Category Archives: Homily

Are you a Modern-Day Pharisee or Once Saved Always Saved?

10th Sunday after Pentecost

Processional Hymn:

Are you a Modern-Day Pharisee or Once Saved Always Saved?
Archbishop Edward L. Tatro, Jr.

This Sunday my Brothers and Sisters I am not using the lectionary for today, instead I was given an inspiration from the Holy Spirit and we are going to do some expounding on it.

Have you heard or even been guilty of saying: “Once saved always saved?” Lets take an adventure through the Holy Word!

We begin in Jeremiah 6: 27-30 (ESV) “27“I have made you a tester of metals among my people,
that you may know and test their ways.
28They are all stubbornly rebellious,
going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron;
all of them act corruptly.
29The bellows blow fiercely;
the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
for the wicked are not removed.
30Rejected silver they are called,
for the LORD has rejected them.”

Are you or have you become rejected silver?

Let us continue in Jeremiah 7:8-10 (ESV) 8“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations?” Moving further into Jeremiah…11:15-16 (ESV) 15What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done many vile deeds? Can even sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? 16The LORD once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed” Be careful and vigilant for you may just made yourself tinder!

Lets jump to Proverbs 2:14-15 and Psalm 83:2 (ESV). Proverbs: “who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil, 15men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.” Psalm: 2For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads.” Do you seek things that are against the Kingdom of God? We are suppose to bear good fruit! What happens to the bad?

Lets go to John 15:2 and Isaiah 27:11 (ESV). John: “2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” Isaiah: “11When its boughs are dry, they are broken; women come and make a fire of them.” Again I say be watchful or you may become tinder in His sight!

Let us turn to John 13:18 and Jeremiah 32:33-34 (ESV). John: “18I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’” Jeremiah: “33They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction. 34They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it.” Remember your actions, thoughts, words, etc. will either bless His House or defile it!!!

In John 15: 16 (ESV) it says: “16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” In Matthew 15:3 (ESV) He says: “13He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. “ Now let us go to Daniel 11:35 (ESV) “35and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.” Some of us will be refined, however I am not speaking to those right now. I’m addressing those who have become modern day Pharisees.

It says in Matthew 13:41-42 (ESV) 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” O repent ye who only give lip service to the Lord! I know you are probably thinking but Pastor doesn’t Romans 3:23-25 say “ 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” I would agree with you, however, if one continues to wall in sin it says in Romans 1:28-31 (KJV) 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…” God will turn you over to a reprobate or worthless mind.

I call upon you to repent, repent, REPENT! Repent and return to the TRUTH! Return to Him, His Word and His Traditions! Claim Christ as Savior and live that way and not as someone who defiles God’s Holy House!

Recessional Hymn:

On God’s Side

Eight Sunday after Pentecost

Processional Hymn:

A Reading from the Book of 1st Kings 3:5-12
5That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
6Solomon replied, “You showed faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued your faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne.
7“Now, O LORD my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. 8And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! 9Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— 12I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have!

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm 119:129-136
129Your laws are wonderful.
No wonder I obey them!
130The teaching of your word gives light,
so even the simple can understand.
131I pant with expectation,
longing for your commands.
132Come and show me your mercy,
as you do for all who love your name.
133Guide my steps by your word,
so I will not be overcome by evil.
134Ransom me from the oppression of evil people;
then I can obey your commandments.
135Look upon me with love;
teach me your decrees.
136Rivers of tears gush from my eyes
because people disobey your instructions.

Epistle Hymn:

A Reading from the Letter to the Romans 8:26-39
26And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

31What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?32Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?33Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Word of the Lord!
Thanks be to God!

Sequence Hymn:

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to Matthew 13:31-33,44-52
31Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

33Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

44“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

45“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!

47“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. 48When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. 49That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, 50throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51Do you understand all these things?”
“Yes,” they said, “we do.”

52Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.”

The Gospel of the Lord!
Praise to you Lord Christ!

Commentary:
Here are four parables. 1. That of the treasure hid in the field. Many slight the gospel, because they look only upon the surface of the field. But all who search the Scriptures, so as in them to find Christ and eternal life, Joh 5:39, will discover such treasure in this field as makes it unspeakably valuable; they make it their own upon any terms. Though nothing can be given as a price for this salvation, yet much must be given up for the sake of it. 2. All the children of men are busy; one would be rich, another would be honourable, another would be learned; but most are deceived, and take up with counterfeits for pearls. Jesus Christ is a Pearl of great price; in having him, we have enough to make us happy here and forever. A man may buy gold too dear, but not this Pearl of great price. When the convinced sinner sees Christ as the gracious Saviour, all things else become worthless to his thoughts. 3. The world is a vast sea, and men, in their natural state, are like the fishes. Preaching the gospel is casting a net into this sea, to catch something out of it, for His glory who has the sovereignty of this sea. Hypocrites and true Christians shall be parted: miserable is the condition of those that shall then be cast away. 4. A skilful, faithful minister of the gospel, is a scribe, well versed in the things of the gospel, and able to teach them. Christ compares him to a good householder, who brings forth fruits of last year’s growth and this year’s gathering, abundance and variety, to entertain his friends. Old experiences and new observations, all have their use. Our place is at Christ’s feet, and we must daily learn old lessons over again, and new ones also.

Story Time

How would you get young people interested in classical music? A few years ago Richard Dreyfuss starred in the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus. You’ve probably seen it. Mr. Holland is a high school music teacher who is passionate about music. He loves Beethoven, Bach, Mozart. For Mr. Holland “music is…about heart, it’s about feelings, moving people, and something beautiful, and it’s not about notes on a page.” But how do you communicate that passion to a bunch of teenagers who have as much energy for Bach as they do for household chores? When Mr. Holland starts talking about the classical composers he meets a sea of blank faces and bored looks.

And then one-day Mr. Holland discovers something amazing. He starts playing one of the hit pop songs of the time. All of a sudden the students perk up, their feet start tapping to the beat, their heads start nodding with the rhythm. “You like that huh?” asks Mr. Holland. “Do you know what it is? It’s Beethoven.” This pop song has taken one of Beethoven’s melodies and set it to a rock beat, played it with electric guitars rather than violins, and given it lyrics that speak about boys and girls falling in love. All of a sudden Beethoven is not some ancient relic of a bygone era. All of a sudden Beethoven is relevant, Beethoven has become meaningful to Mr. Holland’s students. Beethoven connects.

When people hear about Christianity they can sometimes become a bit like Mr. Holland’s students. Their eyes glaze over, their face goes blank, and they’re bored by it. They’re telling me, “I’m not interested in a faith which is nothing more than an ancient relic of a bygone era. I’m interested in a faith which is a dynamic force in my era. I’m not interested in a faith that speaks to the questions of yesterday, I’m interested in a faith that speaks to the questions I face today. I’m not interested in a faith that dredges through the issues of the past. I’m interested in a faith that engages with the issues of today.” Do you ever find yourself feeling like that?

You know the wonderful thing about the Christian faith is that it can be like Beethoven was for Mr. Holland’s students. It’s a song that can be played anew in every era; a melody line that repeats through history, but played using the instruments of our time, with a beat we can dance to. And the task of the Christian church is to take this ancient song and play it in such a way that it connects with the people of our time, the mood of our time and the issues of our time.

Source: Scott Higgins

One more story to tie this all together.

During the US civil war Abraham Lincoln met with a group of ministers for a prayer breakfast. Lincoln was not a church-goer but was a man of deep, if at times unorthodox, faith. At one point one of the ministers said, “Mr President, let us pray that God is on our side”. Lincoln’s response showed far greater insight, “No, gentlemen, let us pray that we are on God’s side.”

Lincoln reminded those ministers that religion is not a tool by which we get God to do what we want but an invitation to open ourselves to being and doing what God wants.
We must remember through both our prayers, words and actions that we are on God’s side. We may stumble but it is through Christ that we are washed anew. I call upon you all to return to God, and His most Holy Church and Her Traditions. It is with God that we have life, we have sanctuary, we have peace and substance. He succors us spiritually and physically. In this unstable political time in America we must remember the wise words of President Lincoln, let us pray that we are on God’s side, and pray that He gives us the Wisdom He bestowed upon Solomon to do His will amongst His Children!

Remember what St. Paul so adequately and powerfully wrote in his Letter to the Romans, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”, but we must always live for God and obey His Commands. Come and feast on His Truth, His Holy Mana, His Table is spread for all sinners and His Sacrifice is for us all that take it upon us to claim the title of Child of God and confess to the world that we are His!

Come ye Sinners to the Savior’s great feast and take upon His Holy Yoke and ever pray that we are on His side!

All God’s Church says: AMEN!

Let us walk unto the Lord and offering and a sacrifice.

Offertory Hymn:

Doxology

Communion Hymn:

Spiritual Communion:
My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.

Recessional Hymn:

Praying for your Spouse

We as Christians and children of Almighty God are instructed in many of the verses of Sacred Scripture to pray.  In Ephesians 6:8 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Husbands,  the first person that should and must be on your prayer list is your wife.  My darling Snowie came across a nice break down on praying for your wife and vise versa.  I’m going to break it down here.   All scripture comes from the New Living Translation.

Continue reading Praying for your Spouse

God is our last hope because we are God’s first love.

7th Sunday after Pentecost Year A

Processional Hymn:

A Reading from the Book of Genesis 28:10-19
10Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
13At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
16Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”
18The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. 19He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although it was previously called Luz.
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Responsive at the half verse (italics)
1O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
5You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Epistle Hymn:

A Reading from the Letter to the Romans 8:12-25
12Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father. 16For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
18Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Sequence Hymn:

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
24Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
27“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
28“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
29“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
36Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”
37Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. 38The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one.39The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.
40“Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Christ!

Commentary:
The scope of the parable of the seed sown, is to show that the beginnings of the gospel would be small, but its latter end would greatly increase; in this way the work of grace in the heart, the kingdom of God within us, would be carried on. In the soul where grace truly is, it will grow really; though perhaps at first not to be discerned, it will at last come to great strength and usefulness. The preaching of the gospel works like leaven in the hearts of those who receive it. The leaven works certainly, so does the word, yet gradually. It works silently, and without being seen, Mr 4:26-29, yet strongly; without noise, for so is the way of the Spirit, but without fail. Thus it was in the world. The apostles, by preaching the gospel, hid a handful of leaven in the great mass of mankind. It was made powerful by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, who works, and none can hinder. Thus it is in the heart. When the gospel comes into the soul, it works a thorough change; it spreads itself into all the powers and faculties of the soul, and alters the property even of the members of the body, Ro 6:13. From these parables we are taught to expect a gradual progress; therefore let us inquire, Are we growing in grace? and in holy principles and habits?

Story Time.
I’m going to tell you the story of God and a Nazi Solider.
It was 1945, World War II had drawn to a close, and a young man sat broken inside a POW camp. He had been a reluctant soldier in Hitler’s army and here, inside a prison in Scotland, he had months to contemplate what had been and what was to come. The cities of his homeland had been reduced to rubble and the people impoverished. His sleep was filled with repeating nightmares in which the terrors of warfare were lived over and over.
And then came what was for me the worst of all. In September 1945, in camp 22 in Scotland, we were confronted with pictures of Belsen and Auschwitz. They were pinned up in one of the huts, without comment… Slowly and inexorably the truth filtered into our awareness, and we saw ourselves mirrored in the eyes of the Nazi victims. Was this what we had fought for? Had my generation, as the last, been driven to our deaths so that the concentration camp murderers could go on killing, and Hitler could live a few months longer?… The depression over the wartime destruction and a captivity without any apparent end was exacerbated by feelings of profound shame and having to share in this disgrace. That was undoubtedly the hardest thing, a stranglehold that choked us.
An unshakeable shame saturated his being and the only future he could see stretching out before him was one that filled him with despair. Yet it was in the midst of this shame and despair that God found him. A visiting chaplain gave the soldier a Bible and, with little else to do, he began reading it. In the lament Psalms he heard resonant voices, the agony of people who felt God had abandoned them. In the story of Christ crucified he encountered a God who knew what it was to experience suffering, abandonment, and shame. Feeling utterly forsaken himself, the German soldier found a friend in the One who cried “my God my God why have you forsaken me”.
In 1947 he was given permission to attend a Christian conference that brought together young people from across the world. The Dutch participants asked to meet with the German POWs who had fought in the Netherlands. The young soldier was one of them. He went to the meeting full of fear, guilt and shame, feelings that intensified as the Dutch Christians spoke of the pain Hitler and his allies had inflicted, of the dread the Gestapo bred in their hearts, of the family and friends they had lost, of the disruption and damage to their communities. Yet the Dutch Christians didn’t speak out of a spirit of vindictiveness, but came to offer forgiveness. It was completely unexpected. These Dutch Christians embodied the love the German soldier had read about in the story of Christ and it turned his life upside down. He discovered despite all that had passed “God looked on us with ‘the shining eyes’ of his eternal joy”, that there was hope for the future.
That German soldier was Juergen Moltmann, who would go on to become one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. Years later, with the message of the loving, crucified God still indelibly printed on his heart, he penned these beautiful words.
But the ultimate reason for our hope is not to be found at all in what we want, wish for and wait for; the ultimate reason is that we are wanted and wished for and waited for. What is it that awaits us? Does anything await us at all, or are we alone? Whenever we base our hope on trust in the divine mystery, we feel deep down in our hearts: there is someone who is waiting for you, who is hoping for you, who believes in you. We are waited for as the prodigal son in the parable is waited for by his father. We are accepted and received, as a mother takes her children into her arms and comforts them. God is our last hope because we are God’s first love.

Source: Moltmann’s writings. Quotes from The Source of Life.The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life. Fortress Press 1977

This goes to show brothers and sisters that God’s Grace is plentiful for all those that seek Him, love Him and Honor His Commandments. He sent His only Son to be nailed to a tree for us. Now is the time to wake up and live our lives as He asks us to.

Offertory Hymn:

Recessional Hymn:

Stop Selling Sugar Water

The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Processional Hymn:

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 55:10-13
10“The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
11It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
12You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song,
and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm (Parish to respond with the words in italics)
1What mighty praise, O God,
belongs to you in Zion.
We will fulfill our vows to you,
2for you answer our prayers.
All of us must come to you.
3Though we are overwhelmed by our sins,
you forgive them all.
4What joy for those you choose to bring near,
those who live in your holy courts.
What festivities await us
inside your holy Temple.
5You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
O God our savior.
You are the hope of everyone on earth,
even those who sail on distant seas.
6You formed the mountains by your power
and armed yourself with mighty strength.
7You quieted the raging oceans
with their pounding waves
and silenced the shouting of the nations.
8Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy.
9You take care of the earth and water it,
making it rich and fertile.
The river of God has plenty of water;
it provides a bountiful harvest of grain,
for you have ordered it so.
10You drench the plowed ground with rain,
melting the clods and leveling the ridges.
You soften the earth with showers
and bless its abundant crops.
11You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
12The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture,
and the hillsides blossom with joy.
13The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep,
and the valleys are carpeted with grain.
They all shout and sing for joy!

Let us profess our faith through song.

A Reading from The Letter to the Romans 8:1-11
1So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

5Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

9But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
 

Sequence Hymn:

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:1-9,18-23
1Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

18“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you Lord Christ.
 

Homily Hymn

Stop Selling Sugar Water!

Commentary

Christ taught in parables. Thereby the things of God were made more plain and easy to those willing to be taught, and at the same time more difficult and obscure to those who were willingly ignorant. The parable of the sower is plain. The seed sown is the word of God. The sower is our Lord Jesus Christ, by himself, or by his ministers. Preaching to a multitude is sowing the corn; we know not where it will light. Some sort of ground, though we take ever so much pains with it, brings forth no fruit to purpose, while the good soil brings forth plentifully. So it is with the hearts of men, whose different characters are here described by four sorts of ground. Hypocrites, like the stony ground, often get the start of true Christians in the shows of profession. Many are glad to hear a good sermon, who do not profit by it. They are told of free salvation, of the believer’s privileges, and the happiness of heaven; and, without any change of heart, without any abiding conviction of their own depravity, their need of a Saviour, or the excellence of holiness, they soon profess an unwarranted assurance. But when some heavy trial threatens them, or some sinful advantage may be had, they give up or disguise their profession, or turn to some easier system.

Parable Time

Who among us could live without computers? It seems they’re everywhere – in our studies at home, on our desks at work, in the library, the bank and even the cafe. We get pleasure from them, we swear at them, we need them.

But it’s only a recent thing. Just 3 generations ago the Chairman of IBM declared there is a world market for only five computers. As recently as 1977 the President of Digital Equipment claimed there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home!

The revolution was brought to us in large part by Steven Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers. Steve Jobs was just 21 when he and Steve Wozniak invented the Apple Computer. Until then computers were a monstrous mass of vacuum tubes which took whole rooms. Then the two Steve’s managed to take that mass of tubes and incorporate them inside a box small enough to sit on a desk.

Jobs and Wozniak offered their invention to Atari. They weren’t interested in big bucks – all they wanted was a salary and the opportunity to continue their work. Atari knocked them back. They offered it to Hewlett-Packard, but Hewlett Packard knocked them back. It seemed Jobs and Wozniak alone could see the possibilities. So Jobs sold his Volkswagon and Wozniak sold his calculator, and with the $1300 that gave them they formed Apple Computers. The company was named Apple in memory of a happy summer Jobs had spent working in an orchard.

The rest is history. By all accounts Steve Jobs is a visionary, and spurred on by that vision he built a successful computer company. But Jobs soon discovered that if his vision was to reach fruition they needed greater management expertise. So Jobs approached John Sculley, then President of PepsiCo. There was absolutely no reason why Sculley should leave a highly paid position in a world leading company to go work with a bunch of computer nerds in a fledgling industry. Not unsurprisingly he turned Jobs down. But Jobs wouldn’t take no for an answer. He approached Sculley again. Again Sculley turned him down. In a last ditch effort Jobs passionately presented his visionary ideas to Sculley and he asked Sculley a question that forced him to accept.

The question was this: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” Indeed Jobs and Sculley did change the world.

Jesus comes to us with the same question: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” Most of us spend our lives making sugared water, going to work to accumulate more possessions and perhaps finding space for God and the world in our spare time. But Jesus had a vision to change the world. His was the vision of the kingdom of God and he calls us to place it at the center of our lives, to make it our reason for existence.

When we make His vision the center of our lives our mundane troubles melt away.  We need to stop selling the sugar water of human life and start Giving the TRUTH of the Gospel to all. Don’t be like the hypocrites and run to something easy for easy faith is of the Devil.

The Doxology:

Recessional Hymn:

Abba the Greatest Father

A Service for Fathers’ Day
Note Bene: Today’s Readings are not based on the Lectionary for this day.

Processional Hymn:

Greeting:
Let Us Begin all things as we should. In the Name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you
All: and with thy spirit.

See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called the children of God.
You are my sons and daughters,
this day I have begotten you.
See what love the Father has given us.
As many as received him,
to them he gave power to become the children of God.
See what love the Father has given us.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called the children of God.
Continue reading Abba the Greatest Father

God Uses Flawed People

The following proper is suggested for use on the anniversary of ordination of an individual bishop, priest, or deacon. On a Sunday or major feast day, the proper of the day is used in place of the proper given here.

Introit: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest, said Jesus to his disciples.  Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.

Processional Hymn:

Collect: Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders of ministers in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine, and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis

Collect:
Holy Father, who, by no merit of my own, chose me
for communion with the eternal priesthood of your Christ
and for the ministry of your Church,
grant that I may be an ardent yet gentle preacher of the Gospel
and a faithful steward of your mysteries.
Amen.

Lesson: For a Bishop: A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 61:1-8
1The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
4They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
5Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;
foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
6but you shall be called the priests of the Lord;
they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
and in their glory you shall boast.
7Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;
instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;
therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;
they shall have everlasting joy.
8For I the Lord love justice;
I hate robbery and wrong;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Responsorial Psalm:
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

Epistle: For a Bishop: A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews 5:1-10
1For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;
6as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
The Word of the Lord!
Thanks be to God!

Sequence Hymn:

The Holy Gospel: For a Bishop: A Reading from the Holy Gospel of John 20:19-23
19On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

The Gospel of the Lord!
Praise to you Lord Christ!

Continue reading God Uses Flawed People

Pentecost Sunday 2017

Johann Michael Rottmayr ( 1714 )

Introit: The Spirit of the Lord filleth the whole world, alleluia, and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; let them also that hate him flee before him.

The Sacred Ministers kneel before the altar, and all others kneel in place, while the following is sung

All rise, and preparations are made, and the Deacon begins the procession as follows
At the Procession
Deacon: Let us go forth in peace.
In the Name of Christ. Amen.

Processional Hymn:

Deacon: Send forth thy Spirit, O Lord, alleluia.
And thou shalt renew the face of the earth, alleluia.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we who here observe the day whereon thou didst send forth thy Holy Spirit, may in such wise be influenced with heavenly desires, that we may ever thirst for the waters of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Deacon: The Apostles spake with other tongues, alleluia.
The wonderful works of God, alleluia.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, merciful God, that thy Church, being gathered together in unity by thy Holy Spirit, may manifest thy power among all peoples, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis

Collect: O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Lesson: A Reading from the Book of Numbers
11:24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent.

11:25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

11:26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.

11:27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

11:28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!”

11:29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!”

11:30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the ear

Epistle: A Reading from the Book of Acts
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Hymn:

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. Kneel Come, Holy Ghost, and fill the hearts of thy
faithful people, and kindle in them the fire of thy love. Rise. Alleluia!

Sequence Hymn:

The Holy Gospel: A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
The Gospel of the Lord! Alleluia!
Praise Be To You Lord Christ! Alleluia!

The Holy Feast of Pentecost
Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.
Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, celebrates the birthday of the Church, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles in the Acts of the Apostles. Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter. Christian Pentecost differs from the Jewish celebration of the same name.

On Pentecost, a flame rested upon the shoulders of the apostles, and they began to speak in tongues (languages), by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus Pentecost is a time for many Anglicans and other Christians to celebrate two important realities: the Holy Spirit and the Church.

Pentecost has long been a very important feast in The Catholic and Orthodox Churches because it celebrates the official beginning of the Church. It is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Eastern Church, second only in importance to Pascha (Easter). Pentecost always falls on a Sunday, fifty days after Easter Sunday (inclusive of Easter Sunday), and occurs during mid-to-late Spring in the Northern hemisphere, and mid-to-late autumn in the Southern hemisphere. The summer season of Ordinary Time begins on the Monday immediately following Pentecost Sunday.

From the Commentary:
The disciples had shut the doors for fear of the Jews; and when they had no such expectation, Jesus himself came and stood in the midst of them, having miraculously, though silently, opened the doors. It is a comfort to Christ’s disciples, when their assemblies can only be held in private, that no doors can shut out Christ’s presence. When He manifests his love to believers by the comforts of his Spirit, he assures them that because he lives, they shall live also. A sight of Christ will gladden the heart of a disciple at any time; and the more we see of Jesus, the more we shall rejoice. He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, thus showing that their spiritual life, as well as all their ability for their work, would be derived from him, and depended upon him. Every word of Christ which is received in the heart by faith, comes accompanied by this Divine breathing; and without this there is neither light nor life. Nothing is seen, known, discerned, or felt of God, but through this. After this, Christ directed the apostles to declare the only method by which sin would be forgiven. This power did not exist at all in the apostles as a power to give judgment, but only as a power to declare the character of those whom God would accept or reject in the day of judgment. They have clearly laid down the marks whereby a child of God may be discerned and be distinguished from a false professor; and according to what they have declared shall every case be decided in the day of judgment. When we assemble in Christ’s name, especially on his holy day, he will meet with us, and speak peace to us.

Today we receive the second Greatest gift from God, the Holy Spirit. The 12 where scared to be arrested and locked themselves in the upper room. Even though the doors were locked our Lord and Savior showed his great power and entered into that room and stood in the midst of his apostles. He gave us the Gift of the Holy Spirit, to guide and teach us until His return in Full Glory. Let us not waste the gifts of our most Loving Father. We have been commissioned one and all to bare Christ to all the world. We must live by His Example to show the world who Christ is.
I say to you today, Receive the Great Gift of Christ and teach those with whom you encounter the awesomeness, power, and might of our Almighty God and our Savior who is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Offertory Sentence: Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and make good your vows unto the Most High. Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; bring offerings and come into his courts.

Offertory Hymn:

The Great Doxology:

Spiritual Communion for those not in attendance:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You have already come, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Solemn Blessing: May Almighty God, who enlightened the minds of the disciples by
pouring out upon them the Holy Spirit, make you rich with his blessing, that you
may abound more and more in that Spirit forever. Amen.

May God, who sent the Holy Spirit as a flame of fire that rested upon the heads of
the disciples, burn out all evil from your hearts, and make them shine with the pure
light of his presence. Amen.

