Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ember Saturday

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts xiii. 44.

THE next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.


The Gospel - St. Luke iv. 16.

JESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.


Apolo Kivebulaya

Apolo was an Ugandan missionary considered the principal pioneer of the Anglican church in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Before becoming a Christian, Apolo was a Muslim soldier against the Christians. He was also an avid hemp smoker. During his military service, he deserted and fled to Ankole where he joined the Anglicans. He was attracted by the Christian life, especially the example of Mackay, a missionary from CMS/London who arrived in Uganda in 1878. He said: "At that time I was reading Matthew's Gospel which I liked very much, especially chapter five verse 13. This passage helped me to become a Christian and to abandon my military service."

Apolo was baptized in 1895 and became a catechist and followed a basic biblical studies program in Namirembe (Kampala). When the catechists from Toro explained the need for people to serve in their region, Apolo was the first volunteer to go to Toro.

Apolo's ministry in Toro was very effective and he was very satisfied with it. But a need for catechists arose in Nyagwaki (near Mount Rwenzori) and Apolo was sent to that area on May 9, 1895. But among the Bakonjo in Nyagwaki, Apolo did not think that his work was successful: "I was not happy because no one wanted to be baptized even though they would come and listen to the gospel." A few months later, Apolo was called back from Nyagwaki. At the same time, the Anglican Church of Uganda was seeking a missionary to go to Boga, in the Congo and Apolo offered to go.

Apolo preached the gospel in Boga and some of the people became Christians. But the majority were offended by his preaching, because it was against traditional practices, especially polygamy and the drinking of alcohol. Chief Tabaro was one of those who were offended and as a result, he forbade the Christians to build a church and ordered them not to give Apolo any food, but instead to let him die of hunger or be driven away. But it didn't.

Apolo was ordained a deacon on December 21, 1900 in Toro and then a priest in June 1903 in the Namirembe Cathedral. Contrary to Anglican tradition, he refused to wear the pastoral collar for personal reasons. Nevertheless, he did wear the liturgical robes.

Apolo declared the year 1921 "the year of the Gospel." Encouraged by the Lord, he took the gospel to the inhabitants of the forest: the Walese, the Wanyali, and the Wambuti (the latter are pygmies). He said: "Christ appeared before me as a man. It was like seeing a man who was my brother. He said to me: 'Go, preach in the forest, because I am with you. I am who I am--this is my Name.'"

Apolo went amongst these peoples as a friend, eating their food and sleeping in their houses. He baptized pygmies for the first time in 1932.

Apolo died on May 30th, 1933 at Boga, his mission field. Contrary to tradition, he was buried with his head toward the west (not the east) at his own request. In doing so, his desire was to indicate that the gospel needed to be taken to the western part of the country.


Propers for Apolo Kivebulaya - Priest, Missionary and Apostle to the Pygmies

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Apolo Kivebulaya, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the people of The Congo: Raise up, we pray thee, in this and every land, heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thy Church may make known the unsearchable riches of Christ, and may increase with the increase of God; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things. while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.


The Gospel - St. Luke 10:1-9.

AFTER these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor pack, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/may30b.html
http://www.dacb.org/stories/demrepcongo/kivebulaya_apolo.html

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ember Friday

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts xiii. 44.

THE next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.


The Gospel - St. Luke iv. 16.

JESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Germanus of Paris

Germanus was born near Autun in 496. He was abbot of St Symphorian’s monastery at Autun, and was made Bishop of Paris around 536.

He was tireless and courageous in his efforts to end civil strife and to restrain the viciousness of the Frankish kings, though he was not very successful in this. Radegund (August 13) appealed to him for protection from her cruel husband King Chlotar I.

Cured King Childebert I from an unnamed illness, and converted him from a misspent life. The king then built him the abbey of Saint Vincent, now known as Saint-Germain-des-Pres.


Propers for Germanus of Paris - Monastic and Bishop

The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Germanus enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15


The Gospel - St. Luke 12:22-37


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ember Wednesday

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts xiii. 44.

THE next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.


The Gospel - St. Luke iv. 16.

JESUS came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.


Bede of Jarrow

Bede (IPA: /ˈbiːd/) (also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, or (from Latin) Beda (IPA: [beda])), (c. 672 or 673 – May 25, 735), was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Wearmouth, today part of Sunderland, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow (see Wearmouth-Jarrow), both Northumbria. He is well known as an author and scholar, and his most famous work, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History of the English People) gained him the title "The father of English history".

He was the first person to write scholarly works in the English language, although unfortunately only fragments of his English writings have survived. He translated the Gospel of John into Old English, completing the work on the very day of his death. He also wrote extensively in Latin. He wrote commentaries on the Pentateuch and other portions of Holy Scripture. His best-known work is his History of The English Church and People. It gives a history of Britain up to 729, speaking of the Celtic peoples who were converted to Christianity during the first three centuries of the Christian era, and the invasion of the Anglo-Saxon pagans in the fifth and sixth centuries, and their subsequent conversion by Celtic missionaries from the north and west, and Roman missionaries from the south and east. His work is our chief source for the history of the British Isles during this period. Fortunately, Bede was careful to sort fact from hearsay, and to tell us the sources of his information. He also wrote hymns and other verse, the first martyrology with historical notes, letters and homilies, works on grammar, on chronology and astronomy -- he was aware that the earth is a sphere, and he is the first historian to date events Anno Domini, and the earliest known writer to state that the solar year is not exactly 365 and a quarter days long, so that the Julian calendar (one leap year every four years) requires some adjusting if the months are not to get out of step with the seasons.

Almost all that is known of Bede's life is contained in a notice added by himself when he was 59 to his Historia (Book V, Chapter 24), which states that he was placed in the monastery at Wearmouth at the age of seven, that he became deacon in his nineteenth year, and priest in his thirtieth. He implies that he finished the Historia at the age of 59, and since the work was finished around 731, he must have been born in 672/3. It is not clear whether he was of noble birth. He was trained by the abbots Benedict Biscop and Ceolfrid, and probably accompanied the latter to Wearmouth's sister monastery of Jarrow in 682. There he spent his life, prominent activities evidently being teaching and writing, the two of most interest to him. There he also died, on May 25, 735, and was buried, although his body was later transferred to Durham Cathedral.


Propers for Bede the Venerable - Priest, Teacher and Historian

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast enriched thy Church with the singular learning and holiness of thy servant Bede: Grant us to hold fast the true doctrine of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and to fashion our lives according to the same, to the glory of thy great Name and the benefit of thy holy Church; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Malachi 3:16-18.

THEN they that feared the Lord spake one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then once more shall ye discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 13:47-52.

JESUS said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/bede.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bede
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/05/25.html
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Bede

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Whitsun Tuesday

The Collect.

GRANT, we beseech thee, merciful God, that thy Church, being gathered together in unity by thy Holy Spirit, may manifest thy power among all peoples, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts viii. 14.

WHEN the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.


The Gospel - St. John x. 1.

VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Augustine of Canterbury

was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 598. He is considered the "Apostle to the English",a founder of the English Church, and a patron of England.

The Christian Church was established in the British Isles well before 300. Some scholars believe that it was introduced by missionaries from the Eastern or Greek-speaking half of the Mediterranean world. Celtic Christianity had its own distinctive culture, and Greek scholarship flourished in Ireland for several centuries after it had died elsewhere in Western Europe.

However, in the fifth century Britain was invaded by non-Christian Germanic tribes: the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. They conquered the native Celtic Christians (despite resistance by, among others, a leader whose story has come down to us, doubtless with some exaggeration, as that of King Arthur), or drove them north and west into Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. From these regions Celtic Christian missionaries returned to England to preach the Gospel to the heathen invaders.

Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission to Britain to convert the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity. Kent was probably chosen because it was near the Christian kingdoms in Gaul, and because Æthelberht had married a Christian princess, Bertha, daughter of Charibert, the King of Paris, who was expected to exert some influence over her husband. Although the missionaries considered turning back before they reached Kent, Gregory urged them on, and in 597 Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet and proceeded to Æthelberht's main town of Canterbury.

Æthelberht allowed the missionaries to preach freely and converted to Christianity, giving the missionaries land to found a monastery outside the city walls. Augustine was consecrated bishop of the English, and converted many of the king's subjects, including thousands during a mass baptism on Christmas Day in 597. Pope Gregory sent more missionaries in 601, along with encouraging letters and gifts for the churches, although attempts to persuade the native Celtic bishops to submit to Augustine's authority failed.

Augustine was consecrated bishop and established his headquarters at Canterbury. From his day to the present, there has been an unbroken succession of archbishops of Canterbury. Roman Catholic bishops were established at London and Rochester in 604, and a school was founded to train Anglo-Saxon priests and missionaries. Augustine also arranged the consecration of his successor, Laurence of Canterbury.

In 603, he held a conference with the leaders of the already existing Christian congregations in Britain, but failed to reach an accommodation with them, largely due to his own tactlessness, and his insistence (contrary, it may be noted, to Gregory's explicit advice) on imposing Roman customs on a church long accustomed to its own traditions of worship. It is said that the English bishops, before going to meet Augustine, consulted a hermit with a reputation for wisdom and holiness, asking him, "Shall we accept this man as our leader, or not?" The hermit replied, "If, at your meeting, he rises to greet you, then accept him, but if he remains seated, then he is arrogant and unfit to lead, and you ought to reject him." Augustine, alas, remained seated. It took another sixty years before the breach was healed.

Augustine died in 604 and was soon revered as a saint. The Church of England remained in communion with The Church of Rome until it declared its independence in the sixteenth century.


Propers for Augustine - First Archbishop of Canterbury

The Collect.

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Corinthians 5:17-20.

IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 13:31-33.

ANOTHER parable put Jesus forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/05/26.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Canterbury
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/s_august.cfm

Monday, May 25, 2015

The “Deep Churchman”

I read this article in the Anglican Way Magazine and reprinting it here with Dr. Bayer's kind permission............

The “Deep Churchman” - Commentary on “C. S. Lewis, 20 Years After”

By Roberta Bayer

C. S. Lewis described himself as a “deep churchman,” in the passages quoted by Roger Beckwith. His avowed intent was to remedy misconceptions about the Christian past; he taught the mere Christianity of historic Christendom, considered in its unity, rather than parsed for disparities. “We are all rightly distressed, and ashamed also, at the divisions of Christendom”, Lewis wrote. But those who have always lived within the Christian fold may be too easily dispirited by them. They are bad, but such people do not know what it looks like from without. Seen from there, what is left intact despite all the divisions, still appears (as it truly is) an immensely formidable unity. I know, for I saw it; and well our enemies know it. That unity any of us can find by going out of his own age.”

What does Lewis mean by ‘going out of one’s own age’? Despite the gaps and discontinuities found within Christian theological and liturgical history, Lewis’ approach illustrates a certain unity within Christianity that is not only visible from the outsider’s broader historical perspective, but also is worthy of our attention in attempting to reconcile contemporary differences between Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic traditions through a “deeper” perspective cultivated by wide reading. Furthermore, Lewis
suggests that contemporary controversies between Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic may share a good deal more in common than they realize. Of historical ecclesiastical divisions, he writes;

     “Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming without question a good deal which we should now          absolutely deny. They thought that they were as completely opposed as two sides could be, but in fact they were all the time secretly united— united with each other and         against earlier and later ages—by a great mass of common assumptions.”

Lewis suggests that the only safety against blindness to the unity of assumptions that bind even the most opposed ecclesiastical groups today is to recall “a standard plain, central Christianity (“mere” Christianity as Baxter called it) which puts such controversies of the moment in their proper perspective.”

One way in which controversies of the moment can be put in their proper perspective is to read not only modern books, but also old books. “If [a man] must read only the new or the old [books], I would advise him to read the old,” wrote Lewis. “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” The old book puts the new book in perspective, he says, because every age has its own unique outlook. Every age is “specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period.”

In this way, ‘going out of one’s own age’ leads to a realization of the characteristic assumptions that shape contemporary discourse. Once soaked in the teachings that have been held in common throughout Christian history, Lewis writes, you will have an amusing experience if you then venture to speak. “You will be thought a Papist when you are actually reproducing Bunyan, a Pantheist when you are quoting Aquinas and so forth. For you have now got on to the great level viaduct which crosses the ages and which looks so high from the valleys, so low from the mountains, so narrow compared with the swamps, and so broad compared with the sheep-tracks.” Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical disputants need a greater acquaintance with Hooker, Herbert, Traherne, Baxter, Taylor and Bunyan, Boethius, St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Dante to afford greater knowledge of the kinds of arguments which allow one to uphold supernatural religion and the teaching of salvation (always of primary importance to Lewis), against liberal modernity.

From the ‘deep’ perspective, even the divisions of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation could be seen in a different light. Despite their deadly disagreement about the
merits of a vernacular Bible, William Tyndale and Thomas More were men of a particular age. In retrospect, Lewis wrote, William Tyndale and Thomas More had more in common than they realized and “though they were deeply divided in temper as well as by doctrine, it is important to realize at the outset that they also had a great deal in common.” “They must not,” Lewis says, “except in theology, be contrasted as representatives respectively of an old and a new order.” Both were Grecians, as he puts it, advocates of the new scholarship, and both were “arrogantly, perhaps ignorantly, contemptuous of the Middle Ages.”  Yet their age, which held to divisions that looked irreconcilable to them, in retrospect appear less than church dividing. How can, one might ask, such differences appear church dividing in light of the challenge presented to the common historical faith by the liberal theology of a Harvey Cox in Secular City?

But the object here is not to resolve the problems raised by the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, but to note what Lewis has said about contemporary divisions within Anglicanism. It is obviously wrong to suggest that Lewis belittled real theological dispute. Lewis would not suggest that Thomas More, William Tyndale, John Fisher, and Richard Hooker or the Tractarians and Evangelicals of the 19th century are unworthy of reading. Rather, his point is that they ought to be read so to better understand ourselves and our age. This is touched upon by Roger Beckwith when he urges Anglo-Catholic priests to appreciate the Reformation Formularies, the 39 Articles and the Book of Common Prayer, just as Evangelicals should drink deeply of the teaching and theology of Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Patristic and Medieval metaphorical and allegorical Scriptural commentaries.

In his Letters to Malcolm, Lewis remarked that the key to Christian unity is not to substitute religion for God. He defended the 1662 Prayer Book against the liturgical reformers who had contracted the ‘liturgical fidget,’ yet at the same time he said that matters of liturgy or ceremony are not of central importance. Rather, changes are bad because disruptive to the person praying, and prayer is what matters. “A good shoe is the shoe you don’t notice. . . . The perfect church services would be one we were almost unaware of. .  . . But every novelty prevents this.” Words should be the means to facilitate a knowledge of God. “For me”, he wrote, “words are in any case secondary.” If liturgical changes keep the stream of prayer from flowing, they are a stumblingblock for the prayerful. What is primary is nothing but God Himself.

As Roger Beckwith has noted, if Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic both willingly defend what Lewis calls supernatural religion and the message of salvation found in the church catholic, they have no reason to take issue with the historic prayer books. The eight points of disagreement noted by Beckwith are easily resolved from the standpoint of the common theological inheritance of western and English-speaking Christendom. Anglo-Catholics need to recognize the
importance of Beckwith’s first point—the ‘catholicity’ of the Protestant reformation, as church bishop Christopher Wordsworth declared, just as Evangelicals must accept that the Church of England did not come into existence in the sixteenth century. This would be a lesson for Anglicans as to the true and proper teaching of the Reformation, which established in the Church of England both the primacy of Scripture and the central historical teachings of the
Church, in a way that avoids the errors of our age.

Whitsun Monday

The Collect.

SEND, we beseech thee, Almighty God, thy Holy Spirit into our hearts, that he may direct and rule us according to thy will, comfort us in all our afflictions, defend us from all error, and lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts x. 34.

