An Ascension Day Office – Livestreaming at 12 Noon, May 21st

Ascension 2020

Ascension Day is a neglected Holy Day in the modern Church.  Since it always occurs  on the Thursday following the Fifth Day after Easter (Rogation Sunday), it is rarely read in a formal service.   I celebrated it every year in my former parish and I thought that, given the continued lockdown in many parts of the country and the world, A.D. 2020 would be a good time to revive the office.  The text was prepared based upon services in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, combined with the Collect, For the Epistle and Gospel, Lord’s Prayer, Gloria in excelsis and Closing Blessing from the Holy Communion liturgy in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, plus two canticles based on Scripture.    The complete text, including the appropriate Hymnal page for the Venerable Bede’s Ascension Day hymn, A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing, is available in the AIC Bookstore Publication, Occasional Services for Anglican Worship, which also includes service for other neglected or rarely celebrated days or seasons.  It is available by order from commercial bookstores and through the Virtual Bookstore link at the bottom of the Home page of this site.

An Ascension Day Office
May 21st, A.D. 2020

Please respond or say with the Minister all the words in Bold
The people always say the Amen.

THE OPENING PRAYERS
[Adapted from Tenth Conference of St. John Cassian, 5th C.]
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Thy throne has been established from of old;
Thou art from everlasting. Alleluia.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

BLESSED art thou, O Lord of heaven and earth, to thee be honour, glory and praise for ever.  From the darkness of death thou hast raised thy Christ from the dead to the right hand of thy majesty on high. The pioneer of our faith, his passion accomplished, has opened for us the way to heaven and sends upon us thy promised Spirit.  May we be ready to follow the Way and so be brought to the glory of his presence where songs of triumph for ever sound.

Blessed be God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever and ever.

THAT the remainder of this day may be holy, good and peaceful, let us pray with one heart and mind.     

O GOD our heavenly Father, as our Ascension day prayers rise before thee, may thy mercy be upon us; cleanse our hearts and set us free to sing thy praise, now and for ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The Psalm Page 219
Cantate Domino.

The Psalm appointed for this day is Psalm 96.
Please read responsively the words in bold type.

O SING unto the Lord a new song; * sing unto the Lord, all the whole earth.
2. Sing unto the Lord, and praise his Name; * be telling of his salvation from day to day.
3. Declare his honour unto the heathen, * and his wonders unto all people.
4. For the Lord is great, and cannot worthily be praised; * he is more to be feared than all gods.
5. As for all the gods of the heathen, they are but idols; * but it is the Lord that made the heavens.
6. Glory and worship are before him; * power and honour are in his sanctuary.
7. Ascribe unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, * ascribe unto the Lord worship and power.
8. Ascribe unto the Lord the honour due unto his Name; * bring presents, and come into his courts.
9. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; * let the whole earth stand in awe of him.
10. Tell it out among the heathen, that the Lord is King, and that it is he who hath made the round world so fast that it cannot be moved; * and how that he shall judge the peoples righteously.
11. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; * let the sea make a noise, and all that therein is.
12. Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it; * then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord.
13. For he cometh, for the cometh to judge the earth; * and with righteousness to judge the world, and the peoples with his truth.

The Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

The First Ascension Day Canticle
 [Based on 1 Timothy 3:16]
Christ Jesus was revealed in the flesh and vindicated in the spirit.
Christ was believed in throughout the world and taken up in glory.
He was seen by angels and proclaimed among the nations.
Christ was believed in throughout the world and taken up in glory.
Believed in throughout the world, he was taken up in glory.
Christ was believed in throughout the world and taken up in glory.
This will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign,
Christ was believed in throughout the world and taken up in glory.
Who alone has immortality, and dwells in unapproachable light.

All saying together:  

To the King of kings and Lord of lords be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.

The Collect for Ascension Day Page 177

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

For the Epistle Page 177 

The For the Epistle  reading is from the 1st Chapter of
The Acts of the Apostles, beginning at the 1st verse:

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom be had chosen: to whom also he shewed him self alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Here endeth the Epistle.

