Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Remigius, Archbishop of Rheims: 1 October 2009

Remigius was born about 438 and made Bishop at the ripe old age of 22. He served as Bishop of Rheims during the time of the Barbarian invasions and the Arian conflict. In fact it is indeed possible that Remigius changed the history of Europe as he witnessed to Clovis, King of the Franks, who became Catholic Christian as opposed to becoming Arian as did the Goths and the Vandals. Clovis was baptised Christmas day 496 with about three thousand of his followers, and as the Franks were to make big changes in Europe. In fact the Franks prevented the Muslims from taking over France under Charles Martel, and under Charlemagne consolidated power. The Franks also converted the Visigoths so that the Arians no longer had military hegemony over the area. I t should also be noted that Clovis’s descendents helped lead to the conversion of some English royal families during the time of the heptarchy.

I particularly like Religious’ words to Clovis, “Burn what you worshipped, and worship what you burned. Once, Clovis was baptised, Remigius was free to proclaim the Gospel to the Franks, which he did, founding may churches and dioceses. Remigius, like several other saints was known to have a way with animals, sparrows would eat out of his hands as he ate. Chiefly though we remember Remigius for his fine work converting Clovis and the Franks.

Collect: Heavenly Father, as you empowered your Bishop Remigius, to witness the Gospel of our Lord Yeshuah to Clovis, King of the Franks, and to convert him and the Frankish nation, empower us to reach out to the leadership of the nations that they may acknowledge you to be the true sovereign of this world, through our Lord Yeshuah haMoshiach, who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

St. Jerome: 30 September 2009

St. Jerome

Jerome was born in about 347and was converted and baptised while a student at Rome. While visiting Trier, he found he was attracted to monastic life, which he tested by living alone in the desert in Syria. He continued his studies in Greek and Hebrew and went to Antioch in about the year 379 and studied under Gregory of Nazianzus. From 382-384 he served as secretary to Pope Damascus and spiritual director to women interested in the Monastic life. After Damascus’s death he returned to Bethlehem and founded a monastery there. He remained there until his death, 30 September 420. Jerome is most famous for his translation of the Bible into the common Latin of the day, which was known as the vulgate. Jerome was one of a long line of people who wanted to make the Bible available to all people. We note in passing that Jerome unlike others of his day used the Masoritic Text, even though most references in the New Testament were actually to the Septuagint.

Collect: Father, you raised up Jerome to render the Bible into the tongue of the common people. Grant in this and every generation men and women who can make your word clear to us that we may truly worship you, this we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Yeshuah haMoshiach. Amen. (white)

Monday, September 28, 2009

St. Michael and all Angels

St. Michael and All Angels

Today we recognise the heavenly hosts. Our Greek brothers and sisters refer to them as the bodiless powers, recognising that angels are essentially spiritual beings. Now just, what are angels? The Greek word, Angel means messenger. Angels and Archangels basically then are messengers sent by God. It is reckoned by theologians that only Angels and Archangels have anything to do with men. The other classes are angels in ascending order are: Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. It is not clear to us the purposes of these various classes of spiritual beings, but we know that they serve God, and the last two, cherubim and seraphim are reckoned as angels of the presence, that is that they are in the highest heaven with the Lord.

Biblically, there are several manifestations of angels. First, we hear of the Angel of the Lord, which for the most part is not reckoned to be an angel, but to be the Lord YHWH himself. Next we run into St Michael, the Archangel who is described in Daniel and Revelations. He is counted as the special angel who is in charge of Israel, and who casts Satan out of heaven. He is again mentioned in Revelations. St. Raphael is mentioned in the book of Tobit and accompanies Tobias on his adventures. St. Gabriel is mentioned in the New Testament, and he is the Angel who announces the birth of Jesus. Uriel is mentioned in IV Esdras. Other angels are not mentioned by name. The Seraphim are described by Isaiah in his vision. The Cherubim are described by Ezequiel in his vision. Thrones are mentioned in Colossians, Dominions in Colossians, Virtues in I Peter, Powers in Colossians, and Principalities in Colossians. It should be mentioned that for most classes of angels, there are corresponding classes of demons. When Satan was cast out of heaven one third of the angels followed him. Therefore angles, spiritual thought they may be, are like us, capable of choosing between right and wrong.

This day we remember especially St. Michael and the other angels who minister to us, and to those in heaven who give us the example of constantly praising Godl

Please go to the reference above and look at the 71 versions of St. Michael, truly fascinating.

