Author: thehomelyhours

The Second Week of Advent

Collect: “Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. Saints Days: Thursday, December 13: St Lucy All that is really known about St. Lucy is that she was a young martyr during the Diocletian persecution of 304 A.D. Traditions has it that Lucy was born of noble parents, but her father died when she was around 5. Lucy devoted her virginity to the Lord, but her mother, not knowing this and looking to settle Lucy’s future since she was suffering from a bleeding disorder, arranged for her daughter to marry a wealthy pagan man. Lucy was told in a vision that her mother would be healed. Believing this, she told her mother to distribute their riches and the patrimony. When …

The First Week of Advent

Collect: Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen. Monday, December 3: Channing Moore Williams Channing Moore Williams was born in Richmond, VA in 1829 and was brought up by his widowed mother in poverty. After being ordained deacon in 1855, he offered himself for missionary work in China. In 1859, Japan was opened to the West and Williams was sent as the first Episcopal missionary. In 1866, he was consecrated  Missionary Bishop of China and Japan. Being spread too thin because of the geographical size of his ministry, his work was slow going. So, …

Sunday Next Before Advent (Christ the King)

Collect: “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Feast Days and Saints Days: Christ the King Sunday Instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, Christ the King Sunday is a relatively new feast day. On this day, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, we see the culmination of the church year in a celebration of Christ as the King of all. Pope Pius described the importance of this feast: “If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He …

Keeping Advent: Some Daily Practices

As we prepare for Advent beginning on December 2, I thought I would post the resources that we have available on this site for daily Advent prayer and Scripture reading. Advent Wreath: If you do nothing else for Advent, buy an Advent wreath and candles.* We use this prayer and Scripture reading booklet from our church every year. We light the candles before we start to eat dinner and then follow the readings and prayers. Jesus/Jesse Tree So many great Jesse Tree options are out there, but I do think these Scandinavian style ornaments Bley painted to correspond with Rachel Chaney’s Jesus Tree are especially lovely. Because my family already has a morning prayer routine going, we aren’t going to follow her whole devotional. Instead, I’ve put together this list of Scriptures to correspond with the ornaments (all free for your use). We’ll read the Scripture and hang the ornament before we go into our normal morning prayer. O Antiphons: If you’re following the Advent Wreath Booklet, you’ll see that it also includes prayers for the Great O …

The 25th Week After Trinity

Collect: “O God, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father; and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.” Saints Days: Monday, November 19: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Princess Elizabeth of Hungary was born in 1207. As a result of a prophecy the night she was born, she was promised at age four to the son of Count Herman of Thuringia (Herman’s court poet said that a princess would be born that night who would be holy and would marry Herman’s son). The eldest son died and her betrothal was switched to the younger son, Ludwig. They were married in 1221, when …

The 24th Week After Trinity

Collect: O Lord, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.” Saints and Feast Days: Sunday, November 11: Martin of Tours (transferred to Tuesday, the 13th) Saint Martin of Tours was born in what is now Hungary between 315 and 330. His father was a soldier and early in Martin’s life, his family was transferred to Italy. At fifteen, because he was a veteran’s son, he was forced to become a soldier. Sulpicius Severus described his early life in the military (you can read his Life of St. Martin here): Martin was a professional soldier, but managed to keep himself free from the vices in which so often soldiers indulge. He was extremely kind toward his fellow-soldiers, and held them in great affection; while his patience and humility surpassed what seemed possible for human …

The 23rd Week After Trinity

Collect: O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all godliness; be ready, we beseech thee, to hear the devout prayers of thy Church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saint’s Days: Wednesday, November 7: Willibrord Born around 668 in Yorkshire, at six years old, Willibrord was placed in the care of Saint Wilfrid, abbot of the Monastery of Ripon, to be raised as a Benedictine monk. After studying at the renowned schools of Ireland for 12 years, when he was around 30, Willibrord obtained permission to serve as a missionary in Frisia (present-day Holland). The duke of Frisia, Pepin of Herstal was already a Christian and welcomed Willibrord and his companions. After around six years, most of Pepin’s subjects had converted to Christ. At that time, Willibrord was summoned to Pope Sergius in Rome, who changed his religious name to “Clement” and ordained him Archbishop of Frisia. He founded many churches, for he was committed not just to …

Following the Saints Throughout the Year

When I started writing our Homely Hours weekly post, I didn’t realize that figuring out what saint to write about would be complicated. So, I’ve been very thankful to be able to use the Anglican Ordo Calendar from Whithorn Press. An Ordo Calendar – for those of us new to a liturgical tradition – is a calendar that shows the “order” of the year, with all the saints days included. Because I’ve been receiving questions about what calendar we are using, I thought I would feature it through an interview with its creator, Fr. Brian Foos. And, it seemed appropriate, as we celebrate All Saints’, to also think about how we can be following the saints throughout the year.   Fr. Brian is vicar of St. Andrew’s Church and headmaster at St. Andrew’s Academy in Lake Almanor, California, a small mountain town. He is married to Katy (who, by the way, cooks through the liturgical year – we’re hoping that she will share some of her recipes with us) and the father of 3 teenagers who …

The 22nd Sunday After Trinity

Collect: Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints and Feast Days Sunday, October 28: St.Simon and St Jude, Apostles We know little about these two apostles; St. Simon is included in each list of the twelve in the Synoptic Gospels; St. Jude (or Judas) is included in Luke and and Acts, but is named as “Thaddeus” in Matthew and Mark — they were probably the same person.  Here is what we do know: St. Luke calls St. Simon “the Zealot.” The Zealots believed that the Messiah would come as a military leader bringing vindication to the Jews through force. St. Jude (or Judas, or Thaddeus) is traditionally the author of the book of Jude (though some consider this unlikely since the author of Jude refers to the apostles in the past tense and doesn’t seem to consider …

Preparing for All Saints’ Day

I’ve been working on an explanation of All Saints’ Day that my children can understand. We’re going to start reading it tomorrow (Thursday) and read a section each day as part of our family morning prayer time. Here are the sections: What is a saint? (on holiness and wholeness) Lots of Different Saints (on the variety among God’s saints) How to Be a Saint (on The Communion of the Saints and the Beatitudes) Welcoming the Saints (on the question, why do so many saints die for Jesus?) Death and the Saints (on why sometimes it’s not easy to want to be a saint) Dealing with Scary Things and Halloween (self-explanatory) Today is the Day! (on doing small things with great love) Here is an excerpt: “You may think that to be a saint, you have to be big and do big things for God. This is not true. You need to do the same things that all of us followers of Christ are trying to do – whether we are old or young, big or …