All posts filed under: Anglican

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 …

Pregnant or Nursing During Lent? Don’t Feel Guilty.

This past week, some of my friends and I were talking about motherhood and Lent. All of them are either nursing or pregnant, and I, for the first time in years, am neither. They were saying, “I feel a little guilty for not fasting during Lent.” And I responded (in many more words): “Don’t feel guilty! I did, too. But now that I’m experiencing Lent without being pregnant or nursing, I won’t feel that way again.” Then they said, “Write a post on this for the Homely Hours!”* And so, I did. Lent calls for sacrificial love through fasting every year. But that can look different, and it ought to look different for those who are are nursing or pregnant. Lenten fasting always comes with the caveat: “Those who are ill, those who are pregnant or nursing, those with strenuous jobs, and young children, etc. are not expected to keep this fast.” Our Mother Church asks us for different sacrifices at different seasons of our life, but she will not burden us with more than …

Sexagesima

Collect: O Lord God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Saint Days: Monday, February 25: Saint Matthias All we know about Saint Matthias comes from first chapter of Acts, verses 23-26. In this chapter, after Christ’s ascension, the early church is gathered (around 120 people) and Peter declares the need to replace Judas Iscariot. The church decides upon two men — Justus and Matthias —  who both fit the requirements of being “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22). And then, after casting lots between the two, the lot fell on Matthias. Saint Jerome and the Venerable Bede agree that they cast lots because of …

The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany

Collect: “O Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Friday, February 15: Blessed Thomas Bray Born in 1656, Thomas Bray was educated at Oxford and was selected by the Bishop of London to help organize the church in the American colony of Maryland. While delayed before his journey, he spent his time creating a free parochial library system. It was originally intended for American, but was also instituted in England. He then founded the “Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.” After his service in Maryland, he returned to England and also founded the “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.” He died on this day in 1730. Archdeacon W.H. Hutton, in The Dictionary of English Church History, writes of Bray: “He was a vigorous and humorous writer and a parish priest of exemplary devotion, and to no one in the …

Teaching Scripture to Our Children

One of the reasons my husband and I came to Anglicanism is because of the reverence in the worship. The glad solemnity of our Anglican liturgy harmonized with our understanding of the Scriptures — humility and the “fear of the Lord”  as part of our response to the love and mercy of Christ. As we became parents, it was important to us to communicate that reverence and glad solemnity to our children. We felt it did a disservice to both Christianity and our children to dumb the faith down, but it can be confusing to have that conviction. So many of the books and products available for children are kitsch-y, cartoon-y, irreverent. I don’t really want my children associating Bible stories with talking vegetables… So, we have been very reticent. Going along with our church, we have invited our children into the fullness of our Christian practice. They attend the liturgy with us from the very beginning, learning the service music and hymns. We try to give them what we believe is the truly beautiful …

The Fourth Week After Epiphany

Collect: “O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints Days  Monday, February 4: St. Cornelius In Acts 10 and 11, we are told of a Roman centurion, a God-fearing Gentile, named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea.  An angel of the Lord appears to Cornelius while he is praying and tells him to send a messenger to Joppa to bring back Peter. Meanwhile, the next day, Peter is praying and has a vision of clean and unclean animals (symbolizing Jews and Gentiles) being let down from heaven in something like a large sheet. A voice commands, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat,” but Peter replies “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the Lord says, “What God has made …

Candlemas: Celebrating at Home

Candlemas is a beautiful day — the third “Festival of Light” that rounds out our winter celebrations. Our priest, Fr. Wayne McNamara, wrote a helpful explanation of the meaning of Candlemas. He believes it is important for the modern church to recover this feast: “Candlemas articulates the necessary future of this beautiful Light coming into the world. Our celebrations so far have dwelt on the joyful implications of the Son of God’s arrival, our redemption, salvation, and deliverance. Candlemas reiterates in a pointed way that the coming of the Lord includes difficult things – the persecutions of Jesus in His ministry and the call of the Christ to suffer the Cross. Candlemas rounds out our thoughts regarding the significance of the Word become flesh, and moves us forward to Lent.” This year, Michelle Abernathy made a lovely coloring page printable based upon the painting displayed in the header for Candlemas: you can download a printable pdf here. We also have a Candlemas family liturgy: You can download that here.  In the devotional Celebrating the Saints, I loved …

The Third Week After Epiphany

Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints and Feasts: Monday, January 28: St. Fabian In 236, the bishop of Rome died and an assembly was held in the catacombs to elect his successor. A lay man named Fabian happened to be visiting from the country, and curious to see the process, decided to attend the assembly. He was standing in the midst of the crowd, when suddenly, a dove flew in, circled around, and landed on his shoulder. Immediately, the Christians saw this as a sign, began saying, “He is worthy” and Fabian became bishop. It turned out that he was good choice. Fabian was an able administrator, known for appointing the seven deacons who became part of the essential structure in the Roman church. He also started the custom of venerating the shrines of martyrs in the catacombs. In 249, when the Emperor Dacian commanded the persecution of …

The Second Week after Epiphany

Collect: “Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saints Days Monday, January 21: Saint Agnes In 304, during the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian, a beautiful young Christian girl named Agnes attracted the attentions of the son of the Prefect  of Rome. When she refused to marry him because she had offered herself as a consecrated virgin, he revealed her as a Christian to his father. After being arrested and threatened with torture, she was placed in a brothel, though not compromised. Then the Prefect told her that if she didn’t give up her virginity, she would become one of the Vestal Virgins of the Goddess Diana. When she still refused to deny Christ, she was sentenced by death by burning. When the flames separated and wouldn’t burn her, she was stabbed through the throat.  Saint Ambrose marveled, “There was not even room in her little …