Sunday, April 7, 2019THE 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.
Sunday, April 14, 2019THE 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.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019WEDNESDAY 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 18, 2019MAUNDY 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 19, 2019GOOD 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.
Sunday, April 21, 2019THE 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 28, 2019THE 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.