Author: Abyssinian1

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

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The Last Sunday after the Epiphany
Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Collect

O God, who before the passion of your only begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament

Exodus 24:12-18 (KJV)

12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.
14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.
15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.
16 And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
17 And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

The Response

Psalm 2 (KJV)
Quare fremuerunt gentes?

Why do the heathen rage,*
and the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,*
against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder,*
and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:*
the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath,*
and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Yet have I set my king*
upon my holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree:*
the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,*
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron;*
thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings:*
be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,*
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way,*
when his wrath is kindled but a little.
13Blessed are all they*
that put their trust in him.

The Epistle

2 Peter 1:16-21 (KJV)

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Gospel

Matthew 17:1-9 (KJV)

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

The Presentation of Our Lord

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The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple
Sunday, February 2, 2020
Liturgical Color: White

The Collect:

Let us pray;

Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Old Testament:
Malachi 3:1-4 KJV

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

The Response:
Psalm 24:7-10 KJV
Domini est terra

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;*
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?*
The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors;*
and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?*
The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.

The Epistle:
Hebrews 2:14-18 KJV

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

The Gospel:
Luke 2:22-40 KJV

22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany

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The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Sunday, January 26

The Collect

Let us pray:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Old Testament

Isaiah 9:1-4 (KJV)

Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

Response

Psalm 27: 1, 4-14 (KJV)
Dominus illuminatio

1The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? *
the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; *
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: *
in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; *
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: *
have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, *
Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: *
thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, *
then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, *
and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, *
and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, *
unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: *
wait, I say, on the Lord.

The Epistle

Romans 12:16-21 (KJV)

16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Gospel

Matthew 8:1-13 (KJV)

1When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany

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Sunday, January 19, 2020
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany

The Collect

Let us pray:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament

Isaiah 49:1-7 (KJV)

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.
And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

Response

Psalm 40:1-12 (KJV)
Expectans, expectavi

I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.
Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.
10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

The Epistle

Romans 12:6-16b (KJV)

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.

The Gospel

St. Mark 1:1-11 (KJV)

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Second Sunday after Christmas

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Sunday, January 5, 2019
The Second Sunday after Christmas

The Collect

Let us pray:

ALMIGHTY God, who hast poured upon us the new light of thine incarnate Word; Grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Old Testament

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Response

Psalms 84:1-8 (KJV)
Quam dilecta!

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!*
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.*
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.*
Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.*
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

The Epistle

Ephesians 1:3-6;15-19a (KJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

The Gospel

Matthew 2:1-12 (KJV)

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

 

Merry Christmas 2019

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Holy Greetings to you in the name of Yahusha Maschiach (Jesus Christ). We pray the Lord’s abundant blessings upon you and your families as we enter into this most blessed and sacred season when we celebrate the birth of our Lord.

As we enter this season, we are often burdened with the usual commercial holiday non-sense. However, we are assured of the true reason for the season. Our holiday preparations never seem quite done, and we try our very best to please those near and dear to us. We are excited at the prospect of seeing our dear friends, families, brothers and sisters in the Lord as we sit down to a grand holiday feast.
This is also the time when we sit down and watch those classic holiday shows, such as White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, The Polar Express, and of course, The Grinch that Stole Christmas. As we sit and gaze at these holiday shows, we are taken back in time when life seemed simpler…when the cares and woes of life didn’t seem so immense…when our thoughts were focused on what we will get under the tree, rather than what the Lord has gifted us with…Everlasting Life and Salvation.

One of my favorite programs to watch is The Grinch That Stole Christmas. When I was younger, it was due to the fact that the music and rhyme of the dialog spoke to me. However, now it is due to the very potent and simple message that this holiday classic truly brings. After all the antics, theft, and hatred he expressed towards the Who’s of Whoville, the Grinch experienced something that is so graciously given of our Lord, yet we vary rarely see or experience it with our fellow man…FORGIVENESS!
As we close out this year, let us both give and experience the simple message of forgiveness. Let us cast aside our anger, frustrations, bitterness and walk in the light that only forgiveness brings through our Lord and Savior.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you, your families, friends and loved ones.

We look forward to seeing all of you soon and sharing in a time of devoted worship, sincere prayer, and brotherly unity.

 

Many Blessings!

+++D. E. Chase, Ph.D., OSP

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

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Sunday, December 22, 2019
The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Collect

Let us pray:

O LORD, raise up, we pray thee, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and ‘deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord*, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, world with out end. Amen.

