CHRISTMINSTER
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)
1910 Falls Street, Niagara Falls, New York 14303 USA
July--September 2014

JULY 2014

Daily Posting: June 18/July 1

O God, who hast vouchsafed to enlighten thy Church by the wondrous learning and life of blessed Ephrem thy Confessor and Doctor: we humbly beseech thee that at his intercession, thou wouldest protect it by thy power against every assault of wickedness and error. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Ephrem of Syria, June 18/July 1]

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THE winged herald of the day
Proclaims the morn's approaching ray:
And Christ the Lord our souls excites,
And so to endless life invites.

Take up thy bed, to each he cries
Who sick, or wrapped in slumber lies:
And chaste, and just, and sober stand
And watch; my coming is at hand.

With earnest cry, with tearful care,
Call we the Lord to hear our prayer:
While supplication, pure and deep,
Forbids each chastened heart to sleep.

Do thou, O Christ, our slumbers wake;
Do thou the chains of darkness break:
Purge thou our former sins away,
And in our souls new light display.

All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete. Amen.

Hymn of Tuesday at Lauds [Ales diei nuntius])

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I am thy servant, O grant me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. It is time for thee, Lord, to lay to thine hand; for they have destroyed thy law. [Psalm 118[119]:125-126]

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JULY 2014

DAYNCOCF/AOBSERVANCE
TUE118St. Ephraim of Syria, DCD, III
WED219St. John Maximovitch, BC, II / St. Gervase & Protase, MM, IV
THU320
FRI421F/A
SAT522St. Alban, M, III
SUN623PENTECOST IV / St. Etheldreda, AB, IV
MON724Nativity of St. John the Baptist, I
TUE825
WED926F/ASt. John and Paul, MM, IV
THU1027
FRI1128F/A*Vigil, St. Irenaeus, BM, IV
SAT1229St Peter and Paul, AP, I
SUN1330ALL HOLY APOSTLES, II / PENTECOST V
MON141
TUE152Visitation of BVM, I
WED163F/A
THU174Holy Royal Russian Martyrs, III
FRI185F/A
SAT196
SUN207PENTECOST VI / ST. CYRIL AND METHODIUS, BC, III
MON218
TUE229
WED2310F/A*St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves, AB, IV
THU2411Solemnity of our Holy Father Benedict, I
FRI2512F/A
SAT2613
SUN2714PENTECOST VII
MON2815St. Vladimir, Enlightener of Russia, III
TUE2916
WED3017F/ASt Andre Rublev, IV
THU3118


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RANKS of Feasts:
I.Solemnity
II.Greater Feast
III.Lesser Feast
IV.Commemoration

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, AbbessK = King
AP = ApostleM = Martyr
APS = ApostlesMk = Monastic
B = BishopMM = Martyrs
C = ConfessorP = Priest, Prophet
Dc = DeaconV = Virgin
D = DoctorVV = Virgins
EV = EvangelistW = Widow


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Daily Posting: June 19/July 2

It is truly meet and right, our joy and salvation, that we should always, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God. And especially do we praise thee on the solemnity thy holy Confessor John, who, by the illumining of thy Holy Spirit, didst shine forth among us with the gifts of a holy life; who, by the wisdom of his preaching and the light of his example, dost show forth among us the perfect teaching of thy holy Church; who, spurning the foolish wisdom of the world, rejoiceth now in the blessed company of all thy Saints; and having opened the treasures of thy holy Faith unto all peoples, standeth now in glory, wearing a crown of blessedness in thy heavenly Kingdom. Through Christ our Lord, by whom the Angels praise thy majesty, the Dominions adore thee, the Powers tremble before thee; the Heavens, the heavenly Virtues, and blessed Seraphim, together sing thy praise; with whom we pray thee to join our humble voices, evermore saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, etc. [Preface for Mass of St. John Maximovitch, June 19/July 2]

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Almighty, everlasting God, who through blessed John, thy Confessor and Bishop, didst cause the light of thy true Faith to shine forth among many peoples; grant, we beseech thee, at his intercession, that we who celebrate his festival may faithfully follow the doctrine which he taught, and with him attain unto the glory of thy heavenly Kingdom. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. John Maximovitch, June 19/July 2]

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For I love thy commandments above gold and precious stone. Therefore hold I straight all thy commandments; and all false ways I utterly abhor. [Psalm 118[119]:127-128]


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Daily Posting: June 20/July 3

Mine eyes are wasted away with looking for thy health, and for the word of thy righteousness. O deal with thy servant according unto thy loving mercy, and teach me thy statutes. [Psalm 118[119]:123-124]

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From the Fathers ...

You, almighty Master, created all things for your name's sake, and gave food and drink to human beings to enjoy, that they might give you thanks; but to us you have graciously given spiritual food and drink, and eternal life through your servant. ... Remember your Church, Lord, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in your love; and gather it, the one that has been sanctified, from the four winds into your kingdom which you have prepared for it; for yours is the power and the glory forever. May grace come, and may this world pass away. (The Didache)


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Daily Posting: June 21/July 4

THY testimonies are wonderful; therefore doth my soul keep them. When thy word goeth forth, it giveth light and understanding unto the simple. [Psalm 118[119]:129-130]

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From the Fathers ...

Be sincere and innocent, and you will be like little children who do not know the evil that destroys human life. ... Speak evil of no one, and do not enjoy listening to someone who does. Otherwise you, the listener, will be responsible for the sin of the one speaking evil. ... Slander is evil; it is a restless demon, never at peace but always at home with dissension. ... The Lord lives in patience; the devil in an angry temper. (The Shepherd of Hermas).

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Daily Posting: June 22/July 5

O God, who didst hallow this day by the martyrdom of blessed Alban: grant, we beseech thee, that we who year by year rejoice in his feast day may be supported by his continual assistance. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Alban, June 22/July 5]

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I opened my mouth, and drew in my breath; for my delight was in thy commandments. O look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy Name. [Psalm 118[119]:131-132]

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From the Fathers ...

Turn to the Lord with all your heart and ask of him unhesitatingly, and you will know his extraordinary compassion, because he will never abandon you but will fulfill your soul's request. For God is not like humans, who bear grudges; no, he is without malice and has compassion on his creation. ... Clothe yourself, therefore, with cheerfulness, which always finds favor with God and is acceptable to him. (The Shepherd of Hermas)

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Daily Posting: June 23/July 6

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee; that the course of this world may be so precisely ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, 4th Sunday after Pentecost]

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And Jesus entered into a ship, and sat down, and taught the people, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, 4th Sunday after Pentecost]

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Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net. [Magnificat antiphon, 4th Sunday after Pentecost]

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Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that thy household may walk in the way of salvation: and by following the exhortations of blessed John the Forerunner, may surely attain unto him whom he foretold, thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vigil of St. John the Baptist, June 23/July 6]

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Order my steps in thy word; and so shall no wickedness have dominion over me. O deliver me from the wrongful dealings of men; and so shall I keep thy commandments. [Psalm 118[119]:133-134]

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Daily Posting: June 24/July 7

O for thy spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;
So by thy children might thy deeds of wonder
meetly be chanted.

Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to thy father promise of thy greatness;
How he shall name thee, what thy future story
Duly revealing.

Secretly believing message so transcendent,
Him for a season power of speech forsake,
Till, at thy wondrous birth, again returneth
Voice to the voiceless.

Thou, in thy mother's womb all darkly cradled,
Knewest thy Monarch, biding in his chamber;
Whence the two parents, through their children's merits,
Mysteries uttered.

Praise to the Father, to the Sole-begotten,
and to thee, alway with the Twain co-equal,
Fostering Spirit; one and only Godhead
Through all the ages. Amen.

(Hymn at first and second Vespers, [Ut queant laxis] Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24/July 7]
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When Zacharias went into the temple, there appeared unto him the Angel Gabriel, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24/July 7]

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The mouth of Zacharias was opened, and he prophesied, saying: Blessed be the God of Israel. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24/July 7]

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O God, who hast made this day honourable for us by the Nativity of blessed John: grant unto thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the souls of all the faithful into the way of eternal salvation. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24/July 7]

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The child that is born unto us is more than a prophet; for this is he of whom the Saviour saith: Among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater that John the Baptist. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24/July 7]

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Shew the light of thy countenance upon thy servant, * and teach me thy statutes. Mine eyes gush out with water, * because men keep not thy law.[Psalm 118[119]:135-136]

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Daily Posting: June 25/July 8

From the Fathers ...

For all these things I gave thanks to the Lord: because he had mercy on those who called upon his name, and sent forth the angel of repentance to us who had sinned against him and renewed our spirit and, when we were already ruined and had no hope of life, restored our life. ...

If our God and Lord, who rules over all things and has authority over all his creation, holds no grudge against those who confess their sins and is merciful, can a human being, who is mortal and full of sin, hold a grudge against someone, as though he could destroy or save him?

The Lord lives among people who love peace, for peace is truly dear to him, but he keeps his distance from the quarrelsome. (The Shepherd of Hermas)

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RIGHTEOUS art thou, O Lord; and true is thy judgment. The testimonies that thou hast commanded are exceeding righteous and true. [Psalm 118[119]:137-138]


Daily Posting: June 26/July 9

We invite all to visit our new web site. We recently changed web servers and, under the guiding hand of Fr. Daniel, our web site has been streamlined and made easier to access. The address has not changed: We look forward to hearing your comments on our new site and wish you happy browsing.

