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

Leave a comment

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
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: Feast of All Hallows (Nov. 1st)

Leave a comment

Psalm(s): 148, 150
Old Testament: Wisdom 5:1-5, 14-16
New Testament: Revelation 21:1-5, 22:5

We believe in the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting. Amen.

If you grew up in a confessional church, there is a high probability that you have uttered this sentence (or some form of it) in your lifetime.

When I was at McMaster, I remember a Baptist friend askimg me what Catholics meant by the “communion of saints.” In response, I rattled off some answer about holy men and women who pray for us….which is true…but not altogether accurate.

For how the saints pray and intercede for us, take a look at my post on the Dormition,,,,,,but tonight I want to concentrate on who is in that circle.

It might come as a shock….but the answer is all of us. 🙂 Whenever Paul mentions the “saints” he clearly refers to the whole body….the whole community that believes in Christ and place their hope in his cross.

Saints are not saints because of their conduct, but because they have been made righteous vicariously through Christ. When we are baptized….we take on that identity….ever noticed that baptismal gowns are always white ;)????

The purity we receive is a gift and we are welcomed into a family where all are brothers and sisters. We have our common identity in proclaiming the Gospel and gathering around the table with gifts of bread and wine.

Our baptism means that we are connected in a history that is larger than we are. We are woven into the tapestry of the faith…connected with the threads of the past.

What we confess in the Creed is not a special circle of uber virtuous people……but a community knit together in fellowship….trying to walk down the road together….trusting in the forgiveness of the Christ who came to save us. Alleluia! +

Evening Prayer: July 12th (Combo Post)

Leave a comment

Psalms: 26, 28, 36, 39
Old Testament: 1 Sam 19:1-18
New Testament: Acts 12:1-17
Gospel: Mark 2:1-12
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a Treatise on the Mysteries by St. Ambrose

While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. (Acts 12:5)

Over and over, the Acts of the Apostles stresses that the Church always did things together ; most especially at times of crisis.

In the Anglican church, as tensions and frustrations mount…..and some parishes find themselves in a congregationalist mindset, I think it’s sometimes forgotten that we are one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Anything we do….any prayer we utter…..any worship we offer to God we do together.

Tonight I pray that the Church remembers its true nature as a family….complete with close loved ones and black sheep alike….we are called to act as one..and to always be in the business of building up rather than tearing down. ❤ +

Evening Prayer: Feast of St. Matthias (May 14th)

Leave a comment

Psalm: 33
Old Testament: 1 Sam 12:1-5
New Testament: Acts 20:17-35

Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. (Acts 20:28)

If there is one thing I’ve noticed from the readings selected for today…it’s that the Christian community must take care of itself and be committed to living out the Gospel and good governance for each other. Kind of appropriate as we are heading into Diocesan Synod.

My inner cynic sometimes gets the better of me….but I am always interested in the idea of what would happen if the Church actually read Acts before heading into decision making and policy….Hmmm…..+

Evening Prayer: Monday of Holy Week

Leave a comment

Psalm: 69:1-23
Gospel: John 12:9-19
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a sermon of St. Augustine

Photo Credit: Fr. Dave Giffen of The Anglican Church of the Transfiguration (Toronto, ON)

More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
many are those who would destroy me,
my enemies who accuse me falsely.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?
O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. (Ps. 69:4-5)

I recently read Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. The book is an open meditation on what it means to be the Church….the community of God.

In his section on the Psalms…he offers an intriguing interpretation of what the Church is doing when it reads, chants or sings the from what he calls the “Prayerbook of the Bible”:

“The Man Jesus Christ, whom no affliction, no ill, no suffering is alien and who yet was the wholly innocent and righteous one, is praying in the Psalter through the mouth of his Church. The Psalter is the prayer book of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word. He prayed the Psalter and now it has become his prayer for all time. . . . Jesus Christ prays through the Psalter in his congregation. His congregation prays too, the individual prays. But here he prays, in so far as Christ prays within him, not in his own name, but in the Name of Jesus Christ. . . .

The Psalter is the vicarious prayer of Christ for his Church. . . . This prayer belongs, not to the individual member but to the whole Body of Christ. Only in the whole Christ does the whole Psalter become a reality, a whole which the individual can never fully comprehend and call his own. That is why the prayer of the psalms belongs in a peculiar way to the fellowship. . . .

In the Psalter we learn to pray on the basis of Christ’s prayer. . . .”

In our prayer life together…..and especially in the recitation of Psalms..we are of one voice…..one hope. Bonhoeffer goes even further to say that the parts in the Psalms which are difficult for us to understand….are in fact rooted and spoken in the Word of God…

In taking all the pain and sin of the world unto Himself…Christ can speak both knowing the fullness of God’s presence and God’s glory…but also to know the depths of despair that come with the Flesh and the rejection of the righteous.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that the Psalms is one of the books that I struggle with the most. And yet, in reading Life Together I realize that I don’t have to comprehend everything I read. I don’t have to understand all of Scripture and Sacred Mystery. Instead, I am too walk hand in hand with my brothers and sisters…..knowing that Christ–the Word and Rock on which we are founded–speaks for us, in us, and through us.

For that…I give many thanks to God 🙂 +

Evening Prayer: March 16th (Combo Post)

Leave a comment

Psalms: 119:49-72, 49
Old Testament: Deut 9:13-21
New Testament: Hebrews 3:12-19
Gospel: John 3:1-15
Patristic Reading:An excerpt from a treatise of Bishop Apphrates

Then I lay prostrate before the Lord as before, for forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin you had committed, provoking the Lord by doing what was evil in his sight. For I was afraid that the anger that the Lord bore against you was so fierce that he would destroy you. But the Lord listened to me that time also. (Deut 9:18-19)

So sorry for no post this morning :(…..I was a little distracted today. With my dad and sister over on the weekend, we had a pretty intense discussion about the future and how things are unfolding right now in my life….it’s certainly lots to think about and I wasn’t really in the mood to write earlier in the day.

But I’m back in the groove tonight….and I just wanted to point to yet another Moses parallel we find during the season of Lent. For 40 days and 40 nights……Moses fasts and pleads with God to forgive the infidelity shown by Aaron and the other Israelites.

In effect, Moses (as the leader of the whole nation) is doing penance on behalf of the whole. I don’t know why……but this sorta flipped a switch in my brain…….maybe the example in Deuteronomy puts a new spin on Lent.

With so much emphasis on self-improvement and self-sacrifice during the Great Fast ……what would happen if we were to turn that focus outward???? Giving something up, or doing something which is on behalf of the community we belong to??? What were to happen if Lent became less individualistic????

I dunno….but for me it’s an interesting thing to contemplate…..what do you folks think???+

%d bloggers like this: