Sunday, December 14, 2014THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT (Gaudete)
Gaudete literally means "rejoice," for the Lord is coming! And so on this Sunday you'll notice that the Advent purple gives way to a splash of rose. The frontal on the altar changes, the vestments of the clergy change, there are flowers, and the third candle—a rose one—is lit on the advent wreath. All of this is a bit of joy breaking into what is otherwise a penetential season. After today we return to purple for the remainder of Advent.
During Lent, we observe a similar break in the midst of a pentential season. It is known as Lataere Sunday, which also means "rejoice." It is always celebrated on the Fourth Sunday in Lent.
Stir up thy power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let thy bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honor and glory, world without end. Amen.
Isaiah 61:1-3,8-11 , I Thessalonians 5:16-24 , John 1:6-8,19-28
Amos 5:18,20 , Amos 9:11-15
Sunday, December 7, 2014THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Merciful God, who sent thy messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Mark 1:1-8 , Isaiah 40:1-11
Sunday, November 30, 2014THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Advent Sunday is the start of a new church year. At Saint Thomas, we celebrate Advent Sunday with a Procession at 11am and 4pm.
Advent puts past and future in the present moment and asks us to prepare, not for a distant future (for we know not when) but as if the future is today, because it is. Christ has already won the victory. So we are reminded of his incarnation, and wait for him to come again, even as we feed on him in the present moment through the Word and through the Eucharist, that is to say through Jesus Christ, the word made flesh.
As you contemplate what is, was, and is to come, consider any of these advent sermons in the archive.
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Thursday, November 27, 2014THANKSGIVING DAY
Though Thanksgiving is a holiday by annual Presidential proclamation and has developed through the great moments of American history, it is by no means restricted to the blessings of the national, political sphere. It is also deeply personal and profoundly spiritual, rooted in the soil of Holy Scripture and the faith of all believers in God.
Thanksgiving is a powerful, positive disposition of the soul. It is a grace we can receive, a habit we can learn, and a virtue we can acquire. And we can start by counting our blessings. Start off the holiday right: join us at church as we give thanks to God at 11am.
Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Deuteronomy 8:7-18 , II Corinthians 9:6-15 , Luke 17:11-19
Sunday, November 23, 2014CHRIST THE KING
Fittingly, the church year ends with Jesus "seated at the right hand of God the Father, and he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead." The following week a new chuch year begins with Advent Sunday, which is also a time of great anticipation. The great Advent Procession reaches its climax with the singing of "come thou redeemer of the earth."
And so we end the year waiting for Jesus to come, and we begin the church year waiting for Jesus to come. And all the while, Jesus already is.
As you consider the mystery of the One who was, is, and is to come, you might find these sermons in the archive helpful:
Where We're Going (2011) by Fr Austin
The Kingship of Christ (2011) by Fr Fletcher
A Different Warrior King (2009) by Fr Mead
Christ the King, and the Stranger (2008) by Fr Mead
Life with Christ the King (2007) by Fr Austin
The King's Highway: Of Judgment (2006) by Fr Andrew
Christ the King, Love Almighty (2005) by Fr Mead
An Invitation to Join the Penitent Thief (2004) by Fr Mead
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in thy well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, November 16, 2014THE TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Pr. 28)
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them; that, by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.