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We beseech thee, Almighty God, that to-day we may receive the twofold joy of this feast in the triumph of blessed John and Paul, who were made brethren indeed by the same faith and the same martyrdom. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sts. John and Paul, June 26/July 9]

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My zeal hath even consumed me; because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Thy word is tried to the uttermost, and thy servant loveth it. [Psalm 118[119]:139-140]

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From the Fathers ...

Christians are not distinguished from the rest of humanity by country, by language, or by custom. For nowhere do they live in cities of their own, nor do they speak some unusual dialect, nor do they practice an eccentric lifestyle. This teaching of theirs has not been discovered by the the thought and reflection of ingenious people, nor do they promote any human doctrine as some do. But while they live in both Greek and barbarian cities, as each one's lot was cast, and follow the local customs in dress and food and other aspects of life, at the same time they demonstrate the remarkable and admittedly unusual character of their own citizenship. They live in their own countries, but only as aliens; they participate in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign country is their fatherland, and every fatherland is foreign. They marry like everyone else, and have children, but they do not expose their offspring. The share their food but not their wives. They are in the flesh, but they do not live according to the flesh. They live on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws; indeed in their private lives they transcend the laws. They love everyone and by everyone they are persecuted. They are unknown, yet they are condemned; they are put to death, yet they are brought to life. They are poor, yet they make many rich; they are in need of everything, yet they abound in everything. They are dishonored, yet they are glorified in their dishonor; they are slandered yet they are vindicated. They are cursed, yet they bless; they are insulted, yet they offer respect. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when they are punished, they rejoice as though brought to life. (Letter to Diognetus)

Daily Posting: June 27/July 10

I am small and of no reputation; yet do I not forget thy commandments. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.[Psalm 118[119]:141-142]

Daily Posting: June 28/July 11

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that thou suffer us not to be shaken by any disturbance, whom thou hast firmly established on the rock of the Apostolic confession. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 27/July 11]

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From the Fathers ...

When God sent Jesus Christ, he did so as one who saves by persuation, not compulsion, for compulsion is no attribute of God. Wehn he sent him, he did so as one calling, not pursuing; when he sent him, he did so as one lobing, not judging. But he will send him aghain as judge, and who will endure his comming?

For what else but his rtighteousness could have covrered our sins? In whom was it possible for us, the lawlwess and ungodly, to be jusitfied, except in the Son of God? O the sweet exchange, O the incomprehensible work of God, O the unexpected blessings, that the sinfulness of many should be hidden in one righteous man, whuile the righteousnes of one should jusitfy many sinners. (Letter to Diognetus)

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Trouble and heaviness have taken hold upon me; yet is my delight in thy commandments. The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: O grant me understanding, and I shall live. [Psalm 118[119]:143-144]

Daily Posting: June 29/July 12

To-day Simon Peter ascended the gibbet of the cross, alleluia: to-day the Key-bearer of the Kingdom joyfully departed to Christ: to-day Paul the Apostle, the light of the whole world, bowed down his head; and for the Name of Christ, received the crown of martyrdom, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, June 29/July 12]

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PETER, good shepherd, may thy ceaseless orisons,
For us prevailing, break the bands of wickedness:
For thou of old time didst receive authority
The gates to open, or to close, of Paradise.

O by thy doctrine, Paul, thou sage illustrious,
Guide us in virtue, raise our spirits heavenwards;
Till perfect knowledge stream on us abundantly,
And that which only is in part be done away.

Glory eternal to the Blessed Trinity,
With laud and honour, virtue and supremacy,
Trinal yet Onely, reigning in his majesty
Both now and ever, through the ages infinite. Amen.

Hymn of Lauds [Jam, bone Pastor, Petre]
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O God, who hast consecrated this day by the martyrdom of thine Apostles Peter and Paul: grant unto thy Church that in all things she may follow the precepts of those through whom she received the beginning of her religion. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, June 29/July 12]

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I call with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord, I will keep thy statutes. Yea, even unto thee do I call; help me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. [Psalm 118[119]:145-146]

Daily Posting: June 30/July 13

O Almighty God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone: grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Collect, Feast of the Holy Apostles, June 30/July 13]

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Early in the morning do I cry unto thee; for in thy word is my trust. Mine eyes prevent the night-watches; that I might be occupied in thy words. [Psalm 118[119]:147-148]

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O GOD, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass man's understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, fifth Sunday after Pentecost]

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. [Benedictus antiphon, fifth Sunday after Pentecost]

If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, fifth Sunday after Pentecost]

Daily Posting: July 1/14

From the Fathers ...

God loved humanity, for whose sake he made the world, to whom he subjected everything on earth, to whom he gave reason, to whom he gave mind; them alone he permitted to look up to heaven, then he created in his own image, to them he sent his one and only Son, to them he promised the kingdom in heaven, which he will give to those who have loved him.

Do not be surprised that a person can become an imitator of God; he can, if God is willing. ...

Whoever take upon himself a neighbor's burden, whoever wishes to benefit another who is worse off in something in which he himself is better off, whoever provides to those in need things that he has received from God, and thus becomes a god to those who receive them, this one is an imitator of God. [Letter to Diognetus]

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Hear my voice, O Lord, according unto thy loving-kindness; quicken me, according as thou art wont.They draw nigh that of malice persecute me, and are far thy law. [Psalm 118[119]:149-150]

Daily Posting: July 2/15 - - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Blessed art thou, O Mary, for thou hast believed: and there shall be a performance in thee of those things which were told thee from the Lord, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, July 2/15]

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When Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, she spake out with a loud voice, and said: Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, July 2/15]

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We beseech thee, O Lord, bestow upon us thy servants the gift of thy heavenly grace: that as our salvation began by the Childbearing of the blessed Virgin, so this devout solemnity of her Visitation may afford us an increase of peace. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, July 2/15]

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All generations shall call me blessed: for God hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, July 2/15]

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Be thou nigh at hand, O Lord; for all thy commandments are true. As concerning thy testimonies, I have known long since, that thou hast grounded them for ever. [Psalm 118[119]:151-152]

Daily Posting: July 3/16

From the Fathers ...

(The Church of England recently "abolished" the devil from its baptismal liturgy. Hence the following from Paphias).

Some of the angels ... got assigned to rule over the orderly arrangement of the earth, and commissioned them to rule well ... But as it turned out, their administration came to nothing and the great dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, was cast out; the deceiver of the whole world was cast down to the earth along with his angels.

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O consider mine adversity, and deliver me, for I do not forget thy law. Avenge thou my cause, and deliver me; quicken me, according to thy word. [Psalm 118[119]:153-154]

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Tomorrow is the feast of the Holy Royal Russian Martyrs.

Daily Posting: July 4/17

O God of unspeakable mercy, who didst enable thy holy Royal Martyrs to lay aside an earthly for an heavenly crown, and to overcome death by dying for thy Name: deliver us, we beseech thee, by their intercession, from all bondage to sin and death, that with them we may come to thy perfect freedom in the heavenly fatherland. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Collect, Holy Royal Russian Martyrs, July 4/17]

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Health is far from the ungodly; for they regard not thy statutes. Great is thy mercy, O Lord; * quicken me, as thou art wont. [Psalm 118[119]:155-156]

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From the Fathers ...

With gratitude to the Maker of the universe, by invocation and hymns, we offer thanks for our creation, for all the means of health, for the various qualities of the different kinds of things, and for the changes of the seasons; and we present petitions before him that we exist again in incorruption through faith in him.

Let those who are found living as Jesus Christ taught be understood to be no Christians, even though they profess with the lip the precepts of Christ; for not those who make profession, but those who do the works, shall be saved, according to his word: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Justin the Martyr)

Daily Posting: July 5/18

Many there are that trouble me, and persecute me; yet do I not swerve from thy testimonies. It grieveth me when I see the transgressors; because they keep not thy law. [Psalm 118[119]:157-158]

Daily Posting: July 6/19

From the Fathers ...
We have been taught that Christ is the Firstborn of God, and we have declared that he is the Word of whom every race of humanity were partakers; those who lived by reason are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists -- as, among among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus, and others like them; and among the barbarians, Abraham, Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, and Elijah, and many others whose actions and names we now decline to recount, because we know it would be tedious. (Justin Martyr)

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Consider, O Lord, how I love thy commandments; O quicken me, according to thy loving-kindness. Thy word is true from everlasting; all the judgements of thy righteousness endure for evermore. [Psalm 118[119]:159-160]

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Single lesson for July, Office of St. Mary on Saturday

That a man was born from a virgin is not beyond belief, since a fountain of water gushed out from a rock, and iron floated on water, and a man walked on the sea. Therefore, if the waves bore a man, cannot a virgin give birth to a man, and to that man of whom we read, The Lord shall send them a Saviour, a man, and the Lord shall be known to Egypt? In the Old Testament, a virgin led the Hebrew host through the Red Sea: in the New Testament a Virgin was chosen as the palace of the heavenly Birth, to bring us salvation. [From a letter by St. Ambrose, Bishop, to Bishop Siricius]

Daily Posting: July 7/20

LORD of all Power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, sixth Sunday after Pentecost]

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The multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, sixth Sunday after Pentecost]

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I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: and if I send them away fasting, they will faint by the way, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, sixth Sunday after Pentecost]

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Almighty everlasting God, who by thy blessed Bishops and Confessors Cyril and Methodius didst vouchsafe to call the Slavic peoples to the knowledge of thy Name: grant that we who glory in their festival may be joined unto their fellowship. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, July 7/20]

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PRINCES have persecuted me without a cause; but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. I am as glad of thy word, as one that findeth great spoils. [Psalm 118[119]:161-162]

Daily Posting: July 8/21

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

Love Holy Scripture and wisdom will love you. Love her, and she will keep you. Honor her, and she will embrace you. (St. Jerome)

Reading Scripture is like reading letters from the other world. (St. Augustine)

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As for lies, I hate and abhor them; but thy law do I love. Seven times a day do I praise thee, because of thy righteous judgments. [Psalm 118[119]:163-164]

Daily Posting: July 9/22

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

If you say "enough," you are lost. Go further, keep going. Don't stay in the same place, don't go back, don't go off the road. (St. Augustine)

What saint has ever won his crown without first contending for it? (St. Jerome)

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Great is the peace that they have who love thy law; and they are not offended at it. Lord, I have looked for thy saving health, and done after thy commandments. [Psalm 118[119]:165-166]

Daily Posting: July 10/23

From the Fathers ...

[On the practice of the Lord's Supper] We this food the Eucharist, of which none is allowed to partake unless they believe that the things which we teach are true, have been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins unto regeneration, and who are so living as Christ has enjoined. For we do not receive these as common bread and common drink: as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh for our salvation, we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of his word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. (St. Justin Martyr)

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My soul hath kept thy testimonies, and loved them exceedingly. I have kept thy commandments and testimonies; for all my ways are before thee. [Psalm 118[119]:167-168]

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O GOD, who didst grant to blessed Anthony the Abbot to imitate Christ in his poverty, and with humble heart to follow him to the end: grant to all who walk in the way of thy commandments neither to look back nor to wander from the way, but, hastening to thee without stumbling, to come to life everlasting. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen.

Jewel most precious for the King celestial,
Rule of the righteous, way of all the cloistered,
Forth from the miring of the world's uncleanness,
Benedict, draw us.

Spurning the earthly, you, O starry-hearted,
Gave your possessions to your aged parents;
For the marred vessel earned the vessel perfect,
Meet for the Master.

Great though the hermit, slender were the members
Striving to conquest over youth and labour:
Narrow beginnings by your zealous fervour
Won their fulfilment.

When a wall, falling, overwhelmed a stripling
Soon as you prayed, prayer to life restored him;
At the same moment, sense to flesh returned,
Soundness to body.

When, all unknowing, rose the lovely spirit
Of your dead sister, piercing star-set heaven,
Rightly, in semblance of a dove so gentle,
Did you behold it.

Soon the high triumph you yourself repeated,
Won starry summits after earth was conquered;
Lo, a bright pathway of supernal radiance
Flamed from your mantle.

Praise to the Father, to the Sole-begotten,
And to thee, alway with the Twain co-equal,
Fostering Spirit; one and only Godhead
Through all the ages. Amen.

First and second Vesperal hymn for Feast of the Solemnity of our Holy Father St. Benedict, Abbot [Gemma caelestus], July 11/24
Daily Posting: July 11/24

O GOD, who didst vouchsafe to fill thy most blessed Confessor Benedict with the spirit of all the righteous: grant unto us thy servants who celebrate his Solemnity that, being filled with the same spirit, we may faithfully accomplish that which thou hast enabled us to promise. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Collect, Feast of the Solemnity of our Holy Father St. Benedict, Abbot, July 11/24]

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Joy our Founder's Feast hath taught us,
Many gifts of new light brought us
Who do set his day apart.
To the pious man is given
Grace, to strive as he hath striven,
Love to warm the ardent heart.

We, in wonder at that vision
Which above the east hath risen,
Praise our glorious Patriarch.
Countless seed did he engender -
Thus as Abraham in splendour,
Day-star dawning in the dark.

Served by ravens, like Elias,
We do see him, pure and pious,
Dwelling in his silent cave.
Like Eliseus, power showing,
Spake he to the torrent flowing,
Bade the axe float on the wave.

Great was Jacob's prophesying,
Pure was Joseph's lust-defying,
Dear as these his life is priced.
For his children interceding,
May he by his mighty pleading,
Lead us to the joys of Christ. Amen. Alleluia.

[Sequence, Feast of the Solemnity of our Holy Father St. Benedict, Abbot, July 11/24]
Daily Posting: July 12/25

From the Fathers ...

Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter made the world; and it the day on which Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead. (St. Justin Martyr)

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LET my complaint come before thee, O Lord; give me understanding, according to thy word. Let my supplication come before thee; deliver me according to thy word. [Psalm 118[119]:169-170]

Daily Posting: July 13/26

NEW POSTINGS FORTHCOMING

Those unfamiliar with the monastic office in the Benedictine tradition may be unaware of the sequence of hymns used at Vespers throughout the week. Each day the Vespers hymn ponders one of the days of creation from the book of Genesis. Beginning next week we will be posting the hymn appropriate for each day. St. Benedict and others generally ascribe to St. Ambrose the tradition of these hymns.

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From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

To know oneself has always been the greatest of all lessons. For, if anyone knows himself, he will know God. And, in knowing God, he will become like him. [St. Clement of Alexandria] Let it be your first care not to deceive yourself. [St. Melito of Sardis]

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My lips shall speak of thy praise; when thou hast taught me thy statutes. Yea, my tongue shall sing of thy word; for all thy commandments are righteous. [Psalm 118[119]:171-172]

Daily Posting: July 14/27

O BLEST Creator of the light,
Who makest the day with radiance bright,
And o'er the forming world didst call
The light from chaos first of all:

Whose wisdom joined in meet array
The morn and eve, and named them day:
Night comes with all its darkling fears,
Regard thy people's prayers and tears.

Lest, sunk in sin and whelmed with strife,
They lose the gift of endless life;
While thinking but the thoughts of time,
They weave new chains of woe and crime.

But grant them grace that they may strain
The heavenly gate and prize to gain
Each harmful lure aside to cast
And purge away each error past

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

(Hymn of Sunday Vespers [Lucis Creator optime])
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O GOD, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth; We humbly beseech thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which are profitable for us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, seventh Sunday after Pentecost]

Beware of false Prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, seventh Sunday after Pentecost]

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit: every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, seventh Sunday after Pentecost]

Daily Posting: July 15/28

O GREAT Creator of the sky,
Who wouldest not the floods on high
With earthly waters to confound,
But madest the firmament their bound:

The floods above thou didst ordain;
The floods below thou didst restrain:
That moisture might attemper heat,
Lest the parched earth should ruin meet.

Upon our souls, good Lord, bestow
The gift of grace in endless flow:
Lest some renewed deceit or wile
Of former sin should us beguile.

Let Faith discover heavenly light;
So shall her ray direct us right:
And let this Faith each error chase,
And never give to falsehood place.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

(Hymn of Monday Vespers [Immense Caeli Conditor])
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O God, who makest us glad by the yearly solemnity of thy blessed Confessor Vladimir: mercifully grant that we who honour his birthday my also imitate his good deeds. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Common of a Confessor not a Bishop, St. Vladimir, Enlightener of Russia, July 15/28]

Daily Posting: July 16/29

Earth's mighty Maker, whose command
Raised from the sea the solid land;
And drove each billowy heap away
And bade the earth stand firm for aye:

That so the soil might herbage yield,
And blossoms fair to deck the field,
And golden fruit and harvest bear,
And pleasant food for man prepare.

Our spirit's rankling wounds efface
With dewy freshness of thy grace:
That grief may cleanse each deed of ill,
And o'er each lust may triumph still.

Let every soul thy law obey,
And keep from every evil way:
Rejoice each promised good to win,
And flee from every mortal sin.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

(Hymn of Tuesday Vespers [Telluris ingens Conditor])
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From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

The Church is composed of the bishop, the clergy, and all who are steadfast. [St. Cyprian of Carthage]

The Church, which is catholic and one, is not split asunder nor divided, but is truly bound and joined together by the cement of its priests, who hold fast to one another. [St. Cyprian of Carthage]

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Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy commandments. I have longed for thy saving health, O Lord; and in thy law is my delight. [Psalm 118[119]:173-174]

Daily Posting: July 17/30

O GOD, whose hand hath spread the sky
And all its shining hosts on high,
And, painting it with fiery light,
Made it so beauteous and so bright:

Thou, when the fourth day was begun.
Didst frame the circle of the sun,
And set the moon for ordered change.
And planets for their wider range:

To night and day, by certain line,
Their varying bounds thou didst assign:
And gavest a signal, known and meet,
For months begun and months complete.

