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The Rogation Days
Being the Three Days before Ascension Day

ALMIGHTY God, Lord of heaven and earth; We beseech thee to pour forth thy blessing upon this land, and to give us a fruitful season; that we, constantly receiving thy bounty, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Table of Lessons for Morning and Evening Prayer Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
At Holy Commuion
Ezekiel xxxiv. 25 & St. Luke xi. 5

Boaz, with his servant, addresses Ruth the Moabite

and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD,

"Rogation" comes from the Latin rogare, "to ask" (petition earnestly). Rogation Sunday has for the Gospel the verse: "Ask and ye shall receive". Ancient Rogation days are observed on the three days before Ascension Day. The Rogation days began in 470 under Bishop Mamertus of Vienne in response to a series of natural calamities. Later the prayers were for bountiful crops and the good work of farmers. On these days the priest might bless crops. Nowadays prayers may be for other occupations with a recommitment to their labors Rogation days may be used anytime where there is a specific need for earnest prayer -- as that was its original use in 470. A modern custom has been to focus prayers and actions toward charity to help feed poor folk.



Alleluia This is the day that the Lord hath made * Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Alleluia

News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel

The Fifth Sunday after Easter
Rogation Sunday

O LORD, from whom all good things do come; Grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that are good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Sacramentary of Gelasius [ca 464 AD]. The collect refers to James 1:17 which is appointed for the 5th Sunday after Easter. Known as Rogation Sunday for the Latin "Rogare" means to ask, (earnestly petition), and the Gospel says, "ask, and ye shall receive." The three days following this Sunday are Rogation Days with prayer and fasting good crops and industry. This Sunday in latter times was also when folk in England would go out in procession around the parish boundaries and pray for protection.



Rogaton Days

Ascension Day

Philip and James, Apostles


The collect of Gelasius reminds one that good thoughts precede good actions [Jas 1:15ff]. A corollary is that evil thoughts precede evil actions. Man is beset with temptations. Even our Lord was tempted. It is when one begins to dwell on those evils that he falls into sin. Conversely, the Practice of the Presence of God and study and contemplation of his holy word shields us from temptations, leads us to the good gifts from above, and guides us toward the enactment of the same.

Augustine's homily on Psalm CXLVI complements today's collect as he beings with this:

Behold the Psalm soundeth; it is the voice of some one (and that some one are ye, if ye will), of some one encouraging his soul to praise God, and saying to himself, "Praise the Lord, O my soul" (ver. 1). For sometimes in the tribulations and temptations of this present life, whether we will or no, our soul is troubled; of which troubling he speaketh in another Psalm. But to remove this troubling, he suggesteth joy; not as yet in reality, but in hope; and saith to it when troubled and anxious, sad and sorrowing, "Hope in God, for I will yet confess to Him.".

Great advice from the good Doctor. When you are temptated, or encounter tribulations, turn your thoughts toward Heaven and "Canta et ambula" (sing and soldier on/carry on). Praise the Lord, O my soul!

I commend the entire homily of Augustine as he develops this theme in his examination of Psalm CXLVI.

Order of Centurions


Saint Mark the Evangelist
[25 April]

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

Ephesians iv. 7. St. John xv. 1.

Abide in Me


Alleluia This is the day that the Lord hath made * Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Alleluia

News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel

The Fourth Sunday after Easter

Augustine on Psalm CXXVI

ALMIGHTY God, which dost make the minds of all faithful men to be of one will; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Sacrementary of Gelasius [ca 494 AD]. This is the 1552 BCP rendering. The collect was later changed in 1662 so that the attribute read, "who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men", in response to the years before when the Church of England, Bishops, and Prayer Book had been suppressed under Cromwell.

Ezekiel xxxix. 21, Psalms 126, 127, 128 129, 130, 131; St. James i. 17. St. John xvi. 5.
Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXXVI

the Spirit of truth... will guide you into all truth



George, Centurion, Martyr - April 23rd

Sabas Stratilatus, Martyr Aurelian -- April 24 [270-275]

Mark, Evangelist -- 25 April


"Thus says the LORD, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.' But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'"

[Jeremiah 6:16 xx]


Another good, short article by Peter Jensen of Australia here: Peter asks: "Is it smart to forget God's Wrath?"


The collect of Bishop Gelasius above asks God to lead us to love that which he commands and to help us fix our heart on him.

Augustine's homily on Psalm CXXVI emphasizes "good works", even in the winter of our lives. He gives credit to God, who through his Holy Spirit, has enabled men to do, in faith, that which is pleasing to God, and it all begins in where one's heart is. Who has your heart? In whose path will you walk?

Guard the mouth of thy heart from evil, and thou wilt be innocent: the tongue of thy body will be innocent, thy hands will be innocent; even thy feet will be innocent, thy eyes, thy ears, will be innocent; all thy members will serve under righteousness, because a righteous commander hath thy heart.

"Then shall they say among the heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them. Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us already, whereof we rejoice"

We can appreciated Augustine's militant metaphor when he wrote, "a righteous commander hath thy heart." That is the essence of our mandate. We salute Jesus the Christ as our Legate. He is our commander and possesses the heart and soul of every true soldier of his Army. He accomplishes his work in and through us by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth , which silently precedes us as we "look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" The Lord has indeed done a great thing for his elect and therefore we rejoice….Glory be to God: Alleluia, Alleluia.

Order of Centurions


 Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ


News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel


The Third Sunday after Easter

 ALMIGHTY God, who showest to them that are in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may avoid those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source of Collect: Sacramentary of Leo, Bishop of Rome [440-461AD]. The Vigil of Easter was the traditional time for Baptism, and this collect speaks to the newly baptized "all those who are admitted into the fellowship". One had to be baptized to be present during the Eucharist. Christiana professione censentor



1 Samuel ii. 1b, Psalm 120, 121, 122 | 123, 124, 125; 1 St. Peter ii. 11. St. John xvi. 16.

Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXX

A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.







Nehemiah, Combat Engineer, Military Governor - April 13th





God in condemning hatred requireth love towards all men, even our enemies, yea, so far as to wish health, safety, and all good things to them that wish us evil, and do bear us a hateful and cruel mind, and as much as in us lieth, to do them good



 [English Catechism of 1570]





Leo's collect above asks God help us to follow those things that are agreeable to our profession as Christians. I reflected on this Sunday's prayer as I read this portion of Augustine's homily  on Psalm CXX.  His exhortation on peace echoes the teaching in the selected quotation from an English catechism and is the essence of Christiana professione.


"With them that hated peace, I was peaceful"


 But howsoever ye may hear, most beloved brethren, ye will not be able to prove how truly ye sing, unless ye have begun to do that which ye sing. How much soever I say this, in whatsoever ways I may expound it, in whatsoever words I may turn it, it entereth not into the heart of him in whom its operation is not. Begin to act, and see what we speak. Then tears flow forth at each word, then the Psalm is sung, and the heart doeth what is sung in the Psalm


We see in this verse our Lord's command to love one's neighbor--an element of a centurion's rule-- and in Augustine's exhortation a call to arms. This is a central message of the Gospel. The Christian response to insults, mistreatment, gossip, harm, and malice is not to return injury and insult, not to give evil for evil; but, as Paul teaches, to overcome evil with good  [1 Th 5:15; Rom 12:21]. We also remember our Lord's admonishment to pray for those who persecute us [Mt. 5:44]


May God's peace protect you from every harm, every slander, every assault of the enemy and peace-breaker; comfort you; and quicken you toward that perfection that is his will for you toward your neighbor. Amen [Matt 5:48]


pax Christi,



This blog has been hacked and outside parties are using it to post objectionable material. I appolgize to any readers who have encountered posts here that departed from the purposes and standards of the Order. I am working on ways to block the continued hacking now.
Mark of Kentucky


Detrick Bonhoeffer, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg

Bonhoeffer stauffenberg

and the
Martyrs of Germany
9 April 1945

ALMIGHTY God, who doest inspire thy martyrs in their several generation to risk their lives in thy service, and the just service of their country; Grant that we might be inspired by their witness, and profit by their sacrifice, so as to be prepared to witness our faith in times of tribulation. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who laid down his life for us. Amen

Detrick Bonhoeffer, a pastor and doctor of theology, and Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, a Colonel of the General Staff, are strange partners, but both are honored today as martyrs and heroes of the German resistance against Hitler and the Nazi regime. They are joined by a host of other men who were executed following the failed assassination attempt of July 20, 1944.

Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran Pastor, Doctor of Theology, professor, author, and a key citizen in the resistance against Nazism and anti-Semitism. He had received advanced education in New York, and had ministered two congregations in London. He returned to Germany in about 1936 to teach pastors for the Confessing church, which had been made illegal by the Nazis, and to fight against the rising tide of National Socialism. In 1939 Bonhoeffer joined an organized resistance movement that was formed by Army officers. He raised money to aid in the escape of Jews from Germany and was arrested in April of 1943. For his efforts. He continued his resistance efforts to the extent possible from concentration camps.

von Stauffenberg was a Army officer and life-long practicing Roman Catholic. He desired national unity, but not as conceived by the Nazis, and never joined the party. His religious convictions led him to resist the Nazis. After he was severely wounded in combat and recovered (losing his right hand and fingers from his left), he was placed in a key position on the General Staff. There, and after Bonhoeffer's imprisonment, he came to personally lead the military resistance effort. He was well aware that his actions were treasonous, but felt justified by Natural Law, to defend millions of people's lives from the Nazis criminal actions. He personally planned and carried out the assassination attempt on 20 Jul 1944. After being captured in a shootout, in which he was wounded, he was executed along with co-conspirators General Olbricht, Lieutenant von Haeften, and Oberst Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim. Von Stauffenberg's last words before the execution were, "Long live our sacred Germany!"

