Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Sunday Before Advent

The Collect.

STIR up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Jeremiah xxiii. 5.

BEHOLD, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.


The Gospel - St. John vi. 5.

WHEN Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

Clement of Rome

the Bishop of Rome from 88 to 99 AD. Also called Clement of Rome and Clemens Romanus, he was the fourth pope, after Anacletus, according to Catholic tradition.

Few details are known about Clement's life. According to Tertullian Clement was ordained by Saint Peter and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the latter part of the 1st century. Early church lists place him as the second or third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter, but the meaning of this evidence is unclear, given the lack of evidence for monarchical episcopacy in Rome at so early a date.

According to apocryphal acta dating to the fourth century at earliest, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of the Emperor Trajan and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding on his arrival that the prisoners were suffering from lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a lamb on a hill, went to where the lamb had stood and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water. This miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and his fellow prisoners to Christianity. As punishment, Saint Clement was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea.

Clement I is also considered one of the Apostolic Fathers, and his name is in the Roman Canon of the Mass. Clement is commemorated on November 23 as a bishop and martyr in the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church.


Propers for Clement of Rome - Bishop and Martyr


The Collect.

O GOD, who hast enlightened thy Church by the teaching of thy servant Clement: Enrich us evermore, we beseech thee, with thy heavenly grace, and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and doctrine will set forth the truth of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 3:17-4:3


The Gospel - St. Matthew 24:42-47


Reference and Resources:

http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/cal11_07.cfm?PropersYear=def
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Clement_I
http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_author/43/St._Clement_of_Rome.html
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/23.html

Saturday, November 22, 2014

C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis ("Jack" Lewis to his friends) was a tutor and lecturer at Oxford University, and later Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at Cambridge University. In the judgment of many, he is the most popular and most effective explainer and defender of the Christian faith writing in English in the 20th century. He tried to make a point of avoiding disputes on matters where Christians disagree, and defending those beliefs which they hold in common. His work was valued by many Christians of widely differing backgrounds: Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, etc.

Lewis was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings. Both authors were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford University and in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptized in the Church of Ireland at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at about the age of 30, Lewis re-converted to Christianity, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England" (Lewis 1952, p. 6). His conversion had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim. Later in life he married the American writer Joy Gresham, who died of bone cancer four years later at the age of 45.

In early June 1961, Lewis began experiencing medical problems and was diagnosed with inflammation of the kidneys which resulted in blood poisoning. His illness caused him to miss the autumn term at Cambridge, though his health gradually began improving in 1962 and he returned that April. Lewis's health continued to improve, and according to his friend George Sayer, Lewis was fully himself by the spring of 1963. However, on July 15, 1963 he fell ill and was admitted to hospital. The next day at 5:00 pm, Lewis suffered a heart attack and lapsed into a coma, unexpectedly awaking the following day at 2:00 pm. After he was discharged from hospital, Lewis returned to the Kilns though he was too ill to return to work. As a result, he resigned from his post at Cambridge in August. Lewis's condition continued to decline and in mid-November, he was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. On November 22, 1963, Lewis collapsed in his bedroom at 5:30 pm and died a few minutes later, exactly one week before what would have been his 65th birthday. He is buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Headington, Oxford.


Prayer:

Almighty God, whose servant C.S. Lewis received of Thy grace singular gifts of insight in understanding the truth in Christ Jesus, and of eloquence and clarity in presenting that truth to his readers: Raise up in our day faithful interpreters of Thy Word, that we, being set free from all error and unbelief, may come to the knowledge that maketh us wise unto salvation: through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/22.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.S._Lewis

Cecelia of Rome

A young Roman noble woman of the 2nd century, an only child and convert to Christianity.

Cecelia vowed her virginity to God, but her parents married her to Valerian of Trastevere. She was able to convince her husband to be Baptized and he in turn convinced his brother Tiburtius to come to Christ. Though it seems she remained a virgin after their wedding.

The two brothers developed a ministry of giving proper burial to martyred Christians. In their turn they were arrested and martyred for their faith. Cecilia buried them at her villa on the Apprian Way, and was arrested for the action. She was ordered to sacrifice to false gods; when she refused, she was martyred in her turn.


Propers for Cecelia of Rome - Virgin and Martyr

The Collect.

O GOD, which makest us glad with the yearly festival of thy blessed Martyr Cecilia: grant, we beseech thee; that as we do commemorate her in our outward office, so we may follow the example of her godly conversation. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Ecclesiasticus 51:9-12.

Then lifted I up my supplications from the earth, and prayed for deliverance from death. I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, that he would not leave me in the days of my trouble, and in the time of the proud, when there was no help. I will praise thy name continually, and will sing praises with thanksgiving; and so my prayer was heard: For thou savedst me from destruction, and deliveredst me from the evil time: therefore will I give thanks, and praise thee, and bless they name, O Lord.


The Gospel - St Matthew 25:1-13.

