Total Pageviews


The Circumcision of Christ


The Circumcision of Christ

[January 1]

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.

Source: Sacramentary of Bishop Gregory of Rome [ca 600AD]. Circumcision was required eight days after birth. Some now call this day "The Holy Name". New Year's Day is of pagan origin.  It is based on Romans ii. 29, Collosians iii. 5, and Titus ii. 12

Philippians ii. 9. St. Luke ii. 15

For the Homily this Holy Day2007, I commend  
by Dr. Toon of the Prayer Book Society

Other Homilies

"his name was called JESUS"



First Sunday after Christmas

  Announcements for the First Sunday after Christmas
Bidding from a member of the Order to all
I urgently request the prayers of our members for our troops in harms way in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the other countries of the globe.

The First Sunday after Christmas

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.

Source: Archbishop Cranmer [1549]. This is the same collect as is appointed for Christmas Day

Homily of Augustine Below on the Nativity
Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife:
for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost

                                                 For the Homily

Sermon On the Nativity

by St. Augustine

(1) Hear, O sons of light, who have been received by adoption into the kingdom of God; hear, my very dear brethren; hear and be glad in the Lord, ye just ones, so that praise may become the upright.[1] Hear what you already know; reflect upon what you have heard; love what you believe; proclaim what you love. Since we are celebrating a great anniversary on this day, you may expect a sermon in keeping with the feast. Christ as God was born of His Father, as Man of His Mother; of the immortality of His Father, of the virginity of His Mother; of His Father without a mother, of His Mother without a father; of His Father without limits of time, of His Mother without seed; of His Father as the source of life, of His Mother as the end of death; of His Father ordering all days, of His Mother consecrating this particular day.[2]

(2) God sent John to earth as His human Precursor so that he was born when the days were becoming shorter while the Lord Himself was born when the days were growing longer, that in this minute detail the subsequent words of this same John might be prefigured: 'He must increase, but I must decrease.'[3] For human life ought to grow weaker in itself and stronger in Christ, that 'they who are alive may live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for all and rose again,' and that each one of us may say in the words of the Apostle: 'It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me.'[4] For 'he must increase, but I must decrease.'

All His angels worthily praise Him, for He is their everlasting food, nourishing them with an incorruptible feast. He is the Word of God, by whose life they live, by whose eternity they live forever, by whose goodness they live happily forever. They praise Him worthily, as God with God, and they render glory to God on high. May we, 'his people and the sheep of his hand,'[5] reconciled to Him by our good will, merit peace in consideration of the limited measure of our weakness. For these words to which the angels themselves gave utterance in jubilation at the birth of our Saviour are their daily tribute: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will.'[6] Therefore, they praise Him duly: let us praise Him in obedience. They are His messengers; we, His sheep. He filled their table in heaven; He filled our manger on earth. He is the fullness of their table because 'in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God.' He is the fullness of our manger because 'the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.'[7] so that man might eat the Bread of angels the Creator of the angels became man. The angels praise Him by living; we, by believing; they by enjoying, we by seeking; they by obtaining, we by striving to obtain; they by entering, we by knocking.

(3) What human being could know all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ and concealed under the poverty of His humanity? For, 'being rich, he became poor for our sake that by his poverty we might become rich.'[8] When He assumed our mortality and overcame death, He manifested Himself in poverty, but He promised riches though they might be deferred; He did not lose them as if they were taken from Him. How great is the multitude of His sweetness which He hides from those who fear Him but which He reveals to those that hope in Him![9] For we understand only in part until that which is perfect comes to us. To make us worthy of this perfect gift, He, equal to the Father in the form of God, became like to us in the form of a servant, and refashions us into the likeness of God. The only Son of God, having become the Son of Man, makes many sons of men the sons of God; and on these men, reared as servants, with the visible form of servants, He bestows the freedom of beholding the form of God. For 'we are the children of God, and it has not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that, when he appears, we shall be like to him, for we shall see him just as he is.'[l0] What, then, are those treasures of wisdom and knowledge? What are those divine riches unless they be that which satisfies our longing? And what is that multitude of sweetness unless it be what fills us? 'Show us the Father and it is enough for us.'[11] Furthermore, in one of the psalms, one of our race, either in our name or for our sake, said to Him: 'I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall appear.'[l2] But He and the Father are one, and the person who sees Him sees the Father also;[l3] therefore, 'the Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.'[l4] Turning to us, He will show us His face and 'we shall be saved';[15] we shall be satisfied, and He will be sufficient for us.

(4) Therefore, let our heart speak thus to Him; 'I have sought thy countenance; thy face, O Lord, will I still seek. Turn not away thy face from me.'[l6] And let Him reply to the plea of our hearts: 'He who loves me keeps my commandments; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.'[17] Indeed, those to whom He addressed these words did see Him with their eyes; they heard the sound of His voice with their ears; they regarded Him as a man in their human heart. But, what eye has not seen, what ear has not heard, and what has not entered into the heart of man He promised to show to those who love Him.[l8] Until this favor is granted to us, until He shows us what will completely satisfy us, until we drink to satiety of that fountain of life, while we wander about, apart from Him but strong in faith, while we hunger and thirst for justice, longing with an unspeakable desire for the beautiful vision of God, let us celebrate with fervent devotion His birthday in the form of a servant. Since we cannot, as yet, understand that He was begotten by the Father before the day- star, let us celebrate His birth of the Virgin in the nocturnal hours. Since we do not comprehend how His name existed before the light of the sun, let us recognize His tabernacle placed in the sun. Since we do not, as yet, gaze upon the Son inseparably united with His Father, let us remember Him as the 'bridegroom coming out of his bride-chamber.' Since we are not yet ready for the banquet of our Father, let us grow familiar with the manger of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Cf. Ps. 32.1.
[2] The Louvain manuscript adds a lengthy passage here which, though pertinent in content, is Augustinian neither in vocabulary nor in style. Cassian, in De Incarnatione 7, assigns the passage, with apparent justification, to St. Ambrose or to one of the Ambrosian School. However, the unusual brevity of this first section and the abruptness of the transition to the second seem to indicate some sort of lacuna.
[3] John 3.30.
[4] Cf. 2 Cor. 5.15; Gal. 2.20.
[5] Cf. Ps. 94.7.
[6] Luke 2.14.
[7] John 1.1,14.
[8] Cf. 2 Cor. 8.9.
[9] Cf. Ps. 30.20.
[10] I John 3.2.
[11] John 14.8.
[12] Ps. 16.15 .
[13] Cf. John 10.30; 14.9.
[14] Ps. 23.10.
[15] Cf. Ps. 79.4.
[16] Cf. Ps. 26.8-10.
[17] Cf. John 14.21.
[18] Cf. 1 Cor. 2.9.




yahoo test  selected centurions

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The Nativity of our Lord

Greetings Centurions
On behalf of the Legion's Headquarters, I send greetings to all on this Holy Eve. I pray each of you will be able to celebrate the birth of our Lord in a most solemn way this season amongst friends and family. Here in Kentucky, we will soon join friends for midnight Communion, for "Christ's Mass" and hear again the wonderful story of the Nativity and the Holy Family.
For any who do not have a place of worship for this evening or in the morning, I commend the following propers suitable for the Eve of the Nativity or Christmas Day. The homily of Cyril of Alexandria is printed below, and there are links to several Christmas homilies of Leo of Rome at the end of Cyril's' homily.
May God richly bless you this Christmastide. We remember the tradition that Christmas runs for 12 days, from the 25th of December until the 5th of January, and the observance of the Vigil of the Epiphany. Our season marks on the old calendar the Winter Solstice... when the days began to lengthen by the measure of the sun on the horizon, signaling the coming of light into the world, and now for us, representing the Light of Christ, who came to be "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."
 May your 12 days of celebration be an joyful occasion for feasting and peace amongst friends and family.

The Eve of the Nativity of our Lord
or the Birthday of Christ, commonly called Christmas Day
[December 24]
If in any Church the Holy Communion be twice celebrated on Christmas Day, the following Collect, Epistle, and Gospel may be used at the first Communion. [Appropriate for 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.

Hebrews i. 1   &  St. Luke ii. 1

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child

Sermon by St. Cyril of Alexandria [ca. 430]

Christ, therefore, was born in Bethlehem at the time when Augustus Caesar gave orders that the first enrollment should be made. But what necessity was there, some one may perhaps say, for the very wise Evangelist to make special mention of this? Yes, I answer: it was both useful and necessary for him to mark the period when our Savior was born; for it was said by the voice of the Patriarch: The head shall not depart from Judah, nor a governor from his thighs until He come, for Whom it is laid up: and He is the expectation of the Gentiles. [Gen. 49:10] That we might learn that the Israelites then had no king of the tribe of David, and that their own native governors had failed, with good reason he mentions the decrees of Caesar, as now having Judea and the rest of the nations beneath his scepter, for it was as their ruler that he commanded the census to be made.

Because he was of the house and lineage of David. [Luke 2:4] The book of the sacred Gospels referring the genealogy to Joseph, who was descended from David's house, has proved through him that the Virgin also was of the same tribe as David, inasmuch as the Divine law commanded that marriages should be confined to those of the same tribe; and the interpreter of the heavenly doctrines, the great apostle Paul, clearly declares the truth, bearing witness that the Lord arose out of Juda. [Heb. 7:14] The natures, however, which combined unto this union were different, but from the two together is one God the Son, without the diversity of the natures being destroyed by the union. For a union of two natures was made, and therefore we confess One Christ, One Son, One Lord. And it is with reference to this notion of a union without confusion that we proclaim the holy Virgin to be the mother of God, because God the Word was made flesh and became man, and by the act of conception united to Himself the temple that He received from her. For we perceive that two natures, by an inseparable union, met together in Him without confusion, and indivisibly. For the flesh is flesh, and not deity, even though it became the flesh of God; and in like manner also the Word is God, and not flesh, though for the dispensation's sake He made the flesh His own. But although the natures which concurred in forming the union are both different and unequal to one another, yet He Who is formed from them both is only One; nor may we separate the One Lord Jesus Christ into man severally and God severally, but we affirm that Christ Jesus is One and the Same, acknowledging the distinction of the natures, and preserving them free from confusion with one another.

With Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.[ Luke 2:5] The sacred Evangelist says that Mary was betrothed to Joseph, to show that the conception had taken place upon her betrothal solely, and that the birth of the Emmanuel was miraculous, and not in accordance with the laws of nature. For the holy Virgin did not bear from the immission of man's seed. And what, therefore, was the reason for this? Christ, Who is the first-fruits of all, the second Adam according to the Scriptures, was born of the Spirit, that he might transmit the grace (of the spiritual birth) to us also; for we too were intended no longer to bear the name of sons of men, but of God rather, having obtained the new birth of the Spirit in Christ first, that he might be foremost among all [Col. 1:15], as the most wise Paul declares.

And the occasion of the census most opportunely caused the holy Virgin to go to Bethlehem, that we might see another prophecy fulfilled. For it is written, as we have already mentioned, And thou Bethlehem, house of Ephratah, art very small to be among the thousands of Judah: from thee shall come forth for me to be Ruler in Israel! [Micah 5:2]

But in answer to those who argue that, if He were brought forth in the flesh, the Virgin was corrupted; and if she were not corrupted, that He was brought forth only in appearance, we say, the prophet declares, the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in and gone out, and the gate remaineth closed. [Ezekiel 44:2] If, moreover, the Word was made flesh without sexual intercourse, being conceived altogether without seed, then He was born without injury to her virginity.

(And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.) And she brought forth her firstborn Son, (and wrapped him in swaddling clothes.) [Luke 2:7-8]

In what sense then her firstborn? By firstborn she here means, not the first among several brethren, but one who was both her first and only son; for some such sense as this exists among the significations of 'first-born.' For sometimes also the Scripture calls that the first which is the only one; as I am God, the First, and with Me there is no others. [Isaiah 44:6] To show then that the Virgin did not bring forth a mere man, there is added the word firstborn; for as she continued to be a virgin, she had no other son but Him Who is of the Father; concerning Whom God the Father also proclaims by the voice of David, And I will set Him Firstborn high among the kings of the earth. [Psalm 88(89):27] Of Him also the all-wise Paul makes mention, saying But when He brought the First-Begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. [Heb. 1:6] How then did He enter into the world? For He is separate from it, not so much in respect of place as of nature; for it is in nature that He differs from the inhabitants of the world; but He entered into it by being made man, and becoming a portion of it by the incarnation. For though He is the Only-begotten as regards His divinity, yet as having become our brother, He has also the name of the Firstborn; that, being made the first-fruits as it were of the adoption of men, He might make us also the sons of God.

Consider, therefore, that He is called the Firstborn in respect of the economy; for with respect to His divinity He is the Only-begotten. Again, He is the Only-begotten in respect of His being the Word of the Father, having no brethren by nature, nor being co-ordinate with any being; for the Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, is One and Alone; but He becomes the Firstborn by descending to the level of created things. When, therefore, He is called the Only-begotten, He is so with no cause assigned by reason of which He is the Only-begotten, being the Only-begotten God into the bosom of the Father [John 1:18]; but when the divine Scriptures call Him Firstborn, they immediately also add of whom He is the first-born, and assign the cause of His bearing this title; for they say, Firstborn among many brethren [Rom. 8:29]; and Firstborn from the dead [Col. 1:18]; the one, because He was made like unto us in all things except sin; and the other, because He first raised up His own flesh unto incorruption. Moreover, He has ever been the Only-begotten by nature, as being the Sole begotten of the Father, God of God, and Sole of Sole, having shone forth God of God, and Light of Light; but He is the Firstborn for our sakes, that by His being called the Firstborn of things created, whatever resembles Him may be saved through Him; for if He must of necessity be the Firstborn, assuredly those must also continue to exist of whom He is the Firstborn. But if, as Ennamios argues, He is called God's Firstborn, as born the first of many; and He is also the Virgin's Firstborn; then as regards her also, He must be the first as preceding another child; but if He is called Mary's Firstborn, as her only child, and not as preceding others, then is He also God's Firstborn, not as the first of many, but as the Only One born.

Moreover, if the first are confessedly the cause of the second, but God and the Son of God are first, then the Son is the cause of those who have the name of sons, inasmuch as it is through Him that they have obtained the appellation. He, therefore, who is the cause of the second sons may justly be called the Firstborn, not as being the first of them, but as the first cause of their receiving the title of sonship. And just as the Father being called the first- for I, He saith, am the first, and I am after these things [Isaiah 41:4] -assuredly will not compel us to regard Him as similar in nature to those that are after Him; so also, though the Son be called the first of creation, or the Firstborn before all creation, it by no means follows that He is one of the things made; but just as the Father said I am the first, to show that He is the origin of all things, in the same sense the Son also is called the first of creation. For all things were made by Him [John 1:3]. As the Creator and Maker of the world, He is the beginning of all created things.

And she laid him in the manger [because there was no room for them in the inn.] [Luke 2:7]

He found man reduced to the level of the beasts; therefore is He placed like fodder in a manger, that we, having left off our bestial life, might mount up to that degree of intelligence which befits man's nature; and whereas we were brutish in soul, by now approaching the manger, even His own table, we find no longer fodder, but the bread from heaven, which is the body of life.

Translated by R. Payne Smith, 1859

Christmas Sermons of Pope Leo the First [ca 450] I, II, III, IV, VI, VII & VIII

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them



"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Calendar for this week
O LORD, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world without end. 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.

Source: Bishop Gelasius of Rome Sacramentary [464 AD]. The 1662 edition added the "running the race that is before us" "Succor" is to run to help, while "sore let" is to thwart, hinder

Isaiah xl. 1, Psalm 80, Philippians iv. 4   &  St. John i. 19.

Homilies featuring Ambrose

he it is who coming after me is preferred before me,
whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose 



Third Sunday in Advent

Feasts and Commemorations this week

60 Martyrs of Gaza - December 17th

Thomas the Apostle -- December 21st


The Third Sunday in Advent
Advent Three Home
Hilary on Matthew xi

O LORD Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. 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.

Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee

St. Matthew xi. 2

NOW when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Hilary of Potiers
ca. 360

1. Now when John had heard in prison the works of Christ: sending two of his disciples, he said to Him. Art thou He that is to come or look we for another? Did John in his prison not know the Lord? Did so great a prophet know not his God? But as Precursor he had foretold that He was to come; as Prophet he had recognised Him standing in their midst; as Confessor he had venerated Him before men. Did error creep into so profound and varied knowledge? The subsequent testimony of the Lord concerning John does not permit us to think so. Nor can we believe that the light of the Holy Spirit was denied him in prison, when the Light of that same Power was to be given to the imprisoned apostles. Why John sent to Christ

2. But a clearer understanding is furnished from the things John did, and from the efficacy of the action the grace that was in him is evident. For as Prophet he prophesied the very circumstances of his imprisonment; because in him the Law became silent. For the Law had foretold Christ, and the forgiveness of sin, and had promised men the kingdom of heaven. John had continued and brought to a close this purpose of the Law. The Law was now silenced, imprisoned by the wickedness of men, and as it were held in bonds, lest Christ become known, because John has been fettered and imprisoned. The Law therefore sends messengers to behold the works of the Gospel, so that unbelief may contemplate the truth of the faith in the light of these wonders; so that whatever in it (the Law) is frustrated by the violence of sinful men, may be set free by an understanding of the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free (Gal. iv. 31).

In this manner John remedied not his own but his disciples' ignorance. For he had himself proclaimed that Christ was to come unto the forgiveness of sin. But that his disciples might learn that he had preached none other than Christ, he sends them to Him that they may behold His works, so that the works of Christ may confirm his own teaching, and, finally: so that they might look for no other Christ than He to whom the works gave testimony.

The Scandal of the Cross is Foretold

3. And when the Lord had revealed Himself in wonders, namely: in the blind seeing, the lame walking, in lepers being cleansed, the deaf hearing, the dumb speaking, in the dead rising again, and in the preaching of the gospel to the poor, He says: blessed is he that shall not be scandalised in Me. Was there anything in what Christ had done which might scandalise John? Far from it. For in the whole course of his mission and teaching he had had nothing to say opposed to Him.

But the force and significance of the preceding sentence must be carefully dwelt on; on that, namely, which is preached to the poor; that is, they who have laid down their lives, who have taken up the cross and followed after, who have become humble in spirit, for these a kingdom is prepared in heaven. Therefore, because this universality of suffering was to be fulfilled in Christ Himself, and because His Cross would become a stumbling-block to many (I Cor. i. 23), He now declares that they are blessed to whom His Cross, His death, and Burial, will offer no trial of faith. So He makes clear that of which already, earlier, John has himself warned them, saying that blessed are they in whom there would be nothing of scandal concerning Himself. For it was through fear of this that John had sent his disciples, so that they might see and hear Christ.

Whom does the reed signify?

4. Lest however this saying should be referred to John, as if something in Christ had scandalised him, the disciples going away, Our Lord said to the crowd concerning John: What went you out to the desert to see; a reed shaken by the wind? Mystically, the desert must be considered as a place empty of the Holy Spirit, in which there is no dwelling place of God. The reed must be taken as meaning a man such as is wholly absorbed in the glory of this world, and in the emptiness of his own life; within he is without fruit of truth, he has a pleasing exterior, but no interior; responsive to the breath of every wind, that is, to the suggestions of unclean spirits, unable ever to stand firm, and vain to the marrow of his bones. Therefore when He said, what went you out into the desert to see? A reed shaken by the wind? this is what He said. Did you go out to see a man who was empty of the knowledge of God, and responsive to the breath of every unclean spirit? For He spoke to them in a spirit of approval rather than reproach; wishing to affirm that they had not seen anything in John that was empty or fickle.

Bodies corrupted by lust are the dwelling places of devils

5. But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments: behold that they are clothed in soft garments are in the house of kings. By garments are mystically signified the body which the soul as it were puts on, and which grows soft through luxury and wantonness. In kings we have a name for the fallen angels. For those are the powers of the world, lording it over men. Therefore, those dressed in luxurious garments are in the house of kings means that those whose bodies are lax and dissolute through wantonness are habitations of the demons, who choose such dwelling places as being suited to their designs and evil works.

The glory of John

6. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea, and more than a prophet. The Lord makes plain to all the greatness of John, declaring him to be more than a prophet, because only to him was it given both to foretell the Coming of Christ and to behold Him. How then shall it be believed that he knew not Christ, who was sent with the power of an angel to make ready for His Coming, and than whom no greater prophet born of woman had arisen; excepting that he is less than Him Who was questioned by the disciples of John, Who was not believed, to 'Whom not even His works gave testimony. He is greater in the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.

Translated by M.F. Toale, D.D. (PL 9, 978.)

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The Second Sunday in Advent

I commend the homily of Cyril of Alexandria below. It amplifies our Advent Collect of the two comings of Christ, and complements our Gospel appointed for this coming Sunday

The Second Sunday in Advent

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.
Collect for the First Sunday in Advent, to be read daily

Source (1st Collect): Archbishop Thomas Cranmer [1549 AD]. The emphasis on Scripture is enunciated here. To understand Cranmer and his desire to encourage Bible reading, read the Preface to the Cranmer Bible and the Preface to the 1549 Prayer Book. Note the pleading form is different than other collects; it names only Jesus. [Barbee and Zahl] Cranmer proposed continuous reading of the Scriptures - "lectio continua". Archbishop John Chrysostom, among other early doctors, was an advocate and practicioner of lectio continua.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory

Cyril of Alexandria

We do not preach only one coming of Christ, but a second as well, much more glorious than the first. The first coming was marked by patience; the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects. There is a birth from God before the ages, and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time. There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece, and a coming before all eyes, still in the future.
At the first coming he was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. At his second coming he will be clothed in light as in a garment. In the first coming he endured the cross, despising the shame; in the second coming he will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.