Collect: Dear Lord, as you created a vast order of angelic hosts to worship you and do your will, grant that we too like your angels in heavens would worship you and do your will. This we ask in the name of our blessed Yeshuah who is higher than the angels. Amen.
Lessons: Isaiah 6:1-3
Revelation 1:5-14
Mark 13:21-27
Psalm 14

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yom Kippur: 28 September 2009

Today is Yom Kippur, one of the Holiest of the High Holy Days of the Jews which we remember. Our Lesson from Leviticus explains the preparations which the high priest had to make in order to offer the offering for the sins of the people. First he had to wash, a symbol of purity. Then he had to put on the special clothes reserved to the high priest (clothing indicates our deeds). Afterwards, he had to have a sacrifice to pay for his own sins. Then and only then could he enter into the Holy of Holies and sacrifice for the sins of the peoples, which he did by sprinkling blood on the cover of the ark of the covenant. Note even then, he had a rope tied to his foot just in case. The hem of his robe had bells. If the bells stopped ringing, they knew the High Priest had been struck dead for his sins and was pulled out.

Jesus, by his death on the cross finished this sacrifice for ever. Jesus was without sin, so no need to wash, or even sacrifice. He was perfect man, without sin, so he needed no magnificent clothing to symbolize his good deeds, all his deeds were good. Through his goodness and perfection, he was able to enter into that Holy Place, of which the Holy of Holies was only the palest of shadows. Instead of offering the blood of a lamb, he offered his own blood to cover the mercy seat, once and for all, to cover our sins for ever. When Jesus died on the cross, we are told that the curtain ripped in two. This symbolizes that we all have access to the throne of grace through the blood of Jesus.

The Jews wore white on this day, so symbolize they were clean of sin. The same in days gone past, Christians would don a white garment after their baptism, and wear it for fifty days to remind them that Jesus had paid for their sins and they were cleansed indeed.

Today, and every Friday is good to remember that Jesus, through his life and his death on the cross, provided for us a way to enter into God’s presence. Join with me fasting on this day, so that we may join Jesus in his sufferings so as to remember the wonders he did for us.

Lessons: Leviticus 16:1-34, Hebrews 9:23-28, Mathew 27:45-51

Collect: Heavenly Father, as we remember the day of atonement which prefigured Messiah’s death on the cross. Separate our sins as far from us as the east is from the west, and grant that we may enter into the holy place where you now rein, one God, in glory everlasting. (Lenten array or violet

Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Sergius: 25 September 2009

St. Sergius

St. Sergius is one of the three prominent saints of Russia. He was born early in the 14th century, the child of boyars who became impoverished. He was one of three sons. His brother, Stefan was a monk, and upon their parents death, Sergius (Bartholomew) joined him, but persuaded him to move to a more isolated area. Deep in the Forest at Makovets hill, they built a small cell and a wooden church.

His brother left for Moscow, but Sergius remained and took vows as a monk. Others were attracted to him and his way of life, and other cells began to be built around him. They eventually persuaded him to become their father superior and he was ordained to the presbyterate. All the monks, including Sergius lived by their own labour. Eventually they founded a guest house, and eventually a town and villages grew up around Holy Trinity Monastery. The Patriarch of Constantinople granted him a monastic charter. Sergius’s followers founded some 400 monasteries across central and northern Russia. IN imitation of Sergius (and indeed like the Benedictines) they chose the most isolated places to live in to preserve their solitude, but also helped to build communities through their hard work. Sergius not only contributed to the building up of Christianity through Russia, but helped develop towns and civilasion as well.

He did bless Dmitri Donskoy before his battle with the Tartars, but not until being certain that all peaceful alternatives had been tried. When the Metropolitan of Russia, Alexius asked him to take his place, he declined, saying he had never worn gold in his life, so how could he do it, now that he was old. It is also said that like St. Frances and several other saints, that he had a special relationship with animals.

Sergius was truly a holy man of God, who led by example. May God grant our church leaders who would do likewise.

Collect: Father, as you raised up Sergius to inspire the Russian people in their faith, grant that we like his monks would seek to serve our neighbours that they too would come to know you as Lord and Saviour, who lives and reigns with Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

St. Mathew the Evangeist: 21 September 2009

St. Mathew the Evangelist
21 September 2009

Mathew the Evangelist, also known as Levi. He began as a tax collector and Jesus called him to repentance, and to follow him. Shortly after this, Jesus went to a supper at Mathew’s home where he was rebuked by the Pharisees for eating in the house of the sinner. One hope that Jesus’s reply of being sent to those who need healing may have brought some Pharisees to repentance, but on said subject the Bible is silent. Legends tell us that Mathew worked among the Hebrews for some 15 years before departing for other climes. Legends also claim that he evangelized (and died) just south of the Caspian Sea, as well as Persia, Parthia, Macedonia and Syria.