AT that time: Jesus spake this parable unto his disciples: the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Cecilia
http://www.episcopalnet.org/1928bcp/propers/Missal/Nov22.html
http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-cecilia/

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Presentation of Mary

This feast day, while not based on Scriptural fact, but rather pious tradition, deals with the presentation of the Virgin Mary when she was three years old at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Tradition also has it that she spent a good deal of time there as a child with other children. Whether this is true or not is not significant. What is important is that Mary was no doubt raised in a Godly home which nurtured her sanctity.

May we make the sacrifice of raising our children in God's House, the Church, by having them attend Sunday School and in encouraging their religious life at home as well.


Propers for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Collect.

O GOD, who on this day didst vouchsafe the Blessed Virgin Mary, the dwelling-place of thy Holy Ghost, should be presented in the Temple: grant, we beseech thee; that we may be found worthy to be presented unto thee in the temple of thy glory. Through thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


The Lesson - Ecclesiasticus 24:9-12


The Holy Gospel - St. Luke 11:27-28


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presentation_of_Mary
http://www.episcopalnet.org/Saints/Nov21Presentation.html


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Edmund the Martyr

When the heathen Anglo-Saxons invaded Christian Britain in the 400's, they eventually established seven kingdoms: Essex, Wessex, Sussex (East Saxons, West Saxons, and South Saxons), Mercia, Northumbria, and East Anglia (three kingdoms of the Angles), and the Jute kingdom of Kent. (The borders between these ancient kingdoms are still borders between regions speaking English with different accents today.) Under the influence of missionaries from the Celts and from continental Europe, these peoples became Christian, only to be faced themselves by a wave of heathen invaders.

Edmund's father was King Æthelweard who died in 854, and was succeeded by Edmund when the boy was a fourteen-year-old. Edmund was said to have been crowned by St Humbert on 25 December 855 at Burna (probably Bures St Mary, Suffolk), which at that time functioned as the royal capital.

Almost nothing is known of the life of Edmund during the next fourteen years. It was recorded that Edmund was a model king who treated all with equal justice and was unbending to flatterers. It was also written that he retired for a year to his royal tower at Hunstanton and learned the whole Psalter, so that he could recite it from memory.

In 869 the Danes invaded East Anglia and set-up camp at Thetford. Edmund was determined to drive the heathens from his kingdom and protect his Christian subjects from further abuses at the hands of the pagan marauders. Edmund and his army engaged the Danes under Ubbe Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless, but his forces were unable to withstand the fury of the Norsemen, with Edmund being captured. The Danish captains gave Edmund terms in hopes of expanding their holdings, but those terms Edmund could not accept. Edmund chose to die a martyr rather than renounce Christ and live under pagan overlords and he was executed on the field of battle.

He is venerated as a saint and a martyr in the Anglican, Eastern and Roman churches. It is said that the king's body was ultimately interred at Beadoriceworth, the modern Bury St Edmunds, where the pilgrimage to his shrine was encouraged by the 12th century monks' enlargement of the church. Edmund's popularity among the Anglo-Norman nobility helped justify claims of continuity with pre-Norman traditions; a banner of St. Edmund's arms was carried at the Battle of Agincourt.

Propers for Edmund the Martyr

The Collect.

O God of ineffable mercy, who didst give grace and fortitude to blessed Edmund the king to triumph over the enemy of his people by nobly dying for thy Name: Bestow on us thy servants, we beseech thee, the shield of faith, wherewith we may withstand the assaults of our ancient enemy; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Lesson - Revelation 12. 10-12a.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 10. 34-39.


Reference and Resources:

http://www.excitingholiness.org/first-edition/index.cgi?m11/d20a.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_the_martyr
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/20.html

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Elizabeth of Hungary

The numerous "St. Elizabeth's Hospitals" throughout the world are for the most part named, not for the Biblical Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, but for this princess of Hungary. She was concerned for the relief of the poor and the sick, and with her husband's consent she used her dowry money for their relief.

During a famine and epidemic in 1226, while her husband was away in Italy, she sold her jewels and established a hospital where she nursed the sick, and opened the royal granaries to feed the hungry. After her husband's death in 1227, her in-laws, who opposed her "extravagances," expelled her from Wartburg. Finally an arrangement was negotiated with them that gave her a stipend. She became a Franciscan tertiary (lay associate) and devoted the remainder of her life to nursing and charity. She sewed garments to clothe the poor, and went fishing to feed them.


Propers for Elizabeth of Hungary - Princess


The Collect.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy servant Elizabeth: Grant to us, thy humble servants, the same faith and power of love; that as we rejoice in her triumph, we may profit by her example; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lesson - Tobit 12:6b-9.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/19.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_of_Hungary
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05389a.htm
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/elizab.cfm


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hilda of Whitby

Hilda (known in her own century as "Hild") was the grandniece of King Edwin of Northumbria, (see 12 Oct) a kingdom of the Angles. She was born in 614 and baptized in 627 when the king and his household became Christians. In 647 she decided to become a nun, and under the direction of Aidan (see 31 Aug) she established several monasteries. Her last foundation was at Whitby. It was a double house: a community of men and another of women, with the chapel in between, and Hilda as the governor of both; and it was a great center of English learning, one which produced five bishops (during Hilda's lifetime or that of the Abbey?). Here a stable-boy, Caedmon, was moved to compose religious poems in the Anglo-Saxon tongue, most of them metrical paraphrases of narratives from Genesis and the Gospels.

The Celtic peoples of Britain had heard the Gospel well before 300 AD, but in the 400's and 500's a massive invasion of Germanic peoples (Angles, Jutes, and Saxons) forced the native Celts out of what is now England and into Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. The invaders were pagans, and missionaries were sent to them in the north and west by the Celts, and in the south and east by Rome and other churches on the continent of Europe.

Hilda herself greatly preferred the Celtic customs in which she had been reared, but once the decision had been made she used her moderating influence in favor of its peaceful acceptance. Her influence was considerable; kings and commoners alike came to her for advice. She was urgent in promoting the study of the Scriptures and the thorough education of the clergy. She died 17 November 680.


Propers for Hilda of Whitby - Abbess

The Collect.

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that, following the example of thy servant Hilda, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


The Epistle - Ephesians 4:1-6


The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 19:27-29


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilda_of_Whitby
http://elvis10.rowan.edu/~kilroy/jek/11/18.html
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07350a.htm
http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/nov18.html

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hugh of Lincoln

As a sign of his remorse for his role in the murder of the Archbishop Thomas a Becket, King Henry II founded the first house in England of the strict monastic order called the Carthusians. Difficulties arose with the first two priors, and a French noble recommended Hugh de Avalon, who at that time had been a monk at the mother house of the order for 17 years.

On his arrival in England in 1176, Hugh found that the building of the monastery had not begun. Worse, no compensation had been paid to those who would have to lose their lands and property to make room for it. Hugh refused to take office until these persons had been paid "to the last penny." He intervened again on behalf of the builders, whose pay was not forthcoming.

Henry loved him for his plain speaking. "I do not despair of you," Hugh said to him at their first interview; "I know how much your many occupations interfere with the health of your soul." Henry, impressed by his frankness, swore that while he lived he should not leave his kingdom, and took so much pleasure in his conversation, and paid so much heed to his counsels, that a rumor arose that Hugh was his son. Hugh's biographer wrote that "of all men only Hugh could bend that rhinosceros to his will." When Henry was in danger of shipwreck, he cried out, "If only my Carthusian Hugh were awake and at prayer, God would not forget me."

This affection never diminished, though Hugh dared to oppose the king, particularly in the matter of keeping bishoprics vacant in order that their revenues might fall to the king's treasury. One of the worst examples was Lincoln, which, except for a few months, had been without a bishop for eighteen years. Hugh was elected to the post in 1186, and his monastic superiors ordered him to accept. After so long a period of neglect, there was great need of reform. Hugh employed priests of great piety and learning, and made the fullest use of his authority in disciplining his clergy. He took a stern view of the ill-treatment of the poor by the royal foresters, and when a subject of the church of Lincoln suffered at their hands he excommunicated their chief.

He also refused to appoint a royal favorite to a meaningless but lucrative post. Henry was furious, and summoned him to his presence. He came, and Henry turned away his face and would not speak, but by way of ignoring his presence took out a torn glove and began to sew it. At last Hugh said, "How like you are to your relations at Falaise." The king might have resented this allusion to the humble birth of William the Conqueror's mother, the daughter of a glove-maker, but he only laughed, and the quarrel was made up.

Riots against the Jews broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade. In defence of the persecuted, Hugh faced armed mobs in Lincoln, Stamford and Northampton and compelled their submission.

Hugh refused to raise money for the foreign wars of King Richard the Lion-Heart, calmed the king's rage with a kiss, and persisted in his refusal: this was the first clear example on record of the refusal of a money-grant demanded directly by the crown, and an important legal precedent. Richard said, "If all bishops were like my lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could raise his head against them."

His relations with King John were less happy. John showed him an amulet, which he said was sacred and would preserve him. Hugh replied, "Do not put your trust in lifeless stone, but only in the living and heavenly stone, our Lord Jesus Christ." The following Easter he preached at length on the duties of kings, and the king slipped out partway through.

Devout, tireless, and forgetful of self, Hugh also had wit, a temper that he described as "more biting than pepper," and a great love and concern for children and the defenseless. He visited leper-houses and washed the ulcerous limbs of their inmates.

He was fond of animals, and they of him. Birds and squirrels came readily to his hand. He had a swan that would feed from his hand, follow him about, and keep guard over his bed, so that no one could approach it without being attacked.

In 1200 the king sent him on an embassy to France. His mission was a success, but he took ill and returned to England to die on 16 November 1200. John Ruskin called him "the most beautiful sacerdotal (priestly) figure known to me in history."

Propers for Hugh de Lincoln - Bishop

The Collect.

O GOD, the light of the faithful and shepherd of souls, who didst call thy servant Hugh to feed thy sheep by his word, and guide them by his example: Grant us, we pray thee, to keep the faith which he taught, and to follow in his footsteps; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Common of Saints, Of a Theologian or Teacher


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/17.html
http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/havalon.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_of_Lincoln
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/hugh.cfm

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The 22nd Sunday after Trinity

The Collect.

LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians i. 3.

I THANK my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.


The Gospel - St. Matthew xviii. 21.

PETER said unto Jesus, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Margaret of Scotland

(c 1045 – 16 November 1093), was the sister of Edgar Ætheling, the short-ruling and uncrowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. She married Malcolm III, King of Scots, becoming his Queen consort.

The daughter of the English prince Edward the Exile, son of Edmund Ironside, Margaret was probably born in Hungary. The provenance of her mother Agatha is disputed. According to popular belief, Margaret was a very serious person, so much that no one ever could recall seeing her laugh or smile.

When her uncle, Edward the Confessor, the French-speaking Anglo-Saxon King of England, died in 1066, she was living in England where her brother, Edgar Ætheling, had decided to make a claim to the vacant throne. According to tradition, after the conquest of the Kingdom of England by the Normans the widowed Agatha decided to leave Northumberland with her children and return to the Continent, but a storm drove their ship to Scotland where they sought the protection of King Malcolm III. The spot where she is said to have landed is known today as St Margaret's Hope, near the village of North Queensferry. Malcolm was probably a widower, and was no doubt attracted by the prospect of marrying one of the few remaining members of the Anglo-Saxon royal family. The marriage of Malcolm and Margaret soon took place and was followed by several invasions of Northumberland by the Scottish king, probably in support of the claims of his brother-in-law Edgar. These, however, had little result beyond the devastation of the province.

Margaret and Malcolm had eight children, six sons and two daughters:

* Edward, killed 1093.
* Edmund of Scotland
* Ethelred, abbot of Dunkeld
* King Edgar of Scotland
* King Alexander I of Scotland
* King David I of Scotland
* Edith of Scotland, also called Matilda, married King Henry I of England
* Mary of Scotland, married Eustace III of Boulogne

Her husband, Malcolm III, and their eldest son, Edward, were killed in siege against the English at Alnwick Castle on 13 November 1093. Her son Edmund was left with the task of telling his mother of their deaths. Margaret was ill, and she died on 16 November 1093, three days after the deaths of her husband and eldest son. Her children tried to hide the fact of their father's and brother's deaths, but when Margaret did find out she either died of sadness or a broken heart.

It is notable that while Malcolm's children by his first wife Ingibjörg all bore Gaelic names, those of Margaret all bore non-Gaelic names. Later tradition often has it that Margaret was responsible for starting the demise of Gaelic culture in the lowlands and Scotland in general. The forenames of Margaret's children were probably intended to bear Margaret's claims to the Anglo-Saxon throne in the period before permanent Norman rule was recognized, and so the first group of children were given Anglo-Saxon royal names. In fact, in Gaeldom, she has usually not been considered a saint, but referred to as Mairead/Maighread nam Mallachd: Accursed Margaret.

Moreover, it is unlikely that they were originally seen as successors to the Scottish throne, as Malcolm had other (grown) sons and brothers who were much more likely to succeed him. Furthermore, Margaret freely patronized Gaelic churchmen, and Gaelic remained an expanding language in northern Britain. Nevertheless, these sons regarded their Anglo-Saxon heritage as important, as the latter was one of the main devices for legitimizing the authority of the Scottish kings in English-speaking Lothian and northern England.

Margaret was canonized in 1251 by Pope Innocent IV on account of her personal holiness and fidelity to the Church. She would personally serve orphans and the poor every day before she herself would eat, and would rise at midnight to attend church services every night. The Roman Catholic Church formerly marked the feast of Saint Margaret of Scotland on 10 June, but the date was transferred to 16 November, the actual day of her death, in the liturgical reform of 1972. Queen Margaret University (founded in 1875), Queen Margaret Hospital (just outside Dunfermline), North Queensferry, South Queensferry and several streets in Dunfermline are named after her.


Propers for Margaret of Scotland - Queen

The Collect.

O GOD, who didst call thy servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst endue her with zeal for thy Church and charity towards thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her example may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.


The Gospel - St. Luke 6:17-23.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Margaret_of_Scotland
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/common.cfm
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/16.html
http://www.united-episcopal.org/Files/AHolyDays.html

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Malo of Brittany

(also known as Maclou or Mac'h Low and, in Latin, as Maclovius or Machutus) was the mid-6th century founder of Saint-Malo in Brittany, France. He is one of the seven founding saints of Brittany.

