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2020/01/24

Conversion of St. Paul (25 January) and Third Sunday after Epiphany - 2020


The Conversion of Saint Paul (25 January)

The Collect
O God, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 1.4-10
Psalter: Psalm 67
Epistle Reading: Acts 9.1-22
Gospel Reading: *St. Matthew 19.27-30



The Third Sunday after the Epiphany.
Psalm 72. Deus, judicium.
GIVE the King thy judgments, O God, * and thy righteousness unto the King’s son.
2 Then shall he judge thy people according unto right, * and defend the poor.
3 The mountains also shall bring peace, * and the little hills righteousness unto the people.
4 He shall keep the simple folk by their right, * defend the children of the poor, and punish the wrong doer.
5 They shall fear thee, as long as the sun and moon endureth, * from one generation to another.
6 He shall come down like the rain upon the mown grass, * even as the drops that water the earth.
7 In his time shall the righteous flourish; * yea, and abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth.
8 His dominion shall be also from the one sea to the other, * and from the River unto the world’s end.
9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall kneel before him; * his enemies shall lick the dust.
10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall give presents; * the kings of Arabia and Saba shall bring gifts.
11 All kings shall fall down before him; * all nations shall do him service.
12 For he shall deliver the poor when he crieth; * the needy also, and him that hath no helper.
13 He shall be favourable to the simple and needy, * and shall preserve the souls of the poor.
14 He shall deliver their souls from falsehood and wrong; * and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
15 He shall live, and unto him shall be given of the gold of Arabia; * prayer shall be made ever unto him, and daily shall he be praised.
16 There shall be an heap of corn in the earth, high upon the hills; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: * and they of the city shall flourish like grass upon the earth.
17 His Name shall endure for ever; his Name shall re- main under the sun among the posterities, which shall be blessed in him; * and all the nations shall praise him.
18 Blessed be the Lord God, even the God of Israel, * which only doeth wondrous things;
19 And blessed be the Name of his majesty for ever: *  and all the earth shall be filled with his majesty. Amen,  Amen.
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 and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 41.8-10, 17-20
Psalter: Psalm 20, 21 | 27, 29
Epistle Reading: Romans 12.16-21
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 8.1-13


Personal: Little Known Fact: The whole Senate has George Washington's Farewell Speech read to them every year. That speech began to be read to the whole Senate in 1862, and the tradition of the annual reading began around 1888.


You can listen to the audio version of this speech here: George Washington’s Farewell Speech

2020/01/17

Second Sunday after the Epiphany - 2020



The Second Sunday after the Epiphany.
Psalm 48. Magnus Dominus.
GREAT is the Lord, and highly to be praised * in the city of our God, even upon his holy hill.
2 The hill of Sion is a fair place, and the joy of the whole earth; * upon the north side lieth the city of the great King: God is well known in her palaces as a sure refuge.
3 For lo, the kings of the earth * were gathered, and gone by together.
4 They marvelled to see such things; * they were astonished, and suddenly cast down.
5 Fear came there upon them; and sorrow, * as upon a woman in her travail.
6 Thou dost break the ships of the sea * through the east-wind.
7 Like as we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; * God upholdeth the same for ever.
8 We wait for thy loving-kindness, O God, * in the midst of thy temple.
9 O God, according to thy Name, so is thy praise unto the world’s end; * thy right hand is full of righteousness.
10 Let the mount Sion rejoice, and the daughters of Judah be glad, * because of thy judgments.
11 Walk about Sion, and go round about her; * and tell the towers thereof.
12 Mark well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, * that ye may tell them that come after.
13 For this God is our God for ever and ever: * he shall be our guide unto death.  
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 and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 45.1-15
Psalter: Psalm 96, 97 | 45, 46
Epistle Reading: Romans 12.6-16
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 1.1-11


2020/01/10

The First Sunday after the Epiphany - 2020



The First Sunday after the Epiphany.
Psalm 47. Omnes gentes, plaudite.
O CLAP your hands together, all ye peoples: * O sing unto God with the voice of melody.
2 For the Lord is high, and to be feared; * he is the great King upon all the earth.
3 He shall subdue the peoples under us, * and the nations under our feet.
4 He shall choose out an heritage for us, * even the excellency of Jacob, whom he loved.
5 God is gone up with a merry noise, * and the Lord with the sound of the trump.
6 O sing praises, sing praises unto our God; * O sing praises, sing praises unto our King.
7 For God is the King of all the earth: * sing ye praises with understanding.
8 God reigneth over the nations; * God sitteth upon his holy seat.
9 The princes of the peoples are joined unto the people of the God of Abraham; * for God, which is very high exalted, doth defend the earth, as it were with a shield.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.

