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The First Sunday after Easter - 2014

The First Sunday after Easter.

Psalm 112
Beatus vir
BLESSED is the man that feareth the Lord : he hath great delight in his commandments.
2. His seed shall be mighty upon earth : the generation of the faithful shall be blessed.
3. Riches and plenteousness shall be in his house : and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4. Unto the godly there ariseth up light in the darkness : he is merciful, loving, and righteous.
5. A good man is merciful, and lendeth : and will guide his words with discretion.
6. For he shall never be moved : and the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.
7. He will not be afraid of any evil tidings : for his heart standeth fast, and believeth in the Lord.
8. His heart is established, and will not shrink : until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9. He hath dispersed abroad, and given to the poor : and his righteousness remaineth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
10. The ungodly shall see it, and it shall grieve him : he shall gnash with his teeth, and consume away; the desire of the ungodly shall perish.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY Father, who has given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 43.1-12
Psalter: Psalm 110, 111 | 2, 57
Epistle Reading: 1 John 5.4-12
Gospel Reading: St. John 20.19-23

Toon: “This one sentence Prayer is an excellent example of how to express reverence, doctrine and petition in a concise way.

Only in this Collect in The Book of Common Prayer is the specific invocation, "Almighty Father" actually used to begin a prayer. And in Eastertide this is most apt for, by the almighty power of God, the Father, Jesus was raised from the dead and by his resurrection his disciples are given the privilege of calling God, "Father", since they are adopted as his children, to be the brethren of Jesus Christ, the true Son.

The recital of what the Son of God has done for us is based upon Romans 4:24-25. "Jesus was delivered for our offences and raised for our justification." Jesus died as the Substitute for our sins, bearing them in his own body on the Tree (1 Peter 2:24). He was raised for our acquittal and justification. That is, God the Father raised him from the dead and by this glorious act proclaimed his acceptance of Christ's Atonement for the sins of the world and the basis of the receiving by him of repentant, believing sinners. Thus in the Gospel for this day (John 20:19-23) the Resurrected Jesus comes on the day of his Resurrection to his disciples in the upper room with the word of peace, grace and forgiveness.

The petition ("Grant us so to put away...") is based upon what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:7,13: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore, let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness." It is a firm prayer that we shall put away all forms of spiritual and moral evil and serve God both in moral soundness and doctrinal soundness. Both immorality and heresy can cause great harm to souls, individually and corporately. (The reference to leaven makes sense when we remember that for seven days after the Feast of the Passover the Jews sought to keep themselves clear from every kind of leaven.)

The Collect ends with a recalling that our salvation is not earned by us or deserved by us or won by us; but, it is only given to us by the grace and mercy of God the Father through the merits of his Son, Jesus Christ. He died as our Substitute and Representative and rose again for us to bring us acquittal before God the Judge and salvation from sin into the family and kingdom of God the Father almighty” (

If you have time, here is my sermon last Sunday, which goes along with Toon’s comments and the Epistle reading:


Monday and Tuesday in Easter-Week - 2014

Monday in Easter-Week.
Psalm 62
Nonne Deo?
MY SOUL truly waiteth still upon God : for of him cometh my salvation.
2. He verily is my strength and my salvation : he is my defence, so that I shall not greatly fall.
3. How long will ye imagine mischief against every man : ye shall be slain all the sort of you; yea, as a tottering wall shall ye be, and like a broken hedge.
4. Their device is only how to put him out whom God will exalt : their delight is in lies; they give good words with their mouth, but curse with their heart.
5. Nevertheless, my soul, wait thou still upon God : for my hope is in him.
6. He truly is my strength and my salvation : he is my defence, so that I shall not fall.
7. In God is my health, and my glory : the rock of my might, and in God is my trust.
8. O put your trust in him alway, ye people : pour out your hearts before him, for God is our hope.
9. As for the children of men, they are but vanity : the children of men are deceitful upon the weights, they are altogether lighter than vanity itself.
10. O trust not in wrong and robbery, give not yourselves unto vanity : if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
11. God spake once, and twice I have also heard the same : that power belongeth unto God;
12. And that thou, Lord, art merciful : for thou rewardest every man according to his work.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY God, who through thy only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee, that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

For the Epistle: Acts 10.34-43
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 24.13-35

Tuesday in Easter-Week.
Psalm 113
Laudate, pueri
PRAISE the Lord, ye servants : O praise the Name of the Lord.
2. Blessed be the Name of the Lord : from this time forth for evermore.
3. The Lord’s Name is praised : from the rising up of the sun unto the going down of the same.
4. The Lord is high above all heathen and his glory above the heavens.
5. Who is like unto the Lord our God, that hath his dwelling so high : and yet humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and earth?
6. He taketh up the simple out of the dust : and lifteth the poor out of the mire;
7. That he may set him with the princes : even with the princes of his people.
8. He maketh the barren woman to keep house : and to be a joyful mother of children.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee, that as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

{***Collect from the 1542 BCP for Tuesday in Easter-Week: ALMYGHTY father, whiche haste geven thy only sonne to dye for our synnes, and to ryse agayne for oure justificacion; Graunt us so to put awaye the leven of malyce and wyckednes, that we maye alwaye serve thee in purenes of lyvynge and truth; through Jesus Christe oure Lorde. }

For the Epistle: Acts 13.26-41
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 24.36-48


Easter Day - 2014


{At Morning Prayer, instead of the Psalm, O come, let us sing, &c. these Anthems shall be sung or said.}

CHRIST our passover is sacrificed for us : therefore let us keep the feast; Not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness : but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7
Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more : death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once : but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin : but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9
Christ is risen from the dead : and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death : by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die : even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee, that as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 25.1-9
Psalter: Psalm 2, 57, 111 | 113, 116, 117
Epistle Reading: Colossians 3.1-7
Gospel Reading: St. John 20.1-10

Toon: “( . . . ) LET US CELEBRATE WITH ALL JOY THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD not only on Easter Day but for the whole of Eastertide.

But let us be wholly clear that it is Resurrection not Resuscitation that we celebrate!

What happened to Jesus on Easter morning was not resuscitation. The human soul did not reunite with a revived body to form a resuscitated, revived Jesus. In no way whatsoever, could Resuscitation have ever been the proclamation of GOSPEL by God the Father to those with ears to hear of the victory of the Incarnate Son over sin, evil, darkness, death and demonic power.

Resuscitation could never have been the statement that a new covenant between God and man was in place, that the old Mosaic covenant was obsolete, and that there was atonement, redemption, salvation, reconciliation & forgiveness of sins available through the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And neither could modern views of resurrection as "the spirit of Jesus surviving death" (with his body lost) be the statement of God's victory over darkness, evil, sin, death and Satan.

What happened on Easter morning was a miracle that was more, much more, than the resuscitation of the dead body of Jesus and its reuniting with his soul. The Miracle of Easter is that Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, was raised from the dead into a new order of being and as a new form of humanity. His resurrection from the dead, while a continuance in personal identity, was at the same time a transformation of his human nature and body so that he became a resurrected, glorified, supernaturalized and immortalised Man (yet more than Man). His humanity, wholly transformed by the Spirit of God, contained and displayed the new order of being that is the kingdom of God. The Person of the Son of God now had not only his eternal divine nature with a human soul (as from Good Friday through Holy Saturday) but also a totally perfected, glorified, supernaturalized and immortalised human nature, body and soul.

Thus the cry, "Jesus is risen from the dead", is also the announcement that the new covenant between God and man is in place and is centred on the Mediator, Jesus. The new order and covenant reveals perfect human nature glorified through a perfect response to the Spirit of the Lord. It shows us the goal for which human nature was created by God, and to which it will be raised when the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets men free from the law of sin and of death. It shows both the crown of the purpose of God set forth in holy Scriptures and the crown of his purpose in the created world, wherein a new, dynamic, everlasting level & order of life succeeds to old levels that pass away. Jesus rose as the new Adam, the head and representative of a new humanity, the firstfruits of those who would follow him (see 1 Corinthians 15).

This explanation of the raising of Jesus as the Resurrected Lord of life and not as the resuscitated Rabbi makes it possible for us to see why Jesus did not appear to those who had handed him over to death (the Jewish Sanhedrin & the Roman Procurator and their helpers). By the laws of the new covenant and of the kingdom of heaven, the miracle of the Resurrection could only be made known to those who responded in penitence and faith to the new level of spiritual existence which it disclosed. It was not a portent that could be shown to anyone & everyone to press them or to scare them into belief! It was a miracle belonging to the realm of the kingdom of God and only those with eyes to see could see it.

The new Order of Being manifested and revealed in the risen Lord Jesus, the Messiah, needed a corresponding spiritual discernment to see its nature and reality, Thus Jesus appeared only to the disciples and to them on several occasions. In them he had sown the seed of faith and insight and they, as quickened by the Spirit of God, were able to begin to see him in his new identity, in his transformed and glorified manhood. That is they were able to receive the Revelation of his true identity as the Risen Lord and then worship him (as did Thomas) as "My Lord and my God".

To state all this is to agree with the Gospel records which make it absolutely clear that Jesus made no attempt whatsoever to appear to any others than his disciples.

However, to make this essential point about the revelation of a new order of being is not to discount historical evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. There is historical testimony that points to the Resurrection of Jesus with overwhelming probability - for example (a) the disciples did not really expect the Resurrection; (b) the existence of the Church despite the great setback of Good Friday; (c) the claims of the disciples that Jesus actually appeared to them; (d) the empty tomb and (e) the absolutely new appreciation and understanding of the Scriptures by the apostles and disciples.

Ultimately, we must say that what it took on Easter Day and during the next 40 days first to SEE and then to receive Jesus as the Resurrected Lord, with his new covenant and kingdom, is ultimately what it takes now - a penitent, believing heart. "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved."”

{You will find much, much more here:}


Good Friday and Easter Even - 2014

Good Friday.
The Collects.
ALMIGHTY God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

O MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

{The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.}

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 22.1-18
Psalter: Psalm 22
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 10.1-15
Gospel Reading: St. John 19.1-37

Toon: “GOOD FRIDAY - this name is peculiar to the Church of England (and thus to English culture where the Church has had an impact).

Of all Fridays of the year, there are profound reasons for giving this one the title of "GOOD."

It is the Day when the only One who was GOOD enough as a Person (for he was righteous and without sin) to pay the price of our sin, actually paid that price as the sacrificial Lamb on the Cross.

It is also the Day when the supreme GOOD of mankind - communion and friendship with the Lord - was made possible when the Son of God incarnate took away all barriers to realizing and experiencing that good. The supreme end and good of man is to enjoy and glorify God forever and this is only possible through the reconciliation wrought by Christ Jesus on the Cross.

Further it is the Day when GOOD triumphed over evil as God the Father turned what could have been the world's greatest tragedy - the crucifixion of the most innocent of men - into the salvation of mankind, and as He turned an evil act and apparent defeat into the victory over Satan, sin and death and showed it in Resurrection.

Finally, it is the Day which provides the world with GOSPEL, that is GOOD NEWS, a message of hope to all the nations. The GOOD news is that there is forgiveness, a right relation with the Father, eternal life in the age to come, and friendship with God through the saving work of the Lord Jesus on the Cross.

Yet, while it is most certainly and surely a GOOD Friday, it is also a day of Fasting for the Church, the Bride of Christ, since it is the Day when the Bridegroom is taken away from his Bride [the Lord Jesus from his disciples - see Mark 2:19-20] as he descends into Hades to announce and proclaim his finished, saving and good work to those who have died and wait for their full redemption.

Thus the Church fasts for this whole day, or even for this day and the next day, until the great cry - CHRIST IS RISEN. ALLELUIA - is heard on Easter morning. Then with the victorious and faithful Bridegroom returned she can eat with him at his banqueting table and her first food is his sacramental body and blood, at the Easter Eucharist.

The Book of Common Prayer (1662) provides Collects, an Epistle and Gospel for this GOOD Friday and the general Anglican tradition has been to have only Ante-Communion this day and to encourage meditation, prayer and quiet in church and at home.”

Check out the link where you will also find some background and history to the Collects for this day:
The Collect.
GRANT, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him : and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection ; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

{The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.}

Old Testament Reading: Job 14.1-14
Psalter: Psalm 16
Epistle Reading: 1 Peter 3.17-22

Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 27.57-66


The Sunday next before Easter - through Maundy Thursday - 2014

The Sunday next before Easter.
Psalm 61
Exaudi, Deus
HEAR my crying, O God : give ear unto my prayer.
2. From the ends of the earth will I call unto thee : when my heart is in heaviness.
3. O set me up upon the rock that is higher than I : for thou hast been my hope, and a strong tower for me against the enemy.
4. I will dwell in thy tabernacle for ever : and my trust shall be under the covering of thy wings.
5. For thou, O Lord, hast heard my desires : and hast given an heritage unto those that fear thy Name.
6. Thou shalt grant the King a long life : that his years may endure throughout all generations.
7. He shall dwell before God for ever : O prepare thy loving mercy and faithfulness, that they may preserve him.
8. So will I always sing praise unto thy Name : that I may daily perform my vows.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

