28 February 2017

From the Anglican Church of Kenya [Anglican Patrimony]


Almighty God, 
you bring to light things hidden in darkness,
and know the shadows of our hearts:
cleanse and renew us by your Spirit,
that we may walk in the light
and glorify your name,
through Jesus Christ,
the Light of the world. Amen.



The people remain kneeling

Hear the words of challenge and comfort our Saviour Christ says to all who follow Him.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:23,24)

Come unto me all who are tired of carrying your heavy loads, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

So, all of you who repent of your sins, who love your neighbours, and intend to live a new life following the way of Jesus, come with faith and take this holy sacrament to strengthen you.

Let us reverently confess our sins to Almighty God.

Almighty God, Creator of all, you marvellously made us in your image; but we have corrupted ourselves and damaged your likeness by rejecting your love and hurting our neighbours. We have done wrong and neglected to do right We are sincerely sorry and heartily repent of our sins. Cleanse us and forgive us by the sacrifice of your Son; Remake us and lead us by your Spirit, the Comforter. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, whose steadfast love is as great as the heavens are high above the earth, remove your sins from you, as far as the east is from the west, strengthen your life in his kingdom and keep you upright to the last day; through Jesus Christ, our merciful High Priest. Amen.

Thank you, Father, for forgiveness. We come to your table as your children, not presuming but assured, not trusting ourselves but your Word; we hunger and thirst for righteousness, and ask for our hearts to be satisfied with the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Amen.



The People stand.

One of the following prayers is said.


All  Almighty God, eternal Father, we have sat at your feet, learnt from your word and eaten from your table. We give you thanks and praise for accepting us into your family. Send us out with your blessing, to live and to witness for you in the power of your Spirit, through Jesus Christ, the First Born from the dead. Amen.


All  God Most High, we thank you for welcoming us, teaching us, and feeding us. We deserve nothing from you but in your great mercy you have given us everything in your Son Jesus Christ. We love you and give ourselves to you to be sent out for your work; grant us your blessing, now and for ever. Amen.


All  O God of our ancestors, God of our people, Before whose face the human generations pass away: We thank you that in you we are kept safe for ever, and that the broken fragments of our history are gathered up in the redeeming act of your dear Son, remembered in this holy sacrament of bread and wine. Help us to walk daily in the Communion of Saints, declaring our faith in the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the body. Now send us out in the power of your Holy Spirit to live and work for your praise and glory. Amen.
The Kenyan Eucharistic Rite
Our Modern Services
Uzima Publishing House
2002, 2003
Anglican Church of Kenya


Suggestion: The Shriving Bell (from 2007)


Ten years ago I posted a blog entitled "The Shriving Bell" which may be of interest to you dear Reader on this Shrove Tuesday.  You may find the link by clicking here.

Recently Fr Bruce  Noble (mentioned in the blog about the Shriving Bell) departed from this world and entered into the arms of the Divine Mercy.  Of your charity please pray for the repose of his soul.  

May he rest in peace, and on the Day of Christ may he rise in glory. 


Shrovetide 2017

There was a time when we spoke of Shrovetide which was from Quinquagesima and included Shrove Monday and Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday still survives as a title among some while Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday seem more and more widespread. As I work to gather up the tattered bits and forgotten gems of our patrimony, I do not want to let Shrovetide go into the dustbin of ecclesiastical parlance. We need to get shriven; we don't need to get beads -- as my Californian Episcopalian friend reminds me via e-mail.

Today is Ash Monday for Maronite Catholics. Soon it will be Ash Wednesday. Here follows a prayer by David Silk to consider adding to your devotions:

A Prayer of Devotion to God

Eternal God, I am not my own but yours.
Take me for your own,
and help me in all things to do your holy will.
My God, I give myself to you,
in joy and in sorrow,
in sickness and in health,
in success and in failure,
in life and in death,
in time and for eternity.
Make me and keep me your own;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayers to the Holy Wounds of Christ [Maronite]

The following prayers are translations from an older form of the Maronite Catholic Office for Good Friday:

The Head
O Head of my Saviour and my God, dearer and more worshipful art thou to me crowned with thorns than adorned with a royal diadem. O wounds of the sacred Head, I believe and I confess that from you flow all blessing and all grace ; through you the true water of life is outpoured on all mankind. The piercing  thorns have dared to tear the head of their Creator, and for the sins of men is he thus hideously used. O loving Saviour, forgive us those sins and grant us thy grace, for the sake of that precious Blood spilled for our salvation. Amen.

The Hands
O mighty Hands of my Saviour, by whose touch sight was given to the blind, Love stretched you on the cross that men should be drawn nearer to the divine heart. But for his will the cruel tormentors of earthly power were too weak to drive the nails. Woe to us, that by our sins we scorn thy love and renew thy bitter pains. Forgive me, O divine Saviour, and grant us for the sake of thy wounded hands the grace of perfect sorrow and strong will to flee all sin and its occasions, that we may keep our hands from wickedness. Amen.

The Feet
O loving Jesus, our Saviour and our God, thy sacred feet have walked only for out salvation, treading the stony paths in search of thy sheep lost and entangled in the thorns of sin. For this wert thou nailed to the cross by wicked men, and we have earned infinity of punishment. But infinite too is the divine mercy and love for men, and thou hast borne their punishment, praying thine Heavenly Father from the cross to forgive them, for they know not what they do. We wash thy feet with tears, as once did Mary Magdalen, that for the sake of their wounds we may hear thee say, 'Thy sins are forgiven thee.' Bind our feet, lest they enter on sinful ways ; guide them by thy grace, that they stumble not on stones and fail not for weakness, but reach thine eternal kingdom, where with thy saints we may praise thee for ever and ever. Amen.
From the older form of the Maronite Office of Good Friday

Shrove Tuesday Prayers [The Holy Face]

In Rome and elsewhere, Shrove Tuesday is observed as the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.

The Collects for the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus

O God, who willed that your only–begotten Son
should become man,
and show us in his human nature 
a perfect image of your divinity,
grant, we beseech you,
that by venerating the image of his Holy Face
we may be united with him
in the mysteries of his Passion and Death,
and so come to contemplate forever 
his glorious Face
in the joy of the resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever. Amen.

Collect at the General Intercessions

Almighty and ever-living God, whose splendour on Sinai was such that Moses was obliged to veil his face made radiant by the brightness of your holiness; remove the veil from our faces, and open our eyes to the knowledge of your glory shining in the face of Christ, that we, with the gaze of our hearts fixed on him, may, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be changed into his likeness and so praise you forever in the company of the saints in light. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

O Lord Jesus Christ, 
beauty of the heavenly Father and light of souls, 
we beseech you with confidence that, 
as we advance in the darkness of this world, 
the splendour of your Face 
may shine upon us and that,
 in the light of your Countenance, 
we may one day merit
to contemplate the eternal light 
in which you live and reign 
with God the Father 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
forever and ever.

Prayer Over the Offerings
O God, the Father of lights,
look upon us, we beseech you,
and beholding the Face of Christ your Son
who offered himself for us 
as a victim of reconciliation,
grant that we, like him, 
may offer ourselves to you
as a spiritual sacrifice 
to the praise of your glory.
Through Christ our Lord.

Excellent Translations by Vultus Christi

Last Prayer added to Compline on Shrove Tuesday

Lord, give us grace to inaugurate with holy fasting, the defenses of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against spiritual wickedness, may be helped and strengthened by self-denial. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the Suffering


O God, the Father of all look down in pity on those who suffer, and heal the anguish of the world; release from the prison-house all held in the bondage of fear and set free such as are bound by the fetters of disease, whether of soul or body. Do Thou care for the desolate, give rest to the weary, comfort the sorrowful, watch by the sleepless, and to those who lie untended in their sickness grant the gentle ministry of Angels, to supply their needs and relieve their pain. Visit with Thy great compassion all in their last agony and bring them in peace and safety into Thy Paradise of love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

O Lord, save the World.

I Clement 7-9


Chapter VII.—An exhortation to repentance.
These things, beloved, we write unto you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves. For we are struggling on the same arena, and the same conflict is assigned to both of us. Wherefore let us give up vain and fruitless cares, and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling. Let us attend to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us. Let us look stedfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God,35 which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that, from generation to generation, the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all such as would be converted unto Him. Noah preached repentance, and as many as listened to him were saved.36 Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites;37 but they, repenting of their sins, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation, although they were aliens [to the covenant] of God

Chapter VIII.—Continuation respecting repentance.
The ministers of the grace of God have, by the Holy Spirit, spoken of repentance; and the Lord of all things has himself declared with an oath regarding it, “As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance;”38 adding, moreover, this gracious declaration, “Repent, O house of Israel, of your iniquity.39 Say to the children of My people, Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder40 than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, yet if ye turn to Me with your whole heart, and say, Father! I will listen to you, as to a holy41 people.” And in another place He speaks thus: “Wash you, and become clean; put away the wickedness of your souls from before mine eyes; cease from your evil ways, and learn to do well; seek out judgment, deliver the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and see that justice is done to the widow; and come, and let us reason together. He declares, Though your sins be like crimson, I will make them white as snow; though they be like scarlet, I will whiten them like wool. And if ye be willing and obey Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse, and will not hearken unto Me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken these things.”42 Desiring, therefore, that all His beloved should be partakers of repentance, He has, by His almighty will, established [these declarations]. 

Chapter IX.—Examples of the saints.
Wherefore, let us yield obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labours,43 and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions. Let us stedfastly contemplate those who have perfectly ministered to His excellent glory. Let us take (for instance) Enoch, who, being found righteous in obedience, was translated, and death was never known to happen to him.44 Noah, being found faithful, preached regeneration to the world through his ministry; and the Lord saved by him the animals which, with one accord, entered into the ark. 


26 February 2017

Conclusion from the earliest Mexican Anglican Eucharist [Anglican Patrimony]


Below please find the Conclusion of an Eucharistic liturgy of the Mexican Episcopal Church [now the Anglican Church of Mexico] from an 1895 diglot edition of the Liturgy ... though the texts first began to be drafted in the 1850's and 1860's.

Rather than simply translating the US version of the Book of Common Prayer of that era, the authors drew heavily from the Mozarabic liturgy of Toledo, Spain and the Divine Liturgy of St James of Jerusalem. Anglicans had been turning to the Mozarabic liturgical material from the time just prior to The Book of Common Prayer 1549 and continued to do so through the 1979 edition of the US Book of Common Prayer and other more recent Anglican prayer books.

+ + +

Then shall the People, devoutly kneeling, say, with the Presbyter, the Lord's Prayer:

OUR Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, As it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter say:

DELIVERED from evil, and ever established in what is good, may we have grace to serve Thee acceptably, O Lord, our God. Put an end, O Lord, to our sins. Give joy to the troubled, and health to the sick. Give peace and quietness in our time. Restrain those who would do us harm, and turn them to a better mind. And hear, O Lord, the supplications of us Thy servants, and of all faithful' Christians, both now and ever; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter say:

Holy things for holy persons.

And the People shall answer:

One only is holy, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is, with the Holy Ghost, Most High in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter, kneeling down at the Lord's Table, say, in the name of all those who shall receive the Holy Communion, this Prayer following :

O HOLY Lord, our God, Who hast said, Be ye holy for I am Holy; We come to this, Thy Table, in humbleness of spirit, trembling because of our sinfulness, but trusting in Thy manifold and great mercies. We hide not our sins from Thee; Heal us through the merits of the one sacrifice. Grant us, O Gracious Lord, our God, so to receive this holy Sacrament that, eating the Flesh of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, and drinking His Blood, we may receive remission of all our sins, be tilled with Thy Holy Spirit, and, in the world to come, attain the crown or everlasting life. Amen.

Then shall be sung or said the following, taken from Psalm xxxiv.:


        O TASTE and see how gracious the Lord is: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.
        I will alway give thanks unto the Lord: His praise shall ever be in my mouth.
       The Lord delivereth the souls of His servants: and all they that put their trust in Him shall not be desolate. 
        Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
        Glory and honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

Then shall the Presbyter first receive the Holy Communion in both kinds himself, and proceed to deliver the same to the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons (if any be present) in like manner, and after that to the People also, in order, all devoutly kneeling.

And when he delivereth the Host. he shall say:

THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving.

And the Minister who delivereth the cup shall say:

THE Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ's blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.

Then shall the Presbyter say, the People all kneeling:

WE thank Thee, O God, the Father Almighty, that Thou hast deigned to feed us, who have duly received these Holy Mysteries, with the spiritual food of the Body and Blood of Thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ; Grant that this may be to the healing of our souls unto life eternal; through the same, Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

And this:

O LORD our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, make us ever to seek and to love Thee, and may we have grace, through this Holy Sacrament which we have received, never more to draw back from Thee, but ever to do those things that are pleasing in Thy sight; for Thou art God, and beside Thee there is none else, world without end. Amen.

Then may be sung Nunc Dimittis, or other suitable Hymn.

Then shall the Presbyter (The Bishop if he be present) let them depart with this Blessing:

THAT peace which our Lord Jesus Christ,
        when He ascended up on high,
        left to His disciples,
        be ever with you in all its fullness;
And the blessing of God Almighty,
        + the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,
        descend upon you,
        and remain with you, always. Amen.


A Coptic Orthodox Prayer of Thanksgiving


The prayers of the Coptic Orthodox Church are many and beautiful. The Breviary of the Coptic Christians is called The Agpeya coming from ti agp meaning 'the hour.' The following comes from an online edition of The Agpeya


Let us give thanks to the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for He has covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto Him, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour. Let us also ask Him, the Lord our God, the Almighty, to guard us in all peace this holy day and all the days of our life.

O Master, Lord, God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we thank You for every condition, concerning every condition, and in every condition, for You have covered us, helped us, guarded us, accepted us unto You, spared us, supported us, and brought us to this hour.

Therefore, we ask and entreat Your goodness, O Lover of mankind, to grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life, in all peace with Your fear. All envy, all temptation, all the work of Satan, the counsel of wicked men, and the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest, take them away from us, and from all Your people, and from this holy place that is Yours.

But those things which are good and profitable do provide for us; for it is You Who have given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, by the grace, compassion and love of mankind, of Your Only-Begotten Son, our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, through Whom the glory, the honour, the dominion, and the adoration are due unto You, with Him, and the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, Who is of one essence with You, now and at all times, and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

O Lord, save the World.

25 February 2017

Heart of Jesus, think of me.

Heart of Jesus, think of me.
Eyes of Jesus, look on me.
Face of Jesus, comfort me.
Hands of Jesus, bless me.
Feet of Jesus, guide me.
Arms of Jesus, hold me.
Body of Jesus, feed me.
Blood of Jesus, wash me.
Jesus, make me thus thine own,
Here and in the world to come. Amen.

from St. Augustine's Prayer Book Order of the Holy Cross
Episcopal Church USA

A Favourite Maronite Catholic Prayer


Remain in peace, O holy altar, in peace I will return to thee. May the Victim who has been offered upon thee be for the forgiveness of by sins and the pardon of mine offences ; may it enable me to hold myself without stain or shame before the throne of Christ. Yet I do not know if I shall live to return and assist again at the holy Sacrifice. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, one God, who is the beginning and end of all things. Amen.

O Lord, save the World.

24 February 2017

Cardinal Zen Is Right


My view is that Cardinal Zen is absolutely correct.