THEN Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) that word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.


The Gospel - St. John iii. 16.

GOD so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


Memorial Day


ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

Remembering those who gave their life for our freedom .

Pvt. Azor Curtiss - Bailey's Regiment (23rd Mass.) - † 1778 Battle of Monmouth
Maj. Nathaniel Finch - Goshen-Orange Co. NY Militia - † 1779 Battle of Minisink
Pvt. Herman McCaul - Co. I, 9th US Inf. - † 1899 San Francisco Bay Accident
Sgt. Willard McCaul - HQ Co., 9th US Inf - † 1902 Manila, Philippines Malaria

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Whitsunday (Pentecost)

Ancient Greek: πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], pentekostē [hēmera], "the fiftieth day") A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the "feast of weeks" or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10).

In the English speaking world and especially among Anglicans, Pentecost is refered to as Whitsun or Whitsunday, Middle English Whitsonday, from Old English hwīta sunnandæg, literally, white Sunday; probably from the custom of wearing white robes by those newly baptized at this season.


Propers for Pentecost (Whitsunday)

The Collect:

O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

*** This Collect is to be said daily throughout Whitsun Week.

*** If in any Church the Holy Communion be twice celebrated on Whitsunday, the following may be used at the first Communion.

ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, grant, we beseech thee, that by the indwelling of thy Holy Spirit, we may be enlightened and strengthened for thy service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts ii. 1:

WHEN the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

*** If in any Church the Holy Communion be twice celebrated on Whitsunday, the following may be used at the first Communion.


The Epistle - 1 Corinthians xii. 4:

NOW there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.


The Gospel - St. John xiv. 15:

JESUS said unto his disciples, If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.

*** If in any Church the Holy Communion be twice celebrated on Whitsunday, the following may be used at the first Communion.


The Gospel - St. Luke xi. 9:

JESUS said to his disciples, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?




Reference and Resources:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whitsunday
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15614b.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentecost



Jackson Kemper

was the first missionary bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Baptized David Jackson Kemper by Dr. Benjamin Moore, the Assistant Rector of his parents' congregation at New York City's Trinity Church, he would eventually drop the given name "David." He had been born in the Hudson River Valley of New York, where his parents had taken temporary refuge during a smallpox outbreak in New York City. He was the son of Col. Daniel Kemper, a former aide-de-camp to Gen. George Washington at the battles of Germantown and Monmouth during the American Revolution, and Elizabeth (Marius) Kemper, who descended from well-known families of the Dutch New Amsterdam era.

He entered Columbia College at the age of fifteen, where he studied theology under Dr. Henry Hobart and graduated in 1809 as the valedictorian of his class. Relocating to Philadelphia, he was made a deacon of the Episcopal Church in 1811 and was ordained as a priest in 1814. In 1835, the Episcopal Church undertook to consecrate missionary bishops to preach the Gospel west of the settled areas, and Kemper was the first to be chosen. He promptly headed west. Having found that clergy who had lived all their lives in the settled East were slow to respond to his call to join him on the frontier, he determined to recruit priests from among men who were already in the West, and established a college in St. Louis, Missouri, for that purpose. He went on to found Nashotah House and Racine College in Wisconsin, and founded the mission parish that became the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Milwaukee. He constantly urged a more extensive outreach to the Native American peoples, and translations of the Scriptures and the services of the Church into their languages. From 1859 till his death in 1870, he was bishop of Wisconsin, but the effect of his labors covered a far wider area.


Propers for Jackson Kemper - Missionary Bishop

The Collect.

Lord God, in whose providence Jackson Kemper was chosen first missionary bishop in this land, and by his arduous labor and travel established congregations in scattered settlements of the West: Grant that the Church may always be faithful to its mission, and have the vision, courage, and perseverance to make known to all peoples the Good News of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things. while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.


The Gospel - St. Luke 10:1-9.

AFTER these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor pack, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.


Reference and Resources:

http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/jkemper/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Kemper
http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/may24b.html

Vincent of Lerins

was born to a noble family of Gaul (modern France), he was probably the brother of Lupus of Troyes. Vincent initially served as a soldier but gave it up to become a monk on the island of Lerins off the southern French coast near Cannes. He was ordained there and in about 434 authored his famous work the Commonitorium. Written under the pseudonym Peregrinus the Commonitorium offered a guide to orthodox teaching and included his famous maxim, the Vincentian Canon, by which he hoped to be able to differentiate between true and false tradition: quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus credituni est ("what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all"). He believed that the ultimate source of Christian truth was Holy Scripture and that the authority of the Church was to be invoked to guarantee the correct interpretation of Scripture. A proponent of Semi-Pelagianism, he op-posed the Augustinian model of Grace and was probably the recipient of Prosper of Aquitaine's Responsiones ad Capitula Objectionum Vincentianarum.


Propers for St. Vincent of Lerins - Monastic and Theologian.

The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Vincent enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14.


The Gospel - St. John 17:18-23.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2006
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_of_Lerins
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/vince_l.cfm

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Michael The Black Robed

lived in the ninth century, and came from the city of Edessa (Mesopotamia) of Christian parents. He was a zealous disciple of St Theodore of Edessa (July 9). He distributed to the poor the inheritance left him by his parents, then went to Jerusalem to venerate the Holy Places.