Enlighten thou the hearts of men,
Polluted souls make pure again:
Unloose the bands of guilt within,
Remove the burden of our sin.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

(Hymn of Wednesday Vespers [Caeli Deus sanctissime])
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O let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and thy judgments shall help me. I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; O seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy commandments. [Psalm 118[119]:175-176]

Daily Posting: July 18/31

ALMIGHTY God, whose will supreme
Made ocean's flood with life to teem;
Part in the firmament to fly,
And part in ocean depths to lie:

Appointing fishes in the sea,
And fowls in open air to be;
That each, by origin the same,
Its separate dwelling place might claim:

Grant that thy servants, by the tide
Of Blood and Water purified,
No guilty fall from thee may know,
Nor death eternal undergo.

Let none despair through sin's distress,
Be none puffed up with boastfulness;
That contrite hearts be not dismayed,
Nor haughty souls in ruin laid.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

(Hymn of Thursday Vespers [Magnae Deus potentiae)
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The God who created us is the God who came to us in Jesus Christ to take us back to his heart, and this same God, as the Spirit of the Risen Lord is with us now. It was the actual experience of this threefold presence of God Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, that led our spiritual forefathers, guided, as promised, by the Holy Spirit, to infer that in some mysterious way, God is triune in nature. The Church in her liturgy is always holding up to our gaze the mystery of the triune God. She holds it up like a precious jewel against the light and turns now this way, now that as she celebrates her mysteries or preaches the word, and so we may see it ever anew. (From: Love Unknown / by Ruth Burrows)

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AUGUST 2014

Daily Posting: July 19/August 1

MAKER of men, from heaven, thy throne,
Who orderest all things, God alone;
By whose decree the teeming earth
To reptile and to beast gave birth:

The mighty forms that fill the land,
Instinct with life at thy command,
Are given subdued to human-kind
For service in their rank assigned.

From all thy servants drive away
Whate'er of thought impure to-day
Hath mingled with the heart's intent,
Or with the actions hath been blent.

In heaven thine endless joys bestow,
But grant thy gifts of grace below;
From chains of strife our souls release,
Bind fast the gentle bands of peace.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Shall live and reign eternally. Amen.

(Hymn of Friday Vespers [Plasmator hominis, Deus])
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From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

Wherever you may be, God will come to you, if the chambers of your soul be found of such a sort that He can dwell in you. [St. Gregory of Nyssa]

Let us reflect how near He is, and that none of the thoughts or reasonings in which we engage are hid from Him. [Pope St. Clement I of Rome]


AUGUST

DAYNCOCF/AOBSERVANCE
FRI119F/ASt. Macrina, IV
SAT220St. Margaret of Antioch, VM, IV
SUN321PENTECOST VIII
MON422St. Mary Magdalene, Penitent, II
TUE523St. Apollinaris, BM, IV
WED624F/A*Vigil
THU725St. James the Apostle, II
FRI826F/ASts. Joachim and Anne, Parents of BVM, III
SAT927
SUN1028PENTECOST IX; St. Pantaleimon, MK, IV; St Victor, BM, IV
MON1129St. Martha of Bethany, III
TUE1230
WED1331F/A
THU141Chains of St. Peter, III; Holy Maccabees, IV
FRI152F/ASt. Stephen, BM, IV
SAT163St. Nicodemus, M, IV
SUN174PENTECOST X
MON185St. Oswald, KM, IV
TUE196TRANSFIGURATION, I
WED207Holy Name of Jesus, II
THU218
FRI229F/A*Vigil
SAT2310St. Lawrence, M, II
SUN2411PENTECOST XI
MON2512
TUE2613
WED2714F/A*Vigil
THU2815ASSUMPTION, I; St. Tarcisius, M, IV
FRI2916
SAT3017
SUN3118PENTECOST XII; St. Helena, Empress, III; St. Fiacre, M, IV


RANKS of Feasts:
I.Solemnity
II.Greater Feast
III.Lesser Feast
IV.Commemoration

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, AbbessK = King
AP = ApostleM = Martyr
APS = ApostlesMk = Monastic
B = BishopMM = Martyrs
C = ConfessorP = Priest, Prophet
Dc = DeaconV = Virgin
D = DoctorVV = Virgins
EV = EvangelistW = Widow


Daily Posting: July 20/August 2

TRINITY of blessed light,
O Unity of princely might;
The fiery sun now goes his way;
Shed thou within our hearts thy ray.

To thee our morning song of praise,
To thee our evening prayer we raise;
Thy glory suppliant we adore
For ever and for evermore.

All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete. Amen.

[Hymn of Saturday Vespers (O lux beata Trinitas)]
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From the Fathers ...

Plato, the Stoics, poets, and historians - each of them spoke in proportion to the share he had of the spermatic Word....whatever things were rightly said among all people are the property of us Christians. (Justin Martyr)

Daily Posting: July 21/August 3

GRANT to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right; that we, who cannot do anything that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, eighth Sunday after Pentecost]

The lord said unto the steward, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, eighth Sunday after Pentecost]

What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed: I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. [Magnificat antiphon, eighth Sunday after Pentecost]

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Weekday antiphons at Prime

Sunday: Alleluia, + Alleluia, Alleluia.

Daily Posting: July 22/August 4

Mary therefore anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair, and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. [Benedictus antiphon, St. Mary Magdalene, July 22/August 4]

May we be aided, O Lord, we beseech thee, by the intercession of blessed Mary Magdalene: in answer to whose prayers thou didst raise her brother Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Mary Magdalene, July 22/August 4]

A woman in the city, which was a sinner, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at the Lord's feet, and began to wash his feet with tears and did wipe them with the hairs of her head. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, St. Mary Magdalene, July 22/August 4]

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Weekday antiphons at Prime

Monday: Serve the Lord in fear + and rejoice unto him with reverence.
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Prayer of St. Dimitri

Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness. Come, my Life, and revive me from death. Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds. Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins, kindling my heart with the flame of thy love. Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there. For thou alone art my King and my Lord.

Daily Posting: July 23/August 5

O God, the rewarder of faithful souls, who hast consecrated this day by the martyrdom of blessed Apollinaris, thy Priest: grant to us, we beseech thee, that we who keep his honoured festival may obtain pardon through his prayers. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Apollinaris, July 23/August 5]

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From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

Chastity has three forms: one that of married life, a second that of widowhood, and a third that of virginity. We do not extol one to the exclusion of others. [St. Ambrose of Milan]

If we offer to Him our chastity, that is, our body's chastity, we receive from Him chastity of the spirit. [Origen]


Weekday antiphons at Prime

Tuesday: God is a righteous Judge, + strong and patient, and God is provoked every day.

Daily Posting: July 24/August 6

Weekday antiphons at Prime

Wednesday: Up, Lord, + and let not man have the upper hand.
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From the Fathers ...

Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue who have believed in Jesus throughout all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, crucified, thrown to wild beasts, put into chains, thrown into fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession. The more such things happen, the more do others (and in increasing numbers) become faithful, and worshipers of God through the name Jesus. [St. Justin Martyr]

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St. Justin's words above remind us of the present persecution of Christians. We read recently in the news that in the city of Mosul in Iraq - a city whose Christian community goes back to the time of St. Thomas the Apostle - the Eucharist can no longer be celebrated. The city's Christians have been forced to choose between conversion to Islam, payment of an exorbitant tax, or death by the sword. Given these choices, faithful Christians have fled the city. From the lack of response to this situation from western countries one can perhaps take the temperature of the Christian faith in the west. It is, at best, lukewarm. Let us remember to keep our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in our daily prayers.

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During our years in Canada the chant schola of the Gregorian Institute of Canada held its weekly rehearsals at the Monastery. Those interested in the work of the Institute, or just interested in the liturgical music tradition of the western rite, will find much interesting and useful material here

Daily Posting: July 25/August 7

Be thou, O Lord, the Sanctifier and Guardian of thy people: that being strengthened by the aid of James thine Apostle, they may both please thee in their manner of life, and serve thee with an untroubled mind. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. James, Apostle, July 25/August 7]

Grant, O merciful God, that, as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient to the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Another Collect, St. James, Apostle, July 25/August 7]

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Weekday antiphons at Prime

Thursday: I will sing + of the Lord, because he hath dealt so lovingly with me.
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Regarding yesterday's theme of the current persecution of Christians here are two links concerning current situations...

Senator Jeff Fortenberry

And an attack on the Coptic Pope's residence....
Daily Posting: July 26/August 8

Weekday antiphons at Prime

Friday: My goods + are nothing unto thee; in thee have I put my trust, preserve me, O God.
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Here is another article regarding the ongoing crisis in Iraq. [We are aware that President Obama has ordered air strikes on Iraq and that there have been some humanitarian aid air drops.]

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Mother Anne, be joyful;
Sing, O mother holy
Since thou art the parent
Of God's Mother lowly

Praise thy wondrous daughter
Joachim, too, raises
To the Virgin Mary
His paternal praises

For in her our planet
First hath benediction
Which in hapless Eva
Suffered malediction

Therefore take the praises
Joyous hearts are paying;
And from all defilement
Cleanse us by thy praying

Father, Son, eternal,
Holy Ghost supernal,
With one praise we bless thee,
Three in One confess thee. Amen.

