The Gospel According to (the Feast of the) EpiphanyJanuary 8, 2015If ever there were a perfect text for the meaning behind the feast of the Epiphany, surely it is the Third Song of Isaiah (Canticle 11, BCP p. 87), taken from Isaiah 60. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you. For behold, darkness covers the land; deep gloom enshrouds the peoples. But over you the Lord will rise, and his glory will appear upon you. Nations will stream to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning. Your gates will always be open; by day or night they...
Epiphany Reflection: “Outside-in”January 7, 2015How many of you have felt like an outsider at one point or another? How many of you feel like outsiders even now? My best friend growing up was my next door neighbor. We’ll call him Ernie. Ernie parent’s were from Ghana. Ernie and I had different color skin. One day we both went to the baseball card shop in the shopping plaza near our town home community. Between the two of us we had fourteen dollars. We were determined to spend all of it that day at that store. After parting ways to look around the place for our...
For 2015: Quit Resolutions, Develop a Rule of LifeJanuary 1, 2015So You’ve Never Kept a Single New Year’s Resolution. Why? It began just over a month ago on Thanksgiving in November, the gorging, the loosening of the belt after dinner, the “just one more” mentality. You said to yourself, “On January 1, I’m cutting calories, reducing the number of libations I sip or switching to lite beer and going back to the gym. You said all this knowing that the feasting would continue through the month of December: Christmas parties at the office, at church and at friend’s places. This would obviously continue on Christmas Eve (especially if you’re of Italian...
Candlelight: “O Holy Night”December 16, 2014The carol that has become the closing highlight of our Candlelight service is “O Holy Night.” This carol was introduced to the United States in 1855 by the Unitarian minister and music critic John Sullivan Dwight. The third verse, which I shall not sing, says, “Truly he taught us to love one another, his law is love and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in his name all oppression shall cease.” And in his name all oppression shall cease, not just some, or in certain parts, but all oppression shall cease....
Prepare for the Light!December 12, 2014I’ve heard it said that Advent is a mini Lent. Many of the readings during this season are dark, penitential, and apocalyptic. Episcopal priest and author Fleming Rutledge writes that the season reminds us that without recognizing the darkness that we are in, there is no need for the Light. Thus, Advent begins in the the dark. But the third Sunday of Advent is different. The third Sunday is a period of respite. This Sunday is “Gaudete Sunday.” Hence, the rose colored vestments and candle in the Advent wreath as opposed to the violet ones. Gaudete is a Latin word meaning “rejoice.”...
9 Ways to Enrich Your AdventDecember 11, 2014Advent signals the season of longing, of expectation, of anticipation, and also signals the beginning of a new liturgical year. In the liturgical cycle, the Church awaits the coming of its King, Jesus. Historically, the season looks in two directions: it replays the original coming of Jesus into the world; and it looks forward to his coming again. Furthermore, Advent is an historic penitential season, a season of contrition. That’s one of the reasons for its original liturgical color, purple, the same as Lent (not blue which represents Mary). Therefore, while Advent awaits, longs for, expects and hopes, it is...
Advent Reflection: Keep Awake (Though You Are Sleeping)December 5, 2014As Christians, Advent, is not simply the countdown to Christmas, rather it is a very serious season for us, because it enables us to reflect upon the idea of time, and that our lives are lived between two the Advents: Christ’s first Advent, born in the meekness of a manger and death upon the cross, and his second Advent, when he will come again for us in glory to judge both the living and the dead. Our Gospel reading today from Mark 13 is the climax of Jesus speaking in great detail and vividness about the end of time and...
Ingodded through the SacramentsMay 5, 2014“In the West, the theological thought of our day is making a great effort to return to the patristic sources of the first centuries–particularly the Greek Fathers–in order to incorporate them into a catholic synthesis.” These words could not have been truer for the framers of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The emergence of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer brought with it a desire to include a more ecumenical-historical approach to Christian spirituality and liturgy. The vast array of sources that the Prayer Book tapped into sought to introduce its users to forms of spirituality and liturgical traditions...
The Ups and Downs of Scripture and LiturgyMay 1, 2014By Fr. Matt Boulter Many people are familiar with the saying “What goes up must come down.” Fewer, however, have deeply meditated on the upward & downward motion which pervades the Christian narrative. For example, only after Christ is “lifted up” on the cross is he then is he lowered down into the depths of the earth, into Hades or Sheol, which many interpret as a kind of descent into Hell. And then, three days later, he is up again, risen victorious, for his disciples and (according to 1 Corinthians 15) a great multitude of 500 to see. Now I...