Old Testament

Isaiah 7:10-6 King James Version (KJV)

10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

Response

Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 King James Version (KJV)

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.
Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.
Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

The Epistle

Philippians 4:4-7 King James Version (KJV)

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The Gospel

John 1:19-28 King James Version (KJV)

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

The Third Sunday of Advent

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Sunday, December 15, 2019
The Third Sunday of Advent

The Collect

Let us pray:

O LORD Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament

Isaiah 35:1-10 King James Version (KJV)

35 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Response

Canticle 15
The Song of Mary Magnificat
Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Epistle

James 5:7-10 King James Version (KJV)

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

The Gospel

Matthew 11:2-11 King James Version (KJV)

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

 

Why I Wear My Collar

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By: Abp. D. E. Chase, Ph.D. OSP
Presiding Archbishop & Patriarch

The world has many signs and symbols. We are taught from our youth how to discern and decipher weather signs, and in some households, the practice of observing signs from a natural, cultural, spiritual, or occult viewpoint. The Clerical, Roman, or Clergy collar is a spiritual and mystical sign, meant to be a sign to people, but also, a constant reminder to the Priest of the Lord of who they are, what they are and why they are.

Clerical Collars in modern usage have become recognized as a part of a “uniform.” The uniform calls for the individual wearer to fashion themselves in a manner prescribed by an ecclesiastical authority, which is often borrowed from the views and concepts of established Church orders throughout the world. In fact, most of the garments, vestments and accessories we darn as clergy are often borrowed much in the same way.

So, why do we wear Clerical Collars? To answer this question we must first acknowledge the established meaning and purpose of the same. According to BBC News Magazine, “The clerical, or Roman, collar is a sign or mark of a person’s holy calling, according to the Church of England. It is an identifying badge that can be recognised by people of all faiths. Worn by both Anglican and Roman Catholic priests around the world, the narrow, stiff, upright white collar fastens at the back.”

HISTORY:

Let us examine the actual history the Clerical Collar.

The detachable clerical collar was invented in 1865 by the Rev. Donald Mcleod, a Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) minister in Glasgow. (Glasgow Herald of December 6, 1894)

By the mid-1800s, the clergy of the Anglican Communion developed a sense of separation between themselves and the secular world. One of the most distinctive, external symbols of said separation was the implementation of distinguishing clerical dress. Originally, clerical dress was identified by the black coat and white necktie which had been worn for several decades. By the 1880s this had been transformed into the clerical collar, which was worn almost continuously by the greater part of clergy for the rest of the period.

Henry McCloud stated that the collar “was nothing else than the shirt collar turned down over the cleric’s everyday common dress in compliance with a fashion that began toward the end of the sixteenth century. For when the laity began to turn down their collars, the clergy also took up the mode.”

The Clerical Collar was Invented within the Presbyterian Church, of which was adopted by other Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Methodist churches, Eastern Orthodox Church, Baptist churches and the Lutheran churches. Prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) the practice of Roman Catholic clergy wearing the clerical collar as street-dress tended to be found only in those countries where Roman Catholicism was the minority religion. The use of Clerical Collars was mandatory for U.S. Catholic priests starting in 1884.

Preaching Tabs in the Reformed tradition, which stresses preaching as a central concern, pastors often wear preaching tabs, which project from their clerical collar. Preaching bands (an alternative name for tabs) are also worn by Anglican clergy, particularly on occasions such as inductions when choir dress of cassock, surplice, preaching scarf (Tippet) and the academic hood pertaining to degree is worn, as well as at Mattins and Evensong. Lutheran and Methodist clergy sometimes attach preaching bands to their clerical collars as well.

Denominational Practices:

The clerical collar is worn by all ranks of clergy. Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and often seminarians who have been admitted to candidacy for the priesthood along with their cassock during liturgical celebrations use the Clerical Collar.

Clerical Collars are typically worn by clergy of groups such as those of the Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran traditions. However, many Scandinavian Lutheran clergy wear the ruff instead. Additionally, many Pentecostal and non-denominational Protestants, as well as others wear collars. In the Roman Catholic tradition, major seminarians, after receiving admission to candidacy (and thus becoming “candidates” for ordination), often wear clericals in the seminary or in their dioceses.

WHY I WEAR MY CLERICAL COLLAR:

As we have noted in the beginning of this article, the Clerical Collar is a significant tool to express the symbolism of the calling upon one’s life. It separates the clergy from the world, I that it implies that there is a separation between the called and chosen from the laity. It expresses the identity of the wearer as a member of the three major offices (Deacon, Priest, Bishop).

However, if you ask me why I wear my Clerical Collar, the answer is quite simple…

  • It represents years of study and dedication to the Lord and His Church
  • It identifies me as not just a servant, but a Priest of the Most High God
  • It signifies the sacrifice that the Lord has made for me, and my duty to Him
  • It reminds me that I am not above the people of God, rather their humble servant on behalf of the Lord

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