Category Archives: Bible

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.

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.