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Sixth Sunday after Trinity - 2014

***The background to this symbol can be found here:

The Sixth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.41-48
Et veniat super me
LET thy loving mercy come also unto me, O Lord : even thy salvation, according unto thy word.
42. So shall I make answer unto my blasphemers : for my trust is in thy word.
43. O take not the word of thy truth utterly out of my mouth : for my hope is in thy judgements.
44. So shall I alway keep thy law : yea, for ever and ever.
45. And I will walk at liberty : for I seek thy commandments.
46. I will speak of thy testimonies also, even before kings : and will not be ashamed.
47. And my delight shall be in thy commandments : which I have loved.
48. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved : and my study shall be in thy statutes.

The Collect.
O GOD, who hast prepared for them that love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 57.13b-19
Psalter: Psalm 28, 29 | 30, 31
Epistle Reading: Romans 6.3-11
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 5.20-26

Toon: “It seems reasonably sure that this Prayer is based on the words of St Paul as he quotes from Isaiah the prophet in 1 Corinthians 2:9, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Of course, this Collect had a history in Latin before it was made into an English Collect by Archbishop Cranmer in 1549 and then slightly revised in 1661 for the Prayer Book of 1662.

The doctrine contained in the relative clause – who has prepared – is the mystery and yet the confidence of the Christian Hope. To be with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven in the company of the saints and with all the angels and archangels and there to enjoy the beatific vision of the Father Almighty are the good things that pass our understanding. To live in perfect communion with the Holy Trinity [with the Father through the Son by the Holy Ghost] and in heavenly blessedness is the goal of the true Christian soul and the fulfilment of the promises of the Gospel.

But the enjoyment of God and the glorifying him for ever are only desirable and possible in and to those who truly love God - that is those who not merely love him as one amongst many, but who love him supremely and love others in the light of that love for him. The true quality of a saint is that he loves the Holy Trinity, the Father through the Son and with the Holy Ghost, chiefly and supremely and evaluates all else in the strength and light of this love.

And, since we are both sinful and morally weak, we can only love God in a way that is appropriate for loving our Creator, Redeemer and Judge, when he, as the Father, grants to us the gift and presence of his Holy Spirit, who brings the very love of God into our hearts, minds and wills. Thus it is this love, this divine and heavenly love, for which we ask here so that we can fulfil the law of God which requires us to love Him and our neighbour. In so doing we can experience by grace the fruit of such loving, including especially the enjoyment of the beatific vision of heaven.

The Lord Jesus in the Gospel for this week (Matthew 5) tells us that only in the possessing of a perfect righteousness can we enter into the kingdom of heaven. Happily, this is provided for us by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, as the Epistle for the week teaches. However, what we are reckoned by God the Father to be in Christ we are to strive to be in daily living.

St. Paul in the Epistle (Romans 6) tells us that it is only in union with Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, in his death, burial and resurrection that there can be genuine righteousness and therefore union with his Father and thus union with the Blessed, Holy and Undivided Trinity” (


Saint James the Apostle - 25 July (2014)

Saint James the Apostle – 25 July
Psalm 148
Laudate Dominum
O PRAISE the Lord of heaven : praise him in the height.
2. Praise him, all ye angels of his : praise him, all his host.
3. Praise him, sun and moon : praise him, all ye stars and light.
4. Praise him, all ye heavens : and ye waters that are above the heavens.
5. Let them praise the Name of the Lord : for he spake the word, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created.
6. He hath made them fast for ever and ever : he hath given them a law which shall not be broken.
7. Praise the Lord upon earth : ye dragons, and all deeps;
8. Fire and hail, snow and vapours : wind and storm, fulfilling his word;
9. Mountains and all hills : fruitful trees and all cedars;
10. Beasts and all cattle : worms and feathered fowls;
11. Kings of the earth and all people : princes and all judges of the world;
12. Young men and maidens, old men and children, praise the Name of the Lord : for his Name only is excellent, and his praise above heaven and earth.
13. He shalt exalt the horn of his people; all his saints shall praise him : even the children of Israel, even the people the serveth him.

The Collect
Grant, O merciful God, that as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 45.1-5
Psalter: Psalm 34
Epistle Reading: Acts 11.27-12.3
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 20.20-28


Fifth Sunday after Trinity - 2014

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.33-40
Legem pone
TEACH me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes : and I shall keep it unto the end.
34. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law : yea, I shall keep it with my whole heart.
35. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments : for therein is my desire.
36. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies : and not to covetousness.
37. O turn away mine eyes, lest they behold vanity : and quicken thou me in thy way.
38. O stablish thy word in thy servant : that I may fear thee.
39. Take away the rebuke that I am afraid of : for thy judgements are good.
40. Behold, my delight is in thy commandments : O quicken me in thy righteousness.

