14 July 2019

An excerpt from 'On Love of the Poor' by St Gregory of Nazianzus

+

Saint Gregory the Theologian writes:

“Human beings accumulate in their coffers gold and silver, clothes more sumptuous than useful, diamonds and other objects that are evidence of war and tyranny; then a foolish arrogance hardens their hearts; for their brothers in distress, no pity.

"What utter blindness! . . . Attend not to the law of the strong but to the law of the Creator. Help nature to the best of your ability, honour the freedom of creation, protect your species from dishonour, come to its aid in sickness, rescue it from poverty …. Seek to distinguish yourself from others only in your generosity. Be like gods to the poor, imitating God’s mercy.

"Humanity has nothing so much in common with God as the ability to do good.”


St. Gregory Nazianzen
 'On Love of the Poor'



17 June 2019

An Ascension Day Sermon by Bishop Hugh Gilbert

+

This homily preached by Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB, of the Diocese of Aberdeen, Scotland on the Solemnity of the Ascension is worth hearing even though the Solemnity is now long past.  

Taking time to contemplate the meaning of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is something few of us do, and so I encourage you to take the time to hear this gift of a homily from Bishop Hugh Gilbert, OSB.




14 June 2019

The Office of the Holy Spirit (Anglican Patrimony)

Tuesday at the Third Hour: The Spirit of Fellowship
+


O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia.


HYMN

O HOLY Spirit, Lord of grace,
Eternal source of love,
Inflame, we pray, our inmost hearts
With fire from heaven above.

As thou dost join with holiest bonds
The Father and the Son,
So fill thy saints with mutual love
And link their hearts in one.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Holy Ghost.
Eternal Glory be from man,
And from the Angel-host. Amen. [English Hymnal 453.]


Antiphon.
The multitude of them that believed: were of one heart and of one soul.


PSALM CXXII.
Laetatus sum.

    I WAS glad when they said unto me : We will go into the house of the Lord.
2  Our feet shall stand in thy gates : O Jerusalem.
3  Jerusalem is built as a city : that is at unity in itself.
4  For thither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord : to testify unto Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord.
5  For there is the seat of judgement : even the seat of the house of David.
6  O pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee.
7  Peace be within thy walls : and plenteousness within thy palaces.
8  For my brethren and companions' sakes : I will wish thee properity.
9  Yea, because fo the house of the Lord our God I will seek to do thee good.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost :
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Antiphon.
The multitude fo them that believed : were of one heart and of one soul.



CHAPTER. (EPHESIANS iv. 1-6)

WALK worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Thanks be to God.

If there be any fellwoship of the Spirit : be ye likeminded, having the same love;
If there be any fellowship of the Spirit: be ye likeminded, haveing the same love.

If any tender mercies and compassions ;

Be ye likeminded having the same love.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

If there be any fellowship of the Spirit : be ye likeminded, having the same love.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts;

To the which also ye were called in one body.

The Lord be with you;

And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

VOUCHSAFE, we beseech thee, Almighty God, to grant to the whole Christian people unity, peace, and true concord, both visible and invisible : through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Lord be with you;
And with thy spirit.

Let us bless the Lord;
Thanks be to God.
Cambridge Offices and Orisons
E. Milner-White, B.T.D. Smith
1921

09 June 2019

Collects for Pentecost / Whitsuntide

+

GOD, which as upon this day hast taught the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit ; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort ; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer 1549

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, USA

Almighty ever-living God, who willed the Paschal Mystery to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days, grant that from out of the scattered nations the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Roman Missal, 3rd ed. of Pope St. John Paul II

GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer 1662

Heavenly Father, in whom we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray that your Holy Spirit may so guide and govern us that in all the cares and occupations of our daily life, we may never forget your presence but may remember that we are always walking in your sight, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
 The Church of Ireland, Anglican

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, USA

08 June 2019

“Grant me the light of Thy Holy Spirit”

+

LORD JESUS CHRIST, who didst die for me and give Thyself for me, grant me the light of Thy Holy Spirit that I may know what Thou wouldst have me to do. I offer myself entirely to Thee to do what seemeth good in Thy sight : not my will but Thine be done. Correct whatsoever Thou seest amiss in me, strengthen my weak resolutions, restrain my wayward desires, remove all hindrances to the fulfilment of Thy will, and give me grace so to follow the leadings of Thy Providence, that my life may be spent to Thy honour and glory, in whatsoever way it pleaseth Thee, who livest and reignest, GOD for ever and ever. Amen. 

A Manual of Devotion 
The Rt. Rev. Thos. F. Gailor 
Episcopalian Bishop of Tennessee, USA 
1926

+

Pentecost Sequence of St. Notker

Translated by the Revd Dr John Mason Neale 

.
Shower of Pentecost Rose Petals • The Pantheon, Rome

The grace of the HOLY GHOST be present with us;
And make our hearts a dwelling place to itself ;
And expel from them all spiritual wickedness.
Merciful SPIRIT, Illuminator of men,
Purge the fearful shades of our mind.
O holy Lover of thoughts that are ever wise,
Of Thy mercy pour forth Thine Anointing into our senses.
Thou purifier of all iniquities, O SPIRIT,
Purify the eye of our inner man,
To the end that the FATHER of all things may be seen by us,
He, Whom the eyes of none
save the pure in heart can behold.
Thou didst inspire the Prophets to chant aforehand
their glorious heralding of CHRIST.
Thou didst confirm the Apostles,
so that they shall bear CHRIST's glorious trophy
through the whole world.
When, by His Word,
GOD made the system of heaven, earth, seas,
Thou didst stretch out Thy Godhead over the waters,
and didst cherish them, O SPIRIT!
Thou dost give virtue to the waters to quicken souls ;
Thou, by Thine Inspiration, grantest to men to be spiritual.
Thou didst unite the world,
divided both in tongues and rites, O LORD !
Thou recallest idolaters
to the worship of GOD, best of Masters !
Wherefore of Thy mercy hear us
who call upon Thee, HOLY GHOST :
Without Whom, as the faith teaches,
all our prayers are in vain, and unworthy of the ears of GOD.
Thou, O SPIRIT, Who by embracing the Saints of all ages,
dost teach them by the impulse of Thy Divinity ;
Thyself, by bestowing on the Apostles of CHRIST
a gift immortal, and unheard of from all ages,
Hast made this day glorious.
+Alleluya

31 May 2019

The Visitation according to Houselander

+

Caryll Houselander
Caryll Houselander writes of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Elizabeth in her magnificent book The Reed of God:


Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us Christ would not be there. If our being there means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile. 

There is one exquisite incident in our Lady’s Advent in which this is clearly seen: the Visitation. 

And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda.(Luke 1:39) How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St. Luke's description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. "Those days" in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse. 

Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness. They would say they had a duty to themselves and to their unborn child which came before anything or anyone else. 

The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary's own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth's need — almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her. 

She greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother's womb and leapt for joy. 

I am come, said Christ, that they may have life and may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Even before he was born his presence gave life. 

If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it he is forming himself; if we go with eager will, in haste, to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that he desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of his love. And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them. 

It is not necessary at this stage of our contemplation to speak to others of the mystery of life growing in us. It is only necessary to give ourselves to that life, all that we are, to pray without ceasing, not by a continual effort to concentrate our minds but by a growing awareness that Christ is being formed in our lives from what we are. We must trust him for this, because it is not a time to see his face, we must possess him secretly and in darkness, as the earth possesses the seed. We must not try to force Christ’s growth in us, but with a deep gratitude for the light burning secretly in our darkness, we must fold our concentrated love upon him like earth, surrounding, holding, and nourishing the seed. 

We must be swift to obey the winged impulses of his Love, carrying him to wherever he longs to be; and those who recognize his presence will be stirred, like Elizabeth, with new life. They will know his presence, not by any special beauty or power shown by us, but in the way that the bud knows the presence of the light, by an unfolding in themselves, a putting forth of their own beauty.


Caryll Houselander
The Reed of God
+

30 May 2019

Introit for the Ascension of the Lord

+


'Ascension of the Lord' mosaic in Monreale, Sicily


Gregorian Chant: Viri Galilaei

The Ascension Introit from Liber Usualis (1961), pp. 846-847
Schola Cantorum - Wiener Hofburgkapelle

A Collect for the Feast of the Visitation


The Kalendar of the Western Church prior to Vatican II observed the Feast of the Visitation on the 2nd of July, Today most Western Churches follow the post-Vatican II calendar with the feast observed on the 31st of May.


Abridged from the Sarum Collect for July 2

O GOD, who didst prompt the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of thine only begotten Son, to visit the blessed Elisabeth, for a mutual joy and strengthening in thee, mercifully grant, that being protected from all adversities and in the bonds of faith with thy whole Church, we may enjoy the grace of thy perpetual visitation ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The People's Missal
(Anglican drawing from Sarum and other Uses)
The Revd E. A. L. Clarke, A.K.C
1919

29 May 2019

Patrick Gowers: 'Viri Galilaei'

+


Patrick Gowers: Viri Galilaei for chorus and organ

Finzi: God Is Gone Up

+
Note: 
In the Anglican tradition "Holy Thursday" is Ascension Thursday :
The Celebration of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.




Gerald Finzi: 'God Is Gone Up'
The Choirs of Wells Cathedral

27 May 2019

Prayers appropriate for the USA's Memorial Day Observance

+



The Episcopal Church in the United States of America provides 2 prayers especially appropriate for Memorial Day in the USA:

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, USA


God the King of Glory, in whose hands are the living and the dead: We give you thanks for all those who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant them your mercy and the light of your presence; give us a sense of your will and purpose, that we may understand that the work you have begun in them will be perfected through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in whom all strife is resolved. Amen

Enriching Our Worship 3, The Episcopal Church