Calendar

Open Doors

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SAINT MARK

In Lesser Feasts and Fasts there is a good summary of Saint Mark:

A disciple of Jesus, named Mark, appears in several places in the New Testament. If all references to Mark can be accepted as referring to the same person, we learn that he was the son of a woman who owned a house in Jerusalem, perhaps the same house in which Jesus ate the Last Supper with his disciples. Mark may have been the young man who fled naked when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul refers to “Mark the cousin of Barnabas,” who was with him in his imprisonment. Mark set out with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but he turned back for reasons which failed to satisfy Paul (Acts 15:36-40). When another journey was planned, Paul refused to have Mark with him. Instead, Mark went with Barnabas to Cyprus. The breach between Paul and Mark was later healed, and Mark became one of Paul’s companions in Rome, as well as a close friend of Peter’s. 

An early tradition recorded by Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis in Asia Minor at the beginning of the second century, names Mark as the author of the Gospel bearing his name. This tradition, which holds that Mark drew his information from the teaching of Peter, is generally accepted. In his First Letter, Peter refers to “my son Mark,” which shows a close relationship between the two men (1 Peter 5:13).

The Church of Alexandria in Egypt claimed Mark as its first bishop and most illustrious martyr, and the great Church of St. Mark in Venice commemorates the disciple who progressed from turning back while on a missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas to proclaiming in his Gospel Jesus of Nazareth as Son of God, and bearing witness to that faith in his later life as friend and companion to the apostles Peter and Paul.

For more about Saint Mark, see these two sermons by Rector. Although both are from the season of Advent, they are nonetheless ever-relevant and insightful regarding Mark:

Be the Good News (2008)
Preparing the Way (2002)

Collect:

Almighty God, who by the hand of Mark the evangelist hast given to thy Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank thee for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Thursday, April 26, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Friday, April 27, 2018

Christina Rossetti

Collect:

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Saturday, April 28, 2018

9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Sunday, April 29, 2018

THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

The Gospel appointed for the morning services on this Fifth Sunday of Easter is John 14:1-14, in which Jesus tells his disciples, "In my house are many mansions..I am the way, the truth and the life."

As you try to contemplate the meaning of this alongside the disciples, consider these sermons:

Reservations in the Father's House (2011) by Fr Mead
Is Jesus the Only Way? (2010) by Fr Austin
A Presence within an Absence (2008) by Fr Austin
Pope Benedict and Jesus (2008) by Fr Mead
Freedom from Fear (2005) by Fr Mead
With God, at Rest and not at Rest (2005) by Fr Austin
Religion: Vertical and Horizonton (2002) by Fr Mead

Collect:

O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church (meet in Narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance)

Monday, April 30, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

SAINT PHILIP & SAINT JAMES

Collect:

Almighty God, who didst give to thine apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Athanasius

Collect:

Uphold thy Church, O God of truth, as thou didst uphold thy servant Athanasius, to maintain and proclaim boldly the catholic faith against all opposition, trusting solely in the grace of thine eternal Word, who took upon himself our humanity that we might share his divinity; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Thursday, May 3, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Friday, May 4, 2018

Monnica

Lesser Feasts and Fasts tells the story:

Monnica’s life story is enshrined in the spiritual autobiography of her eldest son, in The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Born in North Africa about 331, of Berber parents, Monnica was married to a Latinized provincial of Tagaste named Patricius, whom she won to the Christian faith before his death. In her earlier years she was not without worldly ambitions and tastes. She grew in Christian maturity and spiritual insight through an ever-deepening life of prayer.

Her ambition for her gifted son was transformed into a passionate desire for his conversion to Christ. After his baptism in Milan in 387, by Bishop Ambrose, Augustine and his mother, together with a younger brother, planned to return home to Africa. While awaiting ship at Ostia, the port of Rome, Monnica fell ill.

Augustine writes, “One day during her illness she had a fainting spell and lost consciousness for a short time. We hurried to her bedside, but she soon regained consciousness and looked up at my brother and me as we stood beside her. With a puzzled look, she asked, ‘Where was I?’ Then, watching us closely as we stood there speechless with grief, she said, ‘You will bury your mother here.’ ”

Augustine’s brother expressed sorrow, for her sake, that she would die so far from her own country. She said to the two brothers, “It does not matter where you bury my body. Do not let that worry you. All I ask of you is that, wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord.” To the question, whether she was not afraid at the thought of leaving her body in an alien land, she replied, “Nothing is far from God, and I need have no fear that he will not know where to find me, when he comes to raise me to life at the end of the world.”