It is stated that he left a copy of the Gospel to the Hebrews (and this may be the same one that was taken to India by St. Thomas. We believe that that fist Gospel was written in Aramaic, but more than likely, our present Gospel of Mathew is not a direct translation, but a translation with some additional materials. The Gospel of Mathew has a clear emphasis on showing that Jesus completed the Law and the Prophets and that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and Saviour of the world.

Collect: Dear Father, as you raised Mathew from being a tax collector to an ambassador for your kingdom, and caused him to write his Gospel for the Messianic Jews of his time; so transform us that our lives would lead to the conversion of many and help us to remember that our lives may be the only Bible unbelievers will read. This we ask through Yeshuah, who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

Mathew 9:9-13 (Eucharist)
Mathew 13:44-52 (Matins or Vespers if using above lesson for Matins)

Friday, September 18, 2009

19 September: St. Theodore of Tarsus, Rosh HaShanna

Today we celebrate St. Theodore of Tarsus and Rosh Hoshanna.

Rosh Hoshanna is Jewish New Year. It is celebrated by dipping bread and apples in honey and eating them asking God to give us a sweet year. This day in the synagogue, the shofar (Ram's horn) is blown to trumpet God in as king of the universe. At point we will go to a river or stream and throw bread crumbs in and watch them being carried away to remember that God will remove our sins from us as far as the east from the west when we accept Jesus as Saviour.

What Does the Shofar Say

Listen to the sound of the Shofar, this Rosh Hashanah day,
What is it, what does the Shofar say?
Awake, sleepers arise!
Don’t be like sheep, so sound asleep,
Letting the wolf in the door, to destroy, corrupt and more.
He’s in the music, promoting drugs,
He’s on TV promoting sex and rebellion,
He’s in the school teaching one to be a hellion.
Parents, do you love your children,
Then teach them, teach them.
At their rising, at their sitting,
Going out, coming in, at their eating,
Jesus Christ is Lord, He died for you, and many more,
And expects to be your Lord.

Listen to the sound of the Shofar, this Rosh Hashanah day,
What is it, what does the Shofar say?
Awake, sleepers arise!
Don’t be like sheep, so sound asleep,
False shepherds abound misleading the sheep,
Saying science, psychology is King.
If it feels good do it, if it hurts no-one, ‘tis not a sin, or so they sing.
Jesus is not Lord, he’s just one way, of which there are many more.
Stand up O sheep, flee from such shepherds, For at that last day, they shall flee, or
Be astounded, upon finding resurrection is true,
But alas they are blue,
For never having known Jesus, they have condemned themselves,
And those who followed them to a future so bleak,
That to think upon makes me weak

Listen to the sound of the Shofar, this Rosh Hashanah day,
What is it, what does the Shofar say?
Ti ra! Ti ra! Arise, charge, ‘tis time to fight the good fight,
‘tis time to show the adversary our might.
Put on the Gospel Armour, refrain from retreating,
It is time to gain souls, it is time to gain kings,
It is time to show the world our Lord and King.
We have been asleep, allowing Satan his will
And we have had to pay the bill.
The time is over, Satin take cover,
For the church is called to be on the move.
Blow the shofar, blow the trumpet, Good Christians, ATTACK!
You are the mighty hosts of the Lord, armed with his Spirit and Word,
The battle is yours, the war is the Lord’s.

St. Theodore of Tarsus

St. Theodore of Tarsus was sent by Pope Vitalian of Rome to take the place of the Anglo Saxon candidate for Bishop, Wighard died in Rome. Theodore, already 65, a monk, but not yet presbyter turned out to be an excellent man for the job. He worked out differences between Roman and Celtic traditions, filled vacant Bishoprics and organized the very first council of the Church of England. He was, according to Bede the first Archibishop whom all the English obeyed. He organized dioceses, set boundaries and basically organized the English church. One of his organizational details is still used by our church. Twenty five percent of the offering to the poor, twenty five percent to maintaining the church, twenty five per cent to the clergy for maintenance of the altar and clergy and twenty five per cent to the bishop for his expenses and misson.

