Commemoration of W.E.B. DuBois
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William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois. February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, author, and editor. He was the first African-American gradate of Harvard University (PhD-History). Historian David Levering Lewis wrote, “In the course of his long, turbulent career, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth-century racism— scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity.” He is an author, historian, sociologist and is noted for his historical and sociological scholarship on religion in the Black evangelical church tradition.
Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to
the ends of the world. Psalm 19:4
Let us confess our sins against God and one another.
Almighty God, Source of all that is,
Giver of every good gift:
You create all people in your image
and call us to love one another as you love us.
We confess that we have failed to honor you
in the great diversity of the human family.
We have desired to live in freedom,
while building walls between ourselves and others.
We have longed to be known and accepted for who we are,
while making judgements of others based on the color of skin,
or the shape of features, or the varieties of human experience.
We have tried to love our neighbors individually
while yet benefitting from systems that hold
those same neighbors in oppression.
Forgive us, Holy God.
Give us eyes to see you as you are revealed in all people.
Strengthen us for the work of reconciliation rooted in love.
Restore us in your image, to be beloved community,
united in our diversity,
even as you are one with Christ and the Spirit,
Holy and undivided Trinity, now and for ever.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Venite Psalm 95:1-7
Come, let us sing to the Lord; *
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, *
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth, *
and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, *
and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!
Psalm 113 Laudate, pueri
Give praise, you servants of the Lord; *
praise the Name of the Lord.
2 Let the Name of the Lord be blessed, *
from this time forth for evermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to its going down *
let the Name of the Lord be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations, *
and his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God, who sits enthroned on high, *
but stoops to behold the heavens and the earth?
6 He takes up the weak out of the dust *
and lifts up the poor from the ashes.
7 He sets them with the princes, *
with the princes of his people.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty to them— that all should set free their Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should hold another Judean in slavery. And they obeyed, all the officials and all the people who had entered into the covenant that all would set free their slaves, male or female, so that they would not be enslaved again; they obeyed and set them free. But afterwards they turned about and took back the male and female slaves they had set free, and brought them again into subjection as slaves. The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I myself made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, saying, ‘Every seventh year each of you must set free any Hebrews who have been sold to you and have served you for six years; you must set them free from your service.’ But your ancestors did not listen to me or incline their ears to me. You yourselves recently repented and did what was right in my sight by proclaiming liberty to one another, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name; but then you turned about and profaned my name when each of you took back your male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them again into subjection to be your slaves. Therefore, thus says the Lord: You have not obeyed me by granting a release to your neighbours and friends; I am going to grant a release to you, says the Lord—a release to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And those who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make like the calf when they cut it in two and passed between its parts:
A Song of Hosea
Come, let us return to our God, *
who has torn us and will heal us.
God has struck us and will bind up our wounds, *
after two days revive us,
On the third day restore us, *
that in God’s presence we may live.
Let us humble ourselves, let us strive to know the Lord, *
whose justice dawns like morning light,
its dawning as sure as the sunrise.
God’s justice will come to us like a shower, *
like spring rains that water the earth.
And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’—
Canticle 19 The Song of the Redeemed Magna et mirabilia
O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
surpassing human understanding.
Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
O King of all the ages.
Who can fail to do you homage, Lord,
and sing the praises of your Name? *
for you only are the Holy One.
All nations will draw near and fall down before you, *
because your just and holy works have been revealed.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth;
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Gracious God, kindle in your Church a zeal for justice and the dignity of all, that we, following the example of your servant William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, may have the grace to defend all the oppressed and maintain the cause of those who have been silenced; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We name our prayers and intercessions silents or aloud, concluding with:
God of justice,
your word is light and truth.
Let your face shine on us to restore us,
that we may walk in your way,
seeking justice and doing good. Amen.
A Prayer of St. Chrysostom:
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21