The Second Ascension Day Canticle
[Based on Psalm 145:1-4, 10-11, 21]

I WILL magnify thee, O God, my King; * and I will praise thy Name for ever and ever.
2. Every day will I give thanks unto thee; * and praise thy Name for ever and ever.
3. Great is the Lord, and marvellous worthy to be praised; * there is no end of his greatness.
4. One generation shall praise thy works unto another; * and declare thy power.
10. All thy works praise thee, O Lord; * and thy saints give thanks unto thee.
11. They show the glory of thy kingdom, * and talk of thy power.
21. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: * and let all flesh give thanks unto his holy Name for ever and ever.

The Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

The Gospel Page 178

The Holy Gospel is written in the 24th Chapter
of the Gospel of St. Luke, beginning at the 49th Verse.

Glory be to thee, O Lord.

JESUS said, Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. 

Praise be to thee, O Christ.

The Lord’s Prayer Page 82 

And now as our Saviour Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say,

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. Lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gloria in excelsis Page 84

GLORY be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men.  We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.

O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.

For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

The Extinguishing of the Candles

Closing Music

A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

The Venerable Bede’s Ascension Day hymn, arranged to the German tune Lasst uns erfreuen, played on the Church organ in England by Richard Irwin, used with permission.

Richard’s music is available for download at
play.hymnswithoutwords.com

The original version has seven verses, with a double Alleluia after the first stanza and 5-fold Alleluia after the final stanza.

Here is the lyric for the first verse:

A hymn of glory let us sing
New songs tho’out the world shall ring
Alleluia! Alleluia

Christ by a road before untrod,
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer and Responses 

O Christ our God, who hast opened the kingdom of heaven,
bring us to reign with thee in glory.  

Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!  

The Blessing Page 84 

THE Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord:  And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.  Amen.

Go in peace and serve the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Thank you for joining us for this celebration of Ascension Day.  Please join us on Sunday, May 24th, for another livestreaming of a service of Holy Communion for Sunday after Ascension.

Fourth Sunday after Easter A.D. 2020-Livestreaming Service of Holy Communion

Easter4 Broadcast 2020

Full Text of the Service 

Please respond or say with Minister all the words in Bold
The people always say the Amen.
Page numbers are from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

A Prayer In Time of Calamity   Page 41

O GOD, merciful and compassionate, who art ever ready to hear the prayers of those who put their trust in thee; Graciously hearken to us who call upon thee, and grant us thy help in this our need; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Collect for Purity Page 67

ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Decalogue  Page 68

GOD spake these words, and said:
I am the Lord thy God; Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.  

II.  Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them;.
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

III.  Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain;
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

IV.  Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day.
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

V.  Honour thy father and thy mother;
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

VI.  Thou shalt do no murder.
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

VII.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

VIII.  Thou shalt not steal.
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

IX.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.

X.  Thou shalt not covet
Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee.

The Kyrie  Page 70

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

The Prayer of Sanctification  Page 70

O ALMIGHTY Lord, and everlasting God, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify, and govern, both our hearts and bodies, in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; that, through thy most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Salutation  Page 70

  The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.

The Collect for Fourth Sunday after Easter  Page 174

O ALMIGHTY God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou hast commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Old Testament Lesson Page xxii

The Old Testament lesson is written in the 19th Chapter of Job,
beginning at the 21st verse.

HAVE pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.  Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?  Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!  That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!   For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another;.

Here endeth the Old Testament lesson.

The Psalm Reading

The Psalm appointed for this day is Psalm 116.  Please respond with the half verse.

Psalm 116 Page 486
Dilexi, quoniam.

MY delight is in the Lord; * because he hath heard the voice of my prayer.
2. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me; * therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3. The snares of death compassed me round about, * and the pains of hell gat hold upon me.
4. I found trouble and heaviness; then called I upon the Name of the Lord; * O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; * yea, our God is merciful.
6. The Lord preserveth the simple: * I was in misery and he helped me.
7. Turn again then unto thy rest, O my soul; * for the Lord hath rewarded thee.
8. And why? thou hast delivered my soul from death, * mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9. I will walk before the Lord * in the land of the living.
10. I believed, and therefore will I speak; but I was sore troubled: * I said in my haste, All men are liars.
11. What reward shall I give unto the Lord * for all the benefits that he hath done unto me?
12. I will receive the cup of salvation, * and call upon the Name of the Lord.
13. I will pay my vows now in the presence of all his people: * right dear in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
14. Behold, O Lord, how that I am thy servant; * I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid; thou hast broken my bonds in sunder.
15. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, * and will call upon the Name of the Lord.
16. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, in the sight of all his people, * in the courts of the Lord’s house; even in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.  Praise the Lord. 

