his hands; *
therefore he will break them down and not  build them up.
7 Blessed is the LORD! *
for he has heard the voice of my prayer.
8 The LORD is my strength and my shield; *
my heart trusts in him, and I have been helped;
9 Therefore my heart dances for joy, *
and in my song will I praise him.
10 The LORD is the strength of his people, *
a safe refuge for his anointed.
11 Save your people and bless your inheritance; *
shepherd them and carry them for ever.

Psalm 29 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/rxm2ar6)
1  Bring unto the Lord, O ye mighty,
bring young rams unto the Lord *
 ascribe unto the Lord worship and strength.
2  Give the Lord the honour due unto his Name *
 worship the Lord with holy worship.
3  It is the Lord, that commandeth the waters *
 it is the glorious God, that maketh the thunder.
4  It is the Lord, that ruleth the sea;
the voice of the Lord is mighty in operation *
 the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice.
5  The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedar-trees *
 yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Libanus.
6  He maketh them also to skip like a calf *
 Libanus also, and Sirion, like a young unicorn.
7  The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire;
the voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness *
 yea, the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Cades.
8  The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to bring forth young,
and discovereth the thick bushes *
 in his temple doth every man speak of his honour.
9  The Lord sitteth above the water-flood *
 and the Lord remaineth a King for ever.
10  The Lord shall give strength unto his people *
 the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.
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 29 (Plainsong: http://oremus.org/chant/Psalm-29.mp3)
1 Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, *
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his Name; *
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; *
the LORD is upon the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; *
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; *
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
8 The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe *
and strips the forests bare.
9 And in the temple of the LORD *
all are crying, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; *
the LORD sits enthroned as King for evermore.
11 The LORD shall give strength to his people; *
the LORD shall give his people the blessing of peace.

PRAYER

God of mystery and power,
open our eyes to the fire of your love,
and open our ears to the thunder of your justice,
that we may receive your gifts of blessing and peace,
to the glory of your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCW

THE WORD OF GOD

Reading: Exodus 5:1-6:1

Afterwards Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Let my people go, so that they may celebrate a festival to me in the wilderness.” ’ But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go.’ Then they said, ‘The God of the Hebrews has revealed himself to us; let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.’ But the king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get to your labours!’ Pharaoh continued, ‘Now they are more numerous than the people of the land and yet you want them to stop working!’ That same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people, as well as their supervisors, ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it, for they are lazy; that is why they cry, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.” Let heavier work be laid on them; then they will labour at it and pay no attention to deceptive words.’

So the taskmasters and the supervisors of the people went out and said to the people, ‘Thus says Pharaoh, “I will not give you straw. Go and get straw yourselves, wherever you can find it; but your work will not be lessened in the least.” ’ So the people scattered throughout the land of Egypt, to gather stubble for straw. The taskmasters were urgent, saying, ‘Complete your work, the same daily assignment as when you were given straw.’ And the supervisors of the Israelites, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and were asked, ‘Why did you not finish the required quantity of bricks yesterday and today, as you did before?’

Then the Israelite supervisors came to Pharaoh and cried, ‘Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, “Make bricks!” Look how your servants are beaten! You are unjust to your own people.’ He said, ‘You are lazy, lazy; that is why you say, “Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.” Go now, and work; for no straw shall be given you, but you shall still deliver the same number of bricks.’ The Israelite supervisors saw that they were in trouble when they were told, ‘You shall not lessen your daily number of bricks.’ As they left Pharaoh, they came upon Moses and Aaron who were waiting to meet them. They said to them, ‘The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odour with Pharaoh and his officials, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.’

Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.’

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.’

HYMN: Herbert O’Driscoll ©
Tune: Bethany https://tinyurl.com/y33yb3mj

1 “From the slave pens of the Delta,
from the ghettos on the Nile,
let my people seek their freedom
in the wilderness awhile”:
so God spoke from out of Sinai,
so God spoke and it was done,
and a people crossed the waters
toward the rising of the sun.

2 “From the aging shrines and structures,
from the cloister and the aisle,
let my people seek their freedom
in the wilderness awhile”:
so the Son of God has spoken,
and the storm clouds are unfurled,
for God’s people must be scattered
to be servants in the world.

3 When we murmur on the mountains
for the old Egyptian plains,
when we miss our ancient bondage
and the hope, the promise, wanes;
then the rock shall yield its water
and the manna fall by night,
and with visions of a future
shall we march toward the light.

4 In the maelstrom of the nations,
in the journeying into space,
in the clash of generations,
in the hungering for grace,
in our agony and glory,
we are called to newer ways
by the Lord of our tomorrows
and the God of earth’s todays.

Reading: Romans 12:9-21

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

HYMN: Frances Ridley Havergal
Tune: Hendon https://tinyurl.com/bdhuprcd

1 Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

2 Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

3 Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

4 Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

5 Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.

Reading: Mark 13:24-27

Jesus continued, ‘But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
   and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.’

CANTICLE Isaiah 55:6-11
(Setting by Gregory Wilbur: https://tinyurl.com/yawmg8fp)

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
Call ye upon him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

And let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
My ways and thoughts are higher than yours.

And let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven,
And maketh it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to sow,
that it may give bread to eat.

So shall my world be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
It shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please it shall prosper
in the thing whereunto I sent it.

THE PRAYERS WS2

God of our salvation,
we praise you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ,
to suffer for our sins so we may be redeemed.
We are thankful for the reminders of that redemption visible in creation . . .
the nations of the world when they . . .
our nation and those who govern as they . . .
our own community as it . . .
the church universal as it seeks to . . .
our local church as it . . .
the lives of those near to us . . .
our own life as we experience your saving grace . . .

We also ask that
as the source of the world’s hope and redemption
you hear our prayers on behalf of
all creation . . .
the nations of the world . . .
our nation and those in authority . . .
the community and those who govern . . .
the church universal, its mission, and those who minister . . .
our church and its ministry . . .
those with particular needs . . .

(Plainsong Mode 2: https://tinyurl.com/yctqq8cf)DL

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the bread of life;
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.

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the love and service of your servant Pandita Ramabai, who worked to transform and uplift the downtrodden womanhood of India, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. STB

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


Support this ministry

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.

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

DL © Daniel Lawson; used with permission.

HWHM Holy Women, Holy Men © 2010 The Church Pension Fund.

STB The collect is by Stephen Benner, adapting a collect in The Book of Common Prayer (1979), The Episcopal Church

WS2 The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd edition, © 2013, Faith Alive Christian Resources

The 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 version of the psalms is from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern version is from The Book of Common Prayer (1979) and is sung by Ryland Angel.

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 © 2022 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.

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