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The First Sunday of Advent-2012

The First Sunday of Advent.
The Collect.
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, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

[This Collect is to be repeated every day, with the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas-Eve.]

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 28.14-22
Psalter: Morning-8, 50; Evening-96, 97
Epistle Reading: Romans 13.8-14
Gospel Reading: Matthew 21.1-13

Barbee and Zahl: “The Collect for Advent I (and enjoined to be read each day of Advent in the 1662 revision) was composed by Archbishop Cranmer for the 1549 Prayer Book. Like other Reformation Collects, it is based on the Epistle (Romans 13:8-14) and Gospel (St. Matthew 21:1-13) which follow” (2)

“The Collect for the First Sunday of Advent ( . . . ) ties together not only the first coming and the final coming of God – the two advents of Christ – but it binds together our human present with the future, which is even now rushing towards us. ( . . . )

The point of this first prayer devised by Cranmer for the Christian year is that our present life is the incubator for our future and enduring life. And every moment of this life is accompanied by Him who visited the planet in great humility.

Do you see your life as a unity, a kind of oneness, even in the midst of rags and patches, its experienced many-ness? You are even today the person who was born with your name years ago and you are at the same time the person who will live forever in the Kingdom of God. Your life has inexhaustible  meaning” (3).

St. Athanasius: “There were thus two things which the Saviour did for us by becoming Man. He banished death from us and made us anew; and, invisible and imperceptible as in Himself He is, He became visible through His works and revealed Himself as the Word of the Father, the Ruler and King of the whole creation” (“The Incarnation of the Word” III.16).

Who Is This, So Weak and Helpless?
(by Bp. Wm How)
1. Who is this, so weak and helpless, Child of lowly Hebrew maid,
Rudely in a stable sheltered, Coldly in a manger laid?
’Tis the Lord of all creation, Who this wondrous path has trod;
He is Lord from everlasting, And to everlasting God.

2. Who is this, a Man of Sorrows, Walking sadly life’s hard way,
Homeless, weary, sighing, weeping Over sin and Satan’s sway?
’Tis our God, our glorious Savior, Who above the starry sky
Is for us a place preparing, Where no tear can dim the eye.

3. Who is this? Behold him shedding Drops of blood upon the ground!
Who is this, despised, rejected, Mocked, insulted, beaten, bound?
’Tis our God, Who gifts and graces On His church is pouring down;
Who shall smite in holy vengeance All His foes beneath His throne.

4. Who is this that hangs there dying While the rude world scoffs and scorns,
Numbered with the malefactors, Torn with nails, and crowned with thorns?
’Tis our God Who lives forever ’Mid the shining ones on high,
In the glorious golden city, Reigning everlastingly.

Primus Pilus II