After the unsuccessful July 20 Plot in 1944, Bonhoeffer's connections with the conspirators were discovered. He was moved to a series of prisons and concentration camps ending at Flossenbürg. Here, he was executed by hanging at dawn on 9 April 1945, just three weeks before the liberation of the city. Also hanged for their parts in the conspiracy were his brother Klaus and his brothers-in-law Hans von Dohnanyi and Rüdiger Schleicher.

Many more mock trials and executions followed, numbering in the 200-1,000, including noble

Thanks to Centurion Dirk of Germany for the idea of this tribute.

8 Arpil 2008

"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]


Lessons from a Small West Texas Town

Lessons from a small West Texas Town
Rev. Arthur J. Mavrode, Tribunus
Pastor, Zoar Community Church of Rowena Texas
As I write this article, over two hundred innocent women and children are receiving care here in San Angelo, Texas at the Fort Concho Historical Landmark where by God's grace I have been called to serve as Chaplain.  I found it ironic or perhaps more a miracle that the state of Texas and its protection agencies for children and adults should choose Fort Concho as a haven for these victims of the Warren Jeffs Fundamentalist Mormon Church polygamist cult.  The children are frightened beyond words as they are now in a world that they have never known.  Their fear, I am afraid, has been increased by the media frenzy that has engulfed the old Indian Fort that once provided protection to men, women, and children of another time long ago.  Also, posted for the protection of these innocents are police of every uniform who are patrolling the Fort grounds on foot. 
You might be surprised that something like this could happen in West Texas were family values and held in great esteem and where the number of Christian congregations is high for the per capita of a city of just under one hundred thousand.  As you consider this contradiction it is also important to know that West Texas has had the dubious distinction of having one of the highest concentrations of practicing satanic cult groups in the nation.  Perhaps it is because of our remote location or our proximity to Mexico where drugs and criminals make their way across a porous border along with the thousands of hardworking immigrants who search for the American dream which I believe is still alive although seldom spoken of in our culture.  I am more inclined to believe that Satan does his greatest work when God's children are in deepest prayer and are sacrificially devoted to the furtherance of His kingdom. 
We here in West Texas take heart because we know that the enemy is already defeated and through the prayers and action of many West Texan Christians these innocent victims will be restored. 
I ask for your prayers and for your words of encouragement that will be passed on to those who are providing pastoral care at this time.  Moreover, I ask your prayers for the women and children who have been so grievously hurt.  
ο θεος ιλασθητι μοι τω αμαρτωλω
God, be merciful to me, the sinner!

Rev.  Arthur J. Mavrode
Pastor, Zoar Community Church of Rowena, Texas
published by permission of Centurion Mavrode


The Second Sunday after Easter

Alleluia, He is risen, O come, Let us adore him! Alleluia


News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel


The Second Sunday after Easter

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

Source of Collect: Archbishop Cranmer [1549], The Collect calls forth the idea of a lamb in saying that Jesus became a sacrifice for us; and complements the image in the Gospel by following the steps of the Good Shepherd. In those days sheep were not driven; they followed [Barbee and Zahl}

Isaih xl. 1, Psalm 21, 23 | 116, 117; 1 St. Peter ii. 19. St. John x. 11.

Homily of Augustine on Psalm XXIII

The Lord is my Shepherd 








Gideon - Warrior and Judge of Israel - April 7th

David, Warrior King of Israel - April 9th

David's Mighty Men - April 11th




Leaders eat with their troops…The Gospels reveal how often food and drink are the backdrops for so many of Jesus' most powerful and important lessons.

[The Leadership Lessons of Jesus, Bob Briner and Ray Pritchard]



The quotation above comes from a little book I picked up in the leadership section of the Post Exchange.  In our sacrament of the Lord's Supper we continue  to sup with our Leader whose Real Presence is recognized by the faithful in the breaking of the bread. Here is an interesting  article featured on the BAR on Jesus: his dining customs, Communion, and the Last Supper.






Augustine preaches on Psalm XXIII in an the selected homily. He emphasizes the nature of the Shepherd who feeds his flock, and so his homily compliments our quotation for today. He writes:


The Church speaks to Christ: "The Lord feedeth me, and I shall lack nothing" The Lord Jesus Christ is my Shepherd," and I shall lack nothing."  "In a place of pasture there hath He placed me"  In a place of fresh pasture, leading me to faith, here hath He placed me to be nourished. "By the water of refreshing hath He brought me up." By the water of baptism, whereby they are refreshed who have lost health and strength, hath He brought me up.


The Church has celebrated the mystery of the sacrament of the Eucharist and the presence of Christ since the earliest days. Paul wrote: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? [1Cor10:16].  We are indeed fed in the Lord's Supper. As we abide in him, and he abides in us, we will lack nothing that is requisite for our salvation.  The place and time of nourishment is the Church at the Eucharist, where we hear the Gospel proclaimed, and "Jesus' most powerful and important lessons" expounded.


We find unity in the Lord's Supper. However, there are times when the faithful are called to separate because of heretical teaching and immorality. Here is an interesting article from Peter Jensen of the Anglican Church of Australia entitled "The Limits of Fellowship"





Order of Centurions