Saturday, April 25, 2015

St. Mark the Evangelist


Transfered to 04/28 in 2014

The book of Acts mentions a Mark, or John Mark, a kinsman of Barnabas (Col 4:10). The house of his mother Mary was a meeting place for Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). When Paul and Barnabas, who had been in Antioch, came to Jerusalem, they brought Mark back to Antioch with them (12:25), and he accompanied them on their first missionary journey (13:5), but left them prematurely and returned to Jerusalem (13:13). When Paul and Barnabas were about to set out on a second missionary journey, Barnabas proposed to take Mark, but Paul thought him unreliable, so that eventually Barnabas made one journey taking Mark, and Paul another journey taking Silas (15:36-40). Mark is not mentioned again in Acts. However, it appears that he became more reliable, for Paul mentions him as a trusted assistant in Colossians 4:10 and again in 2 Timothy 4:11.

The Apostle Peter had a co-worker whom he refers to as "my son Mark" (1 Peter 5:13). Papias, an early second century writer, in describing the origins of the Gospels, tells us that Mark was the "interpreter" of Peter, and that he wrote down ("but not in order") the stories that he had heard Peter tell in his preaching about the life and teachings of Jesus.

The Gospel of Mark, in describing the arrest of Jesus (14:51f), speaks of a young man who followed the arresting party, wearing only a linen cloth wrapped around his body, whom the arresting party tried to seize, but who left the cloth in their hands and fled naked. It is speculated that this young man was the writer himself, since the detail is hardly worth mentioning if he were not.

Tradition has it that after the death of Peter, Mark left Rome and went to preach in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was eventually martyred. St Mark is also believed to be the first Pope of Alexandria by both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Church of Alexandria, and thus the founder of Christianity in Africa.

It is natural to identify the John Mark of Acts with the Gospel-writer and interpreter of Peter, and this identification is standard in liturgical references to Mark. However, "Mark" is the commonest of Latin first names, and they may well have been separate persons.

Mark's symbol in art is a Lion, usually winged. In the book of Revelation, the visionary sees about the throne of God four winged creatures: a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. (Compare with the cherubs in Ezek 1 and 10.) It has customarily been supposed that these represent the four Gospels, or the four Evangelists (Gospel-writers). One way of matching them is to say that the man stands for Matthew, whose narrative begins with the human genealogy of Jesus; that the lion stands for Mark, whose narrative begins with John the Baptist crying out in the desert (a lion roars in the desert); that the ox, a sacrificial animal, stands for Luke, whose narrative begins in the Temple, and that the eagle stands for John, whose narrative begins in Heaven, with the eternal Word. How old this correspondence is I do not know. I have seen it in an illustrated Gospel-book from the early 800's. An alternative assignment, which I think to be far more recent, calls Matthew the lion (because he portrays Christ as the Messiah, the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy, "the lion of the tribe of Judah"), Mark the ox (because he portrays Christ the servant, constantly doing the work for which he was sent), Luke the man (because he portrays the humanity and compassion of Christ), and John the eagle (because he portrays Christ as the eternal Word, who came down from Heaven).

Propers for Mark the Evangelist - Apostle and Martyr
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The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly
doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace that. being not like
children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established
in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Ephesians iv. 7.

UNTO every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we hence-forth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.


The Gospel - St. John xv. 1.

I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husband-man. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them. and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/s_mark.cfm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/04/25.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_the_Evangelist

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Martyrs of Armenia



This is a photo recently published that was in the custody of the secret archives of the Vatican. It is the massacre of Armenian Christians, victims of muslims of the Turkish Army. They did unspeakable things to the pregnant women and their infants. More than a million and a half Armenian Christians died also during the First World War, but who knows this? This 25th of March many locales will celebrate the "Day of the Newborn Child"

Armenia is located at the east end of modern Turkey, with some of its traditional territory now in Turkey and some across the border in the former Soviet Union. The Armenians were converted to Christianity around 280 or 290, and are accounted the first country to become predominantly Christian. Their country is located at a spot where empires have clashed for centuries, and they have often been caught in the middle. For centuries they have been dominated by their Mohammedan neighbors, most recently the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turks were concerned about the possibility of an Armenian revolt. In 1895 and 1896 the Turkish Army killed about 100,000 Armenian civilians. Then in 1915, early in World War I, with Turkey fighting on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and Russia fighting in alliance with the British and French on the other side, the Turkish government accused the Armenians of plotting with the Russians to assist a Russian invasion of Turkey. That spring, around 600,000 Armenians were killed by the Turkish Army, in an attempt to exterminate the Armenians completely. Much of the slaughter took place on 24 April 1915. The survivors were driven eastward and escaped into Russia. On 29 November 1920, most of Armenia was annexed by the Soviet Union.

