Calendar

Open Doors

Friday, April 28, 2017

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

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Catherine of Siena

Collect:

Everlasting God, who didst so kindle the flame of holy love in the heart of blessed Catherine of Siena, as she meditated on the passion of thy Son our Savior, that she devoted her life to the poor and the sick, and to the peace and unity of the Church: Grant that we also may share in the mystery of Christ’s death, and rejoice in the revelation of his glory; 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, April 30, 2017

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

The Gospel for The Third Sunday of Easter (Year C) is from Luke 24, wherein the risen Christ reveals himself to the disciples and actually eats before them a broiled fish and a honeycomb. Is he a ghost? Clearly not. Does he have a body? Yes, but one that is so much more than what we have.

What to make of this? These sermons by the Rector might help:

For John Updike (2009)
The Name and Power of Jesus (2006)
Physical Faith (2003)

Collect:

O God, whose blessed Son did manifest himself to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open, we pray thee, the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

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

Saturday, May 6, 2017

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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is commonly known as Good Shepherd Sunday.

Among the many sermons in the archive that can help you understand Christ as shepherd, consider these: 

Jesus Our Good Shepherd (2012) by Fr Mead
The Spring Lambs and the Shepherd (2011) by Fr Mead
Why We Need To Be Saved (2010) by Fr Mead
Do You Love Me? (2010) by Fr Austin
A Sermon for Confirmation (2009) by Bp Sisk
From Hanukkah to Easter (2004) by Fr Mead
A Safe and Nurturing Pasture (2002) by Fr Mead
The Last Krisis (2002) by Fr Mead

Collect:

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of thy people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calleth us each by name, and follow where he doth lead; who, with thee and the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, 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 8, 2017

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gregory of Nazianzus

Bishop of Constantinople
d.389

Lesser Feasts and Fasts summarizes the life of this great theologian as follows:

Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian Fathers, loved God, the art of letters, and the human race — in that order. He was born about 330 in Nazianzus in Cappadocia (now Turkey), the son of a local bishop. He studied rhetoric in Athens with his friend Basil of Caesarea, and Julian, later to be the apostate emperor. Gregory, together with Basil, compiled an anthology of Origen’s works, The Philokalia. Two years later, he returned to his home, a town then rent by heresies and schism. His defense of his father’s orthodoxy in the face of a violent mob brought peace to the town and prominence to Gregory.

In 361, against his will, Gregory was ordained presbyter, and settled down to live an austere, priestly life. He was not to have peace for long. Basil, in his fight against the Arian Emperor Valens, compelled Gregory to become Bishop of Sasima. According to Gregory, it was “a detestable little place without water or grass or any mark of civilization.” He felt, he said, like “a bone flung to the dogs.” His friendship with Basil suffered a severe break. 

Deaths in his family, and that of his estranged friend Basil, brought Gregory himself to the point of death. He withdrew for healing. In 379, Gregory moved to Constantinople, a new man and no longer in despair. He appeared as one afire with the love of God. His fame as a theologian rests on five sermons he delivered during this period on the doctrine of the Trinity. They are marked by clarity, strength, and a charming gaiety.

The next year, the new Emperor Theodosius entered Constantinople, and expelled its Arian bishop and clergy. Then, on a rainy day, the crowds in the Great Church of Hagia Sophia acclaimed Gregory bishop, after a ray of sunlight suddenly shone on him. 

Power and position meant nothing to Gregory. After the Ecumenical Council of 381, he retired to Nazianzus where he died in 389. Among the Fathers of the Church, he alone is known as “The Divine,” “The Theologian.”

Collect:

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like thy bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

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

Saturday, May 13, 2017

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

Sunday, May 14, 2017

THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

At the morning services on this Fifth Sunday of Easter, we have John's Gospel in which Christ describes himself as the true vine: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Consider reading these past sermons for some help in understanding this lesson:

Christ the Vine (2008) by Fr Mead
The True Grapevine (2005) by Fr Mead
A Sermon for Confirmation (2002) by Bishop Sisk

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, May 15, 2017

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

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.

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

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Alcuin

Deacon, Abbott of Tours
b. c.730
d. 804

This from Lesser Feasts and Fasts:

Alcuin was born about 730 near York into a noble family related to Willibrord, the first missionary to the Netherlands. He was educated at the cathedral school in York under Archbishop Egbert, a pupil of Bede.

He thus inherited the best traditions of learning and zeal of the early English Church. After ordination as a deacon in 770, he became head of the York school. Following a meeting in 781 with the Emperor Charlemagne in Pavia (Italy), he was persuaded to become the Emperor’s “prime minister,” with special responsibility for the revival of education and learning in the Frankish dominions.

Alcuin was named Abbot of Tours in 796, where he died on May 19, 804, and was buried in the church of St. Martin.

Alcuin was a man of vast learning, personal charm, and integrity of character. In his direction of Charlemagne’s Palace School at Aachen, he was chiefly responsible for the preservation of the classical heritage of western civilization. Schools were revived in cathedrals and monasteries, and manuscripts of both pagan and Christian writings of antiquity were collated and copied.

Under the authority of Charlemagne, the liturgy was reformed, and service books gathered from Rome were edited and adapted. To this work we owe the preservation of many of the Collects that have come down to us, including the Collect for Purity at the beginning of the Holy Eucharist. 

For more about the Collect for Purity, see:

What Mary Can Teach Us about Prayer (2008) by Fr Austin
Follow the Samaritan Leper (2007) by Fr Mead

Collect:

Almighty God, who in a rude and barbarous age didst raise up thy deacon Alcuin to rekindle the light of learning: Illumine our minds, we pray thee, that amid the uncertainties and confusions of our own time we may show forth thine eternal truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

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 22, 2017

Rogation Monday

To learn about Rogation Days, consider listening to this Rector's Weekly Message from 2011.

That we should remember to be thankful for, and good stewards of, the earth on these three days before Ascension Day makes a good deal of sense. After all, on Ascension Day we commemorate Christ's ascent to the right hand of the Father, thereby leaving us to go forth throughout the world, and (among other things) to care for the world.

So Rogation Days remind us of our placement in time and space, and prepare us for the physical absence of Christ, who will come again, but who for the present moment is not with us in the way he once was. He has sent the Comforter to guide us in our work, and Christ remains with in the Eucharist, and the Father provides all we need (and the Father and Christ remain accessible to us through prayer). Yet, the work we have been given is for us to do, and this work is very much tied to our lives as physical creatures in time and space. Therefore, by reminding us of our earthly responsibilities, Ascension Day, and these Rogation Days leading up to Ascension Day, ground us.

Collect:

Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: We humbly pray that thy gracious providence may give and preserve to our use the harvests of the land and of the seas, and may prosper all who labor to gather them, that we, who constantly receive good things from thy hand, may always give thee thanks; 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 23, 2017

Rogation Tuesday

To learn about Rogation Days, consider listening to this Rector's Weekly Message from 2011.

That we should remember to be thankful for, and good stewards of, the earth on these three days before Ascension Day makes a good deal of sense. After all, on Ascension Day we commemorate Christ's ascent to the right hand of the Father, thereby leaving us to go forth throughout the world, and (among other things) to care for the world.

So Rogation Days remind us of our placement in time and space, and prepare us for the physical absence of Christ, who will come again, but who for the present moment is not with us in the way he once was. He has sent the Comforter to guide us in our work, and Christ remains with in the Eucharist, and the Father provides all we need (and the Father and Christ remain accessible to us through prayer). Yet, the work we have been given is for us to do, and this work is very much tied to our lives as physical creatures in time and space. Therefore, by reminding us of our earthly responsibilities, Ascension Day, and these Rogation Days leading up to Ascension Day, ground us.

Collect:

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with thy people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to thy
will; and give to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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 26, 2017

Augustine of Canterbury

First Bishop of Canterbury
d. 605

Collect:

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy Name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; 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

Saturday, May 27, 2017

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