Van De Weyer's "Revelations to the Shepherd of Hermas"


One of my professors along the way referred to The Shepherd of Hermas as belonging to a category he termed "Almost-Bible".  In some parts of the earliest period of the Church The Shepherd of Hermas was regarded as Sacred Scripture, but with the process of establishing the New Testament Canon of Scripture it was impossible to discern an Apostolic origin for the Shepherd of Hermas.  An enormous amount of information was lost during the great persecutions especially under Diocletian,  so I have rather lightly held The Shepherd of Hermas in my own category of "Sacred" albeit not "Sacred Scripture".  

To read the original in translation is very, very difficult for any contemporary Christian who is not well-versed in the Christian apocalyptic vision which in the early Church did not derive from the Apocalypse/Revelation but was pre-existent to the Scriptures.

In part this prophetic vision derived from the Prophecy of Daniel, but it is important to note that the early Christian Church, its beliefs, and doctrines came from a living body of faith believed by those who held the First Temple, the Temple of Solomon, to have been a true Temple of the Most High but regarded the Second Temple in Jerusalem as polluted and not conveying the original truth and worship of the holy faith of the Hebrew people.

It is true that this living Christian apocalyptic vision was greatly informed by the Book of Jubilees, the Books of Enoch, Daniel and others.  Indeed, the Book of Jubilees is Sacred Scripture in the Canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewehedo Church.  The visions and revelations to Hermas the Shepherd arise from within this tradition, a living tradition that stretches back to the First Temple into great antiquity. But today the Western Church in Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran, or Pentecostal forms is quite cut off from that living tradition and vision.  The sense of the Apocalyptic vision in Pentecostalism and other Western European-origin churches is derived strictly from the Canon of Scripture and not from that original Christian living tradition.

However, elements of that original tradition can be found buried within archaic elements of the liturgical life of the various early Churches, and to some degree that understanding of prophecy and revelation comes to have its life in an almost separate mystical stream in the West.  St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Hildegard von Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Mechthild von Magdeburg and others experienced revelations and "showings" that can be seen as part of the Holy Spirit's "living work" which "living work" can be seen in the Prophet Daniel, the Revelation/Apocalypse, and successive generations of visionaries and seers of the Church.

I would suggest viewing The Shepherd of Hermas within this last category of mine "the Holy Ghost's living work".  Within it profound insight and understanding, guidance and deliverance can be found for the soul.

Robert Van De Weyer's "Revelations to the Shepherd of Hermas" is not a literal translation, but it is an extraordinarily successful attempt at presenting the visions and showings in The Shepherd of Hermas for a modern audience to consider.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to locate copies in hardback or paperback, but with a short glance I see that a few are available through various booksellers. Originally, the hardback edition was published under the title "The Shepherd of Hermas: An Apocalypse".

In this time of Pre-Lent, drawing very near to Ash Wednesday, I would like to share the 23rd chapter  from Robert Van De Weyer's text that I find especially striking:

The old woman now gave me a message to take to the churches across the world. "Listen to me, my children," she began. "I brought you up in great simplicity, innocence, and reverence, and I instilled righteousness into your hearts. But you prefer the ways of wickedness, and as a result there is conflict and division among you. I instruct you to be at peace with one another, to help one another in your daily work, and to share your wealth, so that those who are poor in this world's goods receive from those who are rich. Some of you are becoming ill from overeating, while others are wasting away from lack of food.  This failure to share food destroys the souls of the rich and the bodies of the poor. While this injustice continues, the tower, which is the holy Church, cannot be completed. And there is a further injustice which you must root out. Your leaders enjoy great respect and status, and treat those in their charge, especially the poor and uneducated, as if they were slaves. All are equal in the eyes of God, and those who regard themselves as superior are not fit to be leaders. Many of you are wise, but none of you is pure. Only when wisdom is mixed with purity shall you be fit to stand before your Father in heaven."

Revelations to the Shepherd of Hermas
Compiled by
Robert Van De Weyer
Paperback Edition
Triumph Books, Liguori, Missouri