Wednesday, March 5, 2014ASH WEDNESDAY
Ash Wednesday begins the holy season of Lent, a 40-day period (excluding Sundays) extending through Holy Week, concluding at the Great Vigil on the night before Easter Day.
The imposition of ashes occurs at all three liturgies of the day -- 8am, 12:10pm and 5:30pm -- as well as throughout the day in between these services. Simply enter the Fifth Avenue doors and walk down the center aisle toward the high altar.
You might find these sermons helpful as you prepare your heart and mind for this holy season:
- Lent: The Gift of Time (2013) by Fr Mead
- Ashes and Bank Accounts (2012) by Fr Mead
- A Sermon for Ash Wednesday (2011) by Fr Spurlock
- Why Does Jesus Say to be Good in Secret? (2010) by Fr Austin
- The Pit of Contrition (2007) by Fr Mead
- Lay Up for Yourselves Treasures in Heaven (2006) by Fr Austin
- Cheerful Piety (2004) by Fr Mead
Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, March 2, 2014THE LAST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY (QUINQUAGESIMA)
The season after the Epiphany ends in glory, with Jesus revealed once more as Christ. There are many epiphanies within the season: the visit of the magi, the presentation of Jesus in the temple (and Simeon's response), the Lord's baptism, his first miracle at Cana. On this Sunday, the last of the Epiphany season before Ash Wednesday takes us into Lent, we see Christ in all his glory, his transfiguration, atop the mountain.
We celebrate the Transfiguration twice each year: on the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, and on the feast day itself, August 6.
At Saint Thomas, there have been many sermons over the years which are helpful in understanding this miraculous event. Among them are these:
The Transfiguring Glory of God (2012) by Fr Daniels
The Glory of God (2011) by Fr Daniels
Love We Can Hardly Bear to See (2010) by Fr Austin
A Sermon for the Last Sunday after Epiphany (2009) by Fr Stafford
The Transfigured Cross (2006) by Fr Mead
A Glimpse into Glory (2005) by Fr Mead
O God, who before the passion of thy only-begotten Son didst reveal his glory upon the holy mount: Grant unto us that we, beholding by faith the light of his ountenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, February 23, 2014THE SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY (SEXIGESIMA)
O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth: Send thy Holy Ghost and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, February 16, 2014THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY (SEPTUAGESIMA)
O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, February 9, 2014THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins and give us, we beseech thee, the liberty of that abundant life which thou hast manifested to us in thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, February 2, 2014THE PRESENTATION (CANDLEMAS)
Candlemas is always the 40th day of Christmas, or February 2, when, according to the Gospel of Luke, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple. Here we go beginning at verse 22 of chapter 2:
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (as it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.This passage reveals not only yet another epiphany (another revelation that this Jesus is Christ), but it also gives our tradition a great Christmas gift: Simeon's Song, also known as the Nunc dimittis, which the choir sings at every Choral Evensong.
To fully understand the significance of Candlemas, you might find these sermons helpful:
- A Light to Lighten the Gentiles (2009) by Fr Mead
- From Slavery to Sonship (2004) by Fr Mead
- From Dark Religion to Gospel Light (2002) by Fr Mead
Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thee that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.