Sunday, September 28, 2014SAINT MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS
At Saint Thomas, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels twice: on its assigned date on the liturgical calendar (September 29) and on the Sunday closest, which in 2014 is September 28.
In his weekly message for the week of September 28, 2014, Fr Turner speaks of the nature and the work of the angels, and what we can learn from them.
O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always serve and worship thee in heaven, so by thy appointment they may help and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Genesis 28:10-17 , John 1:47-12
Sunday, September 21, 2014SAINT MATTHEW
Saint Matthew is famous as having been called by Jesus from, in the words of the old Prayer Book, “the receipt of custom,” to follow Jesus and be an apostle and evangelist. In other words, Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were viewed by Matthew’s fellow Jews as collaborators with the Roman State who made their living by taking money from their own people for the hated overlords and often enriched themselves in so doing. Devout Pharisees refused to marry into a family that had a member who was a tax collector, a “publican.” When Matthew held a dinner party for his fellow publicans and invited Jesus to attend (which he did), the Pharisees sharply criticized Jesus for keeping bad company. Jesus’ reply was that he came not to call the righteous but sinners.
The biblical scholars note that Saint Matthew’s Gospel is especially remarkable for its “sayings of Jesus.” While his Gospel, with important differences, largely follows the structure of the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Matthew is especially cherished for his record, among other sayings, of the Sermon on the Mount.
Learn more about Matthew from the Rector, in his weekly audio message.
We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, September 14, 2014HOLY CROSS DAY
Holy Cross Day became a feast of the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer in 1979, but the observance began in Jerusalem on September 14, 335 when the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine, built Churches to enshrine the traditional sites of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Excavations at the time discovered a relic, believed to be that of the true cross. Much of our cherished Holy Week liturgies stems from that period, spreading around Christendom through the ages. The crucifix near the pulpit, our 9/11 memorial, is mounted on a cross of stones which were from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Saint Thomas Church was founded to set forth, through preaching and teaching, through architecture, liturgy and music, through fellowship and service, the glory of the Cross of Christ. On the top of the Fifth Avenue façade is a crucifix, with the words, “Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.” And so it is that this Church is a place where many souls are drawn to the foot of the Cross: this deepest mystery, and clearest manifestation, of God’s everlasting love.
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world unto himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Genesis 3:1-15 , I Corinthians 1:18
Sunday, September 7, 2014THE THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Pr. 18)
Grant us, O Lord, we pray thee, to trust in thee with all our heart; seeing that, as thou dost alway resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so thou dost not forsake those who make their boast of thy mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Sunday, August 31, 2014THE TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Pr. 17)
Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, August 24, 2014SAINT BARTHOLOMEW
Little is known about Bartholomew, other than that he was one of the twelve apostles and that he was present at the Ascension.
Some are said to have seen Saint Bart in India, others in Armenia, and still others on Park Avenue.
O Almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word: Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church to love what he believed and to preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, August 17, 2014SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN
August 15 is a major feast day in both the west and the east. On this date, the Roman Church celebrates the Assumption of Mary, or her bodily ascent into Heaven after her death, while the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the Dormition, or Falling Asleep, of Mary, also referring to the end of her life on earth.
The Episcopal Church and much of the wider Anglican Communion calls this day the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. While this title doesn't focus specifically on the end of Mary's life, as the Roman and Eastern feast names do, we still use the same prayers and lessons as these two older traditions.
At Saint Thomas we celebrate this feast twice:
- August 15: the feast day itself, with services in the Lady Chapel (Chantry Chapel)
- The Sunday closest to August 15, which includes a Festal Eucharist at 11am.
O God, who hast taken to thyself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of thy incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of thine eternal kingdom; 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.