The Gloria Patri Page 9

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle Page 170

The Epistle is written in the 1st Chapter of the Epistle of St. James, beginning at the 17th verse.

EVERY good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Here endeth the Epistle

The Gospel Page 171

The Holy Gospel is written in the 16th Chapter of the Gospel of St. John, beginning at the 5th verse.

Glory be to thee, O Lord.

JESUS said unto his disciples,Now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?  But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.   Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Praise be to thee, O Christ.

The Nicene Creed  Page 70

I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible: 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father:  And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.  

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets:

And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church:  I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins:  And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come.  Amen.

Announcements
Commentary on the Sunday Readings

The Prayer for Christ’s Church Page 74

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to accept our [alms and] oblations, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant that all those who do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity and godly love.

We beseech thee also, so to direct and dispose the hearts of all Christian Rulers, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion, and virtue.

Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and other Ministers, that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments.

And to all thy People give thy heavenly grace; and especially to this congregation here present; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive thy holy Word; truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.

And we most humbly beseech thee, of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those who, in this transitory life, are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.

And we also bless thy holy Name for all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to grant them continual growth in thy love and service, and to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom.  Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate.  Amen.

Invitation to Holy Communion Page 75

YE who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling.

The General Confession Page 75

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things,  Judge of all men;  We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Pardon & Absolution Page 76

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Comfortable Words Page 76

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to him.

COME unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.  St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the Propitiation for our sins.  1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

The Sursum Corda Page 76

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.
Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
It is meet and right so to do. 

The Proper Preface/Preface Completed  Pages 77

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.  

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify thy glorious Name; evermore praising thee, and saying,

The Sanctus Page 77

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts
Heaven and earth are full of thy glory:
Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High.  Amen.

The Canon of the Mass Page 80

ALL glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou, of thy tender mercy, didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again:  For in the night in which he was betrayed, (a) he took Bread; and when he had given thanks, (b) he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, (c) this is my Body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me.  Likewise, after supper, (d) he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for (e) this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me. 

WHEREFORE, O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we, thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same.

AND we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

AND we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion.  And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him. And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice; yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer Page 82

And now, as our Saviour Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say,

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

The Prayer of Humble Access  Page 82

WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies.  We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table.  But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.  Amen.

The Agnus Dei Page 82

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
grant us thy peace.

Words of Administration of the Elements Page 82

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.

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.

Prayers for Those Unable to
Receive the Sacraments by Reason of
Law or Regulations

Acknowledgment of God’s
Mercy and Preservation  Page 587

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being; We, thy needy creatures, render thee our humble praises, for thy preservation of us from the beginning of our lives to this day, and especially for having delivered us from the dangers of the past night.  For these thy mercies, we bless and magnify thy glorious Names; humbly beseeching thee to accept this our morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; for his sake who lay down in the grave, and rose again for us, thy Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Intercession  Page 590

AND accept, O Lord, our intercessions for all mankind.  Let the light of thy Gospel shine upon all nations; and may as many as have received it, live as becomes it.  Be gracious unto thy Church; and grant that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may serve thee faithfully.  Bless all in authority over us; and so rule their hearts and strengthen their hands, that they may punish wickedness and vice, and maintain thy true religion and virtue.  Send down thy blessings, temporal and spiritual, upon all our relations, friends, and neighbours.  Reward all who have done us good, and pardon all those who have done or wish us evil, and give them repentance and better minds.  Be merciful to all who are in any trouble; and do thou, the God of pity, administer to them according to their several necessities; for his sake who went about doing good, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

The Prayer of Thanksgiving Page 83

Let us pray.