We look then beyond the first coming and await the second. At the first coming we said: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. At the second we shall say it again; we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

The Saviour will not come to be judged again, but to judge those by whom he was judged. At his own judgement he was silent; then he will address those who committed the outrages against him when they crucified him and will remind them: You did these things, and I was silent.

His first coming was to fulfil his plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion. This time, whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of his kingdom by necessity.

The prophet Malachi speaks of the two comings. And the Lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple: that is one coming.
Again he says of another coming: Look, the Lord almighty will come, and who will endure the day of his entry, or who will stand in his sight? Because he comes like a refiner's fire, a fuller's herb, and he will sit refining and cleansing.

These two comings are also referred to by Paul in writing to Titus: The grace of God the Saviour has appeared to all men, instructing us to put aside impiety and worldly desires and live temperately, uprightly, and religiously in this present age, waiting for the joyful hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Notice how he speaks of a first coming for which he gives thanks, and a second, the one we still await.

That is why the faith we profess has been handed on to you in these words: He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven. He will come at the end of the world, in glory, at the last day. For there will be an end to this world, and the created world will be made new.


The Sunday next before Advent


STIR up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Jeremiah xxiii. 5   &  St. John vi. 1

Andrew.. saith unto him, There is a lad here


The Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity


The Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity
Primus Pilus on Isaiah - MMVI
from Sunday Morning Prayer, 1st Set of Lessons
23rd Trinity Home

O GOD, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all godliness; Be ready, we beseech thee, to hear the devout prayers of thy Church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Bishop Gregory of Rome [604 AD] Compare Psalm 46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help [Barbee and Zahl]. The petition reminds one of Jesus' promise, 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.


We all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.



The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity

The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity
John Chrysostom on Philipians i. 1

LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Philippians i. 3

He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Announcements for the week beginning
12 November 06
* We have added a line to the bidding prayers in both the daily devotion and the Eucharist to remember those who have gone before us. This was custom in the early church, and is found in early liturgies. We have offered prayers of thanksgiving for the saints in the Chapel and also on the Prayer page to praise God and petition him for grace to follow the good examples of all the saints.



Remberance/Armistice/Veterans Day 11 Nov

Remembrance & Veterans Day
Lt. Col. John McCrae, Canada
November 11th

Popies of Flanders Field
The Poppies of Flanders Fields

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen [1928 BCP]

At the 11th hour, on the 11th day, in the 11th month, on a train in France, the Armistice was signed to end the Great War. Many hoped, and prayed, that it would be the "War To End All Wars."

In 1953, in a small town in Kansas, the people decided to remember not only the veterans of the Great War, but all veterans in times of peace and war: and so it has become an annual remembrance of Veteran's Day in the United States.

We commend the Service of Prayer for Veteran's - Armistice Day, and also for use the following Sunday in public worship. Let us in particular this day, remember our veteran centurions, and especially those who are now in harms way.

The poppie flower has come to symbolize this memorial in the US, France and the Commonwealth nations, from the war-time poem of a Christian soldier, physician, and teacher, Lt. Colonel John McCrae who fell due to pneumonia during the Great War. We remember Colonel McCrae today, and all those gallant men who fell in the Great War and in the succeeding wars. I commend this site for a biography of his life and career.

Lt. Col John McCrae Portrait

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

[May 3, 1915]

Lt. Col John McCrae Stamp

Lt. Col John McCrae, Canadian Expeditionary Forces
He felt he should have made greater sacrifices, and insisted on living in a tent through the year, like his comrades at the front, rather than in the officers' huts. When this affected his health in mid-winter he had to be ordered into warmer surroundings. To many he gave the impression that he felt he should still be with his old artillery brigade. After the battle of Ypres he was never again the optimistic man with the infectious smile. (Prescott. In Flanders Fields: The Story of John McCrae, p. 110).

McCrae contracted pneumonia and meningitis and died on 28 Janauary and "... was buried with full military honors in Wimereux Cemetery, just north of Boulogne, not far from the fields of Flanders. Bonfire [his horse] led the procession, McCrae's riding boots reversed in the stirrups. His death was met with great grief among his friends and contemporaries."

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Amazons with the Legions

Roman Army History:
Amazon Women at War
" On the fact of it, the evidence is quite convincing that these women served as members of the Roman cavalry, and they may very well have been Amazons. "
From another articles on the female cavalry centurions in the funeral pyre in England comes this.
Another recent excavation may provide additional evidence for their [Amazons] existence. At a burial mound at Pokrovka in Russia, archaeologists unearthed the 2,500-year-old remains of women dressed in full battle regalia. Weapons rested alongside their bones. One female skeleton had permanently bowed legs, which researchers believe suggests that she spent much of her life on horseback. Another woman found at the site, who may have died in battle, was found with an arrowhead lodged in her chest.

For now, it remains unclear how the Roman warriors found at Cumbria met their final end before they were cremated.
read the entire article from Discovery News a few years ago.. I have linked this article it to our Membership page site inviting women into the Order.



Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity

Grant, we beseech thee merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness
Announcements for the week beginning
5 November 06

Feasts, Memorials, and Fasts

Martin of Tours - November 11th

Mennas, Legionary & Martyr November 11th

Remembrance-Veterans Day - November 11th and Lt. Col John McCrae et. al.

* There is a Service of Prayer for combatants in Iraq, with a link on our Order's Prayer page, sent to us by a centurion and assembled and or composed by a by a friend; we suggest it for use on Remembrance/Veterans Day November 11th and the Sunday following in public worship. One tradition is to remember our combatants on the 11th hour, the 11th day, of the 11th month when the treaty was signed ending the Great War in 1918. You'll note it on the calendar above along with the commemoration of four of Christ's soldiers. It may be easily modified for other nationalities, and used with the poem Flanders Fields. We suggest prayers for peace according to God's will, and for victory of Right over Evil as well. The appointed epistle for this Sunday from Ephesians vi. puts us in mind that we all need to don the armor of God as members of his great Army engaged in an invisible war against Evil.
* We've modified the front page slightly, moving some of the links and adding a few.
* Lt. Col John McCrae and the Remembrance/Veterans Day page is new.
* We've added several old tried and true prayers to the prayer page. The Lamb of God is the ancient version.. that centurions would have heard in the 4th Century. Also there is a prayer for the nation by Constantine... I am put in mind of the US motto: In God We Trust... so did Constantine. The prayer by Augustine for Night is from the Covenant Seminary Church History Course available through our Seminary page.. a similar translation of this prayer is part of the Episcopal Church evening prayer liturgy.

Bidding Prayer
Pray for:

Centurions in harms way
Peace in the Mideast

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The Chi Rho Vision... in the clouds?


With His Head in the Clouds  
 I commend this article...with a reprint from a book by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the Cloudspotter's Guide. He maintains the xP in the sky that Constantine saw was a naturally occurring phenomena. He could be right: Constantine may have seen the cross in the sky due to atmospheric conditions.  
If so, does that make the legend of the Labarum all a farce? Well, not in my book. I believe God manifests himself using nature in ways that suit him, and I believe also of the vision that night, the voice, and the writing in the sky.  What this article does present, that refutes many naysayers, is that the sign could have indeed been seen by his entire Army that day as Eusebius says Constantine swore to him. A quote from the article...

A rare coin—the 'Spes public'— struck in Constantinople in AD327, shows a particularly clear depiction of the military standard that became the established one for the Roman army, following the vision accorded to Constantine and his troops fifteen years before. It shows the labarum above a banner with three circles on it.

When the sun happens to be at an elevation of 22° from the horizon, the smile of the circumzenithal arc can appear to touch the 46° halo. Were the cloud cover broken, so that just a part of the halo appeared below the arc, the effect is not a million miles away from the cross in Constantine's labarum. And the vertical line of the 'P', incorporated into the symbol? It is a sun pillar appearing below the sun, of course. Three coins on the vellum below the symbol? Well, it goes without saying that they represent the sun with sundogs, or mock suns, on either side of it.

 Comment: Eusebius said the royal cloth had the medallions of Constantine and his sons, but perhaps it came to him to so display them from a vision of "suns" as described above
You can read Eusebius and others at these links.

Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius [315], Eusebius of Pamphili, Bishop of Caesera [330] and Salminius Hermias Sozomen [443]

And let us remember that Constantine, moving on this vision, soundly defeated a force much larger than his own. His opponent made a critical tactical blunder on the advice of pagan priests in coming out of the fortifications of Rome, crossing the Tiber with it at his back and with no room to maneuver or to withdraw. Nor must ever forget the civil results: an end to persecution of Christians... the restoration of Christian property, and freedom of  Christian worship wherever Constantine ruled, the council that consolidated the catholic-ortodox faith and discredited the heretics. 


"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



All Saints Day

  All Saints
[November 1]

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Collect is to be said daily throughout the Octave.

At the beginning of morning prayer and for a anthem at communion:
The Lord is glorious in his saints; * O come, let us adore him
Revelation vii. 2   &   St. Matthew v. 1
Hymn: For All the Saints

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven
Centurio Gaianus "Porphyrio"
The Chapel of the Centurion of Armageddon
Estimated to be Early Third Century

Mosaic in the floor of the Chapel

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Article from Orthodoxy : virtues of Military

Interesting article, short, speaks of a new book on the street Baby Jack. Some of us remember the treatment of Vietnam vets... This article reminds me of the actions of our Vietnam veteran editor of our paper. He has taken an active role in the community since Desert Shield of 1991, to make sure that in our little town we recognize good soldiers honorably.. Last week my son, Tyson, was made a Ky Colonel.. along with about 13 other soldiers. Why? Appreciation of the people: simply because he serves  today in Iraq.

Boomers Discover Virtues Of Military Service When Their Sons Enlist

Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse

Marine training is like a monastic order, writes Schaeffer, who has visited monasteries on Mt. Athos, the center of Orthodox Christian monasticism. The drill instructors are like the elders who burn out self-centeredness and the weakness it fosters. Character can grow in this climate.


The Twentieth Sunday after Trinity


O ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, of thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech thee, from all things that may hurt us; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things which thou commandest; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Sacrementary of Bishop Gelasius of Rome [494]. Much minor reworking from the Latin. [Barbee and Zalh]

Ecclesiastes ix. 4, Psalm 1, Ephesians v. 15   &  St. Matthew xxii. 1

For many are called, but few are chosen

Announcements for the week beginning
29 October 06

Feasts, Memorials, and Fasts
The 20th Sunday after Trinity

Joannicus, Legionary, Abbot November 4th


Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles.- 28 October


Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles.
[October 28]

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head cornerstone; Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ephesians ii. 17   &   St. John xv. 17

built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone


In Hoc Signo Vinces and Saxa Ruba - 27 October

"By this Sign, Conquer"
and the

Victory at Saxa Ruba
History of Lactantius | History of Eusebius
Liturgy of the Feast of Saxa Ruba

By tradition the Labarum was ordered to be carried before the Legions of Constantine after he had a vision, on 27 October 312, in the heavens of a "cross of light" and the Greek words TOUTO NIKA (conquer by this) and a subsequent encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ who told him to be at peace and conquer under His sign -


Constantine directed that a spear be covered in gold with a crosspiece representing a cross, and that the image of the chi-rho, the first two Greek initials in the name Christ, be placed above the crosspiece encircled by a crown/wreath. A banner was to hang from the crosspiece bearing the words of Christ in gold on a purple (red) and gold cloth. Constantine had this labarum carried before his Legions as he defeated a much larger pagan force under another emperor (Maxentius) at Milvian Bridge on 28 October. He ordered his men to place the chi-rho on their shields and he wore it on his helmet. Later in Rome, on the Triumph Arc for this victory, he credited divine intervention for his overwhelming victory of a force four to ten times the size of his.


Chi Rho on Shield

Constantine disbanded the infamous Praetorian Guard, which formed the significant part of Maxentius' force. It had been responsible for so much intirgue, corruption, and imperial murders. He continued his policy begun in 306 in Gaul and Britain of lifting restrictions on Christianity as he occupied various portions of the Empire. In 312 there was the Edict of Milan to end persecution. In 323 when he had finally secured the entire Empire, he removed all restrictions and legalized the Christianity everywhere becoming its patron. Two years later he called the historic Council of Nicea where he moderated the discussion to try to bring unity to the Church.

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity
Chrysostom on 1st Corinthinans 1:4-9

LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The 18th Sunday after Trinity

Announcements for the week beginning
15 October 06

Feasts, Memorials, and Fasts

Luke the Evangelist -- October 18th

Ouar, Commander of the Tiana Cohorte -- October 19 [Maximian 286-305]

Artemius -- 20 Oct [361]



Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity

The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity
Trinity 17 Home

LORD, we pray thee that thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Bishop Gregory [595]. "Pevent" meaning to come before from the verb prevenient. This calls to my mind Patrick's Breastplate Christ behind me, Christ before me... and Psalm 139 Thou hast beset me before and behind...

Jereniah xiii. 15, Psalm 25, Ephesians iv. 1   &   St. Luke xiv. 1

Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

Bible History, France, 1372



Announcements for the week beginning
8 October 06

Feasts, Memorials, and Fasts
Hugh Canefro of Geona, Chaplain, Religious - October 8th

News: Application / renewal for service as a Labarum Guard being accepted now.



The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

  O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect - Bishop Gelasius' Sacrementary [494AD].One is reminded of Psalm 51 purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean and Rev 7:14, washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb

Isaiah xii, Psalm 116, Ephesians iii. 13   &   St. Luke vii. 11


Young man, I say unto thee, Arise

Announcements for the week beginning
1 October 06

Feasts, Memorials, and Fasts

Roman, Soldier, Othrodox Monk - October 2nd

Francis, Knight, Religious - October 4th



Feast of St. Michael and all Angels [Sep 29]


O EVERLASTING God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant that, as thy holy Angels always do thee service in heaven, so, by thy appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daniel xii. 1, Revelation xii. 7   &   St. Matthew xviii. 1

There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon;
and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not


The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity


The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

KEEP, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Bishop Gelasius [494]. Jesus promised us the help of the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us [Jn 14:26]. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul tells us it is charity that is profitable. [Barbee & Zahl]

Deuteronomy vii. 6-13, Psalm 103, Galatians vi. 11   &   St. Matthew vi. 24


Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these

Announcements for the week beginning
23 September 06

Feasts, Memorials, and Fasts

Michael, Archangel Militant, and all angels - September 29th

Third Anniversary of the Order of Centurions - September 29th

Ursus and Victory, Soldier of Theban Legion, Martyrs - September 30th

Bidding Prayer
Pray for:

Centurions in harms way
Peace in the Mideast

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Saint Matthew - 21 Sep


Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
[September 21]

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Proverbs iii. 1,   2 Corinthians iv. 1   &   St. Matthew ix. 9

Follow me...I am not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Ember Days (20, 22, 23 Sep 06)


Ember Days
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Four Seasons

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

In Advent, Lent, and Whitsuntide this collect is followed with the seasonal collect

Isaiah lxi. 1, Acts xiii. 44   &   St. Luke iv. 16
Daily Readings for the Four Seasons
Collects, Litany & Hymns
History & Meaning

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me


The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity


ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Very earliest of the Sacramentaries [440]. 1 Corinthans 13:13 "now abideth faith, hope, and charity... There are two petitions, to give us increase, and secondly to make us to love reminds us of Romans 6:17... being "obdeient from the heart" [Barbee and Zahl]

Micah vi. 1, Psalm 19, Galatians v. 16   &  St. Luke xvii. 11


Master, have mercy on us

Feasts, Memorials, and Fasts
Great Martyr General Placidas Eustachius - September 20th
Ember Days - Wed, Fri, Saturday
Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist -- September 21st
Maurice, Centurion, & Theban Legion - September 22nd

News: A site dedicated to the US Army Chapel of the Centurion, Fort Monroe, Virginia,


Holy Cross Day - 14 Sep

Holy Cross Day
14 September
History of Feast
Eusibuius on Helena and Constantine

O GOD, who dost gladden us upon this day by the festival of the Holy Cross : grant that we who have acknowledged the mystery of redemption here on earth, may rejoice in the everlasting fruits therof in heaven. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Numbers xxi. 4, Gal vi.ll, Psalm 143, John xii. 31.

Icon above the Altar in the Chapel of Centurions, Legio Christi
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me


Sgt John R. Cash - 12 Sep

John R. Cash

Sergeant, USAF, Gospel Evangelist
[12 September 2003]

Almighty God, who hast called thy servants to spread the Gospel into the ends of the earth; we remember the work of thy servant Johnny Cash, who served his country as a Non Commissioned Officer during the Korean war, and served his fans throughout his lifetime, using his personal failings and weakness as examples to encourage others to repentance, faith, salvation, trust, and peace in Christ. Grant us courage and strength to examine and renew our lives, so that we might see thee more clearly, follow thee more nearly, and love thee more dearly. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen

Sergeant John R Cash, USAF

"For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live."
[Romans 8:13, Cash's favorite verse]

No one is better known in Country Music than Johnny Cash, "The Man in Black." John R. Cash was born in Arkansas on February 26, 1932, the son of a sharecropper. He grew up helping his father with a small farm. A Baptist, he made a public confession of his faith in Christ at age 12. He went to Michigan to work in the Automotive Industry, and when the Korean War started, he joined the Air Force to help defend his country. He was assigned to Germany working in coding, and was promoted to Sergeant before his discharge. While in the Air Force, he began his musical career and was one of the "Tops in Blue".

When Cash got an interview at Sam Phillips's Sun Records in 1955, he told the Phillips he was a gospel singer. "You know, I love gospel music," said Phillips. "But unless you're Mahalia Jackson, or somebody that established, you can't even cover the cost of the recording."

By 1957 he had made quite an impression on the Country Music scene. In 1958 he wanted to record a Gospel Album, but his label would not allow it, so he left and signed with another company. His success continued, but the rigorous schedule affected his marriage and life... resulting in divorce and addictions.

Cash wrote that by 1967, "there was nothing left of me - I had drifted so far away from God and every stabilizing force in my life that I felt there was no hope." He crawled into a cave to die. "The absolute lack of light was appropriate... My separation from Him, the deepest and most ravaging of the various kinds of loneliness I'd felt over the years, seemed finally complete... It wasn't. I thought I'd left Him, but He hadn't left me. I felt something very powerful start to happen to me, a sensation of utter peace, clarity, and sobriety -Then my mind started focusing on God. He didn't speak to me - He never has, and I'll be surprised if He ever does - but ... I became conscious of a very clear, simple idea: I was not in charge of my own destiny. I was not in charge of my own death."
[compare Jer 23:23-24]

Fortunately for Cash, he met, worked with, and latter married June Carter who helped him to overcome his addiction and was a force in his religious life. Johnny and June became more active in social and religious activities in the early '70s, and worked often with the Evangelist Reverend Billy Graham. They worked as missionaries in the Montego Bay area of Jamaica making it their second home.

He frequently confessed his faith in Christ on stage, and was warned by his producer to stop. "You're producing the wrong man here, because gospel music is part of what I am and part of what I do," Cash replied. "If you don't like it, you can always edit it." They did not edit it, but Cash paid the price for his witness. He later wrote, "The worldly consequences of my declaration were severe, not just in lost record sales but also in some of the reactions from religious people." He had several Gospel albums by then, but none came easy. He said, "My record company would rather I'd be in prison than in church."

In 1993, Cash released the Album "Redemption," he sang, "The blood gave life to the branches of the tree. And the blood was the price that set the captives free. And the numbers that came through the fire and flood. Clung to the tree and were redeemed by the blood." Cash wrote a novel about faith entitled Man in White - the story of Cash's hero, Saint Paul. He also wrote an autobiography in which he spoke of his addictions and struggles and healing through God's grace in Cash.

In 1994 he wrote, "I am not obsessed with death; I'm obsessed with living...The battle against the dark one and the clinging to the right one is what my life is about."

Billy Graham told him, "Don't apologize for who you are and what you've done in the past...Be who you are and do what you do." In 2000, Cash said of his addiction, "To put myself in such a low state that I couldn't communicate with God, there's no lonelier place to be. I was separated from God, and I wasn't even trying to call on him. I knew that there was no line of communication."

Cash worked through the troubled years. He said, "The greatest joy of my life was that I no longer felt separated from Him. Now he is my Counselor, my Rock of Ages to stand upon." For another impression of his life and devotion to Christ see this article Keep on Pushing

In 2002, Cash released American IV: The Man Comes Around. The first song went, "There's a man going 'round taking names. And he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. When the Man comes around." The album sold 500,000 copies before Cash died.

Sergeant Cash loved his country, and it came out in his work. Listen now to Johnny, and read the words to this narrative he wrote Ragged Old Flag . Veterans will enjoy it.

John R. Cash died on September 12, 2003. His wife of 36 years, June Carter, had died just four months earlier on May 18th. John's daughter, Rosanne Cash said her father had lost "his dearest companion, his musical counterpart, his soul mate and his best friend."

I commend this article, Real Hard Cash by Russell D. Moore, Dean of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, concerning Cash's appeal to young folk because he refused to saccharine-coat the Gospel.. Cash, and his message, was real, hard, and from the heart.

The Far Side Banks of Jordan
Sung at June's Funeral, written by Johnny and June and recorded in 1970s.

Sergeant Cash in Germany in the 50s in the group Barbarians
Sergeant Cash in Germany in the 50s

Cash once said, "I believe what I say, but that don't necessarily make me right. There's nothing hypocritical about it. There is a spiritual side to me that goes real deep, but I confess right up front that I'm the biggest sinner of them all."

In contemplating this confession of faith, I think of this passage by Paul in his epistle to the Romans. For me it epitomizes the life of Sergeant Cash, his faith in Christ as Savior, and his victory in Jesus to eternal life.

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
[Saint Paul in Romans beginning at 7:14]

Sources: Christianity Today
First Sunday after Easter MMVI
The Reverend Mark Carroll, LGOC
Thanks to Centurion Joseph of Indiana