Third Sunday in Lent preparation

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

We beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Eph. v, 1-14.
Gospel: Luke xi, 14-28.

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

Eleventh Sunday after Christmas

O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; send thy Holy Spirit, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee.

Gospel, St. Luke xviii. 31.
Epistle, 1 Cor. xiii. 1.

Second Sunday in Lent Preparation

I feel confident enough in my typing to resume my weekly lectionary propers.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves; keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; than we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: 1 Thess. iv. 1-8.
Gospel: Matt. xv. 21-28.

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

Tenth Sunday after Christmas

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the zeal of thy faithful people; that the yoke of Jesus may become easy to them; that their Christian love may work all the miracles of grace, till from grace it pass to glory, from earth to heaven, from duty to reward, from weakness of a commencing and growing affection to the consummation of eternal charity and a complete union with thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Gospel, St. Luke viii. 4v
Epistle, 2 Cor. xi. 19.

Last Sunday’s Order of Service

If you’re interested…

An old form, but well integrated and — as it was for evening — restful in its own way. Note that the Bible readings are from the American Standard Version, the grandparent of the NRSV, and once favored on the progressive end of the Protestant spectrum. The tip-in hymn was from the Open Hymnal Project and the fonts are from the Linux Libertine family: my go-to.

Order of service (PDF, 80 kb)

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany preparation

Bill Baar wonders why there isn’t more buzz about Peter Morales’s vision of the Unitarian Universalist Association. God knows I’ve worked on a blog post on it a good bit of the morning and now realize it wouldn’t be done tonight. Perhaps Monday or Tuesday. Not easy work, so I’ll put up the lectionary propers early and keep moving…

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that for man’s frailness we cannot always stand uprightly; grant to us the health of body and soul that all those things which we suffer for sin, by thy help we may well pass and overcome; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Epistle: Rom. xiii., 8-10
Gospel: Matt. viii, 23-27


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

Fifth Sunday after Christmas

O God, the Father of our spirits, who hast vouchsafed to us, not only the bread which perisheth, but also that living bread which cometh down from heaven; grant,we beseech thee, that as thou hast wonderfully adapted the one to our natural wants and appetites, so we may be enabled to discern and experience the no less wonderful adaptation of the other to the eternal wants of our spirits; and enjoy the fulness of thy spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Gospel, St. John vi. 32.

Third Sunday after Epiphany preparation

Again — and for some time — we have the eccentric Universalist dating, and only a single lection. I suspect the Universalist collect is from Martineau, as I’ve only found the phrasing in a period Unitarian congregational worship-book and a (later) Unitarian work of daily prayer. Seems better fit for a baptism or the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, which has already past in most calendars. (The lesson is the Woman at the Well.)

I’d stick to the Free Church propers this week.

 

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

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

Epistle: Rom. xii, 16b-21 (end).
Gospel: Matt. viii, 1-13


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

Fourth Sunday after Christmas

O God, our heavenly Father, who by thy best-beloved Son hast opened to us a fountain of living water; grant, we pray thee, that we may so drink of this water as to be refreshed in all our weariness of spirit, to be strengthened for thy blessed service, and to have within us a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Gospel, St. John iv. 5.

Second Sunday after Epiphany preparation

Well, Second Sunday for some. The Universalist book I’ve been citing for months has a very long Christmas season. I’ll try to keep these synched. The Free Church collect is worth noting as a prayer to close prayer. Note, too, its Romans reading picked up where last week’s left off.

 

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

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

Epistle: Rom. xii, 6-16a.
Gospel: John ii, 1-11

 

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

Third Sunday after Christmas

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and known what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gospel, St. Luke ii 41
Epistle Rom xii. 1.

Sunday after Epiphany preparation

So most Christians mark the Epiphany on January 6, but what does that make the Sunday (January 8) that follows it? Epiphany — Magi, star, manifestation of the Gentiles — or the commemoration of Jesus’ baptism. I’d call it both or else one theme’s going to get lost. And since the theme of divine disclosure is shared between the two, there’s little lost for the worshiper. That said, I’d go with Free Church book. Let’s get to the propers.

 

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people which call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

or this,

O God, whose only-begotten Son was manifested in the substance of our flesh; grant, we beseech thee, that as we confess him to have been outwardly like unto ourselves, so we may be inwardly created anew by him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Epistle: Rom. xii, 1-5.
Gospel: Luke ii, 41-52 (end), or John i, 29-34.

 

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

Second Sunday after Christmas

O Almighty and eternal God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ has shown the care thou takest of thy people; cultivate, we beseech thee, every branch of this thy vine, that it may be more fruitful: let not the thorns of sin prevail against us; but protect us by thy Spirit, that we may bring forth the fruits of thy holy living, to the glory of thy blessed name. Amen.

Gospel, St. John xv. 1.

 

Sunday after Christmas preparation

Merry Christmas!

The first couple of Sundays after Christmas have to be carefully watched in the church calendar. This year is easy: Christmas itself was on a Sunday meaning the first Sunday of the year is the Sunday after Christmas. (In some traditions, it’s known as the Circumcision of Jesus, or the Naming of Jesus or some variation.) Then the next Sunday is the Sunday after Epiphany.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

First Sunday after Christmas

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that as we are bathed in the new light of thine Incarnate Word, that which shines by faith in our minds may likewise brighten forth in our minds may likewise brighten forth in our actions; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Gal. iv, 1-7
Gospel: Matt. i, 18-25 (end)

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

The Sunday after Christmas 

Lord our God, Source of all light and truth, who didst send thy Son Jesus Christ into the world that the world through him might be saved; grant, we beseech thee, that the light of his doctrine and life may shine into our hearts, and dispel our darkness, and direct our steps, and lead us at last to the unspeakable glories and felicities of thy heavenly kingdom. Amen.

Gospel. St. Luke ii. 15.
Epistle. Gal iv. 1.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

The Circumcision of Christ, being New Year’s Day

Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for men; grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Almighty God, who alone art without variableness or shadow of turning, and hast safely brought us through the changes of time to the beginning of another year; we beseech thee to pardon the sins we have committed in the year which is past, and give us grace that we may spend the remainder of our days to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

O O God, our hearts as well as our times are in thy hands; help us, we beseech thee, with this new year to form new resolutions of serving thee faithfully, that we may finish the work which thou hast given us to do, and that our earthly life may be the beginning of a blessed eternity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Eph. ii, 11-18, or Rev. xxi, 1-7.
Gospel: Luke ii, 15-21, or Luke ix, 57-62.

The Most Holy Name of Jesus, being the Sunday between Circumcision and Epiphany, or, failing such, January 2nd.

O God, who hast made the most glorious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, thine only-begotten Son, to be supremely loveable to thy faithful servants, and tremendous to malignant spirits; mercifully grant that all who devoutly venerate the Name of Jesus on earth, may in this life receive thy holy comfort and in the life to come eternal gladness and never ending praise; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Phil. ii, 1-11.
Gospel: Luke ii, 15-21

The Collect, Epistle, and Gospel of the Most Holy Name of Jesus shall be used on the days following up to the Epiphany.

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

First Sunday in the New Year 

O God, our hearts as well as our times are in thy hands; help us, we beseech thee,  with this new year to form new resolutions of serving thee faithfully in the spirit of thy Son Jesus Christ; that we may finish the work which thou shast given  us to do, and that our earthly life may be the beginning of a blessed eternity.

Gospel. St. Matt. xxv. 14.
Epistle. 1 St. Peter. i.  13.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day preparation

Christmas Eve is on … oh, you know when it is. And Christmas Day, which is Sunday this year.  Here are the propers as usual. To be plain, I prefer the Free Church one to the rather unitarian theology of the Universalist ones. (And which I suspect are cribbed from James Martineau.) Why? There’s a parallel between God’s promise in Christ that doesn’t devolve to niceness without talking about Christmas as if the festival were the end in itself.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Christmas Eve

God, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ; grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so we may with sure confience behold him when he shall come to be our Judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Or,

O God, who hast made this most sacred night to shine with the illumination of the true Light; grant, we beseech thee, that, as we have known the mystery of that Light upon earth, we may also perfectly enjoy it in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Epistle: Micah v, 2-5a
Gospel: Luke ii, 1-14

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

Christmas Eve

O God, who makest us to rejoice in the yearly celebration of the festival of Christmas; grant that we who thankfully receive thy best-beloved Son may through him become thy faithful children, and be admitted into thy kingdom of light and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Amen.

Gospel, St. Luke ii. 1.

Christmas Day

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, to thy people an inviolable firmness of faith, that as they confess thine only-begotten Son, the everlasting partaker of thy glory, to have been born in our very flesh, they may be delivered from present adversities, and admitted into joys that shall abide; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We beseech thee, O Lord, let our hearts be graciously enlightened by the holy radience of thy Son’s Incarnation; that so we may escape the darkness of this world, and by his guidance attain to the country of eternal brightness; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Merciful and most loving God, by whose will and bounty Jesus Christ our Lord humbled himself for this, that he might exalt the whole race of man, and descended to the depths for the purpose of lifting the lowly, and as at this time was born that he might restore in us the lost celetial image; grant that thy people may cleave unto thee, that as thou hast redeemed them by thy bounty, they may ever please thee by devoted service; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle: Heb i, 1-12, or Tit. ii, 11-14.
Gospel: John i, 1-14.

¶ The Collects, Epistle, and Gospel of Christmas Day shall be used on the days following unto the Circumsision, except when other provision has been made.

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

Christmas Day

Grant, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord God, that, enlightened by the memory of thy wonderful providence in the birth of Jesus Christ, our eyes may be evermore fixed on thy goodness; which still graciously worketh towards the accomplishment of thy promise, to call at length all the earth to a true knowledge of thee and thy glorified Son. Amen.

Or,

O Almighty God, our heavenly Father, from whom every good and perfect gift proceedeth; we thine unworthy servants, deeply sensible of thy manifold and great mercies, would print to the our united offering of praise and thanksgiving, as for innumerable other proofs of thy loving-kindness, so especially for that wonderful event which laid the foundation of all our Christian hopes. Grant that we may with such true joy celebrate this happy festival of Christmas, as to be heartily disposed to srive after that heavenly righteousness which thou hast set before us in the life and gospel of thy Son Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Gospel, St. John i. 1.
Epistle, Heb. i. 1.

Fourth Sunday in Advent preparation

The fourth Sunday in Advent is December 18, 2011.

Free Church Book of Common Prayer (1929)

Fourth Sunday in Advent

O Lord, raise up (we pray thee) thy power and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sings and wickedness, we are sore left and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

or,

The Preparation of John the Baptist (p. 173).

Epistle: Phil. iv, 4-7 or Is. xl. 1-11.
Gospel: John i, 19-28.

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist, was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour, by preaching of repentance; make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

For Epistle: Is. xl. 1-11
Gospel: Luke i, 57-80 (end)

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

John the Baptist

Almighty God, by whose gracious providence thy servant John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way of thy Son, our Saviour, by by preaching repentance; make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, after his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for conscience’ sake. Amen.

Gospel, St. John i. 19.
Epistle, Phil. iv. 4.