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom, by the merits of his most precious death and passion. And we humbly beseech thee, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with thy grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

The Gloria in excelsis Page 84

GLORY be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men.  We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.

O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.  Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. 

For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

The Blessing Page 84

THE Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord:  And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.  Amen.

Thank you for joining us for this live broadcast of Holy Communion for the Fourth Sunday after Easter.  Please join us again next Sunday, Fifth Sunday after Easter, commonly called Rogation Sunday, May 17th, at 10:30 A.M.  

Live Service for Easter Day

Easter Broadcast 2020This service offers traditional Anglicans who have not heard a live celebration of Holy Communion access to a live service for Easter Day, based on the 1928 Book of Common Prayer texts.  The 1928 B.C.P. services retains nearly all the original features of Archbishop Cranmer’s adaption of traditional Holy Communion as practised in the English tradition.  His work was also strongly influenced the emerging non-Roman Catholic practices in Europe and, unfortunately not often recognized, the translation into English of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, first published at London in the 1520s.  The 1928 B.C.P. has a different Canon of the Mass and some parts are presented in a different order; nonethless, it remains faithful to Cranmer’s original purpose of a Scripture-based service with a strong sense of spirituality

The service will be read using a temporary altar at my home in Mechanicsville, Va.  My wife and I will be the only persons present.  Having retired from pulpit ministry at Epiphany A.D. 2014, this will be my first live service since then.  I broadcast all my Sunday services live at my former parish beginning in August 2010 A.D.  On most Sundays there were more people watching online than were present in the Chapel.

The illustration is two facing pages from The Gospels of Otto III, widely-regarded as the finest illuminated Bible ever produced.  Many of the images from it are or will be used in the AIC Bookstore Publications on each of the four Gospels.  The Gospel of John: Annotated and Illustrated should be available mid-year.  My goal is to have it in print for Whitsunday.

With patience, faith and Grace, we will get through this current crisis of the body which has deprived us of access to the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Thank you for your interest and support.

May God bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen.

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

Teach the Anglican Calendar – Part 2

After a few week interval during which I’ve been busy with editing a new book, I return to the theme of the necessity for teaching the Anglican calendar.  As far as I know those Anglicans who use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, or the ” last real prayer book” as the late Peter Toon called it, are the only group staying with the one-year reading cycle.  The traditional one-year cycle incorporated into the 1549 Book of Common Prayer by Archbishop Cranmer has the virtue of keeping a congregation’s attention focused on the primary themes of the Gospels.

Christ-in Majesty-with Evangelists-Pericopes of Henry II-72dpi
Christ in Majesty in a mandorla surrounded by the traditional symbols of the four evangelists, miniature illumination in tempera and gold on parchment, Pericopes of Henry II, made in the Scriptorium, Reichenau Monastery, Reichenau, Germany, 1007-1012.  Clm 4452, Bayerische Landesbibliotek, Munich, Germany.  Creative Commons:  CC-by-SA 4.0 International.

I oppose the modern trend toward the three-year cycle because it  diffuses the teaching focus of the Church; and, unfortunately, encourages local clergy to wander off the traditional teaching path and into the grass and the trees along the way.  Even with the one-year cycle in place, clergy feel free to avoid the Gospel lesson and spend twenty, thirty or forty or more minutes on a favored Old Testament theme, or one sentence out of the appointed Epistle reading.

The fact is that people need to continued reminding concerning the Gospel lesson for the 52 Sundays each year.  Following the calendar’s appointed reading does not mean giving the same Homily (or Sermon in the American context) year after year.  No that such a thing does not happen, but it risks a scenario like my days in graduate school when the professor, each and every year, read the same material, including the same jokes built into the lesson plan, even to the extent of laughing at his own jokes, which he had not heard since the previous year.

The ways to avoid that particular problem are several.  The first is by focusing upon the context of the reading, including going either backward or forward from the appointed pericope.  The second is by focusing upon a central theme, or by connecting the Gospel reading backward into the Old Testament lesson for the day, including the Psalm reading, a technique which helps a congregation learn these important cross-connections.   The important point, no matter which approach is taken, is that teaching from the pulpit should reinforce the learning process set in place by Archbishop Cranmer, whose genius is not properly appreciated by today’s clergy.

One of the primary objectives of the Anglican Internet Church is to provide the faithful with access to traditional teaching in the form of Podcast Homilies, Bible Study Videos, Christian Education Videos on topical issues, and through the AIC Bookstore Publications.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  May God bless you in all that you do in His Name!  Amen!  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

 

 

The Gospel of John: Annotated & Illustrated

Gospel of John-Cover-144.jpg

Today I happily make public the status of a new book project: The Gospel of John: Annotated & Illustrated.  The format and size will be the same or similar to that used for Revelation: an Idealist Interpretation and The Writing Prophets of the Old Testaments.    The Gospel text will be the NKJV version, printed in 14 pt type in Adobe Trajan Pro, a easy-to-read digital serif font created for Adobe by Carol Twombly in 1989.  The Annotations will be printed in 12 pt type in Adobe Caslon Pro, a modern serif type based upon a face created in England by William Caslon in the mid-18th C.    Citations from quoted Scripture used within the Annotations will be set in 11 pt. type with deeper inset on both the right and left than the original use.

Gospel of John-First Chapter Proof-p11-96dpi
Illustration: Copyright Duchessart|Alamy Stock Photo, Inc.

The working copy of the first chapter at left gives an indication of the book’s look.  The illustration, for the first page of Chapter 1, is a 13th C. mosaic from the Genesis dome at the Basilica of St. Mark, Venice, Italy.  Depicted are two scenes: left, Separating the Light from the Darkness; right, Setting the Firmament.  The Byzantine-style Basilica was completed in the 9th C., with many additions made in later centuries.

John’s Gospel is a book like no other in the New Testament, offering a first hand account of many events not mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels.  Because it was dictated to a scribe, traditionally said to be Prochorus, later Bishop of Ephesus, when read aloud, it has the cadence of a private lecture offering a glimpse into the tumultous final three years in the earthly life of Jesus Christ.  My objective in designing, researching and producing the book will be to let 21st C. readers have their own copy of a Gospel book with the colorful array of imagery used by Christians since the beginning of the 5th C. to pass along to later generations the stories told in John’s Gospel.  Such an experience was once only possible for the very rich and powerful both inside and outside the Church.

As currently imagined, the finished work will run about 200 plus pages, printed in paperback in full colour.  As currently planned, there will also be a digital version made available in Kindle format.   Although the research is mostly complete, based upon the twenty revised and expanded episodes in the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, there is no timetable for this project.   There are technical and legal issues to resolve, as well as decisions about the format of Chapters 6, 7, and 8.  These chapters are mostly an extended  — and often heated — dialogue between Jesus and the group of Pharisees, Chief Priests and scribes who followed Him wherever He went, hopeful of catching Him out in saying something they could use against Him.  Earlier generations of illustrators suffered from the same problem, with the result that there are almost no images available between the Feeding of the Multitudes/Calming the Seas/Walking on the Sea in the first half of Chapter 6 and the Healing of the Man Born Blind at the start of Chapter 9.  These dialogues include several of the “I Am” declarations (Bread of Life; Living Bread; Light of the World; and Before Abraham Was, I Am), which I discussed in Episodes Twenty-nine to Thirty-five in the New Testament Bible Study series.  I have been searching the archives of known sources of  illuminated Gospels, lectionaries and private devotionals looking for suitable images.

Illustrations will be chosen from the AIC’s investory of public domain images gathered from around the world from public domain sources and royalty-free photographic services.   They will include mosaics, frescoes, icons, engravings, paintings, enamels, watercolors, charcoal sketches, altarpieces and photographs.   The precious resources from which the images were chosen have been digitized and made available to the public for the first time just in the last decade.   The oldest image is a mosaic from the early 5th C.  The “newest” image is a 2nd Qtr 20th C. stained glass window from the AIC Bookstore Publication Paintings on Light: the Stained Glass Windows of St. Joseph’s Villa Chapel.  

In other news, I will be changing my email address.  The new address is frron.aic@earthlink.net.  This completes the final transition away from references to my former parish which is now closed.   The current email address will remain active until late in the 1st Qtr, A.D. 2020.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  May God continue to bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen!

Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

 

New Testament: Gospels – Episodes 28 to 31

Christ-Samaritan womanatwell-Ravenna-6th C

Hoping to get the revisions to New Testament: Gospels online before Christmas (and even more hopefully before Thanksgiving), I’ve accelerated the schedule of uploads.  For the week of October 27th there are four new episodes.  Episode Twenty-eight is focused on how the followers of John the Baptist became followers of Jesus Christ; the calling of the two pair of brothers, Peter and Andrew, James and John; and the dramatic conclusion of Chapter 1.  Episode Twenty-nine is the first of seven episodes focused on the “I Am” declarations, beginning with Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the Well of Jacob, with St. Photina as the first to whom Jesus reveals Himself as Messiah.  Episode Thirty continues with two more “I Am” declarations, the first calming the Disciples at sea and the second being Part 1 of 2 on “I Am the Bread of Life.”  Episode Thirty-one continues the story with Part 2 of 2 of the “I Am the Bread of Life,” plus “I Am the Living Bread,” and Part 1 of 2 in “I Am the Light of the World.”

It is always hard to decide upon a feature image for a multi-episode release.  I have chosen a 1st Quarter, 6th C. A.D. Byzantine-style mosaic of St. Photina and Jesus at the Well of Jacob, one of 13 mosaics in the upper tier in the left wall of the Nave at the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy.  The figure in white is not identified.    Among the professional photographs of the Basilica I could not find a higher resolution version of this image.  Because it is so high up on the wall, it is very hard to photograph without distortion.  The image here is from Wikipedia Commons.  In the video I explain the meaning of St. Photina’s name, her family history, and the traditional story of her death as a martyr.   I also explain why this encounter and the first one in Episode Thirty is presented as an “I Am” declaration.  Among other details I encountered is the tradition that the well-head from this story was bought by a Byzantine emperor and was installed and still exists beneath the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople/Istanbul, Turkey.

Watch Episode Twenty-eight      Listen to the Podcast of Episode Twenty-eight.

Watch Episode Twenty-nine.      Listen to the Podcast of Episode Twenty-nine.

Watch Episode Thirty.      Listen to the Podcast of Episode Thirty.

Watch Episode Thirty-one.      Listen to the Podcast of Episode Thirty-one.

I have recorded and edited into video format (and made the companion MP3 podcasts) for Episode Thirty-two through Episode Forty-one.  These will be released during the early weeks of November.   I still need to record the sound tracks for Episode Forty–two through Episode Forty-five, but will not be able to do so until the week of Nov. 10th.

I have also been upgrading each page on this site, adding images from the newest videos and correcting formatting errors.  In coming weeks, I hope to replace several of the masthead images with material from the videos.  This will not be easy owing to the wide-screen format.  Narrow slices of most images would be unacceptable.  My objective is to make the site more usable in conveying traditional Christian teaching.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. I urge viewers and listeners to share this material with others.  May God bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen!  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

 

New Testament: Gospels – Episodes 24 and 25

 

Luke-Writing His Gospel-Byzantine-Ms Additional 28815-f76v-BritLibr-PCA
St. Luke Writing His Gospel  Byzantine illumination in tempera and gold on parchment, 10th C. A.D., Constantinople.  From the Yorck Project (10000 Masterworks of Painting).  Original image is Ms. Additional 28815, Folio 76v, British Library, London, England.

