Evening Prayer: Feast of All Souls (Nov. 2nd)

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Psalm: 119:73-96
Gospel: Matthew 13:53-58
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a book by St. Ambrose on the death of his brother (scroll down to Reading II)

Tonight I’m going to post what is called a litany….in this case one directed to the saints.

This is a very ancient practice and is one that is popular for All Saints and All Souls, two feast days which are very closely connected. In this form of prayer….the whole church dead and living ask for intercession, mercy, and forgiveness.

If you’ll notice, the way that litanies are structured are designed to again bring us to the contemplation of Christ , The saints who are listed are arranged according to their proximity to our Lord.

We start with Mary, the Theotokos (who is above the cherubim and seraphim), then angels, then apostles, then martyrs, then virgins, then theologians.

After recognizing those who have gone before, the whole church then adds petitions for themselves and for the world. Again asking that the whole world come to know Jesus

These litanies to God are not empty rituals….but an act of remembering the community we are a part of. A family that stretches across all times and places for the glory of God.

I hope you are able to get something out of this exercise, and–on this Feast of All Souls–may you with confidence find a place for yourself in the company of the blessed.

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy

Holy Mary Mother of God.
Pray for us
St. Michael (Archangel)
Pray for us
Holy angels of God
Pray for us
St. John Baptist
Pray for us
St. Joseph (stepfather of Jesus)
Pray for us
SS Peter & Paul
Pray for us
St. Andrew
Pray for us
St. John
Pray for us
Mary Magdalene
Pray for us
St. Stephen
Pray for us
St. Ignatius
Pray for us
St. Lawerence
Pray for us
St. Perpetua and Felicity
Pray for us
St. Agnes
Pray for us
St.Gregory
Pray for us
St. Augustine
Pray for us
St. Cecila
Pray for us
Holy men and women
Pray for us

Lord be merciful
Lord Save your people
From all evil
Lord save your people
From every sin
Lord save your people
From everlasting death
Lord save your people
By your coming as man
Lord save your people
By your death and rising to new life
Lord save your people
By the gift of your Holy Spirt
Lord save your people

Be merciful to us sinners
Lord hear our prayer.
Grant to all the souls of the departed eternal rest.
Lord hear our prayer.

Jesus son of the living God
Lord hear our prayer

Christ hear us
Christ hear us
Lord Jesus hear our prayer
Lord Jesus hear our prayer +

Evening Prayer: July 27th (Combo Post)

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Psalms: 72, 119:73-96
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 3:22-39
New Testament: Acts 16:16-24
Gospel: Mark 6:47-56
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Catecheses of St. Cyril

Before I even *start* contemplating the readings for tonight…..let me just get this outta my system:


😀 😀 😀

The Bishop came, the Bishop went….and in between was a fantastic time of worship, community, and a wonderful lunch.

Granted, actual talk of ordination was kept to a minimum and definitely shied away from a little bit…but overall I think the experience was good not only for myself, my supervisors and the Bishop..but also the people who came out to sing praises to God and to open up the Bread of the Word together this morning at 10am.

With such an obscure time-slot for the visit, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of people to show. Imagine my surprise and delight when we had 20+ of my church family come together in prayer and support for the wok of the Gospel.

I cannot express in words how touched I was to see so many smiling faces in the pews and to know that I am so loved…….both God and his people are truly great! :D…..

Anyhoo…..now on to your regularly scheduled post………..

Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ (Mark 6:51b)

The biblical message to “be not afraid” is one that I have offered many many people in pastoral situations. It lies at the very centre of our Christian life. We are taught not to fear darkness, suffering, distress, or even death, but to embrace it in the hope and knowledge that both Light and Empty Tomb are the true reality.

Not only that, but the message to have no fear has it’s roots in the Old Testament. 99.99% of the time, any time God wishes to send a direct message to humanity through an angel….that messenger’s first words are always “be not afraid”

As I sit here and find this verse mirrored back to me in the readings for this evening, I find myself astonished that I couldn’t take my own spiritual advice to others and apply it to myself…..but then again, isn’t that the irony about the life of faith?

We are happy to extend absolution, forgiveness, blessing and promise to those around us……but developing amnesia when it comes to remembering the promises of God in our own sordid situations.

Don’t get me wrong…….the Divine reassurance that fear will be quelled, doesn’t mean that fear doesn’t exist……we are human after all :P.

But it does strike me as funny that after $20, 000, an M. Div. degree and a few years in professional ministry, that lesson still hasn’t managed to sink in. 😛 +

Evening Prayer: 4th Sunday of Epiphany

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Psalm: 8, 84
Gospel: John 7:14-31
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,*
and crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas. (Psalm 84:6-8)

I honestly can’t read this Scripture passage without this song going on in my head:

As stewards of creation and as the only species with the ability to manipulate our environment at will, human beings are given a gift beyond even the angels. To become sons and daughters of God.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, I know I have used that language of adoption as children almost ad nauseum.

The reason for that is because I tend to follow the strain of theology which says that our whole life is a journey towards imitation of God, of living into our true nature, which is ultimately reflections of Jesus Christ himself.

This emphasis on theosis (or of gradually being made holy) is much more popular in Eastern Orthodox theology. For them, the choice to follow Jesus is a personal commitment to becoming continually better.

In the Western church–especially in light of the Protestant Reformation–the focus of attention shifted to the idea of total depravity and the attitude that (no matter what) there is nothing we can ever do right…and we are utterly dependent on God.

While dependence on God is still very much a part of Orthodoxy, it is never at the expense of free will. After all, the very fact that Christ has come into the world and gave us new life through the Cross and empty tomb means that we are not simply a redeemed people……but entirely new creatures ….free to choose to follow God, or to turn our back on Him.

I pray that as we journey forward with Christ, we use our free will not to forge blades and bring our brother down….but to build bridges and ladders that foster reconciliation….and an ever-forward movement to the one we call Our Father ❤ +

Evening Prayer: Jan. 11th

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Psalms: 91, 92
Gospel: John 6:15-27
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Detailed Rules for Monks by St. Basil

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone (Psalm 91:11-12)

I have been around a LOT of death lately……and I mean a lot! Prior to, and during the Christmas break I had two friends lose loved ones :(…..Today I received email stating that a long-time member of my parish passed away after an unsuccessful surgery. This was also my first holiday stint where I have not seen Todd….a good friend of mine who passed away in May 2010. 😦

I’ll freely admit it….Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept the consolations offered to me by Scripture…..let alone the idea that angels watch over each and every one of us.

But here’s the thing…….whatever happens in this world….death is not the end all and the be all. As a resurrection people, we believe that there is more going on here. We (along with the angels) may feel sadness and be distraught by loss…..

and yet ultimately those angels who guard us are also the ones who lead us home to meet our Father…..where we will see Him face to face and wait for the time when God’s reign of peace and justice takes hold.

Tonight I give thanks for all who have gone before me…..and all of us….giving us the memories and witness of their lives. May all the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory! 😀 ❤ +

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