Details of Malo's career are preserved in three medieval 'Lives' which seem to include incidents associated with several different people of similar names. Despite this confusion, it appears that Malo was born about the year 520, probably in Wales.

Malo is said to have been baptized by Saint Brendan and to have become his favorite disciple. He is said to have been one of those specially selected by that holy man for his oft-described voyage. It was traditionally from Llancarfan Abbey that Saint Brendan and his disciple, Malo, with numerous companions set forth for the discovery of the "Island of the Blest". He then put to sea on a second voyage and visited the Island of Cézembre, in the seaward front of St Malo, where he tarried for some time.

It was supposedly on the occasion of his second voyage that he evangelized the Orkney Islands and the northern isles of Scotland. It is remarkable that Saint Brendan also laboured at Cézembre where he is said to have had a hermit's cell on a precipitous rock in the sea, whither he often retired.

At Aleth, opposite St Malo, Malo placed himself under a venerable hermit named Aaron, on whose death in 544, he succeeded to the spiritual rule of the district subsequently known as St Malo, and was consecrated first Bishop of Aleth.

In old age the disorder of the island compelled saint Malo to leave, but the people soon begged the saint to come back. On his return matters were put right, and the saint, feeling that his end was at hand, determined to spend his last days in solitary penance. Accordingly he proceeded to Archambiac, a village in the diocese of Saintes, where he passed the remainder of his life in prayer and mortification. His death, reported in Archingeay (in the same diocese) is chronicled on 15 November, a Sunday, in the year 621.


Propers for Malo of Brittany - Monk, Evangelist and Bishop

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and bast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses; Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Malo, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.


The Gospel - St. Luke 6:17-23.


Reference and Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machutus
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/common.cfm

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bestowal of the American Episcopate

A crucial date for Anglicanism in the United States of America is the consecration of the first Bishop of the Anglican Communion in the United States. During the colonial era, there had been no Anglican bishops in the New World; and persons seeking to be ordained as clergy had had to travel to England for the purpose. After the achievement of American independence, it was important for the Church in the United States to have its own bishops, and an assembly of Connecticut clergy chose Samuel Seabury to go to England and there seek to be consecrated as a bishop.

However, the English bishops were forbidden by law to consecrate anyone who would not take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. He accordingly turned to the Episcopal Church of Scotland. When the Roman Catholic king James II was deposed in 1688, some of the Anglican clergy (including some who had been imprisoned by James for defying him on religious issues) said that, having sworn allegiance to James as King, they could not during his lifetime swear allegiance to the new monarchs William and Mary. Those who took this position were known as non-Jurors (non-swearers), and they included almost all the bishops and clergy of the Episcopal Church in Scotland. Accordingly, the monarchs and Parliament declared that thenceforth the official church in Scotland should be the Presbyterian Church. The Episcopal Church of Scotland thereafter had no recognition by the government, and for some time operated under serious legal disabilities. However, since it had no connection with the government, it was free to consecrate Seabury without government permission, and it did. This is why you see a Cross of St. Andrew on the Episcopal Church flag.

In Aberdeen, 14 November 1784, Samuel Seabury was consecrated to the Episcopate by the Bishop and the Bishop Coadjutor of Aberdeen and the Bishop of Ross and Caithness. He thus became part of the unbroken chain of bishops that links the Church today with the Church of the Apostles.

In return, he promised them that he would do his best to persuade the American Church to use as its Prayer of Consecration (blessing of the bread and wine at the Lord's Supper) the Scottish prayer, taken largely unchanged from the 1549 Prayer Book, rather than the much shorter one in use in England. The aforesaid prayer, adopted by the American Church with a few modifications, has been widely regarded as one of the greatest treasures of the Church in this country.


Propers for The Bestowal of the American Episcopate

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who by Thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to Thy holy Apostles many excellent gifts, and didst charge them to feed Thy flock: give grace, we beseech Thee, to all Bishops, the Pastors of Thy Church, that they may diligently preach Thy Word, and duly administer the godly Discipline thereof; and grant to the people, that they may obediently follow the same, that all may receive the crown of everlasting glory. Through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, reigneth One God, forever and ever. Amen.


The Epistle - The Acts of the Apostles 20:28-32.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 9:35-38.


Reference and Resources:

http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/14b.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Seabury
http://www.episcopalnet.org/1928bcp/propers/Missal/Nov14.html

Lawrence O’Toole

Son of the chief of Hy Murray. Taken as a hostage by King Dermot McMurrogh Leinster in 1138 when he was ten years old; Dermot later married Lawrence’s sister Mor. He was released in 1140 at age twelve to the Bishop of Glendalough, Ireland. and raised and educated at the monastic school there. Monk at Glendalough, and then abbot in 1153. Declined the bishopric of Glendalough in 1160, citing his unworthiness. Ordered to accept the archbishopric of Dublin, Ireland in 1161, he became the first native-born Irishman to hold the see.

Reformed much of the administration and clerical life in his diocese. Worked to restore and rebuild Christ Church cathedral. As archbishop he accepted the imposition onto Ireland of the English form of liturgy in 1172. Noted for his personal austerity, he wore a hair shirt under his ecclesiastical robes, made an annual 40 day retreat in Saint Kevin‘s cave, never ate meat, fasted every Friday, and never drank wine – though he would color his water to make it look like wine and not bring attention to himself at table. Acted as peacemaker and mediator at the second siege of Dublin in 1170.

In 1171 he travelled to Canterbury, England on diocesan business. While preparing for Mass there he was attacked by a lunatic who wanted to make Lawrence another Thomas Beckett. Everyone in the church thought Lawrence had been killed by the severe blow to the head. Instead he asked for water, blessed it, and washed the wound; the bleeding stopped, and the archbishop celebrated Mass.

Negotiated the 1175 Treaty of Windsor which made upstart Irish king Rory O’Connor and vassal of king Henry II of England, but ended combat. Attended the General Lateran Council in Rome, Italy in 1179. Papal legate to Ireland. Died while travelling with King Henry II, a trip taken as a peacemaker and on behalf of Rory O’Conner. It resulted in his imprisonment and ill-treatment by the king who decided he had had his fill of meddling priests.

Died 14 November 1180 at Eu, diocese of Rouen, Normandy, France of natural causes.


Propers for Lawrence of Dublin - Bishop and Reformer

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses; Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Lawrence O'Toole, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Philippians 4:4-9.

REJOICE in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice, Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40.

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:



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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Brice of Tours

(c. 370 – 444) was the fourth Bishop of Tours, succeeding Martin of Tours in 397.

According to legend, Brice was an orphan rescued by Martin and raised in the monastery at Marmoutiers. He later became Martin's pupil, although the ambitious and volatile Brice was rather the opposite of his master.

As Bishop of Tours, Brice performed his duties, but was also said to succumb to worldly pleasures. After a nun in his household gave birth to a child that was rumored to be his, he performed a ritual by carrying hot coal in his coat to the grave of Martin, showing his intact coat as proof of his innocence. The people of Tours, however, did not believe him and forced him to leave Tours; he only could return after he traveled to Rome and was released of his all his sins by the Pope.

After seven years of exile in Rome, Brice returned to Tours when the administrator he had left in his absence died. He was a changed man. Upon returning, he served with such humility that he was venerated as a saint upon his death. His memorial day is 13 November.


Propers for Brice of Tours - Bishop


The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses; Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Brice, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.

SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.



 The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40.

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:

http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-brice/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brice_of_Tours



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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Charles Simeon

Two hundred years ago, students at the English Universities were required to attend church regularly, and to receive the Holy Communion at least once a year. This latter requirement often had bad effects, in that it encouraged hypocrisy and an irreverent reception of the sacrament. Occasionally, however, it had a very good effect, as with the Cambridge student Charles Simeon. He wrote: "On 29 January 1779 I came to college. On 2 February I understood that at division of term I must attend the Lord's Supper. The Provost absolutely required it. Conscience told me that, if I must go, I must repent and turn to God." By this experience his life was transformed.

Upon finishing his college work he was ordained, and shortly appointed chaplain of Holy Trinity, Cambridge, where he remained for 55 years, until shortly before his death on 12 November 1836. His ministry helped to transform the lives of many undergraduates, of whom we may mention two in particular. Henry Martyn (see 19 Oct), inspired by Simeon, abandoned his intention of going into law and instead devoted his life and his considerable talents to preaching the Gospel in India and Persia. William Wilberforce (20 July), also led in part by Simeon's ministry of teaching and example, devoted his life to the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire. Simeon's enthusiasm and zeal brought him much ridicule and abuse, which he bore uncomplainingly. Though he himself remained in one place, his influence extended through the Anglican world.


Propers for Charles Simeon - Priest and Churchman

The Collect.

O GOD, who hast endowed thy servant Charles Simeon with clarity of faith and holiness of life: Grant us to keep with steadfast minds the faith which he taught, and in his fellowship to be made partakers of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Romans 10:8b-17.


The Holy Gospel - St. John 21:15-17.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Simeon
http://anglicangradual.stsams.org/FTP/Acrobat/2834-CSimeon.pdf
http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/nov12.html


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance and Veterans Day



Opening Hymn



Collects:
1st

O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all godliness; Be ready, we beseech thee, to hear the devout prayers of thy Church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

2nd

O Eternal God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

3rd

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - Ecclesiasticus 44:1-15

Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning.  Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies: Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions: Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing: Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations: All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported. And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them. But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten. With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their children are within the covenant. Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes. Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore. The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise.