Jerusalem at the time was under the control of the Mohammedans. St Michael remained in Palestine and settled in the monastery of St Sava. Once, he was sent from the monastery to Jerusalem to sell goods for the monks. At the marketplace, the eunuch of the Mohammedan empress Seida, seeing that the monastery goods were both fine and well-made, took him along to the empress.

The young monk caught the fancy of the empress, who tried to lead him into sin, but her intent proved to be in vain. Then by order of the enraged Seida they beat the monk with rods, and then accused him of being an enemy of Islam.

Having interrogated the monk, the emperor began to urge him to accept the Moslem faith, but St Michael answered, "I implore you, either send me back to the monastery to my instructor, or be baptized in our Christian Faith, or cut off my head, and then I shall go to Christ my God." The emperor gave the saint a cup with deadly poison, which St Michael drank and remained unharmed. After this the emperor gave orders to cut off his head.

The death of the martyr occurred in Jerusalem, but the monks of the monastery of St Sava took the body of the saint to their Lavra and buried it there with reverence. At the beginning of the twelfth century the relics of the holy martyr were seen there by Daniel, the igumen of the Kiev Caves monastery, while on pilgrimage to the Holy Places.


Propers for Michael The Black Robed - Monk and Martyr

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Michael with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to despise the prosperity of this world, and to fear none of its adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_mart.cfm
http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?FSID=101501


Friday, May 22, 2015

Constantine The Great



Arguably one of the most significant figures in the history of Europe and of the Church, there are literally libraries of information on this legendary man.

On this day we remember the heavenly birth of Constantine and his contributions to the Church, it's liberations from persecution and elevation to prominence and as the first secular ruler in "Christendom".


Propers for Constantine the Great - Emperor and Confessor.

The Collect.

Almighty God, who gave unto the world the enlightened rule of thy confessor Constantine, we humbly beseech thee, that by his example we may further thy earthly kingdom in truth and freedom and defend it from the powers of darkness until the coming of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus, who with thee and the Holy Ghost reigneth as one God, now and forever. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 4:4-9.

REJOICE in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice, Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40.

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Constantine_the_Great
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04295c.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/common.cfm






Thursday, May 21, 2015

John Eliot

was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1604 and graduated from Cambridge in 1622. He taught school for a while, came under Puritan influence, and determined to become a minister. In 1631 he went to New England and was ordained to preach at Roxbury. He developed an interest in Indian language and customs, and began to preach to the Indians in 1646, at first in English but within a year in their own tongue, Algonkian. He published a catechism for them in 1654 and by 1658 translated the Bible into Algonkian, the first Bible to be printed in North America. A revised edition was published in 1685. Eliot also wrote The Christian Commonwealth (1659), Up-Bookum Psalmes (1663), The Communion of Churches (1665), The Indian Primer (1669), and The Harmony of The Gospels (1678), and was a major contributor to the Bay Psalm Book.

Eliot planned towns for Indian converts, away from the white towns, in areas where they could preserve their own language and culture and live by their own laws. He prepared Indians to be missionaries to their own people. Daniel Takawambpait was the first Indian minister in New England, being ordained at Natick, Massachusetts, in 1681. Eliot's Indian towns grew to fourteen in number, with thousands of inhabitants, but they were scattered in King Philip's War in 1675 (King Philip was an Indian leader who undertook to drive the English out of New England), and although four communities were restored, they did not continue long.

Eliot died after a long illness on 21 May 1690.


Propers for John Eliot - Missionary to the American Indians

The Collect.

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant John Eliot, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the native peoples of North America. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land, evangelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.


The Gospel - St. Luke 10:1-9.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/05/21.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_miss.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eliot_%28missionary%29

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Alcuin of York

or Ealhwine, nicknamed Albinus or Flaccus (c. 735 – May 19, 804) was a scholar, ecclesiastic, poet and teacher from York, England. He was born around 735 and became the student of Egbert at York. At the invitation of Charlemagne, he became a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian court, where he remained a figure at court in the 780s and 790s. He wrote many theological and dogmatic treatises, as well as a few grammatical works and a number of poems. He was made abbot of Saint Martin's at Tours in 796, where he remained until his death. He is considered among the most important architects of the Carolingian Renaissance. Among his pupils were many of the dominant intellectuals of the Carolingian era.


Propers for Alcuin - Deacon and Abbot of Tours

The Collect.

O ETERNAL Lord God, who holdest all souls in life: We beseech thee to shed forth upon thy whole Church in paradise and on earth the bright beams of thy light and thy peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of thy servant Alcuin, and of all those who loved and served thee here, may at the last enter with them into thine unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Ecclesiasticus 39:1-9.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 13:47-52.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/05/20.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcuin
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/alcuin.cfm


Æthelberht of East Anglia

Died near Hereford, England, c. 793-794. King Ethelbert had a considerable cultus as a wonder worker and martyr during the middle ages. However, some, such as William of Malmesbury, have misgivings about the continuance of his veneration. He cited the authority of Saint Dunstan (f.d. May 19) and the witness of miracles as reasons to allow the cultus to continue. Ethelbert was murdered at Sutton Walls in Herefordshire, apparently for dynastic reasons at the instigation of the wife of Offa of Mercia.

His pious "vita," written by Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales), tells us that Ethelbert was a man of prayer from his childhood. While still very young, he succeeded his father Ethelred as king of East Anglia and ruled benevolently for 44 years. It is said that his usual maxim is that the higher the station of man, the humbler he ought to be. This was the rule for his own conduct.

Desiring to secure stability for his kingdom by an heir, he sought the hand of the virtuous Alfreda (Aelfthryth), daughter of the powerful King Offa. With this in mind, he visited Offa at Sutton-Walls, four miles from Hereford. He was courteously entertained, but after some days, treacherously murdered by Grimbert, an officer of King Offa, through the contrivance of Queen Quendreda who wanted to add his kingdom to their own.

His body was secretly buried by the river Lugg at Maurdine of Marden, but miracles revealed its hiding place. Soon it was moved to a church at Fernley (Heath of Fern), now called Hereford. The town grew around the church bearing Ethelbert's name after King Wilfrid of Mercia enlarged and enriched it. Hereford became the second most important pilgrimage site (next to Canterbury) in medieval England. The body was burned by the Danes in 1050, but Ethelbert's head was buried at Westminster. Ethelbert's feast is kept in the dioceses of Cardiff and Northampton. He is titular patron of the cathedral at Hereford, and the churches at Marden (Herefordshire), Little Dean (Gloucestershire), and eleven others in East Anglia.

Quendreda died miserably within three months after her crime. Her daughter Alfreda became a hermit at Croyland. Offa made atonement for the sin of his queen by a pilgrimage to Rome, where he founded a school for the English. Egfrid, the only son of Offa, died after a reign of some months, and the Mercian crown was translated into the family descended of Penda.


Propers for Æthelberht II of East Anglia - King

The Collect.

O Almighty God, who hast knit together Thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord: grant us grace so to follow Thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to the unspeakable joys which Thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love Thee; through the same, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost: ever one God, world without end. Amen.


The First Lesson - Revelation 7: 2-17


The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 5: 1-12


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dunstan of Canterbury

was born near Glastonbury in the southwest of England about the year 909, ten years after the death of King Alfred. During the Viking invasions of the ninth century, monasteries had been favorite targets of the invaders, and by Dunstan's time English monasticism had been wiped out. In its restoration in the tenth century, Dunstan played the leading role. He was born of an upper-class family, and sent to court, where he did not fit in. At the urging of his uncle, the Bishop of Westminster, he became a monk and a priest, and returned to Glastonbury, where he built a hut near the ruins of the old monastery, and devoted himself to study, music, metal working (particularly the art of casting church bells, an art which he is said to have advanced considerably), and painting. A manuscript illuminated by him is in the British Museum. He returned to court and was again asked to leave; but then King Edmund had a narrow escape from death while hunting, and in gratitude recalled Dunstan and in 943 commissioned him to re-establish monastic life at Glastonbury. (Glastonbury is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and is associated in legend with King Arthur and his Court, with Joseph of Arimathea, and with other worthies. It has been said that the Holy Grail, the chalice of the Last Supper, is hidden somewhere near Glastonbury.) Under Dunstan's direction, Glastonbury became an important center both of monasticism and of learning. The next king, Edred, adopted Dunstan's ideas for various reforms of the clergy (including the control of many cathedrals by monastic chapters) and for relations with the Danish settlers. These policies made Dunstan popular in the North of England, but unpopular in the South.

Edred was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old nephew Edwy, whom Dunstan openly rebuked for unchastity. The furious Edwy drove Dunstan into exile, but the North rose in rebellion on his behalf. When the dust settled, Edwy was dead, his brother Edgar was king, and Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury. The coronation service which Dunstan compiled for Edgar is the earliest English coronation service of which the full text survives, and is the basis for all such services since, down to the present. With the active support of King Edgar, Dunstan re-established monastic communities at Malmesbury, Westminster, Bath, Exeter, and many other places. Around 970 he presided at a conference of bishops, abbots, and abbesses, which drew up a national code of monastic observance, the Regularis Concordia. It followed Benedictine lines, but under it the monasteries were actively involved in the life of the surrounding community. For centuries thereafter the Archbishop of Canterbury was always a monk.

Dunstan took an active role in politics under Edgar and his successor Edward, but under the next king, Ethelred, he retired from politics and concentrated on running the Canterbury cathedral school for boys, where he was apparently successful in raising the academic standards while reducing the incidence of corporal punishment. On Ascension Day in 988, he told the congregation that he was near to death, and died two days later.


Propers for Dunstan - Archbishop of Canterbury

The Collect.

O GOD, who dost ever hallow and protect thy Church: Raise up therein through thy Spirit good and faithful stewards of the mysteries of Christ, as thou didst in thy servant Dunstan; that by their ministry and example thy people may abide in thy favour and walk in the way of truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.


The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14.

I CALLED upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out. All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands. And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches. For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.

The Gospel - St. John 17:18-23.

AS thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me though their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/dunstan.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunstan_of_Canterbury
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/05/19.html


Monday, May 18, 2015

Eric of Sweden

Erik IX Jedvardsson was ruler of much of Sweden from 1150 to 1160. He was the head of a Christian kingdom with nearby pagan kingdoms, all sharing an old tradition of fighting. Around 1155, he headed an expedition into Finland, then loosely under Swedish rule, to consolidate Swedish authority there and to establish a protected Christian mission, headed by Henry of Uppsala, now considered the founder of the Church in Finland (see 19 Jan). Erik is also known for undertaking to provide Sweden with fair laws and fair courts, and for measures designed to assist the poor and the infirm. As he was in church on 18 May 1160, the day after Ascension Day, he was told that a pagan Danish army was approaching to kill him. He replied, "Let us at least finish the sacrifice. The rest of the feast I shall keep elsewhere." As he was leaving the church, the pagans rushed upon him and killed him.