It is sometimes said that the issues here were national, political, and ethnic rather than religious, and that the victims therefore do no qualify as martyrs. However, many of the Armenians, when about to be killed, were given the option of saving their lives by converting to Mohammedanism. Few did.


Prayer:

O Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyrs of Armenia triumphed over suffering and were faithful even unto death: Grant us, who now remember them with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


References and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide
http://www.armenian-genocide.org/


Mellitus of Canterbury

Mellitus was sent to England in AD 601 by Pope Gregory in response to an appeal from Augustine of Canterbury for a fresh band of missionaries. He was commissioned by Gregory to convey the pallium to Augustine, together with a present of books and "all things which were needed for worship and the ministry of the Church."

Mellitus was consecrated in 604 by Augustine as bishop in the province of the East Saxons, which had a capital at London, making him the first Bishop of London. Mellitus baptised Saebert of Essex, Æthelberht's nephew, and Saebert then allowed the bishopric to be established. The episcopal church which was built in London was probably founded by Æthelberht, rather than Saebert, but a charter that claims to be a grant of lands from Æthelberht to Mellitus is a forgery. Mellitus attended a council of bishops in Italy in February 610, held by Pope Boniface IV. Boniface had him bring back two papal letters to England, one to Æthelbert and his people, and another to Lawrence, the archbishop of Canterbury. He also brought back the synod's decrees to England. No authentic letters or documents from this synod remain, although some were forged in the 1060's and 1070's at Canterbury. While he was bishop, Mellitus and Justus, the bishop of Rochester, subscribed a letter that Laurence wrote to the Celtic bishops urging the Celtic Church to adopt the Roman method of calculating the date of Easter.

Mellitus was driven from London by Saebert's heathen sons in 616, which Bede says happened because he refused the brothers request for a taste of the sacramental bread. This was after the death of Saebert, as well as Æthelberht of Kent, which left the Gregorian mission without strong patrons. He fled to Gaul but was recalled to Britain by Laurence of Canterbury, the second Archbishop of Canterbury. However, he did not return to London, because the East Saxons remained pagan.

Upon Laurence's death in 619, Mellitus succeeded him as the third Archbishop of Canterbury. Gregory addressed a letter to Mellitus that dealt with the issue of pagan temples and festivals, urging the reuse of temples. It was while he was archbishop that he supposedly performed a miracle in 623 by diverting a fire that had started in Canterbury and was threatening the church. Mellitus was carried into the flames, which caused the winds to change direction, saving the church. Other than the miracle, little happened during his time as archbishop, with Bede praising his sane mind.

Mellitus died on 24 April 624 and was buried at St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury on the same day. After his death, he was revered as a saint, with a feast day of 24 April. He was still venerated in 1120 at St Augustine's, along with a number of other local saints.

Propers for Mellitus - Confessor and Archbishop of Canterbury

The Collect.

O heavenly Father, Shepard of thy people, we give thanks for thy servant Mellitus, who was faithful in the care and nurture of thy flock; and we pray that, following his example an the teaching of his holy life, we may by thy grace grow into the stature of the fullness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. 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.


The Gospel - St. Luke 6:17-23.

JESUS came down and stood in the plain, with the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coasts of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; and they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for your's is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/mellitus.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mellitus

Thursday, April 23, 2015

St. George

was a soldier and martyr who suffered around 303 at Lydda (Diospolis) in Palestine. The earliest surviving record of him is a church inscription in Syria, dated about 346. Commemorations of him are numerous, early, and widespread. However, no details of his life are known. In 495 his name appears on a list of "good men, justly remembered, whose good deeds are known only to God." The best-known story about him is that he rescued a beautiful princess in Libya by killing a dragon. It should be noted that this story is unknown before the appearance in 1265 of a romance called the Golden Legend (Legendum Aureum), translated into English in 1483.

When the soldiers of the First Crusade were besieging Antioch in 1098, they had a vision of George and Demetrius (a deacon of Sirmium in Serbia, martyred under Maximian, and referred to as a "soldier of Christ," from which he was often understood to be a literal soldier) encouraging them to maintain the siege, which ultimately proved successful. Richard I ("the Lion-Heart") of England, who fought in the Holy Land in 1191-1192, placed himself and his army under George's protection, and with the return home of the Crusaders, the popularity of George in England increased greatly. Edward III founded the Order of the Garter in 1348 under his patronage, his banner (a red cross on a white field) began to be used as the English national flag in 1284, and in 1415 Henry V spoke of him to rally the troops before the battle of Agincourt ("Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead!" and the English troops are rallied with the cry “God for Harry, England and St George.”), and in the years following George was regarded as the special patron of England, of soldiers, and of the Boy Scouts, as well as of Venice, Genoa, Portugal, and Catalonia. He is also remembered with enthusiasm in many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is a principal character in Edmund Spenser's allegorical poem The Faerie Queene, written in the late 1500's.