Psalm XCI Qui habitat

1 WHOSO dwelleth under the defence of the Most High, * shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2  I will say unto the LORD, Thou art my hope, and my stronghold; * my God, in him will I trust.
3  For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunter, * and from the noisome pestilence.
4  He shall defend thee under his wings, and thou shalt be safe under his feathers; * his faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5  Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night, * nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6  For the pestilence that walketh in darkness, * nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noon-day.
7  A thousand shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand; * but it shall not come nigh thee.
8  Yea, with thine eyes shalt thou behold, * and see the reward of the ungodly.
9  For thou, LORD, art my hope; * thou hast set thine house of defence very high.
10  There shall no evil happen unto thee, * neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, * to keep thee in all thy ways.
12  They shall bear thee in their hands, * that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone.
13  Thou shalt go upon the lion and adder: * the young lion and the dragon shalt thou tread under thy feet.
14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; * I will set him up, because he hath known my Name.
15  He shall call upon me, and I will hear him; * yea, I am with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and bring him to honour.
16  With long life will I satisfy him, * and show him my salvation.


The Holy Gospel - St. John  15:12-17

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.


Homily - Extract of Tractate LXXXIV of Augustine

The Lord, beloved brethren, hath defined that fullness of love which we ought to bear to one another, when He said: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Inasmuch, then, as He had said before, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you;” and appended to these words what you have just been hearing, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends;” there follows from this as a consequence, what this same Evangelist John says in his epistle, “That as Christ laid down His life for us, even so we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren;”  loving one another in truth, as He hath loved us, who laid down His life for us. …. but as I have already said, that, as Christ laid down His life for us, so we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren? For as the Apostle Peter also says, “Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps.”  This is to make similar preparations. This it was that the blessed martyrs did in their burning love; and if we celebrate their memories in no mere empty form, and, in the banquet whereat they themselves were filled to the full, approach the table of the Lord, we must, as they did, be also ourselves making similar preparations. For on these very grounds we do not commemorate them at that table in the same way, as we do others who now rest in peace, as that we should also pray for them, but rather that they should do so for us, that we may cleave to their footsteps; because they have actually attained that fullness of love, than which, our Lord hath told us, there cannot be a greater. For such tokens of love they exhibited for their brethren, as they themselves had equally received at the table of the Lord.

Let us pray as did Augustine in ending his lessons:

Turn we to the Lord God, the Father Almighty, and with pure hearts offer to him, so far as our meanness can, great and true thanks, with all our hearts praying his exceeding kindness, that of his good pleasure he would deign to hear our prayers, that by his Power he would drive out the enemy from our deeds and thoughts, that he would increase our faith, guide our understandings, give us spiritual thoughts, and lead us to his bliss, through Jesus Christ his Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with him, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Closing Hymns and Prayers


Let us pray:

O ETERNAL Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens, and rulest the raging of the sea; Vouchsafe to take into thy almighty and most gracious protection our country's Navy, and all who serve therein. Preserve them from the dangers of the sea, and from the violence of the enemy; that they may be a safeguard unto our country, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our land may in peace and quietness serve thee our God, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

2nd Hymn


Let us pray:

O LORD God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers of our country. Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

3rd Hymn


Let us pray:

UNTO Almighty God we commend the souls of our brothers departed, and we commit their bodies to the deep; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; at whose coming in glorious majesty to judge the world, the sea shall give up her dead; and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed, and made like unto his glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Amen

Final Hymn


Dismissal with Blessing:

THE Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.

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Martin of Tours

Born about 316 in Roman Pannonia (modern Hungary) to pagan parents (though his mother later converted), his father was a Tribune (officer) in the Roman Army.

In his early teens, Martin began to follow Christian teachings and became a catechumen. At 15, Martin enlisted in the Roman army and was posted to the same unit, the Imperial Horse Guard in which his father had served. While on patrol in Gaul Martin came across a beggar who was cold, so Martin cut his winter cloak in half and shared it with the man. That night Martin had a vision of Christ wearing the same cloak and saying to some angels "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clad me.", Martin was Baptized soon after.

In 336, Martin's unit was preparing for battle against one of the Germanic tribes when Martin came to his superior officer and said "I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight." Martin was charged with cowardice and placed in jail to await punishment, being placed at the front of the battle line unarmed. On the eve of the battle the Germans sued for peace and Martin was spared that fate, though he was discharged from the army.

Martin traveled to Tours, where he became a disciple of St. Hilary of Poitier, then a leading figure of catholic Christianity against the Arian heresy. Martin was a excellent student and ardent supporter of Hilary's. When Hilary was exiled by an Arian bishop, Martin left as well and carried catholic teaching to contentious areas in the hope of stemming Arian influence.

Returning from Illyria, he was confronted by the Arian archbishop of Milan Auxentius, who expelled him from the city. According to the early sources, he decided to seek shelter on the island then called Gallinaria, now Isola d'Albenga, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, where he lived the solitary life of a hermit.

In 361 Hilary was returned to his see, Martin rejoined Hilary and helped to establish a monastery nearby (the first in Gaul) and in 371 Martin succeeded Hilary as Bishop and was followed by the founding of another monastery at Marmoutier and a rudimentary parish system within Martin's bishopric.

Martin's love for his fellow man, his piety, orthodoxy and gentle nature became known far and wide and he was held in high regard by both commoner and emperor alike. Martin died 8 November 397 and was buried 11 November in the cemetery of the poor in Candes by his request.


Propers for Martinus of Tours - Soldier, Monastic and Bishop

The Collect.

O GOD, who by thy Holy Spirit didst enable thy servant Martin to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil: Grant that we, in the same Spirit, may with pure hearts and minds follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Isaiah 58:10-12.

IF thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt he called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.


The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:34-40.

THEN shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred. and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred. and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_of_Tours
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/11.html
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/s_martin.cfm

Monday, November 10, 2014

Leo the Great

Leo I (440-461) and Gregory I (590-604) are the only two bishops of Rome commonly called "the Great." Leo, at a time when the capital of the Empire had been moved to Constantinople, and the government even in Italy no longer had its headquarters at Rome, was the most important official in the city. To him fell such prosaic tasks as supervising the distribution of grain imports and reorganizing the municipal fire department. When Attila and the Huns invaded Italy in 452, he negotiated their withdrawal, and when Gaiseric (or Genseric) the Vandal captured Rome three years later, it was Leo who prevented the total destruction of the city. It is perhaps not surprising that the theory of papal supremacy gained much ground in his day.

In his day there were disagreements about the correct way to state the truth that Jesus Christ is both God and man. In 449 Leo wrote a letter (known as the Tome of Leo) to Bishop Flavian of Constantinople, in which he affirmed that Christ has two natures in one person (hypostatic union). The letter was read in 451 by the Council of Chalcedon (the fourth Ecumenical Council), and judged by them to be sound doctrine. It contributed much to the creedal statements of that council.


Propers for Leo I of Rome - Bishop and Theologian

The Collect.

O Lord our God, grant that thy Church, following the teaching of thy servant Leo of Rome, may hold fast the great mystery of our redemption, and adore the one Christ, true God and true Man, neither divided from our human nature nor separate from thy divine Being; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Epistle - 2 Timothy 1:6-14.


The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 5:13-19.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Leo_I
http://anglicangradual.stsams.org/FTP/Acrobat/2826-LeoGreat.pdf
http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/nov10.html


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Sunday, November 9, 2014

The 21st Sunday After Trinity

The Collect.

GRANT, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Ephesians vi. 10.

MY brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


The Gospel - St. John iv. 46.

THERE was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Margery Kempe

Born at Lynn in Norfolk in about 1373, Margery married and had fourteen children. After she had received several visions, she and her husband went on a pilgimage to Canterbury. Her fervent denunciations of all pleasure aroused stiff opposition and she was accused of Lollardy. In 1413 she and her husband took vows of chastity before the Bishop of Lincoln. She also made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The Book of Margery Kempe, which is almost the sole source of information about the author, describes her travels and mystical experiences. It also shows her closeness to the passion of Christ for the sins of the world. The last reference to her is on a pilgrimage to Danzig in 1433.


Propers for Margery Kempe - Confessor and Mystic

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast called us to faith in thee, and hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses; Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of thy Saints, and especially of thy servant Margery Kempe, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we with them attain to thine eternal joy; through him who is the author and finisher of our faith, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



The Epistle - Hebrews 12:1-2.

SEEING we also are compassed about with so great a of cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.



The Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40.

WHEN the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Reference and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margery_Kempe
http://www.missionstclare.com/english/people/nov9.html


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Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Octave of All Saints

The Collect:

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Revelation vii. 2:

AND I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.


The Gospel - St. Matthew v. 1:

JESUS seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.


Gervadius of Moray

was an Irish saint. His feast day is celebrated on November 8. He was an Irishman who established himself as a hermit in Scotland, near Kenedor (present day Kinneddar, Lossiemouth, Moray).

He may have emigrated to escape Viking raids in his native land. It is possible he may have been part of a Gaelic religious community that was present in Kinneddar in the 10th century, and who placed his cell in a cave in a rocky promontory to the east.

A legend states that he lit flaming torches at night to warn ships away from the dangerous rocks. Another states that once, when Gervadius needed wood to complete the construction of a church, he was miraculously assisted by a river, which washed timber down to where he was working. An alternate version states that the river brought him food. The Life of Gervadius states that he met with English soldiers sent by Athelstan in 934.


Propers for Gervadius of Moray - Monk, Hermit and Church Builder

The Collect.

O Almighty God, who hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of thy servant Gervadius, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we may with him attain to thine eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Lesson - Micah 6:6-8


The Holy Gospel - St. Matthew 25:31-40