Erik was honored both as an upholder of the Christian faith and as a national hero, the ancestor of a long line of Swedish kings. Within thirty years after his death his name appeared on the Swedish Calendar, and he is accounted the principal patron of Sweden, as (for example) Patrick is of Ireland. The silver casket with his remains still rests in the cathedral at Uppsala.


Propers for Erik of Sweden - King and Martyr

The Collect.

O God, who didst call thy servant Erik of Sweden to an earthly throne that he might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give him zeal for thy Church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate him this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.

I ESDRAS saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angel. What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord. Then the angel said unto me, Go thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God, thou hast seen.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.

BEHOLD, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall he brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_mart.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Erik
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/05/17.html

Florence Nightingale

The commemoration of Florence Nightingale is controversial. On the one hand, she doubted or question many of the central articles of the Creed. On the other hand, she believed in God and devoted her life to His service as she understood it.


She was born in Florence on 12 May 1820 of upper-class English parents travelling through Italy, and named for her native city. ("Florence" was not an accepted first name at the time. Her sister was born in Naples and named "Parthenope," the Greek name for that city.) Florence was reared a Unitarian, but later joined the Church of England.

In her diary, an entry shortly before her seventeenth birthday reads: "On February 7th, 1837, God spoke to me and called me to his service." She did not know what the service would be, and therefore decided that she must remain single, so as to have no encumbrances and be ready for anything. With this in mind, she rejected a proposal of marriage from a young man whom she dearly loved. She suffered from "trances" or "dreaming" spells, in which she would lose consciousness for several minutes or longer, and be unaware when she recovered that time had passed. (Could this be a form of petit mal epilepsy? No biographer of hers that I have read uses the word.) She found the knowledge that she was subject to such spells terrifying, and feared that they meant that she was unworthy of her calling, particularly since she did not hear the voice of God again for many years. In the spring of 1844 she came to believe that her calling was to nurse the sick. In 1850 her family sent her on a tour of Egypt for her health. Some extracts from her diary follow:


March 7. God called me in the morning and asked me would I do good for Him, for Him alone without the reputation.
March 9. During half an hour I had by myself in my cabin, settled the question with God.
April 1. Not able to go out but wished God to have it all His own way. I like Him to do exactly as He likes without even telling me the reason.
May 12. Today I am thirty—the age Christ began his mission. Now no more childish things. No more love. No more marriage. Now Lord let me think only of Thy Will, what Thou willest me to do. Oh Lord Thy Will, Thy Will.
June 10. The Lord spoke to me; he said, Give five minutes every hour to the thought of Me. Coudst thou but love Me as Lizzie loves her husband, how happy wouldst thou be." But Lizzie does not give five minutes every hour to the thought of her husband, she thinks of him every minute, spontaneously.


Florence decided that she must train to be a nurse. Her family was horrified. In her day, nursing was done mostly by disabled army veterans or by women with no other means of support. It was common for nurses of either sex to be drunk on the job most of the time, and they had no training at all. It was common practice never to wash or change the sheets on a bed, not even when a patient died and his bed was given to a new patient. Florence was told to go to Kaiserswerth, Germany, to learn and train with the Lutheran order of Deaconesses who were running a hospital there. Back in England again, she used the influence of Sidney Herbert, a family friend and Member of Parliament, to be appointed supervisor of a sanatorium in London. Under her able guidance, it turned from a chamber of horrors into a model hospital. The innovations introduced by Miss Nightingale were, for their day, little short of revolutionary. She demanded, and got, a system of dumbwaiters that enabled food to be sent directly to every floor, so that nurses did not exhaust themselves carrying trays up numerous flights of stairs. She also invented and had installed a system of call bells by which a patient could ring from his bed and the bell would sound in the corridor, with a valve attached to the bell which opened when the bell rang, and remained open so that the nurse could see who had rung. "Without a system of this kind," she wrote, "a nurse is converted to a pair of legs."

While working in the poorer districts of London, Miss Nightingale encountered a Roman Catholic priest, Henry Edward Manning (later Cardinal Manning), who was working among the poor of London. She was impressed by the assistance he gave to many who had nowhere else to turn, and they became friends for life. She was greatly attracted by Roman Catholicism, but rejected much of its theology, and so reluctantly decided against joining it.

Then war broke out in the Crimea (in Russia, on the north edge of the Black Sea), and Sir Sidney Herbert, now Secretary of War, obtained permission for Florence to lead a group of 38 nurses there. Of these, 10 were Roman Catholic nuns, 14 were Anglican nuns, and the remaining 14 were "of no particular religion, unless one counts the worship of Bacchus." They found conditions appalling. Blankets were rotting in warehouses while the men did without, because no one had issued the proper forms for their distribution. The lavatories in the hospitals had no running water, and the latrines were tubs to be emptied by hand. But no one emptied them, since official regulations did not specify which department was responsible for doing so. The result was that the hospital had a foul stench that could be smelled for some distance outside its walls. Far more men were dying in hospitals of infection than of wounds. The chief concern of many of the Army doctors was that the nurses might usurp some of their authority. Florence gradually managed to win the doctors and other authorities over, and to reform hospital procedures, with spectacular results. Once the medical situation had ceased to be an acute problem, she turned her attention to other aspects of the soldiers' welfare. For example, most of them squandered all their pay on drink. She noted that there was no trustworthy way for them to send money home to their families, and she set up facilities for them to do so. First, she undertook to send money home herself for any soldier in the hospital that wanted it sent, and the soldiers brought in about 1000 pounds a month. She asked the authorities to set up an official service to do this, and they refused. By appealing to Queen Victoria herself, she overcame opposition to the idea, and the men sent home 71,000 pounds sterling in less than six months. She established with her own money a reading-room with tables for writing letters, and the men used it enthusiastically. She imported four schoolmasters to give lectures, and the halls were filled to overflowing. All this was done despite opposition from officers who said, "The men are hopeless brutes. You cannot expect anything from them."

At night, she would often patrol the wards, carrying a dim lamp, to make sure that all was well and no one was in need of help. She became famous as "the Lady with the Lamp."

In April 1856 the war was over, and by mid-July the hospital was emptied and her work in Crimea over. She returned to England a national hero, with a great welcome prepared for her; but she slipped into the country unnoticed and went to a convent that had supplied some of her nurses. There, she spent the day in prayer before coming out to face the public and beginning to lobby Parliament for suitable legislation. She wrote pamphlet after pamphlet, pointing out by pie charts, for example, that the major cause of deaths in the Army was not wounds caused by enemy action but disease caused by lack of proper sanitation. She is perhaps the first person to use pie charts and similar graphic devices to convey statistical information. She obtained the formation of an Army Medical Staff Corps and a Sanitary Commission to oversee military health conditions.

Throughout these efforts, she relied on the help of Sidney Herbert, insisting that he must work hard and long to get the legislation she needed through Parliament. When he protested that she was asking too much, she would not listen. His health broke, and he died in August 1861. Florence prayed God to raise him from the dead, explaining that she needed him for the job. When God failed to comply, her faith was badly shaken. She wrote a book called, Suggestions for Thought: An Address to the Artisans of England, in which she explained that God was less of a Person and more of a Cosmic Force than is generally supposed by Christians. (But note that she was working on this book before Sir Sidney died, and one cannot call it simply a response to his death.) Advance copies were given to a few friends, such as John Stuart Mill, who praised it highly. However, it was never published in her time, since Florence kept revising it—arguably, because her beliefs on the nature of God were simply not internally consistent. Eventually, it seems, God spoke to her again and said, "You are here to carry out my program. I am not here to carry out yours." She wrote in her diary, "I must remember that God is not my private secretary."

Before his death, Sir Sidney had gotten her involved in Indian affairs. She served on the Indian Sanitary Commission. In May 1859, she decided that there were insufficient data available in England on conditions in the Indian Army, and she wrote to 200 military stations there, asking for copies of all regulations and all documents relating to the health and sanitary administration of the army. The reports that came back filled two vans. She read them all and summarized them for the Report of the Commission. Her conclusion was that the death toll from disease in the Indian Army was appallingly high (69 out of 1000 annually), and that this was largely due, not to the climate, but to lack of sanitation, and that preventive measures included sanitation not just for army posts but for neighboring villages and, in the long run, for all of India.

She was a friend of General Charles George Gordon, who captured the British imagination when he and his troops were beseiged at Khartoum in the Sudan, and finally captured and killed. After his death, Florence wrote to a friend that suffering, disappointment, and lack of success are the tribute which it is the soul's greatest privilege to present to God. In Gordon's death, she wrote, we see "the triumph of failure, the triumph of the Cross. With him, all is well."

She met the scholar Benjamin Jowett, who was translating Plato into English. They became fast friends, and she contributed to the translation. She also began an anthology of mystical writings, called "Notes from Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages, Collected, Chosen, and Freely Translated by Florence Nightingale." It was her contention that mystical prayer is not just for monks and nuns, but should form a part of the every-day life of ordinary persons.

Under the strain of ceaseless overwork, her own health broke, and she was an invalid for the latter half of her life. On Christmas Day when she was sixty-five, she wrote: "Today, O Lord, let me dedicate this crumbling old woman to thee. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. I was thy handmaid as a girl. Since then, I have backslid." She wrote a manual called "Notes for Nurses," and a set of instructions for the matron in charge of training nurses, emphasizing the importance for a nurse of a schedule of daily prayer. A few years before her death, she was the first woman to receive the Order of Merit from the British government. She died at ninety, and, by her directions, her tombstone read simply, "F.N. 1820-1910".

Florence Nightingale died on 13 August 1910, and is commemorated on this day on the Lutheran Calendar. The Episcopal calendar commemorates Jeremy Taylor on 13 August, and accordingly has shifted the commemoration of Nightingale to 18 May. I am not sure of the significance of this date, but it is the date (or nearly) of the opening of the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1860.

written by James Kiefer



Propers for Florence Nightingale - Nurse

The Collect.


Life-giving God, who alone hast power over life and death, over health and sickness: Give power, wisdom, and gentleness to those who follow the example of thy servant Florence Nightingale, that they, bearing with them thy Presence, may not only heal but bless, and shine as lanterns of hope in the darkest hours of pain and fear; through Jesus Christ, the healer of body and soul, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Lesson - Isaiah 58:6-11


The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-46




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