May God, who by the Holy Spirit caused those of many tongues to proclaim Jesus
as Lord, strengthen your faith and send you out to bear witness to him in word and
deed. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be
upon you, and remain with you forever. Amen.

Recessional Hymn:

They Are One Flesh

A reading from the Book of Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16
Blessed the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the Lord;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face.
A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the Lord is her governed speech,
and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
priceless her chaste soul.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens,
the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks Be To God!

A Reading from Proverbs 18:22, 31:10 (NLT):
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD. Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be To God!

Responsorial Psalm
R. How good is the Lord to all.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in mercy.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.
R. How good is the Lord to all.
All your works shall thank you, O Lord,
and all your faithful ones bless you.
The eyes of all look to you
and you give them their food in due season.
R. How good is the Lord to all.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and holy in all his deeds.
The Lord is close to all who call him,
who call on him in truth.
R. How good is the Lord to all.

A Reading from the Book of Ephesians 5:33 (ESV):
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be to God!


Continue reading They Are One Flesh

The Tomb is Empty! Alleluia!

Easter Day Principal Celebration


Introit: I have risen, and am present with thee, alleluia; thou hast laid thine hand upon me, alleluia; such knowledge is too wonderful for me, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, thou hast searched me out and known me; thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising.

Processional Hymn:

Celebrant: The Lord is risen from the tomb, alleluia!
Who for our sake hung upon the tree, alleluia!
Continue reading The Tomb is Empty! Alleluia!

Good Friday

Good Friday The Solemn Liturgy
The Church is bare of all ornaments, candles, and decorations. The Sacred Ministers are vested in black, and the Passion Deacons wear black deacons’ stoles.  This service is normally held at noon, but may be used in the evening, especially in communities where few people will be able to attend at noon. The Holy Eucharist is not celebrated on this day. 

The ministers enter in silence. They prostrate themselves before the altar and pray silently for a space, the congregation kneeling. Then the Ministers rise, and the Celebrant begins the liturgy as follows:

Celebrant: Blessed be our God,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Continue reading Good Friday

Maundy Thursday The Chrism Mass

Maundy Thursday The Chrism Mass

On Maundy Thursday during the day is it appropriate for the bishop of the diocese to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the cathedral and consecrate the holy oils to be used in the churches of the diocese during the coming year, and at the same time to hear the renewal of ordination vows of the priests and deacons of the diocese, as well as to renew the bishop’s own ordination vows. It is therefore appropriate for this Eucharist to be concelebrated by priests from all parts of the diocese. If there are suffragans, it may be convenient for them to have similar celebrations in other cities of the diocese, in order to allow more clergy and laity to participate.

 The holy oils blessed at this service are Chrism, which is used for Confirmation, for the anointing of bishops, for the blessing of churches, altars, sacred vessels, and church bells, and, together with the Oil of Catechumens, for the blessing of fonts, the anointing of priests, and the coronation of the monarch (in countries ruled by a monarch); Oil of Catechumens, which is used for the anointing of baptismal candidates, and, with Chrism as indicated above; and Oil for the Sick. The Oil for the Sick is blessed after the Great Thanksgiving, but before the Lord’s Prayer; the other two oils after Communion, the Oil of Catechumens before the Post Communion Collect, the Chrism after it.
 

A table is set up in the chancel, and behind it the bishop’s chair. On the table are three vessels of oil, each covered with a silk cloth. The oil for Chrism is covered with a white cloth; the cloths covering the other oils may be of any colors. Also on the table is Balsam for the preparation of the Chrism. When the service is concluded, the oils are carried to the sacristy and distributed to the priests for use in churches during the coming year.

The order of entrance is as follows:
Thurifer and Boat-bearer
Crucifer and two Acolytes
Lay readers
Deacons
Priests
Deacon of the Mass on left; Assisting Priest on right
Canons of the Cathedral
Presiding Bishop

Note Bene: The People’s responses are in italics.

Processional Hymn:

Presiding Bishop: Let us begin all things as we should.  Bless the Lord who forgiveth our sins.
His Mercy will endure forever.

Presiding Bishop: Jesus Christ has made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.

Canon of the Cathedral: Collect: Almighty God, who by the power of the Holy Spirit anointed your Son to be Messiah and Priest forever: grant that all whom you call to his service may confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Continue reading Maundy Thursday The Chrism Mass