Once again this week I have “doubled up” and uploaded two new episodes in the revised and extended version of our Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels.  In Episode Twenty-four and Episode Twenty-five I complete my discussion of the Gospel of St. Luke.  Both episodes are focused on Unique Content in the Gospel of St. Luke.  Episode Twenty-four is focused on the Kingdom Lectures and the Restoration of Zaccheus.  Episode Twenty-five is focused on three topics, Jesus Before Herod, the Prayer Habits of Jesus, and the important roles for women in St. Luke’s Gospel.   The featured image is a 10th C. A.D. Byzantine illumination in tempera and gold on parchment made at Constantinople, showing St. Luke seated in an upholstered chair with a platform for his feet and in front of a large desk writing his Gospel.  The desk is filled with quills and what looks like a paper knife.  There are scrolls and a inkpot at his feet.  This version does not include the traditional image of an ox, the symbol of Luke.  The original is from Ms. Additional 28815, Folio 76v, British Library, London, England.  The British Library has not yet digitized much of the Additional Ms collection, including No. 28815.  This version is sourced from the Yorck Project, a DVD published in 2002 A.D. as 10,000 Masterworks of Painting.  The entire set of more than 10,000 images can be viewed on line.

Watch the Video of Episode 24.        Listen to the Podcast of Episode 24.

Watch the Video of Episode 25.        Listen to the Podcast of Episode 25.

I have recorded the first two of twenty revised and extended versions focused on the Gospel of St. John, these being episodes twenty-six to forty-five.  Episode Twenty-six and Episode Twenty-seven will be released during the week of October 20th. Episode Twenty-five is focused on a general introduction to the Gospel of St. John and a reading of St. John’s unique Prelude in verses 1-5.  Episode Twenty-seven begins with a discussion of John 1:1-5 and moves on to reading and discussion of John 1:5-18.  Later today I will record the next two episodes which will be released during the week of October 27th.   The slides and script for all remaining episodes have been completed but lack sound tracks and picture-to-sound correlation in iMovie.  The final slide in the series, in Episode Forty-five, will be No. 1560 (vs. No. 885 in the original series).  It has been a great and enjoyable adventure finding and editing the great Christian tradition of spiritually-minded images (vs. the modern representational forms in which the meaning often gets lost in the details and backgrounds).  I hope and pray that viewers find them spiritually enriching and helpful in understanding Scripture.

I have started work on a new series of Podcast Homilies based upon the appointed readings from Psalms and Lessons for Morning Prayer in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, using the alternative which includes a Gospel reading for the Second Lesson.  These will be linked from the Podcast Homilies page and posted in the order of the Church Calendar beginning with First Sunday in Advent.  I hope to have the four Advent podcasts complete before the start of the new Church Year 2019-2020 on December 1st.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  May God continue to bless you in all that you do in His Name! Amen!  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!

New Testament: Gospels – Episodes 22 & 23

Episode Twenty-two and Episode Twenty-three in the revised and expanded version of the AIC Bible Study Video series, New Testament: Gospels, were uploaded to the AIC’s YouTube channel and Podbean channel this morning.

Thomas-Incredulity_XIV_C_Russian
The Incredulity of Thomas.   Icon in tempera and gilt on panel, 14th C. A.D., Monastery of the Metamorphosis, Meteora, Greece.  The icon was lost for centuries and was rediscovered in the early 1960s A.D.  There are several versions of the same scene currently available but with disputes over dates and location.  Some sources claim this version is a later Russian Orthodox copy.    Public Domain.

In order to finish the revisions in the series before year end, I decided to “double up” and complete two each week.  Both of this week’s premiers are about Unique Content in the Gospel of St. Luke, with Episode Twenty-two on Jesus’ discourses on Spiritual Light and the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Episode Twenty-three on His moral discourses.  The featured illustration is from the latter episode (in the context of “O You of little faith” Luke 12:28b).

Watch Episode Twenty-two.      Listen to Podcast of Episode Twenty-two

Watch Episode Twenty-three.    Listen to Podcast of Episode Twenty-three

The two remaining episodes on the Gospel of St. Luke will be completed and uploaded during the week of October 14th.

The first two episodes on the Gospel of St. John (Episodes Twenty-six and Twenty-seven) are nearly complete and, barring any technical glitches, should be available for upload during the week of October 21st.  I have completed the revisions of all the remaining slides and scripts in the series and hope to release two episodes per week with a goal of getting the whole series uploaded before Christmas.

As always, thank you for your interest and support.  May God bless you in all that you do in His Name!  Amen.  Glory be to God for all things! Amen!