All posts filed under: weekly post

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 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 …