Ways to Pray: IntercessoryApril 30, 2014By Fr. Robert Solon, Jr. 1. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes. You may wish to light a candle, and may have an icon or other image on which to focus. Have handy your list of those for whom you will pray. Pause for a few deep breaths. 2. Begin thus: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,...
Collect of the Day: Second Sunday in LentMarch 1, 2015O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: First Sunday in LentFebruary 22, 2015Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: Ash WednesdayFebruary 18, 2015Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: The Presentation (Candlemas)February 2, 2015Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: Fourth Sunday after the EpiphanyFebruary 1, 2015Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: Third Sunday after EpiphanyJanuary 25, 2015Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: Second Sunday after the EpiphanyJanuary 18, 2015Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our LordJanuary 11, 2015Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Collect of the Day: Feast of the EpiphanyJanuary 6, 2015O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day: Second Sunday after Christmas DayJanuary 4, 2015O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Anglo-Saxon “Our Father” (Trans. from Old English)January 12, 2015Father of humankind, I ask for favor, Holy Chieftain, you, who dwell in Heaven May it be made holy, firmly set up— Your name, that is, Christ, rescuer— Firmly planted in our soul-locker. May your kingdom, wielder of might, Come to us people, right-wise Judge, And your love also, in the day of life, And in our selves in deep-dwelling brightness. And may your will be well-wrought Among us upon earth through earth’s realms, As it is far away in the heaven-glory, Blessed in joys from this world forward. Give us today, Chieftain among your people,...
John Henry Newman (Free eBooks)December 21, 2014Not many Anglican theologians have left the mega-size footprint on the Church that John Henry Newman has. As one of the founders of the Oxford Movement, Newman helped the Church of England in particular and the Anglican Communion in general uncover and rediscover a deeper catholicity in their doctrine and worship. A good number of his works (in bBook form) are collected here.
The Un-Moral LifeDecember 18, 2014By Fr. Stephen Freeman. Original published on the Ancient Faith blog. In recent articles I have challenged the place of contemporary morality in the Christian life. Some have had difficulty with this, wondering how we should then think about the commandments that are directed towards our behavior. Others have suggested that my challenge is merely semantic. There are certainly semantic distinctions being made here – but the reason for them is important and goes beyond mere words. But if it is not proper to think of ourselves as “moral” beings, how should we think? How do we confess our sins if morality is...
The Way of the PilgrimDecember 9, 2014The Way of the Pilgrim is a 19th century Russian work translated into English. The story is about the journey of a begging wanderer who treks across Russia, and while on that journey, practices the “Jesus Prayer.” This form of prayer is also known as inner prayer or prayer of the heart. It employs the short, repeated invocation, over and over: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of god, have mercy on me, a sinner” (or some variation thereof). You can find a free eBook here.
Former ABC Rowan Williams on Advent (Video)December 1, 2014
Mysticism by Evelyn UnderhillApril 1, 2014Thomas Merton, Padre Pio and…? Read a classic work by a great 20th century Anglican mystic: Evelyn Underhill’s, Mysticism.
Lancelot Andrewes: WorksMarch 25, 2014Lancelot Andrewes was a seventeenth century Anglican who not only was involved in the King James translation, but was one of the early post-Reformation mystical-thinking theologians in the tradition. Here’s volume one of his Works where a good amount of his mystical theology, especially theosis, is thought through. Lancelot Andrewes, Works: Sermons, Volume 1
Florovsky: Collected Works, Vol. 2March 18, 2014Here’s volume two of Georges Florovsky’s Collected Works. This volume is entitled Christianity and Culture.
Holy Women, Holy MenMarch 16, 2014The Diocese of Bethlehem, Pa. has made available a copy of Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints as an online resource. When adopted by General Convention, it will replace Lesser Feasts and Fasts, but keep in mind, it is still in trial use.
Communion without Baptism?March 14, 2014The "open table" or "communion without baptism" debate has been raging on for a couple of decades in the Episcopal Church. While the Canons of the Episcopal Church (1.17.7) still indicate that “no unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church,” the practice of distributing communion to the unbaptized has gained traction.
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