Author: thehomelyhours

The Week of Epiphany

Collect: O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Feasts and Saints Sunday, January 6: The Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles The Feast of the Epiphany is the culmination after the Twelve Days of Christmas. On this day, we remember several events that “manifest” the glories of Christ’s divinity through his humanity: (1) the coming of the magi to worship Jesus, (2) Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River, and (3) the first miracle when Jesus turns water to wine at the wedding in Cana. This article, an excerpt from Elsa Chaney’s book The Twelve Days of Christmas (1955), is a beautiful explanation of why Epiphany is so important. She states: Unless we realize the significance of this great day, we see only one side of the mystery of the Incarnation. Now after contemplating the …

The First Sunday After Christmas

Collect:Almighty God, who hast given us thine only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin; Grant that we being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus, Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen. Feast Days: Tuesday, January 1, The Circumcision of Christ, also called The Holy Name of Jesus The Feast of the Circumcision, or the Holy Name of Jesus dates to at least the sixth century. On this day, we remember three main events or themes: the giving of the name “Jesus” (which means, “Yahweh saves”), Jesus’s keeping of the Law in being circumcised — the mark of Jewish faithfulness instituted by God in His covenant with Abraham, and the first shedding of Jesus’s blood. The readings for the day are from Philippians 2:9-13 (“at the name of Jesus every knee should bow”) and Luke …

The 4th Week of Advent

Collect: O Lord, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world without end. Amen. Saints and Feasts: Tuesday, December 25: Christmas Day Gregory of Nazianzus: “Christ is born: let us glorify him. Christ comes down from heaven: let us go out to meet him. Christ descends to earth: let us be raised on high. Let all the world sing to the Lord: let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, for his sake who was first in heaven and then on earth. Christ is here in the flesh: let us exult with fear and joy with fear, because of our sins; with joy, because of the hope that he brings us.” Wednesday, December 26: …

The Third Week of Advent

Collect: O Lord Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, on God, world without end. Amen.” Saints Days and Other Observances: Monday, December 17: O Antiphons Begin: Since at least the 6th century, the “Great O” Antiphons are traditional verses added to the singing of the Magnificat. They each center around one of the names given to the Messiah in the book of Isaiah. And, the first letter of each name creates an acrostic “E-R-O-C-R-A-S,” a Latin phrase that means “Tomorrow, I will be there.”  This Advent booklet contains prayers for the O Antiphons. And, you can also print out these O Antiphon Ornaments.  To listen to …

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 …