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Prayer and Creed of Constantine

As we approach the New Year and an affirmation of the vow of the Order on the 1st or 3rd of January, I thought you might appreciate these excerpts, Constantine's prayer and creed. Good then - Good today

A prayer. “Not without cause, O holy God, do I prefer this prayer to Thee, the Lord of all. Under Thy guidance have I devised and accomplished measures fraught with blessing: preceded by Thy sacred sign, I have led Thy armies to victory: and still on each occasion of public danger, I follow the same symbol of Thy perfections while advancing to meet the foe. Therefore have I dedicated to Thy service a soul duly attempered by love and fear. For Thy name I truly love, while I regard with reverence that power of which Thou hast given abundant proofs, to the confirmation and increase of my faith” (Ad prov. Or.).

A confession of faith in God and in Christ. “This God I confess that I hold in unceasing honor and remembrance; this God I delight to contemplate with pure and guileless thoughts in the height of his glory.” “His pleasure is in works of moderation and gentleness. He loves the meek and hates the turbulent spirit, delighting in faith. He chastises unbelief” (Ad Sap.). 434“He is the supreme judge of all things, the prince of immortality, the giver of everlasting life” (S. C. 36).

Schaff History of the Church

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1st Sunday after Christmas - Faith of Joseph

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.

On Joseph....
What emanates from the figure of Saint Joseph is faith...Joseph of
Nazareth is a "just man" because he totally "lives by faith." He is
holy because his faith is truly heroic......

Read the the rest of this brief comment by John Paul II from Daily
Meditations, as well as the Lesson, and Gospel for this Sunday

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Christmas Day Homily - John Chrysostom

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.
Homily by St. John Chrysostom ca. 400 AD
Merry Christmas

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Christmas Eve

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.

Sermon by St. Cyril of Alexandria [ca. 430], readings and art here:

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Advent – 19 December – Prepare the Way

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheerour spirits by thine advent here;disperse the gloomy clouds of night,and death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice!Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

In this Sunday's Gospel, John the Baptist tells those who questioned him that Jesus, who was his junior cousin, was greater than he was. In fact, he was not even worthy to take off Jesus' sandals. Now in that age, a wealthy man normally had slaves who waited upon him "hand and foot", and dressed him to include putting on and taking off his sandals. John here states that his status compared to Jesus is not even that of slave to master. John said he came before the Lord to prepare the way for him.

Read the rest of the homily, lessons, and collects here

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Centurio Epistula - Ember Days - December

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after December 13th mark December Ember Days. Ember days occur in the four seasons. They are first recorded in about 250AD, but may have been observed in apostolic times. Their roots may be traced to the fasts described in Zacharias 8:19

Christian Centurions would have paused on Ember Days for general prayer and fasting/abstinence and to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.

An appropriate service for periods of fasts that you might like to use is The Litany or General Supplication. It may be used with the Devotional or alone. We have placed an adapted one in the Chapel in the Devotional under Intercessions - or you can access it directly by this link:

You may read more about Ember Days here:
* Holy Trinity Germ. Nat. Church
* New Advent
* Golden Legend

Some elements of the Church in later years focused on prayers for ministers. The Saturdays of the Ember Days were designated as a time for ordinations. Here you will find a collect, epistle, and Gospel reading that may be used, especially on Saturday, for ministers of the Church.

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Centurio Epistula – Advent 3 – John the Baptist

Jesus told the people that John the Baptist was someone very special. A man called by God to usher in the Kingdom of God. To prepare the way of the Lord. A man whose equal was not to be found, then, or now. John the Baptist stands in history as a beacon. He was an ascetic, denying himself creature comforts in order to dedicate himself to the Lord. He fasted often, his clothing were rough, his pious discipline strict, and his message unswerving -- Repent, turn from your sins and prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord. Centurions may take heart in the words of John, for when asked by the soldiers what they must do to be saved, he did not reprove them of their occupation, but said, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Read the collects, readings, and the entire homily here
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Centurio Epistula - Centurion's Song

Rudyard Kipling 1911

LEGATE, I had the news last night—my cohort ordered home
By ship to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome.
I’ve marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below:
Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go!

I’ve served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall
I have none other home than this, nor any life at all.
Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near
That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here.

Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done,
Here where my dearest dead are laid—my wife—my wife and son;
Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love,
Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove?

For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice.
What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies,
Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze—
The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June’s long-lighted days?

You’ll follow widening Rhodanus till vine and olive lean
Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean
To Arelate’s triple gate; but let me linger on,
Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon !

You’ll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines
Where, blue as any peacock’s neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines.
You’ll go where laurel crowns are won, but—will you e’er forget
The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet?

Let me work here for Britain’s sake—at any task you will—
A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill.
Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep,
Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep.

Legate, I come to you in tears—My cohort ordered home!
I’ve served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome?
Here is my heart, my soul, my mind—the only life I know.
I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!

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Centurio Epistula – Second Coming

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

[the second collect is that from Advent 1, it is repeated each Sunday before Christmas and is very appropriate for today’s Gospel]

Romans xv. 4 & St. Luke xxi. 25

Today's collect reminds us that God gave us the Scripture for our great benefit. Our belief affirms this as the Creed is prefaced with the verse "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". The Psalms and Proverbs praise God that his people alone have been blessed with his Word. We are indeed blessed and our hope is found in today's Gospel. In this season of Advent, we hear our Lord prophesy of his return: then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. In Revelations, John records his vision of the Second Coming. This is the Order's vision as well.

see the rest of the homily, art, and readings here:

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