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Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity - 2013

The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.105-112
Lucerna pedibus meis
105. THY word is a lantern unto my feet : and a light unto my paths.
106. I have sworn, and am stedfastly purposed : to keep thy righteous judgements.
107. I am troubled above measure : quicken me, O Lord, according to thy word.
108. Let the free-will offerings of my mouth please thee, O Lord : and teach me thy judgements.
109. My soul is always in my hand : yet do I not forget thy law.
110. The ungodly have laid a snare for me : but yet I swerved not from thy commandments.
111. Thy testimonies have I claimed as mine heritage for ever : and why? they are the very joy of my heart.
112. I have applied my heart to fulfil thy statutes alway : even unto the end.

The Collect.
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.

Old Testament Reading: Micah 6.1-8
Psalter: Psalm 84, 85 | 74
Epistle Reading: Galatians 5.16-24
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 17.11-19

Barbee and Zahl: “The Petition is for the “I want” to cohere with the “I ought.” As we have seen time after time in the Collects, the Law (i.e., “Thou shalt/shalt not”) does not precede moral improvement (i.e., love of neighbor). In other words, doing good does not make one become good. Rather, love creates a person who desires to do good. Law does not create Love. Love creates Law, or rather, Law-abidingness. The Collect asks God to make us people who wish and aspire to do good, from the heart, what God has already commanded us to do” (97).

William Cowper, “Love Constraining to Obedience,” 1779

“To see the Law by Christ fulfilled,
To hear His pardoning voice,
Changes a slave into a child
And duty into choice.”


Feast of St. Bartholomew and the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity - 2013

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

Psalm 115
Non nobis, Domine
1. NOT unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give the praise : for thy loving mercy and for thy truth’s sake.
2. Wherefore shall the heathen say : Where is now their God?
3. As for our God, he is in heaven : he hath done whatsoever pleased him.
4. Their idols are silver and gold : even the work of men’s hands.
5. They have mouths, and speak not : eyes have they, and see not.
6. They have ears, and hear not : noses have they and smell not.
7. They have hands, and handle not; feet have they, and walk not : neither speak they through their throat.
8. They that make them are like unto them ; and so are all such as put their trust in them.
9. But thou, house of Israel, trust thou in the Lord : he is their succour and defence.
10. Ye house of Aaron, put your trust in the Lord : he is their helper and defender.
11. Ye that fear the Lord, put your trust in the Lord : he is their helper and defender.
12. The Lord hath been mindful of us, and he shall bless us : even he shall bless the house of Israel, he shall bless the house of Aaron.
13. He shall bless them that fear the Lord : both small and great.
14. The Lord shall increase you more and more : you and your children.
15. Ye are the blessed of the Lord : who made heaven and earth.
16. All the whole heavens are the Lord’s : the earth hath he given to the children of men.
17. The dead praise not thee, O Lord : neither all they that go down into silence.
18. But we will praise the Lord : from this time forth for evermore. Praise the Lord.

The Collect
O almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 18.15-18
Psalter: Psalm 91
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 4.9-15
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 22.24-30

Lesser Feasts and Fasts – 2006: “Bartholomew is one of the twelve Apostles known to us only by his being listed among them in the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. His name means “Son of Tolmai,” and he is sometimes identified with Nathanael, the friend of Philip, the “Israelite without guile” in John’s Gospel, to whom Jesus promised the vision of angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man. Nothing more is heard of him in the four Gospels. Some sources credit Bartholomew with having written a Gospel, whose existence was known to Jerome and Bede, but which is lost today. There is a tradition that Bartholomew traveled to India, and Eusebius reports that when Pantaenus of Alexandria visited India, between 150 and 200, he found there “the Gospel according to Matthew” in Hebrew, which had been left behind by “Bartholomew, one of the Apostles.” An ancient tradition maintains that Bartholomew was flayed alive at Albanopolis in Armenia” (354).

For a short historical piece regarding an event that happened on this day see my blog post.

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity.
Quomodo dilexi!
97. LORD, what love have I unto thy law : all the day long is my study in it.
98. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies : for they are ever with me.
99. I have more understanding than my teachers : for thy testimonies are my study.
100. I am wiser than the aged : because I keep thy commandments.
101. I have refrained my feet from every evil way : that I may keep thy word.
102. I have not shrunk from thy judgements : for thou teachest me.
103. O how sweet are thy words unto my throat : yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth.
104. Through thy commandments I get understanding : therefore I hate all evil ways.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service ; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

***N.B. there are some serious changes from the 1549 to the 1662. Here is the 1549: “ALMYGHTIE and mercyfull God, of whose onely gifte it cometh that thy faythfull people doe unto thee true and laudable service; graunte we beseche thee, that we may so runne to thy heavenly promises, that we faile not finally to attayne the same; through Jesus Christe our Lorde.”
Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 24.10-22
Psalter: Psalm 81, 82 | 73
Epistle Reading: Galatians 3.16-22
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 10.23-37

Barbee and Zahl: “Another ancient Collect (found both in the Leonine and Gelasian Sacramentaries) to which Archbishop Cranmer added the word “only.” This prayer could be entitled “Basic Christianity.” Our ability to give God laudable (i.e., praiseworthy) service is entirely dependent upon his grace – at every step of our Christian life. The revisers of 1662 altered the ending so forcefully that it changed the meaning” (94).


Twelfth Sunday after Trinity - 2013

The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.89-96
In aeternum. Domine
89. O LORD, thy word : endureth for ever in heaven.
90. Thy truth also remaineth from one generation to another : thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, and it abideth.
91. They continue this day according to thine ordinance : for all things serve thee.
92. If my delight had not been in thy law : I should have perished in my trouble.
93. I will never forget thy commandments : for with them thou hast quickened me.
94. I am thine, O save me : for I have sought thy commandments.
95. The ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me : but I will consider thy testimonies.
96. I see that all things come to an end : but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

(***N.B. I was delighted when Primus Pilus I, Mark, directed me to this link and I found that the 1549 BCP actually put a psalm portion with the Collect:

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire, or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 29.18-24
Psalter: Psalm 76, 77 | 71, 72
Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 3.1-9
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 7.31-37

Barbee and Zahl: “Taken from the Sacramentary of Leo and revised by Gelasius, this prayer was altered in 1662. ( . . . ) Bishop Cosin added, “and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord.” The thought of our own just deserts is balanced by the merits of the Redeemer. ( . . . ).

       This Collect is a treasure chest, truly overflowing, of uplifting insights drawn from our religion: 
·         God is more ready to hear us than we are to pray. We pray too little, too timorously, and too pallidly. We seldom pray for what we really need and while we are unceasingly preoccupied with our perceived needs, we simply pray too seldom! ( . . . ). 
·         God wills to give us more than we want and certainly more than we deserve. ( . . . ) On the one hand, He wants to do more for us, in our impoverished frangibility*, than we can conceive. On the other hand, He wants to do good to us rather than judge us according to our deservings. ( . . .).
·         We ask Him to forgive us the things that weigh on our conscience and cause us to fear to look Him in the eye. ( . . . ). 
·         We ask Him to give us what we cannot even imagine asking Him to give us. ( . . . )” (92-3).

* “Frangibile adj. breakable; fragile” (Oxford American Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus, Second American Edition, 2002).


Eleventh Sunday after Trinity - 2013

The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 103
Benedic, anima mea
( . . . )
8. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy : long-suffering, and of great goodness.
9. He will not alway be chiding : neither keepeth he his anger for ever.
10. He hath not dealt with us after our sins : nor rewarded us according to our wickednesses.
11. For look how high the heaven is in comparison of the earth : so great is his mercy also toward them that fear him.
12. Look how wide also the east is from the west : so far hath he set our sins from us.
13. Yea, like as a father pitieth his own children : even so is the Lord merciful unto them that fear him.
( . . . )

The Collect.
O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

{***Cranmer’s 1549 version: “O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us abundantly  thy grace, that we, running to thy promises, may be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.***}

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 26.12-19
Psalter: Psalm 63, 64 | 54, 55
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 15.1-11
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 18.9-14

Barbee and Zahl: “The prayer discloses an insight concerning God’s character which is of great importance. God is said here to declare His almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity. This gets to the heart of the Gospel question. It is a question to which our blessed Reformers gave their absolute all (and sometimes their bodies to be burned) in seeking to hear the answer: Is God primarily wrathful or is He primarily gracious (i.e., merciful)? More precisely, is God going to estimate me according to my deservings (Heaven forbid, at least if I am honest!) or according to  some other standard of undeserved compassion? What, at the end of the day – at the end of my days – is God like? This prayer makes the unambiguous and quite un-complex assertion that God demonstrates power primarily in pity. This is too much for my “natural man.” Yet I ache for it through every fibre. In an age when power and the acquisition (and abuse) of it is understood as the motivating force in human affairs – and every age, in fact, has marched somewhat to that devilish tune – this prayer stands in mighty contrast. It asserts a breathtaking alternative. God shows His power not chiefly in earthquake, fire, flood, nor in the starry sky and earth beneath, nor in signs and wonders; but in pity” (91).


The Tenth Sunday after Trinity and the Transfiguration of Christ (6 August) - 2013

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 37
Noli aemulari
( . . . )
4. Delight thou in the Lord : and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.
5. Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him : and he shall bring it to pass.
( . . . )

The Collect.
LET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Lamentations 1.1-12
Psalter: Psalm 61, 62 | 48, 49
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 12.1-11
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 19.41-46

Barbee and Zahl: “An important insight concerning prayer exists at the heart of this petition. But the insight is a hard saying. ( . . . ) It is about praying according to the Word of God and not contrary to it. On more than one occasion, this writer has heard the outpourings of a sincere Christian who is praying for God to give him something that the Word expressly denies. For example, someone asks God to give him a new wife or husband other than the one who already exists. Sometimes the one praying has a specific third party in mind! Or a person longs to be living an entirely different life, virtually in a different body and mind, than the life he or she is able to live. But God has given what He has given. Do not call unclean what God has called clean (Acts 10:15) and vice-versa! This Collect invites s to pray for those changes and transformations in our lives that accord with righteousness, which we see explicit both in the Law (i.e., the Ten Commandments) and the Gospel (i.e., the Life of Christ Jesus). Believe me, that gives us plenty of scope for our prayers (89)!

The Transfiguration of Christ
August 6
Psalm 16
Conserva me, Domine
( . . . )
10. Wherefore my heart was glad, and my glory rejoiced : my flesh also shall rest in hope.
11. For why? thou shalt not leave my soul in hell : neither shalt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.
12. Thou shalt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is the fulness of joy : and at thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore.
( . . . )

The Collect
O GOD, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistering; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty, who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

Epistle Reading: 2 Peter 1.13-18
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 9.28-36

Philippians 3.20-21: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”