Propers for George - Soldier, Martyr and Patron of England

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr George 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.

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.



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Theodore of Sykeon

Son of a pagan imperial messenger. Convert. Monk. Priest. Bishop of Anastasiopolis, Galatia. Founded monasteries. Had the gift of healing. Miracle worker. Warded off a plague of insects by prayer. Supported the cultus of Saint George.

Propers for Theodore of Sykeon - Bishop


The Collect.

O God, our heavenly Father, who didst raise up thy faithful servant Theodore of Sykeon to be a bishop and pastor in thy Church and to feed thy flock: Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of thy Holy Spirit, that they may minister in thy household as true servants of Christ and stewards of thy divine mysteries; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Lesson - Acts 20:17-35


The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 24:42-47


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Anselm of Canterbury

(1033 – April 21, 1109) was an Italian medieval philosopher, theologian, and church official who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. Called the founder of scholasticism, he is famous as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God and as the archbishop who openly opposed the Crusades.


Propers for Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Collect.

O GOD, who hast enlightened thy Church by the teaching of thy servant Anselm: Enrich us evermore, we beseech thee, with thy heavenly grace, and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and doctrine will set forth the truth of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Romans 1:16-20.

FOR I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are dearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.


The Gospel - St. John 7:16-18; 8:12.

JESUS answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm_of_canterbury
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/anselm.cfm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/04/21.html

Discussion from Issues Etc. Radio Program 21 APR 09


Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Second Sunday after Easter

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 Peter 2: 19-25

THIS is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.


The Gospel - St. John 10: 11-16

JESUS said, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and know my sheep, and am known of mine, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd.

Alphege of Canterbury

(Elphege, AElfheah) was born about 953, during the second major period of Viking raids against England. He became first a monk and then a hermit, and then was appointed Abbot of Bath. In 984 he became Bishop of Westminster. In 994 King Ethelred the Unready sent him to parley with the Danish invaders Anlaf and Swein. The Anglo-Saxons paid tribute, but Anlaf became a Christian and swore never to invade England again. He never did. In that same year Alphege brought the newly baptized King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway to a peaceful meeting with King Ethelred, and to his confirmation at Andover. (Remark: "Unready" does not mean that the king was often unprepared; it means that he was headstrong and stubborn, and would not accept "rede," meaning counsel or advice.)

In 1005 Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1011 the Danes overran much of southern England. The payment of the tribute agreed on (the Danegeld) did not stop them, and in September they captured Canterbury and held Alphege and other prominent persons for ransom. The others were duly paid for and released, but the price demanded for Alphege was a fantastically high 3,000 pounds (worth of course, far more than modern pounds). Alphege, knowing the poverty of his people, refused to pay or let anyone else pay for him. The infuriated Danes, at the end of a drunken feast, brought him out and repeated their demands. When he again refused, they threw various objects at him (large bones from the feast, for example) and finally an axeman delivered the death-blow. Their chief, Thorkell the Tall, tried to save him, offering all his possessions except his ship for the Archbishop's life. By his death Alphege became a national hero.

When the Dane Cnut (Canute) became King of England in 1016, he adopted a policy of conciliation, and in 1023 he brought the body of Alphege from London to Canterbury, where he was long remembered as a martyr, one who died, not precisely for professing the Christian faith, but for exercising the Christian virtue of justice. In art, he is shown with an axe, the instrument of his death, or as a shepherd defending his flock from wolves.


Propers for Alphege - Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr.


The Collect.

O GOD, who dost support and defend us with the glorious witness of thy blessed martyr Alphege: Grant us to go forward in his footsteps, and ever to rejoice in fellowship with him; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Revelation 7:13-17.

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.


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 & Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/04/19.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/alphege.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphege

Saturday, April 18, 2015

John of Epirus

John Kulikos was born in the Greek district of Epirus, in the city of Ioannina. His parents were pious, but he was orphaned at an early age, and he went to Constantinople. With the means left him by his parents, he built a small stall in the city bazaar and was occupied with trade.

He loved to work, he honorably filled all his orders, and his business was successful. However, his soul did not yearn for earthly blessings, but for the Kingdom of Heaven.

John lived during difficult times. Constantinople was under the dominion of the Turks, and Christians were subjected to oppressions. Many Christian tradesmen and merchants went over to the Mohamedan religion. John reproached them for their betrayal of Christ, and he also sustained the unwavering in their faith. The apostates were filled with hatred for John, and they desired his ruin. The saint knew this, but was not afraid. He was willing to suffer for Christ.

On Great and Holy Friday he went to his spiritual Father and asked his blessing to seek martyrdom. The priest counseled the youth to examine himself and to prepare himself by fasting and prayer, so that at the time of torture he would not deny Christ. John prayed ardently to the Lord to strengthen him. At night on Great and Holy Saturday he saw himself in a dream, standing in a fiery furnace and singing praises to the Lord. Interpreting this vision as an indication to go to martyrdom, John received the Holy Mysteries and asked the priest's blessing.

When John arrived at the market, the vexed tradesmen began to reproach him that he had promised to renounced Christ, but that he was not fulfilling his word. In reply, the confessor declared that he was a Christian and had never renounced, nor would he ever renounce Christ.

Then the envious merchants had him arrested. The judge tried to persuade John to accept the religion of Mohamed, for he respected him as a skilled master craftsman. But the John steadfastly confessed himself a Christian. For several days, they wearied him with hunger and thirst, and beat him without mercy. They sentenced the martyr to be burned alive.

John met his sentence with joy. When they led him to the blazing fire, he went boldly into the midst of the flames. The torturers, seeing that he was prepared to die in the fire, pulled him out and beheaded him with the sword (+ 1526). They then threw the martyr's head and body into the fire.

Christians gathered up the bones of the martyr which remained from the fire, and reverently brought them to the cathedral church.

Propers for John of Epirus - Confessor and Martyr

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr John of Epirus 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.

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://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?FSID=101143
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_mart.cfm

Friday, April 17, 2015

Donnan of Eigg

was an Irish monk of whom little is known except that he was one of the most active early Scottish saints judging from the trail of place names (usually "Kildonan") stretching from Galloway to Perth and Aberdeenshrie in Uig, South Suist, Sutherland, Arran, and Eigg. Many were converted to Christianity through his efforts. Some say he was a monk of Iona under Saint Columba (f.d. June 9); others that he was associated with the Pictish Church and followed the missionary path of Saint Ninian (f.d. September 16).

He eventually established a community of monks on the island of Eigg at Loch Ewe in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. While he was offering the Sacrifice on Easter eve, a gang of armed men arrived. When the Offering was over, they herded the 52 monks into the refectory, set fire to it. Those who tried to escape were killed by the sword.

According to D'Arcy, the record of Columba's death in the "Martyrology of Aengus" prophesies Donnan's end: "Donnan then went with his monastic family to the Western Isle and they took up their abode there in a place where the sheep of the queen of the country were kept. 'Let them be killed,' said she. 'That would not be a religious act,' said her people. But they were murderously assailed. At this time the cleric was in church. 'Let us have respite till the Offering is ended,' said Donnan. 'Thou shalt have it,' said they. And went it was over they were slain, every one of them."

Thus, it is said that the deed was prompted by the local chieftainess, who resented the monks' presence on the island, or by a local woman who had lost her grazing rights; but it may simply have been a Viking raid. The monks, whose names are recorded in the "Martyrology of Tallaght" compiled c. 792, are viewed as martyrs. His feast is kept at Argyll and the Isles.


Propers for Donnan of Eigg - Monastic and Martyr

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Donnan 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.

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://saints.sqpn.com/saint-donnan-of-eigg/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donn%C3%A1n_of_Eigg
http://www.celticsaints.org/2012/0417a.html


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Martyrs of Zaragoza

Engratia, Lupercius, Julia, Caius, Crescentius, Successus, Martial, Urban, Quintilian, Publius, Fronto, Felix, Cecilian, Evodius, Primitivus, Apodemius, and four men all sharing the name Saturninus, were Christians that would not renounce their faith during the persecutions of governor Dacian, who reigned in the time of the emperors of Diocletian and Maximian (c. 304).

Engratia attempted to dissuade him from his persecution, but was whipped and imprisoned when it was discovered that she was a Christian, she died of her wounds, her companions were decapitated.


Propers for The Martyrs of Saragossa

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed Martyrs of Saragossa 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.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_Saragossa
http://saints.sqpn.com/16-april/

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Damien of Molokai

In the 1800's, the Hawaiian Islands suffered a severe leprosy epidemic, which was dealt with largely by isolating lepers on the island of Molokai. They were simply dumped there and left to fend for themselves. The crews of the boats carrying them there were afraid to land, so they simply came in close and forced the lepers to jump overboard and scramble through the surf as best they could. Ashore, they found no law and no organized society, simply desperate persons waiting for death.

A Belgian missionary priest, Joseph Van Veuster (Damien of the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts), born in 1840, came to Hawaii in 1863, and in 1873 was sent at his own request to Molokai to work among the lepers. He organized burial details and funeral services, so that death might have some dignity. He taught the people how to grow crops and feed themselves better. He organized a choir, and got persons to sing who had not sung in years. He gave them medical attention. (Government doctors had been making regular visits, but they were afraid of contagion, and would not come close to the patients. They inspected their sores from a distance and then left medicines on a table and fled. Damien personally washed and anointed and bandaged their sores.) There was already a small chapel on the island. It proved too small, and with the aid of patients he built a larger one, which soon overflowed every Sunday. Damien contracted leprosy himself in 1885, and continued to work there until his death on 15 April 1889.


Propers for Damien of Molokai - Priest, Missionary and Healer

The Collect.

Almighty Father, we praise Thy name for Thy servant Damien, missionary to the lepers, and for all those who, following in the footsteps of Thy beloved Son, have preached the good news of salvation to the despised and rejected of the earth, not counting the cost to themselves; and we pray that Thy love for us may enkindle in our hearts an answering love for Thee and our neighbors, and that Thy grace may give us wisdom to see the opportunities Thou givest us to serve Thee, and the courage to grasp them; that in all things we may be made conformable unto the image of the same Thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Damien
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/04/15.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_mart.cfm

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Justin Martyr

Justin was born around 100 (both his birth and death dates are approximate) at Flavia Neapolis (ancient Shechem, modern Nablus) in Samaria (the middle portion of Israel, between Galilee and Judea) of pagan Greek parents. He was brought up with a good education in rhetoric, poetry, and history. He studied various schools of philosophy in Alexandria and Ephesus , joining himself first to Stoicism, then Pythagoreanism, then Platonism, looking for answers to his questions.

While at Ephesus, he was impressed by the steadfastness of the Christian martyrs, and by the personality of an aged Christian man whom he met by chance while walking on the seashore. This man spoke to him about Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises made through the Jewish prophets. Justin was overwhelmed. "Straightway a flame was kindled in my soul," he writes, "and a love of the prophets and those who are friends of Christ possessed me." Justin became a Christian, but he continued to wear the cloak that was the characteristic uniform of the professional teacher of philosophy. His position was that pagan philosophy, especially Platonism, is not simply wrong, but is a partial grasp of the truth, and serves as "a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." He engaged in debates and disputations with non-Christians of all varieties, pagans, Jews, and heretics. He opened a school of Christian philosophy and accepted students, first at Ephesus and then later at Rome. There he engaged the Cynic philosopher Crescens in debate, and soon after was arrested on the charge of practicing an unauthorized religion. (It is suggested that Crescens lost the debate and denounced Justin to the authorities out of spite.) He was tried before the Roman prefect Rusticus, refused to renounce Christianity, and was put to death by beheading along with six of his students, one of them a woman. A record of the trial, probably authentic, is preserved, known as The Acts of Justin the Martyr.


Propers for Justin Martyr - Philosopher, Apologist and Martyr.

The Collect.

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst find thy martyr Justin wandering from teacher to teacher, seeking the true God, and didst reveal to him the sublime wisdom of thine eternal Word: Grant that all who seek thee, or a deeper knowledge of thee, may find and be found by thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 Corinthians 1:18-30.

BRETHREN: the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption


The Gospel - St Luke 12:1-8.

AT that time: Jesus said unto his disciples: Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.episcopalnet.org/1928bcp/propers/Missal/Apr14.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Martyr
http://www.synaxis.org/cf/volume01/ECF01JUSTIN_MARTYR_THE_FIRST_APOLOGY_.htm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/06/01.html


Monday, April 13, 2015

Hermenegild of Seville

Leovigild, King of the Visigoths, had two sons, Hermenegild and Recared, who reigned conjointly with him. All three were Arians, but Hermenegild married a. zealous Catholic, the daughter of Sigebert, King of France, and by her holy example was converted to the faith.

His father, on hearing the news, denounced him as a traitor, and marched to seize his person. Hermenegild tried to rally the Catholics of Spain in his defence, but they were too weak to make any stand, and, after a two years fruitless struggle, he surrendered on the assurance of a free pardon.

When safely in the royal camp, the king had him loaded with fetters and cast into a foul dungeon at Seville. Tortures and bribes were in turn employed to shake his faith, but Hermenegild wrote to his father that he held the crown as nothing, and preferred to lose sceptre and life rather than betray the truth of God. At length, on Easter night, an Arian bishop entered his cell, and promised him his father's pardon if he would but receive Communion at his hands. Hermenegild indignantly rejected the offer, and knelt with joy for his depth-stroke. The same night a light streaming from his cell told the Christians who were watching near that the martyr had won his crown, and was keeping his Easter with the Saints in glory.

Leovigild on his death-bed, though still an Arian, bade Recared seek out St. Leander, whom he had himself cruelly persecuted, and, following Hermenegild's example, be received by him into the Church. Recared did so, and on his father's death labored so earnestly for the extirpation of Arianism that he brought over the whole nation of the Visigoths to the Church. "Nor is it to be wondered," says St. Gregory, "that he came thus to be a preacher of the true faith, seeing that he was brother of a martyr, whose merits did help him to bring so many into the lap of God's Church."


Hermenegild of Seville - Prince and Martyr


The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Hermenegild 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.

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 Holy 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.


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Sunday, April 12, 2015

The First Sunday After Easter

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 St. John v. 4.

WHATSOEVER is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.


The Gospel - St. John xx. 19.

THE same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.

The Octave of Easter

¶ At Morning Prayer, instead of the Venite, the following shall be said, and may be said throughout the Octave.

CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us: * therefore let us keep the feast, Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; * but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7.

CHRIST being raised from the dead dieth no more; * death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: * but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, * but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9.

CHRIST is risen from the dead, * and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, * by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, * even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.



The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be said daily throughout Easter Week.


The Epistle - Colossians iii. 1.

IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.



The Gospel - St. John xx. 1.

THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

¶ If in any Church the Holy Communion be twice celebrated on Easter Day, the following Collect, Epistle, and Gospel may be used at the first Communion.


The Collect.

O GOD, who for our redemption didst give thine only begotten Son to the death of the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy; Grant us so to die daily from sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 Corinthians v. 6.

KNOW ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


The Gospel - St. Mark xvi. 1.

WHEN the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.


Guthlac of Crowland

Guthlac was the son of Penwald, a minor prince from the Royal Mercian House of Icling, and his wife, Tette. Born around AD 673, he was a serious child, not given to boyish pranks. Yet upon reaching manhood at fifteen, he decided to become a soldier of fortune. He collected a great troop of armed followers around him and, together, they ravaged the countryside, burning, raping and pillaging as they went. For nine years, Guthlac carried on with this thoughtless way of life until, one night, he had a heavenly dream that instilled him with love and compassion for his fellow man. He made an oath to dedicate his life to the service of the Lord and, in the morning, bade his companions farewell. He forsook his accumulated wealth and went off to join the dual-monastery at Repton in Derbyshire, where he received the tonsure from Abbess Aelfthrith.

After two years in the monastery, Guthlac began to long for the more secluded life of a hermit. So, having acquired leave from the monastic elders, he departed for the great Fens, north of Cambridge. Unlike the well drained arable land of today, the Fens were then a labyrinth of black wandering streams, broad lagoons and quagmires with vast beds of reeds, sedge and fern. The islands amongst this dismal swamp were a great attraction for the recluse.

Guthlac was directed to a particular one of these islands by a local man named Tatwin. Many people had attempted to inhabit it before, but none had succeeded, on account of the loneliness of the wilderness and its manifold horrors. The twenty-six year old Guthlac eagerly rose to such a challenge and arrived in a little boat at his new home of the "Crow Land" on St. Bartholomew's Day. He surveyed the area a while before returning to Repton for supplies and building materials with which he returned with the help of two servants. St. Guthlac found an ancient tumulus on the island, against which he built himself a hermitage. He resolved to wear only skins and ate only barley bread and drank water each day.

After fifteen years in the Fens, Guthlac was seized by an alarming illness while at prayers in his chapel. Beccel ran to his side and tended him; but the holy man was dying. He hung on for another eight days, giving his servant detailed instruction for his burial by his sister, Pegge, in a lead coffin and a sheet given him by Abbess Edburga. He died on 11th April AD 714 and the great Abbey of Croyland grew up around his grave.


Propers for Guthlac of Crowland - Monastic

The Collect.

O GOD, by whose grace the blessed Guthlac 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


Reference and Resources:

http://www.celticsaints.org/2012/0411b.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guthlac_of_Crowland
http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/guthlac.html


Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Octave of Easter

¶ At Morning Prayer, instead of the Venite, the following shall be said, and may be said throughout the Octave.

CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us: * therefore let us keep the feast, Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; * but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7.

CHRIST being raised from the dead dieth no more; * death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: * but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, * but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9.

CHRIST is risen from the dead, * and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, * by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, * even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.



The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be said daily throughout Easter Week.


The Epistle - Colossians iii. 1.

IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.



The Gospel - St. John xx. 1.

THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

¶ If in any Church the Holy Communion be twice celebrated on Easter Day, the following Collect, Epistle, and Gospel may be used at the first Communion.


The Collect.

O GOD, who for our redemption didst give thine only begotten Son to the death of the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy; Grant us so to die daily from sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 Corinthians v. 6.

KNOW ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


The Gospel - St. Mark xvi. 1.

WHEN the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.


George Selwyn

(5 April 1809–11 April 1878) was the first Anglican Bishop of New Zealand. He was Bishop of New Zealand from 1841 to 1858. His diocese was then subdivided and Selwyn was Primate of New Zealand from 1858 to 1868. He was Bishop of Lichfield from 1868 to 1878. The educational institutions named in his honour include Selwyn College, Cambridge (1882), Selwyn College, Otago (1893), and Selwyn house at Kings School, Auckland, New Zealand.

After graduating, Selwyn worked at Eton, becoming assistant master and tutoring the sons of Lord Powis. In 1833 he was ordained deacon, a priest in 1834, and acted as curate to the Rev. Isaac Gossett, vicar of Windsor from 1833 until 1841. Both at Eton and at Windsor, Selwyn displayed much organising talent. In 1841, after an episcopal council held at Lambeth had recommended the appointment of a bishop for New Zealand, Bishop Blomfield offered the post to Selwyn.

He was consecrated at Lambeth on 17 October 1841, and sailed on 26 December. He appointed William Charles Cotton as his chaplain. The missionary party of 23 members set sail from Plymouth late in December 1841 on board the barque Tomatin. On the ship, in addition to their luggage, were various animals and four hives of bees. On the voyage out he so far mastered the Māori language with the help of a Māori boy returning from England, that he was able to preach in that language immediately on his arrival, and acquired enough knowledge of seamanship to enable him to be his own sailing master among the dangerous waters of the Pacific.

Selwyn had decided to set up residence at the Waimate Mission Station, some 15 miles (24 km) inland from Paihia where the Church Missionary Society had established a settlement 11 years earlier. On 5 July 1842 Selwyn set out on a six month tour of his diocese leaving the Mission Station in the care of Sarah, his wife, and Cotton. By October 1843 more missionaries had arrived at Waimate, and Selwyn, accompanied by Cotton, embarked on his second tour, this time to mission stations and native settlements in the southern part of North Island. Their journey was made partly by canoe but mainly by walking, often for large distances over difficult and dangerous terrain. Part way through the tour Selwyn decided to split the party into two sections with one section led by himself and the other by Cotton. After being away for nearly three months, Cotton arrived back at Waimate early in 1844 and Selwyn returned a few weeks later.

Later in 1844 Selwyn decided to move some 160 miles (257 km) south to Tamaki near Auckland where he bought 450 acres (180 ha) of land, giving it the name of Bishop's Auckland. The party left on 23 October and arrived in Auckland on 17 November. During the first six months of 1845 Selwyn was away for much of the time and management of the settlement, and particularly the schools, fell to Cotton.

Bishop Selwyn's see was an early foundation in the series of colonial sees organised by the English church, and his organisation and government of his diocese proved of special importance. In six years he completed a thorough visitation of the whole of New Zealand, and in December 1847 began a series of voyages to the Pacific Islands, which were included in his diocese by a clerical error in his letters patent. His letters and journals descriptive of these journeyings present the reader with a vivid picture of his versatility, courage, and energy. His voyagings resulted in 1861 in the consecration of John Coleridge Patteson as bishop of Melanesia.

Selwyn elaborated a scheme for the self-government of his diocese, and in 1854 visited England for the purpose of obtaining power to subdivide his diocese, and permission to the church of New Zealand to manage its own affairs by a "general synod" of bishops, presbyters, and laity. His addresses before the university of Cambridge produced a great impression. On his return to New Zealand four bishops were consecrated, two to the Northern and two to the Southern Island, and the legal constitution of the church was finally established.

The first general synod was held in 1859. Selwyn's constitution of the New Zealand church greatly influenced the development of the colonial church, and has reacted in many ways on the church at home. By 1855, the New Zealand wars interrupted the progress of Christianity among the Māori, and caused an almost universal rejection of the Church of England. Selwyn was a keen critic of the unjust and reckless procedure of the English land companies, and was misunderstood by Englishmen and Maoris alike. His efforts to supply Christian ministrations to the troops on both sides were heroic and indefatigable.