The Collect.
GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Ecclesiastes 2.1-23
Psalter: Psalm 21, 23 | 26, 27
Epistle Reading: 1 Peter 3.8-15a (15b-16)
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 5.1-11

Toon: “This Prayer is a Petition, an intense and rich petition which contains two strong verbs, each of which particularly belong to the vocabulary of traditional English prayer, public and private. The verb to grant is most appropriately used (a) by creatures when thinking of the relation of their beneficent Creator to human beings made in his image and after his likeness, and (b) by sinners when thinking of the relation of their gracious Redeemer to them as undeserving and without claims upon him, except the Name of Jesus Christ. Further, the verb to beseech is an appropriate form of asking by such creatures and sinners as they face their Lord. It suggests that they are bowing low before him in deep humility recognizing his Majesty. They come not as friends asking for a favour or for a loan. They come as weak and undeserving, but yet they come in the faith of Jesus Christ.

And what do sinners being saved by grace desire and hope God will grant in response to their beseeching? They deeply desire that by his providence as the Governor of the universe he will so guide events in space and time that the Church of God will be able not merely to serve the Lord her God as best she can, but that she will serve him joyfully and in a calm yet committed way.

The Church, as a school for weak sinners and a hospital for sick disciples, here prays that she will not be placed in a world of tribulation and persecution (which has often been her vocation), but that there will be civil peace. Further, that there will be peace within the Church herself, free from internal schism and controversy. In this situation she will be able, by his guidance and in his strength, to love and serve him with joy, exceeding great joy, and also with a quiet mind, a meditating and convinced mind. In other words, as it is expressed in the Lord’s Prayer, to do his will on earth as it is done in heaven, where there is perfect peace and joy.

Of course, each of us can personalize this prayer desiring that the circumstances of our lives make it possible for us to serve God joyfully and with a quiet mind!

This kind of praying is offered in the biblical, lectionary context of the apostle Peter saying to the Lord, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord, (Gospel) and the word of God telling us: The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and his ears are open unto their prayers (Epistle)” (


Fourth Sunday after Trinity - 2014

The Fourth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.25-32
Adhaesit pavimento
MY SOUL cleaveth to the dust : O quicken thou me, according to thy word.
26. I have acknowledged my ways, and thou heardest me : O teach me thy statutes.
27. Make me to understand the way of thy commandments : and so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
28. My soul melteth away for very heaviness : comfort thou me according unto thy word.
29. Take from me the way of lying : and cause thou me to make much of thy law.
30. I have chosen the way of truth : and thy judgements have I laid before me.
31. I have stuck unto thy testimonies : O Lord, confound me not.
32. I will run the way of thy commandments : when thou hast set my heart at liberty..

The Collect.
O GOD, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Lamentations 3.22-33
Psalter: Psalm 19, 20 | 24, 25
Epistle Reading: Romans 8.18-23
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 6.36-42

Toon: “In this Collect we recognize out total dependence upon the protection, strength, holiness, mercy, providence and guidance of God our heavenly Father for the true living of the Christian life in this evil age and sinful world, and in preparation for the world to come.

We ask not only for the increase of God’s mercy towards us but that it may also be multiplied. It is as though we have in mind the increase in the widow’s oil in the ministry of Elijah (1 Kings 17:10-17) and the multiplication of the bread and fishes by our Lord (John 6:5-15). We are as those who have experienced Godís mercy in part yet who know that they need it urgently in greater part - and need it to be not only increased but also multiplied! What a daring petition!

The world we live in is made by God but is poisoned by sin. Thus in it we experience both blessings and temptations, encouragements and tribulation. We rise and we fall; we feel good and we feel bad. It is possible to pass through this world and be wholly absorbed by it - as we clearly see happening to many at the present time in the West. It is possible virtually to forget God as Creator, Judge and Redeemer, and live in this world as though we are responsible only to ourselves and that we are merely creatures of space and time who exercise our rights in full.

But we are made to enjoy and glorify God for ever; we are called to serve him in this world and the next and to enter into the next through the resurrection of the dead and the redemption of the body. If we see ourselves as made for eternity and not merely for space and time, then we shall pass through this world as those who eyes are set upon Christ Jesus, the Lord, and in obedience to his command and call. The intensity of the Christian hope is well stated by the Epistle where St Paul writes of longing for the redemption of the body.

