Author: thehomelyhours

The Second Week after Easter

Collect: Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints of the Week Monday, May 6: St. Alphege (transferred from April 19) Born around 934, St. Alphege became monk in Gloucestershire at an early age, but then withdrew from monastic life to be a hermit. Because of his holy reputation, he was eventually called out of the hermetic life to be Abbot of Bath and then Bishop of Winchester in 984. In 1005, he became Archbishop of Canterbury. As Archbishop, he was deeply loved and respected for his devout life, asceticism, and his unmatched generosity toward the poor. In 1011, the Danes overran Southern England, besieging and eventually conquering Canterbury. Alphege was taken prison, but held for an exorbitant ransom. He …

The First Week After Easter

Collect: Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth, through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Saints of the Week Monday, April 29: St. Mark the Evangelist (transferred from the 25th) John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark, was a Jew and was related to Barnabas. He was the son of Mary, a woman householder in Jerusalem, who may have hosted the Last Supper. During Jesus’s arrest in Gethsemane, it’s thought that Mark was the “young man with nothing on but a linen cloth” who fled. Mark accompanied St. Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey, but Mark turned back at Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Because of this, when Barnabas requested that Mark come on the second journey, Paul and Barnabas had a sharp dispute that led to their splitting …

Holy Triduum Coloring Page

As we head into the Holy Triduum tomorrow, we have a new resource to help explain it to our children. Michelle Abernathy created this coloring page, focusing on the liturgical highlights of each day. Click to download pdf of Holy Triduum coloring page. As we color through the page, we’ll talk about it. Here is something along the lines of what I will say (if you’re interested in learning what we will be doing each day at our church): Maundy Thursday: On Thursday of Holy Week, Jesus and His disciples shared an ancient special meal called the Passover, remembering how God delivered the Israelite people from slavery and death. On this night, Jesus also shared with his disciples a new special meal: the Eucharist. All those who by faith take in His life — His body and blood in the bread and wine– trust that God also delivers us from slavery and death. At our church, we re-live this every week, but especially as we participate in the Eucharist on this night. This is also when Jesus …

Preparing for Holy Week and Easter, Part 2

I divided this initial post into two parts. You can read Part One of Preparing for Holy Week and Easter here; it includes a Holy Week family prayer booklet, music suggestions, etc. In this post, I’ll share some Easter basket plans, but mostly children’s book recommendations for Holy Week and Easter. Preparing Easter Eggs and Easter Baskets Last year, Bley started working on Pysanky eggs and has been introducing it to me, too.  I’m looking forward to working on the eggs in the evenings after my kids’ bedtime– it’s such a calming, meditative practice. Like Holy Week housecleaning, it’s extra nice that something so practical and (potentially) refreshing can be gathered up into our devotion. On Holy Saturday, we will dye eggs with my kids. I plan to use natural Easter egg dyes this year. This year, we’re also planning to bring an Easter/Pascha basket on Sunday morning to be blessed. This will be our first time, so it may be a year of small beginnings, but this post is very helpful in learning what may …

Preparing for Holy Week and Easter, Part 1

As I’ve been in the midst of preparing for Holy Week, my mind has been lingering on this description from Gertrud Mueller Nelson: The sacred mysteries of the coming week, the very apex of the Church year, are brought into our homes. Actually, we move gently back and forth from the sacred rites at church to folk and family traditions and then back again to the richness of the Church. The tangible signs of our inner transformations are found in materia in the ordinary and daily things around us, renewed and charged with meaning. . . Bread and meats, kiss and cross, oil and water, water and fire, passion and praise, candles and eggs and dress and chants, primal laments and bursts of thanks, fasting and feasting, silence and sounds, all these mix and point up the poetry of paradoxes which the sacred mysteries celebrate.  The simple objects are within our reach at home. The simple gestures done at church and then at home with reverence and consciousness can bring the mysteries straight to hearth …

Passion Sunday; The Fifth Week of Lent

Collect: We beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Saints and Blesseds Monday, April 8: William Augustus Muhlenberg Living from 1796 to 1877, William Augustus Muhlenburg was a priest who had great influence on the 19th century American church. He was born to a family who had been Lutheran for generations, but he joined the Episcopal church as a young man, bordained deacon in 1817 and priest in 1820. Working towards Ecumenism within Christian churches, his proposals became the basis of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. He founded the first free church in America (before this, churches were funded by auctioning and paying for pew rents) which was also the first church in the country to celebrate the Eucharist weekly; he wrote hymns and worked on hymnals; he founded parish day schools, and a church village on Long Island (Saint Johnland), among many other projects. He died on April 6, 1877. Tuesday, April …

The Fourth Week of Lent

Collect: Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. Saints and “Blesseds” Monday, April 1: Blessed Frederick Denison Maurice Born the son of a Unitarian minister in 1805, John Frederick Denison Maurice became an Anglican when he was 26 and then a priest at 29. A founder of the Christian Socialist Movement, Maurice characterized unrestricted capitalism as “expecting Universal Selfishness to do the work of Universal Love.” Obviously a contentious figure, he is best remembered for his book The Kingdom of Christ. Though he lost his professorship at King’s College, London in 1853 because of his challenge of traditional concepts of hell and eternity, he was given a chair at Cambridge in 1866. He held this chair until his death in 1872. You can read some of his work at Anglican History. Tuesday, April 2: Blessed John Donne John Donne was born around 1571 and was raised as …

The Third Week of Lent

Collect: “We beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  Feasts, Saints, and Blesseds Monday, March 25: The Annunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary On this feast day, we remember the holy moment recorded in  Luke 1:26-38, when the angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she is “highly favored” and will be the bearer of the Christ. The feast day is exactly nine months before the Nativity on December 25th. While the first authentic records of “Lady Day” are in the mid-8th century, it may have been celebrated at least since the late 4th century. Here is an excerpt from St. Cyril of Alexandria, preached at the council of Ephesus in 431: “We hail you, O mysterious and Holy Trinity who has gathered us together in council in this church of Holy Mary, the God-bearer. We hail you, Mary, the God-bearer, sacred …

The Second Week of Lent

Collect: Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints and Blesseds Sunday, March 17: St. Patrick The Ordo Calendar has transferred St. Patrick’s Day to next week, but if you’re celebrating today, here is a St. Patrick coloring page from Michelle Abernathy art. And, from the archives, here is some background on the hymn, The Breastplate of St. Patrick  Monday, March 18, St. Cyril of Jerusalem Born around 315, Cyril was born and spent the majority of his life in Jerusalem,  a hotbed of controversy at the time. As a priest, he was given the duty of instructing the Catechumens of Jerusalem. His Catechetical Lectures to them are tremendously valuable; they not only provide a vivid picture of the Church at that time, but they are …