[Hymn at first Vespers, Sts. Joachim and Anne, July 26/August 8]
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O God, who didst choose holy Joachim and Anne as the parents of the glorious Mother of thine Only-begotten: grant unto us at their prayers that in the fellowship of thine elect we may for ever praise thy loving-kindness. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Collect, Sts. Joachim and Anne, July 26/August 8]

I am the God of your fathers, saith the Lord: I have seen the affliction of my people, and heave heard their cry; and I am come to deliver them, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Sts. Joachim and Anne, July 26/August 8]

Daily Posting: July 27/August 9

Weekday antiphons at Prime

Saturday: The Lord liveth + and blessed be the God of my salvation.
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From the Fathers ...

The weaker, the more wretched and poor we are, the more we realize that we have no goodness of our own, and cleave to Jesus with might and main, taking him absolutely at his word that he has come to save sinners, that he has come as our servant, our healer, the more is he able to do everything for us. (From: Love Unknown, by Ruth Burrows)

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A reminder that the registration deadline for the 9th Annual GIC colloquium -- "A Quiet Night and a Perfect End"-- is August 15. We already have 26 registrants from across Canada joining us in Regina, including from Nova Scotia and Ontario.

Various publications in the past few years attest to a growing interest in the office of Compline, including Kenneth Peterson's Prayer as Night Falls: Experiencing Compline and The Song of Prayer: A Practical Guide to Learning Gregorian Chant. These, and other resources, will be part of a Paraclete Press table at the colloquium. In addition to chant, workshop sessions will introduce lesser-known but beautiful Compline-oriented polyphonic works, including a Salva nos by Palestrina. For an up-to-date schedule and music, see this link..

Daily Posting: July 28/August 10

LET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and, that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, ninth Sunday after Pentecost]

When the Lord was come near to Jerusalem, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying: If thou hadst known, even thou! For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, ninth Sunday after Pentecost]

Is it not written, Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people? but ye have made it a den of robbers. And he was daily with them, teaching in the temple. [Magnificat antiphon, ninth Sunday after Pentecost]

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Father we praise thee, now the night (day) is over,
Active and watchful, stand we all before thee;
Singing we offer prayer and meditation:
Thus we adore thee.

Monarch of all things, fit us for thy mansions;
Banish our weakness, health and wholeness sending;
Bring us to heaven, where thy Saints united
Joy without ending.

All-Holy Father, Son and equal Spirit.
Trinity blesséd, send us thy salvation;
Thine is the glory, gleaming and resounding
Through all creation. Amen.

(The {Sunday} Summer Hymn at Matins [Nocte surgentes])

Daily Posting: July 29/August 11

From the Fathers ...

This is what faith does for us, as the elders, the disciples of the apostles have handed down to us: first of all, it admonishes us to remember that we have received baptism for the remission of sins in the name of God the Father, and in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of God, who became incarnate and died and was raised, and in the Holy Spirit of God; and that his baptism is the seal of eternal life and is rebirth unto God, with the result that we are no longer merely children of mortal human beings, but the eternal and everlasting God. (St. Irenaeus)

Religion is to be defended not by putting to death, but by dying, not by cruelty but by patience, not by an impious act but by faith. ... For if you wish to defend religion by bloodshed, and by tortures, and by doing evil, it will not be defended but polluted and profaned. For nothing is so much a matter of free will as religion. (Lactantius)

Daily Posting: July 31/August 13

Our only real need is God. We are made for God, our destiny is God and he created us in order to bring us to it. We persist in wanting to be god to ourselves, thinking that we know the shape of our destiny and how to reach it. Like our religious ancestors we are unable to believe that God will be God to us in every way if only we will let him. The more highly developed a people, the wider their knowledge and ability to control worldly factors, the greater the danger of illusion. To an extent that is probably unprecedented, our minds are bombarded with fascinating information that science and technology provide. Man seems supreme, he is his own lord and master, everything is lawful for him; no one has a right to tell him what is right and wrong. The ego with its opinions and wants is law unto itself. Objective truth does not exist. Seen through the eyes of faith this is a desolate landscape but it remains God's world for which Jesus died and over which the Spirit broods. As disciples of Christ in this historical age, our lives must proclaim: "The Lord is God!" (From: Love Unknown / by Ruth Burrows)

Daily Posting: August 1/14

From the Fathers ...

Within the heart are unfathomable depths. It is but a small vessel: and yet dragons and lions are there, and there poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There likewise is God, there are the angels, there life and the Kingdom, there light and the Apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace; all things are there. [Homilies of St. Macarius]

Peter the blessed, bidden by Christ's messenger,
Breaketh his fetters, liberated wondrously;
Shepherd and teacher of the Church's fellowship,
The flock's preserver and the sheepfold's guardian,
Lo, he repelleth all the wolves' ferocity.

Glory, O Father, be to thee eternally;
Grace and dominion to the Son adorable;
Unto the Spirit, honour and authority:
Praise to the holy undivided Trinity,
Praise everlasting, through the ages infinite. Amen.

(Hymn at first and second Vespers [Petrus beatus catenarum], St. Peter's Chains, August 1/14)

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Thou art the shepherd of the sheep, O chief of the Apostles: unto thee were given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, St. Peter's Chains, August 1/14]

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Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven: saith the Lord unto Simon Peter. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, St. Peter's Chains, August 1/14]

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O God, who didst cause the blessed Apostle Peter to be loosed from his chains, and to go forth unhurt: loose, we beseech thee, the chain of our sins, and mercifully shut our from us all evils. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Peter's Chains, August 1/14]

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May the fraternal crown of thy victorious Martyrs bring us joy, O Lord: that our faith may receive an increase of strength, and that we may also have the comfort of their manifold intercessions. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect for the commemoration of the Maccabees, August 1/14]

Daily Posting: August 2/15

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

The world is a sea, in which the Church is set, like a ship tossed in the deep, but not destroyed. For she has with her the skilled Pilot, Christ. [Hippolytus of Rome]

If we continue to love one another and join in praising the Most Holy Trinity - - all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ - - we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church. [St. Polycarp of Smyrna]

Daily Posting: August 3/16

John Betjeman, the modern English poet, visited an old Orthodox Church in Greece, and was moved to write the following lines:

The domed interior swallows up the day,
Here, where to light a candle is to pray,
The candle flame shows up the almond eyes
Of local saints who view with no surprise
Their martyrdoms depicted upon wall
On which the filtered daylight faintly falls.
The flame shows up the cracked paint -- sea-green blue
And red and gold, with grained wood showing through --
Of much kissed ikons, dating from, perhaps,
The fourteenth century...
Thus vigorously does the old tree grow,
By persecution pruned, water with blood,
Its living roots in pre-Christian mud.
It needs no bureaucratical protection.
It is its own perpetual resurrection. ...

[Quoted by Bishop Timothy Ware in The Orthodox Way]
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We make a lot of complicated decisions in life, and sometimes the moral issues are unclear to us, but in the end our choices makes us the kind of people who would be at home in God's Kingdom or in the outer darkness. [God's Many-Splendored Image: Theological Anthropology / by Nonna Verna Harrison]

Daily Posting: August 4/17

O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, tenth Sunday after Pentecost]

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. [Benedictus antiphon, tenth Sunday after Pentecost]

This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. [Magnificat antiphon, tenth Sunday after Pentecost]

Daily Posting: August 5/18

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast consecrated the bright and holy joy of this day by the solemnity of thy blessed Martyr Oswald: grant that our hearts may grow in thy love, that we may again honour his suffering on earth, and be assured of his intercession in heaven. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Oswald, August 5/18]

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All ye who seek for Jesus, raise
Your eyes above, and upward gaze:
There may ye see the wondrous sign
Of never ending glory shine.

Behold him in celestial rays
Who never knoweth end of days;
Exalted, infinite, sublime;
Older than heaven or hell or time.

This is the Gentile's King and Lord;
The Prince by Judah's race adored,
Promise to Abraham of yore
And to his seed forevermore.

To him the prophets testify;
And that same witness, from on high,
The Father seals by his decree:
Hear and believe my Son, saith he.

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay,
Transfigured on the mount to-day;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

(Hymn at first and second Vespers [Quicumque Christum], Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6/19)
Daily Posting: August 6/19

Christ Jesus, the brightness of the Father and the express image of his person, who upholdeth all things by the word of his power, while he was by himself purging away our sins, vouchsafed on this day to show himself in glory upon an high mountain. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6/19]

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, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6/19]

O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration of thine only-begotten Son didst confirm the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of the fathers, and the voice which came down from the bright cloud didst marvelously foreshew the perfect adoption of sons: vouchsafe in thy mercy to make us coheirs with this glorious King, and grant that we may be partakers of his glory. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Collect, Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6/19]

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O love of Jesus, sweet and dear,
When to the heart thou dost appear,
Away its clouds and darkness roll,
and sweetness overflows the soul.

How happy he who feels thy light,
Thou Sharer of the Father's might,
True Radiance of our native land,
Surpassing all we understand.

Thou Brightness of the Father's throne,
Goodness that never can be known,
The fulness of thy love impart
By thy true Presence in the heart.

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay,
Transfigured on the mount to-day;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

(Hymn at Lauds [Amor Jesus dulcissime], Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6/19)
Daily Posting: August 7/20

Jesus, the beauty Angels see,
The ear's ecstatic minstrelsy,
The nectar of the heavenly home,
The lips' delicious honeycomb:

For they who taste thee hunger sore,
And they who drink thee thee thirst the more,
Desiring naught below, above,
Save Jesus, whom their spirits love.

O Jesus, most desired and dear,
The hope of longing spirits here,
To thee my earnest tears shall turn,
For thee my inmost heart shall yearn.

Be with us, Lord, our mental gloom
With all thy holy light illume:
Disperse the oppressive shades of ill,
Creation with thy sweetness fill.

Jesus, the Virgin Mother's Flower,
Thou love alone of sweetest power,
All honour to thy Name divine,
The realm of endless bliss be thine. Amen.

(Hymn at Lauds, [Jesu, decus angelicum], Holy Name of Jesus)
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He gave himself that he might deliver his people, and get him a perpetual Name, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Holy Name of Jesus]

O God, who didst appoint thine only-begotten Son to be the Saviour of mankind, and didst bid that he be called Jesus: mercifully grant that we, who reverence his holy Name on earth, may also be filled with the joy of beholding him in Heaven. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever. Amen. [Collect, Holy Name of Jesus]

Thou shalt call his Name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Holy Name of Jesus]

Daily Posting: August 8/21

St. Irenaeus writes: "By his coming, Christ brought with him all newness." With this newness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old. Jesus can also break through the dull categories with which we would enclose ourselves and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity. [THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL / Pope Francis]

Daily Posting: August 9/22

Be favourable, O Lord, to our supplications: and by the intercessions of blessed Laurence thy Martyr, to whose feast we are drawing nigh, graciously bestow upon us thy mercy for evermore. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vigil of St. Laurence, Martyr, August 9/22]

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Laurence the Deacon hath wrought a pious work; who by the sign of the Cross enlightened the blind: and distributed to the poor the Church's treasures. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, St. Laurence, Martyr, August 10/23]

Daily Posting: August 10/23

On the iron grate, O God, I denied thee not; and when the fire was kindled beneath me, O Christ, I confessed thee: thou hast proved my heart and hast visited me in the night season; thou hast tried me with fire, and hast found no wickedness in me. [Benedictus antiphon, St. Laurence, Martyr, August 10/23]

Grant us, we beseech thee, Almighty God, grace to quench the flames of our sins: as thou didst endue blessed Laurence with power to overcome the fire of his torments. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Laurence, Martyr, August 10/23]

Blessed Laurence, when laid and burning on the iron grating, spake to the impious tyrant, saying: The feast is ready, turn and eat; but the Church's treasures, which thou claimest, have been garnered up in heaven, by the hands of the poor and needy. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, St. Laurence, Martyr, August 10/23]

Daily Posting: August 11/24

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God,who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, eleventh Sunday after Pentecost]

When the Lord had passed through the coasts of Tyre, he made the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. [Benedictus antiphon, eleventh Sunday after Pentecost]

He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. [Magnificat antiphon, eleventh Sunday after Pentecost]

Daily Posting: August 12/25

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

Upon every soul, sin sets its mark, and all alike devoted to death. [St. Melito of Sardis]

God has created me with free will. If I have sinned, I have sinned. ... I, not fate, not chance, not the devil. [St. Augustine]

Daily Posting: August 13/26

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

We all need, with one accord, to follow the guidelines of our holy Fathers, doing nothing in contention, but, unanimous in aim of every good devotion, to obey, the Lord helping us, the divine and apostolic constitutions. [Pope St. Gregory the Great]

You and I share the same teacher of God's mysteries and spiritual fathers, who from the beginning were the founders of your church. [St. Basil the Great]

Daily Posting: August 14/27

O God, who didst vouchsafe to choose the virgin womb of blessed Mary for thy dwelling place: grant we beseech thee, that, being strengthened by her protection, we may joyfully take part in her festival. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 14/27]

O most prudent Virgin, whither goest thou, shinning resplendent like the glowing dawn? Daughter of Sion, thou art all comely and beautiful, fair as the moon, clear as the sun. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15/28]

Daily Posting: August 15/28

Who is she that riseth up as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? [[Benedictus antiphon, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15/28]

Forgive, we beseech thee, O Lord, the offenses of thy servants: and grant that we who by our own deeds are unable to please thee, may be saved through the intercession of her who brought forth thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15/28]

On this day the Virgin Mary went up into heaven: rejoice, because she reigneth with Christ for ever and ever. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15/28]

Daily Posting: August 16/29

From the Fathers ...

Since we were all implicated in the first formation of Adam, and we were bound to death through disobedience, it was fitting that the bounds of death were loosed by the obedience of Him who was made human for us. Because death ruled over the flesh, it was necessary that it should be vanquished by flesh, and so be forced to set humanity free from its oppression. So "the Word became flesh," in order that sin might be destroyed by means of that same flesh through which it had mastered and seized and dominated humanity. Therefore, our Lord took up the same first formation for an Incarnation, so that He might fight on behalf of His forefathers and vanquish in Adam what had struck us in Adam. [St. Irenaeus]

Daily Posting: August 17/30

From the Fathers ...

Rich in mercy, God the Father sent the created Word who, when He came to save us, put Himself in our position, and in the same situation in which we lost life; He loosed the prison bonds, His light appeared and dispelled the darkness of the prison, and He sanctified our birth and abolished death, loosing those same bonds by which we were held. And He showed forth the Resurrection, becoming Himself "the firstborn from the dead," and raised in Himself prostrate humanity, being lifted up to the heights of heaven, at the right hand of the glory of the Father. [St. Irenaeus]

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The following link provides an encouraging example of some national leaders speaking out in defense of Christian civilization and culture. Regrettably that nation is not America, but the United Kingdom; and those speaking out are the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, and the present Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Can we hope to hear such a message from our own government and leaders?

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Special Prayers

Given the rise and severity of the persecution of fellow Christians, especially in the Middle East, the monks of Christminster are dedicating the Angelus, prayed three time a day, to support these suffering Christians and to bring healing to this troubled part of the world. When you pray the Angelus each day, please join us in this commemoration.

Daily Posting: August 18/31

Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain the heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord, Who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, 12th Sunday after Pentecost]

Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, what is written in the law? How readest thou? Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, 12th Sunday after Pentecost]

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. [Magnificat antiphon, 12th Sunday after Pentecost]

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O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst reveal to blessed Helena the place where thy cross lay hidden, that through her thy Church might be enriched with the precious treasure: grant us, at her intercession, that by the ransom of that life-giving wood, we may obtain the reward of everlasting life. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Helena, August 18/31]

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SEPTEMBER 2014

SEPTEMBER 2014

DAYNCOCF/AOBSERVANCE
MON119
TUE220
WED321F/A
THU422
FRI523F/A*Vigil
SAT624St. Bartholomew, Apostle, II
SUN725PENTECOST XIII
MON826St. Zacchaeus the Publican, IV
TUE927
WED1028F/A*St. Augustine, BCD, III; St. Moses the Ethiopian, IV
THU1129Beheading of St. John Baptist, II
FRI1230F/A
SAT1331St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, BC, III
SUN141PENTECOST XIV; St. Giles, AB, III
MON152
TUE163St. Edward, M, III
WED174F/A
THU185
FRI196F/A
SAT207
SUN218PENTECOST, XV; NATIVITY OF BVM, I
MON229
TUE2310
WED2411F/ASts. Protus and Hyacinth, MM, IV
THU2512
FRI2613F/A*
SAT2714Holy Cross, I
SUN2815PENTECOST XVII
MON2916St. Ninian, BC, III
TUE3017St. Lambert, BM, IV


RANKS of Feasts:
I.Solemnity
II.Greater Feast
III.Lesser Feast
IV.Commemoration

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, AbbessK = King
AP = ApostleM = Martyr
APS = ApostlesMk = Monastic
B = BishopMM = Martyrs
C = ConfessorP = Priest, Prophet
Dc = DeaconV = Virgin
D = DoctorVV = Virgins
EV = EvangelistW = Widow


Daily Posting: August 19/September 1

New Intercession

In light of the current persecution of Christians, we have added the following prayer, taken from the Roman Missal, to our daily round of intercessions; and we encourage all to pray it with with us.

Almighty and everlasting God, in whose hand is the dominion of all kings and the governance of all kingdoms, look down in mercy and deliver all Christian peoples: that the nations of the heathen, which put their trust in the might of their violence, may be confounded by the strength of thy right hand. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect from the Mass for Protection Against the Heathen]

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From the Fathers ...

A Christian does not need to be commanded to observe a day of rest, for he keep the Sabbath constantly, celebrating the service of God in the temple of God, which is the human body, and at all times working righteousness. [St. Irenaeus]

Daily Posting: August 20/September 2

NOTICE
We will not be posting for a few days.
The computer will be taken in for needed servicing.

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

The human body is a revelation of the goodness of God and the providence of the body's Creator. [St. Augustine]

The body is a hidden temple, and the heart a hidden altar. [Anonymous (Liber Graduum)]

Daily Posting: August 26/September 8

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

If you ask me what is the first thing in religion, I will reply that the first, second, and third thing is humility. [St. Augustine]

Imitate the ass in his love for his master. [St. John Chrysostom]

Daily Posting: August 27/September 9

From the Fathers ...

The Lord suffered so that he might bring those who have wandered from the Father back to knowledge and communion with him. ... Having suffered, the Lord granted us salvation, bestowing on us the knowledge of the Father. ... By his Passion our Lord also destroyed death, dispersed error, put an end to corruption, and destroyed ignorance, while he manifested life, revealed truth, and granted the gift of incorruption. [St. Irenaeus]

Daily Posting: August 28/September 10

Two articles read recently brought home to me in a stunning way the similarity between the vicious intolerance and persecution of Christians in the Mid-East, and the not essentially different intolerance and persecution of Christians at home in America. [Access these articles here and here.]

What is being done so barbarously in the Mid-East is done in California, for example, with taste and decorum, under the guise of liberal tolerance. But beneath the surface one finds the same totalitarian intolerance. Much more of this, and militant Islam will not need to attack America. We are doing it ourselves from within.

Years ago in his book on the atheistic persecution of Christians in Russia, Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote, "Today in Russia, Tomorrow in America." Back then, this did not seem possible. Now, that tomorrow has come.

As a teenager, when I first learned about the Holocaust, I was haunted by the fact that I was born into the world while such horrors were happening. (1943) Some years later, I saw a remarkable film about the Holocaust, called NIGHT AND FOG by the French director Alain Resnais. This short half hour film, now a classic, visits the death camps and alternates color footage of the post-war camps with vivid black and white footage of life and death in the camps. As it draws toward the end various characters - - Commendants, Doctors, Nurses, Guards - - all claim that they are not responsible. The film ends with the haunting question: 'Who is responsible?" That question is being asked of us today.


Abbot James
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Assist us, Almighty God, in these our supplications: and since thou dost give us confidence in the hope of thy goodness, graciously deign to grant us, at the intercession of blessed Augustine thy Confessor and Bishop, the fruit of thy wonted mercy. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Augustine, August 28/September 10]

Herod sent an executioner, and commanded him to behead John in the prison: and when his disciples heard of it, they came, and took up his body, and laid it in a tomb. [Magnificat antiphon, First Vespers, and Benedictus antiphon, Beheading of St. John the Baptist, August 29/September 11]

Daily Posting: August 29/September 11

We beseech thee, O Lord, that the reverend festival of holy John Baptist thy Forerunner and Martyr may bring upon us the benefit of thy saving help. Who with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Beheading of St. John the Baptist, August 29/September 11]

The king, the unbeliever, sent his detestable servants, and commanded them to behead John the Baptist. [Magnificat antiphon, Second Vespers, Beheading of St. John the Baptist, August 29/September 11]

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From the Fathers ...

God did not despise or evade any human condition. He did not set aside in his own case the order he had appointed for the human race; rather, he sanctified every stage of human development by participating in it himself. For he came to save all in himself, all those who are born again to God through him -- infants, toddlers, young children, youths, and the mature ... then, finally, he came on to death itself, so that he would be "the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may have the preeminence" [Col. 1:18], "the Prince of life" [Acts 3:15], existing before all and going before all. [St. Irenaeus]

Daily Posting: August 30/September 12

From the Fathers ...

This was why the Word of God was made human, and he who was the Son of God became the son of man -- that human beings, taken into the Word and receiving adoption, might become the children of God. By no other means could we have obtained incorruptibility and immortality, unless we had been united to incorruptibility and immortality. How could we be joined to incorruptibility and immortality unless incorruptibility and immortality had first become what we are, so that the corruptible might be swallowed up by incorruptibility, and the mortal by immortality [1 Cor. 15:53], so that we might receive adoption as children [Gal. 4:5]? [St. Irenaeus]

Imagine a circle traced on the earth; that is, a line drawn in the round with a circumference and a center. Imagine that the circle is the world; the center is God; and the rays are mens' different paths or ways of living. When the saints, desiring to come near to God, move towards the center of the circle; in the measure to which they penetrate further in, the nearer they draw to one another; and the closer they to one another, they closer they are to God. And you understand that it is the same in reverse, when one turns away from God to go outward; it is then clear that the more we move away from God, the further we are from one another;and the further we are from one another, the further we are from God. [St. Dorotheus]

Daily Posting: August 31/September 13

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant Aidan from the peace of the cloister to renew the mission of Christ in northern England, and didst give him gifts of gentleness, simplicity and strength; grant that we, following his example, may use what thou hast given us for the relief of human need, and may persevere in commending the saving Gospel of our Redeemer Jesus Christ; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Gaelic saying:

Three things hardest to understand;
The intellect of women,
The work of the bees,
The coming and going of the tide.

[Tri ni is deacair a thuiscint;
Intleacht na mban,
Obair na mbeach,
Teacht agus imeacht na taoide.]

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Tomorrow, Sunday, the monks will be traveling to Ancaster, Ontario for a Vespers service sung by the Schola of the Gregorian Institute of Canada. This is the choral group that used to rehearse in our Monastery in Hamilton, and which provided music for our Christmas Mass here at Christminster. We will be traveling with Archbishop Peter Goodrich.

Daily Posting: September 1/14

Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, 14th Sunday after Pentecost]

Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, 14th Sunday after Pentecost]

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all theses things shall be added unto you, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, 14th Sunday after Pentecost]

Daily Posting: September 2/15

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

Restrain your tongue from cursing, because with it you adore the Lord. [Commodianus]

Slander is worse than cannibalism. [St. John Chrysostom]

Daily Posting: September 3/16

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

The world is a sea, in which the Church is set, like a ship tossed in the deep, but not destroyed. For she has with her the skilled Pilot, Christ. [Hippolytus of Rome]

If we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity - - all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ - - we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the church. [St. Polycarp of Smyrna]

Daily Posting: September 4/17

RELIGIOUS TOLERATION? RELIGIOUS LIBERTY? NOT THE SAME!

The authority to choose to tolerate presumes the authority not to tolerate. Any government that thinks it is being generous, or shrewd, or pragmatic to put up with dissenting faiths necessarily believes it has the power to persecute them if circumstances change. Tolerance, in short, is just a policy choice of the government, not a right of the people. And policy choices can be reversed.

Religious liberty, as Tertullian understood, is a gift from God. We possess it because we are human. In marked contrast, religious toleration is not a gift of God, but the gift of the government, and what the government gives, the government can take. Religious liberty is carved into the bedrock of natural law. Religious toleration is always written in sand. (THE LIBERTY THREAT: THE ATTACK ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICA TODAY / by James Tonkowich)

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"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil" [Thomas Mann]

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In advance of and in preparation for the upcoming feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God we will be sharing short paragraphs from homilies from Blessed Augustine.

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Sermon by St. Augustine, Bishop
Lesson v

BELOVED, this is the longed for day of the blessed and venerable ever-virgin Mary. Therefore let earth rejoice with exceeding joy, illumined by the birthday of so great a Virgin. For she is the flower of the field; from her has sprung the precious lily of the valley, through whose birth the nature of earthly day is changed and sin is destroyed.

Daily Posting: September 5/18

From the Fathers ...

God drove them out of Paradise, separating them from the tree of life -- not because he wanted to protect the tree of life from them, as some teach, but because God pitied them. He did not want them to continue to live forever as sinners, or for the sin which had engulfed them to last forever, or for evil to have no end or remedy. So, God set a bound to sin by interposing death, thus causing sin to cease. [St. Irenaeus]

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Sermon by St. Augustine, Bishop (continued)
Lesson vi

In her was cancelled that word concerning the woe of Eve: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; for in gladness she brought forth her Lord. Eve mourned: she exulted. Eve carried tears in her womb; Mary, joy. Eve brought forth a sinner: Mary the sinless One. The mother of our race brought punishment to the world: the Mother of our Lord brought salvation to the world.

Daily Posting: September 6/19

Sermon by St. Augustine, Bishop (continued)
Lesson vii

EVE was the source of sin: Mary of merit. Eve by bringing death was our undoing: Mary by bringing life was our profit. Eve wounded us: Mary healed us. Obedience is given in exchange for disobedience, faith atones for infidelity. Now let Mary play upon instruments, and let the timbrels sound between the quick fingers of the young mother. Let choirs sing with joy, and tuneful lays mingle to alternate strains.

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The rule handed on by the Fathers is that whoever is guided solely by his own judgment and decision will never climb up to the summit of perfection and will fall victim to the devil's ruinous power to delude.

The whole purpose of the monk and indeed the perfection of heart amount to this -- total and uninterrupted dedication to prayer. He strives for undistracted calm of mind. [St. John Cassian]

Daily Posting: September 7/20

ON PRAYER:

Even if one alone, prayer is not an exercise of isolation. In prayer a human being is engaged with existence in its fullness.

First, when a person prays, he represents the whole created order, of which he is the conscious, self-reflective part. It is in the prayer of human beings that creation becomes conscious of its relationship to God. Man is the thinking of the cosmos. In the entire material world, the only being that even thinks to pray is man. Human thought is the only place where the cosmos is self-reflective.

Second, when someone prays, he represents history, which has bequeathed to him the very language he uses to speak and to think. To pray is to take an heir's possession -- by language -- of all that has transpired during man's existence in this world. We are no more able to separate ourselves from the time of human history than from the space of the created order. ...

Third, when someone prays, he renders active the highest potential present in every human heart. For this reason, the one who prays -- the orans with upraised hand -- represents the whole of human society, to which he is tied by a complex network of associations. Whether he reflects on it or not, no one ever prays except as the representative of his brothers and sisters. [From: The Jesus we missed / by Patrick Henry Reardon]

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Tonight begins the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.

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Sermon by St. Augustine, Bishop (continued)
Lesson viii

HEARKEN, therefore, how our Musician sang: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his Name. Therefore the miraculous new birth conquered the prevailing error; and Mary's song silenced Eve's lament.

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Let us celebrate the worshipful Nativity of the blessed and glorious Virgin Mary: for she hath obtained the dignity of Motherhood, and yet lost not her maiden purity. [Magificat antiphon, First Vespers, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8/21]

Daily Posting: September 8/21

To-day is born the Blessed Virgin Mary of the seed of David; through whom the salvation of the world hath appeared to them that believe. [Third Nocturn antiphon, Nativity of St. Mary the Virgin, September 8/21]

Let us celebrate the Nativity of the Virgin Mary: Let us worship Christ the Lord her Son. [Invitatory verse, Nativity of St. Mary the Virgin, September 8/21]

To-day let us celebrate with solemnity the Nativity of God's Mother, the ever Virgin Mary: from whom the Son of the Highest proceeded, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8/21]

We beseech thee, O Lord, bestow upon thy servants the gift of thy heavenly grace: that as our salvation began by the Childbearing of the blessed Virgin, so this devout solemnity of her Nativity may afford us an increase of peace. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Septemnber 8/21]

Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, hath proclaimed joyful tidings unto all the world: for out of thee hath arisen the Sun of Righteousness, even Christ our God: who, taking away the curse, hath bestowed a blessing; and confounding death, hath given unto us life everlasting. [Magnificat antiphon, Second Vespers, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8/21]

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O Lord, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, 15th Sunday after Pentecost]

Jesus went into a city called Nain; and behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother. [Benedictus antiphon, 15th Sunday after Pentecost]

A great prophet is risen up among us: and God hath visited his people. [Magnificat antiphon, 15th Sunday after Pentecost]

Daily Posting: September 9/22

In anticipation of the upcoming feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (on Saturday, September 14/27), we will be posting something from one of the services (Matins, Vespers, Lauds) of the feast.

Thou alone excellent in stature all the cedars of Lebanon: for on thee the Life of the world was hanged, on thee was Christ victorious, and death over death did for ever triumph. [Benedictus antiphon, Lauds, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14/27]

Daily Posting: September 10/23

Continuing our postings in anticipation of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

Behold the Cross of the Lord: flee away, ye adversaries: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed, alleluia. [Third antiphon, Vespers and Lauds, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14/27]

O Cross, exceeding blessed, which alone wast counted worthy to bear the Lord, the King of heaven, alleluia. [Magnificat antiphon, second Vespers, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14/27]

Daily Posting: September 11/24

Continuing our postings in anticipation of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
Sing the last, the dread affray;
O'er the Cross, the Victor's trophy,
Sound the the high triumphal lay,
How, the pains of death enduring,
Earth's Redeemer won the day.

He, our Maker, deeply grieving
That the first-made Adam fell,
When he ate the fruit forbidden
Whose reward was death and hell,
Marked e'en then the Tree the ruin
Of the first tree to dispel.

Thus the work for our salvation
He ordained to be done;
To the traitor's art opposing
Art yet deeper than his own:
Thence the remedy procuring
Whence the fatal wound begun

Therefore, when at length the fulness
Of the appointed time was come,
He was sent, the world's Creator,
From the Father's heavenly home,
And was found in human fashion,
Offspring of the Virgin's womb.

Lo! he lies, an Infant weeping,
Where the narrow manger stands,
While the Mother-Maid his members
Wraps in mean and lowly bands,
And the swaddling is winding
Round his helpless feet and hands.

Praise and hounour to the Father;
Praise and hounour to the Son;
Praise and hounour to the Spirit;
Ever Three and ever One,
One in might, and one in glory
While eternal ages run. Amen.

(Hymn: Matins, Exaltation of the Holy Cross [Pange, lingua, gloriosi] September 14/27
{hymn also used on Finding of the Holy Cross, May 3/16})
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This article Faithful Unto Death seemed significant for two reasons. First, in its retelling of the martyrdom of St Polycarp of Smyrna, it reminded us of our own late benefactor and friend, Robert Polycarp Sherwood. Secondly, it reminds us of our close union with our brothers and sisters in the mid-east and throughout the world who are suffering persecution and death in the name of Christ. Please remember them in your prayers.

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May the precious confession of thy blessed Martyrs Protus and Hyacinth be our support, O Lord: and may their loving intercession continually shield us. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Sts. Protus and Hyacinth, September 14/27]

Daily Posting: September 12/25

Continuing our postings in anticipation of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

Thirty years among us dwelling,
His appointed time fulfilled,
Born for this, he meets his Passion,
For this he freely willed;
On the Cross the Lamb is lifted,
Where his life-blood shall be spilled.

He endured the nails, the spitting
Vinegar, and spear, and reed:
From that holy Body broken
Blood and Water forth proceed:
Earth, and stars, and sky, and ocean,
By that flood from stain are freed.

Faithful Cross, above all other
One and only noble Tree;
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peer may be:
Sweetest wood, and sweetest iron!
Sweetest weight is hung on thee.

Bend thy boughs, O Tree of glory,
Thy relaxing sinews bend:
For awhile the ancient rigour
That thy birth bestowed, suspend:
And the King of heavenly beauty
On thy bosom gently tend.

Thou alone wast counted worthy
This world's ransom to sustain;
That a shipwrecked race for ever
Might a port of refuge gain:
With the sacred Blood anointed
Of the Lamb for sinners slain.

Glory be to God, and honour
In the highest, as is meet,
To the Son and to the Father,
And the eternal Paraclete,
Whose is boundless praise and power
Through the ages infinite. Amen.

(Hymn: Lauds, Exaltation of the Holy Cross [Lutris sex qui jam peractis] September 14/27 {hymn also used on Passion Sunday})

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From the book: CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM AND ATHIEISM: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE WEST / by William Kilpatrick

"What's the crippling superstition that rules Western societies today? It's the dogma that all cultures and religions are the same. We need to overcome this taboo. ... In a Christian culture the natural response to a threat is to draw strength from one's faith; but under dogmatic relativism society's natural immune responses are suppressed, leaving nothing to fall back on but shallow secular nostrums. A secular society, however, can't fight a spiritual war -- at least not very successfully. It simply can't up with the virtues necessary to sustain itself -- such as perseverance and courage, not to mention faith and hope. Indeed, a purely secular society eventually turns suicidal and begins to collude in its own downfall. This happens because its citizens discover they have nothing to live for or even to care deeply about."

Daily Posting: September 13/26

Continuing our postings in anticipation of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

THE royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow;
Where he in flesh, our flesh who made,
Our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life's torrent rushing from his side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled Water flowed and Blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old:
Amidst the nations, God, saith he,
Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.

O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy limbs should find their rest:

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world's ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay,
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail!
On this triumphant feast, avail
To give fresh merit to the saint
And pardon to the penitent.

To thee: eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done:
Whom by the Cross thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.

(Hymn: Vespers, Exaltation of the Holy Cross [Vexilla Regis prodeunt] September 14/27)

O Cross, surpassing all the stars in splendour, world renowned, exceeding dear unto the hearts of men, holier than all things: thou only wert counted worthy to uphold the world's ransom. Sweet the wood, sweet the iron, bearing so sweet a burden: bring aid to this congregation, who are here assembled to celebrate thy praises. [Magnificat antiphon, first Vespers, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14/27]

Daily Posting: September 14/27 - - Exaltation of the Holy Cross

O God, who makest us glad this day by the yearly solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: grant, we beseech thee, that we who on earth have learned the mystery of our redemption, may be found worthy of its rewards in heaven. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14/27]

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From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

They hanged upon a Tree Him Who stretches out the earth; they transfixed Him with nails Who laid firm the foundation of the world; they circumscribed Him Who circumscribed the heavens, they bound him Who frees sinners. [St. Alexander of Alexandria]

O strange and inconceivable thing! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again. Yet our imitation is only a symbol, though our salvation is in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things have been granted to us, that we may participate in his sufferings by imitation, and might gain salvation in reality. [St. Cyril of Jerusalem]

Daily Posting: September 15/28

Lord, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptation of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only God. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, 17th Sunday after Pentecost]

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, alleluia. [Benedictus antiphon, 17th Sunday after Pentecost]

What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. Jesus saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand? [Magnificat antiphon, 17th Sunday after Pentecost]

Daily Posting: September 16/29

From the Fathers ...

A clear proof that a soul has not yet cut loose from the corruption of sins is when it feels no sympathizing pity for the wrongdoing of others but holds instead to the strict censoriousness of a judge.

Never dare to teach someone what you have not practiced yourself. [St. John Cassian]

Daily Posting: September 17/30

From the book The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina:

You who are a sinner like myself, hurry to embrace repentance, as a shipwrecked man the protection of some plank. [Tertullian]

The heavens and angels who are there, are glad at a man's repentance. [Tertullian]