Saint John the Evangelist’s Day.
MERCIFUL Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be said continually unto New-year’s Eve.]
Epistle Reading:1 John 1.1-10
Gospel Reading: St. John 21.19-25
Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr.:
“This is one of the few Prayer Book Collects that can be traced back to the Leonine Sacramentary. ( . . . ) The 1662 revisers added the phrase, ‘so walk in the light of thy truth.’ The metaphor of light which suffuses this Collect is especially appropriate, for it is constantly so used in the Gospel and the First Epistle of John to describe not only the nature of Christian experience, but also the nature of God Himself” (“The Oxford American Prayer Book Commentary,” 101).
There are also those who heard from him (Polycarp) thatJohn, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, “Dost thou know me?” “I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.” Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, “A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth. Then, again, the Church in Ephesus, founded by Paul, and having John remaining among them permanently until the times of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles” (“Against Heresies,” III.3.4).
Primus Pilus II