In 1867, he visited England a second time to be present at the first Pan-Anglican synod of the Lambeth Conference, an institution which his own work had done much to bring about. While he was in England he accepted, with much reluctance because of his love of New Zealand, the offer of the see of Lichfield. He was enthroned as ninety-first bishop on 9 January 1868. In 1868 he paid a farewell visit to New Zealand. He governed Lichfield till his death at the age of 69 on 11 April 1878. He died at the bishop's palace, Lichfield, and was buried in the grounds of Lichfield Cathedral.


Propers for George Selwyn - Bishop, Missionary and Primate of New Zealand.

The Collect.

Almighty and Everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant George Augustus Selwyn, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the people of New Zealand and Melanesia, and to lay a firm foundation for the growth of thy Church in many nations. 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 Saviour Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Epistle - Ephesians 2:11-18


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:7-16


Reference and Resources:

http://anglicangradual.stsams.org/FTP/Acrobat/2238-GASelwyn.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Selwyn_(Bishop_of_Lichfield)


Friday, April 10, 2015

The Octave of Easter

¶ At Morning Prayer, instead of the Venite, the following shall be said, and may be said throughout the Octave.

CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us: * therefore let us keep the feast, Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; * but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7.

CHRIST being raised from the dead dieth no more; * death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: * but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, * but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9.

CHRIST is risen from the dead, * and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, * by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, * even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.



The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be said daily throughout Easter Week.


The Epistle - Colossians iii. 1.

IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.



The Gospel - St. John xx. 1.

THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

¶ If in any Church the Holy Communion be twice celebrated on Easter Day, the following Collect, Epistle, and Gospel may be used at the first Communion.


The Collect.

O GOD, who for our redemption didst give thine only begotten Son to the death of the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy; Grant us so to die daily from sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - 1 Corinthians v. 6.

KNOW ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


The Gospel - St. Mark xvi. 1.

WHEN the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.


The Martyrs of East Anglia


The year 870 was a terrible year for the Church in East Anglia. The Viking army that had arrived in 865 became a permanent army of occupation, and when they had amassed horses and supplies from the English, they marched on York, where they settled until the end of the century. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle for 870 records that the army rode from York across Mercia into East Anglia, captured Thetford, and under their chiefs Ingwar and Hubba, defeated and killed King Edmund. At the same time they came to Medehampstede (Peterborough) and burned and beat it down, slew abbot and monks and all that they found there. They made that which was very great such that it became nothing. When they murdered St. Hedda and all the brethren at Peterborough, they had already demolished the monastery at Bardney in Lincolnshire, killing all the monks, and destroyed Ely, putting both communities of men and women to the sword. The same thing happened at Benet Hulme in Norfolk, where the holy Suniman was abbot, and at the abbey at Thorney where they killed St. Torthred's community. We have a vivid account of the extermination of the community at Croyland in the history of Ingulf, a later abbot, who says that the solemn mass was just ended as the Danes broke into the church, and the clergy had not yet left the sanctuary. The Abbot Theodore, who was celebrant, together with the Deacon and Sub-deacon were murdered in their vestments and the acolytes were cut down in front of the altar. A few escaped into the forest, but all who tried to hide in the monastery were butchered, among them Askegar, the Prior, and two venerable monks of a hundred years old, Grimkeld and Agamund.

The army, moving south, sacked the twin monasteries of Chertsey and Barking founded by St. Erkonwald for himself and his sister St. Ethelburga. All the nuns at Barking were slaughtered, and William of Malmesbury tells us that 90 monks were killed at Chertsey, among them Beocca, the Abbot, and Hethor, a priest.

All of these are venerated as martyrs. Their memories were kept alive by chronicles and the writings of William of Malmesbury

Once the Viking horde was on the move, the Danes murdered and plundered indiscriminately. They seemed to have a particular hatred for those professing the Christian faith, and monastic establishments were prime targets for their raids. By the time they reached Reading, at the end of the year, their blood lust must have been sated, and they wintered there.


Propers for the Martyrs of East Anglia

The Collect.

Almighty and Everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyrs of East Anglia: Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in their triumph may profit by their example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Lesson - Jeremiah 15:15-21


The Gospel - St. Mark 8:34-38


Reference and Resources:

http://www.celticsaints.org/2012/0410a.html
http://anglicangradual.stsams.org/FTP/Acrobat/3033-CmMar3.pdf