The Collect.
O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people which call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 60.1-9
Psalter: Psalm 47, 48 | 66, 67
Epistle Reading: Romans 12.1-5
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 2.41-52


If you’re interested in meaty theological studies, here’s my review of a book I did recently: God In Himself

2020/01/03

Second Sunday after Christmas Day and Epiphany (6 January) - 2020



The Second Sunday after Christmas Day
Psalm 37 (v.1-6)
Noli aemulari
FRET not thyself because of the ungodly : neither be thou envious against the evil-doers.
2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass : and be withered even as the green herb.
3. Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good : dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4. Delight thou in the Lord : and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.
5. Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him : and he shall bring it to pass.
6. He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light ; and thy just dealing as the noon-day.

The Collect
ALMIGHTY GOD, who hast poured upon us the new light of thine incarnate Word; grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 61.1-3
Psalter: Psalm 85, 87 | 90, 91
{Epistle Reading: Philippians 2.12-18}
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 2.19-23


The Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles
6 January
Psalm 46. Deus noster refugium.
GOD is our hope and strength, * a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be moved, * and though the hills be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof rage and swell, * and though the mountains shake at the tempest of the same.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God; * the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most Highest.
5 God is in the midst of her, therefore shall she not be removed; * God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are moved; * but God hath showed his voice, and the earth shall melt away.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; * the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8 O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord, * what destruction he hath brought upon the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease in all the world; * he breaketh the bow, and knappeth the spear in sunder, and burneth the chariots in the fire.
10 Be still then, and know that I am God: * I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; * the God of Jacob is our refuge.
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.
O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles: Mercifully grant, that we, which know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 60.1-9]
Psalter: Psalm 96
Epistle Reading: Ephesians 3.1-11
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 2.1-12


Feast of the Order (3 January) - 2020



Feast of the Order of Centurions (3 January)
Renewal of our Vows
Office of the Renewal of Vows

On this day centurions may reaffirm the Vow of the Order in remembrance of the tradition of the centurions of the first centuries "Sacramentum". Another suggested day is January 1, or its eve, which was another day when the Roman Army soldiers would affirm their vows.

New members may be received into the order. 

Where two or more are gathered, a leader will state the Sacramentum. For those without a Cohort, the Primus Pilus will state the Sacramentum at the Chapel of the Centurions.
I acknowledge Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior. I will endeavor to obey the Ten Commandments and the Summary of the Law, and follow the Rule of the Order of Centurions; and through faith and the aid of the Holy Spirit - fear God and do what is right. So help me God.

Centurions and candidates, in turn, affirm their acceptance with the words, "The same in my case"
When a man was enlisted in the army, he received a special mark. All early Christians received an invisible mark at baptism, when he was sealed with the cross on the forehead.

The observance then may continue with Devotion or Eucharist using the following collect, readings, and sermon and Communion and/or an Agape banquet. If this office is performed on January 1, or its eve, then the appointed collects and the readings for the Circumcision may be used.


2019/12/27

Sunday after Christmas-Day and Circumcision of Christ (1 January) - 2019/2020



The Sunday after Christmas-Day.
Psalm 8. Domine, Dominus noster.
O  LORD our Governor, how excellent is thy Name in all the world; * thou that hast set thy glory above the heavens!
2 Out of the mouth of very babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies, * that  thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, even the work of thy fingers; * the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? * and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 Thou madest him lower than the angels, * to crown him with glory and worship.
6 Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of thy hands; * and thou hast put all things in subjection un- der his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen; * yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea; * and whatsoever walketh through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord our Governor, * how excellent is thy Name in all the world!
Glory be to the Father, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 9.2-7
Psalter: Morning-2, 8; Evening-89
Epistle Reading: Galatians 4.1-7
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 1.18-25



The Circumcision of Christ (1 January).
Psalm 6. Domine, ne in furore.
O  LORD, rebuke me not in thine indignation, * neither chasten me in thy displeasure.
2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; * O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.
3 My soul also is sore troubled: * but, Lord, how long wilt thou punish me?
4 Turn thee, O Lord, and deliver my soul; * O save me, for thy mercy’s sake.
5 For in death no man remembereth thee; * and who will give thee thanks in the pit?
6 I am weary of my groaning; * every night wash I my bed, and water my couch with my tears.
7 My beauty is gone for very trouble, * and worn away because of all mine enemies.
8 Away from me, all ye that work iniquity; * for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The Lord hath heard my petition; * the Lord will receive my prayer.
10 All mine enemies shall be confounded, and sore vexed; * they shall be turned back, and put to shame suddenly.
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 madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true Circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the New Year: Almighty and Everlasting God, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift; we give thee thanks for all thy benefits, temporal and spiritual, bestowed upon us in the year past, and we beseech thee of thy goodness, grant us a favorable and joyful year, defend us from all dangers and adversities, and send upon us the fullness of thy blessing; through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, ever One God, world without end. Amen (“The Book of Worship: Approved by the General Synod of the Evangelical Reformed Church,” 1947, p. 120).

Epistle Reading: Philippians 2.9-13
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 2.15-21


2019/12/26

St. Stephens (26 December), St. John's (27 December) and Holy Innocents (28 December) - 2019


Saint Stephen’s Day (26 December).
From Psalm 34
Benedicam Domino
I WILL alway give thanks unto the Lord * his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous * and his ears are open unto their prayers.
The countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil * to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth them * and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart * and will save such as be of an humble spirit.
Great are the troubles of the righteous * but the Lord delivereth him out of all.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.

The Collect.
Grant, O Lord, that in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succour all those that suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be said continually unto New-year’s Eve.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Epistle Reading: Acts (6.8-7.53) 7.54-60
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 23.34-39


Saint John the Evangelist’s Day (27 December).
From Psalm 37
Noli aemulari
FRET not thyself because of the ungodly * neither be thou envious against the evil-doers.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass * and be withered even as the green herb.
Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good * dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thou in the Lord * and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.
Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him * and he shall bring it to pass.
He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light * and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him * but grieve not thyself at him whose way doth prosper, against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.

The Collect.
MERCIFUL Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be said continually unto New-year’s Eve.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.


Epistle Reading:1 John 1.1-10
Gospel Reading: St. John 21.19-25

The Innocents’ Day (28 December).
From Psalm 90
Domine, refugium
LORD, thou hast been our refuge * from one generation to another.
So teach us to number our days * that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Turn thee again, O Lord, at the last * and be gracious unto thy servants.
O satisfy us with thy mercy, and that soon * so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Comfort us again now after the time that thou hast plagued us * and for the years wherein we have suffered adversity.
Shew thy servants thy work * and their children thy glory.
And the glorious majesty of the Lord our God be upon us * prosper thou the work of our hands upon us, O prosper thou our handywork.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.


The Collect.
O ALMIGHTY God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; Mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be said continually unto New-year’s Eve.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.


Epistle Reading: Revelation 14.1-5
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew2.13-18

Homily

2019/12/24

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - 2019


The Eve of the Nativity of our Lord
December 24
Psalm 2. Quare fremuerunt gentes?
WHY do the heathen so furiously rage together? * and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together * against the Lord, and against his Anointed:
3 Let us break their bonds asunder, * and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn: * the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, * and vex them in his sore displeasure:
6 Yet have I set my King * upon my holy hill of Sion.
7 I will rehearse the decree; * the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
8 Desire of me, and I shall give thee the nations for thine inheritance, * and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron, * and break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; * be instructed, ye that are judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord in fear, * and rejoice unto him with reverence.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and so ye perish from the right way, if his wrath be kindled, yea but a little. *  Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
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.

GOD, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thine only Son Jesus Christ; Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to be our Judge, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Epistle Reading: Titus 2.11-15
Gospel Reading: Luke 2.1-14

The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birth-day of Christ,
Commonly called Christmas-Day.
Magnificat.
St. Luke I.
MY soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Epistle Reading: Hebrews 1.1-12
Gospel Reading: St. John 1.1-14