Saturday, April 1, 2017
Sunday, April 2, 2017THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT
At the morning services this year for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, we have the account of Christ's raising Lazarus from the dead, a resuscitation more than a resurrection, insofar as Lazarus would live only to die again. Still, it is here that Christ makes it clear to Martha that he is "the resurrection and the life."
The irony is that the raising of Lazarus, a life-giving event, led to the crucifixion of Christ; his enemies were now more than ever determined to kill him. Yet, it is by the way of the cross that Christ defeated death, once and for all. So, the raising of Lazarus is very much a sign of what it to come, made complete in Christ’s death and resurrection. Lazarus would die again; but Christ's death led to the death of death, to life beyond death, to death no more.
O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant unto thy people that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017
Sunday, April 9, 2017THE SUNDAY OF THE PASSION: PALM SUNDAY
The liturgies on the morning of Palm Sunday are designed by the Book of Common Prayer to take us through the week to come. So, since this is Holy Week, Palm Sunday covers both the triumphant entry into Jerusalem (the Blessing of the Palms and the Palm Procession) as well as Christ's Passion, which we unpack each day of the rest of the week. The idea here is that a person could attend church only on Sundays and still participate in the entirety of Holy Week and Easter: Palm Sunday takes us through Christ's Crucifixion, and then Easter Sunday celebrates Christ's Resurrection.
Of course, we're not suggesting you skip the rest of Holy Week—indeed, we encourage you to spend the entire week with us. But if you are wondering why the morning liturgies on Palm Sunday end with Christ Crucified, you now have your answer. The church is structured so that Sunday worshippers get the gist. If you seek more than the gist, you're in luck: at Saint Thomas, we know how to dwell on the details. You are most welcome to join us as we mark each day of Holy Week in scripture, song, meditation and prayer.
Even if you cannot join us in person for everything, please know that all choral services throughout the week are webcast live and then available on-demand.
Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Monday, April 10, 2017MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; 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.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK
O God, who by the passion of thy blessed Son didst make an instrument of shameful death to be unto us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK
O Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his back to the smiters and hid not his face from shame: Grant us grace to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; 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.
Thursday, April 13, 2017MAUNDY THURSDAY
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, did institute the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may thankfully receive the same in remembrance of him who in these holy mysteries giveth us a pledge of life eternal, the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Friday, April 14, 2017GOOD FRIDAY
Over the years, we've had many guest preachers meditate on the seven last words of Christ at the Three Hours Devotion. Among them:
Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ (2015) by Fr Austin, Fr Spurlock and Fr Daniels
Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ (2014) by Fr Mead, Fr Austin, Fr Spurlock and Fr Daniels
Jesus' Seven Last Words from the Cross (2012) by The Right Rev'd Dr Robert Gillies, Bishop of Aberdeen
Meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ (2011) by Canon Andrew Diestche
Meditation on the Seven Last Words of Christ (2010) by The Very Reverend Joseph Britton
Seven Addresses on the Last Words of Our Lord from the Cross (2007) by Fr Andrew
Among some of the sermons preached at the 5:30pm Good Friday Liturgy are these:
Crucifixion & Clarity (2013) by Fr Daniels
The Blood is on Our Hands (2012) by Fr Spurlock
Father, Into Thy Hands I Commend My Rubbish (2011) by Fr Spurlock
I Thirst (2010) by Fr Austin
A Sermon for Good Friday (2008) by Fr Mead
Almighty God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Saturday, April 15, 2017HOLY SATURDAY
O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of thy dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, April 16, 2017THE SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION: EASTER DAY
Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Sunday, April 23, 2017THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER (Low Sunday)
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery hast established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017SAINT MARK
In Lesser Feasts and Fasts there is a good summary of Saint Mark:
A disciple of Jesus, named Mark, appears in several places in the New Testament. If all references to Mark can be accepted as referring to the same person, we learn that he was the son of a woman who owned a house in Jerusalem, perhaps the same house in which Jesus ate the Last Supper with his disciples. Mark may have been the young man who fled naked when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul refers to “Mark the cousin of Barnabas,” who was with him in his imprisonment. Mark set out with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but he turned back for reasons which failed to satisfy Paul (Acts 15:36-40). When another journey was planned, Paul refused to have Mark with him. Instead, Mark went with Barnabas to Cyprus. The breach between Paul and Mark was later healed, and Mark became one of Paul’s companions in Rome, as well as a close friend of Peter’s.
An early tradition recorded by Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis in Asia Minor at the beginning of the second century, names Mark as the author of the Gospel bearing his name. This tradition, which holds that Mark drew his information from the teaching of Peter, is generally accepted. In his First Letter, Peter refers to “my son Mark,” which shows a close relationship between the two men (1 Peter 5:13).
The Church of Alexandria in Egypt claimed Mark as its first bishop and most illustrious martyr, and the great Church of St. Mark in Venice commemorates the disciple who progressed from turning back while on a missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas to proclaiming in his Gospel Jesus of Nazareth as Son of God, and bearing witness to that faith in his later life as friend and companion to the apostles Peter and Paul.
For more about Saint Mark, see these two sermons by Rector. Although both are from the season of Advent, they are nonetheless ever-relevant and insightful regarding Mark:
Almighty God, who by the hand of Mark the evangelist hast given to thy Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank thee for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.