All posts filed under: Book of Common Prayer

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 …

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 …

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 …

The First Week of Epiphany

Collect: “O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Saints Days Monday, January 14: Hilary  Born around 315 to a polytheistic pagan family, Hilary was classically educated to become a lawyer and orator. Through his study, he gradually concluded that there must only be one God. And at that point in his thinking, he encountered the Christian Scriptures which led to his conversion and baptism at the age of 30. When he was around 35, Hilary was reluctantly ordained Deacon, Priest and Bishop within three days, because he was so respected and loved by his fellow Christians. He immediately become embroiled in the Arian controversy. When the Emporor Constantius, on the side of the Arians, required all bishops to condemn Saint Athanasius, Hilary refused (and was eventually given the title “Athanasius of the …

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 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 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 …