He also founded a school which was attended by Celts and English, helping to unify the traditions, and which taught Greek, Latin, poetry, astronomy and calendar calculation.

When Theodore arrived, things were a mess. When he died twenty three years later at the age of 88 on 19 September, 690, the church was organized and ready for mission.

Collect: Heavenly Father, you sent Theodore to organize and put right the church of England and to reconcile the church of the English with the Church of the Celts. Raise up among us, clergy and laity, who will help organise the church today so that it would be an effective means of evangelising the world in which we live. This we ask in the name of Yeshua, who lives and reigns with you and Ruach ha Kodesh, one God in Glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Collect for Rosh Hoshanna:Father as on this day we commemorate the creation of human kind, help us to repent in truth from our many sins, and to learn to truly walk and talk with you as did Adam and Hava. Let the shofar truly call us to be with you, and may you grant us a sweet year to come. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach who lives and reins with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. (white)

Lesson for Rosh Hoshanna: Numbers 29:1-26, Psalm 81

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

St. Ninian, Bishop of Galloway:16 September 2009

St. Ninian, Bishop of Galloway

Ninian was a Celt, born about 360. It is said that he studied in Rome and was a friend and imitator of St. Martin of Tours, his good friend with whom he spent much time. Ninian was the first known preacher who reached out north of Hadrian’s wall, and preached as far South as the English Lake District and as far north as the Firth of Moray. He was important as were Patrick and Columba in preserving the Roman-British Church and definitely had effect on Celtic Christianity. He preached principally to the Picts, and principally in Southern Scotland many churches are dedicated to him and said to have been founded by him. He named his base at Galloway Candida Casa (White House or Whitethorn) which name is believed to have been used by St. Martin of Tours for his monastic settlement.

Most of what is known about Ninian comes from the Venerable Bede.

Collect: Father, as you raised up Ninian as Bishop of Galloway and to preach the Gospel to the Picts. Raise us in this and every land evangelists who are willing to suffer for the faith by preaching no matter what the circumstances. We ask this through the same Yeshuah who gives us joy in all circumstances. Amen. (white)

Monday, September 14, 2009

St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage.15 September 2009

Sr. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage

St. Cyprian was a well educated and well known orator in Carthage. He was baptised between 245 and 248,and after being baptised gave away some of his wealth. He was ordained deacon fairly quickly after this, and presbyter, and elected Bishop between 248 and 249, though opposed by the presbyters.

Shortly after consecration as Bishop, the Decian Persecution began. Cyprian fled secretly from Carthage, but managed to run and guide the church from a distance. E was condemned for this action, but was justified in the fact that he was able to help his people form a distance. After the persecution arose a controversy over whether or not to readmit to the church those who had sacrificed to the emperor. Many were rapidly readmitted to the communion without demonstrating clear signs of repentance. Cyprian insisted on clear repentance, and many were not readmitted until they were on the death bed, although this was often mitigated. . Presbyters were deposed for such sacrifices.

Another battle was to follow over baptism performed by non-Christians. Cyprian ran against the view of most of the church holding that such baptisms were not valid. In the year 256 began the Valerian persecution, and Cyprian prepared his diocese for this, in example this time, being arrested for being Christian and being put to death for refusing to sacrifice to the emperor. When judged that he must die, he responded thanks be to God, and was beheaded by sword on 14 September 256.

Collect: Father, you raised up Cyprian to be bishop of Carthage, and gave him gifts to administer and guide his church during time of great persecution. Grant that we may like him encourage others to follow the true faith, and like him be prepared to give up our lives for you. This we ask through our Lord and Saviour Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

(note this feast day was transferred from Sunday)

The Holy cross: 14 September

It is said that St. Helena, the mother of Constantine discovered a portion of the true cross in 326. (St. Helena discovered the true sites of many events, guided by dream, a fiend of mine calls her the patron St. of Travel Agents), and while there might be questions about some of the sites, there is a certain amount of archeological evidence showing that the location of the church of Holy Sepulcher is accurate. The church was dedicated on the 13th of September 335. The following day, the cross was taken out to the hill top believed to be Calvary and venerated.

This day, for us a day of fasting, we remember the cross as the instrument of our salvation. Red vestments are worn.

Dear Lord, as the church to venerate the true cross was dedicated this say, so may we dedicate our lives to you that we would be willing to take up our cross and follow, no matter where you lead. This we ask through our Lord and Saviour Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Martyrs of Papua New Guines

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