Category Archives: Bible

Reading list update, January 12

I’ve finished two more books — not on my list — since I last checked in. Relatively shorter and less difficult than what (I think) appeals to me, so I read them without discouragement!

  1. William L. Barclay. The Lord’s Supper. (2001, of 1965 ed.)
    Brief review of the history and meaning of the sacrament, useful (if gently dated) for ecumenically-minded mainline Protestant churches.
  2. Anya von Bremzen. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. (2013)
    Fascinating family memoir usung food to unpack 20th and 21st century Soviet and Russian history.

Hungarian Unitarians promoting free and open source software

The website of Hungarian Unitarian church, in Hungary and Transylvanian Romania, points out three free and open source software projects — thank you, Google Translate! I use all three, and recommend them, too. Links to the English software sites follow:

New page: “Lectionary and Propers index”

For more than a year, I’ve been typing out the appointed prayers (proper collects) and biblical lessons from two sources — Universalist and “Free Church” — which map the historic Western lectionary. It’s not complete, but I’ve transcribed enough to make it worth it worth indexing them. Follow this link. Like the main project, it will be a work in process.

Preparation for the Third Sunday after Pentecost

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Second Sunday after Trinity or Third Sunday after Pentecost.

O Lord, who never failest to help and govern them whom thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear and love; keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: 1 John iii. 13-18.
Gospel: Luke xiv. 16-24.
A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

Third Sunday after Whit-Sunday

O Almighty and most merciful Father, in thy goodness regard our prayers, and free our hearts from the disturbance of all perverse and evil thoughts, that we may become a fit abode for thy Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Gospel, St. Luke xiv. 16.
Epistle, St. John iii. 13.

Preparation for the First Sunday after Pentecost

Also celebrated in some communions as Trinity Sunday. While some Universalists have always been Trinitarians — at least a few — the propers here barely line up.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Trinity Sunday or First Sunday after Pentecost.

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace by the confession of a true faith to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the divine majesty to worship the Unity; grant that by stedfastness in the same faith we may ever be defended from all evil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Epistle: Rev. iv, 1-11 (end), or Rom. xi, 33-36 (end).
Gospel: John iii, 1-15, or Matt. xxviii, 18-20 (end).

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

First Sunday after Whit-Sunday

O Lord our God, who by thy Son hast taught us that love is the fulfilling of the law and of the gospel; fill us, we beseech thee, with the spirit of universal charity, that we may love thee above all, and our neighbor as ourselves. Amen.

Gospel, St. John iii 1.
Epistle. 1 St. John iv. 7.

Fifth Sunday in Easter preparation

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Fourth Sunday after Easter

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

Epistle. James i, 17-21.
Gospel. John xvi, 2-15.

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

Fourth Sunday after Easter

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

Epistle St. James i, 17.
Gospel St. John xvi, 5.

Third Sunday of Easter preparation

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Second Sunday after Easter

Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; give us grace that we way always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this,

Almighty God, who shewest to them that be in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Epistle: I Pet. ii, 19-25 (end)
Gospel: John x, 11-16.

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

Second Sunday after Easter

Almighty God, who showest to them that be in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; grant unto all them that are admitted to the fellowship of Christ’s religion that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same, through thy grace in Jesus Christ thy Son. Amen.

Gospel, St. John xvi. 16.
Epistle,  1 St Peter ii. 11.

First Sunday of Easter preparation

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may alway serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: I John v, 4-12
Gospel: John xx, 19-31 (end).

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

Holy and merciful Lord God, who multipliest upon us the gifts of thy heavenly grace; grant that by thy best-beloved Son we may be enabled to bear our crosses, and that by his resurrection we may have good hope of a happy end to our earthly pilgrimage. Amen.

Gospel, St. John xx. 19.
Epistle,  1 St John v. 4.

The maundy in Maundy Thursday

This is one of those church things you either know well, or don’t know at all. It’s worth knowing and isn’t intuitive. I’ll make this brief.

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s always the Thursday before Easter. The name maundy comes from the Latin mandamus for commandment, as in what Jesus told his disciple (=students):

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34, King James Version)

In Universalist churches historically, there would be an observance of the Lord’s Supper — also instituted on Maundy Thursday in the majority opinion — sometimes being the only time in the year! (and a good place to provide it, I think, in those churches that have never had it but want to introduce it.) It was also a day to induct new members.

Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday) preparation

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Sunday before Easter
commonly called
Palm Sunday

Almighty and everlasting, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Phil. ii, 5-11.
¶ Immediately before the Gospel the Passion according to St. Matthew (Matt. xxvi and xxvii) may be read.
Gospel: Matt. xxi, 1-9.

A book of prayer for the church and the home (Universalist, 1866)

The Sunday before Good Friday
Palm Sunday

Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; mercifully grant that we way both follow the example of his resurrection, and dwell with him hereafter forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel, St. Matt. xxvii. 1.
Epistle, Phil. ii. 5.