{The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.}

Old Testament Reading: Zechariah 9.9-13
Psalter: Psalm 97, 110 | 22, 23
Epistle Reading: Philippians 2.5-11
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 27.1-54

Monday before Easter
{ALMIGHTY God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified; Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 1928 BCP}

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 63.1-19
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 14.1-72

Tuesday before Easter
{O LORD God, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, gave his back to the smiters and hid not his face from shame; Grant us grace to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 1928 BCP}

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 50.5-11
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 15.1-39

Wednesday before Easter
{ASSIST us mercifully with thy help, O Lord God of our salvation; that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts, whereby thou hast given unto us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 1928 BCP}
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 9.16-28
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 22.1-71

Thursday before Easter
{ALMIGHTY Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, did institute the Sacrament of his Body and Blood; Mercifully grant that we may thankfully receive the same in remembrance of him, who in these holy mysteries giveth us a pledge of life eternal; the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen. 1928 BCP}

Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 11.17-34
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 23.1-49


The Fifth Sunday in Lent (commonly called Passion Sunday) - 2014

The Fifth Sunday in Lent.
Psalm 54
Deus, in nomine
SAVE me, O God, for thy Name’s sake : and avenge me in thy strength.
2. Hear my prayer, O God : and hearken unto the words of my mouth.
3. For strangers are risen up against me : and tyrants, which have not God before their eyes, seek after my soul.
4. Behold, God is my helper : the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
5. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies : destroy thou them in thy truth.
6. An offering of a free heart will I give thee, and praise thy Name, O Lord : because it is so comfortable.
7. For he hath delivered me out of all my trouble : and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

The Collect.
WE beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

{The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.}

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 1.10-20
Psalter: Psalm 42, 43 | 119.145-176
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 9.11-15
Gospel Reading: St. John 8.46-59

Toon: “The Church has arrived in her Christian Year at the point when she is only 14 days from Easter. In the Jewish Year there is 14 days of preparation before the Passover when on the 14th Day of Abib the Passover Lamb was slain. So this Sunday is called Passion Sunday as the suffering and death of Jesus as the Lamb of God is much in view - see the Epistle, Hebrews 9, which makes mention of the shedding of Christ's blood.

Human kings that faithfully do their duty take care of the governing of their people according to righteousness and the preserving of their subjects in peace. The King of kings, Almighty God, the Omnipotent One, also takes care of his people and preserves them unto everlasting peace. And he does so in their total being, for the Christian hope is not merely of the immortality of the soul but also the resurrection of the body to life everlasting in the courts of heaven. The reason he cares for the whole person, soul and body, is because of "thy great goodness".

As the worst that the world can do to the Son of God incarnate - reject and crucify him - is to be the theme of some of the Church's reading and meditation until Good Friday, it is good and right that on this day the Church asks her King in his mercy and grace, and by his great goodness, to hear her prayer and to govern and preserve his Church in this particular time. In this part of the Christian Year God's people especially need to know that, despite all the evidence to the contrary in a world of sin, the sin that caused the substitutionary and expiatory death of Jesus, God is still not only the LORD but the bountifully good Lord.

Further, as the Gospel declares, Jesus as the Son of God, existed as the only-begotten Son of the Father before he took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "Before Abraham was, I am," said Jesus. Therefore, as they approach Holy Week Christians have the assurance that he who dies for their sins and rises from the dead for their justification is none other than the pre-existent Son of God in human nature, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.

In 1689, in the proposed revision of The Book of Common Prayer, it was decided to replace the present Collect with another written by the Bishop of Chichester and focused on the Passion. Though this revision scheme failed, the Collect is worth remembering and praying for it does fit neatly into the theme of the latter part of Lent, as the Church moves quickly to Holy Week.

"O Almighty God, who hast sent thy Son Jesus Christ to be an High Priest of good things to come, and by his own blood to enter in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us; mercifully look upon thy people, that by the same blood of our Saviour, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to thee, our consciences may be purged from dead works, to serve thee, the living God, that we may receive the promise of eternal inheritance; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (