Calendar

Open Doors

Sunday, June 1, 2014

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 the Day of Pentecost.

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 on the Day of Pentecost. To the contemporaries of Christ, it was therefore a time of waiting.

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, June 2, 2014

The Martyrs of Lyons

Collect:

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Martyrs of Uganda

The first Christian missionaries came to Uganda in the 1880s. By 1886, thirty-two young men, all members of the court of the Ugandan king, were burned to death when they refused to renounce their faith. Accepting their fates, the martyrs went to their deaths with prayers for their tormenters on their lips, which so impacted and impressed observers and onlookers that interest in Christianity rose as a result of the public martyrdom. By the time of the Uganda Census of 2002, approximately 85% of Ugandans were Christian (about half of whom Anglican), making Uganda the most Christian nation in Africa.

At Saint Thomas, Uganda is third (after South Africa and Nigeria) in the number of visitors to our website from countries in Africa.

Collect:

O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before thee the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; 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, June 4, 2014

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Boniface

Archbishop of Mainz, Missionary to Germany, and Martyr
b.
c.675
d. 754

Collect:

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servant Boniface to be a witness and martyr in Germany, and by his labor and suffering didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

Friday, June 6, 2014

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

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Our Lady

Generally, one Saturday per month is set aside to commemorate the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Collect:

O Almighty God, who didst endue with singular grace the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord: Vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to hallow our bodies in purity, and our souls in humility and love; through the same our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

8:00 am – 3:00 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Monday, June 9, 2014

Columba

A Hymn to St Columba can be found on the fabulous Benjamin Britten CD, Rejoice in the Lamb, available in our CD Shop.

Collect:

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant Columba didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness to thee by following the example of his zeal and patience; 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, June 10, 2014

Ephrem

Deacon
d.373

Lesser Feasts & Fasts of the Episcopal Chruch summarizes the life of Ephrem in this way:

Ephrem of Edessa was a teacher, poet, orator, and defender of the faith — a voice of Aramaic Christianity, speaking the language Jesus spoke, using the imagery Jesus used. Edessa, a Syrian city, was a center for the spread of Christianity in the East long before the conversion of the western Roman empire.

The Syrians called Ephrem “The harp of the Holy Spirit,” and his hymns still enrich the liturgies of the Syrian Church. Ephrem was one whose writings were influential in the development of Church doctrine. Jerome writes: “I have read in Greek a volume of his on the Holy Spirit; though it was only a translation, I recognized therein the sublime genius of the man.”

Ephrem was born at Nisibis in Mesopotamia. At eighteen, he was baptized by James, Bishop of Nisibis. It is believed that Ephrem accompanied James to the famous Council of Nicaea in 325. He lived at Nisibis until 363, when the Persians captured the city and drove out the Christians.

Ephrem retired to a cave in the hills above the city of Edessa. There he wrote most of his spiritual works. He lived on barley bread and dried herbs, sometimes varied by greens. He drank only water. His clothing was a mass of patches. But he was not a recluse, and frequently went to Edessa to preach. Discovering that hymns could be of great value in support of the true faith, he opposed Gnostic hymns with his own, sung by a choir of women.

During a famine in 372-373, he distributed food and money to the poor and organized a sort of ambulance service for the sick. He died of exhaustion, brought on by his long hours of relief work.

Of his writings, there remain 72 hymns, commentaries on the Old and New Testaments, and numerous homilies. In his commentary on the Passion, he wrote: “No one has seen or shall see the things which you have seen. The Lord himself has become the altar, priest, and bread, and the chalice of salvation. He alone suffices for all, yet none suffices for him. He is Altar and Lamb, victim and sacrifice, priest as well as food.”

The words to #443 in our 1982 Hymnal were written by Ephrem.

Collect:

Pour out upon us, O Lord, that same Spirit by which thy deacon Ephrem rejoiced to proclaim in sacred song the mysteries of faith; and so gladden our hearts that we, like him, may be devoted to thee alone; 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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SAINT BARNABAS

Barnabas means "son of encouragement." The Rector has a fondness for him, maintaining a Barnabas file in which he keeps encouraging notes and letters he has received over the years. (The Rector was ordained as a deacon on Saint Barnabas Day in 1971).

See:

Saint Barnabas, Son of Encouragement (2009) by Fr Mead

Collect:

Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of thy faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well-being of thy Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; 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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ember Friday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

O God, who didst lead thy holy apostles to ordain ministers in every place: Grant that thy Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may choose suitable persons for the ministry of Word and Sacrament, and may uphold them in their work for the extension of thy kingdom; through him who is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ember Saturday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of thy faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all members of thy holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance

Sunday, June 15, 2014

TRINITY SUNDAY

Trinity Sunday fittingly comes one week after the Day of Pentecost, which marked the arrival of the Holy Spirit, who, in the words of the Nicene Creed, "proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified..."

It is actually the Athanasian Creed, not the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed, which most aggressively affirms the nature of the Trinity. We never say the Athanasian Creed in church, but yet it can be found in the 1979 Prayer Book on page 864 in the historical documents section. Here is the portion pertaining to the nature of the Trinity:

And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.

And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be both God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion, to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another; but the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

If you struggle with this doctrine, you're not alone: it took the Church several centuries to clarify its teaching on the nature of the Trinity. These sermons may be of help also:

The Athanasian Creed (2010) by Fr Mead
Love is All You Need (2009) by Fr Mead
The Strong Name of the Trinity (2008) by Fr Mead
The Trinity: The God of Jesus (2007) by Fr Mead
The Trinity is Our Story (2005) by Fr Austin
Three Persons in One God (2003) by Fr Mead
The Holy Trinity (2002) by Fr Mead

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: We beseech thee that thou wouldest keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see thee in thy one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, 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, June 16, 2014

Joseph Butler

Bishop of Durham
d.1752

Lesser Feasts and Fasts describes Joseph Butler's contribution in this way:

Joseph Butler, once called “the greatest of all the thinkers of the English  Church,” was born at Wantage, Berkshire, May 18, 1692, into a  Presbyterian family. He was educated at dissenting academies; but in his  early twenties he decided to become an Anglican. He entered Oriel College, Oxford, in 1715, and was ordained in 1718.

As a preacher at the Rolls Chapel for eight years, he made his mark, especially for his sermons on human nature. He served as rector of Houghton-le-Skerne (1712-25) and of Stanhope (1715-40), and as prebendary of Rochester (1736-38), before his appointment as Bishop of Bristol. He declined the primacy of Canterbury, but accepted the bishopric of Durham in 1750. He died at Bath, June 16, 1752, and was buried in Bristol Cathedral.

Butler’s fame rests chiefly on his acute apology for orthodox Christianity against the Deistic thought prevalent in England in his time, The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature, published in 1736. By careful argument, Butler maintained the “reasonable probability” of Christianity, with action upon that probability as a basis for faith. His rationalism was grounded in a deep personal piety, although he had little sympathy for the enthusiasm of the Wesleyan revival movement. Yet, in their different ways, Bishop Butler and John Wesley contributed to the renewal of the Church in eighteenth century England.

Collect:

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit dost give to some the word of wisdom, to others the word of knowledge, and to others the word of faith: We praise thy Name for the gifts of grace manifested in thy servant Joseph Butler, and we pray that thy Church may never be destitute of such gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the same Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bernard Mizeki

Catechist and Martyr in Rhodesia
d. 1896

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; 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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

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

Friday, June 20, 2014

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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Pr. 7)

Collect:

O Lord, we beseech thee, make us to have a perpetual fear
and love of thy holy Name, for thou never failest to help and
govern those whom thou hast set upon the sure foundation
of thy loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who
liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 7)

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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI

Corpus Christi is Latin for "the body of Christ." In a sense, therefore, every Eucharist is a commemoration of the feast of Corpus Christi and, at Saint Thomas, we have nearly one thousand celebrations of the Eucharist each year. But on this particular Sunday we take the time to contemplate the holy mysteries in depth, to dig deep in heart and mind as we attempt to understand what it is we are doing when we go to the altar rail to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

Of course, during Holy Week, on Maundy Thursday, we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist by our Lord. Yet, because Holy Week is full of so much activity surrounding our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, it is appropriate that we set aside a time later in the year to return to ponder this most intimate and yet ubiquitous of sacraments. The feast day itself actually falls on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. However at Saint Thomas we celebrate it on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday so that the maximum number of people can participate.
It is not by accident that this day falls after Easter Day, Ascension Day, the Day of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. The risen Lord has ascended into heaven. He has sent his Spirit, and this same Spirit consecrates the bread and wine that is received by the gathered Christian community. As Saint Augustine is reported to have said at the presentation of these Eucharistic elements, "Behold what you are, and become what you receive: the Body of Christ."

Collect:

God our Father, whose Son our Lord Jesus Christ in a wonderful Sacrament hath left unto us a memorial of his passion: Grant us so to venerate the sacred mysteries of his Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of his redemption; 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, June 23, 2014

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

In 2012 and 2007, the feast day fell on a Sunday, which created the opprotunity for these sermons:

You might also find these other recent sermons about John the Baptist helpful:

Note how the calendar works. Today we celebrate the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, which means he was less than one month from birth when Mary visited Elizabeth, which we celebrated on The Feast of the Visitation on May 31, a time when John is said to have leaped in the womb of his mother at the arrival of Mary carrying Jesus.

Collect:

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through the same thy Son 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, June 25, 2014

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Irenaeus

Bishop of Lyons
d. c.202

In his sermon, Apostolic Succession, from 2013, Fr Mead discusses

"... the lesser feast and commemoration of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (Gaul, now called France) who died in 170 AD. He was a first-rate theologian and he had the gift of engaging in theological controversy with heretics without getting nasty – a rare gift! Irenaeus also shows us how the apostolic faith was passed along and was a standard of belief in Jesus Christ. Irenaeus was from Ephesus in Asia Minor (Turkey). He was taught as a young man by Bishop Polycarp, who was a heroic martyr. And Polycarp had known Saint John the Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple who wound up his life in Ephesus. So when Irenaeus heard strange teaching, he would say, “Who told you this?” “Where did you get this?” For his part, he could say where he got the orthodox teaching about Jesus Christ! We call this the apostolic succession, not only of bishops leading back to the apostles and the Lord himself, but also of teaching, the teaching of Jesus Christ our Lord and God."

Collect:

Almighty God, who didst uphold thy servant Irenaeus with strength to maintain the truth against every blast of vain doctrine: Keep us, we beseech thee, steadfast in thy true religion, that in constancy and peace we may walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; 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, June 29, 2014

SAINT PETER AND SAINT PAUL

Apostles
d. 64

Early on in the church year, Peter and Paul, the two greatest leaders of the early Church, are commemorated separately-- Peter on January 18, for his confession of Jesus as the Messiah, and Paul on January 25, for his conversion. They are commemorated together on June 29 in observance of the tradition of the Church that they both died as martyrs in Rome during the persecution under Nero, on this date in 64. In 2015, we are celebrating this feast day no only on June 29, but also on Sunday, June 28.

You might find these sermons in the archive helpful:

Sermons about Saint Peter
Sermons about Saint Paul

Collect:

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified thee by their martyrdom: Grant that thy Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by thy Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same 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, June 30, 2014

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