We certainly need God’s mercy to surround and fill us, his rule over us and his guidance known in our souls, if we are to negotiate our way through this world in such a way as always to remain citizens of heaven and disciples of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the new Jerusalem. In this world we are to live as those who reflect in their lives the character and virtue of the life that is to come, as the Gospel declares.
So our pray ends with the intense verb, Grant. Grant all this, we ask of our heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, his Son and our Lord” (

C.S. Lewis: “Not long ago when I was using the collect for the fourth Sunday after Trinity in my private prayers I found that I had made a slip of the tongue. I had meant to pray that I might so pass through things temporal that I finally lost not the things eternal; I found I had prayed so to pass through things eternal that I finally lost not the things temporal. Of course, I don't think that a slip of the tongue is a sin. I am not sure that I am even a strict enough Freudian to believe that all such slips, without exception, are deeply significant. But I think some of them are significant, and I thought this was one of that sort. I thought that what I had inadvertently said very nearly expressed something I had really wished. Very nearly; not, of course, precisely. I had never been quite stupid enough to think that the eternal could, strictly, be ‘passed through.’ What I had wanted to pass through without prejudice to my things temporal was those hours or moments in which I attended to the eternal, in which I exposed myself to it. I mean this sort of thing. I say my prayers, I read my book of devotion, I prepare for, or receive, the Sacrament. But while I do these things, there is, so to speak, a voice inside me that urges caution. It tells me to be careful, to keep my head, not to go to far, not to burn my boats. I come into the presence of God with a great fear lest anything should happen to me within that presence which will prove too intolerably inconvenient when I have come out again into my “ordinary” life. I don’t want to be carried away into any resolution which I shall afterwards regret” (“A Slip of the Tongue,” The Weight of Glory, 184-6).


Third Sunday after Trinity

The Third Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.17-24
Retribue servo tuo
O DO well unto thy servant : that I may live, and keep thy word.
18. Open thou mine eyes : that I may see the wondrous things of thy law.
19. I am a stranger upon earth : O hide not thy commandments from me.
20. My soul breaketh out for the very fervent desire : that it hath alway unto thy judgements.
21. Thou hast rebuked the proud : and cursed are they that do err from thy commandments.
22. O turn from me shame and rebuke : for I have kept thy testimonies.
23. Princes also did sit and speak against me : but thy servant is occupied in thy statutes.
24. For thy testimonies are my delight : and my counsellors.

The Collect.
O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom though hast given an hearty desire to pray, may be comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 31.1-14
Psalter: Psalm 16, 17 | 18
Epistle Reading: 1 Peter 5.5-11
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 15.1-10

Toon: “The content of the Epistle warns us that our adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. It then bids us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God our Father. This Collect is the humble deprecation (a prayer against evils that are lurking near to us or hanging over our heads) by which we seek to follow St Peter’s advice.

When we are faced by problems and tribulations, there should arise in our hearts a desire to bring them to God (who has thereby given to us in the moment of impending danger a hearty desire to pray). There is intensity in the verb, Grant, and this force is present in this petition that we make to God because his Spirit is touching our souls and inspiring us to cry out for divine help.

We ask that we be both defended (protected and preserved) from all dangers, enemies and adversities and also comforted in and through them. God’s aid is our defence and the consciousness of its real presence becomes and is our comfort.

By the providential gracious aid of the Lord we can sing:
Ye fainting saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

And with St Paul we can testify:
Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:3ff).

The Gospel reading contains parables from Jesus which make clear how precious the individual person is to God and how that when he responds in repentance to God’s grace there is joy in heaven amongst the angelic hosts. Such knowledge in the believer’s heart obviously encourages him to call upon God in humble confidence when things appear to be going either well or not so well for him” (

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

(What a Friend We Have in Jesus; Revised Trinity Hymnal #629)


Prayers for the 4th of July

{From the prayer-writing contest of 2014. These were the ones submitted. Feel free to use them}

1. Almighty and most just God, whose servants, inspired by thy Natural Law, declared unto the world sacred and inalienable rights including: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; Send out thy Light, O Lord, that all may embrace these sacred precepts for all mankind; with a firm reliance on divine Providence; through Jesus Christ our Savior who together with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth together, one God, world without end. Amen (Contributed by the Fundator).

2. O God, who art infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in Thy being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth; look upon this nation with thine favor, and restore to us, once again, the self-evident truth that our liberties are inalienable rights bestowed by Thee, our Creator; and by Thine aid, stir up our hearts to see how far we have strayed from Thy way of righteousness, that we may return to Thee. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Thy Son, who is alive and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen (Contributed by Primus Pilus II, and drawn from the Westminster Shorter Catechism # 4 and the Declaration of Independence).