Recent excavations at Ostia have uncovered her original tomb. Her mortal remains, however, were transferred in 1430 to the Church of St. Augustine in Rome.

While Monnica is sadly missing from sermons in our online sermon archive, there are of course many references to Augustine. You might be interested in this one:

To be Transformed, Present your Body (2008) by Fr Austin

Collect:

O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen they servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Saturday, May 5, 2018

9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Sunday, May 6, 2018

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

The Sixth Sunday of Easter is often called Rogation Sunday, as it precedes the three rogation days that always fall on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Ascension Day. You'll notice hints of prepartion for the rogation days in the morning services today, when at times there is an emphasis on God our creator and provider. For example, pay attention to the words of the psalm and the hymns. See also the words of the collect, which, through petition and gratitude, approaches God as the provider of all things.

Among the sermons in the archive that can help you understand God as creator and provider, consider these:

The Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth (2011) by Fr Spurlock
On Providence (2010) by Fr Austin
Bread and Life, Freedom and Friendship (2009) by Fr Austin
All Ours as Gift (2008) by Fr Austin
Food in the Wilderness (2003) by Fr Mead

Collect:

O God, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding: Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee in all things and above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church (meet in Narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance)

Monday, May 7, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Julian

Dame Julian of Norwich
b. c.1342
d. c.1417

Believed to be the first woman to write a book in the English language (see Norwich Cathedral's website), Dame Julian authored Revelations of Divine Love after her experience at age 30 of having fifteen visions of the Passion when she suddenly recovered from a deadly illness.

Lesser Feasts and Fasts has a detailed descrption of her life, which ends: Lady Julian’s book is a tender and beautiful exposition of God’s eternal and all-embracing love, showing how his charity toward the human race is exhibited in the Passion. Again and again she referred to Christ as “our courteous Lord.” Many have found strength in the words the Lord had given her: “I can make all things well; I will make all things well; I shall make all things well; and thou canst see for thyself that all manner of things shall be well.”

Collect:

Lord God, who in thy compassion didst grant to the Lady Julian many revelations of thy nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek thee above all things, for in giving us thyself thou givest us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Thursday, May 10, 2018

ASCENSION DAY

As you contemplate the ascension, consider these sermons:

He Ascended into Heaven (2011) by Fr Spurlock
Ascension Day Greetings (2010) by Fr Mead
A Presence within an Absence (2008) by Fr Austin
The Ascension, the Church, and the World (2006) by Fr Austin
The Ascension: Christ Fills All Things (2002) by Fr Mead

Collect:

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Friday, May 11, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Saturday, May 12, 2018

9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Sunday, May 13, 2018

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

The Seventh Sunday of Easter is also called The Sunday after Ascension Day. Because Ascension Day is always the 40th Day of Easter and Pentecost is always the 50th Day, The Sunday after Ascension Day is always the Sunday preceding Pentecost. So it is always the last Sunday in the Easter season.

These last 10 days of Easter are called Ascensiontide, the period of time after Christ ascended to the Father, yet before the coming of the Spirit. It, therefore, was a time of waiting, yet with much to do. Not unlike the way we live now...though we have the Spirit ever with us.

There are some sermons in the archive that can help you understand all of this. Consider:

He Ascended into Heaven (2011) by Fr Spurlock
The Presence of Christ in Works of Love (2010) by Fr Mead
A Sermon for Ascensiontide (2009) by Fr Mead
A Presence within an Absence (2008) by Fr Austin
God's Cloud and Fire (2003) by Fr Mead
The Ascension: Christ Fills All Things (2002) by Fr Mead

Collect:

O God, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven: We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless, but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Savior Christ is gone before; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church (meet in Narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance)

Monday, May 14, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Thursday, May 17, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Friday, May 18, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Dunstan

Archbishop of Canterbury
b. c.909
d. 988

From Lesser Feasts and Fasts of the Episcopal Church:

In the ninth century, under King Alfred the Great, England had achieved considerable military, political, cultural, and even some ecclesiastical recovery from the Viking invasions. It was not until the following century that there was a revival of monasticism. In that, the leading figure was Dunstan.

Dunstan was born about 909 into a family with royal connections. He became a monk and in 943 was made Abbot of Glastonbury. During a year-long political exile in Flanders, he encountered the vigorous currents of the Benedictine monastic revival. King Edgar recalled Dunstan to England in 957, appointed him Bishop of Worcester, then of London; and, in 960, named him Archbishop of Canterbury. Together with his former pupils, Bishops Aethelwold of Winchester and Oswald of Worcester (later of York), Dunstan was a leader of the English Church. All three have been described as “contemplatives in action” — bringing the fruits of their monastic prayer-life to the immediate concerns of Church and State. They sought better education and discipline among the clergy, the end of  landed family interest in the Church, the restoration of  former monasteries and the establishment of new ones, a revival of monastic life for women, and a more elaborate and carefully ordered liturgical worship.

This reform movement was set forth in the “Monastic Agreement,” a common code for English monasteries drawn up by Aethelwold about 970, primarily under the inspiration of Dunstan. It called for continual intercession for the royal house, and emphasized the close tie between the monasteries and the crown. This close alliance of  Church and State, sacramentalized in the anointing of the King, was expressed liturgically in the earliest English coronation ceremony of which a full text survives, compiled for King Edgar by Dunstan and his associates.

The long-term effects of this tenth-century reform resulted in the development of two peculiarly English institutions: the “monastic cathedral,” and “monk-bishops.”

Dunstan is reputed to have been an expert craftsman. His name is especially associated with the working of metals and the casting of bells, and he was regarded as the patron saint of those crafts.

Collect:

O God of truth and beauty, who didst richly endow thy bishop Dunstan with skill in music and the working of metals, and with gifts of administration and reforming zeal: Teach us, we beseech thee, to see in thee the source of all our talents, and move us to offer them for the adornment of worship and the advancement of true religion; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Sunday, May 20, 2018

THE DAY OF PENTECOST (WHITSUNDAY)

Today we mark the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Comforter, an arrival which (2,000 years ago) transformed fearful and self-conscious men and women into fearless and selfless evangelists for Christ. Pentecost is, in many ways, the birthday of the Church. But it is not merely that. It is the acknowledgement and celebration of the on-going action of God in our lives, through the Spirit.

To gain a richer understanding, consider these sermons:

I Believe in the Holy Ghost (2011) by Fr Daniels
A Sermon for the Day of Pentecost (2010) by John Polkinghorne
The Holy Spirit Gives us a Future (2010) by Fr Austin
From Pentecost to Pop Hale to Fifth Avenue (2009) by Fr Mead
Three Points about Pentecost (2008) by Fr Mead
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, There is Freedom (2006) by Fr Austin

Collect:

O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church (meet in Narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance)

Monday, May 21, 2018

First Book of Common Prayer

Lesser Feasts and Fasts recounts the history of the Prayer Book in this way:

The first Book of Common Prayer came into use on the Day of  Pentecost, June 9, 1549, in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth. From it have descended all subsequent editions and revisions of the Book in the Churches of the Anglican Communion. 

Though prepared by a commission of learned bishops and priests, the format, substance, and style of the Prayer Book were primarily the work of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1533-1556. The principal sources  employed in its compilation were the medieval Latin service books of the Use of Sarum (Salisbury), with enrichments from the Greek liturgies, certain ancient Gallican rites, the vernacular German forms prepared by Luther, and a revised Latin liturgy of the reforming Archbishop Hermann of Cologne. The Psalter and other biblical passages were drawn from the English “Great Bible” authorized by King Henry the Eighth in 1539, and the Litany was taken from the English form issued as early as 1544.

The originality of the Prayer Book, apart from the felicitous translations and paraphrases of the old Latin forms, lay in its simplification of the complicated liturgical usages of the medieval Church, so that it was suitable for use by the laity as well as by the clergy. The Book thus became both a manual of common worship for Anglicans and a primary resource for their personal spirituality.

At Saint Thomas, all Eucharists utilize the 1979 Prayer Book, either Rite I or Rite II, depending on the service. The relevant words are printed on service cards so that worshippers may fully participate. We keep 1928 Prayer Books in the pews because the Daily Office (Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Evensong) are carried out according to 1928 language, and also because the Psalter in the 1928 Prayer Book is close to the language of the Coverdale Psalter used by the Choir.

Collect:

Almighty and everliving God, whose servant Thomas Cranmer, with others, did restore the language of the people in the prayers of thy Church: Make us always thankful for this heritage; and help us so to pray in the Spirit and with the understanding, that we may worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Jackson Kemper

First Missionary Bishop in the United States
d. 1870

In an article about the awarding of an honorary doctorate to John Scott, the Rector wrote about one of Jackson Kemper's lasting contributions to the Episcopal Church in his December 2007 Chronicle.

Collect:

Lord God, in whose providence Jackson Kemper was chosen first missionary bishop in this land, that by his arduous labor and travel congregations might be established in scattered settlements of the West: Grant that the Church may always be faithful to its mission, and have the vision, courage, and perseverance to make known to all people the Good News of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance